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11 Days Chinese Food and Culture Tour

11 Days Chinese Food and Culture Tour

  • Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Shanghai

Luxurious Chinese Culture and Culinary Tour

Come and join Travel China Guide for an exceptional experience with unparalleled service together with this mysterious country and hospitable people. This luxurious itinerary perfectly shows to the world a best combination of neoteric China as well as Ming-Qing royal cultural relics in Beijing, the ancient fascination of Xian, the breathtaking natural sceneries in Guilin and a modern metropolis, Shanghai. Treat yourself with this unique, fun-filled vacation!

Highlights

  • Guided excursions
  • A cooking class with a Chinese family
  • Li River cruise and lunch served on board
  • 3 a-la-carte lunches with authentic Chinese food
  • Home cooked lunch at a local family
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 9 days with instruction
  • English
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Crowne Plaza Hotel, Beijing

Crowne Plaza is a 5-star hotel. With 360 guest rooms, various styles dining rooms and bars, all designed with sensitivity to details and functionality, the Crowne Plaza provides the perfect setting for the discerning travelers finding first class relaxing. And being located at the golden commercial district in the famous Wangfujing street, it fulfills the modern fashionable breath. A 10-minute stroll can lead you to the inspiriting Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Amenities, facilities and services:

  • ATM and cash machine
  • Babysitting
  • Beauty Salon
  • Bellman
  • Concierge services
  • Foreign currency exchange
  • Gift shop
  • Laundry and dry-cleaning
  • Newsstand
  • Pickup services
  • Porter
  • Room service
  • Safety-deposit box
  • Shoe shine

Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel, Shanghai

The hotel is located in the downtown of Shanghai city, adjacent to the famous Yuyuan Garden, only minutes away from the Shanghai Bund, Xitiandi bar street and other famous tourist sightseeing. Guests will feel as comfortable as home during your stay for whatever taking a leisure trip or handling your business. The hotel has contemporary guest rooms and suites facilitated with deluxe bedding, board-band internet, refrigerator, safe-box and mini-bar. When the night falls, it's nice to dine in the delicate restaurant and chat leisurely with your families or business partner. The gyms, swimming pool, bar, inside spa garden are open to the guests for 24 hours. Amenities, facilities and services:

  • 24-hour business center
  • 24-hour reception
  • Air-conditioned facilities
  • Beauty salon, sauna
  • Board-band internet access throughout the hotel
  • Business center
  • Car rentals
  • Currency exchange
  • Elevator
  • Fax service
  • Gift shop
  • Gymnasium
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Laundry service
  • Medical clinic service
  • Typing service
  • Valet parking

Sheraton Hotel, Guilin

Sheraton is the first foreigner-oriented 5-star hotel in Guangxi Province. It overlooks the beautiful Li river to the east and is adjacent to the enchanting Elephant Trunk Hill in the south. It is just located at the downtown area of the city and only 30-minute drive from the airport. All those thoughtful and sufficient facilities make it a perfect place to rejuvenate from a busy day for travelling or business. Amenities, facilities and services:

  • 18-hole golf course
  • Air-conditioned facilities
  • Barber/ beauty salon
  • Bell stand
  • Bicycle rental
  • Computer rental
  • Copy/ printing service
  • Currency exchange
  • Fitness facility
  • Gift shop
  • Laundry/ dry cleaning service
  • Limousine service
  • Live entertainment
  • Massage treatments
  • Multilingual staff
  • Porters
  • Safe deposit boxes
  • Sauna
  • Standard twin room
  • Swimming pool
  • Valet service

Wyndham Grand Xi'an South Hotel, Xian

Wyndham Grand Xi'an South is a new hotel opened in 2014, which is also the first luxury hotel under direct management of Wyndham Group in China. With superb location near the famous Big Wild Goose Pagoda, this hotel is very convenient for sightseeing, shopping and dining. There are 565 spacious and well-appointed rooms and suites with special designs offering clients comfortable and unforgettable experience. All the staff is well-trained and ready to greet you with big smiling faces. Great facility, quality service and hospitable ambience have earned good reputation for the Wyndham Grand Xian South. Hotels amenities, facilities and services:

