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  Program Itinerary  

     
 
   
 Itinerary Overview: 
 
 
 
 9-Day Overview, July 15-23, 2009    6-Day Overview, July 18-23
 Day 1  Wed, July 15 Arrive Beijing        
 Day 2  Thu July 16 Beijing      
 Day 3  Fri, July 17 Beijing        
 Day 4  Sat, July 18 Beijing    Day 1   Arrive Shanghai
 Day 5  Sun, July 19 Shanghai    Day 2   Shanghai
 Day 6  Mon, July 20 Suzhou    Day 3   Suzhou
 Day 7   Tue, July 21 Shanghai    Day 4   Shanghai
 Day 8   Wed, July 22 Eclipse Day outside Shanghai    Day 5   Eclipse Day
outside Shanghai
 Day 9   Thu, July 23 Shanghai Onward    Day 6   Shanghai Onward
 
   
 
     
 
Day 1   Wednesday, July 15, 2009  No Meals
Arrive Beijing
 

Upon arrival at Beijing’s Capital International Airport (PEK), you will be met and transferred to our hotel. The balance of the day will be free to relax and explore on your own.

 
Overnight: OrientalBay International Hotel
or similar (4 nights)
 
   
 
  Day 2   Thu, July 16                                                                                    B/L/D
Temple of Heaven - Peking Duck Dinner
 
  After breakfast at the hotel, we will board our private motorcoach for today’s sightseeing. We will tour the delicately crafted Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the emperors used to pray for good harvest. After lunch, we will tour the network of alleyways and courtyards called Hutongs. Riding aboard a pedicab through the narrow lanes of the old residential quarters, we will have the opportunity to glimpse the local residents’ daily life. This evening, we will be treated to the famous Peking Duck Dinner.  
     
  Day 3   Fri, July 17                                                                                      B/L/D
Great Wall of China - Ming Tombs
 
 
  The highlight today will be the astonishing Juyongguan Pass Great Wall of China, to walk on that picturesque stretch of wall winding its way up the mountain ridge. We will then tour the Ming Tombs, the extensive burial complex for thirteen of the Ming emperors, which is approached by the Sacred Way - a wide, elegant path lined with symbolic stone statues.
 
     
  Day 4   Sat, July 18                                                                                     B/L/D
Tiananmen Square - Forbidden City -  Ancient Observatory - Summer Palace
 
  Our excursion today will include a visit to historic Tiananmen Square, the ‘front door’ to the Forbidden City. The largest and most intact conglomeration of ancient structures of the imperial palace, the Forbidden City was the palace for 24 Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors who ruled China for over 500 years. Following lunch, we will visit the Ancient Observatory, situated at the Southeast corner of Beijing's Jianguomen Bridge. Initially built in 1442, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), its rich history spans more than 500 years, making it one of the most historically interesting observatories in the world. Later we’ll visit the Summer Palace. With its classical Chinese gardens and over 3,000 structures including pavilions, towers, bridges and corridors, the Summer Palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  
     
 

 
     
  Day 5   Sun, July 19                                                                                    B/L/D
Shanghai: Children’s Palace - Oriental Pearl Tower - Evening River Cruise
 
 

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, China’s largest city (home to 16 million people), which is also China’s principal port on the Yangtze River. Upon our arrival in Shanghai, we will make a few stops en route to the hotel – including the Children’s Palace (a pre-revolution mansion turned school of arts) and the Oriental Pearl Tower (the third tallest tower in the world) to have a bird’s-eye view of Shanghai. After dinner, we will cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy a fascinating night view of Shanghai.

 
  Overnight: Skyway Landis Hotel or similar (4 nights)  
     
  Day 6   Mon, July 20                                                                                    B/L/D
Suzhou
 
  Today’s excursion will take us to the historic city of Suzhou, noted for its canals, incredible silk tapestries, and landscaped classical gardens. While we cruise the ancient Grand Canal with a history of more than 2400 years, we will experience the unique cultures and glimpse the daily life of the local residents. We will tour the Lingering Garden, one of the most famous gardens in China, also known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls and buildings. Afterwards, our visit to the silk embroidery factory will show us the complexity of creating these extraordinary textiles.  
     
  Day 7   Tue, July 21                                                                                     B/L/D
Shanghai: Yu Garden - The Bund - Nanjing Road
 
 

Today we will visit the five-acre Yu Garden highlighted by its Exquisite Jade Rock, which is over 10 feet in height and has 72 holes. What is intriguing about this rock is that smoke from a joss stick placed just below the rock will float out from all of the holes, while water poured into the top will flow out from each hole, creating a magical sight.
   
Other highlights today include the Bund, the historic waterfront road rich in diverse colonial-era architecture; bustling Nanjing Road, the city’s main shopping district that must be experienced even if you aren’t shopping; and the renowned Shanghai Museum of Art and History, which ranks among the great museums of the world. After dinner, don’t miss the briefing for tomorrow’s eclipse day activities.

 
     
 

 
     
  Day 8   Wed, July 22                                                                                     B/L/D
Eclipse Day outside Shanghai 
 
  Early this morning we will leave Shanghai for our pre-selected eclipse viewing site. Join us this evening for a celebration dinner.  
     
 
  Local contact times from our approximate viewing site:
           
  1st contact:    08:23.03   altitude 40 degrees
           
  Totality Begins:   09:36.07   altitude 57 degrees
           
  Mid eclipse:   09:39.03   altitude 57 degrees
           
  Totality Ends:   09:42.01   altitude 57 degrees
           
  4th contact:   11:02.40   altitude 73 degrees
           
  Duration of totality:   5 minutes and 53.5 seconds
 
     
 
     
  Eclipse Weather in Shanghai  
 

by Jay Anderson

 
     
     
  Monsoon conditions over China during July offer unencouraging cloud prospects for the 2009 eclipse everywhere along the track – except on the coast of the South China Sea near Shanghai. The cooler temperatures flowing off of the ocean suppress the formation of convective clouds when winds blow onshore, bringing a sunnier climate and relief from the high humidity typical of inland regions. Climate data for Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, situated on the coast, reveals that the average cloud cover is 4 to 15 percent lower than at Shanghai city and Hongqiao Airport, both of which lie well inland.  The coast of China has some of the best cloud prospects anywhere along the eclipse track, and comes with the added benefit of an extended eclipse duration.  
     
  Falling temperatures during an eclipse typically subdue the growth of small convective clouds and a further reduction of 5 or even 10% in cloud cover on eclipse day is a possibility.  
     
 
     
  Day 9   Thu, July 23                                                                                       B 
Shanghai -
Onward
 
  After breakfast and check-out, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight onward, or you may wish to join one of our optional add-on tours.  
     
     
  
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