Call of the Dragon Tour :
Beijing - 3 Nights, Xian - 2 Nights, Hangzhou - 1 Night, Shanghai - 3 Nights

China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, was one of the world’s earliest civilizations. China was one of the countries where economic activity first developed. As early as 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, people in the Yellow River valley had already started farming and raising livestock. In the 21st century B.C., China established a slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty, thereby writing a finale to long years of primitive society.
In 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang established China’s first centralized autocracy, the Qin Dynasty, thereby ushering Chinese history into feudalism, which endured in a succession of dynasties until the Opium War of 1840.
The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1911 led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty, putting an end to more than 2,000 years of feudal monarchical system.
The People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1st, 1949. Today, China is implementing reform and open polices, and has established a socialist market economy.

Xia Dynasty

21st century BC-16th century BC

Shang Dynasty

16th century BC-1066 BC

Zhou Dynasty: Western Zhou

1066 BC-771 BC

Eastern Zhou

770 BC-476 BC

Spring and Autumn

770 BC-221 BC

Qin Dynasty

221 BC-206 BC

Han Dynasty: Western Han Dynasty

206 BC-23 AD

Eastern Han Dynasty


The Three Kingdoms: Wei


Shu Han




Western Jin


Eastern Jin


Southern and Northern Dynasty:


Southern Dynasty


Northern Dynasty


Sui Dynasty


Tang Dynasty


The Five Dynasties


Sung Dynasty: Northern Sung


Southern Sung


Liao Dynasty


Western Xia Dynasty


Jin Dynasty


Yuan Dynasty


Ming Dynasty


Qing Dynasty


Republic of China (Guo Ming Dang)


The People’s Republic of China

1949-the present

China is a multi-religious country, where Taoism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are practiced. Freedom of belief is a government policy, and normal religious activities are protected by the constitution.

Family Names
Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years ago. There are more than 5,000 family names in China, of which 200 or 300 are popular. The order of Chinese names is family name first. For example, the family name of a person called Li Ming is Li.

China’s land drops off in the escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air currents and leading many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totaling 220,000 kilometers in length in China, the Yangtze and the Yellow are the two major ones.
China has a diversity of land formations including mountains, hills, highlands, plains and basins. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country’s land mass. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest) 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.

Ethnic Groups
China is a multi-racial country with 56 ethnic groups. In the long course of its development, all the nationalities have joined in the effort to create the great culture that China represents.
Apart from the Han nationality, the other 55 ethnic groups, with a total of more than 96.5 million people, constitute roughly 8.04% of the total population. Those with more than one million people are: Zhuang, Hui, Uyghur, Yi, Miao, Manchu, Tibetan, Mongolian, Tujia, Bouyei, Korean, Dong, Yao, Bai and Hani.
The constitution guarantees all non-Han groups certain national rights and privileges, such as the exemption from the one-child-policy, lower academic requirements for entering colleges and universities, tax breaks and government subsidies.

China is the most populous country in the world, with 1.25909 billion people at the end of 1999, about 22 percent of the world’s total. This figure does not include many Chinese in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan Province and Macao Special Administrative Region. The population density in China is 130 people per sq km. This population, however, is unevenly distributed. Along the densely populated east coast, there are more than 400 people per sq km; in the central areas, over 200; and in the sparsely populated plateaus in the west there are less than 10 people per sq km. The population in cities and towns makes up 30.4 percent; in rural areas, 69.6 percent. The male population is 50.8 percent; and the female population is 49.2 percent. People 14 years or younger make up 25.7 percent; those from 15 to 64, 67.6 percent; and those 65 or older, 6.7 percent.

Mandarin is commonly spoken throughout China. It is one of the five working languages designated by the United Nations. The majority of the 55 other ethnic groups have their own languages. There are also many dialects around the country. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.At the same time, English also is spoken at many hotels, restaurants and attractions throughout China.

Getting a Visa
A visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter, exit from or transit through the host country’s territory based on the host country’s laws and regulations. In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to decide whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws. Chinese consular officials are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Consular officials reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.
Foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations.For information about application documents, how to apply, visa/entry permits for HK/Macao SAR, fees, application forms, and frequently asked questions, please visit the visa section of website of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the USA at

Travel Tips
Visitors are often surprised to find out how modern China really is. Since the early 90′s China has been in the middle of a building boom and infrastructure upgrade that has brought its tourism industry up to Western standards almost overnight.
Tourist facilities and transportation in large cities are almost on the same level as of the United States. All major cities and tourism centers have undergone a total metamorphosis in visitor comfort and transportation facilities. Complaints of poor facilities, service or transportation have all become memories of the past.
Today you can tour China with ease and safety (the crime rate is very low there), stay in comfortable 4 & 5-star hotels, try new Chinese delicacies, enjoy familiar Western cuisine, shop in modern designer boutiques, or explore centuries-old markets and shopping arcades. You can tour the countryside in modern motor coaches, relax in first class train compartments, or speed to the next destination by jet while exploring one of the oldest cultures of the world, and seeing some of the most extraordinary sights anywhere and there is much to see in this vast country of 1.3 billion people.

