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Classic China

10 Days from $3,595 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Comfortable

Follow in the footsteps of the ancients – up the ornate steps of the Forbidden City and to the ramparts of the Great Wall, snaking its way across the rolling countryside, and through the winding ancient alleys of Beijing's hutongs to learn about Chinese traditions over a home-cooked lunch.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Follow in the footsteps of the ancients – up the ornate steps of the Forbidden City and to the ramparts of the Great Wall, snaking its way across the rolling countryside, and through the winding ancient alleys of Beijing's hutongs to learn about Chinese traditions over a home-cooked lunch.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Launch your discovery of China in its cultural heart. Transfer to your Beijing hotel where you'll meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetizers this evening.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Novotel Peace
  2. Delve into Beijing's rich imperial heritage, beginning your encounter with the remnants of centuries-old dynasties in the world's largest public space, Tiananmen Square. Tread in the footsteps of emperors, passing through the south gate to the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, the imperial palace for emperors and their households for over five centuries. Immerse yourself in the ancient rituals, traditions and history of this palace complex before lunch. Continue to the tranquil Temple of Heaven, another UNESCO Heritage Site, once visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to pray for good harvests and divine guidance. This evening, the salty, sweet flavors of succulent Peking Duck take center stage during a Regional Meal.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Meal
  3. We leave the city behind, bound for the iconic Great Wall of China. Standing on its ramparts, we look down on the Chinese countryside which its walls successfully defended against marauding nomadic invaders. Watch it snake thousands of miles into the distance as you imagine how these man-made fortifications were built and rebuilt from the 5th century B.C. to the 16th century. Then, walk the Sacred Way past the imposing stone statues that guard the Ming Tombs and remains of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  4. A leisurely start to our morning sees us embark on a rickshaw tour around the ancient narrow alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences. We connect with locals, joining a family for a delicious meal of traditional Chinese cuisine at a Be My Guest lunch, followed by a visit to a tea house, where a Local Specialist prepares and serves tea, explaining the historic tea-making ritual. This afternoon, we'll indulge in a relaxing foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Center.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  5. We fly to Xi'an, which reveals its role as the ancient departure point of the Silk Road. Visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved mosques in China. According to historical records, it was built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty and is a combination of Islamic art and traditional Chinese architecture.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Wyndham Grand Xi'an South
  6. Make a difference during a visit to a local primary school (during school-term) to exchange a few Chinese and English words with the children and teachers. Some much-needed supplies will be donated as part of your school visit. Next, descend into Emperor Qin Shi Huang's subterranean tomb to see his terracotta army for the afterlife, another UNESCO-listed site. For lunch, enjoy a traditional meal of Chinese noodles, then continue with a visit to a Jade factory, the favored stone of emperors and more precious to the Chinese people than gold.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  7. This morning, your choice of activities gives you an opportunity to mimic the graceful movements of a skilled T'ai Chi Local Specialist, or consider joining a cycle tour around part of the ancient City Wall of Xi'an. We dive into culture at a local restaurant, watching a demonstration in the art of making dumplings, with an opportunity to sample these for lunch. Savor the juicy flavors of these boiled, steamed and fried treats, transporting you back to ancient China, before transferring to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. Ascend to the 88-story Jinmao Tower for panoramic views of the skyscrapers that loom over the most populous city on earth.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:The Portman Ritz-Carlton
  8. Stroll down Shanghai's famous 'Bund' with a Local Specialist, admiring the neoclassical colonial buildings that have lined this city's renowned waterfront since the early 1900s. Learn how this marshland was transformed into one of the world's most important trading hubs. Then, continue to the winding streets and vibrant markets of Old Shanghai to discover how the customs and traditional lifestyle of this area have remained relatively unaltered. Enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in the Old Town before we dive into culture during a visit to a silk museum. This evening, indulge in a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  9. Spend a day exploring the Paris of the East on your terms—shop for delicate Chinese ceramics, or consider joining an Optional Experience to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town founded more than 1,700 years ago. In its heyday, Zhujiajiao was a bustling market town. Today, old historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty post office can still be found as you stroll down its ancient streets and wander across the many stone bridges that crisscross its canals. This afternoon, you'll have some free time at leisure before joining your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  10. Our mystical encounter with China at its end, take a transfer to Shanghai Airport for your onward flight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
22 Mar 19 31 Mar 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
12 Apr 19 21 Apr 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
26 Apr 19 5 May 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 19 19 May 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
24 May 19 2 Jun 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
Special Rate Solo Rooming
7 Jun 19 16 Jun 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 19 30 Jun 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 19 14 Jul 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 19 28 Jul 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2 Aug 19 11 Aug 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
16 Aug 19 25 Aug 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 15 Sep 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 22 Sep 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 19 29 Sep 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 19 13 Oct 19 checkmark $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 19 20 Oct 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
25 Oct 19 3 Nov 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
8 Nov 19 17 Nov 19 $3,925$3,595pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include a discount on standard single supplement.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,380.

