17 Day Best of Thailand & Phuket (2016 - 2017)
Our Beijing stopover program features two-night hotel accommodations, including breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. We also recommend our optional full-day Beijing tour of the Great Wall and Forbidden City, which includes a sumptuous Peking Duck dinner.
This tour is only available to Air China travelers.
After a hearty breakfast, we take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to visit China's most renowned monument—the Great Wall. The wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China's northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of over 3500 miles! Chairman Mao once said "You haven't walked on the Wall, you haven't been a good Chinese". Today, you will have time to walk on the wall and experience it splendor.
In the afternoon, we continue to visit the royal Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the Chinese universe and a lasing monument of dynastic China, from which 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world's largest palace complex and China's most magnificent imperial architecture, consisting of many buildings with 9,999 rooms, on a 250-acre compound, protected by a 20-foot-wide moat and a 32-foot-high wall. Now known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the exclusive domain of the imperial court and dignitaries where outside visitors were forbidden for 5 centuries. Here you will explore the imperial treasures in the grand palaces and pavilions, exquisite courtyards and gardens in what was once the residence of China's rulers.
Tonight, we enjoy a dinner of specially prepared Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.Please note that the Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. Therefore, on these days we will visit the Summer Palace instead. The sprawling grounds of the Summer Palace served the Qing Dynasty as an imperial retreat from the stifling summer confines of the Forbidden City.
World Spree' s Taiwan Stopover Program offers two-night hotel accommodations in a 4-star hotel within Taipei' s bustling business district. We include buffet breakfasts, and airline stopover change fees. We do not include airport transfers as it is easy to arrange those by yourself; it costs about $30-$40 per cab ride from Taipei Taoyuan Airport (TPE) to your hotel.
Minimum of two passengers.
A visit to the Royal Grand Palace, the nation's landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand is a must. Situated close to the Chao Phraya, Bangkok's River of Kings, the palace occupies nearly one square mile. The former royal residence of the Chakri Kings, the palace is the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Built in 1782 by King Rama I, it was the centre of power for more than 150 years. Today, the palace is Bangkok's major landmark and most popular tourist attraction.
The tour continues to the world famous bridge on the River Kwai, built by prisoners of war during World War II. The bridge is located near the town of Kanchanaburi, Here, we visit the well-kept cemetery of Allied Prisoners, which contain the graves of an estimated 9,000 Allied soldiers who lost their lives while building the bridge and constructing the notorious "Death Railway" which the Japanese had hoped to stretch from Thailand and into Burma. We will pay a visit to the JEATH War Museum (the name "JEATH" is derived from the countries involved: Japan, England, America/Australia, Thailand and Holland), a thought provoking site where the past has been created and relived with pictures and artefacts from the time.
Phi Phi Ley is home to the Viking Cave, a large limestone cavern, where ancient rock paintings can be found. Thought to resemble Viking ships – hence the name of the cave – they are thought to be 3000 to 4000 years old.