Currency and Credit Cards
China’s currency is the Renminbi (RMB), usually called the Yuan. Ten Jiao make up one Yuan. At present, the Yuan is worth about US $0.12, with slight daily fluctuations. The Bank of China has exchange desks for foreign currency and travelers checks with convenient hours at all hotels, airports, Friendship Stores, and other shopping areas.

Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diner’s Club, Federal Card, Million Card, and JCB credit cards are accepted at most hotels and state run shops in the major cities. Travelers should be prepared to pay in Yuan when shopping in smaller shops, at restaurants, and in smaller hotels.

Electrical appliances will require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs, as well as an electrical voltage converter that will allow a normal 110-volt American appliance to take 220 Volt Chinese current. Throughout China, 220 volt is used, although 4 & 5-star hotels are wired for use of 110-volt electrical appliances. Most hotels have a hair-dryer in each room.

Telephone communication within China is good and getting better as the national system upgrades to fiber optic cable. Travelers can communicate easily with home or office via telephone, fax, telex, and Internet (where available). Hotels usually offer free local calls, although travelers should check as some do have a small charge, even if there is no answer. Public phones are available in many shops, restaurants, and on the street. International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone service is available from almost any telephone in the major cities, or from hotels and phone centers in secondary cities. (Be sure to give incoming callers your room number, since it is sometimes hard for receptionists to remember foreign name spellings).

The postal service is one of the most efficient systems in China. Local rates are inexpensive and international rates are reasonable. Tourist hotels usually have their own post offices and shipping services, but hotel front desks provide the most convenient places for travelers to drop mail. All major international courier services have offices in major Chinese cities, and travelers can arrange with their hotel for pickup. Internet connections are currently available in some hotels, and many more are installing them to accommodate business travelers.

Main Attractions
* Great Wal
* Forbidden City (Beijing)
* Temple of Heaven (Beijing)
* Terra Cotta Warriors (Xi’an)
* Yangtze River
* Click here [] to learn about 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China
* Click here [] to learn more about the regional destinations for tourism within China

* Airports with direct flights from the U.S. include Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), and Guangzhou (CAN).
* In 2012, the Chinese government began a US$250 billion five-year project to expand and modernize domestic air travel.
* Managed by the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS), China’s expressways have a total length of 53,000 miles.
* China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with more than 6,012 miles of service routes. Of these, 2,184 miles are served by trains with top speeds in excess of 190 mph. China plans to operate more than 9,900 miles of high-speed rail lines by 2020.

Chinese food
During a long period of production and living practice, China has made great contribution to the world on the aspects of food resource exploration, diet treatment, nutrition and health care, dishware design and cuisine aesthetics. Intellectuals in China have created countless dishes with apt names, aromas, flavors and colors, greatly enhancing the dining experience. During these four or five thousand years of development, Chinese cuisine appears various features in different periods and regions. Generally speaking, people in this country mainly live on the five common cereals and vegetables and added by a small supply of meat. This eating habit is formed by the mode of production which is centered by agriculture. Moreover, Chinese food makes cooked and hot food primary, which is related to the advance of culinary skills and early civilization of the country.

Chinese Tea- With a profound history of over 4,000 years, Chinese tea is regarded as an exquisite art form that requires sampling. Now it has become the national drink and one of the three soft drinks in the world (the other two are coffee and cocoa). It is from China that the tea planting techniques, processing, drinking methods and ceremony were directly or indirectly introduced to the world. So China is regarded proudly as the hometown of tea. The land can be divided into four growing regions: South China, Southwestern China, and Yangtze River's north and south banks. These vast planting areas widely grow various kinds of tea trees. Each kind requires unique tea sets to infuse the best flavor. The sets mainly include tea cup, pot and saucer. Their materials differ in porcelain, pottery, lacquer ware, glass, bamboo and wooden fish stone. What's more, tea ceremony is considered to be a good way to cultivate the minds. Through infusing, appreciating and tasting tea, people can nourish their inborn nature and promote friendship among each other.

Chinese Martial Arts

Kung Fu (Martial Arts or Wushu) is a traditional Chinese sport which has developed over a long historical period. In order to survive the extremely hostile environment, the primitive Chinese ancestors learned some primary means of attack and defence such as leaping, tumbling and kicking. Moreover, they generally knew how to fight with weapons made from stones and wood or bare-hand fighting. This is considered to be the origin of Wushu.
The movements in Wushu include kick, boxing, wresting and seizing, which are performed by rules. Sects of Wushu are various. Generally speaking, Shaolin Sect and Wudang Sect are the two most famous sects. As the old Chinese saying goes 'In the north, Shaolin Kungfu is primarily recommended. While in the south, Wudang Kungfu is especially valued.' Both of them lay emphasis on the external practice for Jing (genuine energy), Qi (vital energy) and Shen (spirit) and internal practice for muscle, bone and skin.

