around the world

Around The World in 20 Days
March 30 - April 18, 2008 and October 26 - November 14, 2008

I T I N E R A R Y

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Forbidden City, China

Day 1 - Sunday, March 30/October 26
SAN FRANCISCO / BEIJING
Welcome to our world adventure. Depart from your city of origin for San Francisco. On arrival proceed to the gate for the connecting overnight flight to Beijing. Our tour managers will meet you at the departure gate. On-board meals and entertainment provided in-flight.
International Dateline

Day 2 - Monday, March 31/October 27
BEIJING
Welcome to China! Beijing is one of the six ancient cities of this vast country and the capital of the Peoples Republic of China. Clear immigration and customs and transfer to the hotel. This five-star property is located in the city center near Tiananmen Square and the shopping district. Remainder of the day at leisure to unpack and acclimate. Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

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The Great Wall of China

Day 3 - Tuesday, April 1/October 28
BEIJING
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning welcome and trip briefing. The morning tour includes visits to the Panda pavilion at the Beijing Zoo and a tour of the Summer Palace. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, also known as the Emperor’s Winter Palace. Then on to the Temple of Heaven, a landmark sanctuary where Chinese emperors paid homage to their gods. Dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

Day 4 - Wednesday, April 2/October 29
BEIJING
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure for a full-day excursion to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. We’re going to visit the section of the wall at Badaling located 36 miles from Beijing proper. It took 300,000 workers over 10 years to construct. The top of the wall is quite wide and could accommodate ten soldiers or five horses abreast. We will walk along part of the reconstructed wall as the guide explains the history, construction and renovation. After lunch continue to the Tianshou Hills to visit the Ming Tombs. Thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty are interred here.The Great Wall and the Ming Tombs have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Late afternoon return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

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Terra Cotta Warriors

Day 5 & 6 - Thursday/Friday, April 3 & 4/October 30 & 31
BEIJING
Two full days at leisure in Beijing or you may join us for an optional overnight air trip to the ancient city of Xian. Should you decide to stay in Beijing the Griffin hospitality desk will be available both days. Stop by for information and suggestions on more touring and/or shopping.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

Day 5 - Thursday, Thursday April 3/October 30
BEIJING / XIAN
Early morning departure for the optional overnight air excursion to Xian. Mid-morning arrival. Once the largest city in the world and capital of eleven dynasties, Xian dates back over 8,000 years. Our local guides will meet us on arrival and take us on a tour to the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang.This is the site of the world famous terra cotta army of warriors and horses discovered in 1974. It is considered to be the greatest archeological discovery of the 20th century. Dinner and show at the Tang Dynasty Theater Center.
Hotel Sofitel

Day 6 - Friday, April 4/October 31
XIAN / BEIJING / BANGKOK
After breakfast tour the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower in the city center before transferring to the airport for the return flight to Beijing and the connecting flight to Bangkok. Dinner served aloft. Transfer to the five-star hotel located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Royal Orchid Sheraton

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Golden Buddha, Wat Trimitr

Day 7 - Saturday, April 5/November 1
BANGKOK
The city of Bangkok was established in 1782 by King Rama I as the capital of Siam - now the Kingdom of Thailand. This is the fairy-tale city that inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” This morning travel by boat through the many klongs (canals) to view the Royal Barges and the Temple of Dawn. The highlight of the day is a visit to the Grand Palace, the country’s most impressive and must-see architectural site. Visit the Reception Hall, the Throne Room and the Royal Guesthouse. The tour ends at the impressive Emerald Buddha Temple. The afternoon tour will include three of Asia’s most unusual Buddhist temples: Wat Trimitr with its invaluable Golden Buddha (5½ tons of solid gold); Wat Po with its colossal Reclining Buddha and Wat Benjamaborpiltr in the White Marble Temple. Dinner and show this evening at the Sala Rim Naan Restaurant.
Royal Orchid Sheraton

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Bangkok Fruit Vendors

Day 8 & 9 - Sunday & Monday, April 6 & 7/November 2 & 3
BANGKOK
Two full days at leisure in Bangkok. Our hospitality desk will be open for information and suggestions on additional optional sightseeing and / or shopping. If you wish, you may select one of the following two-day / one night optional air excursions to either Cambodia or Chiang Mai.
Royal Orchid Sheraton

