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China & the Gardens:
Shanghai, Suzhou & Beijing
Discover China's must-see cities by High Speed Trains with an endless number of cultural, religious, and natural experiences to offer. From the bright lights and futuristic skyline in Shanghai, ancient canal city of Suzhou, to the historically incomparable capital of Beijing.
• 2 Nights Shanghai
• 3 Nights Suzhou
• 3 Nights Beijing
• Private Arrival & Departure
  Transfers Per City
• Private Shanghai
  Old & New City Tour
• ERA Acrobatic Show
• Private Tiger Hill Tour
• Kungqu Opera Evening Tour
• Private Classic Suzhou Tour
• Private Tongli Water Town Tour
• Private Silk Market Tour
• Private Tiananmen Square
  & Forbidden City Tour
• Private Mutianyu
  Great Wall Tour
• High Speed Bullet Train
  1st-Class Between Cities
• Daily Breakfast

After arrival at Shanghai Airport, you will be met by your guide for your private transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax or explore the area. Dinner on your own this evening.

(Accommodations, Shanghai)


Private Shanghai Old and New Full Day Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide for your full day tour. Your first stop will be the Shanghai Urban Planning Center, where you'll view some amazing scale models depicting Shanghai at various points in its development. Another fascinating model shows how Shanghai will look in a few decades, and Old Shanghai has been reconstructed on a lower floor, complete with cobblestones, shops and tea houses.

Your next stop will be the Shanghai Museum, containing one of the finest collections of ancient Chinese art and antiques in the world. This distinctive building was designed in the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel and contains 11 permanent and 3 rotating galleries. The museum has over 120,000 priceless pieces in its collection, including bronze, jade, ceramics, calligraphy, sculptures, paintings, furniture, imperial seals, and ancient coins.

Time for lunch and your guide can suggest some local restaurants before continuing on to your next afternoon tour.

After lunch, get your camera ready for some breathtaking pictures of the Shanghai skyline. The Shanghai World Center is fondly called The Bottle Opener for its unique rectangular opening at the top of the tower. It boasts the world's highest observation deck located above the opening and offers an impressive bird's eye view of the city for those brave enough to look down. Returning to your hotel, you can rest before dinner on your own this evening. Your guide will be able to offer several suggestions for nearby restaurants.

Back on the ground, your guide will escort you to the Bund; the famous waterfront regarded for hundreds of years as one of the most recognizable symbols of Shanghai. The architecture along the Bund is a living museum of the colonial history of the 1800s. Across the water, enormous skyscrapers rise up to create a futuristic skyline that has to be seen to be believed.

After dinner, you will be treated to the ERA Acrobatic Show, combining traditional Chinese acrobatic arts with cutting edge technology. This wondrous futuristic world is created through the use of high-tech lighting and sound effects along with elaborate costumes and original live music. ERA is a meditation on time and a love story told through a spectacular sequence of acrobatic performances. It's an experience that's guaranteed to leave you enthralled and amazed.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Shanghai)


After breakfast, meet your guide for your transfer to the Shanghai Rail Station, where you will enjoy 1st class accommodations on the High-Speed Bullet train to Suzhou (about 1 hour). Your guide will meet you for your hotel transfer, but first will stop at Tiger Hill, also known as Surging Sea Hill, and famous for its precious cultural relics, tombs of ancient kings, pagodas, temples, and scenic spots with beautiful landscapes. Legend has it that three days after the burial of He Lu, the king of the Wu State, a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it, hence its name. At the top of the hill lies Tiger Hill Pagoda. The pagoda stands on the hill's summit and has seven floors. As the oldest pagoda in the vicinity of Suzhou, it has come to be a symbol of the city and has the distinction of being China's Leaning Tower (and actually leans more than the famed Tower of Pisa). The last stop will be the famous Sword Testing Stone. King He Lu was a zealous collector of rare swords and it is said that he tested them upon this stone. The crevice thus made in the rock is the only evidence of their existence. After checking into your hotel, the rest of the day is free. Dinner will be on your own.

