Take one part passion for cooking. Add a pinch of wanderlust. Stir well. Enjoy straight up.
Culinary travel is potent cocktail, combining the best of a destination's history and culture with hands-on cooking classes and an insider's knowledge of the kitchens and customs of a place.
Mix in local dining experiences and you've got a trip that will satisfy even the heartiest appetites.
Join Eat. Drink. Memory. for guided culinary tours designed to please the palate and delight the senses.
Mary MacRae Warren, Eat. Drink. Memory. founder, hosts 14 days in Beijing, X'ian, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai in Spring 2010. Reserve your spot now.
This especially designed small group tour (maximum 15) juxtaposes urban and rural landscapes, the ancient with the modern, and immerses participants in the culture and cuisine of this complex and beautiful country. Stay in extraordinary deluxe hotels and visit essential historic Chinese landmarks - the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven.
Experience an insider's tour of local markets, shopping for ingredients and preparing an authentic Chinese meal under the guidance of expert local chefs. Visit a traditional Chinese kitchen and learn the necessary ingredients for daily meals the Chinese way.
Enjoy the best of China's regional cuisines, teas and wines in five cities along the Golden Route.
Wander the Golden Route 14 days
Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Shanghai
China is a land of history and refinement unparalleled in the world. Visitors are immersed in a sea of visual and cultural experiences unlike any other they may have had elsewhere. Each geographic area in China teems with its own identity as an energetic variation on the great theme of Chinese civilization, each regions differing vastly yet expressing similar values and ideas.
This journey begins in Beijing with an exploration of the beauty of the Imperial City and meetings with urban Chinese residents. Discover the splendor of China’s glorious past: the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Great Wall. Witness the dynamic and ever-changing pace of life in today’s capital of China.
Flying on to X'ian ,once the largest city in the world, visit and explore the Terracotta Warriors Museum in homage to Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Considered China’s preeminent archaeological discovery, the site is known only to the world since 1974. Tour other important historic sites in the ancient Tang Dynasty capital.
The next stop of our tour is Chengdu, a place of color, spirit and fiery food. Ponder the marvelous findings at the Sanxingdui Archaeological Site & Museum. Relax and sip a cup of fragrant tea in a local teahouse.
Your itinerary also includes Guilin and Yangshuo,the south China region of picturesque karsts mountains rising from rice paddies. One of the most idyllic landscapes of China,a cruise down the Li River will reveal its beauties at each bend of the river.
The last stop of your tour is Shanghai,China’s most populous city and economic powerhouse, home in 2010 to the World Expo. The European Bund still retains the glamour of the colonial era while modern western pubs, bars and boutiques scatter the center of Shanghai. Visit traditional Yuyuan Garden and spend some time exploring Shanghai Museum, the best in China.
Fly home from Shanghai.
Day 1 Depart from JFK, EWR (or your home airport) to Beijing, China
Day 2 Arrive in Beijing today; meet your guide at the airport and transfer to the best-located property, Grand Hotel Beijing (deluxe palace)
Evening Group Reception
Day 3 Beijing Visit Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City in the morning; have lunch at Xiaowangfu; afternoon take part in a Hutong Courtyard tour and meet an urban Chinese family; return to hotel for a rest; enjoy a Peking Duck Dinner in the evening. <B-L-D>
Day 4 Beijing Tour Temple of Heaven and a produce and food market in the morning; visit a Culinary School to see cooking demonstration by notable chef in the afternoon; visit Summer Palace with a boat ride on Kunming Lake; enjoy an Imperial Cuisine Dinner in one of the capital’s renowned restaurants.<B-L-D>
Day 5 Beijing Excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu with cableways; Noodle Lunch at Xiaolumian Restaurant (see the chef making a bowl of delicious homemade noodle from flour powder); afternoon visit Changyu Afip Winery at Miyuan with wine tasting. Return to Beijing late afternoon; in the evening have an insider’s visit to the kitchen of Grand Hotel’s Rongyuan Restaurant and enjoy a Special Dinner.<B-L-D>
Day 6 X'ian Transfer to airport and fly to Xi’an; stop by the 798 Art Complex on the way; after refreshing at your hotel, visit City Wall and Shuyuanmen Market; Local Cuisine Dinner; Stay two nights in Sofitel on Renmin Square (deluxe room).<B-L-D>
Day 7 X'ian Excursion to the Terracotta Warriors Museum; return to city and visit a farmer’s market, Big Goose Pagoda and Xi’an History Museum; enjoy a Special Dinner and Tang Style Stage Show featuring traditional singing and dancing .<B-L-D>
Day 8 Chengdu Visit Yangling Archaeological Site & Museum on the way to airport; fly to Chengdu; visit Qingyanggong Daoist Temple and then enjoy Chinese tea in a local teahouse; pay an insider's visit to a Chinese kitchen and enjoy a Sichuan Cuisine Dinner. Kempinski Hotel (deluxe room) <B-D>
