Golden Triangle China Tour for Seniors

8 Days Beijing-Xian-Shanghai

If you ask me which cities I should go to when I first come to China, the answer must be Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. We also call these three cities the Golden Triangle of China's senior tourism. Below is an 8-day China senior tour itinerary. In fact, it is suitable for any tourists who come to China, whether you are students or seniors. You will see the majestic Forbidden City and Great Wall in Beijing, the mysterious terracotta warriors and horses in Xi'an, and the Bund and temples in Shanghai. Comfortable vehicles and hotels are throughout the journey. We will give you a perfect trip to China.

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
Arrival in Beijing

When you arrive in Beijing, you will meet your guide at the airport. And then you will be transferred to your hotel. 

Option 1: Do you want to start your China tour with a VIP airport pick-up service? We can arrange it for you. Besides the common cars, we can also provide business vehicles and luxury cars for you. If you are travel with your family, maybe you need to take a lot of luggage. If you need, we can prepare a luggage van for you. Without any luggage in the car you take, you will feel more comfortable. According to our experience, many clients do not want to line up in the hotel lobby for room check-in. Because they are tired after the long-time flight. If you want to check in your room immediately when you arrive at the hotel, we can arrange the VIP check-in service for you in advance. It can help you save more time. We are committed to providing the most comfortable and worry-free tour for you. 

Option 2: If you arrive in Beijing in the morning, you may want to have a leisure sightseeing tour in the afternoon. We can arrange the Beihai Park for you. Located in the central area of Beijing, Beihai Park is the earliest imperial garden in China. The whole park covers an area of 628,000 square meters, of which the water area is 389,000 square meters. Such a vast water area is rare in Beijing. There are various royal buildings in the park, among which the Nine Dragon Wall is the most famous. The wall is 5.96 meters high, 1.60 meters thick, and 25.52 meters long. Both sides of the wall are inlaid with seven-color glazed bricks. There are nine colored dragons on each side. There are three ancient Nine Dragon Walls in China, but this is the only one with dragons on both sides. If you want to better appreciate the scenery in the park, you can also take a small boat. You will spend a very pleasant afternoon here.

Day 2 Beijing
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong, Bell Tower, Drum Tower

Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China! We will take you to visit Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City in the morning. Tian’anmen Square is the world's largest city center square. And it is also the place where the important activity is held in China. Many political activities in Chinese history also took place here such as the founding ceremony of New China in 1949. Many tourists come to Tian’anmen Square to watch the solemn flag-raising ceremony. If you also want to watch the flag-raising, you have to prepare to get up very early. Because the national flag here rises with the sun every day. And there will be many tourists waiting outside in the early morning. 

From the Tian’anmen Gate, you will walk into the Forbidden City (It is closed each Monday), the well-preserved imperial palace in China. In the feudal society of China, the emperor has supreme power. They call themselves the son of heaven, and besides their wives, they can also have many concubines. The Forbidden City is the place where the emperor lives and manages state affairs. It was also the place where the emperor’s family lived. The beauty of Chinese architecture is vividly reflected in the Forbidden City. Both the carved pillars and the bird and beast decorations on the roof ridge reflect the exquisite architectural art of the time. If you look closely at the buildings of the Forbidden City, you will find that there are some small animals on the roofs of these palaces. We call them roof beasts. Some of these small animals are real, such as lions and seahorses. Some are from the Chinese myths and legends, such as dragons, phoenixes, and Xingshi (a kind of animal which can protect the buildings from lightning damage). These small animals generally appear in odd numbers, such as 5 or 7. But the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian) in the Forbidden City is the only palace with 10 roof beasts. This also reflects the supreme status of the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

After lunch, we will take you to visit the Hutong. Hutongs in Beijing originated in the Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368). There are more than 6,000 named hutongs in Beijing. It is not only the venation of the city, the road but also the place where authentic Beijingers live. It records the changes in Beijing, and people also called Hutong the “folk culture museum”. Taking a rickshaw and visiting the Hutong in a more interesting way, you will walk into a local family and listen to the stories behind these old quadrangle courtyards. You will get the most out of an ordinary Hutong trip.

And then you will visit the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. When there were no clocks in ancient China, the Chinese used drums and bells to tell the time. In the morning they will ring the bell and they will play drums in the afternoon. Therefore, in many cities with a long history in China, you can see the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. Now they don't have the function of telling the time, but they are just telling people the history of China as cultural relics.

Option: China is the hometown of tea. Tea drinking has become a part of Chinese people's daily life. The Chinese tea ceremony is the further development of Chinese tea culture. The tea ceremony performers wear traditional Chinese costumes and will show you all the procedures from choosing tea leaves, boiling water, choosing tea sets, and to making tea. If you also want to enjoy a tea ceremony in person, we can arrange it for you. You will also have the opportunity to taste Chinese tea while enjoying the performance.

