Starry Expeditions
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Expeditions    Hello China 2021

Hello China 2021

On “Hello China,” you will explore China’s social, cultural, historical and natural landscapes, gaining insight into the dynamism and diversity of the country as it is today.


In Beijing, explore both the city’s Imperial past and post-modern architecture, and sit down for a most enjoyable picnic lunch after hiking on the Great Wall.  In China’s southwest, volunteer at a Giant Panda reserve, learn about ancient kingdoms and visit a functioning two-thousand year old irrigation system.  Then, head East to stroll through peaceful backwater villages, hike China’s most famous mountain, and explore the colonial past and 21st century face of Shanghai – all while enjoying some of the newest world-class accommodations China has to offer along the way.  Experience today’s China, a land steeped in tradition while embracing the new: “Hello China.”

Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive in Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, welcome and transfer to your hotel to check in.  Beijing, the center of politics and culture since the 13th century, showcases China’s best art and imperial culture.  In addition, today’s Beijing offers an excellent performance community, and a healthy variety of fine dining establishments.  Superior Suite at Peninsula Beijing for 3 nights.


Day 2, Beijing

Have a private morning to unwind (with your guide and vehicle on standby).  If energy permits, the alternative plan is to visit the imperial garden Jingshan Park.  At Jingshan Park, walk up the Jingshan hill for a panorama of the Forbidden City and the modern high-rises around the old city.

After a delicate lunch at TRB Hutong Restaurant, take a stroll through Tian’anmen Square and visit the Forbidden City – the Imperial Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties.  Located in the center of Beijing’s axis, the Forbidden City is an unrivaled masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture.  During a span of five centuries (1416-1911), 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived and ruled the country from here.  This evening, visit one of Beijing’s iconic post-modern buildings – China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and enjoy a feast of traditional Chinese music at its concert hall (or watch a music concert at the Great Hall of the People, depending on performance schedules).


Day 3, Beijing

Today, leave the city and drive through the mountains to the Great Wall at Jinshanling (~150km /93mi, 2.5hrs).  Go for a ~1.5hrs moderate hike on the wall, and picnic for lunch atop the wall.  The Great Wall at Jinshanling, around 10km zigzagging along a timbered ridge, is largely unreconstructed yet still in very good condition with many original features from the Ming Dynasty.  Known as one of the most magnificent, beautiful, and less-visited sections of the Great Wall, the wall at Jinshanling is favored by hikers and photographers, especially for its scenery at dawn and dusk.  Return to the city in the late afternoon.

Day 4, Beijing /Chengdu

Fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.  The home of pandas, face changing, and spicy food, Sichuan reflects China’s laid back lifestyle.


This afternoon, enjoy tea and leisure at the popular People’s Park as the locals do, or join the local people to learn how to play “mahjong.”  Have a leisurely stroll along the traditional alleyways of Chengdu’s old neighborhood, and explore the reminders of Chengdu’s past.  For the evening, watch a Sichuan Opera performance and enjoy the magic “face-changing.”  Deluxe Room at Ritz-Carlton Chengdu for 1 night.


Day 5, Chengdu /Dujiangyan

Visit Jinsha Site Museum, and learn the history and civilization of the ancient Shu Kingdom.  As one of China’s most significant archaeological discoveries in recent years, Jinsha Site Museum houses a large number of valuable relics unearthed from the site, as well as the ancient city ruins.


Drive to Dujiangyan (~60km /37mi, 1.5hrs).  Visit the ancient Dujiangyan Irrigation System, a UNESCO site since 2000.  First constructed by the local governor of Shu Kingdom Li Bing and his son in 256 BC, Dujiangyan Irrigation System represents the high achievement of ancient China’s development of water management and technology.  For over 2000 years, this ancient system has been supplying water to the vast Chengdu plains and farmlands, as well as preventing the flooding of Minjiang River. Visit the key weir projects, and learn how this ancient project functions in distributing water for irrigation, flood control and flow control without using dams.  Six Senses Suite at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain for 2 nights.


