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China: Beijing, Shanghai, and the Yangzi River

October 14 - 28, 2007
U.Va. Faculty:Peter Yu, Lecturer on Chinese Culture and Language, and Assistant Dean of African-American Affairs
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Overview

Join us on a tour of China's most dynamic cities, beautiful countryside, and Yangzi River. This trip includes the wonders all first-time travelers to China wish to see: the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing. We also visit Xian, home of the terracotta warriors, as well as Guilin, the south China region of picturesque karst mountains rising from the rice paddies. Our last stop is Shanghai, China's most European-influenced city, with its wide boulevards, world-class museums, and the European Bund along the Huangpu River. On the Yangzi River, our cruise aboard the Victoria allows us to enjoy the river's culture to its fullest through daily ports of call.

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Program Highlights

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Accommodations

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Meals

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Faculty

Peter Yu, Lecturer on Chinese Culture and Language, and Assistant Dean of African-American Affairs

Dr. Yu has been working with the University since 1996 and directed several University study abroad programs, including the Darden School's Global Business Experience-China program since 2004. He received his college education in China and went on to earn his M.A. from University of Exeter, England, and Ph.D. from University of Virginia with a focus on international education.

A scholar of Chinese culture and Chinese education, he teaches courses on Chinese language and culture and Chinese calligraphy at the University. He is currently writing a book on Chinese calligraphy for American learners.

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Itinerary

Days 1 and 2- San Francisco - Beijing

Depart San Francisco International Airport on an Air China non-stop flight to Beijing. Arrive in the early evening the next day and transfer to the Grand Hotel in the heart of downtown Beijing.

Day 3 - Beijing

Following an introduction to China by our tour director, our exploration of China begins with a visit to Beijing's picturesque Houhai district, where many old courtyard homes are preserved and the narrow hutong alleys border tree-lined lakes north of the Forbidden City. We tour the district by "pedicab" for a closer and more engaging perspective on traditional Chinese life. Later, dividing into small groups, enjoy lunch at a local family's home. Afterwards, visit the Summer Palace, where we'll have sufficient leisure to explore the beautiful grounds. The Palace was built in 1888 for the Empress Dowager Ci Xi, using funds originally intended for the Qing Imperial Navy. We'll cruise on the lovely Kunming Lake and stroll through the royal gardens. Also tour the Painted Gallery, the longest covered walkway in China, famous for its exquisite landscape paintings. This evening, enjoy a special Peking duck banquet.

Day 4 - Beijing

An optional early morning walk to Changpuhe Park offers an opportunity to observe local residents practicing taiji and qigong. This morning, visit the Forbidden City, the abiding symbol of imperial China. Truly one of the great achievements of civilization, its construction employed hundreds of thousands of workers between 1406 and 1420. We'll marvel at its expansive architecture, magnificent imperial gardens, and many museums of Chinese antiquities and treasures. After lunch, visit the Temple of Heaven, one of the finest creations of the Ming Dynasty. Built in the 15th century the stunning architecture of the Temple of Heaven represents the most advanced principles of mechanics and geometry available at the time. Tonight is free; dinner on one's own.

Day 5 - Beijing

Today is devoted to the Great Wall of China. We'll encounter this extraordinary rampart at Mutianyu, a rugged section of the Wall that is less crowded and offers easy access by foot or cable car. As is usually the case, the Great Wall of China presents a visual experience that consistently exceeds visitors' expectations. Scholars estimate that the Wall once stretched for 3,700 miles, passing through sixteen provinces. The afternoon is free for independent exploration. Tonight, we enjoy a banquet at the elegant Fangshan Restaurant featuring Imperial Cuisine.

Day 6 - Xian

This morning we fly to the ancient Tang Dynasty capital of Xian. Transfer to the Sofitel Hotel downtown. We explore the History Museum and its extraordinary displays of cultural artifacts dating from numerous dynasties. Dinner is on one's own this evening.ous dynasties. Dinner is on one's own this evening.

Day 7 - Xian

Our second day in Xian begins with a viewing of the extraordinary 2,300-year-old terracotta warriors, the tomb of China's first emperor, Qinshihuang. The warriors still stand on the original site of the emperor's burial complex, where they were discovered by farmers in 1974. Later, visit the Wild Goose Pagoda and marvel at its intricate architecture. We'll also have an opportunity to stroll Muslim Street and visit the Grand Mosque. Our day concludes with a Dumpling Banquet, featuring 20 varieties of traditional Chinese dumplings.

Day 8 - Xian - Chongqing

This morning we make a special stop at the Han Emperor's Tomb, Yangling Museum, to view the Han archaeological finds that have been recently unearthed. Fly to Chongqing, visit General Stilwell's Museum which documents the allied effort in China during WWII. Then, explore the lively art scene at the Chongqing Art Institute Galleries.

Day 9 - Dazu

After breakfast, we motorcoach to Dazu, a religious and archaeological site important to Chinese history. Here we visit the Total Awakening Grotto, a spectacular Buddhist grotto with well-preserved sculpture that dates from the 9th to 13th centuries. We view the huge Sleeping Buddha at Baodingshan and enjoy the 12th-century carvings of the large Buddha Crescent. We also have a chance to visit a village and a school to experience how the locals carry on their traditional life and farming. We return to Chongqing in the late afternoon. Dinner is at Yangzi Island Restaurant. Following dinner we board the Yangzi cruise ship, Victoria.

