On this six days tour experience many of Beijing’s iconic sights and the essence of Shaolin Kung Fu. With the help of a genuine local guide, you’ll experience Beijing through their eyes discovering must-see landmarks like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and the Mutinanyu section of the Great Wall. Visit Wudaoying – as you wander through an authentic hutong and marvel at how the modern city has evolved from humble beginnings. Experience China’s vast and growing rail network as you travel by bullet train to Luoyang, the traditional home of Shaolin Kung Fu. Hone your skills at a lesson delivered by a genuine kung fu master then watch the real thing. Luoyang offers much more with its Buddhist origins found in the Longman Grottoes, White Horse Temple, and Wanfo Cave (Thousands of Buddha Cave). A perfect tour for the traveler who enjoys history, culture, and going beyond the superficial, you’ll enjoy four and five star accommodation, transfers and train travel, local guides who take care of every need, daily breakfasts, and much more. Ready for adventure? Let’s take you there!
Arrive at Beijing airport where you’ll be greeted by your local guide. Together you’ll drive directly to your hotel, on the way taking the opportunity to learn a little about this city, which is rich in Chinese history, politics, and culture. After check in, you’re free to rest, relax, or explore. Be sure to check with your guide for their insider local dining options.
Meals included: None
Your Beijing adventure starts this morning with a visit to the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square. Seriously large, even by China’s standards, Tiananment Square is auspicious, as China’s political heart, flanked by the Great Hall of the People, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and the National Museum of China. Your guide will lead you across the road the to the awe-inspiring Forbidden City. A culturally historic landmark in Beijing, the Forbidden City seems to go on and on. The detailed planning, careful construction, and symbolic representation of every part of this former residence of Chinese royalty is to be admired. Be prepared to walk in wonder. From the Forbidden City, your guide will lead you to the Summer Palace, highlighting the uniqueness of its elaborate design, beautiful gardens, and the man-made Kunming Lake. It will be easy to imagine Empress Dowager Cixi spending her summers here, overseeing the intrigue and plots that were characteristic of imperial life. Reflect on China’s opening up to the world when you take a stopover to explore the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube – the stadium and pool constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. After a full day of exploring, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Your tour guide may adjust your itinerary due to closure of the Forbidden City each Monday.
China is home to many iconic historical structures and monuments, however few are as remarkable as the Great Wall. Today is your chance to climb the wall at the Mutianyu section and understand a little of its impressive history. A quick stop at the famous local food market Sanyuanli on the way means you can stock up on fruit and snacks for today’s trip. Every section of the Great Wall attracts interest, however the Mutianyu Great Wall is one which is less frequented. Located about 90 minutes drive from Beijing, you can sit back and enjoy being driven, while having the opportunity to ask your guide questions about points of interest along the way. The wall is accessible by cable car and a short trip up provides wonderful views of the surrounding country. It also makes you reflect on this incredible feat of construction, which involved over 800,000 soldiers and civilians. Make like a guard and walk the wall to take in the Ming dynasty guard towers and sensational views. There will be plenty to talk about on the return trip to Beijing. Your afternoon is spent visiting the Confucius Temple, first built in 1302 to honor Confucius and the philosophers who studied Confucianism over centuries. You’ll also visit the Imperial College Museum too and it’s here you’ll learn of its importance to scholars past and present who studied and took exams there to advance their careers. Finish the day’s itinerary by wandering through Wudaoying Hutong. This is a chance to visit Beijing’s most creative and artistic hutong and make like a local as you visit the curious shops, cafes, and witness the lifestyle of a unique Beijing community.
