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Heart of China – Volunteer Tour 10 Days / 9 Nights WOW 3

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As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Five rivers run through the city, connecting it to the eastern Bohai Sea. Administratively, the Beijing municipality equals the status of a province, reporting directly to the central government. Rich in history, Beijing has been China’s primary capital for more than seven centuries. China’s imperial past and political present meet at Tiananmen Square, where the Forbidden City palace of the emperors gives way to the Great Hall of the People congress building and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong. The old city walls have been replaced by ring roads, and many of the old residential districts of alleys and courtyard houses have been turned into high-rise hotels, office buildings, and department stores. Beijing, a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, remains a magnet for visitors from inside and outside China.

Xi’an is a city with incredible history, as well as a prosperous modern city. As the capital city of Shaanxi province, it holds a key position in the fertile plain between the highland plateau of the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south. Xi’an has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin is regarded as the eighth wonder of the world.

For many years the debate went on to determine where is the Shangri-La as described in James Hilton’s book Lost Horizon. It was not until few years ago that the international debate ended and confirmed that Diqing of Yunnan Province was indeed what James Hilton was writing about. As a result, Diqing is now officially named Shangri-La and has been designed a UNESCO destination.

1 Arrive in Beijing
After a comfortable flight, you’ll arrive at our home, Hong Kong. Transit to Beijing where you will be met by an English-speaking guide and transferred to the Hilton Doubletree for 3 nights stay. Free at leisure for the remainder of the day.
Please note: Impact of the current Beijing traffic situation may affect travel time to attractions such as the Great Wall and Ming Tomb. Depending on the day’s traffic situation, an additional 30-60 minutes of travel time may be incurred. Presently, travel time to the other venues such as Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace has not been affected.
2 Beijing Tour [B, L, D]
Visit Beijing’s most famous sights – Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City. Visit Hutong, traditional courtyard homes, and see how local Beijing residents live.
3 Great Wall, Beijing National Stadium & National Aquatics Center [B, L]
In the morning, visit the Great Wall. The Great Wall is China’s most famous site and stretches over 3,700 miles. In the afternoon, enjoy exterior views of the Beijing National Stadium and National Aquatics Center. Famously known as “The Bird’s Nest” and “Water Cube”, these two structures hosted many competitions during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
4 Arrive in Xian & the Shaanxi History Museum [B, D]
Fly to Xian and transfer to Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square for a 2 nights’ stay. In the afternoon, marvel the national treasures of the ancient Chinese people at the Shaanxi History Museum.
5 Terracotta Museum & Banpo Museum [B, L, D]
Explore the Terracotta Museum and see the buried treasures that took 38 years to complete. Visit the Banpo Museum, an excavation site housing fascinating ancient artifacts.
6 Arrive in Shangri-La [B]
Fly to Kunming and then take a connecting flight to Shangri-La. Transfer to Paradise Hotel for 4 nights stay.
7 National Parks Tour & Shangri-La Old Town [B, L, D]
Enjoy a day outdoors and breathtaking scenic views of the the Pudacuo National Park, Shudu Lake, Militangya Alpine Pastures and the Bitta Hai National Park. In the afternoon, visit Shangri-La Old Town.
8 Full Day Volunteer Work [B, L, D]
Full day volunteer work in The Eastern Tibet Training Institute. The East Tibet Training Institute provides vocational training in a variety of subjects to young people from rural areas in Eastern Tibet. On this day, you’ll be teamed up with local students and conduct educational activities such as English conversation class, games, and cultural exchange.
9 Local Tibetan Crafts [B, L, D]
Spend a day with a local Tibetan. You’ll learn pottery from locals of Tangdui.
10 Return to Hong Kong [B]
In the afternoon, depart from Shangri-La to Hong Kong (transit in Kunming).

