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Christmas in China

This year, make it a most memorable Christmas!!  Take advantage of low season for international airfare and be in China and celebrate with your family in the privacy of your own apartment in a middle class Chinese neighborhood.  You can bring gifts or buy them there!  You will get to visit a Chinese school on the 23rd and bring some early Christmas gifts and then spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in your homey apartment  (and we can arrange the nanny to cook) with your family.
There isn’t any summer heat or crowds at key historic sites during Christmastime.  Travel when the traffic is minimal and crowds are somewhere else. Make the most of your time visiting and enjoying the unique opportunities with your kids.
You will get to climb the Great Wall, hug a panda, see the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World (Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses museum) in Xian and take a river cruise.  It will be a most memorable winter break for your family.  You can also take a stroll down memory lane in Guangzhou and visit your child’s province(s) and peek into early beginnings there, which is a schedule customized to your family and preferences. What better gift to give your family this year than to spend time in your child’s birth country enjoying the sights!   Email louie@lotustours.net to get started on the best winter holiday ever!

Tour Overview
Tour Code:LY-HA12-1215
Trip Duration: 16 days/15 nights
Tour Price/Accommodations
Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin,Guangzhou
Departure Dates: Dec 15, 2012

Itinerary

Day 1 :Dec-15-12 Saturday US/Beijing
meals: N/A
Leave your home city for Beijing today
Day 2 :Dec-16-12 Sunday Beijing
meals: N/A
Arrive at the Beijing International Airport. Your private English-speaking guide and driver will take you to your hotel. Soak in your child’s birth country while you adjust to your new time zone and surroundings.
Day 3 :Dec-17-12 Monday Beijing
meals: B/L

Begin your day with a tour at the Forbidden City. Listed as a world heritage site in 1987, the Forbidden City contains the largest group of intact palace structures in the world. The palace is 720,000 square meters in size and contains 9,999 rooms, numerous pavilions, gardens and courtyards. Then visit the Tiananmen Square. Noted as the largest city square in the world, the square was initially designed for political rallies and important gala events. Today the square is flanked by the Forbidden City in the north, the Great Hall of the People in the west, Mao TseTung's Mausoleum in the south and the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History in the east. In the afternoon, visit China's largest temple and altar—the Temple of Heaven, which is often depicted as the most recognizable symbol of China.

Day 4 : Dec-18-12 Tuesday Beijing
meals: B/L

Begin your day with a tour at the Great Wall. Constructed more than 2,000 years ago by China's first emperor, the ancient wall is 6,350 km or about 4,000 miles in length.

Day 5 : Dec-19-12 Wednesday Beijing/Xian
meals: B/L/D
This morning explore the fascinating Hutong neighborhoods. Beijing's oldest Hutongs were constructed during Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Your tour will take you through some of the best-preserved Hutong neighborhoods that represent the history, culture and lifestyle of old Beijing. After a special homemade lunch at a local family residence in the Hutong Lane area, your family can learn to make your own kites under professional instruction. This afternoon, stop by at the major 2008 Olympic Venues including the National Stadiums – "Bird's Nest" and the National Aquatics Center – "Watercube". Then enjoy flying your handmade kites with the others there at this historic spot.
Early this evening, get onboard a luxury express train for your overnight journey to Xian.
Beijing/Xian Soft Sleeper Train Z19 (8:48P/7:58A+1day) (Your tour guide has tickets)
Day 6 : Dec-20-12 Thursday Xian
meals: L

Arrive early this morning in China's ancient capital city of Xian. Known as ChangAn in ancient times, Xian was the capital city of China for 1,062 years (13 dynasties and 73 different emperors). Travel on top of the 950-year-old city wall on a bike; be sure to enjoy the panoramic view. Built during the early Ming Dynasty with a core of mud and covered by three layers of bricks. Xian's city wall is the only city wall that remains intact in China today. After Chinese hot pot lunch, enjoy the traditional puppet show in the GaoJia Courtyard in afternoon. Your children can practice puppeteering after the show. Visit the Tangbo Art Museum in afternoon.

Day 7 :  Dec-21-12 Friday Xian/Hu County
meals: B/L/D

Embark on an amazing historical and cultural adventure today beginning with the exploration of the Terracotta Warriors & Horses Museum, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987. Created 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of China's first emperor QinShiHuang, time and the elements have gradually worn away the vibrant painted details from the soldiers and horses to reveal their original earthy terracotta color. Learn making terracotta warriors in one local craft factory. Continue your trip to Hu County famous for its peasant farmer artists who create vibrantly colored peasant paintings and intricate paper cutouts. Tonight you will have the rare opportunity to stay at a typical farmer's home to learn to make JiaoZi (traditional Chinese dumplings) and enjoy a home-made JiaoZi dinner there. After dinner, tonight you will have a dancing party with local farmers at the village grain-sunning ground.

