Welcome to Beijing and the start of your holiday. Arrival transfer from airport to hotel.
Overnight: Beijing | Dinner
Today set out to sightsee the nation’s capital. It’s been around since the year dot. Established in 1045 BC, for 800 years alone it served as the capital of several powerful dynasties. Tiananmen Square is a square for the public and also home of the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Communist father of the Communist People’s Republic and the striking Monument to the People’s Heroes. Have a stroll on the square, which attracts many pleasure seekers taking photos. Across the way is the Forbidden City. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden City, once forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. Beijing was always a walled city but the Forbidden City, seat of the great emperors, was the innermost sanctum of the city. Built between 1406 and 1420, it served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards.
Overnight: Beijing | Breakfast
Today, travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where you can walk (and almost climb on some sections) on the Great Wall. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen, the Great Wall of China is grand. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kms. Continuing, a visit is made to the tombs of the Ming emperors, where some 13 emperors were interred. The tombs are approached via a sacred gateway and gate houses.
Overnight: Beijing | Breakfast
Beijing - Jinan. Free morning. Afternoon train from Beijing to Jinan. Located south of the Yellow River as it makes its final thrust to the sea, Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province is famous for its springs. Shandong also produces the famous brew - Tsingtao beer at the former German colony of Qingdao.
Overnight: Jinan | Breakfast
Jinan - Qufu. Enjoy a visit to the UNESCO listed Tai Shan (Peaceful Mountain), perhaps the holiest of the five Chinese holy mountains devoted to Taoism. The upper reaches are approached by cable-car. Visit also Bu Yang Village. Continue to Qufu, birthplace of the sage - Confucius, where tonight by rickshaw, you’ll travel to the Apricot Altar Theatre, to enjoy a Confucius Singing and Dancing Show.
Overnight: Qufu | Breakfast, Lunch
Enjoy a tai ch’i lesson with a Master if you choose. Occupying a hallowed place in the minds of the legions of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans who come here on pilgrimage, Qufu is greatly revered. Although the sage lived in relative obscurity, his descendents lived in the grand Confucius Mansion (Kong Fu) in the heart of Qufu. Wielding immense political clout and wealth, the Kong family, referred to as the First Family Under Heaven, built a palatial mansion. Next to the mansion is the Confucius Temple (Kong Miao), a lengthy complex of memorial gateways, courtyards and pavilions. Afterwards a rickshaw tour around the Old City. Later, overnight train to Shanghai.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Train - Shanghai. Once known for its decadent magnetism that attracted fortune-seekers and adventurers, Shanghai looks like a European city in a Chinese setting. Enjoy a big day out touring the Oriental Pearl TV tower, Jade Buddha Temple, charming Yuyuan Gardens, and the Old City. This evening, witness Shanghai’s illuminated skyline on a Huangpu River cruise.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast
Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai. Today take a day trip by high speed train to ancient Suzhou, a Venetian-like town with its UNESCO-listed gardens and many waterways and bridges. Here you can take a cruise on the Grand Canal, which stretches over 1,000 miles from Beijing to Hangzhou and crosses the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, constructed more than 2,000 years ago serving as China’s main North-South artery. The hive of activity comprising of boats and people both on and along the Canal offers an amazing sight and later visit a silk textile factory. Or choose to visit the Fish-Net Master’s Garden and Tiger Hill, before returning to Shanghai.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
Fancy staying longer?
Make a break for the incredible UNESCO-listed Yungang Caves in Datong, boasting some 51,000 statues and carvings of Buddha!
Check out this and our other exciting bolt-ons!