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Flavors of China:
Beijing, Xian, Chengdu & Shanghai
Savor all the diverse flavors of China on this culinary journey as you'll taste your way through the country's exotic culture and ancient history. Learn to cook local dishes, visit a famous night market to see savory and strange offerings, try your hand at dumpling making, see the first city in Asia to have a UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, test your spicy limits with Sichuan cuisine, enjoy an interactive hot post meal, and much more including gorging yourself on delectable dim sum!
• 4 Nights Beijing
• 2 Nights Xian
• 2 Nights Chengdu
• 3 Nights Shanghai
• Private Airport Arrival & Departure Transfers
• Private Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
• Private Evening Beijing Wangfujing Food Street Tour
•Private Terracotta Warriors Tour
• Private Old Xian Tour
• Sichuan Hot Pot in Chengdu
• Private Museum of Sichuan Cuisine plus Cooking Class
• Private Cooking Class Tour
• Daily Breakfast
Arrive Beijing:

Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, your English speaking guide will meet you for your private transfer to the hotel. After checking in, the remainder of the day is free for independent sightseeing or just relaxing. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

(Accommodations, Beijing)

After breakfast, meet your guide in the lobby for your Private Mutianyu Great Wall Tour. You'll have the opportunity to explore the much quieter Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. The 1.5 mile stretch of the Wall allows you to walk along its storied length for over an hour and visit twenty-two watchtowers, should you so choose.* Not only will you walk along this wonder of the world yourself, but you also have the opportunity to see it from above during a breathtaking cable car ride to the top. Upon returning to your hotel, the remainder of the day is at your leisure and dinner will be on your own this evening.

*The wall traverses mountains and therefore the climb can be very strenuous, as steps vary in size and condition. Please ensure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)

The day is free for independent sightseeing. In the evening, you'll experience Wangfujing on a Private Night Market Tour. Wangfujing is one of the most famous shopping streets of Beijing. The majority of the area is pedestrianized and a very popular shopping place for both tourists and residents of the capital. Many exotic foods are served on Wangfujing Snack Street.

The street is located in hutongs, just west of the main street, and is densely packed with restaurants and street food stalls. The food stalls serves a wide variety of common and exotic street food. More common fare such as chuanr (meat kebabs, commonly made of lamb) and desserts, such as tanghulu or candied fruits on a stick, are among the most popular.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)

Today, you'll have the opportunity to explore the city on own or select our optional tour, Wet Market Visit and Cooking Class and experience the vibrant sights, sounds and smells of a wet market, as well as learning to stir-fry in a hands-on cooking class. The "wet market" is the type of fresh food market commonly found in Asian countries. Wet market products are only stored for short periods of time and are always expected to be especially fresh. This type of market is the only place one can still purchase live animals such as poultry, fish and reptiles out in the open. After the tour, time for some fun as you try your hand at making some classic Chinese dishes in an exquisitely restored hutong courtyard house. You'll get to learn about the many and varied regional flavors of Chinese cookery, the use of Chinese spices and condiments, wok and cleaver skills, and of course, make some of your favorite Chinese dishes. Returning to the hotel, remainder of the day is on your own.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Beijing)
Beijing to Xian:

After breakfast, meet your driver for your private transfer to the airport en route to the mystical city of Xian. After your short 2 hour flight (not included), your driver/guide will meet you in the arrivals hall.

On the way to your hotel, we'll stop for your Private Terracotta Warriors Tour. The Terracotta Warriors Museum remains one of the world's greatest archaeological finds. The Terracotta Warriors were discovered quite by chance in 1974 by a group of peasants digging a well outside of Xi'an. These sculptures of soldiers, chariots and horses were funerary statues made to accompany China`s first emperor to the afterlife over 2100 years ago. Legend has it that it took 100,000 men 38 years to create the soldiers, which all vary in rank, posture, height, uniform and facial features. It is believed that here are still thousands of warriors and hundreds of horses and chariots buried in the three pits discovered so far. However, further excavations have been halted while researchers try to find a way to preserve the colorful paint that covers the statues from disintegrating once exposed to air. After this enlightening tour, you will check into your hotel and dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Beijing; Accommodations, Xian)

Enjoy a hearty breakfast as a Private Old Xian Full Day Tour awaits you. Our first stop will be the ancient Xian City Wall.

We'll then visit the The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 707, and named after the already existing Big Wild Goose Pagoda, due to its remarkable likeness. Damage caused by an earthquake in 1556 resulted in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda getting even smaller, its height reduced by a full two meters.

We'll take a break from touring for a dumpling lunch at renowned De Fa Chang. Dumplings are the most famous cuisine in Xian, and you'll find more varieties of this bite sized delicacy than you could have imagined. At this banquet-style lunch, you'll sample more than twenty different types of these tasty treats.

