China Retreat July 15-27, 2020
Herbal Tea Tour and Yoga Retreat
With your guide Jaina Portwood, and guest instructor Eric Ament. A collaboration in honor of Anahata Herbal’s Ten Year Anniversary (Duluth, MN based tea company).
- 13 day tour the Chinese countryside
- Visit Terra Cotta Soldiers, the Great Wall, Mount Wua Shan Hike, Bamboo forest, and Panda Bears, Tea Farms and more…
- Daily morning yoga and meditation practice
- Tea plantation tours
- Tea House Ceremonies
- Hiking and sightseeing
- Yoga philosophy study and cultural immersion
- Optional spa treatments and pampering (per always!)
- 100 hours of optional yoga teacher training certification
|Day & Date||Place & Transport||Today’s Activities||Accommodation||Meals|
|01. Wed 15||Arrive in Beijing, Flight from USA||Airport to Hotel Transfer (Beijing)||Penta Hotel Beijing||\|
|02. Thu 16||Beijing||Forbidden City
Walking around Hutong area
|Penta Hotel Beijing||B,L|
|03. Fri 17||Beijing||Temple of Heaven
Mutianyu Great Wall (with round-way cable car)
|Penta Hotel Beijing||B,L|
|04. Sat 18||Beijing to Xian, by Train||Hotel to Train station Transfer (Beijing)
Train station to Hotel Transfer (Xian)
Summer Palace (including boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony)
|Grand Noble Hotel||B|
|05. Sun 19||Xian||The Terracotta Warriors and Horses
Xi’an City Wall
|Grand Noble Hotel||B,L|
|06. Mon 20||Xian||One day tour to Mt. Huashan||Grand Noble Hotel||B,L|
|07. Tue 21||Xian to Chengdu, by Train|| Small Wild Goose Pagoda with Shadow Play Performance
Forest of Stone Steles Museum
|Mingyoun Central Hotel||B|
|08. Wed 22||Chengdu||Giant Panda Breeding Research Base
Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane(including local snacks experience)
Organic Farm in Xinjin County
|Mingyoun Central Hotel||B,L|
|09. Thu 23||Chengdu||Tea Farm in Pujiang County
Old Teahouse in Chengdu People’s Park (Drink a cup of tea to experience local people’s life)
|Mingyoun Central Hotel||B,L|
|10. Fri 24||Chengdu to Zhangjiajie, Domestic Flight No. CA4377 Dep 15:05 – Arr 16:35||Hotel to airport Transfer (Chengdu)
Airport to Hotel Transfer (Zhangjiajie)
|Best Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie||B|
|11. Sat 25||Zhangjiajie||Tianzi Mountain Cable Car
Tianzi MountainZhangjiajie National Forest Park
Bailong Elevator(One Way)
Yuanjiajie with Hallelujah Mountain
|Santo Domingo International Hotel Zhangjiajie||B,L|
|12. Sun 26||Zhangjiajie||The Glass Bridge at Grand Canyon
Golden Whip Brook
|Santo Domingo International Hotel Zhangjiajie||B,L|
|13. Mon 27||Depart Zhangjiajie, Flight to USA return||Tianmen Mountain
Hotel to airport Transfer (Zhangjiajie)
Details on Meals
Most breakfasts and lunches included (see above). Dinners on your own. Options for Vegan, Gluten Free and Vegetarian diets.
Tuition is $2900 total for a shared room with your own bed.
To upgrade to a single, private room total cost is $3500.
Tuition includes all accommodations, breakfast and 8 of the lunches, all excursions and tours (detailed above), yoga instruction and certification 100 hours CEU through Yoga Alliance).
Tuition does not include airfare from USA, and gratuity along the way.
Ready to register and save your spot? $1000 deposit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Admission to sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
Transfers for our group between airports, train stations, hotels and all sightseeing spots. Surcharge for separate arrivals and departures will be required.
Between airports, railway stations and hotels.
Qualified local English-speaking guide throughout the tour.
Beijing: Penta Hotel Beijing ★★★★ (penta Standard Room)
Xian: Grand Noble Hotel ★★★★ (Superior Room)
Chengdu: Mingyoun Central Hotel ★★★★ (Lia Room)
Zhangjiajie: Best Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie ★★★★ (Superior Room)
Zhangjiajie: Santo Domingo International Hotel Zhangjiajie ★★★★ (Superior Room)
Beijing To Xian Transfer via Train, G87 (Second Class) (Our arrangements)
Xian To Chengdu Transfer via Train, G1975 (Second Class) (Our arrangements)
Chengdu To Zhangjiajie Transfer via Flight, CA4377 (Economy Class) (Our arrangements)
Note: Airline policy is that seat assignments are given at the time of check-in.
