China Peony Festival Garden Tour April 2019

China – Peony Festival Garden Tour April 2019

Beijing/Xian/Luoyang/Suzhou/Shanghai

April 11th – 24th, 2019

‘Perhaps the best place to begin the story of peonies in the garden is in China. Peonies were known in China as far back as perhaps 1000 BCE. It was not however until the seventh century, during the reign of the Emperor Yang (605-617) of the Sui dynasty, that peonies were thought to have been grown as ornamental plants.’

 Besides seeing some of the country’s greatest sights such as the Terra Cotta Warriors and Great Wall, we’ll pay a special visit to the International Peony Festival, the largest event of its type in the world. Luoyang, where the festival occurs, was China’s capital in ancient times.

An ancient king named Wu was the first to declare Beijing a capital city in 1057 BC. The area in ancient times comprised a Chinese kingdom named You (pronounced “Yoh”). It first served as the capital city of all of China during the reign of the Mongol emperors in the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century. The city has gone by the names of Ji, Zhongdu, Dadu, and finally Beijing (“Northern Capital”), when the Ming Dynasty Emperor Cheng Zu moved the capital here from Nanjing (“Southern Capital”) in 1421. Beijing was widely known as Peking by the Western world before 1949.

Xian, located in central-northwest China, records the great changes of the country just like a living history book. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history. Xian was one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China because it has been the capital of 13 dynasties, to name a few, Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang The city was known as Chang’an (meaning eternal city) before the Ming Dynasty. One of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin area. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, the city has won a reputation all over the world.

Located in the west of Henan Province in central China, Luoyang occupies quite an important geographic location. It is in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and is encircled by mountains and plains. To its east and west are the Hu Lao Pass and Han Gu Pass which were essential domestic transportation junctions in ancient times. To its north, Mengjin County was an important ferry crossing of the Yellow River. In the period following the Han Dynasty (206BC-220), and particularly during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, the city experienced a period of growth and prosperity.

Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze Delta, in the south of Jiangsu Province, with Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. Since 42% of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is praised as the ‘Oriental Venice’. Built in 514 BC, Suzhou is an ancient city with a 2,500 year history. The unique characteristics of the past are still retained now. The double-chessboard layout of the city, with ‘the streets and rivers go side by side while the water and land routes run parallel’, are preserved basically intact.

Shanghai – a beautiful city mixing traditional Chinese and 21st century architecture. Shanghai began as a tiny fishing village during the Warring States period (475-221 BC). It has risen to become China’s centre for business and finance, and has one of the most active ports in the country. Shanghai is always a fun to visit. The commerce river – Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, is lined up with a gallery of different architectures, known as the Bund, beckoning to curious visitors and smart locals alike. Although erected during different periods in varying styles such as Gothic, Romanesque or Baroque, those fifty-two buildings stand together in perfect harmony. When night falls, the two most famous – Bank of China Building and the Peace Hotel – are bathed in lavender lighting, and are the most telling witness to the past century of the Bund. Mansions, garden estates, clubs and cathedrals built by Westerners a century ago are scattered throughout the city. There is even a synagogue, built during the days of an unprecedented Jewish immigration here. Traditional treasures, though not so many as in Beijing, turns up on a walk through the chaotic old city: a teahouse, active temples, ancient pagodas and quintessential southern-Chinese classic gardens such as the Yu Yuan Garden. Across the Huangpu River from the original settlement of Puxi is the city’s future, the Pudong New Area. Its modern and ever-expanding skyline includes the emblematic Orient Pearl Tower, with the highest observation decks in Asia, the soaring modern art-deco Jin Mao Tower and the 101-floor World Financial Centre featuring the Park Hyatt hotel, one of the tallest hotels in the world.

NOTE:  This tour begins in Beijing and ends in Shanghai

 Please click on each day to bring up the itinerary for that day

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April 11 Thursday Arrival into Beijing where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The rest of the day is at your leisure to get acclimated and refreshed.

