Jewish Heritage Tour
13-Day Beijing, Harbin, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Luoyang, Xi'an and Shanghai Tour
Your vacation starts with a private car with a guide picking you up from the airport, and giving you a cell phone for keeping in touch with your guide.
Your journey starts with the famous two, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, where the presence of history is so palpable: the imperial red walls of magnificent gates and walls, golden roofs reaching for the sky and courtyards designed to impress.
The Temple of Heaven is perhaps less known, but equally wonderful feat of architecture and design; the circular buildings connected by long ceremonial avenues speak of times gone by.
We can organize a visit to the only one synagogue school in Beijing, where Shabbat services and weekly Parsha studies are organized for the Jewish community.
The Mutianyu Great Wall is less-crowded and has stunning views across the valleys; it also has the most watch towers. A cable car takes you to the top; for the way down you can also choose to toboggan.
Summer Palace was the favorite place for the imperial family to relax in a more informal setting. It is one of the most charming places in Beijing; the willows reflecting in the lake and lovely walkways leading to pavilions and bridges. It is no wonder it has been declared a World Heritage Site.
After lunch the guide and driver will take you to the airport to catch a flight to Harbin.
Harbin during the first half of the 20th century had the largest Jewish population in the Far East. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1918, is the largest Jewish synagogue in China.
Dragon Tower is a landmark of Harbin City, and serves as Heilongjiang TV Broadcasting Tower. The observation platform has a stunning panoramic view of Harbin City, and a revolving restaurant at the top is a memorable dining experience.
The Jile Temple (Jile si) is the largest Buddhist Temple in Heilongjiang Province, and has an ancient pagoda complex inside. In the winter, the Ice and Snow Sculpture Gallery is of course the main attraction in Harbin, the exquisite works of art made of the high quality ice from the Songhua River.
Siberian Tiger Park is the largest center for breeding these endangered majestic creatures. An enforced bus takes visitors through an open park, where over 100 tigers roam freely. Among the interesting sights are the ligers, a product of tiger and lion cross breeding.
Later in the day your guide will take you to board you plane to Zhengzhou.
A private car will take you to Kaifeng, which had a very large Jewish Community from about 900AD to the beginning of 20th century. It is only recently that this heritage has come to wider knowledge, and the 200 descendants of those Jewish people still living in Kaifeng are starting to attract visitors.
Kaifeng Museum has several exhibition halls displaying Chinese history and a small part telling some of the story of the Jewish peoples history in Kaifeng. Original this area had its own synagogue, built in 1163 but destroyed by flood in middle of 18th century; only a well remains.
Millennium City on the edge of Longting Lake is a large historical theme park founded as a tribute to the painting by a famous artist from the Northern Song Dynasty (960AD-1127AD.
In the morning your guide and drive will take you to Luoyang to visit the famous Shaolin Temple, where the monks have perfected their style of world famous kung fu: wushu. The monks display their skills in as show several times a day, which you are invited to watch.
Today your guide will take you in a private car to see two of the most famous sights in Luoyang: Longmen Grottoes and White Horse Temple. The grottoes are carved on the river side and have been listed as a World Heritage Site, and the temple was a birthplace of Buddhist monasteries in China.
Boarding the high speed train to Xi'an, where you will be picked up and taken to your hotel. Ask your travel advisor for suggestions on what to do in the evenings.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are still one of the most intriguing archeological finds nearly 40 years after they were discovered, as new artifacts are still being unearthed; some include statues of musicians and acrobats.
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an is actually more like an elevated road, it is so wide. You can just take a walk, or hire a bike or a rick shaw to see more in shorter time. Shaanxi History Museum gives a great insight into how culture developed in this province, the cradle of the ancient China.
This morning your guide will take you to the airport for you to continue to Shanghai, which also has a Jewish heritage.
Yuyuan Garden in the old part of the city is a charming Ming Dynasty creation; it is said that the cost of building the garden ruined the eminent family who lived here; quite believable. Yuyuan Market nearby is actually a collection of streets full of merchandise: a shopper's paradise.
The Bund, the world-famous embankment along the western bank of Huangpu River is not only a museum of architecture, but also a thriving hub of activity. You may wish to linger here, perhaps sit in one of the cafes waiting for the dusk, as it is a delight in the evenings.
Shanghai was home for tens of thousands of refugees from before the Second World War until 1949. The Old Jewish Quarter was where they settled among the Jewish community that had started on the banks of the Huangpu River around middle of the 19th century. Shanghai Jewish Synagogue has a museum attached as well as a small art exhibition of Jewish works related to Shanghai.
Duolun Road was home to a number of famous writers in the 1930s, now it has antique shops and restored buildings.
About China Highlights
Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
Camping on the Great Wall
Did a hike of the wild Great Wall, which was an amazing experience. Highly recommended if you want to get away from the crowds. Many thanks to my guide, Oliver, who was first class. Hiked, climbed, had a bbq and camped on the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. The views were serene. An unforgettable memory! more