13 Days

China

China has an unrivaled allure for its long history, rich culture, and unique traditions. An unsung hero in the travel world, you must experience China firsthand – it is guaranteed to exceed your expectations! Visit Beijing with its world famous landmarks, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Walk on the Great Wall, one of the Great Wonders of the World, explore the Ming Dynasty Tombs in a secluded valley and marvel at the 8,000 Terra Cotta Warriors making up the incredible army of Emperor Qun Shi Huang. See how they are still positioned in military formation to protect him during his afterlife. View Shanghai’s exquisite cosmopolitan area with an unbelievable skyline that includes some of the tallest and most modern buildings in the world, and ride the Maglev, the world’s fastest and most futuristic train. Tour China’s farming area, where you see large four wheel drive tractors working the fields. The fertile soils produce corn and soybeans to feed the one billion people living in China. In southern China, visit a huge cotton mill and watch the progression from a cotton bale to the final gabric. See hundreds of modern electronically operated weaving looms producing clothing just like what you might be wearing! Take in some shopping with our local Chinese expert on Nanjing Road, China’s premier shopping street, stretching over three miles! Also visit the Three Gorges Dam Project, completed in 2009. It is the largest hydro-power station in the world. With thousands of years of history, it is impossible to not be amazed by China.

Dates Available
  • March 23 - April 4, 2017

Itinerary

Day 1:                              DEPART USA
Meet your Rupiper Tour Manager and the group in Chicago O’Hare on our overnight flight to Beijing.  (In-flight meal service)

Day 2:                                       ARRIVE IN BEIJING     
Arrive in Beijing where you are greeted by our Chinese tour director.  Enjoy a good night’s sleep so you will be rested and ready for tomorrow’s activities.  (In-flight meal service)

Day 3:                                        BEIJING
After an included American-style breakfast, your tour begins with visits to two popular Chinese landmarks, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square, best known for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.  In the spring of 1989 a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labor activists resulted in a massacre which left hundreds of civilians dead.  This large plaza spreads over 110 acres and the name, Tiananmen, literally translates to “Gate of Heavenly Peace.”  Continue on to the Forbidden City, located in the center of ancient Beijing, which was the Imperial Palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.  The palace complex, with its many exceptionally well preserved wooden buildings, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. If time permits, we will visit a pearl factory.  AB, L, D

Day 4:                                         BEIJING / GREAT WALL / MING DYNASTY TOMBS 
Enjoy a full day excursion to the Great Wall and the famous Ming Dynasty Tombs.  The Great Wall, one of the “Great Wonders of the World”, is a 4,000 mile long rampart built over several centuries to keep out the invading Mongols.  No matter which direction you walk on the wall, you can’t help but be awestruck.  This incredible landmark is one of the few sites on earth that astronauts are able to see from outer space!  Later, travel to a secluded valley to visit the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty.  The more than four mile long road leading to the tombs is lined with statues of guardian animals and is named Spirit Way.  One of these elaborate burial mounds have been fully excavated and is open to the public.  Time permitting; we will visit a jade factory before enjoying the culinary delight, a Peking duck banquet. AB, L, D

Day 5:                                         BEIJING/ TIANJIN
Today we travel northeast of Beijing, to the city of Tianjin.  Here, enjoy a city less crowded than Beijing and a bit more western with more western food options and perhaps a little more European in culture.  Our main objective in visiting this area is an introduction to China’s large scale agriculture and industrial economy.  We’ll visit a large soybean crushing plant and a global port where much of the inbound grains are received before processing.  Learn about the many new products produced from soybeans in China and overnight in the heart of China’s agricultural and manufacturing country, Tianjin.   B, L, D