China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
International transportation: including flight to/from China.
China Visa Fees
Checked luggage for domestic flights is 20kg (44 lbs) for the economy class, 30kg (66 lbs) for the business class, and 40kg (88 lbs) for the first class. Hand luggage is allowed less than 5kg (11 lbs) in total and within the size of 20×40×55 each piece (standards of different airlines may different slightly).
Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, internet access, telephone calls, postal and fax services, bar, massage expenses or overweight baggage charges.
Meals that not shown on the itinerary.
Customers who require a single room are required to pay an extra single room supplement.
About your guides:
Eric made his first wild cup of tea at the age of 15 in the Canadian Wilderness of Manitoba and Ontario. Sitting by the fire drinking that first cup of sweet gale lead him on a path to discover wonderful world of wild teas and herbalism. With a degree in Outdoor Education behind him in 2007 he had his first official herbal apprenticeship with Red Moon Herbs and would continue to study under Christopher Hobbs, Margi Flint, Matthew Wood and several others. Traveling the country studying herbalism and permaculture lead him to Duluth, MN to open Anahata Herbals in 2010. Anahata conjured his love for tea and allowed the perfect avenue to educate and empower people around herbs and the land. Besides growing tea, Anahata wildcrafts a lot of their ingredients around the Lake Superior Basin. Supplying coffee shops and restaurants with high quality organic teas.
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China Retreat Deposit
China Retreat Full Payment
Detailed Tour Itinerary
Forbidden City: The Forbidden City was the imperial palace to 24 emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasty from 1402 to 1911. Listed in World Heritage Site in 1987, it is the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial architectural complex in the world. Featuring the great square, halls and gates contrast with intricate halls, gardens, courtyards and quarters. As a world famed attraction, it receives more than 6 million visitors every year.
Tiananmen Square: As the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square has great cultural significance. Hundreds of Chinese visitors go to worship the flag-raising ceremony every morning as it is the symbol of China’s national pride. The square is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (the entry to the Forbidden City), National Museums of China, People’s Great Hall and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum.
Walking around Hutong area: Hutong was firstly built in Yuan Dynasty as local dwellings. It is a maze of historic alleyways with single-story traditional courtyard houses, which are fast disappearing. In this one hour tour, you will have a walk through the narrow alleys and get a close touch with local culture and people’s life style.
Temple of Heaven: Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings. Chinese emperors held the Heaven Worship Ceremony and prayed for good harvest here in Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is a public park now. Local residents spend lots of their spare time here to do exercise. Temple of Heaven was enrolled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.
Mutianyu Great Wall (with round-way cable car): Located in Huairou County, this less-crowded section of the Great Wall is about 2.5 hours’ drive from downtown Beijing. A cable-car takes you up to a good section to avoid steep climb. From there, you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb view as it winds 1.4 miles through lofty mountains and high ridges. Good walking shoes are highly recommended.
Summer Palace (including boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony): Named as ‘Yiheyuan'(Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese, Summer Palace is the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China. With its perfect layout, magnificent buildings and enchanting landscape, the Summer Palace is also reputed as the most splendid classical garden in China. It has greatly influenced Chinese horticulture and landscaping. All the private owned gardens in eastern China have copied its design and layout.
Muslim Quarter: Just as its name implies, the Muslim Quarter is the hub of the Muslim community in Xian City. Muslim food and souvenir market is main feature of the area. Walking along the streets provides an authentic experience of local people’s life style.
Xi’an City Wall: It’s the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It is now a major landmark of Xi’an. If weather allows, you could rent a bike to ride around the wall. Cost of bike rent is not included.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses: As the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210BC. Life-sized terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor. Each figure is unique with different facial appearance.
Mt. Huashan: Situated in Huayin City, Mt. Huashan is 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) from Xian. It is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak. The Mountain is also home to several influential Taoist temples and a holy land of Taoism.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda with Shadow Play Performance: The pagoda is not as famous as the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, but is more peaceful and tranquil. As part of the artistic heritage of Buddhist architectures of the Tang Dynasty, it is witness as to how Buddhism was introduced to China and integrated with the culture of Han nationality.
Forest of Stone Steles Museum: Forest of Steles in Xi’an was originally built in Northern Song Dynasty (1090 A.D.) when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 – the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics – was moved to it for safekeeping. All kinds of calligraphy and scripts tell stories, poems and reports from around the Empire. Other exhibits include early sculptures and objects from Imperial tombs.