New World Beijing Hotel  (Superior Room) 3 Nights.

In the heart of the capital, New World Beijing Hotel is centrally located in one of Beijing’s fastest growing commercial districts, situated close to the cultural attractions of the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Wonderfully soft beds and comfortable furnishings make every stay a pleasure, and all rooms have a marble bathroom, large writing desk, media control panel and complimentary Internet access. Warm colours and textured fabrics create a sophisticated ambience, Chinese ink-brush artwork adds a stylish touch, and views of Wangfujing connect you to the city. Indoor swimming pool and fitness center.

https://beijing.newworldhotels.com/en/rooms-suites/guest-room/

April 12 Friday Visits to Tian Anmen Square, Forbidden City, Qianlong Garden, Beijing Botanical Garden & Glasshouse

Tian Anmen Square – the largest public square in the world at 440,000 sq. meters. The Tian Anmen Gate is a national symbol. To the west is the Great Hall of the People, China’s congress building, and to the east is the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and Museum of Chinese History. The Monument to the People’s Heroes stands in the center of the square – the 36 meter obelisk, made of Qingdao granite. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall sits on the southern part of the Square.

We walk through Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City … known as the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Tian Anmen Square is the largest public square in the world and is located in the exact center of Beijing. The Tian Anmen Gate is a national symbol, standing at the north side of the square.

The Forbidden City – also known as the National Palace Museum. Construction of this palace began in 1406, the fourth year of the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle, and it was completed 14 years later. In the centuries that followed, twenty-four emperors have ascended the throne in this grand monument to Chinese imperial rule. The last emperor, Pu Yi, was driven from the palace in 1924. Subsequently, the entire Forbidden City was converted into a museum and opened to the public. Originally constructed by tens of thousands of laborers, it covers 250 acres. It is said that it could take you 2 1/2 days just to visit all of the 9,999 rooms of this city within a city. The golden throne set between two golden pillars both decorated with dragons was the symbol of feudal and imperial power. There are 12 large palace courtyards in this imperial city. There are also three major gardens – Longevity Garden, Kindness and Tranquility Garden, and the Imperial Garden. They were the playgrounds of the imperial family.

Qianlong Garden – The Qianlong Garden in the Forbidden City was designed as a private, two-acre garden retreat with four courtyards, elaborate rockeries, pavilions and structures for the last emperor of China and when he fled in 1924, the doors closed on one of its greatest treasures. It is a special visit because it’s the only still existing 18th-century interior garden that remains preserved as it originally was.

The Qianlong Garden is situated to the northwest of the Palace of Peace and Longevity in the eastern section of the Former Imperial Palace. Construction of it began in 1772, or the 37th year of the Qianlong Reign, and did not finish until the 41st year. When Emperor Qianlong abdicated in favor of his son at the end of his 60 year reign, he had the Palace of Peace and Longevity and a garden built for his evening years. That is why the garden is known as the Qianlong Garden. The garden is 160 meters long from north to south and 37 meters wide from east to west, and occupies an area of 5,920 square meters. The Qianlong Garden is unique among Chinese garden buildings. Despite its limited space, the garden provides a kaleidoscopic view. Rocks are piled up into hills in the tradition of the lower Yangtze valley, and winding paths form a maze. There are mystic caves, and towering pavilions as well. All these man-made scenes are knit into a harmonious whole, so that space is maximized and every vista has a role to play in beautifying the garden. In a solemn and somewhat rigid environment, this garden looks especially lively and tranquil. Today, it is still being lauded as a fine example of Chinese garden culture.

Beijing Botanical Garden – There is much to enjoy here and we should be visiting at the perfect time for the blossoms of the cherries and peonies. Enjoy the Sunken Rose garden with musical fountain, Perennial, Peony and Peach gardens as well as other gardens containing cherry trees, tree peonies, bamboo, and camellias. Walk through the magnificent Conservatory housing Rain Forest, Orchid, Desert Garden and Exhibition House. The gardens are not large, only having 3,000 different plant species, but many famous and rare plant specimens are on display.