Day 6:                               TIANJIN / JOHN DEERE FACTORY / XI’AN
Today we’ll visit a John Deere factory, currently producing 150 horsepower front wheel assist tractors.  This factory is yet another facet in China’s incredible diversity and progressiveness.  The factory is modern and it’s producing John Deere tractors and products that are as American as apple pie and baseball.  These visits will help provide you with an accurate picture of what really happens in China by experiencing large scale agricultural manufacturing and crop production area as well as an international port where much of the trade takes place between China and the USA and Canada. Late afternoon, we’ll fly to the center of the country, Xi’an, known as one of  the “Four Great Ancient Capitals of China,” Xi’an is the largest and most developed city in northwestern central China.  The glory of ancient Xi’an is evident at the burial site of Emperor Qun Shi Huang, with his incredible army of 8,000 Terra Cotta soldiers, positioned in military formation, to protect him in his afterlife.  These more than 2,000-year-old life like figures will help put in perspective how people really looked and dressed in ancient China.    Tonight’s highlight is a 20-course Chinese dumpling dinner followed by the colorful Tang Dynasty Culture Show.  This wonderful show always receives great reviews. AB, L ,D

Day 7:                                            XI’AN                              
Today we spend a full day viewing the 8000 Terra-cotta Warriors and bronze horses, many would consider the greatest archaeological find of the century.  They were discovered by five farmers digging an irrigation well.  Two of the farmers are still alive, and one may be available to see at the site.  AB, L, D

Day 8:                                           XI’AN / WUHAN           
Today we’ll tour Xi’an and its city wall before visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda originally built in 652 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty.  The name “Wild Goose” is derived from a legend.  Ancient stories recall that this branch of Buddhists liked meat, but on this particular day they couldn’t find any to buy.  Upon seeing a flock of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself, “Today we have no meat - I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.”  At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground.  All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva  provided the meat as an order to be more pious.  Consequently they built the pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat from that time forward.  After dinner, we fly to Wuhan, our stepping stone to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, where we stay the night.    AB, L,  D

Day 9:                                   WUHAN / YICHANG / WUHAN           
Today we have a most interesting ride on the high speed train from Wuhan to Yichang in the Hubei Province, a city near the Three Gorges Dam Project.  Last year everyone really enjoyed this train ride with its changing views out the spacious windows.  You’ll see many types of growing crops in the south of China while riding in the comfort of a very modern train.  The Three Gorges Dam was completed in 2009 and is the largest hydro-power station in the world with an annual energy output of 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours.  The Three Gorges Dam includes three areas: the dam itself, a hydroelectric plant, and a system of locks and dams.  The dam rises over 600 feet above sea level, and it is about 7,546 feet long and 377 feet wide.  The primary objective of the dam is to prevent flooding in the middle and lower portions of the Yangtze River.  Its secondary objective is to produce energy.  The lock and dam consists of 5 locks and an elevator for smaller vessels.  This elevator is something you will not see at the Panama Canal.  The elevator has a large bladder that opens and contains both water and a small vessel.  The entire bladder is hoisted up the full height or lowered, depending on the direction of travel.  This portion was a long time in the making.  It took a team of German engineers to finally help the Chinese figure how to handle the tremendous weight of the water and vessel.  See it to believe it.  Following our visit we rail back to Wuhan where we overnight.  B, L, D

Day 10:                                  WUHAN / SHANGHAI 
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Shanghai.  We start at the famous Bund, stretching about three and a half miles.  Here you will see many buildings representing the architectural styles from a multitude of foreign countries. The Bund is located on the city’s waterfront, dividing the old Shanghai from the new. See old Shanghai with its international architecture on one side and the Pudong District, the city’s exquisite cosmopolitan area, on the other. AB, AL, D

Day 11:                                   SHANGHAI                      
Today, tour the Pudong District in Shanghai’s newest development area, home to one of the tallest buildings in the world with a roof height of 1,598 ft. and the highest occupied floor at 1,555 ft. Do you want to travel to the top of this building for an unforgettable view of the city? We have included it in our tour!!!  After our visit to the Pudong District, visit a silk factory for an in-depth look at China’s passion for silk.  Next, visit the former French Concession, characterized by beautiful tree lined streets and weathered European architecture along with the hottest new entertainment area, Xintiandi.  The brick buildings on these two square blocks have been preserved and transformed into trendy clubs, restaurants and boutiques.  Tonight, enjoy an incredible acrobatic show. No one does this as well as the Chinese!  AB, AL, D

