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Study Trip

A Visit to Ancient Capitals of China : Xi’an and Luoyang

Sunday, 12 to Sunday, 19 May 2019
Leader: Khun Somlak Charoenpot, Former Council Member of the Siam Society

 

 

Xi’an

Xi’an, formerly Chang’An, is a modern metropolis and capital of China’s Shaanxi Province. The northern part of Shaanxi is one of the oldest settled regions of China, with remains of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times. This was the homeland of the Zhou people, who eventually conquered the Shang and established their rule over much of northern China. It was also the homeland of the Qin, who ruled from their capital of Xianyang near modern-day Xi’an and were the first dynasty to rule over all of eastern China. Shannxi remained the political heart of China until the 9th century. The great Sui and Tang capital of Xi’an was built there and the province was a crossroads on the trading routes from eastern China to central Asia. It was the starting point for the great trade caravans of the Silk Road. Fabulous archaeological discoveries in and around the city tell of Xi’an's past glories, never greater than during the 7th - 10th centuries, when the Tang court opened its doors to the widely varied cultural and economic influences of Byzantium, Arabia, Persia, the Kingdoms of Central Asia, Tibet, India, Korea and Japan.

Today Xi’an is understandably one of China’s major tourist attractions. The city’s big drawcard is the nearby Army of Terracotta Warriors, and there are countless other sights scattered in and around the town. An Islamic element is found throughout the city, with mosques and marketplaces tucked away in back alleys. However, many of the city’s sights, such as the Shaanxi History Museum, Banpo Neolithic Village, City Wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda all are the city’s major tourist attractions.

Luoyang

Found in 1200 BC during the Xia dynasty, is one of the richest historical sites in China. It was the capital of 10 dynasties before losing its rank in the 10th century AD when the Jin moved their capital to Kaifeng. In the 12th century Luoyang was stormed and sacked by Jurchen invaders from the north and never really recovered from the disaster. For centuries the city languished with only memories of greatness. By the 1920s it had just about 20,000 inhabitants. The communists brought life back to Luoyang, constructing an industrial city that now houses more than 6 million people. Luoyang was once the centre of the Chinese world and home to more than 1,300 Buddhist temples. Reminders of the city’s historical greatness are scattered about town but the main attractions are the splendid Luoyang Caves 13 km out of the town. The old city is in the town’s eastern part, where sections of the original city walls can still be seen. The displays in the caves of Luoyang, Dunhuang and Datong represent the peak of Buddhist cave art in China.

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Sunday, 12 May : Bangkok Donmueang Airport – Xi’an

2.00 p.m. Meet at Donmueang Airport, Terminal 1 - International Terminal. Check in counter for  Air Asia.
4.40 p.m. Depart to Xi’an by Air Asia flight FD588.
9.35 p.m. Arrive at Xi’an Airport, transfer to Eastern House Boutique Hotel, overnight in Xi’an.

Day 2: Monday, 13 May : Xi’an

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to visit Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. This archeology site was discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong DistrictXi'an.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon:

Visit the Banpo Museum. The New Stone Age site, dating from approximately 5,000 to 4,000 B.C., is one of the most complete examples of Neolithic agricultural settlement in the world.

After that go to visit the Ancient City Wall, one of the largest and best preserved Chinese city walls. It was built under the rule of the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of Ming Dynasty as a military defense system and has been refurbished many times since it was built in the 14th century, The wall encloses an area of about 14 square kilometers.
Evening: Dinner at a local restaurant.
- Overnight at Eastern House Boutique hotel, in Xi’an.

Day 3: Tuesday, 14 May : Xi’an

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit the Shaanxi History Museum, one of the biggest museums in China. Include a visit to the exhibition room of the Mural Painting of the Tang Dynasty.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon:

Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Pagoda was built in 652 AD for keeping the Buddhist Scriptures which were taken from India by Master Xuanzang. Till today, the pagoda has been standing here for over 1,350 years.