  • Babysitting/ child care
  • Ballroom
  • Beauty salon
  • Banking/ATM service
  • Business center
  • Conference rooms
  • Fine dining
  • Fitness center
  • Full housekeeping services
  • Parking
  • Swimming
  • Theater

Day 1 - Beijing arrival

  • Meet your guide at Capital airport after you retrieve your luggage and clear the customs.
  • Transfer to your hotel.
  • Have the rest of the day free to relax or to explore the city.

Day 2 - Beijing

  • American breakfast.
  • Visit Tiananmen Square. As the largest city square in the world, Tiananmen Square has seen the country's development in the past 500 years and became an important venue for most of the national ceremonies.
  • Walking through the square, you will come to the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex, the Forbidden City. With 590 years of history, the Forbidden City will bring you back to the prosperous Ming and Qing dynasties by showing thousands of imperial architecture and precious culture relics.
  • Enjoy a-la-carte lunch at a famous local Cantonese restaurant to taste the authentic Chinese food.
  • After lunch, visit the Temple of Heaven, which is the imperial altar for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to worship the god of heaven.

Day 3 - Beijing

  • American breakfast.
  • Visit the splendid Badaling Great Wall. As the elite of the Great Wall, Badaling, like a soaring dragon stretches along the mountain ranges. You will be deeply impressed by the wandering walls, spectacular passes and towers, and splendid mountain scenery.
  • Lunch on your own. Your guide will help you to find a proper restaurant upon your request.
  • In the afternoon, you will visit the Sacred Way and the Ming Tomb. The Ming Tomb, a cluster of tombs for 13 emperors and their wives and sons of the Ming dynasty, is renowned for burying the most emperors, its long history of 600 years and the majestic architecture.
  • On your way back to the downtown, drive by the Bird's Nest (Olympic national stadium), the venue of 2008 Olympic Games. You will see the full view of the huge nest at a distance. Take this chance to add one memorable photo in your album.

Day 4 - Beijing, Xian

  • American breakfast.
  • This morning, you will visit the existing largest imperial garden, the Summer Palace, an outstanding combination of Chinese classical landscape design and natural beauty.
  • Next, you will have a hutong (narrow street) tour to experience the original Beijing culture by taking a special rickshaw riding through the various hutongs and to know about old capital's manners and customs.
  • Visit 798 Art Zone. The art zone covers an area of 0.6 square kilometer, with Jiuxianqiao road to its west, Beijing-Baotou railway to its east, Jiangtai road to its south and Jiuxianqiao road to its north. Characterized by modern art, it has become the exhibition center of Chinese culture and art, and also the world-famous cultural and creative industries centralized area.
  • Take a flight to Xian. Meet your guide outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 5 - Xian

  • American breakfast.
  • In the morning, visit the eighth wonder of the world, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. You will not only be attracted by the life-sized warrior figures and horses, each of which has distinct facial expressions and positions, but also be astonished by various kinds of ancient weapons which reflect the highly advanced technology in weapon-making 2200 years ago.
  • Lunch on your own. Your guide will help you to find a proper restaurant upon your request.
  • After lunch, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the well-preserved 1300-year-old Buddhist pagoda of Tang dynasty.
  • Next, stop at the Provincial History Museum, which exhibits over 370,000 historical relics. It is regarded as the best museum in the country.

Day 6 - Xian

  • American breakfast.
  • A morning visit to City Wall, one of the best-preserved existing city walls, to stroll around on the wall and you will have a bird's eye view of the city.
  • Have a local family visit.
  • Take a Chinese cooking class and learn how to cook Chinese dishes with your hosts.
  • A-la-carte lunch will be arranged in the home of the family that you visit, to taste the authentic home cooked dishes.
  • After lunch, you will walk across the famous snack street, Muslim street, where you may find many delicious local snacks as well as interesting souvenirs.
  • Visit the Great Mosque, built in 742 with a similar architecture style of Chinese temples.