The price includes

  • Hotels
    • Doubletree by Hilton Beijing Hotel or similar hotel with Superior Room for 3 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel
    • Xi'an Grand Mercure on Renmin Square or similar hotel with Superior Room for 2 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel
    • Shangrila Paradise Hotel or similar hotel with Superior Room for 4 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel.
  • Entrance fees to sightseeing as stated in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers and ground transportation as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
    • B = Breakfast in hotel
    • L = Lunch outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
    • D = Dinner outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
  • Private English speaking tour guide, and driver
  • China domestic airfare (Economy Class)
    • Beijing to Xi'an
    • Xi'an to Kunming
    • Kunming to Shangri-La
    • Shangri-La to Kunming
  • Inbound and outbound international air (Economy L Class) through the Cathay Pacific Package. Routing based on specific package purchased.

The price excludes

  • Gratuities for the Guides and Drivers
  • Incidentals in hotel such as dry cleaning, phone, mini bar
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • China visa

Notes

  • Hotels used may be changed prior to tour but will be replaced with similar category of hotels
  • Price and availability subject to change without notice until deposit is received
  • For Terms and Conditions, please go to Cathay Pacific's FAQ

Activities

Banpo Museum

Description : The Banpo Museumis located in the eastern outskirt of Xi'an City. As the first museum at the prehistoric site, It was built at the base of the excavations of the Banpo site. The Banpo site is a typical Neolithic matriarchal community of the Yangshao Culture dating back about 6,000 years. Here a lot of relic exhibited to show how ancient people.
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Beijing National Stadium

Description : The Beijing National Stadium, also known as the bird's nest, will be the main track and field stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics and will be host to the Opening and Closing ceremonies. In 2002 Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with Arup Sport and China Architecture Design & Research Group to win the competition. Contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, is the Artistic Consultant for design. The stadium will seat as many as 100,000 spectators during the Olympics, but this will be reduced to 80,000 after the games. The structural elements mutually support each other and converge into a grid-like formation - almost like a bird's nest with its interwoven twigs. The spatial effect of the stadium is novel and radical, yet simple and of an almost archaic immediacy, thus creating a unique historical landmark for the Olympics of 2008.
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Bitahai Lake

Description : Bitahai Lake is 3,000 meters long, 700 meters wide and 3,504 meters high. The water is 40 meters deep. Thousands of azaleas come into bloom around the lake each year, and have become one of the lake’s most noted features.
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Famous Local Calligrapher

Description : Visit a calligrapher who lives in Hutong during his whole life. His house is 300 years old. He knows much more about Hutong area.
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Hutong Tour

Description : Hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Hutong is composed by Siheyuan which the traditional residence of Beijingers, each consisting of a rectangular courtyard surrounded by one-storied tile-roofed houses, usually one to six meters wide. By visiting Hutong, it is a good way to see how traditional residents live and a kind of life style that keep several hundreds. Visit local family who live in Hutong and talk with them to known how they live. Taste the real Chinese family dishes in courtyard.
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Local family

Description : Spend one day in a Beijing local residence, experience the local life in the family for a while or just learn to cook in local flavor.
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Militangya Alpine Pastures

Description : A trip to Shangri-La would be incomplete without a visit to Militangya Alpine Pastures. Here is a paradise where you can simply take in the picturesque natural beauty of the never ending pasture lands and unique animals that call this place home.
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Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Description : The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, had work begun on his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.
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National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)

Description : The Water Cube employs water as a structural and theatrical "leitmotiv" with the square, the primal shape of the house in Chinese tradition and mythology. The structure of the water cube is based on a unique, lightweight construction, developed by Arup and CSCEC with PTW, and derived from the structure of water in the state of aggregation of FOAM as deduced by. Behind the apparently random appearance hides a strict geometry found in natural systems such as crystals, cells and molecular structures. By applying novel materials and technology, the transparency and randomness is transposed into the inner and outer skins of ETFE cushions. Unlike traditional stadium structures with gigantic columns, beams, cables and back spans, to which a facade system is applied, in the water cube design the architectural space, structure and facade are one and the same element. Conceptually the square box and the interior spaces are carved out of an undefined cluster of foam bubbles, symbolizing a condition of nature that is transformed into a condition of culture. The appearance of the aquatic centre is a "cube of water molecules" - the WATERCUBE.
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Pudacuo National Park