After that continue to take an outer look of the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, and visit the Muslim Street, the most famous food street in Xi’an. We will have a chance to enjoy a shadow play at Gao’s Courtyard.
Evening: Dinner at own arrangement.
- Overnight at Eastern House Boutique hotel, in Xi’an

Day 4: Wednesday, 15 May : Xi’an – Luoyang by train

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Check out of the hotel, and proceed to visitHuxian Donghan Village, located 40 km southwest of Xi’an City. It was called the 'County of Painting' by the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 1988. Visit to local peasant family and appreciate Peasant Paintings, after that, a local peasant will give a lesson of paper cutting and we will do our own paper cutting.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon:

Continue to visit Hanyangling Museum. It is the mausoleum of the Fourth Emperor, Jingdi and his Empress in West Han Period. The Emperor and Empress share one mausoleum but they have their own graves.

After that transfer to Xi’an North Train Station.
5.43 p.m. Depart by Bullet train to An Ancient Capital Luoyang.
7.15 p.m. Arrive Luoyang Train Station, transfer to Christian’s Hotel.
- Dinner and overnight at Christian’s Hotel, in Luoyang.

Day 5: Thursday, 16 May : Luoyang

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel
- Proceed to visit Longmen Grottoes, a World Heritage Site, The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of stone carving art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907), entirely devoted to the Buddhism.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon:

Visit the Luoyang Museum located in the downtown area, which is a reflection of the rich history of Luoyang city.

After that visit the old streets of Luoyang Ancient City.
Evening: Dinner at a local restaurant.
- Overnight at Christian’s Hotel, in Luoyang.

Day 6: Friday, 17 May : Shaolin Temple - Dengfen Obervatory – White Horse Temple

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to visit theShaolin Temple, a Zen temple in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. Believed to have been founded in the 5th century, the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.  Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng". Here we will see the Kungfu show performed by Shaolin monks and visit the Pagoda Forest.
Then continue to visit Dengfeng Observatory. This site has a long tradition of astronomical observations, from the time of the Western Zhou up to the early Yuan dynasty. It is the oldest well-preserved observatory in China and known for being of great significance in the study of the development of world’s astronomy and architecture. Also inscribed as a World Heritage Site as part of Historic Monuments of Dengfeng.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Drive back to Luoyang, visit the White Horse Temple. According to Chinese ancient history, this is the first Buddhist temple in China, established in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han Capital Luoyang.
- Dinner at local restaurant.
- Overnight at Christian’s Hotel, in Luoyang.

Day 7: Saturday, 18 May : Luoyang – Train to Xi’an – Xi’an Airport

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to visit Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum, which is a reputed museum devoted to the display of ancient tombs, marked with a time span from the West Han to the Northern Song Dynasty.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit the Museum of Emperor’s Chariot Drawn by Six Horses of Zhou Dynasty and transfer to train station.
5.16 p.m. Depart by bullet train to Xi’an North Station.
6.42 p.m.

Arrive Xi’an North Station, transfer by bus to Xi’an airport.

(Dinner at own arrangement at Xi’an Airport)
10:50 p.m. Depart Xi’an to Bangkok by Air Asia flight FD589.

Day 8: Sunday, 19 May : Donmueang Airport

01.45 a.m. Arrive at Bangkok Donmueang Airport

 

 

Booking

Bt. 62,500 (Bt. 66,000 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 14,000. A deposit of Bt. 30,000 and photocopy of passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made. Payment in full is required 60 days before the start of the trip (i.e. by Sunday, 14 March 2019)

Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be canceled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes meals as mentioned in program, accommodation for two persons per room, entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. It excludes visa fee to China (if any), international airfares, personal expenses, personal beverages, etc.

The excluding airfares on Bangkok - Xi’an - Bangkok. We have decided to offer this trip without including an airfare but for those who would like us to book and buy airfare can be arranged for the price at the date of booking

To comply with payment and cancellation policies set forth by tour agencies, and to facilitate smooth working condition between the Siam Society and the tour agencies, please read carefully the revised cancellation policies stated below:

Cancellation charge:

60 days before the start of the trip:                                      Deposit forfeited
60-30 days before the start of the trip                                  50% of the tour cost
Less than 30 days or cancellation without notice:                   No refund

Booking details:

Your booking will not be confirmed until deposit payment has been received. Please book your place as soon as possible. Please supply a copy of your passport with your booking.

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.