Day 7 - Xian, Guilin

  • American breakfast.
  • In the morning, you will visit Xian Museum and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Xian Museum was opened to the public in 2007. It is well known for its cultural treasures displayed at the exhibition hall, the ancient pagoda of the Tang dynasty, the morning bell chimes of the pagoda and the beautiful garden landscape. As a part of the museum, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most important architecture of ancient Chang'an in the Tang dynasty and now is a famous historic site in the city.
  • Take a flight to Guilin. Meet your guide outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer to your hotel.
  • Your hotel is located on the bank of the Li River, and you can stroll along the bank and enjoy the picturesque scene of the city.

Day 8 - Guilin, excursion

  • American breakfast. You are suggested to take a hearty breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. The length of Li River is about 50 miles, and you can see picturesque scenery all the way during your cruise.
  • Around 13:30-14.30, you will arrive to Yangshuo. Stop for a coffee at one of the coffee shops ashore.
  • Upon arrival into Yangshuo, you will continue towards the countryside to enjoy the rural beauty of Yangshuo.
  • Visit a local villager's home to experience the farmer's lifestyle.
  • Late afternoon, enjoy a light lunch during your cruise back to Guilin.

Day 9 - Guilin, Shanghai

  • American breakfast.
  • Visit one of the most famous attractions in the city, Reed Flute Cave, renowned for the varieties of stalactites, stalagmites, columns and lime-flowers which came into being about 700000 years ago. Walking into the cave, you will also be impressed by the interesting names of the stalactites and stalagmites, such as Palace of Crystal, Dragon Pagoda, and Flower and Fruit Mountain.
  • Your next stop will be the Seven Star Park. Covering an area of more than 120 hectares (297 acres), this is the largest comprehensive park with mass scenery in Guilin. It was named because of the seven peaks (the four peaks of Putuo Mountain and three of Crescent Mountain) inside which resemble the form of the Big Dipper constellation.
  • Your city visit will end with the Elephant Trunk Hill. You must wonder how such a huge rock resembles an elephant drinking water on the riverside, and your guide will give you plenty of information about it.
  • Take a flight to Shanghai. Meet your guide outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 10 - Shanghai

  • American breakfast.
  • Visit Shanghai Museum. As one of the four largest museums in China, Shanghai Museum is famous for its vast storage of 120000 of art relics, especially for the exhibition of bronze wares, porcelain wares, calligraphy and paintings.
  • Visit Yuyuan Garden. Learn about the ancient Chinese gardening exploring one of the most famous gardens located south of the Yangtze River.
  • Enjoy a farewell a-la-carte lunch at a fancy and famous local restaurant, which offers authentic Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Bund area, where you take a short cruise on the Huangpu river. On the banks of the river scattered almost all the major attractions of Shanghai, which symbolize the past, present and future of the city.
  • After the cruise, you will visit the Bund area and then explore an old street.

Day 11 - Departure

  • American breakfast.
  • Your guide will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to the airport so that you can board the flight back home loaded with pleasant memories.

