IYA 2009 MALTA
  Solar Eclipse in China TRIP
 
Astronomical Society of Malta in the IYA 2009 announces a trip to China to view the solar eclipse

Shanghai/Hangzhou/Wuzhen/Jiaxing/Shanghai/Xian/Tsedang-Lhasa-Yamdroktso-Shigatse-Tingri-Lhasa/Beijing Tour (18Days/17Nights)

Those interested please contact Mr Sammy Grech 79492068 savgrech@maltanet.net for bookings and
details as soon as possible. Bookings are already difficult to obtain.

Day Itinerary Hotel

Jul18

Arrive Shanghai(own ticket); meet and transfer to hotel Shanghai, a vigorous and energetic international metropolis, serves as an ideal starting point. Regarded as the 'Oriental Pearl', the city has a unique and
important place in modern China and its rich heritage is worthy of exploration.

Dorure International Hotel(4*)

Jul19

Full day visit to Yu Garden- Over 400 years old, it is named "Landscape in the City" because of its relatively complete preservation of ancient style in the area of the Yangtze River with a balance of emptiness and solidity, contrast of big and small, tall and short, all in a harmonious manner. Jade Buddha Temple -- Set up in 1918, the centerpiece is a 2m-high white jade Buddha around which the temple was built. The Bund--Reputed as the “World Architecture Museum”, the landmark of Shanghai has 52 architectural buildings with various styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Chinese and Western. (B. L.)

Yihegong Palace Hotel (4*)

Jul20

Shanghai/Wuzhen/Hangzhou by minibus

Wuzhen Watertown--Located in the north of Zhejing province, It is embraced by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal with rivers and canals crisscrossing the town. For hundreds of years, its residents have been building houses along the rivers. The ancient docks, waterside pavilions, and corridors stretch out for miles and make a romantic atmosphere that is typical to Jiang Nan water towns. If lingering in the lanes one can always feel the serenity, peacefulness and subtle beauty of the water town. Afternoon visit Huagang Park(Viewing Fish at flower harbor)-Widespread lawns and woods, occupying an area of 21 hectares, the park was initially a small private garden built and owned by Lu Yunsheng, an imperial official of the South Song Dynasty. Inside the park is a fishpond and a stream nearby iss ushered into the pond for raising goldfish. And have a cruise on West Lake - A large freshwater lake, it is bordered on three sides by hills. The lake gives rise to what must be one of China’s oldest tourist Blurbs: “In heaven there is paradise, on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou”. (B. L.)

Brain International Hotel (4*)

Jul21

Lingyin Temple – Built in 326 AD and due to war and calamity, has been destroyed and restored no fewer than 16 times. The present buildings are restorations of Qing Dynasty structures.The place normally crawling with tourists who scramble here and there; the “Sky Crack” cave is often packed with people.Pagoda of Six Harmony – the 60m-high octagonal Six Harmonies Pagoda was named after the six codes of Buddhism. The pagoda also served as a lighthouse, and was supposed to have magical power to halt the tidal bore which thundered up the Qiangtang River in Mid September every year. You will also visit a Tea Farm and taste “Dragon Well Tea” famous in the region. (B. L.)

Brain International Hotel (4*)

Jul22

Today's highlight is the solar eclipse. We will drive (about 2hours) to Nanhu Lake or Qiyi Square in Jiaxing to see the total solar eclipse. The eclipse, with its path traversing from India through China to the Pacific Ocean, will be the longest eclipse of the 21st century with over 6 minutes. Then we will drive to Shanghai (about 3hrs)and check in hotel for rest. (B. L.)

Dorure International Hotel(4*)

Jul23

Shanghai/Xian by air

Upon arrival commence the visit to Ancient City Wall--Constructed in the early Ming Dynasty on the basis of the Imperial City of Chang An (Everlasting Peace) of the Tang Dynasty, the magnificent and grandiose City Wall is a symbol of great significance of the famous historic cultural city of Xian. (B. L.)

