Wonders of China
NUMBER OF DAYS 15

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Ancient. Intriguing. Exquisitely beautiful. And mind-boggling. China is a travel adventure like no other and a chance for your family to experience a nation bursting with future possibility, while discovering its fascinating millennia-old history.

You’ll travel in the company of personable local guides who reveal the subtleties of authentic Chinese culture. And our well-balanced itinerary is designed for active, inquisitive families who love to explore and learn—with all five senses. Witness an entire army of clay, 7,000 individually sculpted soldiers strong. Listen to the story-songs sung by hundreds of villagers against a backdrop of mountains and evening sky. Watch as performers change masks so quickly you won’t believe your eyes. And feel your spirit soar as you walk tall atop the Great Wall.

From walking across Beijing’s vast Tiananmen Square to exploring its narrow labyrinth of alleyways by pedi-cab... From a bike ride on the ramparts of Xi’an to meeting your pen pal, smile to smile... From sailing a bamboo raft through Yangshuo’s magical scenery to taking in the dazzling views of Shanghai from one of the world’s highest observation decks on the Pearl Tower... China promises a journey of delight and wonder, and a family vacation of memory-making moments to last a lifetime.

2014 Dates
Dates 10 or more
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
Internal Air Special
Features
06/28 - 07/12 $5,190 $5,790 $6,190 $1,100
07/26 - 08/08 $5,190 $5,790 $6,190 $1,100

*Families of 4 or more save $750 per person

2015 Dates
Dates 10 or more
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
Internal Air
06/27 - 07/11 $5,990 $6,390 $6,790 $1,200
07/25 - 08/08 $5,990 $6,390 $6,790 $1,200

Book your 2015 adventure before June 30th, 2014 and receive a $400 discount per person for groups of 2 to 5; a $800 discount per person for groups of 6 or more. 

Child Discount: $300 per child under 12 in 2014; $500 in 2015 

Triple Discount: $600 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults in 2014; $500 in 2015 

Child Under 12 Airfare in 2015: $600 

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 based on the number of people in your party.

Don't see your travel dates?

Call us, we can personalize any trip to meet your travel needs! 

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 – Beijing

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. 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.

 

  • Visit Tiananmen Square
  • The Forbidden City
  • Chinese acrobatics show
  • Peking Duck dinner
  • Walk the Great Wall
  • Olympic Village photo stop
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Pedi-cab tour of Old Beijing
Days 5-6 – 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.

 

  • Friends Across Borders Meeting (pen pals)
  • Dumpling dinner
  • View the Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Tang Dynasty Arts Museum painting lesson
  • Xi'an city wall bike ride
  • Visit the Han Tomb
Days 7-9 – 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 our visit here, your family’s personal encounters with the amazing pandas are a thrilling—and photographic— highlight.

 

  • Wenshu Monastery
  • Sanxingdui Museum
  • Shu Feng Ya Yun—face-changing performance
  • Visit Bifengxia Panda Base
  • Hike Bifengxia Gorge
  • Explore Chengdu’s Old China lanes
Days 10-13 – Yangshuo

Because of the unique geography of Guangxi Province and its sublime location on the Li River, many travelers have called the area around Yangshuo the most picturesque landscape in the world. Thomson family adventurers are always awestruck as we cruise past the remarkable “Gumdrop Mountains.” A climb to the top of Moon Hill is challenging, but worth every step!

 

  • Biking and Yulong River float trip
  • Hike Moon Hill, with its amazing natural stone arch
  • Cormorant fishing
  • Visit the ancient town of Fuli
  • “Impression Liu Sanjie” show in Yangshuo
  • Morning T'ai chi class
  • Explore stalagmites and more at Silver Cave
Days 14-15 –Shanghai

A morning flight brings us to big, brash 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. During our time here, you’ll have the chance to explore the city’s many and multi-faceted delights, both by boat and on foot.

 

  • Huangpu riverboat ride
  • Xintiandi Stroll
  • Shanghai city tour
  • Farewell dinner
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.

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 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?

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.