Day 8 - Sunday, April 6/November 2
BANGKOK/SIEM REAP
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the short non-stop flight by scheduled airline to Cambodia. Our local guides will meet us on arrival at the Siem Reap airport. The stay begins with a tour of the ancient Khmer temples. Step back in time as we visit the world famous Angkor Wat, the largest and most impressive of Cambodia’s temples. Continue to Angkor Thom and the Bayon Temple. Both offer further insights into ancient Khmer life. Dinner at the hotel. The D’Angkor is a famous former French colonial hotel that has been totally refurbished and is now a five-star deluxe property.
Grand Hotel D’Angkor

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Day 9 - Monday, April 7/November 3
SIEM REAP / BANGKOK
Morning visit to Preah Khan, a Buddhist temple built by King Jayavarman VII. Continue with a visit of the outer temple of Banteay Srel with its delicately carved Aspareas in pink sandstone. Although small in comparison to the feats of the main Angkor temples, it is one of the most exquisite of the group. In the afternoon visit a local village to see how Khmer farming life has remained unchanged for centuries. Visit the mystical temple of Ta Prohm and then continue to the airport for the return flight to Bangkok.
Royal Orchid Sheraton
There is an organization in Cambodia, the Ponheary Ly Foundation which is dedicated to providing financial assistance to indigent children. If you are interested in more information, please visit their website at www.theplf.org.

Day 8 - Sunday, April 6/November 2
BANGKOK / CHIANG MAI
Morning departure for the non-stop flight to Chiang Mai. This famous city also known as the “Rose of the North,” is situated in the scenic northern mountainous area of Thailand. Visit one of the most sacred monuments in the north, the Wat Hariponchia in Lampoon, which was built in AD 1157. Admire the fine lacquered doors, view one of the largest gongs in the world and two fine Buddha images in bronze. In the afternoon visit the village of Pasang, noted for its high quality silk and cotton weaving. During dinner you will be entertained with traditional Thai folk and classical dances.
Dusit Royal Princess

Day 9 - Monday, April 7/November 3
CHIANG MAI / BANGKOK
In the morning you have the opportunity to observe some of the local artists and craftsmen at work including silk and cotton weaving, pottery and ceramics, teak woodcarving, lacquer ware, and silver and bronze wares. After lunch drive to the Meo hill tribe village of Dol Suthep. Visit Wat Dol Suthep, a monastery built in 1383, with the Big Chedi (a spiral pagoda). Transfer to the airport for the return flight to Bangkok.
Royal Orchid Sheraton

Day 10 - Tuesday, April 8/November 4
BANGKOK / NEW DELHI
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure. Late check-out from the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Late afternoon flight to New Delhi. This impressive city was designed and built by the British and inaugurated as their capital in 1931. India gained its full independence in 1947. Evening transfer to the hotel.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

Day 11 - Wednesday, April 9 / Nov. 5
OLD DELHI / NEW DELHI
Our morning tour begins at Old Delhi. Stop at Raj Ghat the memorial erected honoring Mahatma Gandhi. See the Red Fort and take a rickshaw ride to the Masjid Mosque before returning to the hotel for lunch. This afternoon’s tour will take you to New Delhi. It includes a drive along Rajpath, the official ceremonial avenue. View the India Gate, Parliament House and the very imposing President’s Residence, formerly the Viceroy’s Palace during the British Raj. Continue through the diplomatic enclave, various Government Buildings and Connought Place, the hub of entertainment, shopping and business in New Delhi. Buffet dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

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Taj Mahal
Above: Taj Mahal, India
Dubai
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Dubai Photo Album

Day 12 - Thursday, April 10/November 6
NEW DELHI / AGRA / NEW DELHI
Morning departure by first class train to the old city of Agra. Our tour here includes a stop at Sikandra and the tomb of Akbar the Great. Continue with a visit to Itmad Ud Daula (the mini Taj Mahal). Then on to Agra Fort, which served as the seat of Mughal influence during the 16th century. Tour the pavilions and palaces with panoramic views of the Taj Mahal. After lunch proceed to the highlight of the day – the incredible, lacy white grandeur and loveliness of the Taj Mahal – perhaps the most perfect architectural monument in the world. It was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. The marble structure took over 22 years to finish from 1630 to 1652. It is said that a Persian architect, Ustad Isa, has been the main designer and planner of the Taj. Early dinner in Agra and then return to Delhi by express train.
Hotel Crowne Plaza

