1 Week Authentic Culture Tour and Tai Chi in China

  • Floor One, Building No.7, 588 Feijiatang Road, Downtown District, Hangzhou, 310003, China

Overview

China Tai Chi and Culture Tour

Hangzhou is the place to experience a harmonious blend of the quintessential aspects of ancient and modern China. Many westerners also remark that Hangzhou is like the China they had imagined before they come to China. One of the most exciting parts about a trip to Hangzhou is the chance to experience many facets of traditional Chinese culture through real life experience, rather than textbooks.

Hangzhou a cradle of traditional art

Except for rice and fish, Hangzhou also shines as a cradle of silk and tea. Acupuncture, calligraphy, Tai Chi, horticulture, traditional painting, and the folk music could be seen easily; furthermore, they are perfected, preserved, and inherited by the later generations. In a word, Hangzhou is well worth visiting if you are really into Chinese civilization.

Highlights

  • Learn Chinese home cooking
  • Excursion to Wuzhen an ancient water village
  • Tai Chi practice with professional teacher in Hangzhou
  • Learn Chinese traditional brush painting
  • Daily breakfast and lunch
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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The accommodation offered in this package is twin shared base.

Tai Chi quan movements

Tai Chi quan features flowing and consistent movements, perfect blending of hardness and softness, gentle and agile gesture, as well as calm and graceful air. This sport is natural and elegant. One can appreciate the rhythm of music, the content of philosophy, the aesthetic beauty of postures and the elevated state of mind when practice it in the right way.

Skills

Tai Chi quan skills follow the principle of Yin and Yang. Its whole process can be summarized into four words: Ying Hua He Fa which means you needs to make your rivals take actions first, then you need to direct their strength away, and finally you borrow their strength to fight them back.

Listening skill is greatly valued for Tai Chi quan practitioners. In order to make quick reactions, they need to predict their rivals movement by sight but more importantly, listening. It is not advised to attack initially. Always wait or even make your rivals to move. Once they take actions, you need to be one step ahead of them to hold the situation. Or you can direct their strength away and fight back at their weak point.

Principle

This unique principle is embodied by pushing hand training and Taolu training. Tai Chi quan not only can improve our reaction speed, but also enhance our strength and speed. The motto of Tai Chi quan is little can win big, weak can defeat strong, soft can win hard, and wait before defense.

As a martial art, Tai Chi quan is externally a soft exercise, but internally hard, even as it seeks softness. If we are externally soft, after a long time we will naturally develop internal hardness. Its not that we consciously cultivate hardness, for in reality our mind is on softness. What is difficult is to remain internally reserved, to possess hardness without expressing it, always externally meeting the opponent with softness. Meeting hardness with softness causes the opponents hardness to be transformed and disappear into nothingness.

The difference between Shaolin quan and Tai Chi quan

Those who practice Shaolin quan leap about with strength and force; people not proficient at this kind of training soon lose their breath and are exhausted. Tai Chi quan is unlike this. Strive for quiescence of body, mind, and intention. The greatest taboo when practicing Tai Chi quan is to use force.

If one can make the entire body loose and open, and be absorbed in the circulation of blood and qi, then after a while one's practice will naturally develop inner jing. This inner energy is extremely soft, so when encountering an opponent one doesn't need to resist at all. The ability to extend and contract in order to follow the opponent's energy is referred to as elastic power within softness. Tai Chi quan theory states: "From the greatest softness comes the greatest hardness." This is what is meant by softness.

Absolute China Tours Tai Chi curriculum

  • Close and defense
  • Cloud Hands
  • Cross Hands
  • Embrace the bird tail or so
  • Ending
  • Flash the Back
  • Hand wave like playing the lute
  • Hold back like dragging for needles at the bottom of the sea
  • Hook back like a horsewhip
  • Knee and Twist go back
  • Lift like crane wings
  • Move forward, block and thump
  • Open up like wild horses
  • Rewind brachial
  • Shuttle
  • Warm up

Absolute China Tours itinerary

Day 1 - Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you and transfer you to the city center. You will take a leisure walk around the community where the family is located with accompany of the hosts. Dinner is included for the first day.

