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2003 China Ceramics Tour

Led by Prof. Samuel Azzaro, Keene State College

A. Departure Dates:

Departure date: July 5;
Return date: July 30.

Departure date: July 4;
Return date: July 31

B. Tour Itinerary:
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Day 1      05-Jul      
San Francisco/Shanghai

Depart from your city and fly to San Francisco. Connect UA or NW flight to Shanghai. Cross the International Date Line.

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Day 2      06-Jul      Arrive Shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai, China's largest modern city and a rising economic center in Asia. Our guide and driver will be greeting you at the airport and escort you to 5 star Peace Hotel at the world famous waterfront and China's Wall St -- the Bund.

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Day 3      07-Jul       Shanghai

Spend the most of the time in the morning to visit Shanghai Museum of Art and History, a real state-of-Art museum and one of the four largest museums in China with superb collections of Chinese cultural relics. After lunch, stroll along the world famous Bund waterfront and do shopping along Nanjing Road -- China's No.1 shopping street, Shanghai's past and present commercial centers. Visit the Yu Yuan Garden, the art of its decoration reflects the style of typical architecture of southern China in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is said that the beautiful scenery inside this garden can be compared with the famous gardens in Suzhou. The Old City Town, featuring the old town market in the southern part of China with hundreds of groceries and snap stands, lies in the south of Yu Yuan Garden.

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Day 4      08-Jul       Shanghai

Visit Jade Buddha Temple, which was first built in 1882 and features a giant white Jade Buddha, which was carved from a single piece of jade. Also visit Shanghai Arts and Crafts Research Institute, which specializes in producing high-quality Chinese arts and crafts, and Shanghai Arts and Crafts Service Department (190 Nanjing W Rd) from where you can purchase items from other parts of the country.

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Day 5      09-Jul       Shanghai

Visit Jingdezhen Porcelain Artware Store (corner of Nanjing Rd & Shaanxi South Rd), with most artware from China's capital of ceramics, Shanghai Antique & Curio Store (218-226 Guangdong Rd), Chuanxin Shop (1297 Huaihai Rd) to see more of the Porcelain masterpieces and antiques.

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Day 6      10-Jul       Shanghai/Hangzhou

Take express train T15 (9:48am/11:48) to Hangzhou, one of the two paradise cities in China. Check in 4 star Dragon Hotel. Visit Guan Kiln Museum, which used to be the exclusive kiln to for Royal families' use, especially for the emperors. Hangzhou had been holding such an honor for centuries, famous for "Qing Ci" -- light-green-and-white porcelain wares, especially vases, with rare valuable items left in the world nowadays.

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Day 7      11-Jul       Hangzhou/Suzhou

Visit the beautiful West Lake, which has been attracting tourists at home and abroad for thousands of year with its enchanting scenery. You will have a better understanding about China's traditional aesthetics, -- favor, style, artware and paintings. Followed by the visit to the famous Buddhism site of Linyin Temple, we will take train K6 (3:26pm/6:30pm) to Suzhou, another paradise city in China. Check in 4 star Bamboo Grove Hotel.


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Day 8      12-Jul      Suzhou

Visit the renowned scenic spot of North Temple Pagoda, followed by the visit to Suzhou Silk Museum, where you will get a chance to review the history of silk producing in China. Continue your visit to the famous Garden of Master of Fishing Nets, one of the four classical private gardens listed in United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization's World Cultures Heritages. It is unique for its small size and exquisite buildings, elegant landscaping style, and compact structure. Also visit Suzhou Jade Carving Factory. Cruise Grand Canal -- passage once linking Beijing the capital and many other prosperous cities along the East Coast. China's emperors took such route many times to inspect their territory and people in the South, leaving lots of legends and stories in the history.

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Day 9      13-Jul       Suzhou/Yixing

Morning visit to Antique Store on Renmin Rd and Arts and Crafts Shop on Jingde Rd, where Suzhou's specialties, such as silk embroidery, redwood carving, decorating fans, little umbrellas, kites, jade ware, calligraphy and paintings, are on display. Afternoon bus to Yixing. Check in International Hotel, the best in town.

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Day 10      14-Jul       Yixing

In this noted "Capital of Terra-Cotta", you will see most teapots, and other pieces, big and small, some with painting and calligraphy, but all exquisite in workmanship, in the world. Visit Purple Sand Pottery Factory -- No. 1, 2 and two most famous masters in this nice little city, Xu Xiutang and Xu Hantang, who are praised highly in Japan and China. Also visit Red Pottery Arts Factory No. 5 and its Directors, Chau Kuang Jen or Gu Hang Chan, pottery masters as well.

