Why we suggest this tour itinerary?
In this Itinerary, tourists will visit 9 famous ancient cities in China – Beijing, Xian, Luoyang, Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Anyang, Nanjing, Hangzhou. Except Dengfeng, the spiritual "Centre of Heaven and Earth", other 8 cities are 8 historical capitals of China. This Tour will help you explore and appreciate the fascinating history of China. The ancient ruins and surviving structures integrated into modern cities, and the natural beauty and features that inspired the building of these cities so long ago.
Originally there are traditionally 4 historical capitals of China, collectively referred to as the "Four Great Ancient Capitals of China". The four are Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang and Xian (Changan) which were the capital of the whole China at various periods. In a sense, they represent the peak of the achievement of ancient Chinese culture. As more new archaeological evidence began to be uncovered since the 1930s, other historical capitals have been included in the list. The phrase "Seven Ancient Capitals of China" now includes – in addition to the earlier four – Kaifeng (added in the 1920s), Hangzhou (added in the 1930s), and Anyang (added after 1988). In 2004, the China Ancient Capital Society officially included Zhengzhou as the eighth historical capital in light of new archaeological findings dating from the early Shang dynasty.
Some info about the 9 Cities you will visit in this Itinerary:
Beijing has been the capital of the whole China for more than 700 years since 1271 in Yuan Dynasty and this citys history can be dated back to over 3000 years. Its Great Wall, splendid royal palaces, beautiful gardens, old temples, a considerable variety of exhibitions and museums and former residences of celebrities show its glorious history and civilization.
Xian is one of the oldest cities in China and the capital of Shaanxi Province now. It became the cultural and political centre of China in the 11th century BC with the founding of the Zhou dynasty. Since then, Xi’an was the capital for 13 dynasties controlling whole or part of China, including several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, such as Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang, totally for 1077 years of capital history. Xi’an is the home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and along with Luoyang city, Xian is also the starting point of the Silk Road in the East. It is the most significant influencing ancient capital in China and one of the birthplace of the civilization of China. So far, Xian enjoys equal fame with Athens, Cairo and Rome as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals in the world.
With over 5000 years civilization history, 4000 years city history, and among this 4000 years, there are around 1500 years Chinese capital history - the earliest capital for whole China, the longest and most dynasties capital of China (totally 13 dynasties capital for whole or part of China and 105 emperors stayed here), Luoyang is one of the origin of the Chinese Civilization. The greater Luoyang area has been sacred ground since the late Neolithic period. This area at the intersection of the Luo River and Yi River was considered to be the geographical center of China, and the center is the most important origin of the Chinese Civilization. Hence the name China (means Middle Kingdom in Mandarin) firstly means this area. Because of this sacred aspect, several cities – all of which are generally referred to as "Luoyang" – have been built in this area. In 2070 BC, the king of Xia Dynasty, Tai Kang, moved its capital here and began its city and capital history. Along with Xi’an city, Luoyang is also the east starting point of the Silk Road.
Dengfeng, the spiritual "Centre of Heaven and Earth", is located at the foot of the Mount Song, one of the most sacred mountains in China. According to history chronicles, over 4000 year ago, Yu, the first emperor of Xia Dynasty (the first dynasty in Chinese history), once made his capital here. The city is one of the most renowned spiritual centres of China, home to various religious institutions and temples, such as the Taoist Zhongyue Temple, the Buddhist Shaolin Temple, as well as the Confucian Songyang Academy, hence its poetic expression derived from Chinese literature as the spiritual "centre of heaven and earth". Shaolin Temple is one of the cradles of Chinese Kung fu and the origin of Chan (Zen) Sect of Buddhism - the most influential sect of Buddhism in China which is still with the great impact on peoples lives both in ancient times and the present day.
Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan Province now. When Shang Dynasty, the 2nd dynasty in Chinese history, was established around 3600 years ago (in 1559 BC), Bodu in the current Zhengzhou city area became its capital for 10 emperors. Now the 7 km long Shang Dynasty Bodu city wall still exists in downtown Zhengzhou.
Kaifeng is also one of the 8 Most Important Ancient Capitals in China. There have been many reconstructions during its history. In 364 BC during the Warring States period, the State of Wei founded a city called Daliang in the current Kaifeng city area as its capital. During the North Song Dynasty (960—1127 AD), Kaifeng was the capital of total China, with a population of over 400,000 living both inside and outside the city wall.
The archaeological site of Yin Xu, in the current Anyang City, some 200 km north of Zhengzhou city, is an ancient capital city of the late Shang Dynasty (1300 - 1046 BC). At the beginning of the 14th century BCE, King Pangeng of the Shang Dynasty moved his capital to the site of an old village in the current Anyang city area which had existed since 5,000 BCE, upon the banks of the Huan River. The new city was named "Yin". It testifies to the golden age of early Chinese culture, crafts and sciences, a time of great prosperity of the Chinese Bronze Age. A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang Dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. Fuhao is one of the reigning wives of King Wu Ding who continued to use Yin as his capital and launched numerous military campaigns from this base (many led by Fu Hao, who was both a general and a high priestess) against surrounding tribes thus securing Shang rule and raising the dynasty to its historical zenith. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry. Inscriptions on oracle bones found in Yin Xu bear invaluable testimony to the development of one of the world’s oldest writing systems, ancient beliefs and social systems.
