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12 Day | Jewish Group Tour of China

Day By Day
 
What's Included
 
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  • 10 nights' accommodation at select hotels
  • 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking local tour guides
  • Da'at/ARZA World tour educator accompanying the group from arrival to departure
    Land-only cost includes one-way domestic flights from Beijing to Xi'an, and from Xi'an to Shanghai
  • All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 2 lunches and 9 dinners
  • Porterage at the hotels

Day One: Monday
DEPARTURE

  • Depart the U.S.A. - your journey begins.

    Overnight: Flight

 

Day Two: Tuesday
WELCOME TO CHINA

  • Arrive at Beijing International Airport.
  • Transfer to the hotel on own. (Transfers can be arranged at additional cost.)
  • Check into the hotel. (Official hotel check-in is from 3:00 p.m., if your room isn't ready upon arrival you can leave your luggage with the concierge.)
  • 6:30 p.m. Meet your tour educator and other group members in the hotel lobby.
  • LaDa'at Focus Chinese History and its Reflection within Chinese Reality Today: Orientation with your tour educator over a welcome dinner, including Peking Duck, a historic and traditional meal, served since imperial days. Overview of the group journey; including reviewing the itinerary, the group themes, the different narratives. Share group and personal goals.

Overnight: Beijing


Day Three: Wednesday
BEIJING AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL
 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Dynasties and Democracy: Wander through Tiananmen Square, the site of centuries of protest, conquest, celebration and jubilation. Named for the Northern Gate leading into the Forbidden City, this square is one of the world's largest public plazas, site of numerous key events in Chinese history, as well as moments etched into the collective consciousness of the world. 
  • Visit the Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace of 24 emperors, from the Ming and Qing dynasties, for over more than 600 years. The Forbidden City has served as the physical, ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for more than half a millennia. Today, called the Palace Museum, its grounds constitute one of the largest royal palaces in the world, surrounded by a 30-foot wall and a 150-foot wide moat. 
  • Lunch on own.
  • Deepen your experience and expand your knowledge of local customs and traditions as you wind your way along a hutong (narrow alleyway) neighborhood aboard a rickshaw.  Spend time with, and visit the home of a local family, learning from them the ancient art of paper-cutting.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Culture and Cuisine: Dinner, followed by a performance of the Golden Mask Dynasty, a fairytale-like story of war, royal banquets and romance.

    Overnight: Beijing

 

Day Four: Thursday
GREAT WALLS AND SACRED WAYS - BRIDGING A DIVIDE

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • LaDa'at Focus An  Inside Look Into China's Sociology & Economy with your tour educator.
  • Visit the Badaling Great Wall, the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. Originally created to defend China from the invading Mongul armies, this part of the Wall was built in the beginning of the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty. Ascend the Wall by cable car to enjoy a great view of the surroundings to better understand its strategic location.  The Great Wall of China is the largest human-made structure in the world, disputed to also be the only such structure visible from space.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Walk along the Sacred Way, adorned on either side with statues of human and animal figures, mythical and real, leading towards the imperial necropolis.  The stone memorial arch, known as the Great Red Gate, allows us to enter this seven kilometer walkway along which even the emperor himself would not have been allowed to travel on horseback. The path and those who walk along it, is protected by the embracing shade of the powerful Willow tree.
  • Drive by some of the iconic sites from the 2008 Olympics, including the National Aquatics Center and the National Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics and Para Olympics.
  • LaDa'at Focus Chinese & Jewish Cultures - Finding Similarities between Worlds Apart: Dinner and dialogue at a local restaurant with students from the Hebrew Studies Department of Beijing University.
  • Visit the Wangfujing (Prince's Mansion Well) night market, located on one of China's most famous shopping streets on which one might find traditional Chinese art, upscale boutiques, Peking Duck, western fast foods and everything in between.

