Highlights
Itinerary
Beijing
Xian
Wolong
Yangtze
Shanghai
Panda Videos

Tour package arranged by San Diego Zoo and China Advocates
See Tour Description for more details

CHINA ITINERARY

SEP 20: BEIJING
Arrive in Beijing in the early evening and transfer to the Grand Hotel downtown in Beijing.

SEP 21: BEIJING
Begin the day with a visit to the Forbidden City, the abiding symbol of traditional China. Its construction is truly one of the great feats of human history, employing hundreds of thousands of workers between 1406 and 1420. View its imperial gardens, expansive architecture, and many museums of antiques and treasures unrivaled in the world.

Visit the Liulichang Antique Street with its many shops of fine arts and antiques. Enjoy a special Beijing Duck Banquet at Shangshangyuan Restaurant.

SEP 22: BEIJING
Morning departure for the Great Wall, the visual experience that consistently exceeds visitors' expectations. Visit Mutianyu, a less-crowded section of the wall (with cable car).

Later visit the Temple of Heaven, which features stunning Ming Dynasty architecture, built in the 15th century according to the most advanced principles of mechanics and geometry available at the time.

Enjoy a Peking Operal performance.

SEP 23: BEIJING
Early morning visit to Coal Hill Park to see Chinese engaged in taiji, qigong and other health practices. Explore the Summer Palace, built in 1888 by using funds originally intended for the imperial navy. Walk down the painted Gallery, the longest covered walkway in China, decorated with exquisite landscape paintings. There is time to explore the architecture nad beauty of Kunming Lake and the newly-restored Suzhou Street.

Explore the Houhai district of Beijing, a region of old courtyard homes and hutongs that border the tree-lined lakes north of the Forbidden City. Then tour the district by pedicab to get an up close view of the traditional life that still goes on here. You'll enjoy lunch in groups of four to six at a Beijing family's private home.

Get ready for a fabulous banquet at the Fang Shan Restaurant in Beihai Park. Here the emperor's royal cuisine is a specialty.

SEP 24: BEIJING/XIAN
Fly to the ancient Tang dynasty capital, Xian and transfer to the Hyatt Hotel. Explore the History Museum which is among China's best. Also see the Xian wall.

SEP 25: XIAN
Begin the day with a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2,300-year-old terracotta warriors of China's first emperor, Qinshihuang. The warriors still stand on the actual site where they were discovered by peasants in 1974. Tour the 5,000-year-old Banpo Neolithic site, a well-preserved example of Yangshao culture. We will also walk down the Muslim street and visit the Grand Mosque.

Enjoy a Jiaozi Banquet featuring 18 kinds of dumplings.

SEP 21: XIAN/CHENGDU
Fly to Chengdu and transfer to the JinJiang Hotel. Visit the Panda Breeding Center in the city and hear the latest information on their efforts to breed pandas.

SEP 27-28: CHENGDU/WOLONG PRESERVE/CHENGDU
Morning bus to Wolong. Stay at the Wolong Guesthouse whose simple accommodations include private bathroom. Meet with US and Chinese panda experts and participate in a discussion regarding the successes and failures of panda preservation. Follow the beautiful hiking trails into the preserve. Our group will also adopt a giant panda and will have an opportunity to name him or her.

SEP 29: CHENGDU/CHONGQING
In the morning, take the bus to Chongqing. Enroute, visit the Zigong Dinosaur Museum. Also visit the Sichuan Fine Arts Gallery and General Stilwell's Museum. After dinner, pre-board Victoria cruise ship.

SEP 30 - Oct 2: YANGZI RIVER CRUISE
For four days aboard the Victoria, cruise down China's greatest natural wonder, the Yangzi River, and thrill at the beauty of the Three Gorges. The gorges began to form 70 million years ago when two mountain ranges collided and the river began to erode the gorges to their present state. Unfortunately, this geological marvel soon will disappear as a result of the dam construction now underway. The Qutang, Wu, and Xiling gorges each have their own visual power, with cliff walls and dramatic vistas revealing themselves as the ship passes through.

Disembark daily to visit a number of scenic spots including the "City of Devils," Fengdu, and a poet's memorial at Ziqui. Enjoy a thrilling side trip through the steep canyons of the Three Small Gorges. See hanging coffins in the cliffs, an old Qing Dynasty village, as well as the immense Three Gorges Dam at Sandouping. This is an exhilarating four days.

OCT 3: WUHAN/SHANGHAI
Cruise ends in Wuhan on the fourth day. Take an afternoon flight to Shanghai and stay at the Peace Hotel on the famous Bund by the Huangpu River.

OCT 4: SHANGHAI
Explore the Shanghai Art and History Museum, with its outstanding art collection. Evening farewell banquet at JingJiang Hotel North Wing, famous for its Shanghai cuisine.

OCT 5: SHANGHAI/TOKYO
Depart for Tokyo, and the next leg of our trip.

Adventure Leader
Dr. Meg Sutherland-Smith has worked as a veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo for the past 10 years. She has traveled to several cities in China to participate in the CBSG (Captive Breeding Specialist Group) Giant Panda Biomedical Survey. She was an instructor for a workshop on veterinary medicine for Chinese veterinarians held in Chengdu. She has also had the opportunity to visit the China Research and Conservation Center of Giant Panda in Wolong during the birthing season. She welcomes you to share her enthusiasm for the natural and cultural history of China as well as the culinary adventures.


Copyright 2001 - Ann Mei Chang