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8 Days China Ancient Capitals Tour

Three Greatest Ancient China Capitals

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Beijing, Xian and Luoyang are undoubtedly three greatest ancient capital cities throughout the whole Chinese history. Both Xian and Luoyang had been capitals for 13 ancient dynasties, while Beijing has been the capital more than 600 years since Ming Dynasty. This tour takes you to discover the historical and cultural essences of Beijing, Luoyang and Xian Tour in just one go, especially the charming World Heritage Sites.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Learn about the solemn ancient imperial culture in Beijing, and take a wonderful walking on the Great Wall;
  • Take a high speed train to Luoyang to visit the magnificent Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple;
  • Finish your trip at Xian which has the world famous site - Terracotta Warriors.
  • Use the fast and comfortable high speed train as major transfer.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Beijing / Luoyang / Xian
Travel Length:
8 Days and 7 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BLX-08
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureCyclingHikingPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~4 Arrival & Beijing Tour

Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, man-made wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc. Take a high speed train to Xian on Day 4.

Day 5~6 Luoyang Tour & High Speed Train to Xian

Firstly visit the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site - Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, then go to Dengfeng to explore the center of Chinese Buddhism and Kung Fu Culture - strong>Shaolinsi Temple. Lastly take a high speed train to Xian.

Day 7~8 Xian Tour & Departure

One full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter. Before leaving for Shanghai, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaan’xi History Museum.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Ni Hao! welcome to Beijing, the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of the day is your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby areas, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Arrival Ideals: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.

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Day 2 Beijing ( B, L )

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. 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.

Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00. 

  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 3 Beijing ( B, L )

After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. 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.

Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, the mausoleum of a 13th century emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide to observe its geomantic arrangement as well as visit the underground palace for a closer observation. Then drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Mutianyu great wall The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest

Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Luoyang ( B, L )

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.

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 a high speed train trip to Luoyang (about 4 hours). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Luoyang Longmen Railway Station and escorted to your hotel in Luoyang. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 5 Luoyang - Dengfeng - Luoyang ( B, L )

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and drive about 55km to the dream land for Kung Fu fans and Buddhist pilgrims - Shaolin Temple.

Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and the cradle of Kung Fu. You will visit the grandiose temples and halls, admire stone carving art, learn about Buddhism culture, observe the daily living and meditation of monks in the temple. Don't miss the famous Pagoda Forest, the existing largest pagoda forest in China. When an important monk passed away, their cremains or skeleton would be put into the underground palace, and a pagoda will be built on it. The pagoda's height, size and number of layers will be decided according to the monk's Buddhism knowledge, reputation and merits and virtues when during his lifetime. The pagodas here were built in different dynasties, including 2 Tang Dynasty pagodas, 2 Song Dynasty Pagodas, 10 Jin Dynasty pagodas, 46 Yuan Dynasty pagodas, 148 Ming Dynasty pagodas, etc. 

Then continue your visit to enjoy a magnificent free Kung Fu Performance in the Shaolin Wushu Hall, lasting for half hour each day. Shaolin Kungfu was first created by Bodhidharma to exercise his body when he faced the wall and meditated. After that, in Tang Dynasty, most monks in Shaolin Temple would practice Shaolin Kungfu, and this phenomenon reached to its peak in Ming Dynasty, and the Shaolin Kungfu was spread to the outer world after that. You can enter the performance hall 20 minutes in advance, so it's better to get there early to get a good seat.

Later, drive back to Luoyang for accommodation.

  • Shaolin Temple Shaolin Temple
  • Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Excellent Kunfu at Dengfeng Shaolin Temple

Day 6 Luoyang & High Speed Train to Xian ( B, L )

After breakfast, start today's trip with a visit to White Horse Temple, about 30 minutes' driving from central downtown.

Established in AD 68 of Eastern Han dynasty, White Horse Temple is the first Buddhist temple in China with over 1900 years history. Since then, it spread the Buddhism throughout of China and was regarded as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism. According to historical legend, Emperor Mingdi of the Eastern Han Dynasty dreamed of a golden man flying above the courtyard. He then sent envoys to Western Regions to invite Buddha and learn Buddhism. Two years later, the Indian dignitaries - She Moteng (摄摩腾) and Zhu Falan(竺法兰) came to China at Mingdi's invitation with a white horse carrying the sutras together. Then the White Horse Temple was built to place and translate the sutras brought by the Indian dignitaries. 

Later, proceed to visit Longmen Grottoes. Densely scattered along the cliffs on both banks of Yi River, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Longmen Grottoes contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). You’ll appreciate the Chinese Buddhist art by visiting the major caves (Fengxian Temple, Guyang Cave, Three Bingyang Caves etc.) with notable displays of Buddhist sculptures and calligraphic inscriptions.

After the tour, you will be escorted to the Luoyang Longmen Railway Station and take a high speed train to Xian(less 2hrs). After arrival, be transferred to your hotel.

  • Longmen Grottoes Longmen: A Treasure House of Ancient Buddhist Cave Art
  • White Horse Temple White Horse Temple

Day 7 Xian ( B, L, D)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world – the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, 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 take a wonderful stroll on the 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. 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: 1) Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2) Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Terra Cotta Warriors Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 8 Xian & Xian Departure ( B )

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation place in Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. With a height of 64.5 meters, the pagoda was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to reserve classic scriptures he bought from India in early Tang Dynasty. (Xuanzang, the prototype character of Tang Seng in the novel of Journey to the West). (Note: It charges extra 30 RMB to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda)

Following is an educational visiting to Shaanxi History Museum. Ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate relics, such as porcelains, paintings, currencies from Zhou to the Tang periods (1100BC to 907 AD).

After the tour, be escorted to catch your flight/train to next destination.

  • Big Wood Goose Pagoda Big Wood Goose Pagoda
  • Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum
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8 Days China Ancient Capitals Tour(Beijing, Luoyang & Xian)

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  • +3 more days to unveil the holy city on the Himalaya - Lhasa
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