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The following itineraries have been designed to take in as many of China’s highlights as possible, while minimizing long-distance travel. First are three two-day tours of the country’s most iconic cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The itineraries can be followed individually or combined to form a week-long tour. Extra suggestions are provided for those who want to extend their stay to 10 days. Next come two sevenday tours, covering two beautiful areas of southwest China. These can be combined to make a fascinating two-week journey across the region. Finally, there is a twoweek itinerary that traces the ancient Silk Road from Xi’an to Kashgar. Pick, combine, and follow your favorite itineraries, or simply dip in and out and be inspired.

Two Weeks on the Silk Road

• Discover China’s ancient imperial capital, Xi’an, see the Terracotta Warriors, and explore the Muslim Quarter.

• Visit the Buddhist caves at Dunhuang and Maiji Shan, their centuriesold art preserved by their inaccessibility.

• Gaze west across the desert from Jiayuguan Fort, the last outpost along the Great Wall; do not miss Xuanbi Changcheng, a restored section of wall nearby
• Relax under shady grape vines in Turpan, and explore the atmospheric ruins of Jiaohe and Gaochang nearby.

• Fill up on lamb kebabs, hand-pulled noodles and fruit at Ürümqi’s street markets.

• Explore the Grand Mosque in Kuqa.

• Wander through fabled Kashgar’s old town, and rub shoulders with shoppers from across Central Asia at the huge Sunday market

A Week in Guangxi and Yunnan

• Float down Guilin’s Li River through scenery that has inspired poets and painters for centuries.
• Stroll among limestone karst peaks outside Yangshuo and browse the town’s bustling night market.
• Sip locally grown tea by the side of Kunming’s Green Lake, and explore the city’s colonial past.
• Marvel at the weird and wonderful rock formations in Yunnan’s Stone Forest.
• Travel along the old Burma Road to historic Dali, home of the Bai people.
• Lose yourself in the cobbled streets of Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Explore the villages in the Lijiang valley and take a cable car to the snow-capped summit of Yulong Xue Shan.

A Week in Sichuan and Chongqing

 • Get close to giant pandas at Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Center, and discover the mysterious remains of a 3,000-year-old civilization at the Sanxingdui Museum.

 • Visit the beautiful old village of Huanglong Xi, and marvel at the 230-ft (71-m) high Le Shan Buddha.

• Relax at a historic teahouse in Zigong, a salt-mining town for over two millennia, and discover the fascinating Dazu grottoes.

• Watch the frenetic activity at Chongqing’s Chaotian Men docks and try the spicy local cuisine.

• Cruise slowly down the mighty Yangzi River through the stunning scenery of the Three Gorges, 
stopping at fascinating sights en route


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