Gansu is a province with a long history in western China, and Dunhuang is the pearl of Gansu. Founded in 111 BC, Dunhuang was once an import stopping point along the Silk Road. The 1,600 km trade route splits into both northern and southern routes from Dunhuang, giving the city a rich cultural and historical background. Nowadays, the oasis town will amaze you with its dramatic views of mountainous sand dunes, lush green fields and the stunning artwork of the Mogao Grottoes. Mogao Caves, also known as Caves of a thousand Buddha, are the most impressive and best-preserved examples of Buddhist cave art in China, housing more than 2,415 painted statues and 4,500 square meters of painted murals. The Singing Sand Dunes (Mingshashan), are the most spectacular sand dune scenery in China, with dunes 200 to 300 meters high. During windy weather conditions, the sand reportedly makes humming sounds and hence received the name "Singing Sand Dunes." You can have fun at the dunes by climbing, paragliding, sand sledding and camel riding.
Tour Code: PCRT-GSCRHT
Trip Duration:16 days/15 nights
Guangzhou, Guilin, ChengDu, LanZhou, Xian, Beijing
Day 1: US/Guangzhou
Depart US for China to begin your GanSu Children Reunion Heritage Tour. Get your journal ready to record your weeks of 'once- in-a-lifetime' memories!
Day 2: Guangzhou
Arrive at Guangzhou New BaiYun International Airport. Your private English-speaking guide and driver will bring you to the hotel upon your arrival. Have a good rest tonight to adjust to your new time zone and surroundings.
Day 3: Guangzhou/Guilin
After breakfast, tour around Shamian Island: stop at the medical clinic where adoption medical exams are conducted and visit the photo shop where your child's visa photo was taken. In the afternoon, take another trip down memory lane when you visit the American Consulate. Your guide will escort you to a local park where you can linger and relax while enjoying a story-time of traditional Chinese folktales to deepen your understanding of the rich cultural heritage of your child. Take the late afternoon flight to Guilin. Tonight you will stay at the Ming Garden Apartment Suites, which is located among local Chinese residents' apartment complexes. Each unit is decorated in the Ming Dynasty Style with beautiful Ming furniture, an air-conditioning/heating unit, a private western-style bath, a kitchen equipped with microwave, refrigerator and cooking utensils; free Internet access, television and telephone. The apartment units are rated above five-stars and guests can also enjoy free late checkouts until 6:00 p.m. (all hotels request checkouts before 12:00 noon). In this authentic cultural experience you will have the rare chance to live among local residents within the same wonderful apartment complex. We can even arrange an assistant to make traditional Chinese meals for your whole family or to assist you with your children.
Day 4: Guilin/Yangshuo/Guilin
After breakfast, embark on a scenic cruise along the Li River and enjoy a delicious lunch onboard. The landscape of Guilin is noted as the most gorgeous in China, with sparkling clear waters and magnificent green hills; you will see fishermen fishing with their trained cormorant birds occasionally as well. Your children will be excited to watch water buffalos either grazing along the riverbanks or taking lazy afternoon swims.
Day 5: Guilin
Begin your tour with a visit to the Reed Flute Caves (Ludi Yan).
Enjoy the spectacular views of beautiful backdrops created by the cool
atmosphere and colorful lighting displays inside the caves as you pass
by many fanciful shapes (don't forget to look for the Monkey King). .
Day 6: Guilin/ChengDu
After breakfast, your local guide and driver will bring you to the airport and arrange for your flight to Chengdu. After your arrival in Chengdu and a tasty lunch, explore the Silk Embroidery Institute and the People's Park with Tea House and Garden.
Day 7: ChengDu
Embark on an extraordinary journey to the Panda Breeding Research Base this morning. A professional panda caregiver will give you a brief insight of the panda research work and everyone will have the rare opportunity to hold and hug a baby panda; something the whole family is sure to enjoy. After lunch, visit the fascinating SanXingDui Museum. Little is known about the mysterious cultural and religious beliefs of the people of SanXingDui, yet visitors will gain a sense of the culture through intriguing displays of ancient and rare artifacts used in daily life and religious ceremonies.
Day 8: ChengDu/LanZhou
Start your adopted child's orphanage visit today. You will fly to LanZhou this morning. Lotus guides will sensitively and carefully assist your family as you embark on this most meaningful portion of your return trip. On this initial day of the city visit, one can spend time strolling around the area and absorbing a sense of the city and locale.
Day 9: GanSu Province
Your orphanage visitation typically includes a lunch meeting with the orphanage director and staff. If your family wishes to be in touch with the foster family, Lotus can also arrange a time for you to reunite if contact information is available. After lunch, you may explore your child's finding site. Record the day's events in your journal or just relax with your family this evening.
Day 10: LanZhou/Xian
Today you will fly from LanZhou to Xian, which is a cultural treasure trove of Chinese history. This evening, just relax and walk around the city, journal about your family's connections and insights regarding the last couple of days or cuddle up in the hotel with some food.
Day 11: Xian
Explore the breathtaking Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum today. Discovered by several local farmers in 1974, the 2,000-year-old lifelike warriors are known as the 8th world wonder. Learn to make Chinese traditional JiaoZi (dumplings) in the local restaurant and have a JiaoZi lunch there.
Day 12: Xian/Beijing
accommodations: Overnight Express Train
After breakfast, you may visit the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, where antiques from the Prehistoric era through the Qing Dynasty are on display. In the afternoon, visit Xian's ancient city wall and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. This is the only intact city wall in China. Enjoy walking, exercising and riding a bike as a family.
Tonight, have a wonderfully fun excursion as you get onboard an overnight express train
to Beijing. While others take care of travel, cozy up in your train berth for a peaceful night's rest.
Day 13: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing this morning. Your local tour guide and driver will meet you at the train station exit; they will bring you to your hotel after breakfast.
Begin your day with a tour at the Forbidden City. Listed as a world heritage site in 1987, the Forbidden City contains the largest group of intact palace structures in the world. The palace is 720,000 square meters in size and contains 9,999 rooms, numerous pavilions, gardens and courtyards. Then visit the Tiananmen Square. Noted as the largest city square in the world, the square was initially designed for political rallies and important gala events. Today the square is flanked by the Forbidden City in the north, the Great Hall of the People in the west, Mao TseTung's Mausoleum in the south and the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History in the east. This afternoon, stop by at the major 2008 Olympic Venues including the National Stadiums - "Bird's Nest", the National Aquatics Center - "Watercube" on the way to the imperial gardens of the Summer Palace. The palace was originally built in 1750 and was rebuilt in 1886. Located in the western outskirts of the city, the Summer Palace is the leading classical garden in China and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Day 14: Beijing
Visit the UNESCO world heritage site today. Begin your day with a tour at the MuTianYu section of the Great Wall. Constructed more than 2,000 years ago by China's first emperor, the ancient wall is the world's longest man-made structure at approximately 4,000 miles in length.
Day 15: Beijing
Explore the fascinating Hutong neighborhoods. Beijing's oldest Hutongs were constructed during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Your tour will take you through some of the best-preserved Hutong neighborhoods, which represented the history, culture and lifestyle of old Beijing. After a special homemade lunch at a local family residence in the Hutong Lane area, your family can learn how to make your own kites under professional instructions, and then fly your handmade kites with others at the Temple of Heaven which is China's largest temple and altar. It is often regarded as the most recognizable symbol of China.
Day 16: Beijing/US
Please meet your private English-speaking tour guide and driver at the hotel lobby and travel to the Beijing International Airport for your international flight back to the United States. Cross the International Dateline and arrive home on the same day.
Note: child price is 80% of adult price.