Description : The Nature Conservancy has helped China achieve a conservation landmark: the establishment of that country's first national park , which will also serve as a model for a new Chinese national park system. The new park — Pudacuo National Park in China 's Southwest Yunnan Province — is located in one of the most biodiversity regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China 's land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country's plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species. By any standard, Pudacuo qualifies as a natural wonderland. It contains endemic species of fish found no where else in the world, rare and beautiful orchids, black-necked cranes and a yew whose extracts are indispensable to the creation of many cancer drugs. While there are more than 2,300 nature reserves in China , only a fraction are in areas of critical biological importance, and an even smaller number are well-managed. Pudacuo will meet the standards for national parks established by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) — and also advance both protection and sustainable development of this ecologically significant section of Yunnan Province.
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Shaanxi History Museum

Description : Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi Province is the birthplace of the ancient Chinese civilization. Xian City was the capital city in thirteen dynasties which in total lasted over 1100 years. The Shaanxi History Museum considers it an obligation to be a showcase of ancient civilizations. It was opened to the public in 1991. Over 700,000 people visit this national treasure each year.
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Shudu Lake

Description : East of Shangri-La, Shudu Lake is the biggest lake in the county surrounded by an awe-inspiring landscape of plush pastures and a dense forest of fir spruce and birch. Each Spring and Summer, herds of yak and goat can be seen grazing beside the lake.
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Tangdui Village

Description : This village is 30 km away from Shangri-la city. It's famous for black pottery made by its local villagers. There are 148 families here totaling about 800 people. Over 50% of the village families are black pottery makers. The history of making pottery in this village dates back over 3000 years. The traditional way of making pottery is handed down from generation to generation. In ancient times, villagers use pottery to trade for rice, salt, tea, oil and everything they need for their livelihood. They use clay to make hot pot, tea pot, and fire pot, vase, incense burner and butter lamp. In this village tourists not only can learn how to make pottery, but can also enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about Tibetan daily life.
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The Eastern Tibetan Training Institute

Description : The Eastern Tibetan Training Institute is a non-profit organization focused on giving local Tibetan students the vocational skills they'll need to succeed in the rapidly developing tourism economy of the Shangri-La regions For more information, visit the Eastern Tibetan Training Institute website
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The Forbidden City

Description : Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties which is the largest palace complex in the world. It surrounded by 10-meter high walls and a 52-meter wide moat. It covers 74 hectares and has 9,999 rooms. In the forbidden city, you can get more knowledge about the eastern architecture, splendid painted and beautiful craftwork.
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The Great Wall

Description : The Great Wall is perhaps China's most famous and most mythologized site. Several sections are conveniently visited from Beijing, including at Badaling, the most popular site, about 70 km (43 mi.) northwest of Beijing and at Mutianyu, 90 km (56 mi.) northeast of Beijing. These impressive brick and earth structures date from the Ming dynasty, when the wall was fortified against Mongol forces to the north. The Ming wall is about 26 feet tall and 23 feet wide at the base, and could accommodate up to six horsemen riding abreast. Watch towers, built on high points every 200-300 meters or so with small garrison forces, used fire signals or fireworks as a means of communication. These stretches of the wall are part of a system that extends from the Shanhaiguan fortress on the Bohai Gulf in the east to the Jiayuguan fortress in the west, altogether some 6000 km (3700 mi).
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The Old Town of Shangri-la

Description : The Old town of Shangri-la is made up of traditional wooden Tibetan homes, religious buildings alleys and squares. It is distinct from the newly developed town that has grown alongside it. You will be able to see the old versus the new architecture and appreciate the difference in time and history.
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Tiananmen Square

Description : Tiananmen Square is the largest downtown square in the world. It covers an area of 44 hectares, big enough to hold one million people. Here is the most sacred place for Chinese people. Beijing is the heart of China, and Tiananmen Square is the heart of Beijing.
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Hotels

