Xian & the Terra Cotta Warriors Overland Adventure - Double
Day 1 (L, D)Depart the ship and leave for the city of Beijing. A 3-hour drive will bring you to the Great Wall area for lunch. Visit the Great Wall after lunch. The Great Wall, winds its way like an endless and slender dragon from Yellow Sea through central China up to the Gobi Desert, is a Chinese fortification built from 3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids by Mongol, Turkic, and other nomadic tribes coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria. While the very earliest buildings of the Wall were centuries ago, the present course we see was mainly determined around 220 BC by the first emperor in ancient China and the founder of the empire. Tonight, you’ll be treated with the famous Peking Duck for dinner. Peking duck is a famous duck dish since imperial era, and is now considered one of China’s national cuisines. The dish is originated from Beijing and can be traced back to imperial era centuries ago, it is now considered one of China’s national foods. The dish is prized for the thin, crispy skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced right in front of you by the cook. The original style is to eat the duck with pancakes, scallion, cucumber, and sweet bean sauce. Check into your hotel and overnight in Beijing.Day 2 (B, L, D)Visit the Tian’anmen Square. Named after Tian’anmen Gate, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, Tian’anmen Square is the largest public square in the world and the very center of Beijing. Used as a massive meeting place since its creation, its flatness is contrasted by the 125 feet high Monument to the People’s Heroes, and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao. The square is flanked by the Great Hall of People to the west, and the National Museum of China to the east. Continue to the legendary Forbidden City. Off-limits to the public for 500 years, the vast complex of this World Heritage Site was opened in 1949 as the Palace Museum. Within its walls lies a maze of palaces built between 1417 and 1420 as the residence of China’s emperors. With some 800 buildings and 9,000 rooms, maintenance and restoration are an ongoing process. After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, drive to airport for your flight to Xian. Buffet dinner will be served at your hotel in Xian.Day 3 (B, L, D)Depart your hotel this morning for a motor coach ride to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda—a temple built to house Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by traveling monk Xuan Zang. Enjoy a pleasant shopping stop at the Jade Factory with thousands of products made from one of the most beautiful stones in the world. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant; then you will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum. This unbelievable collection of thousands of life-size terra cotta warriors and their horses were unearthed by archaeologists in 1974. One of the most important finds to date in the world, this legion was created under the command of unified China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang. He was terrified that his enemies would pursue him even after death, and so he ordered this "army" to protect his burial site—and for centuries indeed it did. Each warrior is different, as you will discover as you are led through the vaults where these and other treasures have been found. Marvel at the sheer numbers, and the incredible detail in each and every figure. Later, visit the ancient City Wall before enjoying the Tang Dynasty dinner and show. Dinner is accompanied by a cultural program including a concert played on Tang Dynasty musical instruments and colorful dances more than 1,000 years old.Day 4 (B)Begin your day with a flight from Xi’an to Shanghai, China’s business capital. Upon arrival, you will transfer directly to the ship waiting at Shanghai’s pier.
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