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Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in.
Today, we embark on a tour of the nation’s capital. The Tiananmen Square from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. We take a stroll on the square all under the watchful eye of the dutiful guards. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden city. We enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. The Forbidden city boasts 9999 rooms! Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing and Peking Duck dinner at a city restaurant.
Today, we travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where we take a walk along the famed Great Wall. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen, the Great Wall of China is very impressive. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kilometres. Continuing, we visit a cloisonne workshop of decorative metal and enamel sculpture. Tonight, an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance.
A morning walk through the local market, then a chance to cross a few palms with silver at Silk Alley markets. The Summer Palace is set on picturesque Lake Kunming. Perhaps most famous of all the structures at the palace is the wonderful Long Corridor, a covered walkway 730m long extraordinarily hand-painted with scenes from Chinese history, legend and literature. Tonight, we travel to Luoyang, en route we view the massive Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium and aquatic centre. Overnight - Sleeper Train to Xi'an.
Most famous for the Terracotta Warriors, perhaps the find of the 20th century and only just usurped by the discovery of King Tut’s gold-laden tomb in Egypt, the Terracotta Warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike, each is said to be an individual portrait. We visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site and a workshop where warrior figurines are made.
Today, we visit Xi’an’s city symbol, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, first built in AD652 to hold sutras collected in India by a wandering monk. An awesome sight, the City Wall is over 15 km in perimeter and we embark on a bike ride (solo or tandem). A legacy of the Silk Road, we visit the Muslim Quarter and later fly south to Guilin. Onward transfer to Yangshuo (approx 1.5hrs drive). Hot pot lunch, late evening hotel check in.
Renown for it’s striking scenery: vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin and Yangshuo are often the subject of many Chinese paintings. Today, we take a 2 hour rafting cruise along the calm clean waters of Yu Long River. As our captain punts (propels us forward by pushing against the river bed with a long pole) our flat bottom boat along the shallow waters endless photo opportunities arise.
The remainder of our time in Yangshuo is spent at leisure. Choose to hike, hire a bicycle or motorbike and head off on one of the many mountain trails or stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish - a centuries old tradition. Time can also be spent exploring West Street. The ancient alley is laden with quirky shops, tea shops, antiques, calligraphers and art studios. Maybe take a beginners art class with a local painter or enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. Later this afternoon, we return to Guilin.
This morning you pay a visit to The Reed Flute Cave Within the cave there are enchanting stalagmites, stone pillars, stele, stone curtains and stone flowers. Then we continue on to Elephant Trunk Hill Located at the confluence of the Taohua (Peach Blossom) River and the Li River.
A 90 minute drive leads us to Longsheng, to walk the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil up the steep mountain, layer upon layer, climbing to its summit. Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we’ll pass many of the Yao and Red Yao minority women, baskets on their backs, who are also climbing skyward. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views. The full panorama offers thousands of ribbon like terraces cascading to the meandering streams and valley floor beneath. Returning to Guilin, we fly to Chengdu.
Today, we enjoy a guided tour of the Panda Reserve, before our afternoon flight to Shanghai.
Today starts off after breakfast for a full days excursion, highlights will be a visit to the Bund The Bund, also called the Zhongshan Road, is a famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. Onward to see the Jade Buddha Temple, the famous Yu Gardens and a trip to the Bazaar.
Day at leisure.
Departure transfer to the airport.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...