This evening we start off our tour together with the traditional Peking Duck Dinner, a meal not to be missed!

Breakfast, Lunch and Special Peking Duck Dinner Included

April 13 Saturday Visits to Yuanmingyuan, The Summer Palace and the Cherry Blossom Festival at Yuyuantan Park

Yuanmingyuan was originally built in 1709, or the 48th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi, whose reign of 61 years was the longest among all Qing monarchs. Repeated expansions conducted by his successors, emperors Yongzheng and Qianlong, resulted in an imperial garden of unprecedented scale. Yuanmingyuan covered an area of 350 hectares and consisted of Yuanmignyuan, Changchunyuan and Qichunyuan, which were collectively known as Yuanmingyuan. Its surface structures covered exactly the same floor space as the Former Imperial Palace, while its water surface was as large as the entire Summer Palace. During the Qing Dynasty, emperors Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing. Daoguang and Xianfeng had all lived in this garden on a permanent basis. While they enjoyed life there, they also handled state affairs. Like the Forbidden City, Yuanmingyuan became another political center of China. For this reason, it was also known as Imperial Garden.  It was a man-made cultural phenomenon unseen elsewhere in this world. The southern part of the garden was where emperors handled state affairs, while the other parts were studded with more than 150 scenic spots, which comprised exquisitely constructed halls, pavilions, chambers, kiosks, earth and rock hills, rivers and ponds, and exotic flowers and strange trees from different parts of the country. It was, indeed, a museum of garden construction and horticulture. Yuanmingyuan differed from other classical Chinese gardens in that its typical Chinese scenery was mingled with Western architecture. It was a colossal botanical garden as well, having been planted with millions of precious trees and flowers. It was pity that Yuanmingyuan was sacked during the invasion of Anglo-French Allied forces in 1860 and again during the invasion of the Eight-Power Allied Force 1900. The buildings were burned to the ground, and the treasures in it were rooted. A world-famous garden was thus reduced to ruins. This was a catastrophe in the world history of civilization. Today the ruins of Yuanmingyuan have been put under due protection. A park was established at the site so that from the crumbling walls and ruins people could gain some idea about the former glory of this imperial garden. Luxurious woods and sparkling lakes and ponds combine to create a scene of captivating beauty. Some of the original structures and scenic spots have been restored. What this place must have looked like before it was destroyed must have been truly unbelievable.

The Summer Palace, the grand garden park of the Empress Dowager, Cix is the largest imperial garden in the world. It contains classical Chinese garden architecture. The initial construction of the Summer Palace started in the year 1750, commissioned by Emperor Qianlong as a gift for his mother’s birthday. The construction took fifteen years to complete. It had the name “Qingyi Yuan” (Garden of Clear Ripples) at that time. Plundering by foreign troops in the year 1860 destroyed most of the buildings, but they were renovated in 1888 by Empress Dowager Cixi, who was said to have embezzled funds of the Imperial Navy to build the garden. In 1949 the garden became a park and got the name Yiheyuan (Summer Palace).

Yuyuantan Park’s Most Beautiful Cherry Blossom Festival – famous for its cherry blossoms in mid to late April through early May every year. There are about 2000 cherry trees of over 20 different species. Other blossoming trees such as peach are also to be found, as well as tulips.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Pack up tonight please, don’t forget adaptors and check safe. Keep passport in your carry on.

April 14 Sunday We travel to Xi’an today - Great Wall at Mutianyu and Ming Tombs then Afternoon Flight to Xi’an

Great Wall at Mutianyu with a round trip cable car ride (up to and down from the wall) – As you first look upon the Great Wall, it is impossible not to be awestruck at this manmade structure. Construction started in the 7th century BC, with additions and rebuilding continuing until the 16th century AD. The Great Wall was built to keep out the warring invaders of the north, but additional sections were extended eastward for nearly 6,700 kilometers.

