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25 Days China Ceramic Tour

Day 1 Arrive Shanghai (D)
Arrive in Shanghai, China's largest modern city and a rising economic center in Asia. Our guide and driver will be greeting you at the airport and escort you to 5 star Peace Hotel at the world famous waterfront and China's Wall St -- the Bund

Day 2 Shanghai (B, L, D)
Spend the most of the time in the morning to visit Shanghai Museum of Art and History, a real state-of-Art museum and one of the four largest museums in China with superb collections of Chinese cultural relics. After lunch, stroll along the world famous Bund waterfront and do shopping along Nanjing Road -- China's No.1 shopping street, Shanghai's past and present commercial centers. Visit the Yu Yuan Garden, the art of its decoration reflects the style of typical architecture of southern China in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is said that the beautiful scenery inside this garden can be compared with the famous gardens in Suzhou. The Old City Town, featuring the old town market in the southern part of China with hundreds of groceries and snap stands, lies in the south of Yu Yuan Garden.

Day 3 Shanghai (B, L, D)
Visit Jade Buddha Temple which was first built in 1882 and features a giant white Jade Buddha carved from a single piece of jade. Also visit Shanghai Arts and Crafts Research Institute, which specializes in producing high-quality Chinese arts and crafts, and Shanghai Arts and Crafts Service Department (190 Nanjing W Rd) from where you can purchase items from other parts of the country.

Day 4 Shanghai (B, L, D)
Visit Jingdezhen Porcelain Artware Store (corner of Nanjing Rd & Shaanxi South Rd), with most artware from China's capital of ceramics, Shanghai Antique & Curio Store (218-226 Guangdong Rd), Chuanxin Shop (1297 Huaihai Rd) to see more of the Porcelain masterpieces and antiques.

Day 5 Shanghai - Hangzhou (B, L, D)
Take express train T15 (09:48/11:48) to Hangzhou, one of the two paradise cities in China. Check in 4 star Dragon Hotel. Visit the Southern Dynasty Imperial Kiln Museum, which used to be the exclusive kiln to for Royal families' use, especially for the emperors. The museum is situated at the foot of Tortoise Hill, and in the southern part of West Lake Scenic Area, covering an area of more than 15000 sq meters. With the tasteful display, substantial content and quiet and beautiful environment, it is the first special subject museum on ceramics in China. Hangzhou had been holding such an honor for centuries, famous for "Qing Ci" -- light-green-and-white porcelain wares, especially vases, with rare valuable items left in the world nowadays.

Day 6 Hangzhou - Suzhou (B, L, D)
Ancient Chinese people praised the West Lake area as a land of intoxicating beauty. "Ripping water shimmering on sunny day; Misty mountains shrouded the rain; Plain or gaily decked out like Xizi; West Lake is always alluring.", was composed by the famous Song Dynasty poet Su Dongpo (960-1127) to describe its beauty. Begin today's highlight to appreciate the incomparably lovely West Lake with its soaring bridges and flower-bright islets. Enjoy a boat ride on West Lake. Move on to visit the Meijiawu Tea House, the tea village of famous Dragon's Well Tea. Thereafter, visit Lingyin Temple, one of the best-known Buddhist monasteries in China, built in 326 A.D. at the foot of Lingyin Mountain in Hangzhou. According to the legend, Huili, an Indian monk, came to the area where he was inspired by the spiritual nature of the scenery to be found here. To his mind this had to be a dwelling of the Immortals and so he gave the temple a name "Ling Yin (Temple of the Soul's Retreat)". We will take train K6 (3:26pm/6:30pm) to Suzhou, another paradise city in China. Check in 4 star Bamboo Grove Hotel.

Day 7 Suzhou (B, L, D)
Visit the renowned scenic spot of North Temple Pagoda, followed by the visit to Suzhou Silk Museum, where you will get a chance to review the history of silk producing in China. Continue your visit to the famous Garden of Master of Fishing Nets, one of the four classical private gardens listed in United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization's World Cultures Heritages. It is unique for its small size and exquisite buildings, elegant landscaping style, and compact structure. Also visit Suzhou Jade Carving Factory. Cruise Grand Canal -- passage once linking Beijing the capital and many other prosperous cities along the East Coast. China's emperors took such route many times to inspect their territory and people in the South, leaving lots of legends and stories in the history.

Day 8 Suzhou - Yixing (B, L, D)
Morning visit to Antique Store on Renmin Rd and Arts and Crafts Shop on Jingde Rd, where Suzhou's specititleies, such as silk embroidery, redwood carving, decorating fans, little umbrellas, kites, jade ware, calligraphy and paintings, are on display. Afternoon bus to Yixing. Check in International Hotel, the best in town.