Days 10 and 11 - Yangzi Cruise

Travel downstream through the spectacular Three Gorges (Qutang, Wu, and Xiling Gorges), enjoying the dramatic scenery and beautiful vistas as they appear. Along the way, disembark the ship to enjoy activities off-shore. Tour the ancient village of Shibaozhai and see the breathtaking Lesser Gorge Danninghe. Visit the spectacular Three Gorges Dam construction site in Sandouping. Our ship will navigate through the new system of locks that is now in use. In addition, enjoy numerous cultural presentations and entertainment activities on board the ship throughout the voyage. (B, L, D)

Day 12 - Shanghai

We disembark the ship in Yichang and transfer directly to the airport for the flight to Shanghai. Check into the Salvo Hotel. Evening is free; dinner on one's own. (B, L)

Day 13 - Shanghai

We spend the morning at the Shanghai Museum, viewing its wonderful collection of Chinese bronzes, jade, pottery, ceramics, paintings, and calligraphy.

Afterwards, enjoy a vegetarian lunch at the Jade Buddha Temple. In the afternoon, visit Yuyuan Garden in old Shanghai and absorb the Chinese traditional garden ambience.

The rest of the day is free. Dinner is at Family Xi's Garden Restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 14 - Zhujiajiao

By bus to Zhujiajiao, a lovely watertown forty minutes outside Shanghai with a history dating back 1700 years. Also known as the "Venice of Shanghai," Zhujiajiao features thirty-six ancient Ming and Qing Dynasty bridges that crisscross the town. Local farmers and residents still use the canals as their primary mode of transportation.

Then, return to Shanghai to explore Xintiandi - a stylish restaurant and shopping district, in the old French Concession area. Lunch is on your own and the afternoon is free.

This evening, enjoy a memorable farewell banquet at the Dingxiang Garden Restaurant, famous for Shanghai cuisine. After dinner, we'll take a last stroll on the Bund, viewing the beautifully decorated colonial buildings along the Huangpu River. (B, D)

Day 15 - Shanghai - San Francisco

After breakfast, passengers on the group flight will transfer to Shanghai airport for the return flight to the U.S. Arrive in San Francisco around noontime the same day. (B, Meals aloft) ^ back to top

Program Fees

$4,790 per person, double occupancy, land only. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,390.

Price includes:

Price does not include:

$5,980 per person, double occupancy with roundtrip coach airfare from San Francisco ($9,780 for business class). A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,390.  (* These prices recently changed due to an airfare increase from Air China)

In addition to the inclusions and exclusions noted in the land-only pricing, air-inclusive price includes:

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 800-346-3882. Or, e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $600 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final payment is due on July 24, 2007.

Deposits can be made via Visa, MasterCard, or check made payable to China Advocates.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited. ^ back to top

Terms & Conditions

Your tour operator will include information on obtaining trip insurance in your confirmation letter. Please note that there is a time frame for securing trip insurance. The University of Virginia will cancel its endorsement of and faculty and staff participation in any program destination for which a Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State. Vendor Terms of Agreement will specify under what circumstances the vendor will cancel a program and/or under what circumstances participants might receive some reimbursement if they cancel their travel with the vendor themselves. U.Va. strongly recommends that all participants purchase trip cancellation insurance which includes protection in the face of political unrest, natural disasters, and personal emergencies and participants should discuss this insurance directly with the vendor or other travel services with whom they deal. You will find more useful travel information by going to the Travel Resources link on this website.

Responsibilities

China Advocates and the University of Virginia Alumni Association act only as agents for the various carriers for which tickets are provided and assume no responsibility or liability in connection with the service of any train, vessel, carriage, aircraft, motor vehicle or other conveyance which may be used either wholly or in part, in the performance of their duty to the passenger. Neither will they be responsible for any act, error, or omission or for any injury, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned by a reason of any defect in any vehicles, or through neglect or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger, or for any hotel proprietor, hotel service or restaurant, or for any other person engaged in carrying out the purpose for which tickets or coupons are issued. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the passengers, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made without penalty to the operators. The right is reserved to withdraw any or all tours should conditions warrant, also to decline to accept or retain any passengers as members for the tours. In such instances, full or equitable amounts will be refunded. Refunds for unused carrier tickets may be only in accordance with the regulations of the carrier. CST 2064278-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. All legal questions will be settled within the jurisdiction of the County of San Francisco, California.

Conditions

Reservations: Bookings are subject to the terms and conditions mentioned in these sections. A contract has been entered into as soon as your booking is received and accepted. To confirm the reservation, a deposit of $600 per person is required.

Documentation: In order to obtain a proper visa, a passport is required, valid for at least six months beyond the duration of the tour.

Cancellations: Cancellations must be made in writing to China Advocates as soon as possible. Cancellation penalties based on the date of receipt of written notice are as follows:

76 or more days prior to departure, a handling fee of $300 per person is retained.
75-46 days prior to departure, $1500 per person.
45-31 days prior to departure, $2500 per person.
30-0 days prior to departure, no refund is made.

For air upgrades, additional air ticketing, hotel and cruise ship room upgrades, and tour extensions, cancellation penalties are as follows:

50-31 days prior to departure, 25% of cost
30-0 days prior to departure, no refund is made.

Trip cancellation insurance is recommended and available. You will receive travel insurance information once you are confirmed on the program.

Itinerary is subject to modification.

Prices are current as of July, 2006 and are subject to change without notice. ^ back to top