October 15-23, 2014
October 15-23, 2014
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to visit China in October, offered by the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Western New York Chamber Alliance.
This 9-day tour costs only $2,399 per person from Buffalo! Having taken this trip, I can say without hesitation that it was all it claimed to be and more! Tour guides met us at the airports in Beijing and Shanghai, eliminating the confusion that comes with traveling abroad. Throughout the trip, they did an excellent job removing language barriers and educating us on the ways of the Chinese.
This was not designed to be a relaxing vacation. Wake up calls came at 6 a.m. and an hour later, we were enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet. At 8 a.m., we boarded our buses and began a busy day that rarely ended before 8 p.m. Our itinerary was jammed with attractions, and comfortable shoes were a necessity, as there was a great deal of walking and climbing involved.
We walked through Tian’Anmen Square in Beijing, the largest city square in the world; the Summer Palace, highlighted by Kumming Lake; the Ming Tombs (one fully excavated); and climbed the Great Wall, a 4,000 mile long structure that is more than 2,000 years old. I opted to visit the Hutong, a traditional living area for Beijing citizens. There, we traversed the narrow, zigzagging streets on a rickshaw, and had lunch with a local family in their home. Following a flight from Beijing to Shanghai (included in the cost), we boarded a bus for Suzhou, a scenic city that is 10% cultivated fields, 30% hills and 60% covered with water. We visited Tiger Hill, site of a 1,000-year old Buddhist pagoda and Lingering Garden, one of four classical gardens in China with picturesque, elegant and intriguing sites. Later, a cruise down the ancient Grand Canal offered a glimpse into the life of the locals.
We then traveled to Hangzhou, where we visited Lingyin Temple, a 1,500-year old Buddhist temple and enjoyed a boat cruise on scenic West Lake. After a short bus ride, we arrived in Shanghai, the largest commercial city and most booming trading port in China. There the traditional was replaced by the modern. We went to the Bund, a famous waterfront park along the Yangtze River and home to the “Wall Street of the East.” As darkness fell, the modern buildings and bridges were illuminated with lights in all the colors of the rainbow. We ended our stay with a visit to the Pudong economic development zone, a shopping area like none I have ever seen.
This trip involved much more than sightseeing. We saw how fibers were extracted from the cocoons of silk worms and woven into threads for silk garments. We learned how green tea leaves were harvested and made into the finished product. We saw freshwater oysters opened that contained over 30 pearls, and learned how to choose quality jade. We visited the National Embroidery Institute to view the amazing work of the masters and later watched as superior quality Oriental rugs were made, a process that can take more than one year to complete. The hotels, rated four and five stars, were excellent, with spacious guest rooms and western-style marble bathrooms. We were able to take a nighttime stroll through the area surrounding our hotels without concern for our safety, unless we failed to watch for the motorized bicyclists, who seem to always have the right-of-way!
The Orchard Park Chamber plans to offer the trip again with a departure date of October 15. The cost is $2,399 per person, based on double occupancy. That includes roundtrip bus transportation from Buffalo to JFK; roundtrip airfare between JFK and Beijing; 5-star or 4-star accommodations; deluxe tour bus; a knowledgeable English-speaking tour guide in each city; three full meals every day; fees for attractions; and any applicable taxes. There will be a one time fee ($39/person) collected on day one of your visit to cover all gratuities throughout the trip.
“This was a trip of a lifetime,” said John & Jan Bos of Orchard Park. “What a wonderfully organized trip. Everyone who has not gone should sign up for it the next time it is available.” Having experienced it myself, I certainly agree with them. If you would like more information, don’t hesitate to contact me at
716-662-3366 or opcc@OrchardParkChamber.com.
Check the links below for further details. We hope you will join us on this once-in-a-lifetime trip!
For more information about the incredible China trip, please call the Chamber office at 716-662-3366.
4211 N. Buffalo Street, Suite 14
Orchard Park, NY 14127-2401
Hours: M-F, 9:00am to 4:00pm