Day 9 Yixing (B, L, D)
Yixing is  a city most famous national wide for its purple sand pottery production, among which teapots are the major product. For thousands of years the unique qualities of the extensive "purple sand" clay deposits in and around Yixing have supported a thriving pottery industry. They make excellent gifts, fine ornamentals and are very "collectable", too! . Visit the local Pottery and Ceremic Museum, pottery research institute and purple sand village where you can see a lot of family-based workshops of pottery production. For those who are fond of purple sand teapots, here is the right place to do the shopping.

Day 10 Yixing - Shanghai - Jingdezhen (B, L, D)
Visit Pottery Museum, Ceramic Research Institute in the morning. 2-hour bus passing the beautiful plain to Shanghai, we will connect train 558 leaving Shanghai at 3:08pm to Jingdezhen -- world famous capital of ceramics. Overnight on the train with soft sleeping berths -- 4 comfortable beds in one compartment

Day 11 Jingdezhen (B, L, D)
Train arrives in Jingdezhen at 7:03am. Covering an area of 50,000 square meters, Jingdezhen boasts the largest of the imperial porcelain workshops, with the longest history and which produced the most exquisite workmanship of all the feudal empires. Visit Imperial Porcelain Kiln Site at Zhushanlu (Pearl Hill Road), which has been excavated by Professor Liu Xinyuan of the Jingdezhen Institute of Ceramic Archeology. This was the largest group of kilns at an imperial site ever discovered in China and is providing valuable evidence for research on imperial porcelain making techniques in those days. Will also visit Ceramic Art Museum and Ancient Porcelain Factory. Check in Kaimenzi Hotel, the best in town.

Day 12: Jingdezhen (B, L, D)
Today is the highlight of your professional trip. Visit Jingdezhen International Ceramic Art and Design Center, historically famous Hutian Kiln Site remains, Provincial Ceramic Research Institute, Sanbao International Pottery Art Village, also Gaoling Mountain Original Kaolin Mine near the village of Gaoling. In China, the name "Gaoling" or "Kaoling" has been for centuries the term for the clay of porcelains. In this busy day, you are in the heart of China's porcelain making center, and also the heart of China's porcelain making history.

Day 13 Jingdezhen - Nanchang - Wuhan (B, L, D)
Take an air-conditioned coach from Jingdezhen to provincial capital city, Nanchang (about 4 hours), and then connect train 304 departing Nanchang for Wuhan at 11:37pm. Overnight on the train with soft sleeping berth.

Day 14 Wuhan - Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Train arrives in Wuhan at 6:35am. You will then make a trip to the the Yellow Crane Tower, symbol of Wuhan city. First built in 223 A.D, Yellow Crane Tower is one of the four most famous towers in China. Ascending to the top of the tower, visitors will get a panoramic view of the Yangtze River, its bridge and the surrounding buildings. Afterwards, you will visit Guiyuan Buddhist Temple. Covering an area of about 46,900 square meters, Guiyuan Buddhist Temple is one of the four largest Buddhist temples in Hubei Province as well as an important Buddhist temple in China. City tour also includes Hubei Provincial Museum and East Lake. Later afternoon board the deluxe cruise ship, M. V. President I, for an unforgettable Yangtze River cruise. Set sail at 5pm. Dinner follows a cocktail for briefing by the crew.

Day 15 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
The world famous Yangtze River Three Gorges unfolds her beauty as your journey starts. You will see why she attracts millions of people from all over the world. When you are learning Taiji from our cruise director on the sundeck in the morning, the cruiser is passing through the most fertilized land of Yangtze in the middle reaches. Arrive Jingzhou at 6pm. Visit this twin city with modern textile industry and 3000-year history: ancient city wall with moat surrounding it as extra barrier of defense; one of the biggest museums in China with "Ten World's Most" exhibits including a male corpse buried 2000-years ago and a 3000-year bronze sword still sharp, which surprised the German steel expert. The cruiser leaves Jingzhou at 7 PM. Staying at the balcony of your outside cabin or relaxing on the sundeck as you observe the farms and happy village life moving on. A captain's welcome banquet will be held tonight. A little bit dress-up is suggested.

Day 16 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
At breakfast, you will see the cruiser pass the shiplock at Gezhouba Dam in Yichang City and you are entering the fabled Yangtze Three Gorges. 45 miles away, we will disembark at the completed Three Gorges Dam site and have a close look at the world's largest hydro project. 2 hours later, we depart for Badong for overnight at the port. Xiling Gorge, the first and the longest, featured with dramatic shoals, verdant cliffs, temples and landmark rocks. Stick to the cruise director and you can miss them.