Beijing

  • 798 Art Zone. Characterized by modern art, it has become the exhibition center of Chinese culture and art, and also the world- famous cultural and creative industries centralized area.
  • Badaling Great Wall. It was promoted as a key national cultural relic, protected under the approval of the State Council in 1961. In 1988, it was enlisted in the world cultural heritage directory by UNESCO. On July 7, 2007, it gained the worldwide reputation once again as it was listed among the new seven wonders of the world.
  • Forbidden City. Lying at the city center and called Gu Gong in Chinese, it was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built throughout 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient Chinese astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace. The Palace for the emperor on earth was so called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor. Hence its name The Purple Forbidden City, usually The Forbidden City.
  • Great Hall of the People. West of the Square is the Great Hall of the People. This building, erected in 1959, is the site of the China National People's Congress meetings and provides an impressive site for other political and diplomatic activities. Twelve marble posts are in front of the hall which has three parts - the central hall, the great auditorium and a banqueting hall. The floor of the central hall is paved with marble and crystal lamps hang from the ceiling. The great auditorium behind the central hall accommodates 10000 people. The banqueting hall is a huge hall with 5000 seats.
  • Hutongs. Hutong is a Mongolian word meaning water well. At 9 meters (about 30 feet) wide, it is the name given to a lane or small street that originated during the Yuan Dynasty (12711368). Nowadays, they have become representatives of local culture, thus it is the first choice for people who would like to learn about the local history and culture.
  • Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao is at the south side of the Square. This hall is divided into three halls and Chairman Mao's body lies in a crystal coffin in one of the halls surrounded by fresh bouquets of various famous flowers and grasses.
  • Ming Tombs. This is the best preserved tomb area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture.
  • Monument to People's Heroes. The granite Monument to the People's Heroes is just at the center of the square. Built in 1952, it is the largest monument in China's history. The People's Heroes are Immortal written by Chairman Mao is engraved on the monument. Eight unusually large relief sculptures show to the people the development of Chinese modern history. Two rows of white marble railings enclose the monument, simple and beautiful.
  • National Museum of China. Another important place for the tourist to visit is the China National Museum at the east side of the Square. It just came into existence in 2003 and is a combination of Chinese History Museum and Chinese Revolutionary Museum. This museum faces the Great Hall of the People. Inside the Chinese Revolutionary Museum are a lot of material objects, pictures, books and models to present the development of modern China. The Chinese History Museum shows a large number of cultural relics illustrating the long history and glorious culture of China from over 1 million years ago to 1921 when the last emperor left the throne.
  • Sacred Way. In the front part of the imperial necropolises, there usually is a sacred way (or divine road) which means the road leading to heaven. The emperor, known as the son of the heaven, who came from heaven to his country through the sacred way, also deservedly would return to heaven through this road.
  • Summer Palace. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long been recognized as The Museum of Royal Gardens.
  • Temple of Heaven. It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among Chinas ancient sacrificial buildings. First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of emperor Yongle of the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.
  • Tiananmen Tower. Initially built in 1417 during the Ming dynasty, the tower was the front door of the Forbidden City. The most important use of it in the past was to declare in a big ceremony to the common people who became the emperor and who became the empress. Until 1911 when the last feudal kingdom was over, no one could enter the tower except for the royal family and aristocrats.

Guilin

  • Cruise along Li River. The length of Li river is about 50 miles, and you can see picturesque scenery all the way during your cruise. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, you will continue on to the countryside to enjoy the rural beauty of Yangshuo. You will also visit a local villager's home to experience the farmer's lifestyle there.
  • Elephant Trunk Hill. The shape of the hill is just like a huge elephant drinking water from the river with its trunk, thus the mountain was named so.
  • Reed Flute Cave. This is a brilliant cave marked on almost all travel itineraries. The cave got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes. Inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. Illuminated by colored lighting, the fantastic spectacle is found in many variations along this 240-meter-long cave. Walking through the serried stone pillars, tourists feast their eyes on changing spots, feeling they are in a paradise where the gods live.
  • Seven Stars Park. The park is endowed with elegant mountains, clear water, miraculous stone forest, deep and serene valleys, plenty of animals, plants, and valued cultural relics.

Shanghai

  • Bund area. The most famous and attractive sight which is at the west side of the Bund are the 26 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.
  • Huangpu River cruise. Huangpu River, a symbol of Shanghai, originates in Dianshan Lake and empties into the Yangtze River at Wusongkou (mouth of Wusong River). It is 114 kilometers (71 miles) long and 400 meters (0.25 miles) wide. It is ice-free year round. The river divides Shanghai into east and west. It is a silent eyewitness to Shanghai's history and its development.
  • Shanghai Museum. As one of the four largest museums in China, this museum is famous for its vast storage of 120000 of art relics, especially for the exhibition of bronze wares, porcelain wares, calligraphy and paintings.
  • Yuyuan Garden. This is a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. It was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.