Day 8 : Dec-22-12 Saturday Hu County/Xian/Chengdu
meals: B/L
Enjoy a rare glimpse into China's countryside living through a visit to the workshops and galleries where you can learn about the artist's special techniques, purchase artwork or paper cutouts and even try your hand at creating your own magnificent work of art. Visit the farmer's old village and you will be surprised by the huge difference between the old village and new village where you are staying. Visit the local elementary school and have a 45-minutes class with the local children (You may enjoy bringing some small gifts to the children for the school visit).After your included Chinese lunch, return to the Xian Airport for your flight to Chengdu. Xian/Chengdu HU7855 (2:15P/3:35P) (Your local guide has tickets) Please meet your local guide and driver at the Chengdu airport exit for transfer to the hotel. As an optional evening entertainment, tonight you will get to enjoy a traditional show at a tea house – it is a favorite one of adults and kids alike and is often a highlight of the trip to China! Get your camera ready and see if you can figure out the art of the local custom of "face changing". It's a fascinating local artistic work.
Day 9 : Dec-23-12 Sunday Chengdu/Guilin
meals: B/L

Christmas in ChinaGo on an extraordinary journey to the Panda Breeding Research Base this morning. A professional panda caregiver will give a brief insight into panda research findings and everyone will have the rare opportunity to hold and hug a baby panda — something everyone in the family is sure to enjoy. After lunch, visit the Chengdu old town – JingLi Street, which combines the culture of the Three Kingdoms Period with the folk customs of Sichuan.  The tea-houses, stores and hotels are modeled on the architectural style of a traditional old town in western Sichuan Province from the Qing (1644-1911) Dynasty. As you stroll down the narrow streets, you will find local artisan Shu Embroidery, lacquer products, calligraphy work and other local handicrafts. Visiting stores on this street, one feels like you have catapulted back in time and you will appreciate the relaxing and local unique flavor of this ancient street.  

Notes: When you tour the Panda Reserve Center, you will receive an introduction to panda research at the reserve followed by the opportunity to meet and hold a baby panda.  Please note that the cost of holding the panda and taking a picture with one is an additional fee to the entry fee which is USD208.00/per person for holding a baby panda. Although the Pandas are cute and adorable, they may inflict accidental injuries in their playful nature.

Christmas in ChinaYou will be transferred to the Chengdu Airport for your trip to Guilin at late afternoon.
Chengdu/Guilin                  CA4323 (7:30P/9:05P) (Your tour guide has tickets)
Meet your tour guide at the Guilin Airport exit for transfer to the Guilin Ming Garden Apartment Suite.

Tonight you will stay at the Ming Garden Apartment Suites, which is located within the local Chinese residents’ apartment complexes.  Each unit is decorated in the Ming Dynasty Style with traditional Ming furniture, an air-conditioning/heating unit, a private western-style bath, a kitchen equipped with microwave, refrigerator and cooking utensils; free internet access, television and telephone. You can also enjoy free late checkouts until 6:00 p.m. (all hotels request checkouts before 12:00 noon).  All guests will have the rare chance to live among local residents within the same apartment complex. We can even arrange an assistant to make traditional Chinese meals for your family.

Day 10 : Dec-24-12 Monday Guilin
meals:B/L/D
Visit the tea farm this morning. You will have Guilin Rice noodle for your lunch in one of the local famous rice noodle restaurant. More than 700 years ago, the Italian traveler, Marco Polo, introduced spaghetti to Italy, then to all western countries. After your Guilin Rice noodle lunch, you won't be surprised why local people can have noodles every day, every meal. Explore the Reed Flute Caves in afternoon. Enjoy the gorgeous views of beautiful backdrops created by the cool atmosphere and colorful lighting displays inside the caves as you pass by many fanciful shapes (don't forget to look for the Monkey King). Visit the Fubo Hill in afternoon.
Day 11 : Dec-25-12 Tuesday Guilin/Yangshuo/Guilin
meals:B/L/D
Christmas in ChinaWake up in China and spend special family time together. Our apartment nanny will prepare breakfast for your family while you relax and spend special holiday time together. After breakfast, embark on a Li River scenic cruise and enjoy a delicious lunch onboard. The landscape of Guilin is noted as the most gorgeous in China, with sparkling clear waters and magnificent green hills; you will see fishermen fishing with their trained cormorant birds occasionally as well. Your children will be excited to watch water buffalos either grazing along the riverbanks or taking lazy afternoon swims. Return to Guilin in late afternoon. Have your family dinner meal prepared by the apartment nanny and you may wish to invite her and her daughter over tonight for a little holiday celebration with your family and let her 12 year old daughter practice English with your kids or just play some board or card games tonight as a family to mark this unique Christmas holiday in your family's memory.
Day 12 : Dec-26-12 Wednesday Guilin/Province
meals:B
Depart Guilin and travel to the capital city of the designated province for an orphanage visit. Lotus guides will sensitively and carefully assist your family as you embark on this most meaningful portion of your return trip. On this initial day of the city visit, one can spend time strolling the area and absorbing a sense of the city and locale.
Day 13 : Dec-27-12 Thursday Province
meals:n/a