    Overnight: Beijing

 

Day Five: Friday
ANCIENT TEMPLES, LOCAL TRADITIONS AND OUR SHABBAT

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit the Temple of Heaven in Southern Beijing. Originally constructed in 1420, this Temple was frequented by the emperor, considered to be the Son of Heaven, according to Chinese tradition. Twice a year the emperor would lead ceremonies, conducted to pray for good harvest. While we will be admitted, the apex of these events took place on the Winter Solstice and only the emperor would have been present.
  • Finding inner calm and centering ourselves is always a good thing to do. The ability to do this, protect and even heal ourselves can be achieved through the practice of the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi.   Attend a lesson in Tai Chi, and partake in such a foundational element of Chinese culture while being given the opportunity to challenge yourself and have fun too. 
  • Lunch on own.
  • Visit the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of a combination of hills, pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges. The Summer Palace is dominated by Longevity Hill and the man-made Kunming Lake and is an excellent example of Chinese landscape garden ingenuity, ability and designs.
  • Return to the hotel, with free time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Da'at Encounter Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner with members of Kehilat Beijing, a Liberal congregation in Beijing.

    Overnight: Beijing

Day Six: Saturday
SHABBAT IN BEIJING

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Day at leisure to explore the city on your own, with the opportunity to: ? 
    • Stroll along Beihai Park, one of Beijing's best classical gardens with artificial hills, pavilions, halls, temples, and the largest lake in the city. 
    • Climb the winding stone staircase up Coal Hill in Jingshan Park, for the unparalleled view over the Forbidden City.
    • Visit Beijing Zoo, to see the giant pandas.
    • Visit The National Museum of China, which showcases 5,ooo years of history.
    • Visit The Lama Temple, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temple in the city.
    • Visit 798 Art District , once the site of several state owned factories, now home to art galleries, and cultural organizations.  Enjoy the many local and international art, sculpture, and photography galleries and exhibitions. 

      Overnight: Beijin


Day Seven: Sunday
PLANE ROUTES AND SILK ROUTES - THE ROAD TO XI'AN

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the flight to Xi'an in Western China.
  • Arrive in the city of Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities and the beginning of the ancient Silk Road, one of China's oldest routes to the west.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Visit the famous Muslim Quarter, located behind the Drum Tower, home to Chinese Muslims for over 1,000 years. Visit the Great Mosque of Xi'an, which was founded in 742 and is the oldest and one of the most famous mosques in the country. You will encounter a beautiful edifice, with Arabic writing as part of the design.  You will also encounter a Moslem house of worship that is different from most mosques around the world. It is built entirely along traditional Chinese architectural guidelines, lacking more traditional Middle Eastern domes and minarets.
  • Climb an ancient gate of the Xi'an City Walls, one of the few city walls remaining in China and the oldest such fortifications. At 40-feet tall, and 50-feet wide at its base, this 8-mile long defensive ring, surrounded by a wide moat was a formidable deterrent to would be attackers and a great place from where to view the surroundings. 
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Dinner.

    Overnight: Xi'an

Day Eight: Monday
TRADITIONS AND FAITH

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • LaDa'at Focus The Role of the Warrior in China's Cultural Legacy with your tour educator.
  • Examine the Terra Cotta Warriors, thousands of life-size ceramic soldiers and horses “guarding” the tomb of China's first emperor. The ancient burial site was discovered when Chinese peasants dug a well in 1974. Each soldier has a unique face, and there are more than 8,000 of them spread throughout the site.
  • Lunch en route.
  • Knowing the Other: Try your hand at ancient Chinese crafts in a calligraphy and painting workshop as yet another opportunity to better understand Chinese culture and tradition as well as to have some good fun.
  • See the Buddhist Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Originally built in 652 with five stories, and rebuilt in 704,  one of its main purposes was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang.
  • When in Xi'an: Attend a performance of Tang Dynasty Music and Dance, followed by a dumpling dinner.

    Overnight: Xi'an


Day Nine: Tuesday
WHEN EAST MEETS WEST

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel, transfer to the airport and check in for the flight to Shanghai.
  • Arrive in Shanghai, China's most populous city, situated on the south edge of the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle of China's eastern coast.  Named for its proximity to the sea, Shang- Hai means 'on the sea'.
  • Lunch en route.
  • Walk along the Bund, Shanghai's famous water front walkway. Once a muddy path along the river, the ‘outer bank', located along the west bank of the Huangpu River with its 26 various buildings of different western architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.
  • Stroll down Nanjing Road, Shanghai's main pedestrian all-purpose shopping mall. 3.5 miles long, the street runs east west from the Bund and is a mesh of eastern and western cultures.
  • Opposite the Bund, view the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, a distinct landmark in the area.
  • Visit the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, one of the top five tourist attractions in Shanghai. A short, trip, altered reality experience, you will have the opportunity to travel from space to the core of the earth and back again, in an automated car under the Huangpu River.
  • Visit the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Dinner.

