China Journey Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Shanghai, China 12th May 2017
Arrive in Pudong Shanghai International Airport. Shanghai, one of the few cities in the world, where the name itself evokes so much history, glamour, mystique and promise. Upon arriving, an English speaking guide will be waiting to greet you and take you to downtown Shanghai aboard the Maglev Train. Shangai’s Trans-rapid, magnetic levitation, high-speed train. A private vehicle will pick you up from the train station and take you to your luxurious JI Hotel in Shanghai. After having the time to settle yourself in, there will be a Welcoming event, followed by a typical Shanghi Liaoli dinner in town.
After breakfast, we’ll explore one of Shanghai’s most iconic sites: the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). Later in the afternoon we’ll walk over to the 16th century, Ming Dynasty Yu Garden. And then enjoy a welcome dinner with other fellow guests next to the Temple of the City of God. Typical Chinese tapas will be served, followed by a short walk around the historical area. The hotel is only a walk away and a custom tailor will be there waiting to work upon your request.
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head to the Shanghai’s landmark Garden Bridge, the Waibaidu. The Waibaidu (Garden Bridge) bears silent witness to the city’s history, both its prosperity and decline. A film aficionado might even recognize the Waibaidu (Garden Bridge) since it manages to appear in most love movies filmed in Shanghai.
After lunch we’ll head to the 2,073ft, Shanghai central tower, to view the most famous area of English Leased Land, the Huangpu River as well as the central Bun area. You’ll then go on a boat ride up the Huangpu River through both Shanghai’s old trading district and straddling right beside it, the new markets banking along the river.
After the river excursion, we’ll head to the best place in town for the popular and beloved, Peking duck. After dinner we’ll stroll through China’s best known street, the Nanjing Road to directly experience Chinese living. Expect to find the most extravagant merchants from around the world, but also typical Chinese fashion and products.
After breakfast, we’re taking the high speed train to Suzhou. A town renowned for its high culture and elegance, to see how Chinese artists and scholars have lived throughout the centuries. We’ll begin by visiting the Hanshan temple, one of the top ten most popular temples in China. After lunch we’ll meet the humble administrators of the Ming Dynasty’s Royal Garden. We will then go to the Suzhou museum, where you’ll explore the dedicated lifestyle of the ancients. Su embroidery is 100% handmade with pure fine silk threads on silk satin. With a 2,500 year old history, Suzhou embroidery is widely acknowledged as the most exquisite, silk embroidery in the world.
Lastly, an exotic Suzhou dinner will be served, just a short walk away from your hotel.
After breakfast you’ll head to Wuzhen. Established in 872, this scenic town preserves many important cultural relics. Archaeologists date inhabitants living in Wuzhen as far back as 5,000 BCE. Nourished by its Grand Canal, Wuzhen has maintained its name for over a 1,000 years. You will experience here the ancient way of life and hand crafts. Dinner will be served here as well as accommodation provided in the Wuzhen Guest House, a modern facility with traditional decorations.
After breakfast, you’ll head to Hangzhou. One of China’s principle tourist attractions. It is jam packed with historical relics and scenic panoramas and it parallels the West Lake, China’s only UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site for lakes. The West Lake is known across the land as, ‘paradise on earth’. You’ll stay this evening in the JI Hotel overlooking the lake.
After breakfast, you’ll continue to explore the West Lake area and then head to the top ten most famous ancient Buddhist monasteries in China, the Lingyin Temple. The Lingyin Temple contains numerous pagodas and Buddhist Grottoes and is considered to be the largest and wealthiest Buddhist temple. The temple faces the Peak That Flew Here and the Cold Spring, surrounded by sky scraping ancient trees and majestic mountain peaks. After your monastic visit, you’ll go to the Longjing Tea Plantation, a.k.a. the dragon well tea. The Hangzhou area is famous for its Longjing tea. Prepare to be stunned by the tea plantation, you’ll see the rolling tea trees, with locals picking tea leaves for sale. You’ll be able to purchase this renowned roasted, green tea directly from the farmer. Winner of the ‘China Famous Tea’ title.
