Islam Culture Odyssey

MT04: 15 Days China Tours from Seattle US to Hong Kong Guangzhou Xian Lanzhou - Linxia - Xiahe - Lanzhou Beijing
  • Full Itinerary
Day01 Seattle - Hong Kong
To some tourists traveling abroad, convenient international flight is one of the most important factors which could make their trip easy and free from fatigue. Thanks to the very excellent transport links, it is handy to plan China tours from USA. For people who are staying in Seattle, we recommend you choose Hong Kong as the first stop of your trip. Delta Air Lines has a regular direct flight DL017 1538/2035+1 to Hong Kong every day, and its flying time is about 14 hours. People from Portland of Oregon, Boise of Idaho, Las Vegas of Nevada, Salt Lake City of Utah, Denver of Colorado, Phoenix of Arizona, Minneapolis of Minnesota, Atlanta of Georgia and Sacramento of California can also get to Seattle first, and then make your way further to Hong Kong by taking the above flight.
Day02 Hong Kong
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Hong Kong, reputed as the oriental pearl, a shopping paradise and a dynamic city, has something to offer to every type of travelers. It is quite easy to navigate by public transport on one's own in this international metropolis since clear English signs can be found everywhere. You will stay for two nights at the 4-star Regal Kowloon Hotel. Take the opportunity to explore the city on your own. If your flight arrives between 06:30hr and 23:00hr, proceed to the Regal Hotels International Airport Representatives at Counter “B02”, Arrival Hall, Terminal 2 for your transfer to the hotel. Otherwise, you can pick up a taxi to your hotel.

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Regal Kowloon Hotel
Day03 Hong Kong
Of all the sites and scenes in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is the best to get a snapshot of this renowned city. A spectacular panorama of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Peninsula can be viewed from the summit. We suggest you begin your Hong Kong tour from Seattle with the Victoria Peak.

To get to Victoria Peak, walk southwest to the Star Avenue upon leaving your hotel. Take your time to stroll along this avenue and admire the Victoria Harbor. You will reach the Star Ferry port eventually. Take the ferry to the Central District. Upon reaching, walk about 5 minutes or so to reach the ground floor of Exchange Square. From there, hop onto a double-decker bus No. 15 to its terminal - the Peak. Try to find a front seat at the top deck so as to have a better view of the amazing scenery along the way. After the visit, you may like to go back downhill by using the Peak Tram. Once down the hill, you can walk to the Garden Road Peak Tram Station to catch bus No. 15C for one stop. Alight at the Pedder Street and go forward for about 10 meters to the Central Subway Station. Take the Tsuen Wan Line for one stop, alighting at Tsim Sha Tsui. Exit the station from the N1 Exit and move along the Hart Avenue for 340 meters, reaching at 3-7A Prat Avenue. Here you will find the Ebeneezer's Kebab, a popular Islamic Restaurant at No. 2, 3&5, G/F, Multifield Plaza. Enjoy your lunch there.

Visit the largest Islamic center in the city, the Kowloon Mosque, in the afternoon. It is only about 270 meters westward from the Multifield Plaza. With typical Islamic architecture style, this mosque has become the most eye-catching landmark in Kowloon Tsim Sha Tsui. Only Muslims are allowed access and women must be modestly dressed. The opening hour is from 11:00 to 18:00 (15:00-18:00 on Saturdays). If you still have time left, do some shopping or explore the adjacent Kowloon Park at leisure. 

Meals: Breakfast
Day04 Hong Kong - Guangzhou
Shamian Island
After breakfast, it's your choice to either explore the city further or proceed to check out and leave for Guangzhou by train. Note that you have to check-out of the hotel by 12:00 latest. Taxi fare is about HKD$16 from your hotel to the East Rail Hung Hom Station. The express trains to Guangzhou depart every 50 minutes from 08:00 to 21:00. Hence, it is easy to purchase your ticket on the spot. We will offer you Guangzhou local guide's mobile phone in advance. After you purchase the ticket, please inform your guide on arrival time so that he or she can pick you up at the station on time. After you arrive in Guangzhou, you will be greeted, and then transferred by a private, air-conditioned vehicle to the conveniently located hotel. The rest of the day is for your own exploration of the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Ocean Hotel
Day05 Guangzhou
Guangzhou, a more than 2200-year old historical city, is the largest and most ancient foreign trading port in China. Superior geographical environment and long history has brought the city unique culture which harmoniously blends both the east and west. Your itinerary today begins with a visit to the magnificent Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.  It is the earliest monument to commemorate Dr Sun Yat-sen, the forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution.

