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Dream tour of Pingyao old town

Tour code: beijing 031
Duration: 8 days
Route: Beijing, Datong, Taiyuan
Attractions: Pingyao: Once a center of trade and finance, Pingyao still remains much as it did hundreds of year ago and is the best preserved walled city in China.



Day 1 Arrival / Beijing
Transfer via: International flight-on your own arrangement
Arrive at Beijing. Be met & transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.


Day 2 Beijing (B,L)
City tour to Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace. Evening Peking opera Performance.


Tian'anmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people. Having a free walk there, imagining the great historic events of the 20th century took place there. You will also see legendary landmarks including the Great Hall of the People and the towering 125 foot granite obelisk, Monument to the Peoples Heroes, honoring those who died in revolution.


Walking across the Golden River Bridge, enter the Forbidden City, the inner sanctum and palace where for centuries Chinese emperors ruled their world. It has 9000-room maze of courtyards, places, and ceremonial halls, where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was indeed a forbidden place, where commoners were kept out for nearly 500 years in the past. Tour the palace and imagine the mystery, intrigue and incredible power that reigned here.


Temple of Heaven was built in the 15th century, a sacred site for ancient Beijing, where the emperor and his 1000 member entourage would retreat twice a year for religious ritual. Surrounded by enormous grounds designed in accordance with fengshshui, the Temple complex consists of the Celebrated Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail. It is considered the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture.


Day 3 Beijing (B,L,D)
Hike from Jinshanlin to Simatai today (12km up and down), drive back to Beijing.


Simatai located at the boundary between Gubeikou Town,130 km away from Beijing, and Luanping County,Hebei Province.  The 19-kilometre-long wall of Simatai began its construction in 1368. Architectually, the wall is delicately structured and unique in design. The 35 watchtowers there are original structured and varied in form. The Tower for Viewing the Capital at an elevation of 986 metres above sea level, is constructed on sheer precipices. This part of the great wall is charictorized as astonish,Unusual and Vicious.


Day 4 Beijing/ Datong (B,L)
Transfer via: PM Train (about 5hrs)
Visit Hutongs by rickshaw. Take afternoon Train to Datong. Once upon you get to Datong, be met and transferred to your hotel in Datong.

Hutongs: The old narrow paths where common people lived. All the Hutongs crisscross with each other, dotted with the Kindergarten, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the Tea House, and the lake, House of Gong Infant and local people's houses among them.


Day 5 Datong (B,L)
Have city tours to the Yungang Grottoes, the Nine-Dragon Screen, the Steam Locomotive Factory and the Huayan Temple.


The Yungang Grottoes: With their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, the grottoes represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao, with their strict unity of layout and design, constitute a classical masterpiece of the first peak of Chinese Buddhist art.


The Nine-Dragon Screen: It was built in 1392 to conceal the palace of a Ming dynasty (1368-1644) prince.


The Steam Locomotive Factory: 2.5km southwest of the city, it was the last steam locomotive factory in the world until it switched from steam to diesel production in 1988.


The Huayan Temple: Named after the Huayan sect of Buddhism, was established in the 11th Century and was one of the eight most important temples in the Tang Dynasty.


Day 6 Taiyuan / Pingyao (B,L)
Transfer via: AM Train (about 6hrs)
Take morning train with soft seats to Taiyuan. Arrive at Taiyuan. Be met & transferred to your hotel. Have tours to Jin Ancestral Temple and Double-Pagoda Temple.


The Jin Ancestral Temple: It was originally started in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 532 AD) to commemorate the memory of Shu Yu (Zhou Wu), the founder of the state of Jin.


The Double-Pagoda Temple: It was originally called Yongzuo Temple, built in the 36th year of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1608). The two pagodas in the temple are considered the symbol of Taiyuan city.


Day 7 Pingyao / Beijing (B,L)
Transfer via: PM Train (about 10hrs)
Full day trip to the Qiao's Grand Courtyard, the Shuanglin Temple, Pingyao ancient town, including the Ancient City Wall, the Rishengchang Draft Bank and the Mingqing Street. Take evening train with soft sleepers to Beijing.


Pingyao ancient town is 90km southward from Taiyuan, the capital of the province, shanxi Pingyao Ancient Town is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China. Being prosperous and well developed in both Ming and Qing dynasties as a financial and business center, Pingyao was the assembly place of wealthy merchants who built the eye-catching courtyards one after the other, thus made the town the typical folk house in northern China. With more than 1700 years history, the Shanxi ancient town is the birthplace of the earliest bank in China, named Piaohao, means the firm for exchanging and transferring of money.

The Qiao's Grand Courtyard: With the area of 8724 square meters, the courtyard was the house of the richest family Qiao in Qing Dynasty in China. Though 2 centuries have been passed, it still keeps its original splendor in architectural style.


The Shuanglin Temple: Standing for more than 1500 years, the temple is famous for more than 2,000 painted sculptures of precious value, representing Ming and Qing Dynasties' best. They are reputed as a "treasure reserve of the oriental painted sculptures".


Pingyao ancient town: In the middle of Shanxi Province, it is the best-preserved among the four ancient towns in China. It is the assembly place of folk houses in north China where rows upon rows of buildings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties stand in well-preserved conditions.


The Ancient City Wall: The 6.4km-long wall was constructed in the third year of Hongwu period of the Ming Dynasty (1370A.D.). It is one of the best-preserved ancient city walls in China.


The Rishengchang Draft Bank: It was established in 1823. It was the biggest draft bank at that time and had been famous for "Hui Tong Tian Xia" (Business Connecting The Whole World).


The Mingqing Street: It is the downtown thoroughfare and reserved quite well of the styles in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.


Day 8 Beijing / Departure (B)
Transfer via: International flight-on your own arrangement
Arrive at Beijing. Be met at the railway station & transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination.


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