Beijing-Pingyao-Xi'an-Shanghai China Architecture 12 days Tour
Day 1,Arrival Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day. Beijing, China’s capital and one of the great travel destinations of the World, offers sights and cultural relics found no where else on Earth. The city has a character all its own; there are quadrangles, small alleys, tricycle, boiled mutton, roasted duck, arts and crafts, Peking Opera, The Great Wall, the 2008 Olympics venue and a vibrancy that is the distinctive flavor of Beijing.
Depart from your hotel in the morning to visit Tian’anmen Square, the World’s largest urban square and the Forbidden City, the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Then visit the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. This evening, Peking Roasted Duck will be your optional dinner.
Temple of HeavenAs the biggest city center square in the world, Tian’anmen Square covering 44 hectares in the heart of Beijing. It is the place where history-changing events and ceremonies occurred. A few steps away, come to visit the Forbidden City, which was the Imperial Palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties and, it is one of the largest, and certainly the most completely restored, ancient architectural complex in the world.
After enjoying a delicious lunch, continue on to the Temple of Heaven. Departing from the Imperial vermilion and gold hues of the Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven is decorated in blue, the color of the Heavens. The perfect harmony between the architectural environment and nature can be felt here; you might easily imagine the vivid spectacle of a great sacrifice to the Heavens for a good harvest. For today’s dinner, how about taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck, as it is the best-known dish in Beijing.
In the morning, we head forth to the northwest valley of Beijing. Feel peace and solemn when first stop at the Sacred Way. Walk through this 7km path extending from north to south; we’ll see statues of ancient government officials and animals figures flanked at both sides. The star attraction of China is its Great Wall, a massive defensive structure built to keep intruders from entering the mainland.
Sacred WayThe approach to the Ming Tombs is a shaded 7-kilometer-long road known as the Sacred Way. Its beginning is marked with a marble archway standing 27-meter long and 15-meter high, similar to the triumphal arches of Europe. This archway, one of the finest and best preserved in the country, was erected in 1540. A stone table nearby proclaims that entrants must dismount at this point and proceed on foot, that admittance beyond the archway was forbidden to ordinary citizens.
Mutianyu Great Wall was first built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, making it older than the Badaling section. It is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi and Jinshanling in the east. In 1569, the Mutianyu Great Wall was rebuilt, mainly with granite and is one of the best-preserved sections with the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall, being 7-8 meters high and 4-5 meters wide with 22 watchtowers on this 2,250-meter-long section.
In the evening, we offer you an opportunity to enjoy Peking Opera.
In the morning, take a visit to the most beautiful garden in China - Summer Palace. After lunch, enjoy a leisure visiting to the Hutong by rickshaw. HutongIn the afternoon, visit the "most beautiful garden in China"- the Summer Palace. Originally known as the "Garden of Clear Ripples ", the Summer Palace is a magnificent imperial garden located 15 km north of Beijing City . This is the largest ancient preserved garden in China and a former summer retreat for Emperors and the chosen few! The site includes more than 100 ancient style pavilions, mansions, towers, halls, temples, bridges and an enormous clear water lake.
Be transferred to the railway station for your express train to Datong, which will cost you about 6hours.
Datong is situated in the northern part of Shanxi Province near the Great Wall Pass to Inner Mongolia. In ancient China, Datong was a place of strategic importance and a place where the Han people frequently conducted trade with the Mongol tribes to the North of China. Therefore this city is popular for its harmonious coexistence of religions, together with its strategic importance geographically and the beauty of its rugged terrain.
According to historical records, Datong was founded as Pingcheng in 200BC during the Han Dynasty. It then prospered and became a stop-off for camel caravans moving into Mongolia and beyond. To the South-west, there is a site evident of the long history of Datong. It is called Yungang Grottoes and it is composed of 252 grottoes which contain 51,000 Buddhist statues. Today it is considered one of the best examples of rock-cut architecture which is a collection of cave art that combines traditional Chinese art with Greek and Indian influences.