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base: Drive about 30 minutes from the city center, this is the nearest base from Chengdu. Due to many factors, including habitat destruction, pandas have become an endangered species. Housing more than 30 pandas, the centre is one of the largest panda breeding facilities in the world. This facility is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the pandas. These beautiful creatures wandered around in their enclosures, climbing trees, playing wrestling games, chewing their bamboo, and delighting every visitor who saw them. There are even red and baby pandas. There is a nice bamboo park where you have a walk and pandas are spread everywhere. You can see pandas of all age and they were quite active.
Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane: Kuan-zhai Lane is a historical and cultural area in Chengdu. It’s a compound of three old streets (Kuan, Zhai and Jing Lane) and the courtyards beside the streets. Actually, there are 45 courtyards in the Qing and Ming Dynasty architectural style.Kuan Lane exemplifies the local culture. You can find hotels, tea houses and restaurants there. You can just sit in a local tea house and talk to local people. Zhai Lane is more like a shopping street. There are lots of small shops with good products. Jing Lane is the modern life of Chengdu. There are many bars and pubs. Walking in Kuan-zhai Lane, you can experience the old Chengdu life-style.
Organic Farm in Xinjin County: It is about 1.5 hrs’ drive out of city proper in Chengdu, we’ll visit one Organic Farm in Xinjin County.
Tea Farm in Pujiang County: You’ll learn how tea is planted, nurtured, harvested and processed. Proper Chinese tea etiquette is demonstrated in the tea center’s showroom.
Old Teahouse in Chengdu People’s Park: It’s a beautiful city park with artful landscaping, a bonsai garden, two tea houses, a section of kiddie amusement rides, a pond with row and motor boats that connects to winding streams filled with Koi. A few low hills to climb for better views. All surrounded by busy city streets, the noise shut out by the plantings and pleasant groups of families enjoying the outdoors.
Bailong Elevator: The Bailong Elevator is a glass elevator built onto the side of a huge cliff in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie. It is 1,070 feet (330 m) high. It is claimed to be the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world.
Yuanjiajie with Hallelujah Mountain: This is the most well-known and visited area in the National Park. The Hallelujah Mountain in Avatar was inspired by the Heavenly Pillar in this area. It is re-named as Hallelujah Mountain and has been admired by hundreds of tourists from all over the world since then.
Tianzi Mountain Cable Car(One Way): You are going to take the cable car from the shuttle bus station to the top of the Tianzi Mountain.
Tianzi Mountain: Tianzi Mountain is one of the most beautiful sections of the Zhangjiajie National Forrest Park. You can take a shuttle from Yuanjiajie, after getting off the Bailong Elevator, or you can walk up thousands of steps from Shi Li Hua Lang (Ten Mile Gallery). The bus ride from Yuanjiajie is about 30 minutes, and there are lots of sharp turns along the way, so you should try to sit in front to avoid car sick, but it’s really worth it. Even though it’s popular, it’s less crowded than Yuanjiajie. The scenery is unreal.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City, northern Hunan Province. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. Although resembling karst terrain, this area is not underlain by limestones and is not the product of chemical dissolution, which is characteristic of limestone karst. One of the park’s quartz-sandstone pillars, the 1,080-metre (3,540 ft) Southern Sky Column, had been officially renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in honor of the eponymous film in January 2010.
The Glass Bridge at Grand Canyon: The World’s longest & highest glass bridge locates at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Walking on this bridge, which is 300 meters avobe the ground, will be the coolest experience of your tour! This can be only visited from 15:20 to 17:00 every day.
Golden Whip Brook: Golden Whip Brook (JinBianXi) is about 5 to 7 kms long. It connects the Zhangjiajie main entrance gate with the popular Bus Stop at the Lower Bailong Elevator Station. You pretty much walk down the stream, so it’s a really easy walk, even if you bring young children or the elderly, they would not have any problem. The water is clear and the trail is peaceful.The spires and the peaks around the brook make this place really special. There are a lot of monkeys along the trail.
Tianmen Mountain: We can take the cable car up from the city, apparently the world’s longest cable car ride, and the view is stunning, especially the 99 bends of road down the mountain and the large hole between the 2 peaks which they called the ‘Heaven’s Door’ as what the name of this place derived from. Another highlight of this place is the cliff hanging glass walkway which is quite thrilling as you can see thousands of feet below.
Last Two Days optional in Lhasa Tibet (internal flight not included).
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