Day 9 Guilin Morning Sanxingdui Archaeological Museum; lunch we will feast on Sichuan “Xiaochi”delicacies, a great variety of food and flavors served in individual small plates. In the afternoon, visit a Sichuan food market – finding many exotic fruits,vegetables, meats and spices. Take an evening flight to Guilin; met and transferred to Sheraton Guilin Hotel (deluxe room). Dinner is on your own. <B-L>
Day 10 Enjoy a breathtaking Li River Cruise; lunch at Meiyou Restaurant; visit Yangshuo market and a family run produce farm; attend a cooking lesson in the afternoon: go shopping in the local market to buy food ingredients required by the chef, back to school to learn how to prepare one or two dishes yourself; return to Guilin by vehicle and enjoy a local cuisine dinner. <B-L-D>
Day 11 Shanghai Late morning flight to Shanghai and check in hotel to refresh; visit the Bund and Yuyuan Garden; enjoy the city’s signature dish – Shanghai steamed dumplings”in the old town; Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai <B-D>
Day 12 Shanghai Visit Shanghai Museum, French Concession, and Fuxing Park; lunch at Xintiandi, a chic and modern market place with a dozen or so good eateries; afternoon visit an upscale teahouse and the Ohel Moshe Synagogue; evening is free. <B-L>
Day 13 Shanghai Free day for your own exploration; enjoy a Farewell Shanghai Cuisine Dinner followed by a stunning Acrobatic Show <B-D>
Day 14 Departure transfer to the airport and fly home <B>
Changes to Itinerary: Access China Tours has made all possible attempts to ensure the accuracy of tour itineraries. Circumstances beyond our control may occur. We reserve the right to change itineraries, sightseeing activities, and common carriers, and to substitute hotels when necessary. Service of a similar category and standard will be maintained if such changes are made. The Service Voucher in your last pre-departure packet will provide the operational itinerary summary, final transport and hotel information.
Tour Land Prices: $5310USD per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: $2080 USD for single occupancy throughout the tour
or $5010USD per person, double occupancy if using Beijing Park Plaza Wangfujing, Xi’an Howard Johnson Ginwa Hotel, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Guilin Bravo Hotel, and Shanghai The Bund Hotel (good 4 & 5 star hotels) $1000USD for single occupancy throughout the tour
International Air: approximately $1480USD pp, round trip on Air China or Continental
What's Included in Tour Land Prices:
Deluxe class hotel accommodations, double occupancy
Coach class Chinese domestic air and ground transportation while on tour
All tour related Chinese domestic taxes
Arrival and departure transfers on tour dates
Transfers and luggage (1 piece of 45 pounds per person) handling
Pre-departure information packets
All sightseeing, special activities, and cultural events listed in the itinerary
All meals specified in the itinerary
Service of an English-speaking tour manager and local tour guides
Private, clean, and newer vehicles with air-conditioning and professional driver
What's Not Included in Tour Land Prices:
International air tickets
Chinese visa processing (roughly $130)
Trip cancellation, baggage, accident, and medical insurance (strongly recommended)
Gratuities to guides and drivers (roughly $15 per day)
Items not listed and/or specified as included in the itinerary
Cancellation Policy: All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by Access China Tours. We assess cancellation fees of all tours according to the following schedule:
70 days or more prior to departure * $200 per person
69 to 50 days prior to departure * $400 per person
49 to 30 days prior to departure * $600 per person
29 to 15 days prior to departure * $800 per person
* Plus any charges assessed by government agencies, land suppliers, cruise companies and airlines.
Within 14 days of departure .............100% forfeiture of the tour price per person
Access China Tours will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements after the trip has commenced or any refunds to participants who do not complete any portion of the itinerary. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund and cancellation policy. We strongly recommend you purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment. Access China Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour(s) due to insufficient booking (fewer than 2 participants). In this case, we will try to find an alternative tour for tour participants. If this is not acceptable, all money paid will be refunded in full and this will constitute full and final settlement for the client. Clients have the right to cancel a tour without penalty when the group size (for published packages) is less than 6 full-paying participants if clients had informed Access China Tours at the time of signing up that he/she must travel in a escorted group. All eligible payment will be refunded. However, Access China Tours will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by tour participants (e.g., non-refundable “advance purchase” air tickets, insurance & medical expenses, passport and visa expenses, etc.).
If a tour is forced to be cancelled due to government’s travel warnings, declared or undeclared wars, hostilities, civil disturbances, strike, riot, epidemic, and quarantines, Access China Tours will refund all participants’ payment less any irretrievable expenses and loss (visa fees, airline penalties, communication cost, & non-refundable booking cost, etc.)