    Overnight: Shanghai

Day Ten: Wednesday
COMMUNAL MEMORY AND SHARED EXPERIENCE - OUR STORY

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • LaDa'at Focus The Legacy of the Kadoorie and Sassoon Families with your tour educator. Originally from Iraq, these wealthy Jewish families spread to India, Europe and in China as well. The ‘Rothschilds of the East' left an important mark on the city of Shanghai.
  • Jewish Roots in a Foreign Land: Discover the Jewish heritage of Shanghai on a tour of the city: 
    • Visit the Fairmont Peace Hotel built by the Sassoon Family.
    • Walk through Shanghai's Hongkou District for a guided tour of Jewish life that was its role as a part of Shanghai and those times that it was very much apart from Shanghai.  The sleepy river town was catapulted into the forefront of business and economy in the middle of the 19th century by Jewish Iraqi immigrants. At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian Jews began to arrive, fleeing anti-Semitism and by World War II, thousands of Jews had arrived, seeking asylum from the horrors of Europe. Under Japanese pressure, thousands interned in what had once been known as ‘Little Vienna', which became a Jewish ghetto during the War.
    • Sacred Space: Visit the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, now serving as a museum devoted to the history of the Jews in Shanghai. 
    • Sacred Memories: Visit the Holocaust Memorial in Huoshan Park.
  • Lunch on your own in Xiantiandi, an arts and crafts enclave in the French concession of Shanghai.
  • Walk through the streets of the Old Town and visit the Yu Yuan Garden, adorned with pavilions and punctuated by streams and pools.
  • LaDa'at Focus Dinner and dialogue with people behind the project of recovering Shanghai's Jewish tombstones.

    Overnight: Shanghai

 

Day Eleven: Thursday
SHANGHAI - LAST GOODBYES
  

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit the Jade Buddha Temple, originally built in 1882 and influenced by several traditions. Housing two very special Jade Buddahs, the original building was destroyed in the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty, the Buddahs survived and are now in this structure, built in 1928.
  • Culture and Tradition: Visit the Shanghai Museum of ancient Chinese art, situated on the People's Square.
  • Lunch on your own in Tianzifang, an arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated residential area in the French Concession area.
  • Free time for last-minute shopping, packing, or to explore the city on your own.
  • Final Thoughts and Feelings: Final dinner and group reflection, followed by an acrobatic show.

    Overnight: Shanghai


    Day Twelve: Friday
    RETURN HOME
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Transfer on own to Shanghai International Airport. (Transfers can be arranged at additional cost.)
  • Departure flight to the U.S.A., arriving the same day.
 

Need to Know

  • Tour rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 full paying participants.
  • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers and the tour educator are included.
  • Hotels are subject to confirmation. If the hotels listed cannot be confirmed, we will use other hotels on the same level.
  • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin (not full- or queen-size) beds.
  • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • Tour Educator: All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.
  • Gratuities included for restaurant and hotel staff only (for guides and drivers, see below).
  • Baggage: All tour packages / group tours allow one piece of luggage per person and one carry-on bag. Excess luggage will be subject to a charge of up to $100 per piece. The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator, shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of the incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach. Please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.



Not Included

  • Airfare to the tour departure point and from the tour ending point is not included. Airfare may be purchased from us for travel originating in the United States.              
  • Personal Expenses: All personal expenses such as laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls, Wi-Fi usage and postage are not included.
  • Guide and Driver Gratuities (recommended guidelines vary based on number of participants):
      • For a group of 15-19 passengers:
        $10 per participant per day for the Da'at tour educator, $5 per participant per day for the local guide & $3 per participant per day for the driver  
      • For a group of 20 passengers and more:
        $8 per participant per day for the Da'at tour educator, $5 per participant per day for the local guide & $3 per participant per day for the driver
         


    Additional Information

    • Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket or you may be denied boarding.
    • If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S., you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
    • Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
    • Holidays and Museum Closures: Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays locally observed in the destinations being visited.
    • Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.


      
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    Important to Know
    • Land-only price does not include arrival/departure transfers unless otherwise indicated.
    • By paying a deposit upon registration, you are agreeing to ARZA World terms.
    • We highly recommend carefully reviewing those terms for full details about conditions and penalties.
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