The itinerary includes the best and different angles on China’s must-see sites, and also expertise from our Chinese friends and special speakers sharing about education, culture, language, family, business, religion, arts and history. We will enjoy the best food and accommodations along the way.
Depart from USA; book your own flight, use air miles, or call Spirit Quest Tours at (877) 406-5206 and we’ll help arrange your flight and travel insurance.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
October 10 US/Beijing (D)
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and largest city. Beijing is a city of amazing contrasts – an ancient capital with some incredible historical sites and a bustling modern metropolis which successfully hosted the 2008 Olympics.
Upon your arrival in Beijing, our guide will meet you and whisk you off to the Regent Hotel, a 5-star luxury hotel.
The rest of the day is free to rest or to explore by yourself. In the evening, join us for our Welcome Dinner and Orientation at Wahaha restaurant - your first authentic Chinese meal of the trip! (D)
October 11 Beijing (B/L)
Today we visit Tian’anmen Square, the symbol of Beijing, As we walk through, marvel at the huge size – nearly 100 acres.
Then experience the ancient emperor’s daily life at the Forbidden City, where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties governed for over 500 years. In the afternoon, enjoy visiting the Temple of Heaven, built in 1420AD, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvests.
October 12 Beijing (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will visit the Jade-Carving Factory to see China’s national treasure. Then we visit the Juyong Section of the Great Wall, to enjoy the beauty, grandeur, and learn about its history. We’ll have a photo stop at the Olympic Stadium “Birds Nest” on our way to see the Summer Palace, its history full of bizarre anecdotes. This picturesque place was set up by Emperor Qianlong as a country home for his mother, and includes a beautiful man-made lake and gardens. Tonight enjoy Peking Duck in the time-honored Quanjude Restaurant, which was opened in 1869.
October 13 Beijing (B/D)
In the morning, we will visit the Lama Temple, formerly an Imperial Palace and a court residence for eunuchs, and now known as “The Palace of Peace & Harmony”, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The remainder of the day is your time to explore or have a restful afternoon. Dinner will be at a Mongolian restaurant at Houhai. More than any other meal in China, John remembers this one.
October 14 Beijing/Xi’an (B/D)
Take a morning flight to Xi’an, and have lunch on board. Once in Xi’an, we will visit Da Ci’en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist sutras that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals. Then it’s off to the Xi’an City Wall, a major landmark and the best preserved, as well as the oldest and largest of the city defense systems in China. As an option, you also can bike along the city wall.
In the early evening, check into the Xi’an Hyatt Regency, and have dinner at a local restaurant.
October 15 Xi’an (B/L/D)
Discovered accidentally in 1974, the Terracotta Warriors are an incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array, which have guarded Emperor Qing’s tomb since 210 BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits protected inside huge hangars.
On the way to the museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Houses, we will visit a Ceramic Workshop to see how the warriors are made. Then it’s back to Xi’an, where we will experience the Muslim Quarter and Bell Tower’s unique culture. In the evening, we will partake in a Dumpling Banquet, a Xi’an specialty.
October 16 Xi’an/Hangzhou (B/L)
In the morning, we fly to Hangzhou and visit West Lake. Lying on the west edge of Hangzhou city, West Lake is the symbol of Hangzhou, and one of the most beautiful lakes in China. While there, we will visit Huagang Park, one of the ten scenic spots along the West Lake, where you can easily see hundreds of red carps. In the afternoon, we check in at Hangzhou’s 5-Star Shangri La Hotel.
“As there is paradise in Heaven, so there are Hangzhou and Suzhou on earth.” -Ancient Chinese saying