Day 13 - Friday, April 11/November 7
NEW DELHI / DUBAI
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. On arrival Dubai clear immigration and customs. This is a modern and very impressive city – the second largest developing city in the world. Our tour begins with a drive through Little Manhattan, the posh area of Dubai withskyscrapers andthe towering World Trade Centre. Continue to Zaabeel Palace, the residence of the ruling Al Maktoum family. Then on to the Old City and a visit to the Dubai Museum followed by the Textile Souk. Afterwards embark on a short cruise for panoramic views of the city. After the cruise visit the Deira Spice Souk and the famous Gold Souk. Return to our five-star hotel for an international buffet dinner.
Dhow Palace Hotel

Day 14 - Saturday, April 12/November 8
DUBAI/ISTANBUL
Transfer to the airport. Early morning flight with breakfast. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Istanbul was built at the crossroads of two continents – Europe and Asia. It was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Afternoon at leisure to relax – a traditional Turkish Bath is quite enjoyable. If you wish, a selection of optional tours are available including an inside visit to the famous Grand Bazaar.
World Palace Hotel

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Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Day 15 - Sunday, April 13/November 9
ISTANBUL
Breakfast at the hotel. Our tour this morning includes the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, and the 16th century Suleimaniye Mosque. We will also visit the Blue Mosque with its mighty dome and six minarets. The interior is one of the finest creations of Ottoman architecture. Then on to St. Sophia which, until the 16th century was the largest Christian church in the world. Lunch included at the hotel. Afternoon cruise on the Bosphorus.
Sail up the Golden Horn past both the European and Asian shores with great views of some of the city’s important sights – the Beylerbeyi Palace, the Rumeli Hisan fortress and more. Late afternoon return to the hotel. Optional evening cultural performance at the Ataturk Cultural Center.
World Palace Hotel

Day 16 - Monday, April 14/November 10
ISTANBUL
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning depart for another of the great sights of Istanbul – the Grand Bazaar. This famous cavernous market is surrounded by a wall and entered through eleven gates. The bazaar is a vast collection of more than 2,600 shops, restaurants, inns, fountains and teahouses. Then on to Topkapi Palace – the Old Palace – city of the sultans and now an incredible museum filled with six hundred years of Ottoman history. The famous Topkapi dagger is here. This dagger was the protagonist in the 1964 film “Topkapi”, starring Peter Ustinov. Lunch included at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure for individual activities. If you wish, a selection of optional tours will be available. Dinner at a typical Turkish restaurant with entertainment, including belly dancers.
World Palace Hotel

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Tower of Belem
Tower of Belem, Portugal

Day 17 - Tuesday, April 15/Nov. 11
ISTANBUL / LISBON
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Lunch served in-flight. Welcome to Portugal – home of Ferdinand Magellan, the first great explorer to circumnavigate the world. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Optional tours and other activities will be available. Visit a coffeehouse, which is a long-standing institution in Portugal. Dinner included at the hotel.
Hotel Lisboa Palace

Day 18 - Wednesday, April 16/Nov. 12
LISBON
Breakfast at the hotel. Portugal is a country with a rich history of seafaring and discovery. The roots of that era stretch back to the 15th century when Portuguese explorers put to sea to discover a passage to India, Africa and South America. By the 16th century they had built a huge empire that included Brazil and parts of Africa and Asia.
Our tour this morning includes the Tower of Belem, built to commemorate the great maritime discoveries that laid some of the foundations of the modern world. Then on to the Monastery of Jeronimos. Return to the hotel. Lunch included at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure for shopping and/or optional tours.
Hotel Lisboa Palace

Day 19 - Thurday, April 7/November 13
LISBON
Happy Thanksgiving! After a hearty breakfast we set out for a delightful scenic drive along the Costa do Sol to visit Estoril, Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra. Our first stop is the charming village of Estoril which has expanded and now includes nearby Cascais. This area has become an elegant resort and winter spa and is very popular with many Europeans. Continue to Cabo da Roca. This is the westernmost point on the European continent with spectacular views of the white-tipped waves of the Atlantic. After a photo stop we head for Sintra, one of the oldest towns of Portugal. It is one of the loveliest spots of the entire Iberian peninsula; Lord Byron referred to this area as “Glorious Eden”. Return to Lisbon for lunch at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure for shopping and/or an optional tour. A farewell dinner and Thanksgiving celebration this evening at a typical Portuguese restaurant.
Hotel Lisboa Palace

Day 20 - Friday, April 18/November 14
LISBON / NEW YORK
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for the flight to New York. Late morning departure for the USA. On arrival clear immigration and customs and continue on your way home. Congratulations! You have successfully circumnavigated the world and are now eligible to join the “Circumnavigator’s Club”.
Welcome Home!

 

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