Day 2 - Today we will take Tai Chi class and practice with professional teacher in Hangzhou. In the afternoon visit a kindergarten and a primary school to see how Chinese kids learn and play. You will talk to teachers and children who are always friendly. Then visit Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital.

Day 3 - After enjoying your breakfast we will take a Tai Chi class and short practice and then pay a visit to Dujinsheng silk and Brocade Museum. After having lunch pay a visit to Lingyin Temple which is the biggest Buddhist temple in southeast of China and the nearby Peak Flying Afar.

Day 4 - After enjoying your breakfast you will be driven to Wuzhen. After having lunch we will depart for Wuzhen an ancient water village of Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, with rivers and lakes crisscrossed here and there. You will be transferred to Hangzhou by private car.

Day 5 - After enjoying your breakfast we will have a Tai Chi Lesson and take a practice. And in the afternoon we will visit Hangzhou Cooking School to learn Chinese home cooking.

Day 6 - After enjoying your breakfast we will have a Tai Chi lesson and short practice. Then we will visit households community and local residents home. After having lunch we will visit Hangzhou Agedness College to learn Chinese traditional brush painting.

Day 7 - After enjoying your breakfast we will have a Tai Chi lesson and short practice. And continue with a lakeside walk to No.6 Park; speak to locals at English Corner. After lunch we will visit Daguan Primary School to learn the Chinese traditional instrument such as Pipa, Erhu or flute.

Day 8 - After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport and take flight back home.

Tai Chi Training style

Tai Chi

Tai Chi quan is performed in its distinctive slow motion, it yields to exterior forces and counter them by softness, which allows the opponents strength to defeat themselves. The aim of Tai Chi quan is not to win or to attack others, but to defense and to improve yourself.

One short-cut to learn Tai Chi quan is try to catch the essence of traditional Chinese culture embodied by Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, to grasp of truth and meaning of life and to cultivate a pure and harmonious inner world.

It is an art of coordination between human and nature, body and soul, thus is not suitable for those ambitious and aggressive persons. The moment you realize this point, you are entering the doorway of its mysterious kingdom.

History of Tai Chi

Tai chi quan is a member of martial art and a sport stemming from ancient China. About its origination, there are four sayings prevail. Xu Xuanping in Tang Dyansty (618 - 907), Zhang Sanfeng in Song dynasty (960 - 1278), Zhang Sanfeng and Wang Yuezong of Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) are all said to be the creator of Tai chi quan, and the dispute remains unsettled.

It has six sects: Chen Style created by Wang Yanchu in the end of Ming dynasty. In 1928, this style established its position; Yang style built by Yang Luchan based on the Chen style; Wu style started by a Manchu man named Quan You first, and his son Wu Jianquan improved it and defined it; Wu style created by Wu Yuxiang who lived in late Qing period. He studied Chen style first before creating this new style; He style founded by Sun Lutang during late Qing period; Sun style which blends the essence of Bagua boxing, Xingyi boxing, and Tai Chi boxing successfully because of him.

4 influences shaped Tai Chi quan

Yin and Yang - simply put, Tai Chi quan is to apply the concept of Yin and Yang to every form of boxing, thus forming the Tai Chi quan.

Daoism - Tai Chi quan is closely associated with Daoism, which values mind cultivation and seek balance amid imbalance situations very much. Yu Step in Daoism, the oldest health preservation practice, is the forerunner to todays Tai Chi round step. Principles include borrow strength of rivals and encounter the hard by soft all stem from Zhuang Zi, and Daoism absorbed and inherited the essence of Zhuang Zis philosophy. Thus, Tai Chi quan well lives up to the fame of national treasure art.

Traditional Chinese Medicine - every movement should be within the endurance limit of our bones to ensure the good conditions of Jingluo.

