May 20-22 | 3 days | 1,425 $CAD/person
Xi'an – home to one of the largest burial monuments of the world; the Terracotta Army. This bustling city is the oldest of the “Four Great Ancient Capitals” of China, having witnessed several of the great Chinese dynasties including the Qin, Han and Tang.
20 May: Beijing - Xi'an
We begin our journey from Beijing to Xi'an on the famous Bullet Train, a sleek and long airplane-shaped high-speed train, which travels up to 300 km per hour.
The inside of the train offers wide windows, comfortable seats and attendants. 5-seat rows are available in the train. Upon arrival, we will check in to the Grand Dynasty Hotel, located right at the edge of the distinctive Muslim Quarter, a haven for snack lovers. The tour leader will take us on an evening stroll through this bustling part of the city.
The Muslim Quarter, known for its peculiar architecture, has structures designed with the styles of both the Ming and Qing Dynasties, but has been inhabited by Muslims for many generations, providing a rich combination of cultures to this area and the sight of over ten mosques. In its market, run by the locals, you will find all sorts of dried fruits, breads and cakes, many restaurants, and stalls of exotic food and snacks.
21 May: Terracotta Army
2,200 years ago, the Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di commissioned the creation of an estimated 8000 clay warriors, an army that would protect him in the afterlife. These clay statues, together with terracotta acrobats and bronze figures of swans and other birds, are unlike anything discovered before. During our second day, we will visit this location; learn about the intricate process of restoration, involving unprecedented modern medical technologies.
In the afternoon, we will take a bike ride on the city wall, a National Historical and Cultural site, created by the Ming Dynasty to fortify Xian, and which has impressive moats, watchtowers, corner towers and covers a total of 14km.
In the evening we visit the Tang Dynasty dancing show, one of the main attractions of Xi'an and a proud representative of Chinese entertainment; a vibrant and colorful performance which is accompanied by great Cantonese delicacies.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Tang Dynasty dancing show.
22 May: Return to Beijing
Our visit to Xi'an is now over, so we will have a morning transfer to the train station, and from there, take a bullet train once again heading towards Beijing, where we will arrive in the afternoon, marking the end of our tour. Once there, transfer to the airport is not included, but taxis are plentiful. Alternatively you can book the departure transfer. We recommend you book your flight after 19:00 (7:00 pm), to ensure you have enough time to get from the train station to the airport.
It is possible to book an extra night in Xian if you wish to spend more time exploring the city. Transfer to the train station will still be arranged just as the return train ticket will be extended with a day.
First Class ticket
It is possible to request a first class train ticket. Please email us if you wish to travel first class and we will confirm if available.
15 May | 3 hours | 95$cad/pers
This is the perfect evening out! Watch an awe-inspiring display of breathtaking stunts and gravity-defying performances by talented acrobatics.
An entertaining evening is in store for you! Prepare to be impressed by a spectacular show of breathtaking performances by a troupe of talented acrobats.
Acrobatics is a traditional Chinese performing art. The history of acrobatics in China can be traced back to Neolithic times. By 300BC, skills such as walking on 3m-high stilts and juggling daggers had been developed. The art form has evolved a great deal throughout time and today Chinese acrobatics is an inheritance of tradition and evolving techniques.
Excursions must be booked before arrival in China.
Please note: The excursion starts from the dinner restaurant around 19:00. The exact time will be announced by your tour guide.
17 May | 6 - 7 hours | 135$cad/pers
Witness the ancient art of cloisonne decoration and discover the Sacred Way leading to the Ming Tombs.
We’ll start the day with a visit to a cloisonné factory. Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metal objects or ceramics. We will be able to observe the intricate process for making cloisonné, and you will get an appreciation and historical understanding of this delicate art. After a tour, you will be able to browse a dazzling collection of various colors and styles of cloisonné.
After lunch, we'll head to the Ming tombs in a valley south of the Tianshou mountains, about 50km north of Beijing. Nestled among lush hills, with a peaceful river flowing through the center, the valley was carefully chosen in accordance with geomancy principles (Fengshui). Thirteen out of sixteen Ming emperors are buried here, and three of the tombs are open to the public. Enter the valley through the Great Red Gate – one of the largest stone archways in China – and explore the ‘Sacred Way,’ a long path leading to the tombs that is lined with larger-than-life stone sculptures. The belief was that the emperor was the Son of Heaven, and he descended to earth along the Sacred Road – he would leave that way, too. In recognition of their brilliant siting, planning, and design, as well as their unique contribution to historical and cultural understanding, the Ming Tombs (along with the Qing) have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
19 May | 1 day | 135$cad/pers.
Pay the giant pandas a visit at the Beijing Zoo, followed by an incredible tour of the imperial summer residence at the Summer Palace.
This excursion will take us to the Beijing Zoo to see the endangered giant panda. We will continue to the Summer Palace in the outskirts of Beijing.
Our day will begin with a visit to the Beijing Zoo to see giant pandas. The giant panda is an endangered species and its population is small and vulnerable. Despite being a protected species, habitat destruction and poaching continue to pose a threat to the species. After the visit to the zoo, we'll head to the Summer Palace, just outside of Beijing.
The Summer Palace was built several hundred years ago during the Jin Dynasty but has been renovated on numerous occasions since then. In 1860, it was plundered during the Second Opium War but in 1888, the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi rebuilt it using money intended for the Navy and turned it into an opulent summer retreat for the imperial family.
After the Summer Palace, we will visit a pearl exhibition hall, which is located just outside the palace. On the way back to the city, we'll make a photo stop outside the Olympic Village, where we'll be able to see the Bird's Nest National Stadium and Water Cube National Aquatics Centre. Lunch is included.