Treasures of China: A Smithsonian Family Adventure
NUMBER OF DAYS 14

OTHER China ADVENTURES:

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Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of China—from cosmopolitan cities to rural villages—on this exclusive family adventure. China is a land in transition between an ancient, storied past and an increasingly modern future, and your family has the chance to explore it all. Stroll Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing, hike in a Chinese national park, see the giant panda up close, and finish your exploration in rapidly-changing Shanghai

Included in this exceptional itinerary are several special opportunities for behind-the-scenes access and exclusive tours and activities, such as:

Opportunity to learn about restoration on the Great Wall. Enjoy exclusive access to a remnant section of the Wall, where your family has the opportunity to go behind the scenes to meet local artisans and learn about what is being done to restore this UNESCO World Heritage site, and even do some hands-on restoration work yourself, if you'd like.   

Visit to the Hanyang Tomb. China’s first underground museum, the Hanyang Tomb has specially made glass floors covering the excavation, so families can see what the tombs would have originally looked like prior to their discovery.

Three nights at the Linden Centre. This elegantly and lovingly restored villa is located along the ancient Silk Road, and was once the home of a leading merchant.  Your stay here allows you to immerse yourself into authentic China and offers opportunities to get off the beaten path and truly experience deeper aspects of local culture through various activities and events.

Final payment can be made by credit card. Exclusively on our Smithsonian Family Adventures, families are able to make their final payment by credit card.  

You will be accompanied throughout your journey by locally born experts who will reveal aspects of Chinese life that you might miss on a typical tour.  Your trip is evenly paced, so that your family can balance relaxation and adventure.  Accommodations are clean, comfortable, welcoming, and child-friendly.  And every meal is healthy and delicious, with several Western-style dinners, plus kid-pleasing options on nights when we offer local Chinese cuisine.

 

 

2015 Dates
Dates Adult Price Child Price Internal Air
06/20 - 07/03 $5,790 $5,290 $1,400
07/18 - 07/31 $5,790 $5,290 $1,400

Single supplement: $2,000

Triple discount (child under 12 sharing with two adults): $200 

Internal Air Discount: Children under 12 subtract $200

Alumni Discount: $500 per family for returning Thomson and Smithsonian Family Adventures guests

If you don’t see a date that works for you, call us; we can personalize any trip to meet your travel needs.
 
 *Minimum of six participants required.
Days 1-2 – Depart Home / Arrive Beijing 

Cross a day off the calendar as you fly over the International Date Line!  Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, you are met outside of immigration and customs, transferred to the hotel, and assisted with check-in.  Tonight meet your fellow travelers and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Days 3-5 – Beijing

Beijing has been the political and spiritual center of the Middle Kingdom for more than 500 years, and today its population tops 14 million. Your three days in the city are packed with awe-inspiring exploration, from Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, from helping to restore the Great Wall to a pedi-cab tour through old Beijing.

  • Visit Tiananmen Square
  • Explore the Forbidden City
  • Enjoy a welcome Peking Duck dinner
  • Walk the Great Wall
  • Enjoy exclusive access to a remnant section of the Wall
  • Kungfu show
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Tai chi lesson
  • Pedi-cab tour of Old Beijing 
Days 6-7 – Xi'an

Xi’an—“westerly peace”—is one of the oldest cities in China. This was the eastern end of the renowned Silk Road, connecting with such far-flung places as Constantinople, Rome, and Venice. Because of its extensive history, Xi’an is home to some of the most important archeological sites in China.

  • Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Painting and paper-cutting lesson with a local family
  • Friends Across Borders Meeting (pen pals)
  • Hanyang Tomb (Underground Museum)
Day 8 – Chengdu

Sichuan Province is home to nearly all of China’s giant pandas, and its rapidly growing city of Chengdu is also home to the Giant Panda Breeding Center. Since 1978, the Center boasts one of the best panda mating rates in the world—especially impressive since pandas only mate once a year and are extremely picky in their choice of partner! During your visit here, your family’s personal encounters with the amazing pandas are a thrilling highlight.