Meals included: Breakfast
Every Chinese emperor constructed buildings of importance and Emperor Yongle was no exception. Responsible for the building the Temple of Heaven (along with the Forbidden City), he established it as a pivotal place of worship during his reign, a tradition continued until 1900 by subsequent Ming and Qing emperors. Your guide will explain the significance of the many elements of the temple, each of which was deliberately designed. Learn how ceremonies and rituals were performed, as the emperor and people of the day prayed for good harvests and blessings for the country. Watch locals as they practice Tai Chi, sing, and dance to water calligraphy. Look forward to a change in pace as you are driven to the train station for travel by high-speed train to Luoyang. Approximately a five-hour trip (travelling at 300 kilometres per hour), you have plenty of time to relax and absorb the diverse landscape and scenergy along the way. On arrival at Luoyang, your local tour guide will meet you and escort you to your four or five star hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast because there’s a full day of exploration ahead. The highlights of Luoyang are special and rare. Located approximately 40 minutes drive from your centrally located hotel, the day’s sightseeing starts with the Longmen Grottoes. First, take an escorted battery car ride along Yi River to access the scenic area where you’ll wonder at the incredible feat of crafting over 100,000 prominent Buddha sculptures. Different styles of Buddhas can be found here due to hundreds of years of continued construction. You’ll find representations from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386AD-557AD) and Tang Dynasty (618AD-907AD). Within Longman Grottoes you’ll have time to explore Wanfo Cave (Thousands of Buddha Cave), so named for the fifteen thousand Buddha statues carved on the northern and southern sides. Incredibly, each statue is only about four centimeters (the smallest is two centimetres!) and despite vandalism and pillaging over centuries, thousands of Buddhas still survive. Your adventure through Longman Grottoes includes a visit to Fengtian Temple, the largest of the caves. Apart from the remarkable nature of the site, Fengtian Temple is home to some of the most truly exquisite carvings to be found anywhere in China. The Vairocana Buddha is located here. Grand and inspiring at over 17 meters tall, you’ll feel drawn by the Buddha’s peaceful expression. Before you drive on to Dengfeng, there will be time to cross the Yi River by foot and add to your beautiful travel memories from the day. Be sure to include at least one or two panoramic photos of the Vairocana.
Note: Today’s itinerary provides the option for a short river cruise on the Yi River. The cruise is the ideal way to experience vistas of the caves and limestone cliff at Longmen Grottoes. Please let us know if we can make this additional booking for you.
Sightseeing in the afternoon continues the Buddhist theme with exploration of White Horse Temple. Incredibly, White Horse Temple is reputed to be the very first Buddhist temple in China. Historians date its original construction at around 68 AD, although it has undergone reconstruction and refurbishment over its 1,900 years. White Horse Temple is an symbolic destination for those from China, India and elsewhere who follow the Buddhist tradition. Today you can gain an insight to its magnetism by immersing yourself in the tranquility of the thousand-year-old temple. Add to your knowledge and experience by contemplating the deep history shared by your local guide. Moving on from White Horse Temple, your travel by road continues for another 90 minutes on the way to Dengfeng, the location of Shaolin Temple. On arrival in Dengfeng, check in at your hotel and rest up for the next day’s Kung Fu experience.
Meals included: Breakfast
Although the highlight of today is visiting the Shaolin Temple, your day commences with a taste of things to come when you participate in a one-hour Kung Fu class, held at a local martial arts school. Be confounded and amazed at the skill and mastery that prepares you for arrival at the Shaolin Temple performance. Shaolin Kung Fu is an inspiring form of martial arts that has been studied for centuries and here at its birthplace you’ll have a great chance to watch an exciting Kung Fu Exhibition. You can’t help but be impressed and enlivened by the athletic displays of Tongzigong, Mantis boxing and Monkey boxing. After the show, there is an opportunity to continue exploring and learning more about the associated history. You will wander through the mountain gate and walk along the paved path leading to the ancient temple complex. Like any other longstanding historical site in China, the Shaolin Temple has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties throughout the ages and is redolent of a bygone era. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the majestic halls, bell and drum towers, colorful murals and ancient stone tablets from Ming (1368 – 1644 AD) and Qing (1644 – 1911 AD) dynasties. A short distance away, you’ll find the peaceful Pagoda Forest, a cemetery of over 230 brick pagodas, where the ashes or bones of eminent monks are buried. Your guide will explain the variations in the height and size of graves reflect each monk’s Buddhist achievements or merits and virtues (the taller, the better). After a stroll through Pagoda Forest, it’s time for the return trip to Luoyang where you’ll board your train or flight to your next destination.
Meals included: Breakfast
Travel note: We love helping our customers make the most of their available travel time. Need assistance planning your next destination? We can help. With a network that spans across China, we can take care of every detail and arrange your departure train or flight from Luoyang – or anywhere else while you’re in China. (A surcharge will apply).
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots and activities specified
- Accommodation: hotels based on double/twin occupancy as specified
- Meals: as specified in the itinerary
- Tour guide: excellent private English-speaking guide
- Transportation: high speedtrain of Beijing/Luoyang (First class seat for Luxury tours; second class seat for Superior tours).
- Transfers: land transfer with drivers as specified
- Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
- Government taxes and fees.
- International/domestic flights and trains to Beijing/from Luoyang
- China visa fees
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of a personal nature
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to provide for any unforeseen circumstances.
Tour specific important information – FOR PRIVATE TOUR
- This is a private tour for your group of family or friends. No other travelers will join you. It’s always available for your schedule.
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Prices based on twin occupancy.
- The prices shown above are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival etc.).