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Less stress, less cost but more fun, thanks to China's bullet trains that connects Beijing and Pingyao and Xian


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Beijing-Pingyao-Xi'an-Beijing

All-Bullet Train Tour for One Week

 

 

Beijing and Xi'an probably have the most cultural attractions of all of China.

 

This package connect Beijing and Xian by adding a stop at Pingyao, an ancient town famous for its commercial history in China by taking the advantage of China's developed bullet train lines.

 

Usually, the bullet train takes 5-6 hours from Beijing to Xian or vice versa. Here we break those hours by taking 4 hours to Pingyao from Beijing and 3 hours to Xian from Pingyao. By adding this stop, you will receive the following:

 

• Visit the Terracotta Warriors, one of the world’s great archaeological discoveries, as well as other great sites in Xian, China’s ancient capital.
• Experience the imperial lifestyle at the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the pandas, while also walking on the Great Wall.

• Visit the largest residential courtyard in China and the oldest bank in China's history in Pingyao.

 


B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

 

STANDARD TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
P-BXB
 
DAY 01 Arrive in Beijing

Upon arrival at the Beijing airport, you will be me by your local English-speaking guide, and he will take you to your hotel, the Tiantan Hotel, a 4 star hotel located in downtown Beijing. If time permits, we can get started with some sightseeing, but if not, you are free to spend the night at your own leisure, and resting up for the days ahead.



DAY 02 Great Wall Adventure (B, L)


At 8 am you will be picked up from your hotel lobby by your English-speaking guide and driver. From there we will make the approximate 2.5 hour drive to the Great Wall at Jinshanling. The Great Wall at Jinshanling is one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall with many original features. It got its name because it was built on the Greater and Lesser Jinshan (‘Gold Mountain’) Ranges. A tablet with the Chinese inscription for Jinshanling Great Wall was set into this section. The Jinshanling Great Wall has not been repaired since 1570. It is a remote and relatively isolated section of the Great Wall. As there are relatively few tourists at Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot. Because it is full of challenge and with splendid and charming scenery, this section of the Great Wall has been the favorite destination of hiking lovers from all over the world.

The Jinshanling Great Wall was initially built from 1368 to 1389 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and in 1567 and 1570 rebuilding of the Wall was mainly directed by General Qi Jiguang (1528-1588). Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time when Qi Jiguang directed the rebuilding of this section of the Great Wall. There are more than 100 watch towers along the Jinshanling Great Wall. ‘Watching Beijing Tower" is on the highest point from where you can see Beijing. The Jinshanling Great Wall is second only to the Badaling Great Wall in its completeness.


You will then be dropped of at the hotel, and the rest of the evening can be spent at your discretion
.


DAY 03 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast in the hotel we will head over to the center of Beijing, Tiananmen Square. The largest public square in the world, Tiananmen Square is seen as China’s political center. Its grounds have seen some turbulent moments, from the May 4th Movement of 1919 to the political turmoil of 1989. The south of the square is marked by the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, while the center of the square is dominated by the Monument to the People’s Heroes, an imposing 10-story granite obelisk. To the east is the National Museum of China, and to the west is the Great Hall of the People, home to China’s legislative bodies. The north of the square is dominated by the Gate of Heavenly Peace, known for its iconic portrait of Mao Zedong, and is the national emblem of China.

After walking across the street, we will enter what is perhaps the greatest attraction in China, the Forbidden City. After walking across the square we will enter the Forbidden City (known in Chinese as Gu Gong), the largest surviving palace complex and the former home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is one of the greatest attractions in the world. Built by the third Ming emperor between 1406-1422, the Forbidden City served as the official residence to the Emperor of China until the last emperor, Puyi, was forced to evacuate in 1924. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Consisting of 980 buildings and with 8,707 bays of rooms, the Forbidden City is the best example of classical Chinese architecture in the world, and is a wonder to behold.

After lunch you’ll have the opportunity to walk inside the Summer Palace located northwest of the city center. Having the largest royal park and being well preserved, the Summer Palace is ranked amongst the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritage Sites. Like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French allied force of 1860 and was destroyed by fire. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it for her own benefit, changing its name to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). She spent most of her later years there, dealing with state affairs and entertaining.

Highlights not to be missed are climbing Longevity Hill, viewing the Empress Dowager Cixi’s extravagant Marble Boat, and talking a walk down Suzhou Jie, a canal meant to resemble the beautiful southeast watertown of Suzhou by Shanghai.

You will return to your hotel around 6 pm.


DAY 03 Beijing (B, L)

Today you will have tours to visit giant pandas in Beijing in the morning. The Beijing Zoo exhibits the wild and rare animals of China. Outside of traveling to Sichuan, Beijing zoo is the best place in China to view the Giant Panda. With those charming black patches around the eyes & ears and a customary pot belly, they are just too cute to ignore and the giant pandas are truly recognized as the national icon of China.

After visiting the zoo we will go to visit the Lhama Temple. Other than the ones in Tibet this is the best Buddhist temple in Beijingand in China. Work on the Lhama Temple originally began in 1694 during the Qing dynasty. It served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the home of the Prince Yong, a son of the Kangxi Emperor and himself the future Yongzheng Emperor. It was converted into a lamasery after his ascension to the throne in 1722. Today the Lhama Temple still functions as a monastery and temple of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism. Walking through the temple your senses will be enveloped by the incenses and the chanting of the visiting monks and other followers. The rear Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses features a 26m tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha cared from a single piece of white sandalwood. It is one of three artworks in the Lhama Temple that were included in the Guiness Book of World Records, and it is not to be missed on your visit.