Yihegong Palace Hotel (4*)

Jane Cai 3/3/2009 2

Jul24

Full day visit to Terracotta Warriors & Horses--Listed as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO, it displays 8000 pieces of life-sized sculptures of horses and human beings to depict the history of Qin Dynasty. Banpo Museum--It is the village site of  the typical and most complete matrilineal society with the history of 6700 years and it is one of the National Important Cultural Heritage relics. Wild Goose Pagoda--The Big Goose Pagoda is situated in the Da Ci'en Temple, four kilometers away from the center of the city. It is one of the city's most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left in Xian today. (B. L.)

Yinhe Dynasty Hotel (4*)

Jul25

Xian/Lhasa by air ; Upon arrival drive toTsedang Upon arrival in Gonggar Airport, be greeted and offered a white scarf (called Kada) in a Tibet traditional way which brings you good luck. Then drive to Tsedang Town. On the way you will enjoy the spectacular scenery, and the typical Tibetan villages as well as the Yak-skin-boat cruising on Yalung Tsangpo River. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high attitude upon your arrival. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water just and now (be noted the first day’s acclimation is extremely to ensure you a good health status for the following tour, so please make sure you have yourself lie in bed for all the rest time of the day right after check-in of hotel. (B. L. D.)

Tsedang Hotel(4*)

Jul26

Tsedang-Lhasa by coach/car Visit Yumblagang, a
medieval-European-castle-like structure, reputed as Tibet's oldest building. It doesn't take that long to explore Yumbulagang. Perhaps the best part of the visit is the walk up along the ridge above the building. There’re fabulous views of the Yarlung valley. After lunch drive to the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, among the open farmland, stands Tibet's very first monastery- Samye which has a history over 1200 years. To reach Samye, you'll take ferry to cross the Yarlung Tasangpo river, a fantastic ride. East of Samye is the Hepo Ri hill, a 30-minute climb up the side ridge takes you to an incense burner, festooned with prayer flags and offering great views of Samye below.
Then drive to Lhasa. (B. L. D.)

Lhasa

Manasarovar Hotel (4*)

Jul27

Today you will begin your tour with the visit to Lhasa’s cardinal landmark – Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. Some 2km to the east of the Potala is the most revered religious structure in Tibet – Jokhang Temple. Bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery, the Jokhang is an unrivalled experience. The quadrangle of streets surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor -Lhasa’s most interesting pilgrimage circuit. This area of the Old Town is both the spiritual heart of Lhasa and the main commercial district for Tibetans. (B. L. D.)

Lhasa

Manasarovar Hotel (4*)

Jul28

Lhasa-Yamdroktso-Shigatse by Land Cruiser

Yamdroktso -- one of Tibet’s three holy lakes, is located 110km outside of Lhasa. In the fresh morning air, you’re on the way to this lake. It’s mostly mountain road, winding and bumpy, even thrilling somewhat. After about 3.5 hours’ driving, climbing over the snow pass of Kambala(5030m), the dazzling Yamdroktso just lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is a fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang (7191m). After down from the mountain, there’s about 30km road along lakeside, with barley fields on the other side of the road. A nice walk by the lakeside can be a great joy. Leaving Yamdroktso is as spectacular as arriving, since you’ll cross the 5045m Karola, with its awesome roadside views of the Nojin Kangtsang Glacier. With the Glacier scene still exciting you, after about 90km, you get to Gyantse. There stands the 35m-high famous Kumbum, packed with exquisite Tibetan sculpture and paintings, a stunning architectural wonder in Tibet.

Overnight in Shigatse (B. L. D.)

Shigats Jiumu Yamei International Hotel (4*)

Jane Cai 3/3/2009 3

Jul29

Shigatse-Tingri by Land Cruiser; Miles away from Shigaste, you can already see the gold tops of Tashilhunpo shinning under the sun. WhileTashilhunpo’s magnificent outside leaves you gasp in admiration, the inside of this monastery  introduces you more religious tranquility and sincerity. This afternoon can make you tired as you basically spend more than 6 hours on the rugged road driving. Tingri, also known as New Tingri, is the last stop before Everest Base Camp. Refresh yourself here and don’t forget to wash your dusty face. (B. L. D.)