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Day 11      15-Jul       Yixing/Shanghai/Jingdezhen

Visit Pottery Museum, Ceramic Research Institute in the morning. 2-hour bus passing the beautiful plain to Shanghai, we will connect train 558 leaving Shanghai at 3:08pm to Jingdezhen -- world famous capital of ceramics. Overnight on the train with soft sleeping berths -- 4 comfortable beds in one compartment.


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Day 12      16-Jul       Jingdezhen.

Train arrives in Jingdezhen at 7:03am. Visit Imperial Porcelain Kiln Site at Zhushanlu (Pearl Hill Road), which has been excavated by Professor Liu Xinyuan of the Jingdezhen Institute of Ceramic Archeology; Ceramic Art Museum, Ancient Porcelain Factory. Check in Adventure Hotel, the best in town.

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Day 13      17-Jul       Jingdezhen

Today is the highlight of your professional trip. Visit Jingdezhen International Ceramic Art and Design Center, historically famous Hutian Kiln Site remains, Provincial Ceramic Research Institute, Sanbaopen Water Driven Stamp Mill, also Gaoling Mountain Original Kaolin Mine near the village of Gaoling. In China, the name "Gaoling" or "Kaoling" has been for centuries the term for the clay of porcelains. In this busy day, you are in the heart of China's porcelain making center, and also the heart of China's porcelain making history.

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Day 14      18-Jul       Jingdezhen/Nanchang/Wuhan

Take an air-conditioned coach from Jingdezhen to provincial capital city, Nanchang (about 4 hours), and then connect train 304 departing Nanchang for Wuhan at 11:37pm. Overnight on the train with soft sleeping berth.

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Day 15      19-Jul       Wuhan/Yangtze River Cruise

Train arrives in Wuhan at 6:35am. City tour including Hubei Provincial Museum and East Lake, Yellow Crane Tower, Guiyuan Buddhist Temple. Later afternoon board the deluxe cruise ship, M. V. President I, for an unforgettable Yangtze River cruise. Set sail at 5pm. Dinner is follows a cocktail for briefing by the crew.

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Day 16      20-Jul       Yangtze River Cruise

The world famous Yangtze River Three Gorges unfolds her beauty as your journey starts. You will see why she attracts millions of people from all over the world. When you are learning Taiji from our cruise director on the sundeck in the morning, the cruiser is passing through the most fertilized land of Yangtze in the middle reaches. Arrive Jingzhou at 6pm. Visit this twin city with modern textile industry and 3000-year history: ancient city wall with moat surrounding it as extra barrier of defense; one of the biggest museums in China with "Ten World's Most" exhibits including a male corpse buried 2000-years ago and a 3000-year bronze sword still sharp, which surprised the German steel expert. The cruiser leaves Jingzhou at 7 PM. Staying at the balcony of your outside cabin or relaxing on the sundeck as you observe the farms and happy village life moving on. A captain's welcome banquet will be held tonight. A little bit dress-up is suggested.

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Day 17      21-Jul       Yangtze River Cruise

At breakfast, you will see the cruiser pass the shiplock at Gezhouba Dam in Yichang City and you are entering the fabled Yangtze Three Gorges. 45 miles away, we will disembark at the constructing Three Gorges Dam site and have a close look at the world's largest hydro project. 2 hours later, we depart for Badong for overnight at the port. Xiling Gorge, the first and the longest, featured with dramatic shoals, verdant cliffs, temples and landmark rocks. Stick to the cruise director and you can miss them.


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Day 18      22-Jul       Yangtze River Cruise

Excursion at Badong in a small boat exploring the Shennong Stream. While dragging upstream by the sailors against the rapids and then drifting swiftly downstream through the concealed canyon, ancient plank road remains along the river, mysterious ancient Ba people's coffins suspended high on the cliff, wild monkeys running under the primitive bushes or on the trees all along the way. People have been excited yielding and rated this part the highlight of their entire trip. Continue the trip along the Wu Gorge, the second one. The weathered twelve peaks of Goddess, shapes a deep zigzagging valley and forested mountain.

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Day 19      23-Jul       Yangtze River Cruise

Qutang Gorge is the last one. Sailing against the rapids rushing through the 5,000 ft high, 300 feet wide passage, you get over the breath-taking gorges and reach the Wanxian, the "East Gate of Sichuan Province", and largest city in the area. A shore excursion includes visit the museum with suspended coffin on display, silk waving factory and fresh market selling everything. You can have an inside look at the daily life of local people, who have been this way for centuries. After the Captains' farewell banquet, there is a gala party tonight on the ship till next day morning. Most performed by the waiters, waitress, room attendants and cruise directors, and even chefs, you could be invited to "show a leg" on the stage. So better be ready.

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Day 20      24-Jul       Yangtze River Cruise/Chongqing/Xian

Your deluxe cruise ship finally reaches Chongqing, at 9 AM. Say good-by to our friends on the ship, and fly to Xian. Check in to 5 star Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel in this famous ancient city, once a capital for 13 dynasties from BC times.

