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One of the most memorable experiences was visiting the pandas in Chengdu. Getting a private tour ... proved to be everything we wanted and more.
Cody & Lindsey, Los Angeles & Philadelphia

Uncover Chinese Culture Through Expansive Artistic Venues

China’s mystical heritage is transposed into handcrafted sculptures, digital masterpieces, graphic design and aesthetic paintings – resulting in unrivaled creations. Amid the 1.3 billion people, you will encounter quiet spaces brimming with carefully constructed artwork throughout all four stops of your adventure across China. In Beijing, you will find a synchronized balance between hushed viewings and popular, must-see attractions; in Suzhou, you will be enveloped by breathtaking scenery, which is highlighted by lush garden beds and the stream stretching through middle of the city; in Shenzhen – the urban hub for shoppers and extravagant restaurants – you will be enraptured by its futuristic modern style and architecture; and in Taipei you will find that its contemporary, yet peculiar interpretations will perfectly tie together your exploration through China’s finest artistic venues.

Highlights
  • Admire China’s cultural influence displayed through the distinctive art pieces along Beijing’s renowned 798 district
  • Stroll amongst the lush flora and decorative cottages aligning with the Asian feng shui at the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou
  • Marvel at the towering architectural layout and design of MoCAPE museum in Shenzhen
  • Watch an interpretive dance or theatre play unfold in a former deserted brewery, now a reinvented performance warehouse at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

The unveiling of China’s artistic collection begins in the city where modernized culture meets ancient spectacles: Beijing. Upon arrival, you’ll check into either the elegant and modern-styled Opposite House or Summer House, which is surrounded by eloquent courtyards. You will be free to spend the evening at your leisure, whether that be enjoying a lavish sit-down dinner at your hotel, or strolling through the city collecting snapshots of Beijing’s lifestyle.

Day 2

Commence your day of exploring with an expert-led promenade to Caochangdi Art Village. City sounds will disperse as the sophisticated brick structures of Galerie Urs Meile envelop you. Following lunch at Guardian Auction House, you will travel to the Red Gate Gallery, the primary privatized contemporary art gallery in China, brimming with alluring depictions of its home country.

Day 3

Today starts with a walk led by an arts connoisseur into the 798 district, which harks back to the 1950’s Mao communist era, and is layered with a variety of artistic expression, such as statues, slogans, machinery, street art, and avant-garde contemporary images. After delighting in Beijing’s most popular collection of galleries, you’ll escape the mainstream scene and venture towards the grassroots-inspired Hutong Galleries. Enjoy an afternoon sauntering through the studios on the fringes of the city, where structures seamlessly blend artistic vision with everyday living.

Day 4

Begin your day with a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Shanghai and a short to the lush natural landmarks nestled in Suzhou. After checking in at Lamborghini Pan Pacific Hotel, embark on an expedition admiring the Asian-constructed cottages, an array of flora, and the creek bending in harmony with the path of the Humble Administrator's Garden. The next destination brings you to the ancient Chinese artefacts decorating Suzhou Museum, followed by an evening stroll alongside the freshwater avenue of Pinjiang Road.

Day 5

After breakfast, head to the non-profit Jinji Lake Art Museum and discover the creative magic of Chinese and international artists alike. From Jinji Lake, move onwards to the masterpieces fashioned by British and South African illustrators in the Lan Art Gallery. Take a midday break and peek into shops along Shatang Street. Sip a cup of tea at a calligrapher's studio, followed by a visit to either the True Color Museum – home to recently created modern art – or the Pantocrator Gallery, for unique depictions of human activity.

Day 6
Shenzhen

The day commences with a journey from Suzhou to Shenzhen. On arrival your private transfer will drive to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel - a perfect haven for art enthusiasts who adore tasteful minimalistic features. After check-in, you will have the freedom to plan your afternoon, whether that be relaxing at the hotel’s spa or venturing out into Shenzhen's metropolis of high-end shopping.

Day 7
Shenzhen

While still in Shenzhen, you’ll visit OCT-LOFT arts district, a microcosm of Beijing’s 798, with its blend of uniquely crafted structures, vibrant graffiti designs on buildings, and galleries. Afterwards, uncover the work of China’s avant-garde elitists at the He Xiangning Art Gallery. From there, you will travel to OCT Art & Design Gallery, a warehouse filled with futuristic and groundbreaking discoveries in graphic and spatial design. Complete your day with a visit to MoCAPE, a museum rich with architectural structures.

Day 8

Before journeying among Taipei’s landmarks - a combination of historical tributes with artistic decor - you will embark on a short flight from Shenzhen. You will travel from the five-star Mandarin Oriental to MOCA, Taiwan’s premier contemporary art museum, which is quickly becoming a hub for digital artisans and unique-minded craftsman. Complete your afternoon of explorations by losing yourself in China’s cultural heritage, catapulted by the sophisticated yet simplistic creations decorating the Tina Keng Gallery.

