13 Days Picturesque and Classical Gardens China Tour
Tour Code: CCT04
Tour Duration: 13 Days
Destination: Beijing, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Shanghai, Suzhou
Tour overview: China’s traditional gardens are truly breathtaking and this China tour showcases them. You will also get to see some of the most exciting and cultural cities in China. You will begin in Beijing, China’s capital. You will see such spectacular sites as; the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven. You will then visit Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), known as one of the most beautiful mountains on earth. You will then visit the city of Hangzhou, famous for its Dragon Well Tea. You will then visit Suzhou. Filled with traditional Chinese gardens, Suzhou is a wonderful destination. You will then visit Shanghai, which has a culture which blends Chinese and Western culture.
- Tour Summary
- Day by Day Itinerary
|Tour Dates||Destinations||Services Provided||Meals Included|
Arrive in Beijing, be met and transferred to hotel.
Full day visit Tiananmen Square Forbidden City The Temple of Heaven
Full day visit Badaling Great Wall Ming Tombs The Sacred Way .On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) ,feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.
Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for flight to Huangshan, free at the rest of the day.
Full day visit Yellow Mountain ,stay overnight on the top of the mountain.
In the early morning, you can enjoy the famous Huangshan sunrise.Then take cable car down, following to Hongcun Ancient Village and Xidi Ancient Village .
In the morning, be transferred to the bus station and take express bus to Hangzhou, be met and visit West Lake
Full day visit FeiLaiFeng (also named Ling JiuFeng) Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat) Six Harmonies Pagoda and Dragon Well Tea Plantation, enjoy demonstration of hand processing of the Dragon Well tea in the Meijiawu Teahouse.
In the morning, be transferred to the railway station and take train to Suzhou.Arrive in Suzhou, be met and visit Tiger Hill Humble Administrator's Garden
Full day visit Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in) Lion Grove The Grand Canal The No.1 Silk Factory Panmen Scenery Area
Free at leisure till be transferred to railway station and take train to Shanghai.Arrive in Shanghai, be met and visit Nanjing Road The Bund ,watch a breathtaking Acrobatic Show in the evening.
Full day visit Shanghai Museum Oriental Pearl TV Tower Jade Buddha Temple Yuyuan Garden
|Day 13||Shanghai||Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details...||B|
|Season||Tour Class||Group Size||Single Room
|Peak Season||3*(Tourist Class)||$2864||$1690||$1343||$448|
Price Inclusions and Exclusions
Price IncludeA. Entrance fees：To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Price ExcludeA. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
Day 1 Arrival Beijing
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Then you will spend the rest of the day at your leisure, or resting and catching up on your jet lag.
Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing. In the park nearby local people practice Tai Chi or sing and dance relaxingly. They will invite you to join in with these activities which will become a very worthwhile and unforgettable experience.
After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. (Also Bertolucci's film "The Last Emperor" was produced here). Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way
After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!
In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. Finally, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors and visit one of the spectacular tombs, indeed an underground palace.
On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the, Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium), National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube'),feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.
Day 4 Beijing / Huangshan (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
This day will be free at your own leisure today until our guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to Huangshan.
After your arrival in Huangshan, you will be met and transferred to the hotel, to enjoy some leisure time for the rest of the day.
Day 5 Huangshan (B, L,)
Sightseeing: Mt. Huangshan
In the morning, you will be transferred to the foot of Mt. Huangshan, take cable car to the top of it and make a tour to North Sea Scenic Area and other peaks. This night, you will stay on top of the mountain.
Mt. Huangshan, known as "the loveliest mountain in China", is famous for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of clouds. Its landscape features “four wonders” of imposing peaks, spectacular rocks, odd-shaped pines, and a sea of clouds. Mount Huangshan boasts 72 peaks, more than 1,000 meters above sea level, with three main peaks rising majestically. The famous Welcoming Guests (Yingke) Pine (1,500 years old) and See-Guest-Off Pine have become a symbol of being faithful, unyielding and hospitable.
Day 6 Huangshan (B, L)
Sightseeing: Xidi and Hongcun Ancient Villages
This morning you will enjoy the famous Huangshan sunrise. Afterwards we’ll take a cable car down the mountain and continue to visit Xidi Ancient Village. First built 900 years ago in Song Dynasty, its traditional architecture is still well preserved. The buildings and the street patterns reflect the socio-economic structure of a long-lived settled period of Chinese history.
Our next stop will be Hongcun Ancient Village: Being an over 800 years old town leaning against Mt. Huangshan, it is folded in the fog of the Mountain which makes it look like a river. You will see that it is as beautiful as a Chinese landscape drawing. The famous film "Crouching Tiger" was produced here.
Day 7 Huangshan / Hangzhou (B, L)
Sightseeing: West Lake
In the morning, you will be transferred to the bus station and take the express bus to Hangzhou. There, you will be met by our local guide and visit beautiful West Lake with him. We will take a cruise boat across the lake to see the 3 pagodas in the lake. The West Lake is the most famous tourist spot of Hangzhou. Graceful mountains surround it on three sides. It has a charming scenery and many cultural relics and historic sites.
Day 8 Hangzhou (B, L)
Sightseeing: FeiLai Feng, Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat),Six Harmonies Pagoda, Dragon Well Tea Plantation
Today you will visit Lingyin Temple including the FeiLai Feng. The Fei Lai Feng is situated in the east of Ling Yin Temple. Isolated from others, its stone quality is totally different from that of surrounding mountain groups. It is 167 meters high, on the peak there are many grotesque stones in the shapes of charming dragon, prostrate tiger, walking elephant and scared ape. The main hall of Lingyin Temple is about 34 meters (111 feet) tall - incredibly high for a one-storey building. In the center of the hall you’ll find the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, which was carved from 24 pieces of camphor wood. The temple was named Lingyin Temple for its extremely beautiful environment which is serene and suitable for "Soul’s Retreat".