Doubletree by Hilton Beijing

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Description : The new hotel is conveniently situated next to the Central Official District of Beijing (COD) and Beijing's prestigious Financial Street business district. The hotel has 547 rooms.
Amenities: Automated teller (ATM) Baggage storage Beverage area, complimentary Concierge Desk Foreign currency exchange Furrier Gift shop Laundry/valet service Lounge Luggage hold Multi-lingual staff Room service Safety depost box
Restaurant: Chinese cuisine offering delicious food in a fantastic environment! The restaurant is located on the 3rd floor and features 12 private dining rooms.
Guest Rooms: Designed in a contemporary style, this 30 square meter room is equipped with working and seating areas, 32 inch flat TV, HSIA, iron/ironing board, standing shower, in room safe and coffee, tea maker.
Location: 168 Guang An Men Wai Avenue, Beijing, China 100055
Location Description: The Doubletree by Hilton Beijing hotel is located at the South West 2nd Ring Road, just 38 km/24 mi from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). Our stylish new hotel is conveniently situated next to the Central Official District of Beijing (COD) and Beijing's prestigious Financial Street business district. Our guests enjoy fast and easy access to all of Beijing's major attractions. The Doubletree by Hilton hotel is within 7 km/4 mi of the historic Dong Cheng District and Tian'anmen Square, the red-walled Forbidden City and Imperial Palace, Beijing Zoo, Panjia Yuan Antique Market and the Temple of Heaven.
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Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square

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Description : The only internationally-managed four-star hotel in Xian, Mercure Xian on Renmin Square extends to travellers superior and comfortable accommodation at reasonable rates. Elegant and cosy, it provides comprehensive deluxe facilities and services and an ideal location - within the Renmin Square Xian complex, with easy access to the city's major commercial district. The hotel has 103 rooms
Amenities: Safe voicemail Business centre International satellite TV programs Pay-per-view channel 24-hour room service No-smoking rooms. Reduced mobility room Smoke alarm and sprinkler systems
Restaurant: Guests enjoy access to a range of outlets at Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square, offering a choice of dining and entertainment.
Guest Rooms: Elegant, comfortable with high standards in services befitting a top-quality hotel, Mercure Xian on Renmin Square has 103 rooms and suites - all well-appointed with modern conveniences. For dining, recreation and business, the hotel has a breakfast dining room, seven function rooms and access to all dining and recreation facilities of its sister hotels.
Location: 319 Dongxin Street, Xian, Shaanxi Province 710004, People's Republic of China
Location Description: Located in the grounds of Renmin Square, in the heart of the commercial and government district, the hotel is minutes away from the major shopping centres and cultural sites and is an ideal choice for all travelers.
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Paradise Hotel Shangri-la

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Description : The Five-Star Paradise Hotel, completed in 2004, is, at the time of writing the biggest hotel in town. An amalgamation of about six or seven different interior design styles, it features rooms overlooking a courtyard with a (cold) pool, a sauna, and other greenery. The beauty of nature is, literally, right in front of you. The rooms are spacious and bright and are decorated with a soothing palette of colors and warm lighting. There's also an oxygen at the hotel's nurse station. The hotel has 200 rooms.
Amenities: Business Center Laundry Beauty Salon Restaurants in hotel Parking Health Club Chess Room Karaoke Billiards ClubMassage Tennis Sauna
Restaurant: The hotel has Chinese Restaurants, Western Restaurants, Tea Restaurants, Tibet-Style Wine Bar, Tibet-Style Flavor Restaurant and 12 private rooms with different minority features. The "Tian Yu" Cave Sauna Room is equipped with hot water massage pool, cold water pool and mud pool, etc. The guests can enjoy Medicine Bath, Milk Bath and Bear Bath, etc.
Guest Rooms: This 200 superbly appointed guest rooms and suites offer fine quality furnishings and a contemporary feel. Generously proportioned glass windows allow natural light. Hotel is located in down area , with beautiful environment and comfortable rooms
Location: Changzheng Middle Road, Shangri-La County, Zhongdian, Yunnan, China
Location Description: Minutes from the Zhongdian Airport . 7km's far from Zhongdain airport.
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