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Retreats for Body & Soul
Health & Wellness
The Tao of Wellbeing
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, has developed over the course of Chinese history, and continues to be heavily practiced to this day. Various forms of TCM, including acupuncture, herbal remedies, dietary therapy, Tui na (chiropractics), and the exercises of Tai Chi and Qi gong, have proven themselves as effective remedies for convalescence, battling illness, and encouraging overall wellness in the mind and body. VariArts provides tours to the leading Traditional Chinese Medical destinations, and puts travelers in direct contact with the specialists who know best.
Health & Medicine Connections
In addition, VariArts has developed partnerships with some of China’s most renowned military hospitals, which treat China’s top governmental officials. Through our collaboration, VariArts is capable of connecting travellers with China’s most prestigious western medical facilities. VariArts also facilitates the logistics of travellers seeking to work with China’s leading organizations working with immunotherapy for cancer, aging problems, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, strokes, SMA, and Parkinson’s disease.
Sample China Health & Wellbeing Tour:
Day 1. Beijing - Aman Resort, Summer Palace
Arrive in Beijing in the afternoon. Check into Aman Resort at the Summer Palace. Adjacent to the Summer Palace, the resort is walking distance from the summer home of China’s emperors. The sweeping royal compound of the Summer Palace sits on tranquil Kunming Lake, and is a serene respite from urban Beijing. Spend your first day relaxing at the resort.
Day 2. Beijing - Aman Resort, Summer Palace
Start your day learning Tai Chi at the Summer Palace in the early morning. The ancient martial art reduces stress and improves mental clarity, and parks are still filled in the mornings with elderly Chinese practicing their forms. Take time to explore Summer Palace, also known as the “Gardens of Nurtured Harmony,” visiting the traditional Chinese buildings wrap around the man-made 2.2 sq km lake. After an hour and a half long cruise down the Grand Canal, which connects the palace with the Forbidden City, enjoy dinner with a local family in the historic hutong, old-Beijing style area around Houhai Lake.
Day 3. Beijing - Aman Resort, Summer Palace
Following early morning Tai Chi class at the resort, begin exploring China’s capital from the heart of Beijing — Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City. Home to China’s emperors, the 999 room Forbidden City is a massive, majestic compound of immense courtyards and grand palaces. The largest palace complex intact today, it required 15 years and more than a million workers to be completed. After trekking around the emperor’s old digs, enjoy a foot massage, a traditional Chinese treatment that can ease pains in any part of the body. Finish the day with a feast of crispy, delicious Peking duck.
Day 4. Beijing - Aman Resort, Summer Palace
After early morning Tai Chi class at the hotel you’ll travel by private van to the Great Wall of China. Constructed between the 5th and 16th centuries, the most recent survey of the wall and its branches found the ancient defense measures a whopping 5,500 miles. You’ll explore a beautiful, less touristy part of the Great Wall and take a leisurely stroll or practice Tai Chi on its summit.
Day 5. Chengdu – Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel
The day begins with morning Tai Chi practice, followed by a flight to Chengdu. You’ll take a van from the airport to the hotel. After settling into your comfortable accommodations you will have free time to explore the area. In the afternoon visit the famous Taoist Qingyang (Green Sheep) Temple and tour a printing house with over 10,000 ancient, hand carved wood blocks still used to print the Taoist Canon. Dinner will be a banquet of the famous Sichuan cuisine.
Day 6. Chengdu – Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel
After breakfast, take a scenic drive to the spacious bamboo forest park where the Giant Panda Breeding Centre is located. You will have the opportunity to see both Giant Pandas, and the smaller Red Pandas and their adorable babies in their natural habitat, and learn more about this beautiful and amazing endangered species. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to attend the famous Sichuan Culinary School to learn techniques for preparing mouth-watering Sichuan cuisine. In the evening we will visit the Sichuan Opera, renowned for its amazing performances, including the incredible face changing show.
Day 7. Mt. Qingcheng – Temple Guesthouse
After lunch you will arrive at Mt. Qingcheng, one of the sacred Taoist mountains and one of the most beautiful places in China. Slowly float across calm and beautiful Yuecheng Lake on a picturesque ferry, and then ride the cable car to the top of the mountain, enjoying scenic views of the forested slopes. Follow a charming trail flanked by ancient pines leading to Tianshidong Temple (the Cave of the Heavenly Master). Enjoy a delicious welcome dinner, featuring special delicacies like gingko seed soup, the “five famous foods of Qingsheng Mountain,” and the best steamed buns in China. After an evening discussion, spend the night in the temple guesthouse under the protective branches of an ancient giant ginkgo tree planted over a thousand years ago by the founder of the Northern School of Taoism, Master Zhang-Taoling.
Day 8. Mt. Qingcheng – Temple Guesthouse
In the morning, enjoy practicing Tai Chi in the beautiful outdoor practice area built into the side of the mountain. Special Chinese calligraphy classes taught by Mark are always a highlight of our trips, and even local Chinese have joined in. For thousands of years Chinese calligraphers have worked to master “the way of writing,” creating masterpieces of simplicity and profundity that are still studied today. We will meet in the ancient temple courtyard with our brushes and ink.
Day 9. Chengdu
Morning Tai Chi in the Tianshidong courtyard and breakfast in temple dining room. After breakfast, enjoy a scenic walk and visit several ancient temples as you journey leisurely to the foot of the mountain. Mt. Qingcheng is one of the main centers of Taoism, according to legend the Yellow Emperor himself studied here, and the region is filled with vibrant Taoist temples. In the evening we will return to Chengdu where the journey will conclude.