15 Days Autumn Gourmet Tours to China by Bridge2you

  • Shanghai - Hangzhou - Chengdu - Beijing

15 Days Autumn Gourmet Tours to China by Bridge2you

  • Shanghai - Hangzhou - Chengdu - Beijing

Culinary Holiday in China

Join a gastronomic adventure to visit China's most famous gourmet cities with Bridge2you - the first in Europe specializing in gastronomic tours to China. Take a journey of Chinese culinary discovery tasting the authentic Chinese food, experiencing the Chinese fine dining, appreciating the magic of the Chinese cuisine, and exploring the secret of the Chinese culinary art.

Highlights

  • Restaurant trips, street food trip
  • 3 cooking classes, 2 market visits
  • 1 tea trips, 2 tea tastings, farm visit
  • Visit to tea museum and culinary museum
  • 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 10 days with instruction
  • Chinese (mandarin), English
Hide all

Day 1: Arrival in Beijing

  • Arrival at the airport and transfer to your hotel
  • Free rest of the day before dinner
  • Depending on the time of your arrival, you can either take rest or explore the nearby area.
  • Welcome dinner

Day 2: Beijing - flavor of the imperial life

  • Guided day tour to the forbidden city and the temple of heaven
  • The forbidden city had been the imperial palace for almost 800 years. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and a 10-meter-high wall are more than 8,700 rooms.
  • The temple of heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex, which was visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for good harvest. It symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven - the human world and God's world - which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.
  • Dinner

Day 3: Beijing walk - taste of the peoples life

  • At 11.00 am head for a Hutong walk
  • Visit a local family, make and eat the Chinese dumpling together
  • Free for the remaining afternoon
  • Hutong is the true representative of old Beijing life. It is alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.
  • During the excursion, you will visit a local family living in siheyuan, learn how to make Chinese dumplings and eat with the family together.

Day 4: Beijing - The Great Wall

  • Optional guided day tour to Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China, 70km northeast of Beijing. Watchtowers are densely placed along this section of the Great Wall - 22 watchtowers on the 2.25km-long stretch.

Day 5: Beijing - Chengdu

  • Morning fly to Chengdu
  • Transfer from Chengdu airport to the hotel and free until dinner time
  • Leave in the morning to Beijing airport and fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. We wiill arrive in Chengdu late afternoon. *There will be 2-3 hour free time before dinner.

Day 6: Chengdu - a day trip to Pixian

  • Visit a producer of Pixian chili bean paste
  • Visit the Museum of Sichuan cuisine and have lunch
  • On a day-trip to Pixian - the birthplace of chili bean paste, the indispensable, secret ingredient of Sichuan cuisine, well see how it made on a private tour to an original producer. We will also visit The Museum of Sichuan Cuisine. Apart from the collections of culinary related items, the museum has a restaurant with open kitchen. You will have lunch there and observe the cooking process at the same time.

Day 7: Chengdu - flavor of the city

  • Market excursion
  • Lunch in a teahouse
  • Afternoon free
  • In the morning you will be guided on a short visit to the wholesale condiment market to have a feeling why Sichuan cuisine has the reputation as the "heaven of the flavors", then tour around a local wet market.
  • Tea and lunch in a traditional teahouse for well-known local snacks and experience Chengdu teahouse culture.
  • For your free time in the afternoon, we suggest you take some leisure time at Kuanzhaixiang (literally means "wide and narrow alleys") - the rebuilt Qing style streets, full of cafe's, bars, teahouses, shops and restaurants.

Day 8: Chengdu - cooking class

  • One day cook course with Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine
  • Evening free
  • The classes will be conducted by master professors with an English translator present.

Day 9: Chengdu - Hangzhou

  • Leave at 10.00 am to Chengdu Airport and fly to Hangzhou
  • Transfer to your hotel
  • Free the remaining afternoon

Day 10: Hangzhou - tea safari

  • Hike through tea fields to reach Dragon Well (Longjing) Village
  • Taste famous Dragon Well tea in a farmers house
  • Visit the National Tea Museum with the Chinese traditional tea performance
  • Rest of the afternoon and the evening is free
  • There are 8 famous green teas in China. One is from Hangzhou - Dragon Well (Longjing) tea. The tea received its name from a small village located on Phoenix Mountain in Hangzhou. It is famous not only for its unique and delicate flavor, but for many legends surrounding it. One legend said that since the Three Kingdoms Period (221-280) the residents of this village believed that a dragon lived in the village well and controlled the rainfall.
  • Dragon Well tea is made of tender tea shoots. They are very small, no larger than 2 cm. One kilogram of tea can have over 80,000 shoots. The best Dragon Well Tea is picked very early in the spring. There is only a 6 week time period to harvest them.
  • Guided by your English speaking host, you will hike through tea fields and watch tea leave picking; visit tea farmers house in Dragon *Well village and taste the famous tea in fresh. If you like, you can also buy some to bring home.
  • After lunch, you will visit the National Tea Museum, which is the only one in China with tea theme. It is located on the west of West *Lake, surrounded by tea trees. A nice place to discover the Chinese tea history and culture through various exhibitions. You will also have the opportunity to see tea ceremonies.