  • Visit the Giant Panda Research Base
  • Walk the famous Jin Li Street
  • Witness a face changing performance, Shu Feng Ya Yun
Days 9-11 – Xizhou

Xizhou town is home to the Bai ethnic minority and where your hotel is located.  The Linden Centre is in the former home of one of the Silk Road’s leading merchants, and is now a nationally protected, elegantly restored villa. There is no better place to experience China at its most authentic than here, in one of the countless rural areas that gave China its identity long before skyscrapers and big business. Enjoy a tour of the Centre as you explore its history and architecture, and settle in for a relaxed stay.   You have ample opportunities during your stay in this special place to immerse yourself in the daily life of this rural part of China.

  • Bike around Xizhou village
  • Shop at the Xizhou market
  • Learn about Cormorant fishing
  • Participate in an authentic Chinese cooking class
  • Tour a Chinese tea plantation
  • Explore Dali City
  • Taste Yunnan cuisine
Days 12-13 – Shanghai

A morning flight brings you to electric Shanghai. Boasting one of the world’s boldest urban skylines, the city is famous for its Bund, the Huangpu River waterfront area fronted by more than 50 buildings built in every architectural style imaginable. You’ll have the chance to explore the city’s many and multi-faceted delights during your time here.

  • Chinese acrobatics show
  • Shanghai city tour
  • Oriental Pearl Tower visit
  • Walk the renowned Bund
  • Farewell dinner
Day 14 – Depart Shanghai / Arrive Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel

The modern, comfortable Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel is located downtown near the famous Central Business District.  The hotel features 482 contemporary rooms. Amenities include air-conditioning, hair dryers, indoor pool, bottled water, and internet.

Hilton Hotel Xi'an

Set within the ancient city wall of Xi'an, the Hilton Xi'an hotel combines contemporary design and Tang Dynasty artwork and is just a short walk from major cultural and entertainment attractions. With its convenient downtown location and range of amenities, this hotel in Xi'an is perfect for family travelers.All of the spacious guest rooms and suites have generous work surfaces, luxurious Hilton Serenity Beds, in-room safes, and wireless internet access. The hotel features three restaurants that includes a fine dining venue, an all-day dining area, and a specialty Chinese restaurant, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor pool, and a luxury spa.

Ritz-Carlton Chengdu

Ritz-Carlton hotels are internationally recognized as some of the best and most luxurious in the world, and the Ritz-Carlton in Chengdu is no exception. The gorgeous 353-room property sits right in the middile of Chengdu, providing stunning panoramic views of downtown. The grounds are impeccably manicured and include an indoor swimming pool with underwater music, a soothing spa with 10 private treatment rooms, and several bars and restaurants serving a large variety of top-quality Chinese and international cuisine.

Linden Centre
The Linden Centre has been completely restored to the full elegance of traditional Bai style and at the same time renovated to modern Western standards. Feng shui design principles were employed by the home's original owners, and have been respected and advanced in the recent renovations. The Centre consists of just 14 rooms, and each guest room has a writing desk, wireless Internet, telephone, tea-making equipment, hair dryer, toiletries and smoke alarms. The Centre features two restaurants: a spacious Western-style room and more intimate Chinese-style dining room, both serving only the freshest food using ingredients sourced from the farms in and around Xizhou village. In addition to sumptuous regional Chinese cuisine, delicious Western fare is also prepared by the executive chef.  Other features of the Centre include a conference/meeting room, library, movie room, small exercise facility, museum highlighting the local architecture, gallery, game room and gardens with terraces and splendid views of the mountains and fields.
Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden

Located downtown near the famous Yu Garden and just minutes from the Bund, Xintiandi and Old Town.  The hotel features 341 contemporary rooms offering views across the Shanghai City skyline.  

Why China?