Chinese Arts & Crafts

It is common knowledge that China has a long history and glorious history in both arts and traditional crafts. These are just two of the many jewels in China's over five thousand-year culture. The arts and crafts are not only the embodiment of the people's longing for aesthetic beauty for themselves and as gifts for others, but also great treasures for China and the rest of the world. Many of the master artisans have had their skills handed down via one generation to the next so that only the offspring of such an artisan could learn the necessary skills required. The result being that they are the most valuable treasures both for a family and for the nation.
Of all the Chinese arts and crafts, the most representative are Bronze Vessels, Folk Toys, Embroidery, Calligraphy, Music, Opera, Painting, Cloisonne, Jade, Kites, Lacquer Ware, Paper-Cuttings, Porcelain, Pottery, Seals, and Silk. They are not only a vivid reflection of the culture of China but also the embodiment of both the local people, and of the nation itself.

Bronze Vessels invented some 5,000 years ago led the ancestors of modern China from the Stone Age into a new era - the Bronze Age. The bronzes produced being delicately decorated with a diverse range of designs and motifs and were widely used in many aspects of life, such as musical instruments, ceremonial offerings and weapons of war being of great significance in the history of China.

China Calligraphy - a highly stylized form of writing - has been developed by many eminent calligraphers of many different dynasties. Referred to as the 'four treasures of study' (writing brush, ink stick, paper, and ink slab) are regarded as the indispensable tools when writing.

Chinese Cloisonne is an enamel artwork with the primary color being blue. It is renowned for its use of high-quality material, complex manufacturing process and its use of bright and vivid colors.

Chinese Jade has a history of four thousand years. Jade symbolizes merit, grace and dignity and occupies a special position in people's consciousness. It is used both to decorate rooms, and as jewelry by people hoping for a blessing.

Chinese Embroidery originated in the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC), and now has four major traditional styles: Su, Shu, Xiang, and Yue. It is also an accomplished skill for the ethnic minority groups such as the Bai, Bouyei and Miao.

Folk Toys are items that have a long history and a combination of artistic appreciation and playful enjoyment, and endowed with numerous meanings that express the people's wish for a happy and contented life.

Chinese Kites being delicately made of paper and bamboo have numerous shapes such as swallow, centipede, butterfly etc. Regarded as an artistic marvel, the kite makers' skill in both painting and in the design of the kites' flexible flying movement are well renowned.

Lacquer Ware first appeared some 7,000 years ago with the primary colors being black and red. It is of various types and has a wide range of uses that makes it favored by people throughout the entire world.

Chinese Lanterns are to some extent the symbol of the country's extensive festival culture. With long history and interesting traditions, lanterns now have abundant variations, decorating many festive occasions.

China Music dates back to between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago. Featured with unique melodies within different dynasties and accompanied with traditional musical instruments.

Chinese Opera is recognized as one of the three oldest dramatic art forms in the world. It is a combination of music, art and literature and is characterized by the unique facial make-up, excellent acrobatics and has many different regional variations.

Chinese Painting is divided into three genres - figures, landscapes, and birds-and-flowers and each type has its distinctive characteristics. In addition, difficult skills are required to the painters.

Paper-Cuttings is diversified patterns cut into red paper with scissors. Different patterns such as monkey, flowers and figures can be cut vividly and perfectly by some female artisans in rural areas. People paste paper-cuttings onto their windows and other places to express their hopes and wishes.

Chinese Porcelain derived from the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC). It is characterized with fine texture, bright colors, and distinctive shapes and styles. Jingdezhen, located in Jiangxi Province is the Porcelain Capital of the world and attracts countless people from near and far to appreciate, and buy the choicest porcelain around.

Chinese Pottery has a history of over 8,000 years and known as the oldest artwork of human beings. The accomplishments in pottery works can be seen from Terra Cotta Warriors, in Xian, Shaanxi Province, and the Tricolor Glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and so on.

China Seals can be made of metal, jade, animal tooth or horn and caved with characters. It is a combination of calligraphy and engraving that people cherished in the old times and likes nowadays.

Shadow Puppetry is the general name for shadow play and the theatrical property used in the play. All of the vivid shadow puppets, including the figures and the scenes, are plane and made from leather. The shadows of these puppets are projected on to a white screen; meanwhile artists operate the puppets behind the screen to finish this traditional form of play. As a bright pearl of the Chinese folk art, shadow puppetry has a history of more than 2,000 years. Now it is still very popular. The delicate puppets are favored by tourists as souvenirs.

China Silk: A silkworm produces 1000 meters (3280 feet) of silk thread in its lifespan of just 28 days and is of great value. Major local silk products in China are Shu, Yun, Song Brocade and brocades by ethnic minorities such as the Zhuang and the Dong peoples are well renowned.

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