China Soul Retreats



Pia Vilaragut, Feng Shui Practitioner in the Black Sect tradition lead a personal retreat with Guo Xianying (John).

This retreat was an opportunity to experience some of the most mystical and spiritual places in the world. 

Day 1 Shanghai

Depart: United States

Arrive :Shanghai.  

Shanghai is the center of China’s economic resurgence cities, with a population of 16 million. Shanghai is the busiest city in China, very prosperous. It has the reputation as the “Ever Bright City” from the 19th century.

Renowned for almost a century, the Peace Hotel is known as the most famous hotel in China. Located in the prime downtown Shanghai and situated at the doorstep to the Bund - Shanghai's most prominent landmark.

Day 2 Suzhou

After breakfast in Shanghai, we departed for a short scenic bus ride to Suzhou where we will enjoy a full day of sights.

Suzhou is a principal tourist city in China situated on the lower Yangtze River, and the shores of Lake Taihu. This magnificent 2,500 year old, ancient city lies in a region of rivers, lakes and canals. The streets and alleys in the city extend side by side with the canals. Quaint bridges and flowing waters unfold a serene tone. Known as the “Venice of the East”, because of its canals. Suzhou has been described as the "Land of Abundance" and the “Capital of Silk”. The classical gardens in Suzhou hold a distinctive position in world gardening history and are considered a national treasure. There are over 60 gardens in Suzhou.

We enjoyed an enchanting river cruise, a visit to the Master of the Nets Garden, reputed to be the most well-preserved garden in Suzhou. A visit to Hanshan Temple also known as Cold Mountain Temple is one of our stops. The Bell Tower is an important highlight of this temple. When the bell is tolling, the resonance of the strokes and the chants of the monks create an unspoken reverence for all worshippers. According to Buddhist legend, each person has 108 kinds of annoyances per year and each bell tolling can help chase away a kind of annoyance.

Day 3-4 Hangzhou

During our stay in Hangzhou we visited many attractions. After dinner we will have fun shopping in the night market, an assortment of goods can be found at unbelievable prices.

Longjing Dragon Well Tea Plantation, most famous for its unique fragrance and flavor, is found at the Hangzhou in the Zhengjiang Province. In olden times, residents believed that a dragon dwelled in their village controlling the rainfall. In ancient China it was mandated by the royal court that this exceptional tea be served. Dragon Well Tea is known as the best green tea in the world. We will be able to pick the tender tea sprouts, view the process of tea making and learn the medicinal qualities of this superb tea.

Near West Lake can be found the Ling Yin Temple, also known as the Temple of Soul's Retreat. This woodland set temple was built in 326AD recognized as one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples of China. The Temple contains an important collection of Buddhist literature together with many other treasures. A statue of Sakyamuni, Buddha carved from 24 sections of camphor wood with an overall height of 24.8 meters (82 feet) is quite impressive. The palaces, pavilions and halls are incredibly beautiful and tranquil.  In the rear of this hall is a group sculpture of 150 figures that tell the story of Sudhana-Kumara visiting Avalokitesvara Budhisattva on an island.

The Six Harmonies Pagoda lies on the north bank of the Qiantang River in Hangzhou. The name "six harmonies" comes from the six Buddhist ordinances, meaning "harmonies of the heaven, earth, north, south, east, and west". At the silk factory we will view the process of how silk is made, and have plenty of time to indulge in purchasing lovely silk items including bed comforters ,scarves, suits, coats, etc.

Day 5-8 Island of Putuoshan

This magical mountain island was our home for 3 days. Putuoshan is regarded as one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains. and as the island of Guanyin, the Bodhittsava of Mercy and Compassion.

Putuo is to Chinese what Potala or Potalaka (the mountain home of the deity) is to Sanskrit. The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet is inhabited by the same bodhisattva.  It is in this enchanting island that our classes will be held.

We visited the Puji Monastery, the 100-foot high statue of Guanyin, Chaoyindong “Sounds of the Tides Cave”.

Day 9-10 Guilin

After breakfast, we embarked on an 83km (52-mile) cruise on the Li River from Guilin to Yangshou. The boat trip took 5-6 hours. The mountains seem to surround us in a mystical embrace. The villagers believe that there exists mystical cosmic energy  in the mountains. It is a breath-taking experience. At Yangshou, we had the opportunity to shop in a quaint town bazaar.

We visited Elephant Trunk Hill, a natural rock formation that resembles an elephant dipping its trunk in the Li River.

We visited the Reed Flute Cave with fantastic various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. It is quite remarkable.

Guilin is world renowned for its Chinese fluorite.

Day 11-12 Shanghai

We visited the Yu Yuan Garden, which is 300 years old, the City God Temple and a Taoist Temple where we were able to find our own guardian based on our birth year.

After lunch we walked around the Old Town Bazaar, a large marketplace with quality items at unbelievable prices. Lots of fun shopping for last minute gifts.

Dinner at Minority Show Restaurant. We saw a colorful dance show and experience excellent food.

Day 13 Departure
Depart Shanghai China for the United States.