Ming Tombs – we visit the most impressive of the 13 Ming Tombs then a stroll down the beautiful Sacred Way, lined with trees dressed in their spring green and huge statues. The Sacred Way starts with a huge stone memorial archway. It is a beautiful stroll that delights with sounds of birds and precious peace. After lunch we transfer to the airport and fly to Xian.

Hilton Hotel Xi’an (Hilton Guest Room) 2 Nights.

http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/china/hilton-xian-XIYHIHI/index.html

Breakfast and Lunch Included with Dinner on your own.

April 15 Monday Visit to Terra-Cotta Warriors

The Terra-Cotta Army of Qin Shihuangdi, one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world – The Grand Mausoleum of Qin Emperor, the first emperor of China, protected by more than 6000 life size Terra-Cotta Warriors and horses. The exhibit contains multiple exhibition halls, the largest of which is 180 meters by 60 meters in size. The entire site houses the continuing excavation of an army of 6,000 Terra-Cotta soldiers and horses that guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China whose geographical region approached the country’s modern area. It is a stunning exhibition of ancient artifacts that is well laid out and easy to view. The Terra Cotta Warriors lie in China’s most famous pomegranate growing area, where, weather permitting, we’ll enjoy their spring blossoms. Here again you really have to be here to appreciate the size and scope of this excavation. They do not want to open any more pits right now until they figure out how to keep the paint from disappearing on the warriors. It is indeed a highlight.

Then to our hotel to get ready for our Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Show – absolutely yummy and the show is excellent. The most famous dumplings served are in Xi’an. Xi’an Dumpling Banquet has brought forth new ideas in color, fragrance, taste and style. The dumpling is no longer one kind of simple flour food. They add more tastes such as sour, sweet, peppery, etc. As for the style, they create various styles such as flowers, birds, grass, fish and so on. A wonderful evening of good food and entertainment introducing you to the Tang Dynasty!

Breakfast, Special Noodle Lunch and Special Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Show Included.

Please pack up tonight and don’t forget adaptors and check safe.

April 16 Tuesday Visits to Xi’an City Wall and Big Goose Pagoda and High Speed Train to Luoyang

After breakfast we enjoy a visit to the Xi’an City Wall. It’s the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. A very thick wall wonderful for strolling and seeing the city in all its glory.

We can see the Big Goose Pagoda in the distance where we shall also visit, full of beautiful gardens hidden within the walls filled with peonies and stunning architecture. Then we board our high speed train to Luoyang.

Hyatt Place Luoyang (Standard Room) 3 Nights

https://luoyang.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

April 17 Wednesday Longmen Grottos and Luoyang Old Town

Longmen Grottos – started around the year 493 after the Northern Wei Dynasty moved the capital to Luoyang. Thousands of Buddhas were carved into the rock slopes and cliffs aside the Yi River, and were carved for 400 years until The Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Stretching 1094 meters along the river, there are over 2,300 small caves and niches, with 100,000 statues of all sizes. A UNESCO site.

Luoyang old town is just the most special place to walk…the shops are incredible but just walking around is a delight. Papermaking was invented here by Cailun, Lijing Gate is the entrance to Luoyang Old Town District. It is the most striking landmark of Luoyang Old Town District. Built in Sui Dynasty (581-618) when Luoyang was the capital of nine dynasties, Lijing Gate is the most typical and best preserved of its kind in China. Many antiques, Tri-colored glazed pottery (tang san cai), calligraphy and painting works are displayed in stalls.

We end this delightful day with Shui Xi, or Water Banquet, a Chinese meal comprised of eight cold and 16 warm dishes cooked in various broths, gravies or juices. They are brought to the table one after the other like flowing water. This custom dates back over 1000 years!