Day 17 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Excursion at Badong in a small boat exploring the Shennong Stream. While dragging upstream by the sailors against the rapids and then drifting swiftly downstream through the concealed canyon, ancient plank road remains along the river, mysterious ancient Ba people's coffins suspended high on the cliff, wild monkeys running under the primitive bushes or on the trees all along the way. People have been excited yielding and rated this part the highlight of their entire trip. Continue the trip along the Wu Gorge, the second one. The weathered twelve peaks of Goddess, shapes a deep zigzagging valley and forested mountain

Day 18 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Qutang Gorge is the last one. Sailing against the rapids rushing through the 5,000 ft high, 300 feet wide passage, you get over the breath-taking gorges and reach the Wanxian, the "East Gate of Sichuan Province", and largest city in the area. A shore excursion includes visit the museum with suspended coffin on display, silk waving factory and fresh market selling everything. You can have an inside look at the daily life of local people, who have been this way for centuries. After the Captains' farewell banquet, there is a gala party tonight on the ship till next day morning. Most performed by the waiters, waitress, room attendants and cruise directors, and even chefs, you could be invited to "show a leg" on the stage. So better be ready.

Day 19 Yangtze River Cruise - Chongqing - Xi'an (B, L, D)
Your deluxe cruise ship finally reaches Chongqing, at 9 AM. Say good-by to our friends on the ship. Drive to the airport and fly to Xi'an. Check in to 5 star Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel in this famous ancient city, once a capital for 13 dynasties from BC times. Take a city tour of the City Wall that still compasses the center of Xi'an. It is the most complete city wall that has survived in China as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world being 12 meters tall, 12-14 meters wide and 14 kilometers in length with a deep moat surrounding it. You can walk, even cycle on the wall.

Day 20 Xi'an (B, L, D)
Visit China's first emperor's 8,000 life size terra-cotta soldiers and their horses, chariots, and weapons, which was called "the Eighth Wonder of the World". Banpo Neolithic Museum with relics of 8,000 years, the legendary Wild Goose Pagoda and Huaqing Hot Spring. Also visit Shaanxi Provincial Museum, a national museum of Shaanxi history, which is also the only national museum out of Beijing. Enjoy a marvelous Tang Dynasty dinner show tonight.

Day 21 Xi'an - Beijing (B, L, D)
Visit the newly unearthed miniature Terra Cotta soldiers from the Han Dynasty at the Xianyang Museum in the morning. It was the palace for the first emperor Qin Shihuang and the Han Dynasty 2000 years ago. Fly to Beijing, China's polical, economical, cultural and educational center, in the afternoon. Check in the new 4 star Xinqiao Hotel in the center of the city.

Day 22 Beijing (B, L, D)
Today we first visit the 400 year royal court, magnificent Forbidden City & Ceramic Hall in Forbidden City. You will marvel at the treasures left by China's extreme-power holders. Some of the treasures were made from those sites you have just visited in your previous part of the tour. Then visit world largest plaza -- Tian'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven Courtyard Gallery. Then visit famous ghost market, Xiushui Market, neighboring the US embassy and selling silk, pearls, etc. Visit the Tea House near Tian'anmen Square in the evening and enjoy Peking Opera, China's another cultural treasure.

Day 23 Beijing (B, L, D)
Today you will begin the morning by setting out to the Great Wall of China, also considered as one of the greatest wonders of the world. This massive wall stretches well over 4,000 miles and once was used as the soldiers' safeguard to protect the Chinese empire's northern borders against invaders. You then have the opportunity to climb up the mammoth sized wall at your own pace. Be sure to take in the experience and enjoy the breath-taking view from the top of one of the greatest achievements of civilization. Then visit Summer Palace, China Art Gallery, Liulichang Shopping Street (full of antiques shops).

Day 24 Beijing (B, L, D)
Visit Central Academy of Arts & Crafts, the most authoritative institute of its kind in the country. Then attend the the Palace Academy Lecture on Chinese Pottery. The Palace Academy offers programs to educate Beijing's English speaking community in the Chinese Arts. The program draws experts from across China to lecture at the Palace Hotel. The lectures are supplemented by visits to local museums, dealers and markets. A farewell banquet tonight at the famous Peking Duck restaurant will conclude this unforgettable China Ceramic Tour.

Day 25 Beijing - Back Home (B)
Escorted by your through national guide and local guide and bus driver to the airport.

Domestic airfare is included in the tour price.

Price: USD3,250 per person for a group of 6 or more pax

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