Xian

  • City Wall. The wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it. Every 120 meters, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall. Altogether, there are 98 ramparts, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up.
  • Great Mosque. The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China and its location is northwest of the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) on Huajue Lane. According to historical records engraved on a stone tablet inside, it was built in 742 during the Tang dynasty (618-907). This was a result of Islam being introduced into north-west China by Arab merchants and travelers from Persia and Afghanistan during the mid-7th century when some of them settled down in China and married women of Han nationality. Their descendants became Muslim of today.
  • Xian Museum and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. The museum is well-known for its cultural treasures displayed at the exhibition hall, the ancient pagoda of the Tang dynasty, the morning bell chimes of the pagoda and the beautiful garden landscape. As a part of the museum, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most important architecture of ancient Chang'an in the Tang dynasty and now its a famous historic site in the city.

This retreat will take place in Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai, China.

During a long period of production and living practice, China has made great contribution to the world on the aspects of food resource exploration, diet treatment, nutrition and health care, dishware design and cuisine aesthetics. Intellectuals in China have created countless dishes with apt names, aromas, flavors and colors, greatly enhancing the dining experience. During these four or five thousand years of development, Chinese cuisine appears various features in different periods and regions.

Generally speaking, people in this country mainly live on the five common cereals and vegetables and added by a small supply of meat. This eating habit is formed by the mode of production which is centered by agriculture. Moreover, Chinese food makes cooked and hot food primary, which is related to the advance of culinary skills and early civilization of the country. In Beijing, you have the perfect chance to dine at the most famous Cantonese restaurant considered the biggest and the best one to serve Cantonese cuisine in entire Beijing. This restaurant is characteristic of its delicious diverse food, wide vision and pleasant dining environment. In Xian, you will enjoy a cooking class during a family visit and you will have a well-deserved lunch based on your creations.

Beijing

Crowne Plaza hotel is well located in the famous Wangfujing area, which is the golden commercial district of Beijing. Several historical sites, shopping markets and business streets are within walking distance; it is very easy for you to go out and find your decent dinner. You will find nice and clean restaurants at a reasonable price, such as Jin Yang Shuang Lai restaurant, which is just opposite the main gate of your hotel. The other choice is going through the commercial Wangfujing street to the Oriental Plaza, where you can find a huge food court with all kinds of Chinese and western food. Before going to the Oriental Plaza, please check with hotels bellboy for directions. The walking distance is within 15 minutes.

Xian

Aside from enjoying the buffet meals at Tang Caf or the Chinese dishes at Yan Ming Xuan inside Wyndham Grand Xi'an South hotel, you may also explore nearby local popular restaurants for your own dinners. Travel China Guide would like to recommend Qujiang Intime Mall, where you can find a variety of restaurants at your choice. It is just about 460 meters away from your hotel.

  • 4 a-la-carte lunches
  • 10 nights accommodation in 5-star hotels
  • Daily breakfast
  • Domestic airfares
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private transportation
  • Entry visa fees
  • Gratuities or tips for guides and drivers
  • International airfares
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

For arrival, the nearest airport to you location is Beijing Capital international airport (PEK). For departure, the nearest airports to your location are Shanghai Hongqiao international airport (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong international airport (PVG). Travel China Guide will pick you up and drop you off. The pick-up and drop-off are complimentary.

Distances

  • Beijing airport, 35 kilometers
  • Guilin airport, 30 kilometers
  • Shanghai Hongqiao airport, 18 kilometers
  • Shanghai Pudong airport, 50 kilometers
  • Xian airport, 35 kilometers