Day 11: Hangzhou discovery

  • Visit Lingyin Temple in the morning
  • Afternoon free.
  • Evening: guided walk around Hefang Street and local treats tasting (not included in price)
  • In the morning, you have the option for an excursion to visit Lingyin Temple (optional). The temple is one of the most significant and beautiful Buddhist monasteries in China.
  • After lunch its your free time. You can take rest or walk around the beautiful West Lake.
  • In the evening, your guide will take you to a walking excursion around Hefang Street. This historical and cultural street is the epitome of old Hangzhou. Shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, silk, teahouses, and restaurants line on both sides of the street.

Day 12: Hangzhou - Shanghai

  • Morning at leisure to explore the city, do some shopping
  • Go to Shanghai in the afternoon
  • Transfer to the hotel and free the remaining afternoon

Day 13: Shanghai - cooking and tasting

  • Guided tour to local wet market
  • Shop the ingredients from the market for home cooking
  • Qi Bao (Seven Treasures Watertown) visit
  • Evening free
  • You will be meeting the chef's family, visiting a neighborhood wet market to learn how to shop like the Chinese, a chance to bargain hard for your food over the market and so you can cook everything on today's menu. Then with a chef by your side, showing you how to transform the raw ingredients into authentic Chinese food. You will learn some easy-to-make and yummy Chinese home cooking dishes and eat these up with the chef's family. Kindly note that the chef's home and the local wet market represents the typical Shanghainese people's life style which is totally different from the western standards.
  • After the lunch, the chef will take you to Qi Bao (Seven Treasures Watertown) - a nearby ancient water town where you will find lots of local dumplings and street food. If you see some vendors frying up the "stinky" tofu, try it! This stuff smells really bad, but tastes wonderful!

Day 14: Shanghai - city walk and special food treats

  • Walk through the Bund to Yu Garden area
  • Continue walk to Xintiandi Square
  • Take some time there and have a drink before heading for dinner
  • At 10.00 AM your personal English speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on an excursion to explore the city on foot and taste some traditional local snacks, such as Pan-Fried Baozi Stuffed with Pork, Baozi Stuffed with Juicy Pork, etc.

Day 15: Departure

  • Transfer to Shanghai airport

Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China. Beijing offers China's most wonderful array of attractions, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen square, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall. Its cuisine is primarily northern style. But since Beijing has been the Chinese capital for centuries, its cuisine has been influenced by culinary traditions from all over China. On top of the pyramid stand the imperial cuisine and the officials cuisine.

Chengdu

In Southwest China, surrounded by mountains, lies a fertile plain known as "The Land of Abundance", where sits Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. The birthplace of Sichuan cuisine. Famous for its numb-and-spicy tastes, Sichuan cuisine actually offers much more. It is the capital of seasonings and the heaven of flavor.

Hangzhou

With enchanting natural beauty and abundant cultural heritages, Hangzhou is known as 'Heaven on Earth' and one of China's most important tourist venues. Hangzhou has been reputed as the City of Gourmet Food. It represents Zhejiang cuisine - one of the 8 major Chinese cuisines. The cuisine features fresh ingredients, elaborate preparation, sophisticated cooking and natural flavor.

Shanghai

A place where the old and new, the tradition and modern are mingled perfectly. Bearing the same nature as the city, through assimilating, integrating and refining the culinary art in the surrounding provinces, Shanghai successfully created their own style of cooking - a greater use of soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and rice vinegar than other regional cuisines.

Day 1

Dinner with everything with duck. Peking Duck is the most famous Chinese dish in the world. To start the trip with a lasting and unforgettable memory, we have selected one of the best restaurants in China for Peking Duck. Besides this wellknown dish, you will enjoy many delicious mouthwatering dishes - all with duck!!

Day 2

Dinner for imperial cuisine. To get a feeling of what the imperial food looks like and tastes, you will be dining in a restaurant with set menu of 8-10 dishes prepared by chefs who are highly skillful in imperial cuisine.

Day 3

Dinner of typical food of northwestern China. For dinner, we will take you to a restaurant famous for refined Northwestern cuisine. They have brought back some ancient recipes on their menu and lifted the traditional northwestern dishes to a completely new level of fine dining.

