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On arrival into Beijing International Airport you will be met by and On The Go Representative and transferred to your hotel. Today you will set out to sightsee the nation's capital, covering Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square - home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and many important events in Chinese history - most notably the 1989 Student Protests. The Forbidden CIty - so called as it was only visited by people on Imperial business up until 1911 - is a vision in grandeur with yellow roofs, vermilion walls and the innermost sanctum of Beijing.
A morning walk through the parks playing transcendental music on speakers where you can see locals practising Tai Chi and dancing, brings you to the entrance of the mighty Temple of Heaven. Spend the morning exploring the nooks and crannies of the temple before some time for lunch, then moving onto to explore the Summer Palace with its UNESCO-listed imperial gardens, located on Kunming Lake.
Today, travel beyond Beijing to Jinshinlang, where you get to walk (almost climb on some sections) on the Great Wall. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kms! Spend the entire day with our expert guide hiking and taking in this ancient wonder of the world. We return to the big smoke in the evening in time to collect bags and catch the train to Datong. Sit back and relax and enjoy the comfort of your private cabin.
You arrive into Datong early giving you a whole day to explore the area. Take a guided sightseeing walk around the Yungang Grottoes (some of the first and grandest of Buddhist grottoes containing intricately carved buddhas of all shapes and sizes) After, we set off to explore the Hanging Temple, which is a sight to behold as it's structure seriously defies gravity. Last stop, is the Wood Pagoda before driving onto Pingyao for the night.
Meeting with our expert guide after breakfast you will be taken out to explore this fantastic city, taking in highlights such as the Shuangling Temple and Zhengguo Temple, the City Wall, The First Bank of China and Mingqing Street with it's old oriental buildings. This evening you return to the station and embark the sleeper train to Xi'an (2 berth private cabin).
Xi’an is Shaanxi Province is perhaps most famous for Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the 7,000 life-sized soldiers, some 2,200 years old, stand battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. After your arrival meet and greet, you set out to spend 4 hours exploring the archaeological site and Terracotta warrior replica workshop. Conclude the late afternoon with an insightful wander around the streets of the Muslim Quarter.
Awaken this morning and you are swept off to the airport for the flight to Chengdu - capital of Sichuan province - famed for its outstanding natural beauty, fiery cuisine and China’s first, largest and best known Panda research and breeding centre. On arrival into the airport here, you'll be transferred to your hotel.
A short drive out of town takes you to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Spend as long as you like today wandering around and enjoying all the park has to offer.
This morning has been set aside for the volunteering programme; this can only be booked directly with the Research Centre - we will just be providing the relevant transfers. Late we make our way to the station in the city you will be assisted onto the train destined for the industrial city of Chongqing. Arriving at the the start point for your exciting Yangtze River cruise, meet our local guide who before boarding the cruise will take you out to explore Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.
Good morning from the River Yangtze! At 6340km in length, the Yangtze is the 3rd longest river in the world, neatly dividing China into north and south and wending its way through eight very different provinces. For the today and tomorrow whilst cruising, shore excursions are offered at no additional expense to Shibaozhai and Shennong stream, with its unique scenery and four natural gorges. Drift serenely along the stream in small, open ‘pea pod boats’, looking out upon lush greenery, jagged peaks and ancient villages of the Tujia people - one of the local ethnic minorities.
We disembark from our cruise in Yichang late this morning, and head straight to Wuhan city for the flight to Guiyang. Here, our local team await to transfer you onto your hotel.
This morning we drive from Guiyang to Laotun, via Taijiang, to experience the fascinating ethnic minority culture. From here, you continue your journey onto Zhenyuan. OVERNIGHT IN ZHENYUAN
This morning you explore the fascinating Black Dragon Cave Temple complex, before heading out to Shidong to witness the highlight of the Sisters Meal Festival. After lunch in Shidong you continue on to Leishan, where you check into your humble guesthouse lodgings. OVERNIGHT IN LEISHAN
Today you drive from Leishan to Zhaoxing. On the way, you stop first in the traditional Langde Miao Village, and then in Shiqiao. Here, you stop to watch some traditional paper making techniques. In Zhaoxing you check into the hotel, where you stay for the next two nights.
This morning you'll head out for a gentle walk in the countryside, for about three to four hours. On your walk you'll explore several pretty Dong minority villages, before returning at around lunchtime to Zhaoxing. You have the rest of the day at leisure to explore or relax.
Enjoy a lovely scenic journey this morning to Longji / Longsheng, world famous for the aptly named Dragons Backbone Rice Terraces.
This morning we explore the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone! Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil the steep mountain layer upon layer climbing to its summit. Where there is soil a terrace has been made! Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we climb skyward to enjoy panoramic views of the ribbon like terraces with picturesque valleys and meandering streams below. When read we make our way to the big city of Guilin.
This morning your Li River cruise departs from downtown Guilin for a full days excursion. The 90 Km Li River cruise is the centerpiece of any trip to northeastern Guangxi Province. Gorgeous Karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Bear witness to rural China as peasants reap rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. After passing many world renown sights such as Elephant Trunk Hill, Pagoda Hill and more, you arrive in to Yangshuo where you will be met and escorted to your hotel.
Yangshuo offers a world of opportunity for exploring the great outdoors. With breath-taking beauty, striking limestone mountain scenery and pure clean rivers, one can choose to go swimming or tubing down the Yu Long River, hike or hire a bicycle or motorbike and head off on one of the many mountain trails. Stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish (a centuries old tradition, though somewhat commercialised these days) and perhaps take a sailing trip on a bamboo raft up stream or down stream, hand paddled or motorised. You can also visit any number of the giant local caves or go to Xanadu - a primitive minority village bursting with rural charm, culture and genuine hospitality. Yangshuo is yours to explore at leisure for the entire day.
Early morning we make our way to the airport in Guilin and take to the sky on your flight destined for the mega city of Hong Kong. Arriving here, make your won way to your hotel using the excellent train system.
Enjoy today at your leisure to explore this compact metropolis that touches the skies.
Today we bid you farewell to China. Make your own way to the airport by train/taxi. We hope you will have so many amazing memories to contemplate on the flight home to the UK.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...