Travel to Home of Giant Pandas

ST06: 13 Days China Tours from Detroit USA to Shanghai Chengdu Leshan Chengdu   Xi'an Beijing
  • Itinerary
Day 1 Detroit - Shanghai
When mentioning China, one can easily think of the lovely giant panda, which is the national treasure of the country. The following student group tour provides an opportunity for travelers from oversea cities including Detroit to get a close contact with this adorable animal in Chengdu, the natural habitat of panda. Before going to Chengdu, you will enter Shanghai as the first stop. The regular direct flight DL583 1631/1855+1 of Delta Airlines flies daily from Detroit to Shanghai. The China Eastern flight MU8880 and the China Southern flight CZ1021 have code shared with Delta Airlines. You will arrive in Shanghai the next day after 14 hours & 24 minutes' flying. People from other regions of the country like Lansing of Michigan, Madison of Wisconsin, Milwaukee of Wisconsin, Minneapolis of Minnesota, Columbus of Ohio, Philadelphia of Pennsylvania, Portland of Maine, Hartford of Connecticut, Jacksonville of Florida, and Miami of Florida can connect flight via Detroit to Shanghai.
Day 2 Shanghai
Upon arrival in Shanghai Airport, our tour professional will be on hand to greet and take you to ride the maglev train. Though years have gone into building prototypes, Shanghai's maglev train is the first operational one. The train peaks at 450 km/h, and reaches Longyang Road in after 8 minutes. You get from Longyang Road to the 3-star Golden River-view Hotel by a tourist coach. Relax for the day and get ready for the upcoming Shanghai tours from Detroit, USA.

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 3 Shanghai
Old Shanghai Street
In the morning, you will visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall for a lesson on the city's history, current development and future plan. Then go back in time with a visit on the Old Shanghai Street, and then proceed to the Old City God Temple, where you will find many local snacks and interesting knickknacks. 

In the afternoon, you will have some free time to explore the Bund before visiting the Old French Concession. The area was once a French Concession from 1849 and 1945. Many foreigners who have lived there left a legacy of western style buildings and churches, making this area one of the prime residential neighborhoods. Now it is hot tourist hangout. Tonight, you will take a charming Huangpu River cruise, amid colorful neon displays.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 Shanghai - Chengdu
You will be seen off at the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and taken to 3-star Holiday Inn Express in downtown area. Rest of the day is free for you.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express
Day 5 Chengdu
Cute pandas
Visit China's national treasure: giant panda, in Chengdu Panda Base. The best time to see the pandas is in the morning when the bears feed and play. Lunch will be arranged in a nice restaurant. Then you will go to the People's Park to mingle with local people. Everyday, people sing, dance, drink tea, play Mahjong, and get their ears plucked clean in the park. Your guide will show you around the park. To learn about Chengdu or Sichuan, you should not miss the Sichuan Cuisine. You will visit Sichuan Cuisine Museum for a history of Sichuan Cuisine, and also see the common ingredients in its preparation. Moreover, you can try your hand at cooking a dish and then taste the result. After that you can spend your time at the famous Broad and Narrow Alleys. Flanked with old courtyards, teahouses, restaurants, and souvenir booths, the Broad and Narrow Alleys has become a tourist favorite, rich with the flavor of old Chengdu.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Chengdu - Leshan - Chengdu
Visit the Giant Buddha in Leshan today. On the way to Leshan, do a rest stop at Tianfu Tea Garden to learn about Chinese tea and see the beautiful tea trees terraces. From March to May, you will have the opportunity to pick tea leaves. At Leshan, take your lunch before visiting the famous Giant Buddha. Work on the Buddha began in 713 during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and finished 90 years later in 803. The Buddha is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high and 24 meters (about 79 feet) wide, and is a designated world heritage relic. The bus will take you back to Chengdu.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Chengdu - Xi'an
Take a high-speed train to Xi'an in around 4 hours. You will be met and taken to the 3-star Days Inn City Centre for a three-night's stay. In the afternoon, you will walk on the City Wall. Protective city walls are a common sight in both ancient Europe and Asia. The City Wall in Xi'an dated back to the Tang Dynasty and strengthened in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), is regarded as a landmark of the city. When you stand on the ancient wall, you can survey the old city and pick out the city's other landmarks, such as the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Riding a bicycle around on the wall rampart is a quiet an experience. It takes about 1.5 hours to finish the whole circle of the wall and the bike rental is an out of the pocket expense.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 8 Xi'an
Our guests at the Terracotta Warriors Museum, Xian
The whole morning will be spent at the world's eighth wonder, Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. As a tomb annex to the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 - 207 BC), the warriors and horses were designed to protect their emperor in his after life. For more than two thousand of years, they stoically stood guard and act as if they want to come to life.