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Day 21      25-Jul      Xian

Visit China's first emperor's 8,000 life size terra-cotta soldiers and their horses, chariots, and weapons, which was called "the Eighth Wonder of the World". Banpo Neolithic Museum with relics of 8,000 years, the legendary Wild Goose Pagoda and Huaqing Hot Spring. Also visit Shaanxi Provincial Museum a national museum of Shaanxi history, the only one national museum out of Beijing. Enjoy a marvelous Tang Dynasty dinner show tonight.


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Day 22      26-Jul       Xian/Beijing

Visit the newly unearthed miniature Terra Cotta soldiers from the Han Dynasty at the Xianyang Museum in the morning. It was the palace for the first emperor Qin Shihuang and the Han Dynasty 2000 years ago. Fly to Beijing, China's polical, economical, cultural and educational center, in the afternoon. Check in the new 4 star Xinqiao Hotel in the center of the city.

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Day 23      27-Jul       Beijing

Today we first visit the 400 year royal court, magnificnet Forbidden City & Ceramic Hall in Forbidden City. You will marvel at the treasures left by China's extreme-power holders. Some of the treasures were made from those sites you have just visited in your previous part of the tour. Then visit world largest plaza -- Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven Courtyard Gallery. Then visit famous ghost market, Xiushui Market, neighboring the US embassy and selling silk, pearls, etc. Visit the Tea House near Tiananmen Square in the evening and try to enjoy Peking Opera, China's another cultural treasure.


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Day 24      28-Jul       Beijing

Visit Great Wall at Mutianyu, a section that less visited but with better view. Then visit Summer Palace, the ruined Old Summer Palace, China Art Gallery, Liulichang Shopping Street (full of antiques shops).

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Day 25      29-Jul        Beijing

                    Visit Central Academy of Arts & Crafts, the most authoritative institute of its kind in the country. Then attend the the Palace Academy Lecture on Chinese Pottery. The Palace Academy offers programs to educate Beijing's English speaking community in the Chinese Arts. The program draws experts from across China to lecture at the Palace Hotel. The lectures are supplemented by visits to local museums, dealers and markets. A farewell banquet tonight at the famous Peking Duck restaurant will conclude this unforgettable China Ceramic 2001 tour.

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Day 26       30-Jul        Beijing/US (B)

Escorted by your through national guide and local guide and bus driver to the airport and fly to San Francisco. Then connect your flight back home at the same day, with forever lasting memories.

C. Tour Costs:

Tour costs: $3,950 per person from San Francisco.

Land only (without int'l air tickets): $2,950 per person;

Single supplement: $799.

Plus $100-$150 add-on airfare from most major cities to San Francisco, round trip.

D. Including:
  1. Round-trip airfare from SFO on UA or NW;
  2. All internal flights within China;
  3. 4-5 star deluxe hotel accommodations, or best in town, double occupancy;
  4. Famed deluxe cruise ship on the Yangtze River -- M. V. President I;
  5. Shore excursions to the famous sites along the Yangtze Three Gorges;
  6. Full American breakfast buffet, plus Chinese lunch and dinner daily;
  7. Special banquets;
  8. Special cultural events and professional exchanges with Chinese scholars as arranged in the itinerary;
  9. Private sightseeing including admissions with English speaking guides;
  10. Transportation between cities;
  11. All transfers.

E. Excluding:

Gratuities;Processing of China group visa: $45 per person; Travel insurance;

Airport Taxes and International Departure Taxes.

F. Terms and Conditions:
  1. Not included: items not on the table d'hote menus; purchases from the mini-bar, phone, fax and laundry; and items of a personal nature.
  2. $300 per person deposit is needed on booking. Balance is due 60 days before departure.
  3. A passport valid at least 6 months after departure date is required; 2 photos needed.
  4. Cancellation policy: a full refund less $125 p. p. will be given for cancellations received 100 or more days prior to departure; a $200 penalty applies to 60-99 days before departure; $300 penalty 31-59 days; $500 penalty 20-30 days; $800 penalty 7-19 days; no refund 6 days before or on departure day.
  5. Your travel agent and Yangtze Cruises, Inc select with great care reputable travel suppliers. The right is reserved to make any changes that might become necessary in executing the tours. The services are subject to conditions imposed by the suppliers: airlines, hotels, tour operators, cruise ships, etc. We cannot therefore assume responsibility for any claim loss, damage, cost, injury, death, etc. resulting from factors beyond our control. All services are strictly between the suppliers and the purchaser.
  6. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

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1. Celadon

2. China in China -- a brief history of ceramics

3. Purple Sand Pottery

4. Tri-coloured Tang

5. Eggshell China

6. Jingdezhen-the capital of ceramics

For more information, please contact us at :

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