Majestic Scenery 15-Day Tour (CIT010)

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CIT010 Photo Itinerary Icon - 150 x 150 CIT010 PDF icon CIT010 Chinese Page Icon - 中文頁 - 150 x 150 CIT010 PDF icon - Chinese
Mounigou icon with text - 75 x 75 Jiuzhaigou icon with text - 75 x 75 Chengdu icon with text - 75 x 75 Leshan icon with text - 75 x 75 Emeishan (Mount Emei) icon with text - 75 x 75 Zhangjiajie icon with text - 75 x 75 Fenghuang icon with text - 75 x 75
Chengdu - Bianlian - Joan S.W.J. - 112 x 140
Bianlian show
(photo by S.W.J.)

Day 1: Departure from U.S.A.
Today you will board a plane bound for China, where you will witness the vicissitudes of China’s five thousand-year history.  Your tour will begin in the dynamic capital city of Beijing, a city that encompasses the vast range of China’s cultural styles.

Day 2: BeijingChengdu
Today you will arrive in Beijing and take a connecting flight to the famous city of Chengdu, in Sichuan Province.  CIT will have a professional bilingual tour guide greet you at the airport and accompany you to the hotel where you will be staying overnight to recover from your trip.
Chengdu Accommodations: Green Land Hotel 绿洲大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent

Day 3: ChengduHuanglongJiuzhaigou
After breakfast, you will head to the airport to take a domestic flight to Huanglong Airport.  After your arrival, you will board a bus to go sightseeing at Mouni (or Muni) Valley, which features primeval forests and magnificent waterfalls, the most famous of which is Zhaga Waterfall, the most famous “calcified waterfall” in China.  As the water rushes down the staircase-like course of the falls, it produces a thunderous sound that echoes through the forest.
Jiuzhaigou Accommodations: Grand Jiuzhaigou Hotel 星宇國際大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 3 Attractions:

Jiuzhaigou - Sword Stone - Alpha - 180 x 120
Sword Stone, Jiuzhaigou
(photo by Alpha)
  • Mouni (or Muni) Valley (牟尼沟, Móunígōu or Mùnígōu)
    • Zhaga Waterfall (扎嘎瀑布, Zhāgā Pùbù)

Day 4: Jiuzhaigou
After enjoying your breakfast, you will enter Jiuzhaigou (literally “Nine-Village Valley”) National Park, named for its nine villages populated by people of the Tibetan minority.  Jiuzhaigou is famous for its breathtaking scenery, including 108 mountain lakes, waterfalls, snowy peaks, and forests, as well as for its Tibetan cultural atmosphere, and its beauty is so spectacular that it is often described as a “paradise on earth” or a “fairytale world.”  After you have been to Jiuzhaigou, you will have enjoyed some of the most beautiful scenery the world has to offer.  For dinner, you will enjoy a buffet-style dinner featuring local foods, and we have arranged a Tibetan-style song and dance performance for you as well.
Day 4 Attractions:

Jiuzhaigou - lake and falls - Christopher - 180 x 120
Jiuzhaigou waterfall and lake
(photo by Christopher)
  • Jiuzhaigou National Park (九寨沟国家公园, Jiǔzhàigōu Guójiā Gōngyuán)
  • Special Arrangements: buffet of local foods, Tibetan song and dance performance

Day 5: JiuzhaigouChengdu
After breakfast, you will head to the airport to board a flight back to Chengdu.  Then you will proceed to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you will be able to get an up-close look at the lives of pandas, China’s “national treasures” and “living fossils,” in natural habitats, and even take pictures with them.  Afterward, you will visit Chengdu’s China Alley (literally “Wide and Narrow Alleys”), where you can get a taste of how life in the city has changed over the last 300 years.  Although Chengdu has taken on a modern vibe in recent years, here you can feel the energy of traditional life that is at the root of modern Chengdu.  After dinner, you will take in a Sichuan Opera “Face-Changing” performance, in which the performer inexplicably flashes through a long series of masks that seem to change magically.  The performance will leave you awestruck as you struggle to figure out how the trick is accomplished.
Chengdu Accommodations: Green Land Hotel 绿洲大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 5 Attractions:

Chengdu - panda - Chen Wu - 210 x 140
Giant panda, Chengdu
(photo by Chen Wu)
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (熊猫基地, Xióngmāo Jīdì)
  • China Alley (宽窄巷子, Kuānzhǎi Xiàngzi)
  • Special Arrangements: Sichuan Opera “Face-Changing” (变脸, Biànliǎn) performance

Day 6: ChengduLeshanMount Emei
After breakfast, you will travel to the city of Leshan (“Happy Mountain”), where you will board a riverboat to see the Leshan Giant Buddha, which at a height of 71 meters is the largest stone Buddha statue in the world.  The aesthetic knowledge and skill of the ancient artisans who created it over 1200 years ago will deeply impress you.  Next, you will head south of Chengdu to Mount Emei, one of China’s “four great Buddhist mountains” and also one of its most beautiful mountains, where you will take a tour of both the badly translated Declare Nation Temple, Mount Emei’s most famous temple, and Crouching Tiger Temple, named for its secluded location in the midst of a forest.
Mount Emei Accommodations: Hua Sheng Hotel 華生大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 6 Attractions:

Leshan - Buddha - Bernt Rostad - 180 x 120
Leshan Giant Buddha
(photo by Bernt Rostad)
  • Leshan Giant Buddha (乐山大佛, Lèshān Dàfó)
  • Mount Emei (峨眉山, Éméi Shān)
    • Declare Nation Temple (报国寺, Bàoguó Sì)
    • Crouching Tiger Temple (伏虎寺, Fúhǔ Sì)
  • Special Arrangements: riverboat trip on the Minjiang River (岷江, Mín Jiāng)

Day 7: Mount Emei (Éméi Shān)
After breakfast, you will have a chance to enjoy Mount Emei’s famed Cloud Sea, whose constantly transforming appearance will dazzle and move you.  Afterward, you will take a bus to the gondola station and then proceed to the top of the Golden Summit, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding area.  If you are lucky, you will witness a fantastic light phenomenon, called by various names including “Buddha’s Light” or “Buddha’s Aureole,” caused by the sunlight striking the clouds at a specific angle.  There you will also see the tallest gold-plated bronze Buddha statue in the world, at a height of 48 meters and with a total weight of 660 metric tons (including the base it stands on).  The fruit of the efforts of artists from both Taiwan and mainland China, the statue is an marvel of aesthetic beauty and cultural value.  You will also take a tour of the Emeishan Museum, whose exhibits emphasize both the cultural depth and the natural beauty of Mount Emei.
Day 7 Attractions:

Mount Emei - Wan Fo Peak - Lyle Vincent - 200 x 120
Mount Emei scenery
(photo by Lyle Vincent)
  • Cloud Sea (云海, Yúnhǎi)
  • Golden Summit (金頂, Jīndǐng)
  • Emeishan Museum (峨眉山博物館, Éméishān Bówùguǎn)
  • Special Arrangements: gondola (cable car) trip to the top of Mount Emei

Day 8: Mount EmeiChengdu
After leaving Mount Emei, you will head to Luodai Ancient Town, which is notable for the Qing Dynasty-style architecture of its buildings and for its many historic sites.  Many of these sites are connected to China’s famous Hakka minority group, including the “four great Hakka guild halls of northern Sichuan,” Hakka museums, and Hakka parks.  Next, you will visit the Jinsha Ruins Museum, which was built after the ruins of an important center of government, culture, and commerce that flourished more than 3,000 years ago were accidentally discovered on the site in 2001.  Until this discovery, this civilization was entirely unknown, as there is no historical record of its existence.  The museum features many fascinating artifacts unearthed at the site, as well as an excavation exhibit that some consider even more stunning than the First Emperor’s terracotta soldiers.
Chengdu Accommodations: Green Land Hotel 绿洲大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 8 Attractions:

Chengdu - Jinsha Ruins - gold mask - Einar Fredriksen - 180 x 120
Gold mask, Jinsha Ruins
(photo by Einar Fredriksen)
  • Luodai Ancient Town (洛带古城, Luòdài Gǔchéng)
  • Jinsha Ruins Museum (金沙遗址博物馆, Jīnshā Yízhǐ Bówùguǎn)

Day 9: ChengduZhangjiajie (Wulingyuan)
Today you will take a flight to Wulingyuan Scenic Area (often referred to as “Zhangjiajie”) in northwes-tern Hunan Province.  This area includes Zhangjiajie, a town where minority groups, including the Tujia, Bai, and Miao, make up 69% of the population. Wulingyuan, which in December of 1992 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been called “the origin of Chinese landscape painting.”  It features hundreds of mountain peaks, surrounded by thousands of peak-like rock formations called “karst upthrusts” and crisscrossed by numerous streams, and the scenery here is simultaneously strange, elegant, stimulating, and tranquil.
Zhangjiajie Accommodations: Kai Tian International Hotel 凯天国际大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent

Day 10: Zhangjiajie
After breakfast, you will head to Son of Heaven Mountain in the northeast part of Wulingyuan.  The mountain’s fame began in the Song Dynasty, when a leader of the Tujia minority group declared himself emperor but later died tragically.  You will take a gondola high up the mountain to witness the strange and breathtaking sight of the “thousand peaks” rising through the clouds and mist.  Afterward, you will visit He Long Park, which was built in 1986 for the 90th anniversary of the famous General He Long’s birthday.  The park features a combination of natural and artificial landscapes, as well as the largest bronze statue designed and built in China in the last hundred years.  Next, you will see a naturally formed stone bridge connecting two peaks, called the First Bridge in the World because its great height and width make it so breathtaking.  The next stop on your tour is Yuanjiajie, another part of Wulingyuan in which there is a high concentration of remarkable sights, including Houhuayuan (“Backyard Garden”).  This area takes its name from its natural landscape of stone formations interspersed with streams, which seems almost as if it had been designed for an emperor’s palace.  You will also take a ride up the side of a cliff in the Bailong (“Hundred Dragons”) Sightseeing Elevator, which holds world records as the world’s fastest, highest-capacity, and tallest sightseeing elevator, as well as the tallest outdoor elevator.  From the elevator you will enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the Zhangjiajie area.
Day 10 Attractions:

Zhangjiajie - blue sky - Angel Xu - 180 x 120
Karst peaks, Zhangjiajie
(photo by Angel Xu)
  • Son of Heaven Mountain (天子山, Tiānzǐ Shān)
  • He Long Park (贺龙公园, Hè Lóng Gōngyuán)
  • First Bridge in the World (天下第一桥, Tiānxià Dìyī Qiáo)
  • Yuanjiajie (袁家界, Yuánjiājiè)
    • Houhuayuan (后花园, Hòuhuāyuán)
  • Bailong Sightseeing Elevator (百龙电梯, Bǎilóng Diàntī)
  • Special Arrangements: gondola (cable car) ride up Son of Heaven Mountain, sightseeing elevator ride

Day 11: Zhangjiajie
After breakfast, you will head to Yellow Lion Village (also called Yellow Stone Village), located on a mountain plateau at an elevation of 1300 meters above sea level, where the mountains, rivers, rocks, clouds, forests, and animals are all wondrous and strange. You will visit the Golden Whip Stream scenic area, which features the most beautiful scenery in all of Wulingyuan.  The stream itself is 5.7 kilometers long, winding among peaks and clouds; with its crystal-clear water, fish swimming to and fro, lush flowers and plants, and singing birds, it’s as if you’re walking in a painting.  As you approach the beginning of the stream at “Water Flowing Among Four Gates,” you will see a series of striking sights considered by many the best scenery in all of Wulingyuan, with fanciful names like “Thousand-Mile Meeting” and “Split the Mountain to Save Mother.”  You will also take in the Ten-Mile Art Gallery, a scenic area with about 200 different rock formations that vaguely resemble various human and animal shapes.
Day 11 Attractions:

Zhangjiajie - Golden Whip Stream 3 - Jason - 180 x 120
Golden Whip Stream, Zhangjiajie
(photo by Jason)
  • Yellow Lion Village (黄狮寨, Huángshīzhài), also called Yellow Stone Village (黄石寨, Huángshízhài)
  • Golden Whip Stream (金鞭溪, Jīnbiān Xī)
  • Ten-Mile Art Gallery (十里画廊, Shílǐ Huàláng)

Day 12: ZhangjiajieFenghuang
Today you will travel to Fenghuang, a riverside town with ancient city walls and gate towers located in western Hunan Province near the northern part of Guizhou Province.  During the Qing Dynasty, it became a government and military center.  A number of minority groups are represented in Fenghuang, including the Miao, Tujia, and Hui groups, so the town has a rich multicultural atmosphere.  If you want to witness authentic Hunan culture, you can’t miss Fenghuang Old Town.
Fenghuang Accommodations: Phoenix Grand Hotel 天下鳳凰大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent

Day 13: Fenghuang
After breakfast, you will take a leisurely tour of Fenghuang (“Phoenix”) Old Town, which features sights and scenes from traditional life in the city such as the market on the Tuo River, women washing clothes in the river, outdoor cafes along the river, an old outdoor theater where many artists still gather today, and numerous old temples and famous buildings (including Three Kings Temple, Wuhou Temple, and Wenchang Pavilion, which you can find on a city map and explore).  Then you will tour Diaojiao Louqun, a cluster of traditional Miao buildings where you will have a chance to observe the culture and lifestyle of some of China’s ethnic minority groups up close, and walk the area’s cobblestone streets (石板街, shíbǎn jiē), famously described by the writer Shen Congwen in the novel Frontier City.
Day 13 Attractions:

Fenghuang - Tuo River gondolas and buildings - Quentin Scouflaire - 200 x 150
Gondolas in Fenghuang
(photo by Quentin Scouflaire)
  • Fenghuang Old Town (凤凰古城, Fènghuáng Gǔchéng)
    • Tuo River (沱江, Tuó Jiāng)
    • Three Kings Temple (三王庙, Sānwáng Miào)
    • Wuhou Temple (武候庙, Wǔhòu Miào)
    • Wenchang Pavilion (文昌阁, Wénchāng Gé)
    • Diaojiao Louqun (吊脚楼群, Diàojiǎo Lóuqún)

Day 14: FenghuangZhangjiajieGuangzhou
Today you will leave the elegance of Fenghuang’s traditional atmosphere and return to Zhangjiajie, where you will take a flight to the modern and prosperous city of Guangzhou (Canton) in southern China.  After your arrival, your guide will escort you to your hotel to rest.  You will then be free to do whatever you would like: explore the city or just visit with your family and friends.
Guangzhou Accommodations: Landmark Canton Hotel 华厦大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent

Day 15: Departure from China via Guangzhou
After breakfast, you will wrap up your tour of China’s most majestic natural scenery by boarding a flight back to the United States and home, sweet home!

For 2015 prices and departure dates, please contact us.

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