11 Days: A Taste of China: Food & Culture Tour

Welcome to enigmatic China, where culture, history and cuisine all combine to create a truly mesmerising travel experience. You will not only taste the most delicious Chinese Cuisine in this tour, but can also experience the vast and beautiful scenery of China, and have fun time with the incredibly cute giant pandas. Enjoy treasures of China in one go! 

Route

A BeijingB Xi'anC ChengduD Shanghai

Day 1
Destination: Beijing
Meals included: Dinner


Beijing is an intriguing modern city with an ancient heart. Numerous emperors brought accomplished chefs from around China to the Forbidden City in Beijing to prepare elaborate feasts for the imperial family and court officials, today these regional flavours can still be found in many of Beijing’s celebrated dishes. 

You will be met by our tour guide at the Beijing Airport and escorted to the downtown hotel by car. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Dinner this evening - Peking Roast Duck. After dinner, back to the hotel and have a good sleep to recover from any remaining Jet Lag.

Day 2
Destination: Mutianyu Great Wall
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Mutianyu Great Wall, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty, is a superb location to appreciate the grandness of the Great Wall. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40 minute walk to set your feet on the historic Great Wall.

Then climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and you take brag-worthy photos. In the afternoon, drive back to Beijing City and enjoy a guided tour at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside. As for dinner, we prepare the flavorful dish of Beijing Local Hot Pot. If you want to experience other Chinese cuisine, that's totally ok. All you have to do is tell your guide and he/she will arrange the dinner according to your request. After the dinner, drive back to your hotel.

Day 03
Destination: Beijing
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Today we will discover most of Beijing's Imperial treasures. Early in the morning, we will start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms
where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings. After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest
and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor. 

After the tour, you will have a leisurely stroll at Niujie Snack Street. The street is full of Muslim flavors and you can also eat many Beijing local snacks here. Optional activities (at your own expense): Foot Massage, Hou Hai Night Bars or Sanlitun Bar Street. Or you can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater or enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater.

Day 4
Destination: Xi’an (by train)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others. If it is possible, you may have chance to try Tai Chi, an internal Chinese martial art practiced for its health benefits.

Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing. Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for an overnight train to Xi’an. Overnight train journey.

Day 5
Destination: Xi'an
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


We will have a full morning tour to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian to visit Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the
Big Wild Goose Pagoda.) This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.
Optional activities (at your own expense): Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6
Destination: Chengdu (by train)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


After breakfast, begins our relaxing Cycling Tour along the wonderful Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit of nearly 14 kilometers.

Then, you will visit a local family to check out what is the daily living of a traditional Chinese Family. You will also be taught to Make Chinese Dumplings under the friendly instruction of host. Enjoy the unique Dumpling Banquet. The rest of today is free until you get escorted to catch your train to Chengdu, the hometown of Giant Panda also the City of Gastronomy. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our local tour guide, then transferred to your downtown hotel in Chengdu. Optional activities (at your own expense): In the evening, you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine like Hot Pot at a local restaurant.

Day 7
Destination: Chengdu
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


This morning you will make a stirring visit to Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Don’t miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms. There is also a very informative Panda Museum for you to learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas.

After visiting the giant pandas, drive to Sichuan Cuisine Museum in Pixian County, the only eatable museum in China with new way to experience Sichuan cuisine culture. Appreciate 6000 pieces of antiques, artifacts and books and hear many Sichuan food facts, know how Pixian chilly bean paste is made, experience making bean curd pudding, taste different kinds of Sichuan snacks, worship Kitchen God in the biggest Kitchen God Ancestral Hall in the world, Partake in the Cooking Class to personally make three typical Sichuan dishes, like Kung Pao chicken, Mapo Tofu, Panda Steamed Dumpling, etc. Under the guidance of professional Chuancais chef, learn how to cut, control fire, complete cooking process and accomplish your dish. Share and enjoy your dishes with your families or partners and be awarded with official certificate of “Master of Chuancais”. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient city of China.

Day 8
Destination: Chengdu
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


On this day, you will take a meaningful visit to Jinsha Site Museum. Constructed on the Jinsha ruin site which reveals the unique bronze civilization of the mysterious ancient Shu Kingdom (approximately 2900 - 3200 years ago), Jinsha Site Museum conserves the original expansive site for sacrifice as well as numerous ivory tusks and gold artifacts, including the symbol of China Culture Heritage - the Gold Sun and Immortal Bird.

Then, be followed a trip to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in the hustling downtown of Chengdu - Wenshu Temple. Marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the peaceful paths. Chengdu is famous for its relaxing and leisure
pace throughout China, which will be proved after a stay in Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese Tea, make a casual chat with your friends and watching locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment – napping in a lively teahouse, playing mahjong, disco dancing, neck massage, ear cleaning...Next is an
impressive trip to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time steals away from you quietly while walking
on the lively streets which are full of delicious local snacks (Spicy or sweet, crispy or soft...the snack will satisfy your taste buds), delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, etc

Optional activities (at your own expense): In the evening, watch a wonderful performance at the Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment.

Day 9
Destination: Shanghai
​​​​​​​Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast, your tour guide will take you to the airport to catch your flight to Shanghai, the most flourishing metropolis in China. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be escorted by local tour guide to check in your downtown hotel. Have you wondered why Shanghai developed into a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan city from what was originally a shabby fishing village? You'll enjoy a half day to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will answer that question fully while also giving you an overview of the City’s ambitious plans for future. The Center
is a fashionably designed modern museum, themed with “City, Citizens, Environment and Development”. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.

Next is a wonderful visit to Jade Buddha Temple, the site of the largest jade Buddha in the world and numerous religious artifacts, ancient statues and Buddhist scriptures. This peaceful kingdom of Buddhism hidden among modern blocks and dominating mansions is a great place for a nice break in this very busy city.

Day 10
Destination: Shanghai
​​​​​​​Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


A full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from
more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty. Then you will take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art
works.

Next, you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” - Shanghai World Financial Center. You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along
the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!

Day 11
Destination: Airport
​​​​​​​Meals included: Breakfast


Your tour guide will escort you to the airport to catch your flight home.

-End of Tour-


The tour cost includes:
  • Local transportation: A private vehicle will accompany us for the entire tour.
  • Equipment, as required: water (2 liters per person per day), first aid kit
  • Leader: Experienced English-speaking tour leader
  • Entrance fees: All first-entrance tickets to the tourist spots mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation: twin-share 3*/4* hotels along the whole trip.
  • Meals: All the breakfast in the hotels.
  • Train tickets listed in the itinerary
  • Soft sleeper train from Beijing to Xi’an on Day 04;
  • High speed train from Xi’an to Chengdu on Day 06(based on 2-class);
  • All the domestic airfares during the trip
  • Chengdu to Shanghai on Day 09 (economy class)
  • Travel agency liability insurance.

The tour cost does not include:
  • All the meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Tips to tour guide and driver (recommended USD8-10/guest/day).
  • Tourist accident insurance. NB - you are strongly suggested to buy travel and health insurance before you start out from your home country.​​​​​​​
  • Single supplement costs (for those who want accommodation on a single basis)
  • Visa to China
  • International flights and related airport taxes not listed in the itinerary
  • Supplementary trips, entrance fees and services not mentioned, and extra costs due to unforeseen circumstances