Flights: Prices include internal airfares and taxes for flights from Beijing to Xi'an and Xi'an to Shanghai and are accurate as of June 1, 2018.

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

9 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Visit a Chinese family in their home in one of the Hutong areas of Beijing to gain a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lifestyle

Dive into Culture

  • Indulge in a foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Center
  • Discover the traditions and techniques of dumpling making, enjoying an opportunity to taste them

Local Specialist

  • in Xi'an, Shanghai

Make a Difference

  • at a Xi'an primary school where much-needed supplies will be donated.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai
  • Visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Sacred Way in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai, the Great Wall of China
  • See local people practicing T'ai Chi in the morning, the Shanghai Acrobats
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Collins Lewis
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : It was a great trip. Rocky was tremendous as a tour guide.
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is fantastic to hear. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Monday, July 30, 2018
Vacation : It was worth the cost. I have not complaints.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Xi'an

Tang Dynasty Show With Dinner

Adult Price: ¥358

Enjoy a sumptuous Tang banquet followed by a wonderful performance of ancient music and dance which has graced the region for centuries. The show consists of 8 parts filled with vibrant costumes, colorful dances and traditional music. Under the ruling of the Tang Emperors from 618 to 907, China became the most powerful and prosperous country in the world. During this time the economy, politics and military strength reached an unprecedented level which influenced the culture of its neighboring countries. It was during this flourishing and peaceful period that exquisite Tang imperial feasts with music and dance emerged and developed. Step back in time and enjoy the delightful hospitality and performances of the Tang Dynasty. NB. The price shown is in Chinese Yuan Renminbi.

Beijing

Legend Of Kung Fu Show

Adult Price: ¥295

The Legend of Kung Fu Show is a mix of traditional martial arts and modern theater. It is presented by a group of marvelous Kung Fu artists from all over China whose average age is only 17 but they have studied Chinese Kung Fu for many years. The story tells of a young boy who dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master and attaining enlightenment. He takes the path of a monk in which he must face many obstacles both from this world and his own mind to overcome his fears and to become a true master of Kung Fu. During the 80-minute show, the artists do not speak but perform daring acrobatics and Kung Fu dance but there are English subtitles above the stage explaining the story line. Transfers to and from the Red Theatre are included. NB. The price shown is in Chinese Yuan Renminbi.

Shanghai

Half Day Zhujiajiao Experience With Lunch

Adult Price: ¥368

In the morning, drive to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town in the suburbs of Shanghai. With a history that goes back more than 1,700 years, the town is the best preserved among the four ancient towns of Shanghai. Today, historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing dynasty post office can still be found. The town is also blessed with small rivers shaded by willow trees, bubbling streams and traditional houses with ancient courtyards. The town has 36 bridges built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, differing in shape, style and structure; from wooden to stone and marble. Take a paddle boat ride along the water to admire the distinct bridges, and then enjoy some free time to stroll through the narrow alleys and small food shops. The town is also famous for its cuisine, particularly green soy beans and Zarou (lotus roots) as well as homemade candy and braised pork leg. There will be an opportunity to try some local food during the included lunch, before returning to Shanghai. NB. The price shown is in Chinese Yuan Renminbi.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to China must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting China will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB).  Yuan is the name of a unit of the renminbi currency – something may cost one yuan or 20 yuan.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in China. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  The history of Chinese cuisine dates back thousands of years and varies by region.  You’ll discover an array of specialties with the country’s “Eight Cuisines” – Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang.  Staples foods include rice, noodles and vegetables such as bok choy, bean sprouts, and watercress.  Dishes are usually flavored with things like fresh ginger, garlic and scallions, as well as chilies and dried mushrooms.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable clothes that can be layered to give you many options for how to dress in China’s various climates. A lightweight jacket will come in handy and study walking shows are recommended for sightseeing excursions. Keep in mind that your shoulders and legs should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • In China it is not common practice to leave a tip when dining out.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it is customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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