AACI Kosher Classic China – coming 2020   

Locations: Beijing, Guilin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xian

China’s textured and ancient history seamlessly melds into a fascinating, modern country, brimming with breathtaking sights.  This classic tour will open up this vast and wondrous country to the traveler and will leave no stone un-turned.

We will explore the major cities of Hong Kong, Guilin, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian.  In Hong Kong, we will visit the Aberdeen Fishing Market and its floating stalls. In Beijing, we’ll stand in the midst of Tiananmen Square and have a walking tour through the Forbidden City and of course climb the Great Wall of China. In Xian, we will view the Terra Cotta Warriors.  We will fly to Shanghai where we will discover the old quarters, stroll along the Grand Colonial Waterfront Promenade, the Bund and the Jewish Quarter and see a breathtaking acrobatic performance. The highlight of our extensive trip is Guilin and its environs. Guilin’s natural beauty will leave us breathless and its history will astound us. In Guilin we will explore the Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill, in Yangzhou, we will view the spectacular Impression Show, enjoy a cruise on the Li River and so much more

Day 1:
Depart for Hong Kong – we leave Israel on our EL AL evening flight to Hong Kong at 20:50

Day 2: 
hong kong skylineArrival in Hong Kong at 13:55. Meet our local guide at the airport and embark on a scenic tour of Hong Kong. We will start with a visit to Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Because of its height, it offers a spectacular view of the city and surrounding islands. In order to reach the mountain, we will take the Peak Tram-enjoyed by both locals and tourists.

After arrival at the hotel, get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our welcome dinner. Dinner at Kehillat Zion Restaurant

Day 3:
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend a full day exploring this wondrous city. Start with the Man Mo Temple, which is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), Nathan Road-formerly was known as Golden Road, and the great many impressive and sleek skyscrapers that make up this world financial center.

aberdeem1From there we continue to Ohel Leah Synagogue. The Hong Kong Jewish Community was formally established in the 1850s in premises leased by the Sassoon family. The Ohel Leah Synagogue has been in continuous use since its completion with the exception of a short period during World War II when Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. The synagogue is built in a colonial style and incorporates elements from the Edwardian free classical-style. The polished Aberdeen granite columns, centrally elevated bimah enclosed by carved wood balustrades on three sides, and heavy, rich wood benches are reflective of Baghdadi and Sephardic heritage. After a tour of the synagogue and an opportunity to learn about the Jewish community, we will continue to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is famous not only tourists but also Hong Kong locals for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants located in the Aberdeen Harbor.

We continue to see the city in the most unique way, via the longest escalator system in the world! Built to shuttle commuters in this busy city, it takes upwards of a half hour to complete the ride! After our sightseeing filled day, we will drive to a local kosher restaurant for dinner and a night tour of the city. Overnight in Hong Kong with Dinner at Kehillat Zion Restaurant

Day 4:
Early morning flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, we will have an introductory tour of Shanghai, including the Yu Garden, a prime example of a Chinese Garden and the Chenghuang Miao Bazaar, whose center is a world famous temple.

After check-in at the hotel, we will dine at the Sefardi Center.e in Shanghai and finish the night with a cruise in the harbor over the neon-lit Huangpu River, with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.

shaghai museum2

Day 5:
Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to Jewish Shanghai: the former home of Shanghai’s Jewish community, the Hongkou Ghetto. See the Memorial to Stateless Refugees within the ghetto and Ohel Rachel Synagogue (outside), also built by the Sassoon family. Drive through the French Concession, where many of Shanghai’s fine Jewish estates were once located. Within the French Concession, visit the Arts and Crafts Institute, a historic home and former estate of one of Shanghai’s officials. See some of the local crafts designed and created here. Then visit the museum for Urban Planning or the Shanghai Museum.   Return to your hotel to prepare for Shabbat.  Dinner at Sefardi Center.

Day 6:
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch.  After lunch, we will take an optional walking tour of the city. Return to Sefardi Center for Seudah Shlishit

In the evening, Spectacular Acrobatic Show

Day 7:
Full day excursion to Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai, known for its canals, bridges and classical gardens. We will visit one of its highlights, the Lion Garden, built in 1342 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) by a group of Zen Buddhist disciples of Monk Tianru as a memorial of their master – Monk Zhongfeng. In the afternoon we will enjoy a Grand Canal cruise to get a real taste of this wondrous city!

Return to Shanghai for dinner followed by a night tour including Nanjing Road

Day 8:
Breakfast in the hotel and morning flight to Guilin. Located in south China, Guilin and its environs are considered to be the pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. The stunning landscape in which the city is situated has a kind of magic that is all its own. The strangely shaped hills, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters and wonderful caves, make the city an appealing destination. It is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. However, adventures in Guilin City will have to wait as, upon arrival, we will drive to Yangshuo, which is a gateway to the beautiful scenery of the region, specifically the Karst Mountains, formed by a unique geological process. We will enjoy a cruise on the peaceful Li River, a perfect place to view the unique karst rock structures. After our cruise and lunch, we will drive to Fuli Town, one of the few preserved ancient towns in Guilin. Locals still keep their traditional way of living in old stone houses, boat fishing and making rice wine.

Enjoy dinner in Yangshou followed by the Impression Show, a fantastic acrobatic show with amazing colorful lights and special-design stage effect.

Return to Guilin for overnight.