Our afternoon tour will resume with a stop at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This well preserved Buddhist pagoda was originally built in 652 AD during the Tang dynasty. We'll make our way to the Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque.

Our last stop will be Gaoyue Song's Folk House. A high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty over 300 years ago, his famous house still stands today, and won a UNESCO prize for cultural heritage protection in 2002. Inside the house, you'll be treated to a local shadow puppet show.

You will transfer back to your hotel, and dinner on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Xian)
Xian to Chengdu:

After breakfast, you'll have a private transfer to the airport for your short flight (not included) to Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province. You'll have a private transfer upon arrival to your hotel, and the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

In the evening, you'll experience a traditional culinary meal; the Sichuan Hot Pot. Hotpot is an indispensable part of cuisine in Sichuan province, and the capital of Chengdu is no exception. Much like fondue in the West, Chinese hotpot is a group dining activity where a pot of boiling broth is placed in the middle of the table in which diners cook a wide range of meats, vegetables, tofu and noodles. The traditional spicy oily broth is infused with plenty of Sichuan peppers, chilies and red chili oil, which is an excellent choice for the adventurous of spirit. For those that haven't yet fully adapted to the local palette or find it a bit too spicy, a delicious clear broth is also available.

(Breakfast, Xian; Dinner & Accommodations, Chengdu)

After breakfast, meet you guide for an exclusive Private Tour of the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine. This unique museum is the only one of its kind in the world, dedicated to the culture and history of a local cuisine. Exhibits range from antique utensils to models of dishes to a small farm with livestock. For many guests, the highlight is the outdoor courtyard holding hundreds of large clay pots for fermenting chili bean sauce, one of the defining features of Sichuan cuisine. When you've finished feasting your eyes on the museum's offerings, you'll have the opportunity to try your hand at reproducing some of the famous dishes at the cooking school in the museum. Your private class will be taught by an English-speaking instructor, who will show you how to make two classic Sichuan dishes. Afterwards, the fruits of your labor make for a tasty lunch. Returning to your hotel, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Chengdu)
Chengdu to Shanghai:

In the morning, meet your driver for the private transfer to the airport and your flight (not included) to Shanghai. A private transfer will await for the transfer to your hotel and the remainder of the day is free for relaxing or independent sightseeing. Shanghai is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings, and just across the Huangpu River, lies the Pudong district's futuristic skyline.

(Breakfast, Chengdu; Accommodations, Shanghai)

The morning is at your leisure, and later you'll have a chance to try your hand at cooking local Chinese cuisine at this fun and interactive cooking class. You can select the class, and they range from wok-focused stir fry extravaganzas to dim sum lessons where even the dough is made from scratch. Each lesson lasts between two and three hours, includes instruction for two Chinese dishes, and is beginner-friendly. Returning to your hotel, remainder of the day is free for exploring.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Shanghai)

After breakfast, meet your guide in the lobby for an optional Private Shanghai Essentials Tour of this fascinating city. You'll start at the Buddha Temple and proceed to the Yuyuan Garden or Yu Garden for short. This pearl of classical gardens was built in 1559 in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) with a history of more than 400 years, and remains a private garden of the Pan family. Afterwards, stroll to the Old Town Bazaar, which offers a good opportunity to see real Chinese life. This area offers beautiful Chinese architecture and design, coupled with hundreds of shops selling jewelries, silk, antiques, arts, crafts, souvenirs and local snacks. We'll stop for lunch and enjoy "Shanghainese cuisine" with dim sum at a local restaurant.

Later you'll, take in the most amazing view of your life from Shanghai's world-famous Bund. The Bund is the famous waterfront regarded for hundreds of years as the symbol of Shanghai. Nearby you'll stroll through Xin Tian Di, a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen and modern architecture style.

Nearby is Tianzifang, a former factory area that has been transformed into the art district of Shanghai. Here you will find many art galleries, private studios, craft shops, and some of the most charming bars and cafes in Shanghai.

Another optional tour is the Private Water Town Tour in the ancient town of Zhujiajiao, which was founded over 1700 years ago. Journey down the "Venice of the Orient" with your private guide on this fascinating tour, just one hour outside of Shanghai. Escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolis as you stroll through the serene town amid scenic canals and historical houses,that reflect the elegant Ming and Qing dynasty. Located at the confluence of several local rivers, it is still home to about 60,000 people today. The town is filled with every type of bridge imaginable, from wood to stone to marble, in differing sizes and unique styles.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Shanghai)
Depart Shanghai:
After breakfast, take your private transfer to Pudong Airport, and onward to your next Avanti destination!

(Breakfast, Shanghai)
** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change