The Forbidden City
Day 3 Beijing
Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube,

After breakfast, we will drive for about 1 hour (47 KM) and take you to visit the Ming Tombs. It is to the northwest of Beijing. This is a tomb complex of the  ancient emperors. 13 Ming emperors are buried here, and 277 years of Ming history are also buried here. Now, only Ding Tomb has been excavated. Ding Tomb is the tomb of Emperor Wanli and his empress. The large underground palace and kinds of burial objects shocked people at that time. The unearthed cultural relics are mostly gold and jade objects. Such as golden basin, golden flagon, jade belt, and golden crown. Among them, there is a very beautiful phoenix crown. It is decorated with nine dragons and nine phoenixes. The entire phoenix crown is inlaid with more than 100 gems and more than 5,000 pearls, which is very gorgeous. You will see most of the burial objects in the exhibition hall on the ground. 

And then we will drive for about 1 hour (44 KM) to visit the Great Wall. The Great Wall is the largest defense system in the world. The total length of the Great Wall is 21196.18 kilometers. Because of wars and some other reasons, parts of the Great Wall have been damaged. But here in Beijing, we can still find some sections of the Great Wall which are well-preserved. Different from the other tourists who will visit the Juyongguan Great Wall, your guide will take you to the Mutianyu Great Wall which is with fewer crowds. You can choose to take a cable car up and that will help you save more energy so that you can walk to higher places by yourself and enjoy more beautiful scenery. Clients who are under 60 years old are allowed to take the toboggan down. That is an exciting experience. 

On the way back to the city center, you will have a photo stop at the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube. The 29th Olympic Games was successfully held in Beijing and that made Beijing more international. These two buildings used to be sports venues at that time. And now, they attract lots of tourists because of their unique building shapes. Then we will drive back to your hotel.

Option: Peking Roast Duck is the most famous food in Beijing. So, enjoy a Peking duck banquet in its birthplace can be said as a must-do thing when you are in Beijing. The color of the authentic Peking duck is very attractive. The duck skin is crispy and the duck meat is tender. There are three ways to eat Peking duck. One is to eat with sugar. This is the favorite way of eating for the noble ladies. The crispy duck skin with sugar is as delicious as dessert. The second method is to roll the duck meat and green onion into the pancake and dip it in the sweet noodle sauce. The third method is to roll the duck meat and radish strips in a pancake and dipped in mashed garlic to eat. You can choose the way you like to eat according to your taste.

Great Wal
Water Cube
Day 4 BeijingXi’an
Temple of Heaven, From Beijing to Xi'an

This morning, we will visit the Temple of Heaven. China was an agricultural country in ancient times. Therefore, abundant rain and good harvest are everyone's wish. During the Ming and Qing dynasties(1368-1912), the emperors would pray in the Temple of Heaven, hoping that the wishes of the farmers could be realized. And everything will go well in the coming year. The grandest two worshiping ceremonies are held in the vernal equinox (about 20th March) and the Winter Solstice day (about December 21st). Now there is no ceremony here, and the Temple of Heaven has become a public park for people to do morning exercise. 

And then we will take an estimated train G673 14:28/19:54 to Xi’an. And after arrival, your guide will take you to your hotel. 

Xi'an used to be the capital of 13 dynasties including the most prosperous Zhou(1046 BC-256 BC), Qin(221 BC-207 BC), Han(202 BC-220 AD), Sui(581 AD-618 AD), and Tang dynasties(618 AD-907 AD) in history. So, it is the most influential capital. Xi'an is the first "World Historic City" identified by UNESCO, a world-famous tourist attraction, and is known as the "Natural History Museum". The contemporary Xi'an is not inferior to the previous Xi'an. Relying on a long history and profound cultural accumulation, Xi'an has established itself as one of the best tourist cities in China. And it is also one of China's six major national and regional central cities, the Asian Knowledge and Technology Innovation Center, and its scientific and technological strength is second only to Beijing and Shanghai. And now, it’s time to discover the city personally.

Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Day 5 Xi’an
Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Street

After breakfast, we will take you to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The terracotta armies are the burial objects of Emperor Qin Shihuang who is the first emperor in Chinese history. They are the guards of the dead Emperor Qin Shihuang and the entire tomb. According to historical records, Emperor Qin Shihuang began to build the mausoleum for himself since he was 13 years old. And it lasts a total of 39 years. So now we see the terracotta warriors and horses on a grand scale. In addition to warriors and horses, there are also chariots and various weapons. The discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors is known as the greatest discovery of the 20th century. The terracotta warriors highly reflect the artistic style of Chinese sculpture at that time. People have discovered the peak of Eastern classical realism sculpture art 2,000 years ago through it. The production of terracotta warriors and horses strictly uses realistic creation techniques. From the face of the Terracotta Warriors, you can see the exact positions of the cheekbones, brow bones, and jaws under the skin muscles, and the size, proportion, and position of the facial features are meticulous. Not only that, these craftsmen from 2,000 years ago grasped the characters' personalities and expressed their inner world through the facial expressions of the terracotta warriors. Although thousands of terracotta warriors have been unearthed, you cannot find two warriors with the same appearance.