Next is Yuexiu Park, where you can see both attractive scenery and historical relics. Stop at an Islamic restaurant for halal lunch before heading to the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, one of the five best Buddhist temples in Guangzhou.

To conclude the day, you will be guided to the Shamian Island, which retains a group of 19th century European style buildings. Surrounded by water, the tree-lined island is always in fine spring weather and has long been a favorite holiday destination.

Meals: Breakfast, Islamic lunch
Day06 Guangzhou - Xian
Terracotta warriors
Photo by our clients Mr. Douglas Ernest Leonard Howes & Ms. Patricia Ann Margaret Howes
It is considered that Guangzhou was the first stop when Islam was introduced into China by the Islamic missionary, Said Ibn Abi Waqqaas, in the 7th Century. Thus it is only natural that the city has the country's first mosque built in memory of the holy Prophet. It was named Huaisheng Mosque. The name "Huaisheng" means "remember the sage". Although the main buildings in this mosque show architectural style of the Tang Dynasty, its Islamic banker tower has a strong Arabic flavor. This banker tower is the oldest extant and only one of its kind in the world. It is also the only tall building from the Tang dynasty that still stands up intact. You will visit the site after breakfast. Halal lunch today shall be at an Islamic restaurant. After lunch, you head to the airport for your flight to Xian, where our guide will meet and transfer you to the hotel upon arrival.

Meals: Breakfast, Islamic lunch
Accommodation: Wyndham Xian
Day07 Xian
Local Muslim vendors in their store in Muslim Street
Xian, with a thousand years of history as the capital of the huge country, is a famous civilized city in the world with brilliant culture. Your private Xian tour starts with a guided exploration of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which was built on its archaeological site. The amazing underground army was first brought to light by a group of farmers who were digging for a well in 1974. Many great treasures have been unearthed as excavations proceeded since then. Have an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at an Islamic restaurant.

Next is the Great Mosque, which is one of the oldest and most renowned mosques in China. There is a collection of valuable items like the hand-copied Koran from the Ming Dynasty and the calendar stone (also known as "the Moon Tablet") inside the mosque. It still functions as a major place of worship for local Muslims, in addition to attracting tourists. You will be given free time to pray at this mosque and explore the Muslim street nearby before returning to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Islamic lunch
Day08 Xian - Lanzhou
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves, Lanzhou
This morning, visit the City Wall and the Provincial History Museum, both of which contain rich historical and cultural remains. Being acclaimed as the most complete and precise ancient military defensive system in existence, the solid Xian City Wall has witnessed great social vicissitudes for more than 600 years. On the other hand, the Provincial History Museum houses about 370,000 cultural treasures, which unfold the city's history of over one million years from prehistoric times to 1840 AD. Once there, you will feel like taking a nostalgic journey through time and space. Enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at the Islamic restaurant before leaving for the airport for your flight to Lanzhou. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will meet and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Islamic lunch
Accommodation: Legend Hotel
Day09 Lanzhou
As we will be visiting the Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves today and halal food is unavailable nearby, please have a hearty breakfast and take with you sufficient food for lunch. As one of the oldest caves in our country, Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves preserves murals and stone sculptures of different times from the Western Qin Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, spanning over 1600-year time period. Rich in contents and extensive in themes, it has been described as the "encyclopedia of Chinese grottoes". One will also marvel at the artistic genius of ancient Chinese civilization.

Meals: Breakfast
Day10 Lanzhou – Linxia – Xiahe
Muslims are waiting for visitors to try their Yellow River sheepskin-rafting
After breakfast we will embark on a tour to Linxia and Xiahe. Being dotted with numerous mosques and Gongbeis, Linxia city earns the reputation as "the little Mecca of China". It has been one of the major religious and cultural centers of the Muslim community in the country since Islam was established here during the Tang Dynasty.

Gongbei is a term used for the Islamic shrine complex centering on a Sufi saint's tomb. Learn the local Hui Muslims' culture from the mausoleum of Qi Jingyi (1656-1719), where you will see valuable brick and wood carvings and mosque in the Great Gong Bei. Hong Yuan Garden, on the other hand, is a noted place for its flowers and ancient architectures that presents a perfect combination of classical southern garden and local ethnic buildings.