In the evening, you'll be treated to the Kunqu Opera, one of the oldest existing forms of Chinese opera. It dominated Chinese theater from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The style originated in the Wu cultural area and is listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 2001.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Suzhou)


Private Classic Suzhou Full Day Tour

After breakfast, your guide will meet you for your private full day tour. You'll visit the Humble Administrator's Garden, the largest and most renowned of Suzhou's famous gardens. It was built as the residence and garden of a Tang dynasty scholar and has retained the sense of serenity and refinement envisaged by its original owner. Conversely, the Garden of the Master of Nets is the smallest of the Suzhou residential gardens yet it is the most impressive because of its use of space. It conveys the feeling of tranquility and harmony and instills upon all those who visit it. Take time to enjoy lunch at a local Chinese restaurant before continuing to your next stop.

One of the highlights is the Suzhou Institute of Embroidery, or simply Su embroidery. It's considered to be one of the four major regional styles of Chinese embroidery. Images of flowers, animals, landscapes, and sometimes even calligraphy are brought to life with incredibly fine, highly detailed stitching, making it sought after, and distinct from other regions. Among its collection some of the most valuable pieces of embroidery ever made. The institute also houses a training facility and workshop where you will see the artists creating exquisitely detailed embroidered works. Our last stop will be Suzhou Museum, the last design of I. M. Pei, the famous Chinese-American architect best known for his glass and steel pyramid outside the Louvre Museum in Paris. It contains over 15,000 pieces in its collection, including paintings, ceramics, calligraphy, and more, and dating back to the Song dynasty (960-1276 AD).

Returning to your hotel, you will have dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Suzhou)


Private Tongli Water Town Tour

After breakfast, your guide will meet you for a private tour of Tongli Water Town. You'll have a leisurely 45-minute drive to Tongli in Jiangsu Province. This is a rare opportunity to witness one of the ancient water towns in the south of the Yangtze River Delta, famous for their rivers, ancient bridges and house complexes. Established in the Song Dynasty, it has a history of over 1,000 years, and is very rich in cultural heritage, including listed in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Sadly, with the rapid modernization of China, large number of historical towns have disappeared under the bulldozers, with only a handful of well-preserved historical townships remaining today. Return transfer to your hotel and dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Suzhou)

Suzhou to Beijing:

After a leisurely breakfast, your guide will meet you for your private transfer to the rail station. However, you'll stop enroute for a brief visit to the silk factory. China is known for its silk and Suzhou is most famous for silk production and has a long history of silk culture. This tour takes you through the exhibition hall which shows the history of Suzhou silk and ancient collections; the "factory at work", where you will see the complete technical process of silkworm raising, cocoon sorting, cocoon boiling, and silk reeling, rewinding and packing; and the product exhibition hall, exhibiting the main products of this factory- such as the silk wadding quilts. Afterwards, board your 1st-class Bullet Train to Beijing. After a pleasant ride through the countryside, you'll be met by your guide for your private transfer to your hotel. After checking in, relax or explore your surroundings before dinner on your own.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)


Private Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City Tour

After breakfast, an exciting day awaits you with your private tour of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of one of the world's largest public squares, measuring in at 4,700,000 square feet (over 109 acres). As you walk from the southernmost part of the square all the way down its length, your English-speaking tour guide will explain several of the monuments, including the mausoleum that houses Chairman Mao's remains. The northern gate of the square features a portrait of the Peoples Republic of China's founding father and is also the gate through which you will enter the Forbidden City. This historic monument is the best-preserved imperial palace in China, as well as the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. It was completed in 1420, and was home to 24 emperors, the last of which left Beijing in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9999 rooms, which at its peak housed up to 10,000 people, including the imperial family, 3000 eunuchs, as well as maids and concubines. Discover for yourself why the 170 acres were forbidden to common people as you stroll through what is arguably the best-preserved example of classical Chinese architecture in the world.

After your private transfer to your hotel, the rest of the day is free to explore, Dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)


Private Mutianyu Great Wall Tour

After breakfast, your guide will meet you for a 5-hour private tour of the Great Wall. You'll explore the Mutianyu section, which is not only the best-preserved, but less crowded and much quieter. Make sure you have comfortable shoes as you will have the opportunity to walk the 1.5-mile stretch. There are also 22 watchtowers to explore if you so choose. Apart from walking, you can also take the cable car, which affords breathtaking views. Chairlift tickets are included in your tour. A private transfer to your hotel completes the tour and the remainder of the day is free for shopping or just relaxing. Dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)


After breakfast, take your private transfer to the airport for your return home or on to your next Avanti destination.

(Breakfast, Beijing)

** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change