After having lunch at local restaurant, we will drive to the Six Harmonies Pagoda, highly erected next to Qiantang River and in the south of the West Lake. It is a perfect examplel of brick-and-wood structure built in ancient China and was built in 970 AD in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) to press down the evil of the river tidal bore in Qiantang River.
Dragon Well Tea is well known worldwide, so you will be guided to the Dragon Well Tea Plantation to discover the history of Chinese tea and the tea ceremony. The water of dragon well is sweet and of good taste. The green tea here enjoys very high reputation since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D) for its four special features: green color, fragrant aroma, sweet taste and smooth appearance. Finally you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 9 Hangzhou / Suzhou (B, L)
Transfer via: soft seat train arranged by us
Sightseeing: Humble Administrator’s Garden, Tiger Hill
In the morning you will be escorted to the railway station to take the express train to Suzhou. Suzhou is praised as the "Oriental Venice" and called a "paradise on earth".
Upon your arrival in Suzhou, our guide will meet you and escort you to a local restaurant to have lunch. In the afternoon you will visit Humble Administrator’s Garden, the largest classical garden in Suzhou and one of the four most famous ones in China. Originally built in 1513 AD, it consists of three parts with different types of buildings around streams and ponds.
Then we will move on to Tiger Hill (Huqiu). Tiger Hill is the most famous sight in Suzhou city, enjoying the reputation of "The first scenic spot in Wu area" due to its imposing beauty; This includes Leisure Spring, Testing Sword Rock, Third Spring, Broken-Pillar-Hall and Mountain Villa Wrapped in Emerald Green etc. With only 36 meters of height and an area of 20hectares, you might think it to be an artificial hill, but its history can be traced back 2500 years ago.
Day 10 Suzhou (B, L)
Sightseeing: Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in), Lion Grove, The Grand Canal, The No.1 Silk Factory, Panmen Scenery Area
Toady we will visit the most classical gardens of China. Our first stop will be Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous gardens of China. The garden is celebrated for its artistic way of handling the spaces between various architectural forms and garden courts. With pavilions, terraces, grotesque rocks, clear streams and rare vegetations, the corridors separate the garden into several courtyards with distinct styles.
Lion Grove is one of the four noted gardens of Suzhou. It was first built in 1342 during Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and is truly exquisite in design. When entering the garden, the you will find stones in various interesting shapes.
Afterwards, we will visit the Grand Canal. As well as the Great Wall, it ranks as the country's greatest engineering achievement and it is the longest man-made waterway in world. Cruising on the Canal, you will see the local peoples’ life.
As Suzhou is also famous for its silk production we will spend some time in the No.1 Silk Factory to see how silk is processed from the silk worm to the final woven cloth.
Finally we will stop at Pan Gate which is an ancient city gate with land and water entrances. Gates with land and water entrances were quite typical in ancient China. Pan Gate is the only one left.
Day 11 Suzhou / Shanghai (B, L)
Transfer via: soft seat train arranged by us
Sightseeing: the Bund, Nanjing Road
In the morning, you will have some leisure time until you will be transferred to the railway station by our guide and take the express train to Shanghai.
After your arrival you will be met by our local guide and visit the Bund. Take a walk along the waterfront and experience the smells, sights and sounds of the old "Wall Street" in Shanghai. Actually, some people say that the Bund is like "an exhibition of buildings". Finally we will walk along the famous pedestrian street-Nanjing Road, known as "China's No.1 Shopping Street". In the evening you will watch a breathtaking Acrobatic Show.
Day 12 Shanghai (B, L)
Sightseeing: Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden
Today we will start with a visit of Shanghai Museum which is the biggest museum of China. It incorporates a collection of over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art & cultural relics and is especially famous for its treasures of bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy.
Then we head to the Jade Buddha Temple. The old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Both, the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.
After lunch, we will visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia, which creates a picture of twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all year-round.
Then we will take a relaxing walk to the lovely Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful garden in the south of the Yangtze River. Wandering through it, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features.
Day 13 Departure Shanghai (B)
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.
Hello Sandy, Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190214-S Tour Starting Date: Thursday, 14 February 2019
Client's information: Annette Esselborn, Germany
We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.
The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.
Our heartfelt thanks!
Hi Sandie! Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! We are ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190105-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 5 January 2019
Client's information: Nancy Tuksaudom,USA
Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you!
We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.
We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par.
We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc.
I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you.
The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs.
Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)
Hello Sandy, Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip. Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planne... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20181012-S Tour Starting Date: Friday, 12 October 2018
Client's information: Gracie Chan, USA
We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.
Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!
Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.
I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!
My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.
We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.
The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.
Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.
My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.
My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.
The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.
We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?
Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.
We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.
Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?
I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.
Dear Sandy, Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180924-S Tour Starting Date: Monday, 24 September 2018
Client's information: Sergey Shunailov, Russia
It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot. If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot.
If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Hi Sandy, It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang.... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180922-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 22 September 2018
Client's information: Thomas Anthony Lucker, USA
It was great and the guide was tremendous!
It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang. :)
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China an... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180908-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 8 September 2018
Client's information: Robert William Miller, USA
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique.
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China and other countries as well. We didn’t take lunch but asked rather to see another grotto. Would recommend going to the small grotto and then the larger one and then museum in that order.
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What Our Customers Say
Thank you for your request. We had a
wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall.
The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of
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