Day 6, Dujiangyan

Early in the morning, drive to Gengda Village (~50km /31mi, 1hr) and visit the new Wolong Panda Base.  Surrounded by diverse plants, primitive forest and the green mountains, the new Wolong Panda Base is located at Shengshuping in Gengda Village, Wolong Town.  The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda selected this place to build the new Wolong Panda Base after the May 2008 earthquake.  Now this new base is home to 36 Giant Pandas, and there are 59 panda enclosures (with indoor and outdoor areas), as well as the Panda kindergarten and nursery, the Panda research center, and the training area for Pandas to return to the wild.

Join the Panda volunteer program: under the guidance of a Panda breeding staff, you will help clean the Panda’s cages and prepare food for the Pandas.  If lucky, you will have the chance for a personal experience feeding the adorable Pandas.  Watch the Panda video to learn in-depth knowledge of Pandas’ life, as well as the conservation efforts and the breeding of the Pandas.  Return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and have some leisure time before dinner.


Day 7, Dujiangyan /Hangzhou

Transfer to the airport (~70km /43mi, 1.5hrs), and fly to Hangzhou.  Hangzhou, a city of “Heaven on Earth”, captures the essence of the beauty of mountains and water, and the harmony of green nature and fine living.


Transfer to your hotel to check in, relax for the rest of the day or walk around the tranquil complex of Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake.  Deluxe Room at Four Seasons Hangzhou for 2 nights.


Day 8, Hangzhou

Visit China National Tea Museum, and learn in-depth knowledge of the tea-making process and China’s profound tea culture.  Surrounded by lush tea plantations, China National Tea Museum offers a systematic introduction and exhibition on China’s tea history, tea culture and tea customs.  Learn how to tell and evaluate different types of tea, and enjoy a nice walk around the museum’s peaceful compound.  Afterwards, continue your exploration of Longjing Village.  Taste fresh Longjing tea at a local tea farmer’s home, and if energy permits, embark on a pleasant hike through the tea plantations at Nine Creeks (~6km /4mi, 2hrs).


After lunch at a time-honored local restaurant, go for a traditional paddle boat ride on West Lake and view the iconic Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.  At Guo Garden, a classical Chinese garden by the lake, enjoy time at leisure and a pot of Longjing tea.  If energy permits, go for an easy walk along the wooden walkway and explore the tranquil part of West Lake.

Day 9, Hangzhou /Huangshan

Transfer to Hangzhou East Railway Station and board a high-speed bullet train to Huangshan (~1.5hrs, business class seats).  Huangshan is known at home and abroad, if not always by name, for its breathtaking mountain landscapes and Ming and Qing Dynasty villages famously depicted in classical Chinese brush paintings.


After a late lunch, wander around the bustling Tunxi Old Street and visit a local feng shui compass workshop.  Transfer to your hotel to check in, and opt for some downtime in the afternoon.  If energy permits, make a visit to the nearby Lucun Village.  Take a pleasant walk through this small village, and step into an old house of the Lu family to see the exquisite wood carvings.  Lucun Suite at Banyan Tree Huangshan for 3 nights.

Day 10, Huangshan

Spend a full day exploring the iconic Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain).  Hike around atop the mountain, and enjoy astonishing views of its mountainous landscape, as well as the mist-shrouded peaks and seas of clouds if weather permits.


One of the most famous mountains in China, Mt. Huangshan has been a very appealing destination for visitors, poets and painters ever since Tang Dynasty, and it is often found in the classics of the Chinese literature and landscape painting.  Characterized by jagged granite rocks, ancient pine trees, beautiful sunrise and sunset glow, and amazing clouds of constant change, its landscape is unique and beautiful at all seasons.


