China’s history, culture, and lands are vast and fascinating. Now you can experience the inimitable spiritual, environmental and modern influence of China with Spirit Quest’s own John Locher.
Come see China’s rivers, gardens, cities, temples, bridges, and… the Great Wall. Experience the food, culture, and atmosphere of each region with a focus on the spirituality of each area. See the breathtaking skyscrapers of Shanghai, and visit Wuzhen, a 6000 year-old city unchanged in its antiquity. Revel in contrasts as you experience the marvelous juxtaposition of the waterways and the streets, the 5-star hotels and the humble ancient guest house, the carved stone grottoes and the sleek designer buildings.
Not just as a tourist, but as a conscious traveler, accompany Spirit Quest Tours to experience China in all its splendor.
“I am so captivated, engrossed and compelled to go to this incredible country. Join me in China to experience this marvel for yourself.”
— John Locher, Spirit Quest Tours’ host
A visit to China “…is a continuing investigation, a boundless, endlessly fascinating mystery.”
— Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Travel Channel
Land package includes hotels, all in-country transportation, all activities, and most meals.
The itinerary includes the best and different angles on China’s must-see sites, and also expertise from our Chinese friends and special speakers sharing about education, culture, language, family, business, religion, arts and history. We will enjoy the best food and accommodations along the way.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
1 October 14 US/Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and largest city. Beijing is a city of amazing contrasts – an ancient capital with some incredible historical sites and a bustling modern metropolis which successfully hosted the 2008 Olympics. Upon your arrival in Beijing, our guide will meet you and whisk you off to the Jianguo Garden Hotel, a 5-star luxury hotel.
The rest of the day is free to rest or to explore by yourself.
2 October 15 Beijing (B/L/SD)
Then experience the ancient emperor’s daily life at the Forbidden City, where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties governed for over 500 years. This massive complex, with almost 10,000 rooms, this well-preserved imperial palace is the largest in the world. After lunch, you will go to the Temple of Heaven, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would make offerings to heaven and pray for good harvests. This evening we will enjoy a delicious Peking Duck Banquet in the time-honored Quanjude Restaurant, which was opened in 1869.
3 October 16 Beijing (B/L)
Today you experience the splendour of the Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is an amazing man made structure built over 2000 years ago to protect China from northern invaders.
4 October 17 Beijing (B/D)
The we visit the Yonghe Lamasery, formerly an Imperial Palace and a court residence for eunuchs, and now known as “The Palace of Peace & Harmony”, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world.
After lunch we continue our exploration of Chinese spirituality and religions at the Confucius Temple.
5 October 18 Beijing/Xi’an (B/L/SD)
We take a morning flight to Xi’an, the most historic city in China and the capital of ancient China for 11 dynasties. Once in Xi’an, we will visit Da C’en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist sutras that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals. Then it’s off to the ancient Xi’an City Wall, a major landmark and the best preserved, as well as the oldest and largest of the city defense systems in China.
In the early evening, we check into the luxurious Grand Park Xi’an. Dinner is a sumptuous dumpling banquet and the spectacular Tang Dynasty stage show.
6 October 19 Xi’an (B/L/D)
Discovered accidentally in 1974, the Terracotta Warriors are an incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array, which have guarded Emperor Qing’s tomb since 210 BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits protected inside huge hangars.
On the way to the museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Houses, we will visit a Ceramic Workshop to see how the warriors are made. Then it’s back to Xi’an, where we will experience the Muslim Quarter and Bell Tower’s unique culture.
Today’s touring is to the vast treasure of the underground army of the Terracotta Warriors. They are to be found at an archaeological site which so far has yielded some 8000 ancient terracotta soldiers and horses, each a unique, finely detailed sculpture. In the afternoon visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
7 October 20 Xian-Chongqing (B/L/D)
Take early morning flight to Chongqing. Upon arrival driver 2 hours to visit Dazu stone carvings. Then you board your deluxe river Cruise. (3 off-shore excursions to Shibao Pagoda, Shennv Stream or Shennong Stream and Three Gorges Dam Site are included. Optional tours to Fengdu Ghost City and White King Town can be booked directly on-board the cruise).