Martial Arts - Tai Chi quan emphasizes to win the hard by soft, to maintain the flowing and consistent movement and to win the formidable rival by little effort.

Hangzhou is located in northern Zhejiang province, eastern China, at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, on the plain of the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang). Hangzhou is bordered to the west by the hilly-country, Anhui Province, east to the flat-land near Hangzhou Bay and to the south by the Qiantang River. Hangzhou's municipality extends to include 8 districts (6 urban and 2 suburban), 2 county-level cities, and 2 counties.

Climb the Six Harmonies Pagoda to have a panorama of the mighty Qiantang River

Cycling along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the oldest and longest man-made canal on earth. Enjoy the 5 museums at Qiaoxi History Street, fine dine at Dadoulu historical street watch the ships passing by.

Explore West Lake: the centerpiece of Hangzhou

Have a panorama of the West Lake by climbing the Leifeng Pagoda, a symbol of love

Seal your trip with a pilgrimage to Lingyin Temple, a time-honored key temple in China. Leave Hangzhou with grateful heart.

Shopping till you drop at the silk market of Xinhua Road or explore Guo's Villa off the West Lake near Yanggong Causeway.

Stroll along the tea plantation in Longjing or Meijiawu

Visit the former residence of Hu Xueyan, a fine example of Ming and Qing-era private villa

Visit the Huqingyutang traditional Chinese pharmacy

Walk into history along the Hefang Street: Hangzhou's most famous old street. Perfect for gifts shopping.

Arrival by airplane

Hangzhou has its own airport, in Xiaoshan district, 27 km from the downtown. Scheduled flights connecting Hangzhou with Chinas main cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Xian, Dalian etc. In addition, Hangzhou also offers flights to and from Hong Kong and Singapore. Airport shuttle bus priced at 20 RMB will take you to downtown Hangzhou. They depart at every 15 to 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Inner city buses no. 11, 28, 92 stop at Wulinmen. Large hotels also offer free service to the airport, but this is, of course for guests only.

Arrival by bus via East Hangzhou Bus Station

The former East Hangzhou Bus Station complete it relocation in January,2010 and totally moves to the newly built Hangzhou Jiubao Passenger Transportation Center, which is located in Jiubao Town, Jianggan District and connects to buses No. 69,100,104,868. Intercity buses to the neighboring cities such as Shanghai, Shaoxing, Suzhou, and Jiaxing abound.

Arrival by bus via West Hangzhou Bus Station

West Hangzhou Bus Station, 357 Tianmushan Road, QIutao Road, connects to inner city buses no.49, 83, and 502. Intercity buses to Chunan, Huangshan ,Quzhou, Tonglu, and Xinan River

Arrival by bus via South Hangzhou Bus Station

South Hangzhou Bus Station connects to inner city buses no.14, 20, and 44. Intercity buses to Jiuhua, Wenzhou, and Yiwu.

Arrival by ferry

Along the Grand Canal, there are pleasant boat trips to Suzhou, or down to Fuyang, Wufan, Jiande, Lanxi and other cities in Zhejiang province along the Qiantang River.

Arrival by train via Hangzhou Railway Station

Hangzhou Railway Station (Intersection of West Lake Thorough fare Xihu Dadao and Jingcheng Rd Buses: 11, 7, 151 and Y2). All trains originating from or terminating at Hangzhou use Hangzhou Railway Station.

Arrival by train via East Hangzhou Railway Station

East Hangzhou Railway Station (northeast of downtown Hangzhou, beyond the Grand Canal, Buses 28, 516, Y5, Y7). Trains traveling through Hangzhou en route usually stop at the East Hangzhou Railway Station.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Absolute China Tours an inquiry.
  • Review by Dr.Dana Vulpescu from Germany

    "Dear Eric, thanks you for your excellent service. We enjoyed a 3 week round trip, covering the most important tourist spots like Beijing, Xi'an, Jiuzhaigou, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. Our hotels have been excellent throughout the country and our local guides were extremely attentive and trying hard to please any extra wishes. When one of our flights was cancelled due to bad weather the agency did everything possible to resolve the inconvenience. Five out of five stars. We would recommend for any China traveler."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