Your orphanage visitation typically includes a lunch meeting with the orphanage director and staff. If your family wishes to be touch with the foster family, Lotus can also arrange a time for you to reunite if contact information is available. After lunch, you may explore your child's finding site. Record the day's events in your journal or just relax with your family this evening.

Day 14 : Dec-28-12 Friday Province/Guangzhou
meals:n/a
This morning take some final glimpses around your child's province to capture your special memories. After breakfast, depart for Guangzhou. Meet your local English-speaking tour guide and driver at the Guangzhou New BaiYun International Airport for transfer to the hotel.
Day 15 : Dec-29-12 Saturday Guangzhou
meals:B/L
Christmas in ChinaTour around Shamian Island, stop at the medical clinic where adoption medical exams are conducted and visit the photo shop where your child's visa photo was taken. In the afternoon, spend some time strolling around the YueXiu Park to relax as you recall your family adoption trip. Have a leisurely lunch while you reminisce at key sports in the area. This evening, capture a few last glimpses around Guangzhou and spend some time writing in your journal.
Day 16 : Dec-30-12 Sunday Guangzhou/U.S.
meals:B

Please meet your private English-speaking tour guide and driver at the hotel lobby and travel to the Guangzhou New Bai Yun Airport for your international flight back to the United States. Cross the International Dateline and arrive home on the same day.

Tour Prices: $2,110.00/per adult  $1,688.00/per child

Accommodations:
City Hotel
Beijing Beijing Peace Hotel
Xian Days Hotel & Suites Xinxing, Xi'an
Chengdu Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Guilin Guilin Ming Garden Apartment Suite
Guangzhou China Hotel

Hotel Information:
Hotel Indoor Pool Outdoor Pool Gym Safe Box Refrigerator Hair Dryer Kitchen

Beijing Peace Hotel

 

 

Days Hotel & Suites Xinxing, Xi'an

 

 

 

Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel

 

 

Guilin Ming Garden Apartment suite

 

 

 

China Hotel, Guangzhou

 

 

Inclusions

  • Soft sleeper train ticket of Beijing/Xian;
  • Airfare of Xian/Chengdu/Guilin;
  • Airport/hotel/airport (or train station) transfer as listed on itinerary.
  • All listed sightseeing and tour programs with private English-speaking tour guide and private van or bus with driver.
  • Hotels and meals as stipulated on itinerary.
  • All prices are quoted in US Dollars and are subject to change without notice. Please check at time of booking.
  • All prices are quoted per person based on two people sharing a room (double occupancy). Single supplement applies for single travelers.

Exclusions

  • US/China/US international airfare. Please contact us for discount international airfare starting from your city.
  • Passport and/or China Visa Fees
  • Some meals
  • Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses of a personal nature;
  • Extending trip to orphanage city on days of December 26 - 28 which can be arranged with extra cost by us;

Important Remarks

  • For different scheduled tour, please contact us for a price quote
  • A child has to be less than 12 years old to receive a discount.
  • Twin beds in China hotels, about 50 inches wide, are closer in width to the 54" double size beds in the U.S., and much wider than the 39 inches wide twin beds found in U.S. homes.
  • If your itinerary states "free time" or "free day", no activities would be planned for you and your English-speaking tour guide and driver would not be present.
  • Lotus Travel highly recommends clients to purchase travel insurance. The Travel Plus Plan offered by the Travelex Insurance Company has excellent travel benefits and children 15 and under are free of charge when traveling with an adult.
  • We recommend applying for travel visas 2-3 months before your departure. For detailed information, please visit the Web page at http://www.lotustours.net/visas/china.shtml
  • Lotus Travel offers a very affordable cell phone rental package to help you stay in touch with families while in China. Please contact us at info@lotustours.net or your agent for more details
  • A $500.00 per person non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration.
  • Balance is due 60 days before departure.

Remarks

B = Breakfast

L = Chinese Lunch

D = Chinese Dinner

AA = American Airlines

CA= Air China

MU=China Eastern Airlines

CX = Cathay Pacific Airways

CZ=China Southern Airline

 


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