Tingri Mt Everest Hotel(1*)

Jul30

Tingri-Base Camp-Tingri by Land Cruiser; Although
it’s just 100km from Tingri to Base Camp(5200m), it takes about 2-3 hours since the cracked winding roads demand much caution. But the views are stupendous on a clear day, and feature a huge sweep of the Himalaya range including peaks over 8000, Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu.  When you finally get to Base Camp, the first sight of the mighty Everest simply leaves you speechless. All the hardship you bear along the way makes sense at this while. This day we will drive back to Tingri. (B. L. D.)

Tingri Mt Everest Hotel(1*)

Jul31

Tingri-Lhasa by Land Cruiser;

This day we will drive back to Lhasa along Yalung Tsangpo River. (B. L. D.)

Lhasa

Manasarovar Hotel (4*)

Aug01

Lhasa/Beijing by air; meet and transfer to hotel

Forbidden City--Also called Palace Museum, is the largest cluster of royal palaces in the world today and is
the treasure of ancient Chinese architecture with its graceful lay-out and artistic decoration. Tiananmen Square--It was the front gate of the imperial city in the Ming and the Qing dynasties and is now the symbol of the People 's Republic of China. Temple of Heaven--It was the largest temple in China and was used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to sacrifices to Heaven and to pray for a better harvest. (B. L.)

Plaza Hotel (4*)

Aug02

Great Wall--It extends from ShanHai (mountain and sea) Pass, a seaport along the coast of Bohai Bay, to Jiayu Pass in Gansu Province. Ming Tombs--Ming tomb is also referred to as the 'Thirteen Tombs' containing 13 emperors, 23 empresses and many concubines, princes, princesses and ladies-in-waiting. Sacred Way--It was originally built for the first tomb Changling - the tomb of Emperor Yongle, the most powerful emperor in the Ming dynasty. (B. L.)

Plaza Hotel (4*)

Aug03

Summer Palace (YIHEYUAN)--It was the imperial garden and palace for short stays away from the capital and was the best kept and the largest ancient Chinese garden. Ancient Observatory­It was riginally built in the Guo Shoujing (1231-1316) period of the Yuan dynasty. At present, eight large bronze implements for viewing the heavens are arrayed on the top of the museum's tower. Beijing Planetarium- Built in September 1957; the Beijing Planetarium was the first of its kind in China. The planetarium also runs Astronomy Fan magazine by itself and Trade Edition Astronomical Calendar magazine jointly with Purple Mountain Observatory. (B. L.)

Plaza Hotel (4*)

Aug04 Depart Beijing (own ticket); transfer to airport (B. )

Jane Cai 3/3/2009 4

Hotels to be used:

Beijing: 4* PLAZA HOTEL
Xian: 4* YIHE PALACE HOTEL,
Hangzhou 4* BRAIN INTERNATIONAL HOTEL
Tsedang: 4* TSEDANG HOTEL
Lhasa: 4* MANASANROVAR HOTEL
Shigats: 4* JIUMU YA MEI INTERNATIONAL HOTEL
Tingri1* MT. EVEREST HOTEL (Best available one in the area)
Shanghai:4* DORURE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL

Please note:
1. B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
2. In under developed area of Tibet, it is very hard to find an eating place, we suggest including both lunches and dinners.
3. There is no 4 star hotels in Emei, Tingri, we have to use best available hotel or inn there. In all 4star hotels, tooth brush, towels, slippers will be provided in the rooms while conditions in Tingri are not good at all.
Please prepare your own tooth brush and towels or other necessities you use to bring with when you are on tour.
Price Based on 7pax:
EUR 2775 Per Person for Twin Share Room
EUR 750 Per Person for Single supplement x 1person
Include:
1) Meals listed in the itinerary, tours and transfers with English speaking guide
2) Room with daily breakfast at the below listed hotels or similar hotels
3) Domestic airfare and taxes (Shanghai – Xian – Lhasa – Beijing)
4) Coach/van (Shanghai-Wuzhen-Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Shanghai)
5) Land Cruiser (Lhasa-Yamdroktso-Shigatse-Tingri-Lhasa)

Exclude:
1) International airfare and taxes.
2) Meals not listed, tips and incidental costs
Flights Malta Shangai - Shangai Malta
Euro 900 If more than 10 persons.
 
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