Nanjing is the city situated in the heartland of lower Yangtze River region, which has long been a major centre of culture, education, research, politics, economy, transport networks and tourism in the south of China. Now it is the capital of Jiangsu province. Nanjing have served as the capital of various Chinese dynasties, kingdoms and republican governments dating from 229 AD (for the state of Eastern Wu) to 1949 (for Republic of China). In history, Nanjing has protected Han Chinese Race and Culture for many times. When the northern and central China were occupied and destroyed by nomadic peoples, Han Chinese was in the catastrophes, Han Chinese always chose Nanjing as the capital and the renaissance base, because nomadic people are quite unfit the water terrain and hot atmosphere in this region.
With a history of over 2200 years, Hangzhou is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. Being the capital of Wuyue Kingdom and the Southern Song Dynasty for 237 years, Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals in China. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal in 610 AD and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its convenient traffic location, abundant products and beautiful natural scenery. The citys West Lake is its best-known attraction and the UNESCO World Heritage. Hangzhou is also the Capital of Silk for being the national center of the production and trade of silk, Capital of Tea for the famous Longjing Tea which ranks the top of the Ten Renowned Teas in China, Oriental Capital of Leisure for the charm of its picturesque views of the West Lake and mountains around it.
More detail about the ancient capitals of China at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_capitals_of_China
Main Tourist Attractions in the Itinerary:
Qianmen Street, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Lunch at an old Beijing family, Rickshaw in Hutongs (Lanes in the residence area in the well protected old Beijing zone) in well-protected old Beijing area, Summer Palace (include the Foxiang Pavilion on top of the central mountain (means Buddha Fragrance Pavilion)), Temple of Heaven, Great Wall at Badaling,
Terracotta Warriors and Copper Carriage for the Emperor Qinshihuang (UNESCO World Heritage), Big Wild Goose Pagoda (UNESCO World Heritage) and Dacien Temple (Temple of Great Maternal Grace), the Bell & Drum Tower (out view), old Muslim streets, Shaanxi History Museum, Xi’an City Wall
Ancient Tomb Museum, Luoyang Museum, Longmen Grottos.
Shaolin Temple, Zhong Yue Temple, Songyang Academy.
Shang Dynasty Bodu City Wall (built around 3600 years ago)
Ancient City Wall, Taoist Yanqin Temple, the Dragon Pavilion, the Imperial Street, the Iron Pagoda, Yuwang Platform and Po Pagoda.
Lane City (or called Youli City), The Museum of Yin Ruins (Anyang Yin Xu Museum), Ma’s Manor
the Fuzimiao (Confucius Temple) Scenic includes The Confucius Temple, South China Imperial Examination Hall and Qinhuai River; Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (Sun is the "Father of Modern China") and Mingxiao Mausoleum (The tomb of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), also an UNESCO World Heritage site); Old President Office (used before 1949, during the Republic of China period), Zhonghua Gate.
Soul Retreat Temple, Peak Flying from afar, West Lake, Bai Causeway (include "Autumn Mirroring on Calm Lake"), Ancient Qinghefang Steet and Zhongshan Street (former royal street), ancient Chinese herb pharmacy - Huqingyu Tang, Solitary Hill, Three Pools Mirroring Moon (The biggest island), Boat to Three Pools Mirroring Moon (The biggest island in the West Lake), 9 Streams and 18 Gullies (Dragon Well Tea Plantation), Longjin (Dragon Well) Tea Village.
Experience in the Itinerary:
* Walk on the Great Wall.
* Rickshaw through the Hutongs. Taking a lunch in the normal Beijing citizen’s home in the old Beijing Area.
* To know the imperial life in the Forbidden City,
* Enjoy the marvel of of China Ancient Metallurgical Technology – Copper Carriage for the Emperor Qinshihuang around 2300 year ago and the Worlds No.8 Wonder – Terracotta Warriors.
* Enjoy the ancient Grotto Art of China at one of the 3 greatest grottos in China - Longmen Grotto.
* Chinese Kung Fu is a precious treasure that belongs not only to China but to the whole world. You will visit one of the cradles of Chinese Kung fu - the Shaolin Temple to explore the mystery of Shoalin Kung fu.
* Stroll on the 3600 years old city wall in Zhengzhou.
* Visit the grand Mausoleum for the 1st president of the first Republic in Asia - The Republic of China, and the Mausoleum of the 1st Emperor of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).
* Take the graceful cruising boat to the biggest island in the picturesque West Lake in Hangzhou.