No tour escort; explore at your own pace
|Departures||April – December 2015|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Dulles (IAD); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||The Great Wall of China, guided Tokyo city tour|
|Included in the Price||
|What to Expect||This leisurely-paced, independent tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. This tour does not include a tour guide or escort.|
I just returned from 10 days in China with Friendly Planet. It was an AMAZING tour—everything that Friendly Planet said it was and made even more fun with our national guide David Bai. I have never had anything exceed my expectations this much. David is an excellent guide and made sure everything went smoothly and that we had the best experience possible. His customer service, knowledge, and people skills are tops and he is a lot of fun! The local guides too were excellent, Alan in Shanghai was outstanding. My next trip will be with Friendly Planet and the trip I just took will not be my last visit to China. I can't wait to go back to visit China and David again. Thank you for such unforgettable and fabulous travel memories.
Jamie Chatterley, Roseville, CA
Prices, fees and deposits are per person. Prices and availability are subject to change. More about our prices.
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Tue||Mar 10||2015||Wed||Mar 18||2015||$2199||$1899||Closed|
|Tue||Apr 7||2015||Wed||Apr 15||2015||$2199||$1899||Available|
|Tue||May 5||2015||Wed||May 13||2015||$2349||$2049||Available|
|Tue||May 19||2015||Wed||May 27||2015||$2349||$2049||Available|
|Tue||Jul 7||2015||Wed||Jul 15||2015||$2699||$2399||Available|
|Tue||Sep 8||2015||Wed||Sep 16||2015||$2749||$2449||Available|
|Tue||Oct 20||2015||Wed||Oct 28||2015||$2399||$2099||Available|
|Tue||Nov 10||2015||Wed||Nov 18||2015||$2199||$1899||Available|
|Tue||Dec 8||2015||Wed||Dec 16||2015||$2199||$1899||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to extend your stay later than the scheduled dates, subject to availability. Contact us about dates, prices and restrictions.
|China Visa Fee1|
|China Visa Fee for CA, AZ, NM & HI residents (paid separately)||+$180|
|China Visa Fee for residents of all other states (paid separately)||+$195|
1. All visitors to China must obtain a visa. Comprehensive visa instructions will be included in your confirmation packet.
|Beijing & Tokyo: A Sale of Two Cities|
|Single Room Supplement||+$499|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||included|
|San Francisco (SFO)||+$100|
|Washington Dulles (IAD)||+$100|
Departure airports subject to availability.
Coming from somewhere else? Before you book, ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities.
Check approximate costs to depart from other U.S. cities.
Coming from Washington D.C. - Dulles (IAD): Due to Air China's schedule, passengers returning to IAD from Tokyo will overnight in Beijing en route, returning one day later than the return dates listed above. Please refer to the flight schedule for details.
To make a reservation, we only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card. This non-refundable deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package. You can pay the balance due later by credit card, PayPal, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of your reservation, whichever is later.
Transfers: Transfers for this tour are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
With this great deal, it's your year to visit a combination of two dream destinations. Beijing, China & Tokyo, Japan are among the most attractive travel destinations in the world. You'll find impressive modern achievements within ancient and incredibly rich cultures whose recorded histories date back 5,000 years. First, you’ll spend time in Beijing, China's capital city and host of the 2008 Summer Olympics. You’ll tour the Great Wall of China and experience the best of this beautiful city. Next, you’ll travel from Beijing to Tokyo, Japan's modern capital, where Japanese shrine architecture and peaceful gardens contrast with the bright lights and designer shops of Ginza.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Beijing, China & Tokyo, Japan begins today as you depart on your non-stop flight bound for Beijing via Air China.
Day 2: Arrive Beijing. Beijing huan ying ni! (Welcome to Beijing) Today arrive in Beijing, China’s historic and cultural capital. Transfer from the airport to your centrally located hotel for check-in. Enjoy your first night in China at leisure. Accommodations: Beijing International Hotel or similar.
Day 3: Beijing. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore on your own. Your hotel is centrally located in the heart of Beijing, close to major attractions, restaurants and shopping. Alternatively, take advantage of an optional excursion to the Summer Palace, Panda Zoo and Forbidden City. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Summer Palace, Panda Zoo & Forbidden City with lunch, $62. Enjoy some time at the Summer Palace, the quintessential Chinese garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site ranked among the most noted classical gardens of the world. Continue your optional tour to the Panda Zoo, dedicated to the preservation of this endangered (and adorable) species of bear, of which only about 2000 remain in the wild. Next, continue to the Forbidden City, located at the exact center of the ancient city of Beijing where it served as the imperial palace during the mid-Ming and Qing Dynasties. Known as the Palace Museum today, its extensive grounds cover 720,000 square meters, 800 buildings and more than 8,000 rooms. The Forbidden City is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world and was declared a World Heritage site in 1987. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally.