Breakfast, Lunch and Water Banquet Dinner Included

April 18 Thursday White Horse Temple and then….. the Incredible Luoyang Peony Festival 2019

First we visit the White Horse Temple, In the year 64 of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), Emperor Ming sent a delegation of his men to study Buddhism in the western world. After three years, two eminent Indian monks, She Moteng and Zhu Falan, came back with the delegation. They brought with them a white horse carrying Buddhist sutras and Buddhist figures on its back. This was the first time that Buddhism appeared in China. To express his thanks to the two monks and their white horse, the emperor ordered the building of a monastery which he named the White Horse Temple during the following year.

Then we cross the road to….

The Peony Festival, where you will enjoy seeing thousands of peonies in all their glorious colour and depending on the weather prior to our arrival, we may just get to glimpse the late season Green Peony just opening or in full bloom. Keep those fingers crossed! The Peony of Luoyang is the most beautiful under heaven. The Peony, the emblem flower of Luoyang, is lauded as “Queen of flowers with ethereal colour and celestial fragrance”. Since the Tang Dynasty no Chinese city has been able to rival Luoyang in growing peonies boasting nearly 10 million peony trees with more than 700 species – all thanks to improvements in technology of peony cultivation. The yaohuang (Yao’s yellow peony) and weizi (Wei’s purple peony) are the “King” & “Queen” of all peonies. It has a history of over 1,000 years in the cultivation of peony trees. Their colours range from red, pink, purple, lavender and white to green, yellow, maroon and even black.

In China, the peony symbolizes wealth and nobleness due to its large flowers. The first Luoyang Peony Festival took place in April 1983 and since then it has become a major annual event featuring flowers, lanterns, exhibitions of traditional Chinese calligraphy, painting and photography. Peonies and Plum blossoms are the traditional floral symbols of China. In 1903, the Qing Dynasty declared the Peony as the national flower of China.

Luoyang National Peony Garden (where the festival is held) is one of the oldest gardens to grow and reproduce peonies in China. It is divided into North Garden and South Garden. There are over 1 million peony trees of 1200 different kinds. The peony blooming here is highly reputed for its big flower, flamboyant color, numerous species and lasting florescence.Approximate Blooming dates: more than 100 kinds of peonies will first bloom from April 5th to 10th; 500 or so kinds of rare peonies will be in full bloom from April 11th to 20th; another 200 species usually flower late from April 21st to May 4th.

Pack up tonight please, don’t forget adaptors and check safe. Keep Passport in carry on.

Breakfast and Lunch Included with Dinner on your own

April 19 Friday In Transit – Coach/Flight to Shanghai and Coach to Suzhou

We are in transit this day so sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery as we take a coach to Zhengzhou for our flight to Shanghai, then coach to Suzhou. You can also use this time to go through all your digital photos to relive the past few days and your memories of it and look forward to our further adventure.

Suzhou Pan Pacific Hotel (Deluxe Room) 3 Nights

http://www.panpacific.com/en/Suzhou/Overview.html

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

April 20 Saturday Visits to Tiger Hill Garden, Humble Administrators Garden, I.M. Pei Suzhou Museum

Suzhou, the garden city of China. Suzhou is a city with many beautiful gardens. Portland’s Chinese garden was designed by the Suzhou Garden Design Institute. The buildings were built in Suzhou, then disassembled and shipped to Portland and if you have ever visited it you will know how exquisite a garden it is.

Huqiu Garden – The famous Tiger Hill Garden. The 48 meter tall ‘Symbol of Suzhou’ pagoda was built in 961 and yes it is slanted a bit more than two meters off its vertical axis. The gardens are for leisurely strolling and there is much to see. Tucked into nooks and crannies are many flowers as well as a beautiful Bonsai area.  If we are as lucky as we have been the last two tours, we shall also see a Chinese Flower Show of sorts and music.  Right behind the Pagoda there is a secret tea plantation too, so be sure to visit it.  So incredibly peaceful and you might just see some women picking tea leaves. Lu Yu was an authority on the art of tea and wrote the first ever book on the subject entitled ‘The Treatise of Tea’. As an old man, he lived on Tiger Hill and it was here that he wrote the final part of his book. Lu Yu excavated the well and declared that the water from it was the third best throughout China. Consequently, upon the research and teaching of Lu Yu, tea growing and consumption came to be important factors in the daily life of Suzhou citizens.