Day 9

Begin your day with a visit to Treasure Hill Artist Village – amidst the pleasurable walking lanes and scenic surroundings are a selection of art studios. Afterwards, immerse yourself in Taipei Fine Arts Museum. On the second floor of the grande museum, you will find their “Jewels of 25 Years Museum Collection”. Conclude your artistic adventure at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park where you can watch a live interpretive story under the roof of a formerly abandoned brewery.

Day 10
Departure

Depart from the Mandarin Oriental hotel to the airport via our private transfer to your next port of call, whether starting your journey home or onwards to your next Asian destination.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
BEIJING
Aman at Summer Palace, The Opposite House

Aman at Summer Palace

Aman at Summer Palace, which opened in fall 2008, is located just outside the east gate of the palace, and meticulously designed to harmonize with the graceful architecture of the former retreat of China's emperors. A series of century-old guesthouses, built for guests awaiting an audience with Empress Dowager Cixi, have been transformed into a hotel with 18 rooms and 25 suites. With their trademark sensitivity to historic properties, Aman has decorated the interiors with period furniture and rich fabrics that evoke the grandeur of the palace itself. There are three restaurants: The Grill; The Chinese Restaurant, which has an elegant Ming Dynasty interior; and Naoki, helmed by chef Naoki Okamura and specializing in his trademark "French Kaiseki", which combines the best of French haute cuisine with Japanese artistry. Other amenities include a bar, a library, and the Aman Club — a spa and fitness-center complex including a large pool, located underground to preserve the harmonious aesthetic of the architecture. The Aman is a 45-minute drive from central Beijing and a 45-minute drive from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK).

 

The Opposite House

Located in Beijing's stylish new Village at Sanlitun shopping and entertainment complex, the Opposite House is a unique small hotel designed by noted Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. While the exterior is clad in squares of varying hues of vibrant green, the 99 rooms and suites are soothing, decorated in warm, neutral tones and fitted with pale wood furniture and crisp white linens. Kuma says he intended for the blend to create the calm of an "urban forest." The hotel's name is derived from the Chinese term for the guest house in a traditional courtyard compound, which was located opposite the main house. There are a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from, in keeping with the hotel's Sanlitun location: Sureño faces on a sunken tree-filled courtyard and serves mediterranean cuisine; Bei (which means north) specializes in the cuisine of Northern China, Japan and Korea; Mesh is a dark and cozy lounge and bar, with excellent cocktails and an extensive wine list, while Punk, a "mini-club" is edgier and hosts local and international djs. There is no business center, but wi-fi is available in all rooms and public spaces. There is also a high-design spa surrounding a large and visually striking stainless-steel-clad pool, which offers massage therapies, a steam room, sauna and fitness center. Opposite House is 40 minutes from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK).

 
 
SUZHOU
Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Resort

Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Resort

Discreetly situated on the shores of beautiful Jinji Lake, the Tonino Lamborghini is a chic, stylish boutique property located in the heart of this charming town. Its 92 modern rooms and suites all come with minibar, personal safe, tea/coffee maker and free Wi-fi. Dining options include Danny’s Kitchen, which serves Asian, French and Italian Mediterranean cuisine at tables with breathtaking lake views; visitors may also wish to stop at the Library, a stylish space to explore Chinese culture whilst sampling fine wines. Amenities include the relaxing Ocean Spa, a well-equipped gym, a classical Chinese garden, and a luxury boutique. The Tonino Lamborghini lies twenty-two minutes from Suzhou’s airport, and fifteen minutes from the Suzhou Railway Station.
 
 
TAIPEI
Mandarin Oriental, Taipei

Mandarin Oriental, Taipei

The utterly stunning Mandarin Oriental Taipei stands shining over Dun Hua North Road in central Taipei. Just a short distance from both Songshan Airport Station and from Nanjing East Road MRT station, this architectural marvel is within easy reach of the city and all its delights. Nearby attractions certain to interest guests include Taipei Arena, Taipei Fine Art Museum, a number of beautiful riverside parks and the city’s shopping district with Taipei 101. Within the hotel are a range of opulent rooms and suites to suit all tastes, sumptuously decorated and well equipped for comfort and luxury. Guests can choose between three formal restaurants serving a range of cuisines from around the world, while the hotel’s bar and cake shop serve delightful little treats. What’s more, the pool, spa and lounge encourage guests to relax and unwind, while the fitness center is perfect for invigorating workouts. 

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald lived in China for 7 years and returns often. She loves trekking in the rice terraces of Ping An, and hugging baby pandas in Chengdu!
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