Day 4: Great Wall of China. Depart after breakfast on a full day included excursion to the Great Wall of China. En route, enjoy a visit to a jade factory with a presentation and some time for shopping. The Great Wall follows a ridge of barren hills and stretches at least 13,000 miles. Construction of the Great Wall, which spanned more than two thousand years, began between the 7th and 6th century BC and continued through the Ming Dynasty. The wall was originally built of stone, wood, grass and earth, but during the Ming Dynasty, bricks were produced in kilns set up along the wall. The bricks were transported by men carrying them on their backs or by donkeys, mules and even goats, which had bricks tied to their heads before being driven up a mountain. Tonight, take advantage of an optional dinner and Kung Fu Show. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Optional Excursion: Peking Duck Dinner, $53. Tonight, enjoy an optional Peking Duck dinner followed by the Legend of Kung Fu show, a special Shaolin Kung Fu stage performance that blends music, martial arts, and a moving story. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally.
Day 5: Beijing. Enjoy your final day in Beijing at leisure, or conclude your stay with an optional excursion Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Hutongs & Temple of Heaven with lunch, $65. For those who want to explore the way the Chinese live and have lived for centuries, a jaunt down the intricate maze of Beijing's Hutongs is essential. These ancient, labyrinthine alleys or lanes are still an important feature in the urban landscape of Beijing, where houses along Hutongs still occupy one third of the total area, providing housing for half the population and providing yet another example of Beijing as an ancient yet modern city. Continue to the Temple of Heaven, the most holy of Beijing's Imperial temples, is the place where Chinese Emperors came to worship heaven and to pray for a good harvest, since a bad harvest could be interpreted as the Emperor's fall from heavenly favor and threaten the stability of his reign. The 6-meter-high walls surrounding the temple take a square shape to the south and a semi-circular one to the north. The main buildings in the temple are circularly shaped. This pattern represents an ancient belief that heaven was round while earth square, and this pattern is quite architecturally unique. The whole complex, gorgeously painted and set off by thousands of pine and cypress trees, expressing a harmonious atmosphere as if heaven and earth are integrated into one. You will also pay a visit to the famous DIY shopping place of the Pearl Market. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally.
Day 6: Beijing to Tokyo. This morning, bid zai jian to Beijing as you transfer to the airport to board your flight to Tokyo, Japan, one of the world's main economic centers and Japan's modern capital.
Tokyo e Youkoso! (Welcome to Tokyo) Upon arrival, transfer, via scheduled airport bus, to your hotel located in central Tokyo. En route, you'll have your first glimpse of the stunning, modern skyline and glittering neon-lit streets that are quintessential Tokyo. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Accommodations: Hotel Okura Tokyo, New Otani Tokyo or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Tokyo City Tour. After breakfast this morning, set out on a city tour to explore some of Tokyo's main sites. Begin at the Tokyo Tower, modeled after (and slightly taller than) the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where you will enjoy a wonderful view of the city. Proceed to the Imperial Palace Garden Plaza, which dates back to the 15th century and is the former site of Edo Castle and the present residence of the Emperor of Japan. Visitors are not permitted inside this very private residence of royalty, but you will enjoy a walk through the beautifully manicured gardens, with views of the ancient castle walls and ruins. Continue to Sensoji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon, dedicated to the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion. Sensoji Temple is one of the most popular sights in Tokyo. Later, stroll Nakamise shopping street, which stretches over approximately 250 meters from the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. It is lined with more than 50 shops, which offer local specialties and souvenirs. Finally, drive through Ueno and make a brief stop in Tokyo's "Electric-Town," Akihabara. Finally, the tour will disband at Tokyo Station, where you can continue your exploration independently or make your own way back to your hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Tokyo. Spend the day discovering the wonders of Tokyo and all it has to offer. Your hotel is conveniently located in the center of Tokyo and by train or subway you can easily explore Tokyo's major attractions. From popular shopping areas like Ginza and Omotesando, where you can purchase the latest fashions, to sprawling entertainment and nightlife districts like Roppongi and Shinjuku, Tokyo seems to have a place to indulge in every desire. And, by taking a relaxing strowl through one of Tokyo's beautiful parks or gardens, you may even forget that you're in the largest city in the world. See the sights on your own or join an optional excursion that will take you to one of Japan's most famous sights, Mt. Fuji. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Full Day Mt. Fuji & Hakone Tour with Lunch, Approx. $140. Enjoy a beautiful panoramic drive from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, an almost perfectly conical volcano that is recognized around the world as a symbol of Japan. It stands over 12,000 feet high and is beautifully snow-capped in winter. Drive to the 5th station, a 5 to 6-hour trek from the summit for experienced hikers, where you'll enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy a Japanese-style lunch then continue to Kojiri and board the Lake Ashi cruise to Hakone. Next, ride on the Hakone Sky Gondola and enjoy the view. Return to Tokyo this evening.
Click here for information about booking optional excursions in Japan.
Day 9: Tokyo/USA. Today, bid sayonara to Tokyo as you transfer to the Narita Airport, via airport bus, to board your return flight via Beijing. Your adventure to Beijing and Tokyo ends on arrival in U.S. later today. Breakfast provided.
Passengers returning to Washington Dulles (IAD) will overnight in Beijing on Day 9 continuing to IAD on Day 10.
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