Humble Administrator’s Garden – the largest garden in Suzhou, and has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will have the delight of being here during the Azalea Festival to enjoy its beauty and historic significance. During the Azalea Festival, hundreds of rare azalea will be on display. While feeling the garden’s charm in spring, tourists could also experience the poetic and pictorial splendor of the Humble Administrator’s Garden decorated with blooming flowers.  There is also a hall that displays exquisite Suzhou Embroidery by a local folk artist.

This garden was built around 1509AD during the Ming Dynasty by the imperial inspector. He was tired of official life and wanted a garden to retire to. He got the name for the garden from an essay called “To cultivate my garden and sell my vegetable crop is the policy of humble man”. A lake in the center occupies about one fifth of the space with many streams and hills throughout. The garden is divided into the middle, eastern and western parts and a house is at the south end of the garden. Some of the spaces in the garden are: the Hall of Drifting Fragrance, the Loquat Garden Court, the Peony Pavilion, the Listening to the Sound of Rain Pavilion, the A Pure Mind Thinks Deep area, the Magnolia Hall, the Orange Pavilion, the Hall of 36 Pairs of Mandarin Ducks, the Hall of 18 Camellias, the With Whom Shall I Sit? Pavilion, the Stay-and-Listen Pavilion, the Pagoda Reflection Pavilion, the Far Away Looking Pavilion and many more. Many of the areas are named for lotus blossoms. Growing in mud, lotus blooms still keep themselves pure and clean. The farther their smell drifts the more pure it becomes. The lotus is often called “a true person of virtue among flowers.” The theme of the garden is to be as pure as a lotus blossoms.

I.M. Pei Suzhou Museum – Suzhou Museum, a garden style museum designed by famous artist I. M. Pei. In the modern architectural field, I. M. Pei earns a high reputation and is a well-known architect. He is the only world class Chinese architect as well as one of the most important architectural artists in the 20th century. His striking designs include the Pyramid at the Louvre, the Bank of China building in Hong Kong, Boston’s JFK Library. New Suzhou Museum is the last design of Mr. I. M. Pei in his career. It is not only a public construction symbol in Suzhou, but also an innovative mark bridging Chinese architectural culture from the tradition to the future. Prompting the protection of Suzhou cultural heritage, the new museum also has turned a new page for Suzhou Museum. Houses over 30,000 cultural relics including Ming and Qing Dynasty paintings and calligraphy, and ancient arts and crafts. Beautiful Celadon here as well.

Breakfast and Lunch Included with Dinner on your own

April 21 Sunday Visits to Silk Factory, Garden of the Master of Nets, Lion Forest (Grove) Garden and Canal ride

We visit a Silk Factory to learn how it is made and to perhaps make some purchases…this city is THE place to buy silk!

Garden of the Master of Nets – a garden designed for harmony and tranquility during the Song Dynasty. This garden is reputed to be the most well-preserved in Suzhou and should not be missed. It has three distinct sections. The buildings afford you access to any part of the garden from each of their rooms. This type of garden was built for relaxation and to entertain guests. Today the Garden of Master of Nets has 22 buildings, 2 doors with richly carved earthen ornamentation,15 plateaux, 9 parallel couplets,15 brick and stone carvings, 32 stelae, and 8 rare species of old trees.

Lion Forest (Grove) Garden – Built in 1342. Richly ornamented and ancient classical style with a very unique and rare Labyrinthine Rockery. Valuable old trees such as ginkgo biloba. Pavilion for Greeting the Plum Blossoms (Wenmei ge) was a place where painters and poets were invited. In addition to the plum trees around the pavilion, all the furniture and utensils inside are decorated or carved with beautiful plum blossom designs. The garden occupies a very important place in history, representing the diversity of cultural and architectural development in Suzhou over the years. A UNESCO site.

