Wonders of China

NUMBER OF DAYS 15

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Discover the ancient history, magical landscapes, and indescribable wonder of China on this family vacation adventure! Our well-balanced itinerary is designed for active, inquisitive families who love to explore and learn—with all five senses. See an entire army of 6,000 clay soldiers, hear the story-songs sung by hundreds of villagers against a backdrop of mountains, smell and taste the delectable flavors of dumplings and Peking duck, and feel your spirit soar as you walk tall atop the Great Wall.

2017 Dates
Dates 2 to 5
travelers
in your party
6 to 9
travelers
in your party
10 or more
travelers
in your party
Internal Air
06/24 - 07/08 $6,990 $6,590 $6,190 $1,200
07/22 - 08/05 $6,990 $6,590 $6,190 $1,200

Internal Air: $1,200 Adult/$600 Child (subject to change)

Child Discount: $500 per child under 12; $800 for 2017 trips  

Triple Discount: $500 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults ; $200 for 2017 trips

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual mentor throughout, area specialists, all meals except 1 lunch and 2 dinners, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Prices are per person and based on the number of people in your party.

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Days 1-2: Depart Home / Arrive Beijing

Welcome to China— one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth! With its rich and fascinating culture, beautiful landscapes, and timeless traditions, this exotic land offers a truly once-in-a-lifetime family adventure!

Days 3-4: Hike the Great Wall / Visit Tiananmen Square / Watch an Acrobat Show

The capital of China and its second largest city after Shanghai, Beijing has been the political and spiritual center of the Middle Kingdom for more than 500 years.  

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Today its population tops 14 million. Our three days in the city are packed with awe-inspiring exploration, from Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, from the Great Wall to the Olympic National Stadium. Try the famous and delicious Peking duck for dinner and take a Pedi-cab tour of Old Beijing, a scene much different than the main centers of the city!

Days 5-6: See the Terracotta Warriors / Enjoy a Dumpling Dinner / Xi'an City Wall Bike Ride 

Xi’an—“westerly peace”—is one of the oldest cities in China. This was the eastern end of the renowned Silk Road, connecting to far-flung places such as Constantinople, Rome and Venice. 

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Because of its extensive history, Xi’an is home to some of the most important archeological sites in China. Xi’an is also home to the famed Terra Cotta Warriors. The 6,000 strong hand crafted clay army that was created to protect the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in the afterlife. Xi’an is also the place where your kids will take part in the Friends Across Borders meeting! Visit the Tang Dynasty Art museum where kids will meet and play with their new friends.

Days 7-8: Visit a Panda Breeding Center / Hike Bifengxia Gorge / See a Face-Changing Show

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. 

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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! Visiting here will be your family’s photographic highlight while watching the cute and amazing creatures go about their day! Spend time in Chengdu along the famous and lively Jin Li Street and watch a “face-changing” performance— a 300-year-old dramatic art that showcases elaborate costumes and performers changing their masks at the blink of an eye! 

Days 9-10: Explore Flute Cave / Visit Elephant Trunk Hill / Attend a Tea Ceremony Demonstration

Located along the picturesque Li River, Guilin is known for the karst formations - landscapes shaped by layers of bedrock or limestone - that are dotted throughout the city.

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Reed Flute Cave is the largest karst cave in Guilin and is home to an amazing array of stalagmites and stalactites that make the cave reminiscent of the most ornate cathedrals or palatial halls. The stone pillars, curtains, and countless other rock formations only add to the ambiance. Hike on Elephant Trunk Hill and Fubo Hill to see some of Guilin’s more unique limestone formations up close! Also, attend a special tea ceremony to taste and learn about the beverage that is one of the seven necessities of Chinese life.

Day 11-13: Hike Moon Hill / Take a T'ai Chi Class / Float Down the Yulong River

The unique geography of the Guangxi Province and its sublime location on the Li River has given this area a reputation as one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world. 

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In the morning, wake up and take a T’ai Chi class. This ancient martial art uses slow, methodical movements to reach a state of relaxation in both the body and mind. Talk about the perfect way to start a day! Travelers are often awe-struck as they cruise past the Gumdrop Mountains on the Yulong River and equally impressed to hike up to the top of Moon Hill for an incredible view of Yangshuo and see its curious and gorgeous natural stone arch.

Day 14: Stroll in the Yu Gardens / Stand Atop the World Financial Center / Explore Xintiandi

Boasting one of the world’s boldest and most memorable urban skylines is Shanghai.

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The city is famous for the international neighborhoods of Bund and Pudong and the Huangpu River waterfront area. With more than 50 buildings built in every architectural style imaginable, the riverfront is one of the most exciting backdrops for a family picture! During your time here, you’ll have the chance to explore the city’s many and multi-faceted delights from going to the observation deck of the World Financial Center, once the world’s tallest building, to the trendy neighborhood of Xintiandi and the tranquil and beautiful Yu Gardens.

Day 15: Depart Shanghai / Arrive Home

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your international flight home. Cross the International Date Line and arrive back the same day to see family and friends!

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.

Green Lotus Yangshuo Hotel

The Green Lotus Yangshuo hotel is situated in the center of scenic Yangshuo Town, next to the world-famous West Street. The hotel offers over 300 comfortable rooms with exquisite views of the river and mountains. Highlights of the hotel include a swimming pool, sauna, 2 restaurants and bars and high-speed internet access.

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 6,000 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?

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.
Get off the beaten path in Yangshuo
 Explore Yangshuo, a picturesque town dotted by karst formations — a fascinating landscape of limestone mountains and formations. You and your kids will feel like you've stepped back into old China as you walk the ancient villages. Floating down the Li River en route to Yangshuo, you’ll see vivid green rice paddies framed by the enormous Gumdrop Mountains in the distance. Keep an eye out for water buffalo patrolling the fields and fisherman floating on bamboo rafts. And don’t miss Cormorant fishing! The Cormorant is not a fish – it’s actually a bird that is used to catch fish. It’s a remarkable experience to witness people and birds working together in harmony in a tradition that dates back more than a millennium.
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.