China's Spectacular Harbin Ice Festival & Beijing7 days & 5 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Depart USA
Embark on your journey with your flight to Beijing.
Day 2Arrive in Beijing
Arrive in Beijing. Meet your Cox & Kings representative for your private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.Elite: Waldorf Astoria Beijing or similar. Preferred: Fairmont Beijing or similar. - 3 Nights
After breakfast, enjoy a privately guided tour of Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world, and the Forbidden City, an enduring symbol of imperial China. Constructed by thousands of workers from 1406 to 1420, the expansive palace grounds served as home to 24 emperors, and today includes imperial gardens and museums. Enjoy a special experience while in the Forbidden City (ask a Cox & Kings destination specialist for details).Elite: Waldorf Astoria Beijing or similar. Preferred: Fairmont Beijing or similar. (B, L)
In the afternoon, explore the 798 Art District, a former industrial area that has been transformed to a neighborhood with shops and galleries with works by both established and budding artists.
Day 4Beijing - Great Wall - Beijing
Today, heard north of Beijing to visit the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, one of the best preserved sections of the over 10,000-mile-long wall. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant at the foot of the Great Wall before heading back to Beijing. Tonight, enjoy Peking Duck at the famous Duck de Chine.Elite: Waldorf Astoria Beijing or similar. Preferred: Fairmont Beijing or similar. (B, L, D)
Day 5Beijing - Harbin
This morning, fly from Beijing to Harbin. Upon arrival in Harbin, notice the dramatically colder temperature as your local Cox & Kings representative escorts you to your hotel. Following lunch, tour St. Sophia Cathedral, the largest Eastern Orthodox church in the Far East. Visit nearby markets before enjoying a sumptuous east-west buffet dinner at your hotel.Elite: Shangri-La Hotel Harbin or similar. Preferred: Sofitel Harbin or similar. - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
Visit the Siberia Tiger Park this morning, one of China's largest tiger parks. Explore the on-site museum and breeding areas, and witness striped golden tigers roam the park.Elite: Shangri-La Hotel Harbin or similar. Preferred: Sofitel Harbin or similar. (B, L, D)
After lunch, attend one of the highlights of Harbin, the annual Snow Sculpture Festival on Sun Island. The exposition grounds contain numerous exquisite, larger-than-life snow sculptures.
In the evening, visit Harbin Ice & Snow World, the largest ice sculpture exhibition in the world. Be enthralled by ice sculptures tens of stories tall. The ice festival is best viewed at night, when the sculptures are illuminated.
As the snow and ice sculptures melt each year, your experience this year will be totally unique from past and future years.
Day 7Harbin - USA
Fly from Harbin to Beijing or Shanghai to catch your international flight home. Or, extend your holiday in China with an optional extension to Shanghai and/or Hong Kong.(B)
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Almost all the internal flights in this brochure use jet airliners, with some internal airlines in Southeast Asia using turboprop aircraft.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your travel arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances, and we strongly advise that you purchase insurance against such eventualities.
Airport Departure Taxes: The cost of our tours does not always include airport departure taxes or overland departure taxes; it is necessary for you to pay these locally and in local currency. Please ensure that you retain enough local currency to cover these taxes. Departure taxes vary in each country and you will be advised when possible of the rates before your departure from the U.S.A. These taxes are always subject to change, and if they do so when you are traveling, your guide or our ground handler will advise you.
The majority of the roads to and from major tourist destinations are paved and in reasonable condition. Although many of the city roads are now 4 to 6-lane highways and have had a large amount of investment in recent years, many of the narrower ones and smaller highways are bumpy and pot-holed. In Vietnam and Cambodia, many of the roads are in poor condition, but most of the main highways are paved. For longer journeys, we will nearly always advise you to fly. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour. Generally, the following can be used as a guideline for the size of transportation provided: 1-3 passengers, sedan car; 4-6 passengers, minivan; 6-19 passengers, small bus; 20-28 passengers, medium bus.
A number of flights within Asia & the Pacific arrive/depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives/departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in/check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Asia & the Pacific; however, in most of the major cities the hotels are of a good standard. Standards will vary much more in some of the smaller cities and rural areas.
For our tours in Asia & the Pacific, we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavor to supply any extra information that you may require about these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of the alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Asia & the Pacific, and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. In Mongolia we use traditional tents or “gers”.
Please note all rooms reserved on your tour are standard, unless noted otherwise; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g., to a lake view or suite, etc.), please speak to your tour consultant who will be able to advise you about options and applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in time is normally 14:00 and check-out time is normally 12:00, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-ins and late check-outs cannot be pre-booked without extra payment.
In some cases, prices for individual arrangements and tour extensions are quoted excluding a guide. In this case, the supplement for a guide is available on request. For logistical reasons, some extensions are on a shared basis based upon a minimum of two passengers and not on a private basis.
Visiting many of the sites in Asia require a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. While the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Cruise boats may vary their itineraries with little or no notice if water levels become unusually low, or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are generally very rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark. Cruise itineraries include full board, but all drinks will be charged as extras.
Population: 1.3 billion
Official Language(s): Mandarin
China is a vast and varied country, which rewards the visitor with world-class sites such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, stunning scenery including the limestone peaks of Guilin and the majestic Yangtze River, a diverse culture and exciting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
What To See
China’s Cities: Beijing is modernizing at a tremendous pace, but still retains a historic air, both in the Forbidden City and with its hutongs (narrow streets) offering a glimpse into a more traditional way of life. Shanghai is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, yet despite its awe-inspiring architecture and thirst for all things modern, it remains a city with a fascinating history that can still be seen in the gardens, monasteries and street markets. Hong Kong has something for everyone, from fantastic shopping to a romantic harbor and fascinating museums. Ancient China: For a more traditional view of China, Xian, as well as being home to the awe-inspiring Terracotta Warriors, has impressive city walls, a number of outstanding temples and a fascinating mix of Buddhist and Islamic influences. In Central China, Pingyao is surrounded by a completely intact Ming dynasty city wall, and this well-preserved city, a UNESCO site, is definitely worth a visit. The town of Lijiang, in Yunnan Province, has an old town of cobbled streets, wooden buildings, canals and lively markets, and gives an excellent insight into traditional Chinese life. Also worth visiting are the Wuzhen water towns, which can be easily reached from Shanghai, the idyllic ancient villages in Wuyuan County, the picturesque villages of Hongcun and Xidi close to Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain), and Fenghuang, a riverside town in Hunan Province that’s a throwback to old China.
When To Go
China’s huge size means the climate varies greatly, but the key tourist areas such as Beijing, Xian and the Yangtze River are best visited from late March to early May and from late September to early November to avoid extremes of weather. For Yunnan Province, April to October is a pleasant time to visit.
China's Spectacular Harbin Ice Festival & Beijing
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