We finish off the day with a Suzhou grand canal ride, the world’s oldest and longest waterway, to see the local people’s life in classical South-China style.

Pack up tonight please, don’t forget adaptors and check safe.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

April 22 Monday Coach to Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, Afternoon Tea

Today we leave Suzhou for a short coach ride to Shanghai. Once there we visit the incredible Shanghai Museum to put your trip to China into perspective. On this day we’ll visit Shanghai’s world class museum of Chinese art and culture. The new Shanghai Museum has ten special galleries of bronze, calligraphy, ceramics, furniture, jades, minority art, paintings, sculpture, seal carvings, coins and arts and crafts, together with a special gallery of donated relics and three temporary exhibition halls. It also contains an excellent gift shop with many attractive and fascinating books about Chinese culture and art, available in English. A great place to pick up quality souvenirs and mementos of your holiday.

We will enjoy a well deserved Afternoon Tea before heading back to our hotel.

Intercontinental Jing’An  (Classic Room) 2 Nights.

InterContinental Shanghai Jing’An is ideally located in Shanghai downtown, only 10 minutes to West Nanjing Road, People’s Square and Jing An Temple.

Indoor swimming pool and fitness center.

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/shanghai/shgzd/hoteldetail

Breakfast and Afternoon Tea Included with Dinner on your own

April 23 Tuesday Visits to Yu Yuan Garden with time to shop in Old Town

Our final tour day and a visit to Shanghai would not be complete without visiting the Classical Chinese Yu Yuan Garden also called ‘the garden of peace and comfort’, one of China’s most famous scholar gardens in Shanghai’s old city. Built in 1559, Pan Yunduan spent twenty years and all his savings building it to please his parents in their old age. Zigzagging bridges separate the various garden areas and pavilions.

Afterwards enjoy a Dim Sum Lunch before some serious last minute shopping in the same area, known for its great shopping…

Then rest of afternoon is at leisure until dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

April 24 Wednesday Our Day of Departure and transfer to Shanghai Airport.

After Breakfast depart to Shanghai Airport for your return flight home

Highlights

  • Pick up at Beijing Airport and Delivery to Airport in Shanghai
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 12 lunches including special lunches
  • 8 Dinners including Peking Duck, Dumpling and Water Banquet
  • 2 Domestic flights
  • Train ticket Xi’an to Luoyang
  • All entrance fees to places we visit:  Tian Anmen Square, Forbidden City, Qianlong Garden, Beijing Botanical Garden, Yuanmingyuan Garden, Summer Palace, Yuyantan Cherry Blossom Festival, Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way, Terra Cotta Warriors, Xi’an City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda, Longmen Grottos, Luoyang Old Town, Louyang  Peony Festival, White Horse Temple, Huqiu Garden, Tiger Hill, Humble Administrators Garden, I.M. Pei Suzhou Museum, Garden of the Master of Nets, Lion Forest (Grove) Garden, Suzhou canal ride, Shanghai Museum, Yu Yuan Garden
  • Tang Dynasty Show
  • Shanghai Acrobat Show
  • Afternoon Tea
  • National Guide throughout tour
  • Local guides in each city
  • Tips for Guides and Drivers
  • Under Local Guides in each city
  • Air Conditioned Coach for all ground transportation
  • Incredible Memories!!

Not Included:

International flights, insurance, Visa, meals and drinks not noted, items of a personal nature and extra hotel charges such as luggage porterage, and daily maid servicing.

If you require pre or post tour night rooms, please let me know.

Dates  April 11th – 24th, 2019

Land package 5655.00 US per person for twin sharing or Double

For those wanting their own room please add 2231.00 US to above price

Note: Minimum of 10 must be registered for this tour to run, so please do not book your air until you are notified that we have reached this.

Email: donna@icangarden.com

Tour is subject to changes in itinerary but not dates.

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