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A sprawling country rooted in tradition—and well on its way to defining modern society—China is a place of bucolic beauty and cosmopolitan energy, of hard-to-fathom foods and globalized culture. Indeed, this multifaceted country is a study in balance and paradox. And this week's Escape to Beijing and Xian, courtesy of Rewards Travel China, is your round-trip ticket to the best of both worlds.

Jet from one side of the Pacific—either San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), or Seattle (SEA)—to the other for a seven-day, six-night tour for one guest on select dates* in September, October, or November for $1,999; or May, June, or July for $2,199.**

Included in your tour: an English-speaking guide, three meals each day, transportation, and admission to an array of eye-opening sights.

After an overnight flight, glimpse the city's towering skyscrapers and buzzing streets as you move toward the DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing Hotel via included transfer for a three-night stay. You'll have the rest of the evening to relax or explore the city on your own.

After breakfast the next day, you'll explore the magical Forbidden City, the country's best-preserved imperial palace, then pay a visit to Tiananmen Square and take a tour of Beijing's backstreets via old-fashioned rickshaw. Next: Summer Palace, home of the royal gardens, pavilions, and halls, then it's on to Pearl City. A welcome dinner is served at Quanjude Restaurant, boasting more than 100 years of history and well-known for its traditional cuisine, and the night ends with an exhilarating kung fu show.

Day four begins with breakfast and moves on to the iconic Beijing 2008 Olympic Center, with its famous Bird's Nest and Water Cube. After a stop at Bona Jade, where you can buy a host of gorgeous jade products and souvenirs, it's off to Juyongguan and the Great Wall—one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Day five: Visit the Temple of Heaven (a UNESCO World Heritage site built between 1406 AD and 1420 AD, and used by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties). You'll also ogle the dynamic Wangfujing Street, a famous scenic area surrounding places of historic interest. After dinner that evening, you'll fly from Beijing to Xian.

There, in sub-provincial China, one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization, you'll stay for three nights at the Xian Titan Times Hotel. The tour begins at the Shaanxi Historical Museum, a grand complex of buildings that imitates the architecture style of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 907 AD). Next stop: Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Ta), a well-preserved ancient tower built in 652, then it's off to Tang Paradise, a newly opened park showcasing the Tang Dynasty's culture and traditions by way of fountains, waterscapes, and large-scale sculptures.

After breakfast on day seven, you'll head to the Qin Emperor's Mausoleum and museum, perhaps the most significant archaeological excavation in China. Then, visit the Artistic Ceramics Factory, where you'll learn about the techniques used to make the famous Terra Cotta Warriors. You'll also get to see the figures, which depict the armies of the country's first emperor and date back to the 3rd century BC. You'll also enjoy the special Imperial Dumpling Banquet Dinner and a magnificent Tang Dynasty singing-and-dancing show—a fitting farewell to your stay in this land of kaleidoscopic color.

*Dates: September 12 to 19, October 17 to 24, October 31 to November 7, November 7 to 14, or November 21 to 28 ($1,999); or May 9 to 16, May 23 to 30, or June 27 to July 4 ($2,199)
**Hotel pricing is based on double occupancy, and an additional $280 fee is required for single occupancy. (Please contact Rewards Travel China directly.)




    400 Pan Yu No.168 Guang'anmen Wai Main Street, Beijing, 100055
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Rewards Travel China
Seven-Day, Six-Night China Tour with Round-Trip Airfare, Three Meals a Day, Six Nights of Accommodations, Ground Transportation, Guides, and Entry Fees

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