Yungang Grottoes Yungang Grottoes is one of the best preserved sites in China with 53 caves containing over 51,000 stone carvings of Buddha and Buddhist.The lines of the statue’s face are very graceful, with a pair of bright piercing eyes. In 2001, Yungang Grottoes was included on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List.
Today, leave Datong you will first take 1hour driving to Hunyuan County for a visit to the Hanging Temple, the masterpiece of ancient wooden constructions. And then continue your driving to Pingyao to appreciate the ancient Chinese architects as Pingyao be considered a treasure house of Chinese architecture. Upon arrival, walk through the ancient Ming Qing Street- which is used to be the Wall Street of China, admire the Ancient City Wall and Rishengchang Exchange Shop, the first draft bank of China.
After a night rest in Pingyao, riding for Wang’s Courtyard in Lingshi County, which consisting of 54 courtyards and 1,052 rooms, the epitome of Oriental domestic architecture. Then be transferred back to Pingyao for an overnight train to Xian.
Wang’s Courtyard The Wang’s Courtyard is 35 km from the Ancient City of Pingyao. Acclaimed as the "First Folk Residence in Cathay", it is the largest-existing folk residence cluster in China and a model of the merchant family’s residence in North China’s Shanxi Province, demonstrating the quintessence of Chinese architectural art and cultural values.
Xian, steeped in history and still giving up secrets, is your gateway to ancient Chinese civilization. In its 3,100 recorded years of evolution, it has been home to 13 dynasties. Xian was also the end of civilization for those setting out on the famous Silk Road.
Today is all about Xian. After getting off the train, your first destination is the Qin Terracotta Army. It has been regarded as the 8th wonder of the world and the most significant excavations of the 20th century.
As an ancient capital city to 13 dynasties, Xian has a rich recorded history, frequently enhanced by the evidence of new discoveries, like the 1974 unearthing of the fabulous Qin Terracotta Army, the long forgotten army created to guard Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb.Then we get back to city for the Xian City Wall, which stretches round the old city. Xian was always a walled city, and today’s wall represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The first city wall of Chang’an was begun in 194 BCE. The existing wall was started during the Ming Dynasty in 1370; it is massive, measuring 13.7 km in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15–18 m in thickness at the base. The South Gate and North Gate are the two main entrances to the inner city. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall. This impressive structure is just a precursor to the remarkable discoveries awaiting visitors to Xian.in the evening,you enjoy a Tang Dynasty Show with Dinner that was created for ’emperors only’ in ancient China.This is not only a performance of Chinese traditional dancing and singing, but a re-enactment of Chinese ancient ceremony and culture.
This morning you will take the flight to Shanghai. In this modern but still rich in ancient cultures city, you’ll have time to ’unwind’ in the exquisite beauty of Yuyuan Garden, an expression of filial piety by a Ming Dynasty official, Pan Yunduan, who spent his life savings ensuring his parents would live out their lives in magnificent comfort. In the evening, enjoy the nightlife of Xintiandi, bars and nightclubs in converted 19th century European style houses.
After a photo stop at People’s Square, the picturesque green space surrounded by buildings on all sides, visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall to see the vision for the new Shanghai, complete with exhibits and an impressive scale model of the city planned for the future. Next take a nice walk along the Bund of different architectural styles that include Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.
Wuzhen is an old water town around 200 km from Shanghai. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful water towns in China. The flat houses with gray bricks were built along the river over hundreds of years. You will have a chance to take a traditional wooden boat rowing zigzag through canals, under the small bridges one after another to find the local people playing cards and tasting tea by the side of the water. Wuzhen is a great place for wandering around to find the ancient docks, waterside pavilions and corridors stretching for miles, presenting a typical, harmonious atmosphere of water towns in the South of China.
After breakfast, tour around Wuzhen Water Town, one of the six existing old-time water towns in Yangtze River delta. Then be transferred back to Shanghai.overnight in shanghai,end the tour.