China Archaeology Tour

14 Days Beijing/Datong/Taiyuan/Pingyao/Xian/Shanghai

The itinerary features some of the most famous landmarks and World Cultural Heritage sites: Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terra-cotta Warriors, Yungang Grottoes, and Pingyao Ancient Town.
For booking information, terms and conditions, please contact us:

Day 1: Entry Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and transfer to a hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore this old, thriving and modern metropolis.
Day 2: Beijing
After breakfast, we visit the new Capital Museum designed by a French architect. There are large collections of art and antiquities from the early periods installed in 13 large halls. Next, explore Beijing’s picturesque Houhai district where many old courtyard homes are preserved amid narrow hutong alleys bordering tree-lined lakes. Tour the district by “pedicab” for a more lively experience of traditional Chinese life. Afterwards, visit the Yuanmingyuan imperial park, built by the Qianlong Emperor in the 18th century and destroyed by a Franco-British Army in 1860. This evening, enjoy a special Peking duck banquet.
Day 3: Beijing
This morning, visit the Forbidden City, the abiding symbol of imperial China. Marvel at its expansive architecture, magnificent imperial gardens, and many museums of Chinese antiquities and treasures. After lunch, visit the Temple of Heaven, one of the finest cultural expressions of the Ming Dynasty. The Temple of Heaven represents the most advanced principles architecture available at the time and serves as the ritual center of the imperial government. Enjoy Peking Opera performance in the evening.
Day 4: Beijing
Today is devoted to exploring the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a rugged section of the Wall that is less crowded and with cable car available. Enjoy the astounding views of the Wall as it winds over the surrounding hills.
Day 5: Datong
We spend the day traveling by train through some fascinating parts of China’s countryside and end up in Datong. During the 5th century AD, northern China was unified under the Wei Dynasty and Datong was its capital. Trade, agriculture and Buddhism flourished here until the capital was moved to Luoyang in 494 AD.
Day 6: Datong
We will spend a full day exploring Yungang Buddhist Grottoes, a treasure trove of over 50,000 Buddhist statues cut into the cliffs of Wuzhou Shan. The caves contain some of China’s oldest stone sculpture, carved between AD460 and 494. Though the caves appear to be modeled after the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, the Datong carvings are of stone whereas Dunhuang’s are of clay. The caves contain a variety of foreign influences including Persian, Byzantine, Greek, and Indian Hindu. We will also see the remains of a 17th-century Qing dynasty fortress. Then we visit Huayansi Temple with Liao Dynasty sculpture from 1038AD.
Day 7: Datong/Taiyuan
Today we tour the Hanging Cliff Temple (66km), a monastery dating back 1400 years. Built on a sheer cliff above Jinlong Canyon, the gravity-defying structure was built along the natural contours of the cliff face. We visit Three Religions Hall where Buddha, Laotzu and Confucius are enshrined together. Then we drive to Taiyuan 280 km in 3.5 hours. Upon arrival, check in a hotel.
Day 8: Pingyao
Visit Qiao Family compound 55 km away from Taiyuan. It is a large Qing dynasty courtyard house complex made of six courtyards with 300 rooms. This is also the movie site where the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou filmed his beautiful movie “Raise the Red Lantern.” Then onto Zhengguo Temple with unique architecture and fine 10th century sculptures. Later arrive in Pingyao, an ancient walled city with old houses, banks, temples and museums well preserved and check into our hotel.
Day 9: Taiyuan
As the provincial capital of Shanxi, Taiyuan’s first settlements date back 2500 years. Spend the day visiting Jinci Temple, a famous architectural park with beautiful ancient buildings standing over 1000 years. The original buildings are thought to have been constructed between AD1023 and 1032, but the additions and restorations were made up to the Qing Dynasty. Later visit newly renovated Shanxi Provincial Museum, housed in the Chunyang Palace, a former Tang Dynasty temple. Fly to Xi’an in late afternoon and check into the hotel.
Day 10: Xi’an
Visit the Famen Temple. It was built in ancient times to house the bones of the fingers of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. The Buddhist relics discovered at the Famen Temple are the only real finger bones that have been discovered and maintained in the world. There are many other relics that unearthed with the underground palace. Then, visit the Qianling Mausoleum, the tomb of the third Tang emperor, Li Zhi, and Empress Wu Zetian and the most typical and best preserved of all the eighteen Tang mausoleums, and the Xianyang Terracotta Museum. Afterward, return back Xian.
Day 11: Xi’an
Our second day in Xi’an begins with a viewing of the extraordinary 2,300-year-old terracotta warriors, the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang. The warriors still stand on the original site of the emperor’s burial complex, where they were discovered by peasants in 1974. Later, visit the Wild Goose Pagoda and marvel at its intricate architecture. We’ll also have an opportunity to stroll Muslim Street and visit its Grand Mosque. Chinese Muslim culture traces its heritage to the flourishing Silk Road culture of the Tang dynasty. Taste a Dumpling Banquet, featuring 20 varieties of traditional Chinese dumplings, in the evening.
Day 12: Xi’an-Shanghai
This morning we visit the Han Emperor’s Tomb, Yangling Museum, to view recent archaeological finds on the excavation site. Then, fly to Shanghai and check into our hotel. we’ll stroll along the Bund, viewing the beautifully decorated colonial buildings along the Huangpu River.
Day 13: Shanghai
Spend the morning visiting Shanghai Museum and viewing its wonderful collection of Chinese bronzes, jade, pottery and ceramics, paintings and calligraphy, old coins, and furniture. In the afternoon, visit Yuyuan Garden in old Shanghai and absorb the Chinese traditional garden ambience. This evening, enjoy a memorable farewell banquet at the Dingxiang Garden Restaurant, famous for Shanghai cuisine.
Day 14: Departure
After breakfast, depart for the airport and fly to next destination.
Price: From US$ 1420 / per person
1. Domestic airfare (Beijing/Xian, Zhengzhou/Shanghai), airport taxes and charges.
2. High-speed train from Xian to Luoyang by second class seat
3. All hotel accommodations based on double occupancy:
4. Daily western style breakfast at the hotel, Chinese lunch and dinner at fine local restaurants specializing in regional cuisines
5. Cultural Highlights: Peking duck dinner, Tang Dynasty style dance Show, Kungfu show, and acrobatic show
6. Private ground transportation, airport/hotel transfer with air-conditioned van or bus
7. All sightseeing, entertainments and cultural activities listed in the itinerary
8. Private English-speaking tour guide
1. Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, and phone calls,
2. Gratuities for guides and drivers,
3. Overweight baggage charges.
Note: Prices and programs are subject to change without notice. All prices quoted in US dollars. For booking information, terms and conditions, please contact us:
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