  • Review by Haroon Ismail Patel from USA

    "Great trip. Great company overall. No mishaps. Well organized especially booking/ planning last minute. Zoe was great. Lily our guide in Beijing was great too. I would've given 5 stars but for the guide in Xian. Nice person, reasonably good English but for lack of a better term- we just didn't click! I think she would do great in another industry. Maybe it was an off day or two for her but somehow the concept of " the customer" comes first " got lost somewhere. She needs to be less dictatorial and more flexible. While we had flexible options in Beijing in terms of food and sites( had a great time) , the Xian leg, especially food choices were non negotiable - not so much I would think from a company standpoint but more so due to lack of guide flexibility and enthusiasm - even when I was prepared to pay the extra! Xian, especially the Muslim quarter and its eclectic food was the highlight for me- no mention of it by the guide - we explored at night and " discovered" it and loved it. Again, not to sound too critical- I'm glad that they were able to pick us up and drop us off and share some facts with us- but in comparing the Beijing vs Xian tours, I think we could've done better in the latter."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

  • Review by Haroon Ismail Patel from USA

    "Great trip. Great company overall. No mishaps. Well organized especially booking/ planning last minute. Zoe was great. Lily our guide in Beijing was great too. I would've given 5 stars but for the guide in Xian. Nice person, reasonably good English but for lack of a better term- we just didn't click! I think she would do great in another industry. Maybe it was an off day or two for her but somehow the concept of " the customer" comes first " got lost somewhere. She needs to be less dictatorial and more flexible. While we had flexible options in Beijing in terms of food and sites( had a great time) , the Xian leg, especially food choices were non negotiable - not so much I would think from a company standpoint but more so due to lack of guide flexibility and enthusiasm - even when I was prepared to pay the extra! Xian, especially the Muslim quarter and its eclectic food was the highlight for me- no mention of it by the guide - we explored at night and " discovered" it and loved it. Again, not to sound too critical- I'm glad that they were able to pick us up and drop us off and share some facts with us- but in comparing the Beijing vs Xian tours, I think we could've done better in the latter."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

  • Review by Chelra from Maryland, USA

    "Firstly, I want to show our appreciation to our trip advisor,Zoe. She is so attentive and experienced. It is the first time we come to have a visit in China. One of our friends suggest choosing China Absolute Tours as they had once. We are very pleased with their wonderful service, suitable tour arrangement. Both of us have a good time in Hangzhou. West lake, known as the pearl of Hangzhou, is always surrounded by so many people who come to appreciate its beauty. It is too big to walk around . It looks that it costs almost 3 hours to go around the lake on foot. Due to the limited time,we took a scenic bus to go around the lake.Maybe I would like to choose a bike to go around the lake next time . At last, thanks so much for the guide,Mary's help. I will be contacting her for our next China trip."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Hi Center from UK

    "Before we came to Hangzhou we never imagined that we would have such a wonderful tour in Hangzhou. Our trip designer Eric is enthusiastic, patient and considerate when planning our tour. Hangzhou has a comfortable weather, beautiful scenery and delicious Hangbang food. West Lake, known as the proud of Hangzhou, is surrounded by people who are admiring her unique beauty. The lake is too big that we took a scenic bus to go around it and take a boat to the island called Santanyingyue in the center of lake. What impressed us most is the show Impression West Lake, which is performed on the water to present the history and culture of West Lake by exploring the folklore and myths of Hangzhou. In a word, we enjoyed our stay in Hangzhou and we will come again if there is a chance."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Wang P. from ZheJiang, China

