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BEIJING - DYNASTIES AND DISCOVERIES

PRICE: U.S.$3,095 / HK$24,138 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: US$530 / HK$4,134 per person
*Prices may decrease if interest is high

Monday, October 27

Day 1

HONG KONG / BEIJING

This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the Hong Kong International Airport where you will board your flight from Hong Kong to Beijing. Please note your departure flight details:

Flight Number: KA # 900 (KA = Dragonair)
Departure: 8:05 a.m.
Arrival: 11:00 a.m.

On arrival at the Beijing International Airport and after clearing immigration formalities, you will be met by a representative of A & K Beijing and transferred to the Peninsula Hotel.

Following lunch, set off for an afternoon in Beijing that will include:

Lamma Temple
Head to the northeast of Beijing for a tour of the Lamma Temple, one of the city’s most attractive temples. Originally built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong (later to become Emperor Yong-zheng), the site was converted into a Lamma temple in keeping with the traditional custom that the residence of an heir to the throne may only be used as a temple.

Proceed on a pedicab ride through Beijing’s hutongs. “Hutong” is a Manchurian term referring to the network of small winding alleyways that once covered the city of Beijing. A brief stroll through the hutongs concludes with a visit to one of the local families here.

Return to the hotel and then enjoy dinner at the China Club Beijing, still the most elegant dining address in the city.

OVERNIGHT: The Peninsula Hotel, Beijing

Day 2

BEIJING

This morning, you will meet your guide and set off for a full day of sightseeing in Beijing, which will include visits to:

Tiananmen Square
Enjoy some time exploring the heart of Beijing. First developed after the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Square is the world’s largest public plaza (holding up to 500,000 people at one time). It is framed by three historic structures: the Great Hall of the People (where the Chinese government meets), the National Museum of History (note the countdown clock to the Olympics), and Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall (constructed within 6 months of Chairman Mao’s death on September 9, 1976).

Walk from the Square, down under the Changan Boulevard Underpass, up and through Tiananmen Gate, and through to the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City
Spend the balance of the morning exploring the Forbidden City, the palace of administration and residence for the imperial ruling families of the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. The palace is also the National Palace Museum (since 1925), the largest museum of Chinese art and antiquities on earth (holding some 1.2 million artifacts and works of art).

Depart from the Forbidden City for lunch at Chef Dong’s Roast Duck Restaurant. There are many roast duck restaurants in Beijing, but Chef Dong has been crowned the best of the best by discerning aficionados of good Peking Duck for the past five years. The secret, say the experts, is in the fire used to roast the ducks. Chef Dong adheres to an ancient tradition of slow roasting ducks over a fire burning apricot wood and cornhusks.

This afternoon, continue on to visit the Summer Palace, the favored summer retreat for the rulers of the late Qing dynasty, most notably the infamous Empress Dowager, Ci Xi (1835 - 1908) who used funds set aside for the reform of the imperial navy to refurbish her beloved summer palace. Enjoy a private boat ride upon the waters of Kunming Lake and walk the “Long Corridor” which is exquisitely painted with scenes taken from popular folk legends.

This evening, have dinner at Club Lan. This popular restaurant sets the mark for Beijing nightlife. Club Lan is a dazzling image of east meets west, avant garde and the traditional, and the ancient and the post modern. This Philippe Stark designed nightspot melds a mélange of styles that somehow works strikingly well. The food and service are in tune with the eclectic yet knowing design and is the leader in nightlife in Beijing to which all other pretenders aspire.

OVERNIGHT: The Peninsula Hotel, Beijing

Day 3

BEIJING

Following breakfast, set off for a full day outside of Beijing visiting two of its most important landmarks: the Great Wall at Mutianyu and the Ming Tombs.

This morning, you will drive to the northeast of Beijing to the Great Wall at Mutianyu which is located approximately 70 kilometres (50 miles) from Beijing (the travel time being approximately 90 minutes). Mutianyu is one of six major Great Wall sites located within proximity of Beijing. It is, all factors considered, the most beautiful site to visit because it is less commercial than the closer sites at Badaling, Junyongguan, and Shuiguan, and much closer than the more remote sites at Simatai and Jinshanling.

Arrive at the Great Wall and take the cable car up and onto the Wall. Once on the Wall, enjoy the panoramic vistas and time to walk along its ramparts. The Wall at Mutianyu rides a ridge of the rugged Yan Mountains. The word “Yan” refers to the ancient name of Beijing - Yanjing.

Following your visit to the Wall, we transfer to Xiaolongpu, a delightful country restaurant (just 15 minutes from the Great Wall at Mutianyu) that serves up some of the freshest and most traditional of “jia xiang cai,” or home-style cooking, to be found anywhere near Beijing. While Beijing enjoys an explosion of restaurant openings, it is the simple, country-style flavors served at restaurants like Xiaolongpu that preserve a delicious tradition of farm-fresh quality now hard to find anywhere in China.

Following lunch, transfer across a section of the rugged Yan Mountains to the Ming Tombs, the funerary area for 13 of the 16 rulers of the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644). Laid out across a broad, verdant valley in keeping with the dictates of Feng Shui, the tombs are designed in the style of the Forbidden City, small courtyard palaces that mark the final resting place of imperial power.

Return to the city and enjoy a performance of Peking Opera as performed at the Li Yuan theater. This evening’s performance is considered among the best in Beijing and uses specific scene highlights from a number of classic opera works to entertain and enlighten both visiting travelers and younger members of the Beijing community.

OVERNIGHT: The Peninsula Hotel, Beijing

Day 4

BEIJING / HONG KONG

This morning, your guide will meet and transfer you from the Peninsula Hotel to the Beijing International Airport where you will board your return flight from Beijing to Hong Kong. Please note your departure flight details:

Flight Number: KA # 905 (KA = Dragonair)
Departure: 8:00 a.m.
Arrival: 11:50 a.m.

Upon arrival into the Hong Kong International Airport, you will either transit on to your international departure flight or clear immigration and customs and be under your own arrangements.

 

 
 

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