Day 11, Huangshan

Early this morning, find yourself in the picturesque Hongcun Village where the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was shot.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hongcun Village is picturesque, and this ancient village was delicately planned and built 600 years ago, with its perfect location, ox-shaped layout, and comprehensive waterways running from door to door through the village.  Today, there are still over a hundred well-preserved old houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties, featuring the unique architectural style of the buildings in southern Anhui province.

Spend the afternoon free at leisure, and enjoy the fine amenities that Banyan Tree Huangshan offers.  Or alternatively, go for a cycling through the peaceful rural villages and green paddy fields.


Day 12, Huangshan /Shanghai

After breakfast, transfer to Huangshan Railway Station.  En route, stop at Chengkan Village, and visit the village’s ancestral temple.  Appreciate the fascinating carvings, relieves and colored paintings at Baolun Hall, which are well preserved and remain vivid after about 500 years.


Board the high-speed bullet train to Shanghai (~3hrs, business class seats).  The face of modern China, Shanghai is teeming with energy and activity, and offers travelers a true diversity of areas and experiences.  Shikumen Villa at Capella Shanghai for 3 nights.


Day 13, Shanghai

Walk along the Bund early in the morning, and take in the dramatic skyline of modern Shanghai across the Huangpu River. Afterwards, move to the old city quarter and visit Yu Garden.  With an elaborate layout of pavilions, cloisters, rockeries and ponds, Yu Garden is a great example of the classical landscape gardens in south China.

After lunch at Din Tai Fung Restaurant, visit Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Urban Planning Centre.  Regarded as one of the best museums in China, Shanghai Museum is celebrated for its well-organized exhibits, and its high-quality collection of ancient bronze ware, ceramics and paintings, as well as seals and coins from different dynasties in history.  For the evening, watch the ERA acrobatics performance, and feast your eyes on a spectacular of ancient Chinese acrobatics and modern multimedia technology.


Day 14, Shanghai

Head to the outskirt of Shanghai and visit Zhujiajiao water town (~50km /31mi, 1hr).  With a history of over 1700 years, Zhujiajiao water town is well preserved, and offers visitors a great opportunity to imagine how Shanghai once looked as a small fishing village.  Stroll along the ancient street, and explore the well-preserved ancient houses and bridges from Ming and Qing Dynasties. If time permits, sail through its twisting waterways and enjoy some leisure time on a traditional paddle boat.


Late this afternoon, go for a pleasant stroll at the former French Concession, and learn Shanghai’s colonial past.  Afterwards, move to discover the nearby Xintiandi.  Rebuilt and renovated from the old Shikumen buildings (the old Shanghai residential blocks and narrow alleys), today Xintiandi is a synonym for modern lifestyles, with all the boutiques, art galleries, fashionable restaurants and cafes.

Day 15, Farewell

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.  Farewell.

Trip Map

Dates & Prices

Dates

2021, all year round


Prices

For a private group of 2 guests traveling together, each guest USD9,850

For a private group of 4 guests traveling together, each guest USD8,270

For a private group of 6 guests traveling together, each guest USD7,650


Internal Airfare

All internal flights of economy class, starting from Beijing till Hangzhou, each guest USD660


All inclusive and fully serviced for your journey duration in China

All hotel accommodation on double occupancy;

All meals;

All transportation;

All tour and event plans, with the service of an English speaking guide and a driver, starting from arrival to departure at the airport of each destination;

Business class seats for Hangzhou /Huangshan /Shanghai bullet train;

Plus proper flexibility and 24/7 immediate support.


Notes

Guests will need to take care of the international arrival flights to Beijing and departure flights from Shanghai, passport and China visa, travel insurance, personal expenses on trip, and optional gratuities to your guides and drivers.

Star Records

Thoroughly researched and developed to feature the best hotels and experiences available, our expeditions are continuously updated and perfected with the incorporation of new opportunities for you to engage with the places and people you visit.


China 2012


Hello China 2013


Hello China 2016


Hello China 2017


Hello China 2018


Hello China 2019

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