Fascinating, ancient history and culture
Come experience one of the most ancient civilizations on earth, a culture so rich and exotic it can’t help but fill the senses and fire the imagination. Learning comes naturally as you explore this fascinating country, which has a complex history stretching back thousands of years.
A rapidly-changing culture and growing economy
The Chinese Communist Party is the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China. Founded in 1921, the Communist Party is the world’s largest political party. In recent years, China has opened its doors to global commerce and has experienced enormous economic growth — now second only to the US with a GDP of $7 trillion. Due to this extraordinary growth, you and your children will witness a rapidly changing culture as China reacts to this new-found prosperity and influx of foreign influences.
Beijing’s many highlights include the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall
You can't miss the 4,000 mile long Great Wall as it zigzags its way through deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus. The Tiananmen Gate, built in the 1420s during the Ming Dynasty, is the foundation of Tiananmen Square. The square has evolved through the years, until it was expanded in the 1950s to roughly the size it is today. Closed to commoners for nearly 500 years, the Forbidden City is a maze of opulent palaces, serene gardens, astonishing carvings and sculptures.
Xi'an with the Terracota warriors
Not to be missed is Xi'an, former capital to eleven dynasties, and home to one of the world's most intriguing archaeological discoveries — the famous Terra Cotta Army of Xi'an. More than 8,000 life-size clay soldiers and horses have steadfastly guarded the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang for more than 2,000 years. Walk among the astonishing statues, carved to look like real men, each with its own unique characteristics and facial expressions. The statue army is complete with generals, archers, horses and foot soldiers.
Pandas
In beautiful Chengdu, graced with exotic flowers and trees that line the streets and fill its many parks, live some of China’s most loved residents: the Giant Panda bears. The Giant Panda Breeding Center features an exquisitely designed environment that imitates the panda’s natural habitat, with bamboo growing everywhere and flocks of wild birds flying overhead.
Learn about U.S. debt in Shanghai
Shanghai is the most populous city in China – and that is really saying something! It also ranks fifth on London’s Global Financial Centres Index, due to its hundreds of financial institutions and the ultra-powerful Shanghai Stock Exchange. China currently has close to $1.3 TRILLION (!) invested in United States debt, and Shanghai is a perfect place to go to learn about this debt’s effect on China as a whole, and to do our part to help stimulate China’s economy.

Why China with Thomson and Smithsonian?

Opportunity to do restoration work on the Great Wall
 Enjoy exclusive access to a remnant section of the Wall, where your family has the opportunity to do some hands-on restoration work.  You will be given bricks and tools, and the local artisans will give a demonstration on how to do the repairs before you get to work.
Visit to the Hanyang Tomb 
 China’s first underground museum, the Hanyang Tomb has specially made glass floors covering the excavation, so families can see what the tombs would have originally looked like prior to their discovery.
Visit to the Sanxingdui Museum 
 This museum is dedicated to a mysterious culture that disappeared over 3,500 years ago.  The relics are stunning, and include amazing bronze faces and gold masks that are unlike anything related to Chinese or Western antiquity.
Three nights at the Linden Centre 
 This elegantly and lovingly restored villa is located along the ancient Silk Road, and was once the home of a leading merchant.  Your stay here allows you to immerse yourself into authentic China and offers opportunities to get off the beaten path and truly experience deeper aspects of local culture through various activities and events.
Final payment can be made by credit card 
 Exclusively on our Smithsonian Family Adventures, families are able to make their final payment by credit card.
Enjoy viewing all of the “must sees” in Beijing 
 You’ll be amazed at your first sight of Tiananmen Square. At 109 acres, it is large enough to hold almost one million people! The square is home to museums, ornate halls and soaring towers. You’ll be dazzled by the sights and sounds as you stroll through this incredible plaza. Get ready for a glimpse of breathtaking opulence as you explore the Forbidden City. Built between 1406 and 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings and 8,707 rooms (out of an original 20,000 rooms). The largest remaining palace complex in the world, the Forbidden City covers approximately 170 acres. Imagine life as it was thousands of years ago, where for 500 years only rulers and their servants were allowed to enter.
Fantastic Chinese guides, and local flavor with plenty of comfort 
 Our trip to China is evenly paced, so your family keeps a satisfying balance of relaxation and adventure. Locally-born guides accompany you each step of the way to ensure pleasant encounters and to reveal subtleties of authentic Chinese culture. Accommodations are welcoming and child-friendly, and at meal time you’ll discover delicious local Chinese cuisine along with kid-pleasing options for the less adventurous.