Day 9:
Breakfast in the hotel. Today we explore the county of Longsheng in Guilin County. Famous for its rice terraces and hot springs, it is also home to widely diverse cultural minorities, all with their own flavor and flair. Once we arrive, we will visit various charming villages which preserve and display age-old traditions including Yingshui Dong Village, where the Dong people prospered, Jinzhu Zhuang Village, the home of the Zhuang people, which also boasts the best views of the rice terraces. We will also visit two villages of the Yao people, Baimian Yao Village, and Huangluo Yao Village and experience their culture.

Evening: evening tour including a cruise on the four lakes of Guilin and a view of the two illuminated pagodas-one named the Sun and the other appropriately named the Moon.

Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Guilin

Day 10:
Today is a day to explore the city of Guilin. We start with the Reed Flute Cave, a natural phenomenon of limestone rock lit up by multicolored lights. We then continue on to Elephant Trunk Hill, a hill nicknamed because of its appearance of an elephant drinking water. Lastly-before we end the day, we stop at a pearl factory to shop and learn about this elegant stone.

Afternoon flight to Xian. Dinner at Vegan Buddhist Restaurant

Overnight in Xian

Day 11:
Breakfaterracotta soldiersst at the hotel.  We start the day with the world famous Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, including a special visit to a panorama movie, Pit1, Pit2, Pit3, and the Bronze Chariot. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum. Given time, we will take a glimpse of the warrior duplication site where molds are created to show the original way of creating them.  In the afternoon we will visit Muslim Street and the museum which is a fantastic place to wander around. All shops and restaurants in the street are operated by Muslims. The stalls line the narrow alleys selling almost everything. If you are good at bargaining, you can get some amazing buys.

Dinner at Vegan Buddhist Restaurant followed by the Tang Dynasty Show

Overnight in Xian

Day 12:
Breakfast in the hotel. Morning flight to Beijing. Upon arrival, we will visit Tiananmen Square, transfer to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat.

Hotel rest before Shabbat with the Beijing Jewish Community at Chabad.  Evening: Shabbat with Chabad of Beijing.

Overnight in Beijing

Day 13:
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch at the Chabad House. After lunch, we will take an optional walking tour of the unique Flower Market featuring beautiful Asian plants and flowers. Walk back to the hotel for Shabbat rest.  Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishit and Maariv.

Evening: visit the exotic Food Market and Wangfujing Street.

Overnight in Beijing

Day 14:
Morning tour to the Temple of Heaven and traditional Chinese Park. The Temple is the sacred praying site for Chinese emperors (1420-1911) to pray for a good harvest. Visit the largest city square in the world -Tiananmen Square, which can hold as many as 3 million people. We proceed through the Tiananmen Rostrum to the imperial enclosure – the famed Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. It houses more than 9999 rooms.  Five of the rooms had 24 emperors living successively inside them from 1420 until 1911 both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Climb up the Scenery Hill and have a bird’s eye view of modern Beijing City, as well as the glistening Forbidden City, spread out in front of you.

Dinner at Chabad followed by the daring Kung Fu performance.

Overnight in Beijing

Day 15:
great wall5
Breakfast at the hotel. Deluxe coach to the Great Wall initially built in 221 BC by the first emperor of China as a defense against nomadic tribes and has been renowned as one of the 7 wonders of the world. It extends over 10000 kilometers in the northern part of China from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the western Gobi Desert. Visit the Jade Friendship Store while enjoying the magnificent work done by elite Chinese jade experts on the spot.  Later in the day, visit the Ming Tombs and learn about Chinese Feng Shui as mostly reflected by the layout of the Ming Dynasty Tombs. After dinner at Chabad enjoy the amazing Golden Mask Show.

Overnight in Beijing

Day 15:
Visit the Summer Palace, an imperial garden which is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value. Explore the Pearl Market and learn how to find the best quality pearls and various pearl products which have been part of the Chinese culture.  Visit the Tibetan style Lamasery housing the world largest single white sandal tree Buddhist carving.  Then take an exciting tour of Beijing’s Hutongs (old neighborhoods) on a private and exciting Rickshaw ride. Stop for traditional Chinese massage and lecture on Chinese medicine and treatment.

After dinner an evening departure from Beijing at with EL AL at 22:00 back to Israel arriving at 02:25 am (Nov 13).

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Flight Schedule

Price: AACI members $ per person in a double                                             Currency Converter
Non- AACI members   $ per person in a double
Single supplement       $/                      

Price Includes:

Round trip flights on —–from Israel
4 domestic flights Hong Kong/Shanghai; Shanghai/Guilin: Guilin/Xian; Xian/Beijing
14 night’s first class hotel accommodation
Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes. Dinners in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai at kosher restaurants. Freshly prepared vegetarian/fish dinner  at the hotel in Xian and Guilin
Transportation in air-conditioned coach as per itinerary
Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including all entrance fees
Israeli English-speaking tour leader
Porterage at hotels and all tips
Varied evening Chinese folklore shows
Water on bus
Individual wireless Headphones
AACI staff escort

Not included:
Chinese Visa
Any items of a personal nature
Any other items not mentioned above
Travel/Medical insurance

Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.

Deposit of $400 per person at the time of reservation.
Final payment due by August 25th, 2019

Cancellation from time of registration until August 25: $400 per person
Cancellation between August 25th to September 10th: 50% of total package
Cancellation from September 10th to day of departure: 100%