Lunch will be at an Islamic restaurant in Linxia County. As there is no good Islamic restaurant in Xiahe, you may like to pack some halal food here for dinner later. Today's itinerary ends upon arrival at your hotel in Xiahe.

Meals: Breakfast, Islamic lunch
Accommodation: Labrang Civil Aviation Hotel
Day11 Xiahe - Lanzhou
This morning you will explore the majestic Labrang Monastery, one of the six monasteries of the Gelugpa sect. With more than 300 years of history, the Labrang Monastery has reserved the country's best teaching system of Tibetan Buddhism by holding six institutes of learning and almost 60,000 sutras. It is worth mentioning that visitors can witness a large number of lamas participating in the traditional morning practice at the sutra debate area. On the way back to Lanzhou, we will stop for lunch at an Islamic restaurant in Xiahe. Check in at the hotel upon arrival. The remainder of the day is free.

Meals: Breakfast, Islamic lunch
Accommodation: Legend Hotel
Day12 Lanzhou - Beijing
Visit the Waterwheel Garden and Xiguan Mosque in the morning. Originated from the Ming Dynasty, waterwheel was the oldest pumping irrigation tool widely used along the Yellow River area. The Waterwheel Garden reproduces an impressive spectacle with many waterwheels of various shapes and styles. On the other hand, the Arab-style tall minarets and spherical domes make Xiguan Mosque an exotic structure different from others. After lunch at an Islamic restaurant, you will be transferred to the airport for your afternoon flight to Beijing. The local guide there will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Islamic lunch
Accommodation: Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao
Day13 Beijing
A mosque in Xiahe
Following breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the Tiananmen Square. It is the largest urban square in the world, around which are several equally attractive grand architectures. From the square, walk a short distance northwards to reach the Forbidden City. Also called the Palace Museum, it is a comprehensive museum established on the basis of the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Be astounded by the vast collection of treasures.

After enjoying an Islamic a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price), we will head to the Ox Street Mosque, which is among the world's most famous mosques. The Chinese traditional architecture of this tranquil mosque distinguished itself from the modern buildings of the nearby bustling commercial districts, making it a fascinating destination. Have your guide take you to the neighboring Moslem superstore, where you can find a good selection of halal food.

The day will be concluded after a visit to the Temple of Heaven, which is a classic architectural work that was built in the first half of the 15th century. The southern aspect of the temple is square and the northern part is circular, representing the 'square' earth and the 'round' sky respectively. It is the largest architectural structure in China to be built expressly for the purpose of sacrifice and worship.

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Islamic Lunch
Day14 Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing
We will make our way to the Summer Palace today. It is a fantastic resort where visitors will admire both the enchanting landscapes and distinctive architectures of the royal garden. An Islamic a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) will be served around noon.

Next, you will head to the Badaling Great Wall, one of the top highlights of your Beijing tour from Seattle. As the most well-preserved section of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, Badaling is the earliest section of the wall opened to travelers. The steep mountain slope and the torturous roads once made it a military stronghold. Nowadays, it has already become one of the most famous tourist sites known all over the world. One will have the feel on how the long wall stretches along with the mountain ranges, just like a huge dragon creeping on the contour of the mountains. A spectacular view indeed!

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Islamic lunch
Day15 Beijing - Seattle
Your private China Muslim tour from USA ends today. You will be transferred to the airport and our guide will help with the check-in formalities. Both the Delta Air Lines flight DL128 1120/0739 and the China Hainan Airlines flight HU495 1540/1135 are available daily from Beijing to Seattle. The air travel is 11 hours & 19 minutes for the former and 10 hours & 55 minutes for the latter. You can book either of them to return home the same day. Adieu and have a safe onward journey!

Meals: Breakfast
Related Itineraries:
Golden Muslim Experience: 9 Days Shanghai - Xian - Beijing
Beijing Muslim Glimpses: 5 Days Beijing
Silk Road Moslem Trail: 18 Days Beijing - Yinchuan - Urumqi - Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xian - Shanghai
The above routes do not meet your requirements? Please click Tailor My Trip
Book a 2018 China tour before Dec. 31, 2017, and you will enjoy a guaranteed discount of 12% off the tour price.