And then we will go to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a brick pagoda. After Master Xuanzang brought back the Buddhist scriptures from India, he supervised the construction of this pagoda to store the scriptures. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was originally built based on the appearance of the Bodh Gaya Pagoda in India. Later, it has undergone as many as 16 times of repairs and reconstructions. In this process, its Indian style gradually weakened, and its Chinese style became more and more obvious. Because the wall of the brick pagoda is relatively thick, the internal space of the pagoda is small. To shuttle up and down and walk freely in this small space, a spirally rising right-angle wooden ladder is installed in the pagoda. Circling up along the wooden ladder, you can reach each floor of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

And then you will visit Muslim Street. This is a shopping street where you can buy kinds of souvenirs and taste the local snacks. Here, the must-eat is the Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup. To eat this meal, you’d better break the bread yourself. Break the bread into the size of soybean grains and soak it in the lamb soup. You can add seasonings such as chili and garlic. Then it is ready to eat. In the eyes of Xi'an people, eating lamb bun is a way of pastime. Sometimes several good friends sit together and they may spend half an hour breaking bread, but everyone enjoys the process very much.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Day 6 Xi’anShanghai
Great Mosque, From Xi'an to Shanghai

This morning, we will visit the Great Mosque. The Great Mosque is a large-scale Chinese temple-style ancient building complex with a long history and is the result of the integration of Islamic culture and Chinese culture. It has a Chinese architectural layout, but all decorations are in Islamic style. Even the inscriptions on the steles here are written in Arabic, Persian, and Chinese. 

After lunch, we will take an estimated flight HO1212 15:30/17:40 to Shanghai.

Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai are known as the golden triangle cities of Chinese tourism. Shanghai is the charming city of China. The rapid economic development has made Shanghai attract countless foreign companies, and it has also become a veritable international metropolis. The development of Shanghai has not lost its original traditional culture. On the contrary, the old buildings such as Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple have been better protected and presented to tourists in a better way. Come to Shanghai and feel the magic of this city.

Great Mosque
Great Mosque
Day 7 Shanghai
Yu Garden, Jing'an Temple, Shanghai Tower, the Bund, Nanjing Road

After breakfast, you will start your one-day Shanghai tour. We will first take you to visit the Yu Garden (It is closed each Monday). Yu Garden is a traditional Chinese garden with a history of more than 600 years. It covers an area of about 20,000 square kilometers. The pavilion, rockery, stone bridge inside are with fine craftsmanship. There is a wall in the Yu Garden decorated by five dragons. These five dragons include a dragon that subdued a tiger, a dragon flying in the clouds, two dragons snatching a treasure, and a sleeping dragon. It is the must-visit place when you come to Yu Garden.

And then we will go and visit the Jing’an Temple. Jing'an Temple is the oldest temple in Shanghai. The Jing'an District where it is located is named after Jing'an Temple. There is a 15-ton Buddha statue cast in silver that makes the temple stately. That is why some people say that even you are not a Buddhist, you will feel peace and calm inside when you walk into the temple. This may be the magic of Chinese temples. In addition, the peace bell is hung on the second floor of Jing'an Temple. The bell is 3.3 meters high, 2.1 meters in diameter, and 7.3 tons in weight. It is cast in bronze. If important events are held in the temple, such as New Year's blessing activities, the monks in the temple will ring this bell.

After lunch, you will visit the Shanghai Tower. The total height of the Shanghai Tower is 632 meters, surpassing the nearby Shanghai World Financial Center at 492 meters and Jin Mao Tower at 420 meters, making it the tallest skyscraper in China and the second tallest in the world. The appearance is in a spiral upward shape, symbolizing the traditional Chinese dragon. The building has a total of 121 floors, and the 118th floor is the sightseeing hall. Surrounded by large transparent glass curtain walls. Here you can enjoy the scenery of Shanghai from a 360-degree view.

And then we will visit the Bund. This is the best place if you want to take a photo of Shanghai. The Bund is about 1.5 kilometers long. To the east, it is the Huangpu River, and to the west, it is the World Architecture Exhibition Group which includes 52 buildings of different styles such as Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Chinese, and Western-style.

After that, we will take you to the famous Nanjing Road. This can be said to be a paradise for shoppers. You can buy almost everything you want here. If you plan to pick some souvenirs home, then Shanghai's silk, clay sculptures, and toffee on Nanjing East Road are all good choices. If you want to buy some luxury goods or enjoy high-end consumption, then Nanjing West Road, where international big names gather, is your best choice.

Shanghai Tower
Nanjing road
Day 8 Shanghai Departure
Fly back to your sweet home

Today you will be transferred to the airport and then fly back to your sweet home.

Author: Betsy He

Proofreader: Tina Jia

This tour ends here
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Beijing Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing
Xi'an Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an Sunworld Dynasty Hotel
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