8 October 21 Yangtze Cruise (B/L/D)
A peaceful day of sailing down the magnificent and fabled Yangtze.
We can visit the Ghost City in the morning and then shore excursion to Shibao Pagoda in the afternoon. Tonight is the Captains welcome dinner.
9 October 22 Yangtze Cruise (B/L/D)
In the morning we sail to the White Emperor Town. Then we pass through the spectacular Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Today’s shore excursion is to the Shennong Stream. Tonight is a farewell dinner on the cruise. Later tonight e’ll pass through the five-stage ship lock system on the north bank, the boat will be lifted through the locks more than 500 feet.
10 October 23 Yichang- Shanghai (B/L)
This morning there is a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam site, then we pass through Xiling Gorge, and disembark in Yichang. Next we transfer to airport for flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival met and transfer to hotel.
Upon arrival, we visit The Bund, which is an Anglo-Indian term for the embankment of a muddy waterfront. Today, it is the calling card for the most developed city of mainland, and we will see numerous amazing skyscrapers from there, including the Shanghai Financial Center, one of the tallest buildings in the world, and the beautiful Oriental Pearl Tower. After checking in at 5-star Shanghai Sunrise on the Bund, e’ll visit Xintiandi Bar Street, famous to visitors and locals who can watch each other there.
11 October 24 Shanghai (B/L)
After breakfast, the day begins with a grand city tour of Shanghai – the classical Ming Dynasty Yu Yuan Gardens with pavilions, towers and terraces, Jade Buddha Temple, and Pudong, the new economic district across from the Bund. The tour continues after lunch visiting Shanghai Museum.
In the morning, we visit the Jade Buddha Temple, which houses two beautiful white jade Buddha statues. Although it was built relatively recently (in 1928), this temple’s classical architecture makes a beautiful contrast to modern Shanghai. Then it’s off to Yu Yuan, Shanghai’s Old Town. There we will see the Garden of Peace and Comfort, considered the most complete and lavish Chinese gardens in the area. Afterwards, marvel over Chinese art and treasure at the Shanghai Museum.
12 October 25 Shanghai (B)
Free day to explore the city on own
Your day is free to explore more of Shanghai, shop, or just relax.
13 October 26 Shanghai- Hangzhou- Shanghai (B/L/D)
This morning, you are transferred to the train station for 1 hour bullet train ride to Hangzhou. We will take a leisurely cruise along the beautiful West Lake. Lying on the west edge of Hangzhou city, West Lake is the symbol of Hangzhou, and one of the most beautiful lakes in China. While there, we will visit Huagang Park, one of the ten scenic spots along the West Lake, where you can easily see hundreds of red carps.
Today we visit Lingyin Temple, called the Temple of Souls’ Retreat, a magnificent temple and one of the most famous south of the Yangtze River, which features rock-cut grottoes, carvings, and fresh springs. We will stroll along Qinghefang Pedestrian Street, a marvelous illustration the long history of Hangzhou. The cobblestone street is filled with well-preserved ancient two-story buildings, all hung with traditional red lanterns. Typical businesses like Chinese Medicine Pharmacies and Tea Houses operate in the same way as they have done for centuries. Coin, china and antiques museums illustrate life in times past.
Then we visit a tea plantation to sample some of the best green tea in China and to see the ancient process of refining tea. It’s easy to relax in this magnificent setting, enjoying the unique culture, tasting the fragrant tea, all while appreciating the beautiful village scenery. Then we take the fast train back to Shanghai. Tonight is the farewell dinner in Shanghai.
“As there is paradise in Heaven, so there are Hangzhou and Suzhou on earth.” -Ancient Chinese saying
14 October 27 Departure Shanghai (B)
Today is at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your flight home bound.