Day 12:                                             SHANGHAI                      
Today is yours to enjoy as you please – perhaps shopping for those special gifts or just spending the day exploring more of this beautiful city. Our experienced, local Chinese guide is available to give you expert tips on how to make the most of this day. Favorites of past travelers always included the discount markets on Nanjing Road. AB

Day 13:                                              SHANGHAI / USA                        
Today, transfer to the train station to board the Maglev (magnetic levitation) train, the fastest and most futuristic passenger train in the world.  Travel to the Shanghai airport at a breathtaking speed, topping out at 267 miles per hour, for your flight back to the USA, arriving home on the same day.   AB, In-flight Meal Service

What's Included

International airfare from Chicago
Four flights in China
Meals as indicated:
AB (American-style Breakfast)
L (Lunch) D (Dinner)
Four & Five star hotels
Excellent English-speaking tour director and guides
All tours and admissions – no optional tours necessary!

Special Events and Sights

Testimonials

China Traveler Testimonials

"What an incredible trip! I'm still pinching myself that I walked on the Great Wall of China!!! The entire trip was exceptional, the people were wonderful, and the food was something to remember. China is so difficult to describe to people - a land so rich in history and so modern. To witness the need to produce food puts a different spin on agriculture for us too."
- Kathy & Lane T. (Iowa)

"Everything was wonderful! Larry made the trip very enjoyable. Lots of personal attention and help to everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about our trip to China, especially seeing the Great Wall. This was our 2nd trip with Rupiper Tours and again everything was well planned. Comfortable and informative. It won't be our last tour with you! Thanks for the DVD. Good memories!"
-
Doug & Nancy S. (Illinois)

“Larry, we sure enjoyed the trip to China - when you told me that if I didn`t like it you would refund our money, well no need to do that. The train ride on the bullet train was nice to see the landscape. The G-man was a great guide, anything we needed he could get for us. Thanks for doing the email for me, got everything sold while I was gone.  The time there sure went by fast and everyday was something different and new. The people sure went out of their way to make sure we were happy and satisfied. Now you can put us down for Australia in 2014.  Just let us know when you’re ready for sign up and a down payment.  We have Steve & Linda also thinking about going with us. Thanks again for everything on the China trip.”
– Tom & Peggy K. (Wisconsin)

“Just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the trip with you---we’ve told everyone here how good it was and well-managed. Have been in touch with Jenny quite a bit---what a hoot she is!!!!  We never laughed so much on a trip as we did on this one. Thanks again and we hope to travel with you again someday.”
– Sharon & George M. (New York)

“What was that?  Was it a dream that just went by?  Was it really China? 

Certainly not the China we had anticipated.

Our friend who has been there told us to be prepared to be amazed.  He was certainly right.  China was amazing.  Certainly not the polluted, gray, depressing place we expected to see.  The cities were as vibrant and alive as those in the US, lit at night and reverberating with energy.  Of course there is crushing poverty as well, as we knew there would be, but our vision of China is changed forever.

The first good decision we made was to travel with your company.  We checked the references you gave us, and kept our fingers crossed.  We were very happy with the balance of activities, the entertainment, transportation, hotels, food (tho' we are glad we are not Chinese), and overall organization of the trip.  Our buses were always on time, comfortable, and amazingly driven.  We felt safe and comfortable at every moment.

We have done some foreign travel, and have found local guides to be lacking. They are often hard to understand and their lectures are usually pretty boring.  Not so with this trip.  Our Bejing guide, "Marco" was a special treat, as was the Shanghai guide, "Tracy."  Their personalities were as delightful as their cities.  They really connected with us, their customers.

They had mastered English and were excellent storytellers.  The guides in between were also very experienced, easy to understand and interesting.  We are so glad you found them for us.

We are not wealthy people, and cannot travel as often as some of the people on our trip.  Please keep us on your mailing list, though.  Maybe we'll win the lottery and can take more trips.  We sure won the lottery when we picked your company for this trip to China.  Thank you for giving us the experience of a lifetime.”
– Yaro & Mary C. (Iowa)

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