After lunch, visit the Great Mosque and stroll leisurely in the nearby bustling Muslim Food Street. On the way to the mosque, your guide gives you simple shopping lessons in Chinese, such as "duo shao qian" (How much), "pian yi dian" (Can you make it cheaper), "wo bu yao zhe ge" (No, I don't want this one), and "hao, wo yao le" (Ok, I'll take it). At night you will eat a sumptuous dumpling dinner and followed by a fantastic Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dumpling dinner
Day 9 Xi'an - Beijing
Xian City Wall
This morning you get to know what Chinese students are like at a local college and get some introductory information about the college. After showing you around the campus, the students will invite you to play a basketball match. Then you may communicate with them freely. Come well prepared would be an advantage.

After lunch, visit Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an Museum. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was constructed in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) to house the Buddhist scriptures and statues brought back from India. The pagoda still stands there after ravages by wars, natural and man made disasters in the past 1,300 years. Now Xi'an Museum has been built around to offer protection to the pagoda. You can find many precious relics in the museum. Tonight, you will take an overnight train to Beijing. 

Tips: Local college visit in Xian can only be arranged for large groups (10 people & above). For private one, we will arrange another activity for you instead.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Overnight on the soft sleeper train
Day 10 Beijing
You will arrive at Beijing in the early morning. Breakfast is by your own arrangement. Buying some snacks before boarding the train on the previous night should help to tie you over. Our guide will meet you at the railway station and take you to the 3-star Holiday Inn Express Beijing Temple of Heaven. The rest of the morning is for you to reorient yourself. This afternoon, your Beijing tour from Detroit begins in earnest with a visit to the old residential area, hutongs and courtyards. You travel by rickshaw through the old narrow alleys and stop at a courtyard to visit a Beijing family.

If you want more local content, you may sign up to visit the Temple of Heaven Park the next morning, where you mingle with local residents doing morning exercises, such as playing shadow boxing, dancing, singing, or practicing Chinese calligraphy. The entrance fee of the park (CNY 10 per person) is an out of pocket expense. 

Meals: Lunch
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Beijing Temple of Heaven
Day 11 Beijing
Our group in the Forbidden City, Beijing
Hotel serves breakfast as early as 07:00, so you can get up early. The guide will call at 07:30 and accompany you on your walk to the Temple of Heaven Park (7 minutes).

Your visit begin with Tiananmen Square, the world's largest city square. You are guided around the square and then taken to the Forbidden City, which enjoys the same status as the White House in USA, the Buckingham Palace in UK, the Kremlin Palace in Russia, and the Versailles Palace in France. After leaving the palace from its north gate, you will climb the hill in Jingshan Park for a panoramic view of the royal palace. After lunch, visit the Temple of Heaven to learn about the imperial altar and prayer offerings made by emperors of the Ming and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties for good harvests. In the evening, join the audience for a Chinese Kong Fu show in a theater.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 12 Beijing
Temple of Heaven
You are always near the great wall when in Beijing. This morning, you will hike a famous section, the Mutianyu Great Wall. The great wall strings along a mountain range, so you need to climb about 40 minutes and then hike along the wall (1.5 hours). When coming down, you can use a cable car or slideway if you are tired (pay your own fare). We suggest that you take some snacks as today's lunch will be at 13:30 - 14:00. This afternoon, visit the bustling Xiushui Market. In the market, you will find clothes, hats, shoes, pajamas, underwear, local handcrafts, silk clothes, robes in the style of the Qing Dynasty, and clothing of Chinese minority groups. The market attracts many foreign visitors everyday, so most of the shopkeepers speak fluent English. You will have the fun bargaining for some interesting souvenirs in the market. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 Beijing - Detroit
To round off your China tours from USA, today we will escort you to the airport and help you board your homeward flight. The non-stop Delta Airlines flight DL188 1635/1802 is scheduled daily from Beijing to Detroit. The China Eastern flight MU8887 and CZ1020 have code shared with this flight. Moreover, the flying time is 13 hours and 27 minutes. We wish you a smooth journey home!

Meals: Breakfast
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