This journey begins in Beijing with an overnight stay in a comfortable airport hotel. A short flight takes you to Datong, an ancient city and the capital of Northern Wei Dynasty. Take an excursion to view the extraordinary precious Buddhist art and sculptures at the renowned Yungang Grottos. Travel to the countryside to visit the unique Hanging Temple and tour the exquisite Huayan Temple in the city.
Another hop by air gets you to Pingyao, one of the best preserved ancient county towns in Shanxi Province. The centuries-old city wall is still standing and the old town center appears to be from an era long gone, with traditional store fronts and character old residences. Explore the maze of small alley ways where old customs and way of life continues. Tour the fascinating compound of the Wang Family and ornate Shuanglin Temple, center of the local spiritual life
Fly to Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and an ancient city on the banks of the Yellow River with obvious Muslim characters. Arab and Persian merchants came to China over 1400 years ago during the Tang and Song Dynasties via the Silk Road and many of them settled down in China. Their Muslim descendants became today’s Hui ethnic minority.
The next stop of your tour is Chengdu, a place of color, spirit and fiery food. A visit to the Giant Panda Breeding & Research Center gives you the rare opportunity to view these adorable but critically endangered animals up close. Ponder the marvelous findings at the Sanxingdui Archaeological Site & Museum spanning 4000 years of history. Relax and sip a cup of fragrant tea in a local teahouse and enjoy a fascinating face-changing performance. See the awesome Leshan Giant Buddha and wander in the alleys of the atmospheric Huanglongxi ancient town.
Wing on to Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province. Green and lush parks dot this vibrant city and a day excursion will bring you to China’s largest waterfall – Huangguoshu Waterfall. With a diverse culture and ethnic population, Guizhou Province is home to more than 20 ethnic minorities and Kaili is the center of the Miao People who still practice ancient rituals and follow centuries-old traditions. You will explore several colorful minority villages.