    "I just want to express my excitement that China Absolute Tours provides me an unforgettable tour in Hangzhou. The natural views such as West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda, Duan Bridge and Su Causeway are so beautiful and worth a visit. The Chaptel Hotel I lived in is a member of Relais & Chateaux Association and is 3 minutes from West Lake. This hotel is located in the time-honored architecture built in the period of Republic of China. Spacious room, passionate service and authentic Hangzhou food left me a deep impression. The tour guide is friendly, helpful and considerate in the whole journey. Hangzhou is a must visit city in China and you will enjoy an absolute tour here."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Natador from Califonia, USA

    "This is one of the most amazing places I 've been. It is must do if you visit china. I took a tour , they picked me up at the lobby of my hotel in Shanghai in a van, it takes 2 hours to get to Hangzhou, very friendly and polite drivers. there is a fee for the tour that include a fabulous lunch in a local restaurant. and then we visited the tea village, beautiful as well. The Hangzhou lake has a free entrance."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Howard from USA

    "I would like to tell anyone who wishes to use your services, that Absolute Chinea Tours create for me an absolutely wonderful tour of Kunming, the Dongchuan red soil area, xian, zhangye and the danxia landform national area outside zhangye.Everything about our tour was first rate. The three tour guides all spoke excellent english. Each of the guides saw to it that even the smallet detail was taken care of, all transportation was prompt, and on time. The meals were delicious, and the dietary restrictions of my travelling companion wre duly taken care of.I have been to China three time before. I can honestly say that Absolute China Tours provided the best service at the right price og any other tour operator in China."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

  • Review by Deborah from USA

    "China Absolute service and personnel were professional, thorough and knowledgeable. We developed a fairly complicated 17 day trip with Zoe who handled all of our requests, changes and questions as our travel adviser. She gave us suggestions on sites, events and attractions throughout the process.We had 6 different guides who were all knowledgeable about their cities, history and culture, which we requested. One of our guides with the most experience, was the least accommodating and attentive so I am not sure 10 - 15 yrs as a guide is necessary. Most of our guides had at least 3 years or more.We covered a considerable amount of ground in 17 days which we would never have been able to do without the planning and help from China Absolute. Our flight to San Francisco was delayed which caused us to miss our connection to Shanghai. Because we missed an entire day in Shanghai, Zoe was able to give us a refund for the hotel and events we missed. This was more than United offered even with them being the cause.I would highly recommend China Absolute Tours for a private tour. They were able to deliver a superior product within our budget. The must see historical sites are the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terra Cotta Warriors. We also enjoyed getting off the beaten path in Datong to see the Hanging Temples and Yungang Grottes and lunch at a tea farmer's house in Hangzhou.The final leg of our trip was in Guilin and Yangshuo with the Rices Terraces, Lee River cruise, bamboo rafts, minority groups village and cooking class. We took a cooking class in Beijing and Yangshuo, Zoe recommend Yangshuo highly which was our groups over all favorite also. It was a perfect way to end the trip because it was more relaxing.I wish we had had more time in Shanghai due to our 24 hr delay and possibly a day less in Beijing. We were overwhelmed with the traffic in Beijing, the length of time it took to get anywhere and an uncomfortable van. We decided not to go to the summer palace because it would have been another 4 hrs in the van."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

  • Review by Lewis from USA

    "We would comment on 5 stars. Particularly, the service Christina provides in initially planning the trip. Everything occured according to plan and was extremely well coordinated. We were ecstatic about the level of service and the thoughtfulness that went into it. Also, Cynthia our guide in Guilin was great. She, with the help of Christina, arranged to have my a cake to celebrate my daughter's birthday (who was born in Wuhan, and returning to China for the first time).We were in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai and it was unusually hot, but still had a good time. But Guilin and Yangshuo were a welcome break from the cities and the heat.The most enjoyable and memorable parts of our trip is Li River cruise. It was the favorite part for all my family members. If we take our trip again, we will sepnd more time in the country and less in the city. Learn more of the language to be able to engage the locals more."

    Absolute China Tours website, edited

Hangzhou, China

Absolute China Tours is committed to making your trip to China an exciting, educational, and memorable travel experience.

Speaks English

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8 days / 7 nights

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