(PRE-BEIJING ITINERARY AT BOTTOM OF PAGE)
May 14 (Tu) - Depart U.S. for flight to Beijing.
May 15 (We) - Arrive in Beijing. Transfer to the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel. This evening you will enjoy a welcome cocktail reception.
May 16 (Th) - We travel to the Great Wall for a mandatory inspection of the on-Wall route. Both runners and spectators will visit the Great Wall and all race details will be given at this time. All runners must walk the 3.5 km of the wall that is part of the Great Wall Marathon course, as it is very important to familiarize oneself with that specific section in order to take proper precautions and incorporate that part into the race strategy. Non-runners are also welcome to participate in this walk (good physical condition is required for this strenuous walk). Lunch is included. This evening we enjoy the world famous Chinese Acrobatic Dinner Show. (B,L,D)
May 17 (Fr) - This morning you will enjoy a behind-the-scenes view of Hutong, the old city of Beijing. You will travel the ancient alleyways via 3-wheeled bicycle rickshaws. We return back ot the hotel early today to allow you to rest before the big race day. We gather tonight at the hotel for a pre-race pasta dinner. (B,D)
May 18 (Sa) - RACE DAY. Early morning departure for the Great Wall International Marathon, Half-Marathon, 7.5K fun run. Time to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of running on the world famous Great Wall of China. A boxed lunch will be provided after the race and massage is available as well. Dinner is on your own. (B,L)
May 19 (Su) - After breakfast we start the day by motorcoach to Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world. We will walk through the square from south the north, passing Chairman Maos Mausoleum. We will then entter the Imperial Palace and the Forbiden City, one of China's architectual masterpieces which were forbidden to the common people until the early 1900's. Lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we celebrate your accomplishment of running on the Great Wall at the Gala Dinner Celebration. (B,L,D)
May 20 (Mo) - Our first stop to the Temple of Heaven where the emperors of the Ming and Ching dynasties prayed to heaven for a good harvest and good luck. The visit is about 90 minutes followed by a visit to a visit to a tea house where you will experience a tradtional, Chinese tea ceremony. Lunch is to follow. We then drive to the extraordinary shopping bargains at the silk market for the afternoon. We will conclude our evening with a hosted Peking Duck Dinner banquet for our farewell dinner.
May 21 (Tu) Transfer to the airport for return flights to the US where you will arrive the same day as you left China.
Or commencement of the extended 3-city and Yangtze River cruise tour or post -Beijing trip to Xian.
May 21 (Tu) - After breakfast this morning we check out of the hotel and board our 90 minute flight to Xian. Upon arrival into Xian we are met by our local guide. We will visit the famous life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors who have been guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi for 2,000 years and the Horse Museum. Check in at the luxury Sofitel Xian before we meet for a local dinner.
May 22 (We) - Tour the enormous city walls,sensing the immense scale and enduring impregnability, and then guided walk through the Muslim quarter of the Old Town and the local market. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Wild Good Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda located in souther Xi'an. Local dinner show is included this evening.
May 23 (Th) - After breakfast this morning we will check out of the hotel. (Post Xian concludes: return back to the US via Beijing on an early afternoon flight). We travel by air to Chongqing to continue our journey on the Yangtze. Upon arrival in Chongqing we are met and transfered to the city. Our guide will brief us on the city's history with brief stops in certain sightseeing spots. We will a tradtional hot-pot dinner before boarding the luxury river cruise boat - Century Sky.
May 24 (Fr) - Today you will have a shore excursion at Fengdu, the Ghost City known for its gardens, temples and statues of ghosts and devils. Lunch and dinner are included today. *Alternate shore excursion may visit Shibaozhai or Wanzhou
May 25 (Sa) - Enjoy the Yangtze River as you cruise through the first two of the fabled Three Gorges: the Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Qutang Gorge is the shortest (5 miles), narrowest (500 feet) and most dramatic. The 25-mile long Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Next travel through the Daning River Small Gorges, which are narrower than the Three Gorges but still impressive. Later in the day we enter Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles) and the deepest of the Three Gorges. In the evening we sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks. Lunch and dinner are included today.
May 26 (Su) - Your last day on the river will bring a visit to the Three Gorges Dam site at Sandouping, the largest project of its kind in the world. After lunch you will disembark and continue on to Yichang at the pier to transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival transfer to deluxe Portman Ritz-Carlton in the heart of Shanghai. Dinner will be on your own this evening.
May 27 (Mo) - Today tour Shanghai City as you see: The Bund, the exhibits at the Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Road or Huai Hai Road shopping streets, the modern Xintiandi, and the renowned Shanghai silk factory. Lunch is included at a local restaurant. Dinner will be on your own.
May 28 (Tu) - Today's excursion takes you to Zhujiajiao (an ancient water town near Shanghai) with a sampan ride on the canals with regular lunch at local restaurant. Return back to Shanghai where a special farewell dinner is included at the famous Shanghai Uncle Restaurant.
May 29 (We) - Transfer to the airport for return flights returning to the U.S.
PRE- BEIJING ITINERARY TO HONG KONG
May 12 (Sun) Upon arrival transfer to deluxe Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong. Dinner will be on your own this evening.
May 13 (Mo) - Today tour Hong Kong Island. Our tour today circles the island with stops at Stanley Market, where you stroll through Stanley's famous seaside village bazaar, and Aberdeen Fishing Village, home of "Boat People", whose lifetsyle has not changed much since the early settlement in Hong Kong. We also view Repulse Bay Beach and visit a local jewelry factory. We finish the tour today with a panoramic ride that brings you up to the Victoria Peak. (Dinner on your own)
May 14 (Tu)- Free day to expolore the city at your leisure.
May 15 (We) Transfer to the airport for flights to Beijing. Transfer to the Renaissance Hotel. This evening you will enjoy a welcome cocktail reception.