September 23, 2013
Price (per person)
Follow the Silk Road to the China of your imagination, where sandalwood and jasmine fill the air and every day welcomes timeless scenes of exquisite beauty. View landscapes lauded by ancient Chinese poets and painters, from the dramatic limestone karsts of Guilin to the eerie Stone Forest. Indulge your thirst for romance and adventure with a three-day cruise on the famous Yangtze River, haggling with shopkeepers at colorful local markets and passing mist-shrouded landmarks imbued with myth and legend. Explore narrow lanes by rickshaw and sampan. Pass timeless scenes of water buffalo working rice paddies and fishermen fishing with cormorants. And visit half a dozen of the world’s “must-see” places, experiencing up close China’s long and storied history, as well as its fascinating traditions and cultures.
Special note: journey itineraries may vary between 2012 and 2013 departure dates. Please select the desired departure date in the drop-down menu to view the corresponding itinerary.
Hong Kong, China
*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.
DAYS 1 – 4
Upon arrival on Day 2 you are transferred to your luxury hotel. The next day, begin exploring the city that was once the capital of Kublai Khan’s empire. Stroll across Tiananmen Square, one of the largest city squares in the world and the spiritual heart of China. Explore fascinating historic sites such as the Forbidden City, a 250-acre complex that was home to 24 emperors, and is the world’s largest palace complex. More than 200,000 laborers worked to build it, but only the royal family and their households were allowed inside. We, however, will enjoy special VIP access to the Chong Hua Palace where the elite once entertained with poetry and tea. Witness the finest expression of an art form at the Summer Palace gardens, the best-preserved imperial garden in China. Stroll atop the Great Wall. Learn the mythology and symbolism behind the paired mythical beasts lining the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs, and the ultra-modern architecture built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ride a rickshaw through old winding hutongs and meet with a local family delighted to have you as their guest.
St. Regis Hotel, Beijing
DAYS 5 & 6
Xi’an was once the eastern end of the Silk Road and the most important city in Asia, vying with Rome and later Constantinople for the title of greatest city in the world. With more than 3,100 years of history, we will find it everywhere here, including underfoot. At the Han Yangling Museum, we may have the opportunity to watch archeologists working to uncover artifacts from a royal mausoleum right below you through a glass floor. Also visit the Shaanxi Historical Museum to view the Tang Dynasty Murals, its collection of ancient Chinese artifacts, and most famously, the Army of Terra Cotta Warriors. More than 7,000 life-sized terra cotta soldiers, chariots, and horses have been excavated so far at the tomb of emperor Qin Shi Huang.
Shangri-La Hotel, Xi’an
DAYS 7 – 10
Chongqing, Yangtze Cruise & Shanghai
Board the luxurious M/V Victoria Jenna, one of the newest ships on the Yangtze, for a three-night cruise. The Yangtze is the third longest river in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. History and culture thrive along its banks and we encounter spectacular landscapes and fascinating folklore around every bend. Admire the incredible Three Gorges and Little Gorges scenery. Depending on the river’s water level, explore oddities like Shibaozhai’s 12-story wooden pagoda built entirely without nails, or Fengdu, the “city of ghosts” where it seems spirits and demons outnumber the town’s residents. Onshore, examine Gezhou Dam, the largest public works project in China since the Great Wall, before we board our flight to Shanghai.
M/V Victoria Jenna; Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai
DAYS 11 & 12
On one side of the Huangpo River lies the Bund, the colonial past of Shanghai. On the Pudong side lie the skyscrapers of Shanghai’s future. Explore both during our time here. Find serenity and watercolor vistas in Yu Yuan Garden, a classical masterpiece from 1577 located in Shanghai’s Old Town. Enjoy an evening performance of Chinese acrobats, renowned for their limber gymnastics and amazing stunts. Admire the two exquisitely carved white jade Buddhas at the Temple of the Jade Buddha, still a sanctuary for Zen Buddhist study and meditation. Examine extraordinary Chinese art and artifacts from bronze ware to calligraphy at the contemporary Shanghai Museum in People’s Square.
Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai
DAYS 13 & 14
Guilin, with its limestone karsts shaped (and named) like mythical creatures, has often been hailed as the most beautiful place in China, and for good reason. Along with fanciful karsts, the area undulates with rolling hills, caves decorated with lavish stalactites and stalagmites, and traditional milieu of farmers working rice paddies. Go ashore on the west bank of the Li River to explore the wonders of Elephant Trunk Hill, its pachyderm profile resembling an elephant drinking with its trunk from the river.
Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin
DAYS 15 & 16
This morning get a sense of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as you walk the blue flagstone street lining the river through Daxu Ancient Town. Notice the old wooden residences, shops, and stalls adorned with colorfully decorated eaves, with carved doors and window frames looking much as they did back in the days of the last emperors. Later in the day, fly to Lijiang to reveal more of this amazing country’s secrets. Built alongside the delta of the Jade River more than 2,000 years ago, Lijiang is dramatically set among green fields backed by the 13 snow-covered peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow massif. Weather permitting, ride a chair lift to the top of one of these peaks, Yak Meadow, for outstanding views. Head down to the old Baisha Village below to find fresco-covered temples, and to Yufeng Monastery. In the Naxi village of Yuhu, step inside a traditional “monkey head” house, now a museum, to learn about Naxi language and culture. Explore the twisted lanes of Old Town Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose homes are an amalgamation of styles from various regional tribes. View yet more historical buildings and temples brought from all over the region in Jade Spring Park.
Crown Plaza, Lijiang
DAYS 17 & 18
Once a gateway to the celebrated Silk Road, Kunming is now a thriving metropolis known for its year-round blossoms, 26 ethnic groups, and startling geography. The striking limestone pillars, lakes, and waterfalls that make up the legendary Stone Forest are often called “the most fantastic scenery under heaven.” Back in the Paleozoic era 270 million years ago, this entire region was covered by sea. As those seas receded, the limestone pinnacles were revealed. Some are ornamented by vines or living trees, and others resemble animals, plants, and human figures. Some even extend underground into subterranean caves. This region is also home to the Sani Tribe, renowned for their dancing, and an evening folkloric show will show off their talents and beautiful native costumes.
Grand Park Hotel or Green Lake Hotel, Kunming
DAYS 19 – 21
Hong Kong & Depart for Home
This modern city of 14 million weaves an intricate web of old and new. Quiet parks host elderly citizens performing their daily tai chi, and families living on sampans still sell fruit and fish to ships in the harbor, while overhead in skyscrapers, stockbrokers weigh in on the latest international developments. Aberdeen Harbor is a hive of activity from Star Line ferries and commercial barges to junks with battened sails cupped like clamshells to catch the wind. Enjoy the most strategic view of it all as we take a cable car to the top of Victoria Peak. Then it’s back down to sea level to board a sampan to witness life on Aberdeen Harbor, and later, explore Stanley Market. Spend the next-to-last night in China at leisure savoring the sights, strolling tiny shopping streets, or watching the “Symphony of the Stars,” a spectacular 20-minute soundand- light show. Our last day offers more choices— in the afternoon, take one of the Star Line ferries, browse a museum dedicated to tea, or find yourself back in Stanley Market purchasing that necklace or silk purse you decided you can’t live without. On your last night, toast your legendary journey to China with a cocktail and dinner party with your fellow travelers and Travcoa Travel Director. On Day 21 you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.
Island Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong
Package price is per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Intra-tour air pricing is subject to change. International airfare is additional. Other restrictions may apply. Contact us for complete journey details.
St. Regis Hotel Beijing
Shangri-La Hotel, Xi’an
M/V Victoria Jenna
Pudong Shangri-La Hotel Shanghai
Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin
Crowne Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town
Grand Park Kunming Hotel
Green Lake Hotel
Island Shangri-La Hotel
Travel Directors noted above are scheduled for departures on this journey. Please note that some Escorted Journey departure dates have not yet been assigned and that Travel Director assignments are subject to change; please request current information.
Travcoa Escorted Journey rates are quoted per person and based on two persons sharing accommodations. Because hotels, lodges and ships charge Travcoa the same room rate whether the room is occupied by one person or two, there is a proportional additional up-charge for single guests referred to as a “Single Supplement”. It’s important to note that in most every case, Travcoa Escorted Journey guests traveling as singles receive the exact same room category and room location as those guests sharing rooms.
In the case of Independent Journeys, the “single supplement” applies to a person occupying a single room when traveling with a party which includes double rooms or more than one single room. If the party is one traveler, the pricing is Solo Traveler-based. Please contact Travcoa's Single Traveler Desk for specific journey rates at 1-800-992-2003 option #2.
Travcoa will issue intra-tour airfare tickets unless noted otherwise. Airfare prices are subject to change and are only guaranteed at time of final payment. Please call 800-992-2003 with any questions you may have.
“From pricing” is per person and based on low seasonality pricing. Prices subject to change. Please note that blackout dates may apply and costs may vary depending on seasonality and holidays. Call for price for Solo Travelers or parties of 5 or more. International Airfare not included. Additions, changes or customization to the length or inclusions of your itinerary will incur additional costs. Christmas and New Years period supplements will apply.
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