Day 4

Dinner of Shandong cuisine. Today you will explore the Shandong cuisine. In Chinas 8 major regional culinary schools, it is the earliest and one of the most influential and popular cuisines in China. Shandong Province is the birthplace of Confucius, and Shandong cuisine embodies the dining concept of "Eat no food but whats of the best quality; eat no meat but whats finely minced". It emphasizes purity of the seasonings and is a little salty. It features freshness, tenderness, aroma and crispness. There are over 30 kinds of common cooking techniques, of which, "bao (quick stir-frying), chao (frying), shao (stewing), ta (boiling) and pa (braising)" are outstanding.

Day 5

Dinner with the taste the local flavor. As a starting point to explore Sichuan cuisine, you will be dining in a restaurant famous for authentic and refined Sichuan food. They make the traditional dishes with style, complexity and delicacy. Most importantly, it tastes delicious.

Day 6

Dinner with medicine cuisine. Medicine cuisine as a special branch of cooking can be found only in China. The Chinese way of looking at health lies in its philosophy of food and medicine sharing the same roots. This firm belief has led to the introduction of many edible plants and herbs. With the effects of disease prevention and health preservation, they have become regular dishes in Chinese cuisine. At the same time there is the pursuit of refinement in cooking. To experience these unique Chinese foods, we have chosen a restaurant specializing in medicine cuisine for today's dinner.

Day 7

Dinner with the art of cooking. Dinner will be in a restaurant named by some food critics as the best Chinese restaurant. It demonstrates how the traditional Chinese cooking can be modern, innovative and creative. The food is not only delicate and delicious but the work of art.

Day 8

Taste what you prepare for you cooking class and explore the surroundings, to learn about the local life and food, on your free time.

Day 9

Dinner: tasting Hangzhou. Hangzhou is the major birthplace of Zhejiang cuisine. The restaurant where you will be having dinner is an old name with the reputation for real authentic Hangzhou food. Their dishes are original, delicious and genuinely tasteful.

Day 10

Lunch for gastronomic discovery with local produces. Lunch will be in a restaurant which uses the best seasonal local produces to cook healthy, elegant, delicate and tasty dishes of their own invention.

Day 11

Lunch with refined Zhejiang cuisine. Lunch will be the experience of Hangzhou food. The restaurant we have chosen is one of the best restaurants specializing in Hangzhou cuisine and top 50 in China 2011. With several Chinese cooking masters and famous chefs, it offers not only the famous local traditional dishes but their own created food with style, originality and delicacy.

Day 12

Dinner for innovative cooking. In the evening, you will be dining in a well known and elegant restaurant, which serves refined Jiangsu cuisine and fusion dishes of Shanghai style.

Day 13

You will learn some easy-to-make and yummy Chinese home cooking dishes and eat these up with the chef's family and, after lunch, nearby ancient water town where you will find lots of local dumplings and street food. If you see some vendors frying up the "stinky" tofu, try it! This stuff smells really bad, but tastes wonderful

Day 14

Lunch break for exquisite Shanghai dim sum. Vegetarian dinner. In the evening, you will be taken to a vegetarian restaurant in a Buddhist temple, which embodies both artistic uniqueness of modern decor and cultural feature of Buddhist religion. Vegetarian food in China has a long history and was developed to a higher level by Buddhist temples. The Shanghai-style modern veggie cuisine is based on traditional Buddhist cooking and assimilated with modern way of preparation. They are superior in color, flavor, taste and texture.

During your free time, you can explore the city and do some shopping or street food trip at your own expense. An optional guided day tour to Mutianyu great wall is available on the 4th day. There is an optional evening guided walk around Hefang street and food tasting at extra fee on 11th day.

  • 1 cooking lesson (including lunch)
  • 2 home cooking classes including lunch
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • All excursions listed
  • All meals listed (excluding drinks)
  • China host and local tour guides (English speaking)
  • Domestic airfares
  • Domestic transportation
  • Transfers between airports and hotels
  • China entry visa
  • Early and late check-ins and check-outs from hotels
  • Insurances
  • International airfare to/from China
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, alcoholic beverages, excess luggage fees, telephone charges, room service and laundry charges
  • Room and aircraft seat upgrades

Eidhoven, Netherlands

First in Europe specializing in food travel to China. Personalized planning for gourmet travelers to China. Scheduled group tours. Cooking classes. Tea tours.

from --

15 days / 14 nights

Why choose BookCulinaryVacations.com

  • Largest Selection
  • Friendly Customer Service
  • Offers for every budget
  • Best Price