You’ll enjoy a West Lake fish dinner at a local, family, owned and operated restaurant. After you’ll go back to the JI hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll head to the Yixing, Shanjuan Cave. One of the world’s most revered caves. The delicate and intricate palace like cave remains the center of numerous romantic legends, such as that of the Butterfly Lovers. The cave drapes with stalactites of all shapes and sizes. The area surrounding the cave still maintains examples of the Shaniodendron Subaequalum trees. Trees that first took root when dinosaurs were still walking. You’ll also find here the famous Yuantong Tower, and China’s Top Pottery work-shop.
After Shanjuan Cave you’ll arrive to the Yixing pottery museum to see the profound Art of Chinese Tea. Yixing has been crowned as the Pottery Capital of China. As the land of milk and honey for its splendid pottery and tea culture, and its rich bamboo and cave structures. It is said that if you use a Yixing teapot for many years, you can brew tea just by pouring boiling water into the empty pot. In between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, scholars variously praised, made, inscribed and collected these renowned classic Chinese tea pots. You can attend a tea pot workshop at the museum and visit the tea village, to try the local Longjing Tea for yourself.
Day 9 – 11
Since grocery shopping isn’t so convenient,
you’ll head to Wuxi to check in to the Blossom Hill Hotel Resort. The Blossom Hill Hotel & Resort is famous for having always having fresh flowers in the hotel and in its guest’s rooms. It has an excellent reputation for having the most beautiful cultural inn in China. It has attracted many, specialized cultural touristic projects, for example, a countryside lecture hall trip, a peach story excursion and a volcano, hot spring experience. Because of it’s creativity, it has become the most characteristic holiday paradise for tourists in the Yangtze River Delta area.
The resort is an ancient, Chinese-styled wooden cabin enclosed by bamboos and exotic flowers. After checking in and settling down, you’ll be guided by Grand Master Chufei, Tsai, founder of Zen Village. Within these three days you’ll be guided to the ancient teachings of, A Naked Mind for An Awesome Life course, as well as guided throughout the day about, living meditation.
This course will help to open your heart and mind, and to have a clear vision for life. The Naked Meditation will help to relax and learn the skills needed to settle these disturbing, unsettled and perpetual thoughts, in order to bring a clear vision into your life. The course has helped many people, including corporate owners, celebrities and athletes to release the knots of burden, and to realign their lives with the nature of the divine order.
We’ll have a local grocery shopping experience, cook as a team followed by a tea party each day. We do this not only for the fun, but also to deepen our cultural, spiritual and traveling experiences.
After breakfast, we’re off to Huangshan, the Yellow Mountains. Huangshan is regarded as ‘the loveliest mountain in China’, and acclaimed in art and literature throughout Chinese’s history. Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on a pilgrimage to the site. While you climb to the top of the mountain, you’ll see the magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds. The landscape and its numerous grotesquely-shaped rocks and ancient, gnarled trees inspired the influential Shanshui (“Mountain and Water”) school of landscape painting, which provided a fundamental representation of the oriental landscape in the world’s imagination and art. Once we arrive to the peak of the mountain, we‘ll go to the Yellow Mountain West Sea Hotel, to enjoy dinner on the mountain and rest for the night.
We’ll wake up early morning to see the sunrise from the mountain and ocean clouds. We’ll then continue sightseeing on the mountain and head back down, to have lunch in the Anji county at Huzhou. Here, we’ll taste the King of White Tea and visit another tea village. Also, to explore the grand bamboo sea of China where part of the movie “ Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” was filmed. After dinner, we’ll check in the Yellow Mountain Gulf Club, Hotel & Resort.
After breakfast, we’ll have an extended rest or walk around the gulf course. Leaving around noon, it’ll take 4 hours on the high speed, Bullet Train back to Shanghai. After check in at the JI hotel, you’ll have time to revisit, old favorites or check in with our tour guide for personalized tours, or shopping. In addition, don’t forget to pick up your custom tailored suit or Chipao.
We’ll have time to spend the morning hanging out in Shanghai in order to try the local food and snacks. Then you’ll have to get ready for your departure from the Shanghai Putong International Airport back home.