After the gourmet lunch of Beijing's taste, we will embark on a rickshaw tour of Beijing hutongs. Hutongs are courtyard homes groupedtogether around narrow alleys, and served as the lifeline and center of everyday life in old Beijing. The hutongs were a critical component in the development and evolution of Beijing folklore and culture. Going on this hutong tour, you will feel like you have traveled back in time to a far different China, one where there was still an emperor sitting in the Forbidden City, and where there was still enough time to enjoy the simple pleasures of common life.

After exploring the hutongs we will conclude our tour with a visit to the Lotus Market of Beijinjg. The Lotus Market is a pleasant pedestrian-only street on Houhai (the back lakes), which features traditional crafts, bars, restaurants, and entertainment for all ages. Rambling along the back lakes is a perfect way to top off your tour, and the gentle breezes off the lakes will soothe you after the long day. Afterward, we will drive you back to your hotel, with your tour with us coming to an end.

DAY 04 Beijing-Pingyao


This morning you will take the Bullet Train G627 (8:00 am to 11:59 am) from Beijing to Pingyao. Your driver will transfer you from your hotel at 6:30 am to Beijing West Train Station. Your local guide in Pingyao will meet you at the Pingyao Train Station.

Situated 676 kms north of Beijing, Pingyao is linked firmly to a certain prosperous time in Chinese history. It played quite an important role in the economic development of Shanxi during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Pingyao was the birthplace of the Jin Businessmen, who were one of the two dominant  Chinese business groups during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Owing to this, the first Chinese exchange shop was opened in Pingyao. Then, for the next hundred years, Pingyao was home to almost all of the large exchange shops in China. To a certain degree, Pingyao was to China during the eighteenth century what Wall Street is to the US, which not only helped promote the economic development of Shanxi, but also left us with a magnificent old city and a series of grand residences.

Pingyao has now become quite a hot tourist attraction even though it is no longer economically prosperous. It boasts the famous Pingyao Old City which was included in the United Nations World Cultural Heritage in 1997. From the top of the grand City Wall, you have a bird's-eye view of the Old City, a complete city built almost a thousand years ago. In the Ancient Ming and Qing Street, you can experience the town's former glory while exploring the rows of residences and shops all constructed in the original architectural style.


After a gourmet lunch, you will spend the entire afternoon to visit Rishenchang Piaohao Bank Museum. It is the first bank ever established in China. "Rishengchang" literally translates to "Sunrise Prosperity", and "Piaohao" means draft banks, predecessors of modern banks in China.

You will walk on one of China's oldest city wall perfectly kept. The City Wall has a history of 2700 years. You will also pick up the City God Temple, the most beautiful Taoist Temple in China, the Confucius Temple in the streets of Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the end, you will have a 30-minute free class to learn China's civil arts of paper-cutting.

Tonight's hotel features the historic and traditional culture where used to be the big residence of a famous family. The courtyard and the rooms are filled in with Chinese-style furniture. 


DAY 05 Pingyao-Xian (B,L)

After breakfast, we will visit the Shuanglin Temple, the last place to tour before we head to Xian. Founded in the 6th century, the temple is notable for its collection of more than 2,000 decorated clay statues that are dated to the 12th-19th centuries. It is nicknamed the museum of colored sculptures. Most of them are dated to the period of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

The bullet train D2511 to Xian is at 10:42 am. It's short trip for only three hours. At 1:41 pm, your guide in Xian will meet you at the Xian North Train Station and drive you to the downtown to tour the Drum Tower, Muslim Quarter and the City Wall of Xian.

Xi’an is one of the only cities where the old city walls are still standing. 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. The length and width of the Wall are good enough for you to rent a bike and ride on the Wall.

Tonight, you will be treated Xian's unique dumpling banquet following by Xian's famous Tang Dynasty Dance Show.

It was here
in Xian that the art of creating the most tasty and delicate of dumplings was refined and no visit to the city is complete unless you partake of a Dumpling Dinner.

This is an experience for the dumpling connoisseur, the flavors, shapes and colors will tempt the palette, while the elegant names and stories attached to each variety are truly amazing. It is no less amazing that a simple way of preparing food has become so very popular and sophisticated that it is now considered to be as much a work of art as a tasty morsel.  

 

The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is an outstanding exponent of this ancient stable and prosperous society, keeping alive its splendid culture and providing an insight into the peaceful life style of the period. As an art form, the show has its roots in folk fetes, when dances were first performed by people as part of rituals of prayer for a good harvest or a better life. Combining poetry with the skilled playing of musical instruments, singing, dancing and also stunning costumes, the modern presentation is certain to give you an impressive view of ancient China including its splendid history, brilliant arts, distinct traditions and customs.


You will stay overnight in Xian at Ramada Hotel, a four-star hotel in downtown.



DAY 06 Xian (B, L)

Today is the highlight of your Xian tour - visiting the Terracotta Warriors, a World Heritage site.

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is the result of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

The museum is divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, contains over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976. It is the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

After lunch by the Museum, you will be on the way to return to Beijing on Bullet Train G666 at 4:00 pm. You will arrive in Beijing at 9:41 pm. A driver will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel.


DAY 07 Beijing (B)

Following breakfast, you will be driven to the Beijing airport, where you will catch your flight to your next destination, ending your tour with Great Wall Adventure Club.



Package includes:
1.Pickup service between airport to hotel.
2.The transportation between scenic spots
3.Five nights accommodation based on two persons sharing one standard room in the four star hotel
4.Soft-sleeper round way train tickets from Beijing to Xi’an.
5.Professional local guide
6.Meals indicated in the itineraries
7.
General admission tickets

 

 

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