Under the guiding eye of experienced Chinese trip guides, a classic intimate group journey of China like this one through AAA Vacations showcases the country’s most important sites plus the ancient water towns connected to Shanghai. In the congenial company of never more than 16 guests, you can enjoy comprehensive sightseeing and authentic cultural encounters not available to larger groups in other China tours. Savor fine regional cuisine and retreat every night to our 5-star city-central hotels. Here is an example of what this AAA Vacations itinerary would look like.
China tours with AAA Vacations
Day 1 – Welcome to Beijing
Begin your trip to Asia in Beijing, China. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to your city central accommodations at the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel.
Day 2 – Beijing on your own
Explore this historic and vibrant city as you wish.
Day 3 – In and Around Beijing
Marvel at the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square and follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty emperors as you tour the Forbidden City. Explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a hutong and spend time with a family in the home where they’ve lived for three generations. Enjoy a Peking Duck banquet including local beer and wine for dinner.
Day 4 – The Great Wall and Summer Palace
Journey into the mountains north of the city to explore the Great Wall at Juyong Pass, one of the most historic and scenic sections of this ancient defensive structure, and a staple of Asia travel. Then tour the Summer Palace, erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s emperors.
Day 5 – Fly To Xian, China’s Ancient Capital
Fly to Xian where you’ll be escorted to the Hilton Hotel, perfectly situated within the ancient city walls. Join an engaging city resident to explore a colorful local market, perusing the wide variety of products and sampling exotic fare from the many vendors. Dinner features savory dumplings – a regional specialty.
Day 6 – The Terra Cotta Warriors
Stand in awe before the thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers that comprise the army that was buried to guard the tomb of China’s first emperor. Discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well, this is China’s greatest archaeological discovery – a testament to the country’s ancient civilizations and long history. Then visit the ancient city walls and return to your hotel.
Day 7 – Hangzhou
Continue your trip to Asia by flying to Hangzhou and transferring to the 5-star JW Marriott. The ancient Chinese saying “Above there is Heaven; below there is Hangzhou” speaks to the beauty of the city and its surrounding region and a leisurely cruise on West Lake is a delightful way to experience this sublime beauty. Then spend time with local tea farmers. From preparing the soil to picking tea leaves, this hands-on experience is a fun way to learn how the region’s fine teas are cultivated.
Day 8 – Wuzhen and the Garden City Of Suzhou
With its tranquil canals and splendidly restored Ming Dynasty homes, the ancient water-town of Wuzhen is a virtual living museum that offers a fascinating look into life during one of China’s most glorious dynasties. Continue on to the garden city of Suzhou.
Day 9 – Discover Suzhou and Travel To Shanghai
The Garden of the Master of the Nets may be one of the smallest of Suzhou’s World Heritage gardens, but many regard it as the best. Laid out nearly 1,000 years ago, it was meticulously designed with ponds, bridges, pavilions and meandering pathways that promise enchanting vistas at every turn. In fact, the central garden was the inspiration for the Ming Hall Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City! After this morning’s guided tour, you’ll learn about Chinese pastimes as you browse the Bird and Flower Market and join residents to fly your own kite at the Panmen City Gate. You’ll also see how silk is made at a local factory before traveling to Shanghai where you check in to the landmark Fairmont Peace Hotel.
Day 10 – Out and About In Shanghai
Your sightseeing begins at the Shanghai Museum, highly regarded for its vast collection showcasing centuries of Chinese history and culture. Then stroll along the elegant waterfront Bund and marvel at the iconic skyscrapers of the vibrant Pudong district. Strolling through Tianzifang, you’ll discover a historic city district where old stone buildings are now home to vibrant galleries, studios and cafes. Tonight’s dinner features fine regional cuisine.
Day 11 – Depart Shanghai
Say goodbye to China and plan your next trip to Asia!
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