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Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel. As your flight is arriving very early this morning we have arranged an early check in for you.
Today, we enjoy a guided visit into the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Centre. Later today, we visit the Summer Palace on Kunming Lake, we view the lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902. The Long Corridor, a hand painted 730m covered walkway, offers gentle respite from the elements.
Today, set out to sightsee the nation’s capital. 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. 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. The Forbidden City, was the seat of the great emperors and the innermost sanctum of the Beijing. 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. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a city restaurant.
Today, travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where you can 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! Continuing on, 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. Also visit a cloisonne workshop, where you’ll see firsthand the production of decorative items utilising the techniques of this practised and ancient craft. Overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.
Xi’an is perhaps most famous for the discovery of Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the 2,200 year old Terracotta Warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers standing battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. No two faces are alike – each is said to be an individual portrait. Today, we visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors, the Huanqing Hot Springs, a scenic spot in the shadow of Li Mountain and a workshop where crafts people make clay warrior replicas.
Today, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Chengdu, where you will be met and transferred to the hotel.
After breakfast you will venture to the Panda Centre. Located just 10km (6miles) away from downtown Chengdu, the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Centre has been created and imitates the pandas' natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. It's a full day excursion where you will also get to see other endangered species and the famous giant Buddha sculpture.
Today, we transfer you to the train station for your express train to Chongqing, the start point for our exciting Yangtze River cruise. Before boarding the cruise we can stroll along Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.
Yangtze River Cruise.
Yangtze River Cruise.
Disembarking from our cruise after lunch we have a long afternoon of travel ahead of us. After driving to Wuhan (approx 4 hours) we’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, hotel check in and overnight.
Today, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Renown for it’s striking, if bizarre scenery, vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin is often the subject of Chinese painting. We visit the Red Flute Caves. Tonight, enjoy an evening boat tour on 2 rives 4 lakes to see the immitated famous bridges of all other countries.
We undertake a relaxing cruise down the River Li to Yangshuo passing an endless procession of peaks and simple villages. The local fishermen use trained cormorants to catch fish and local village boys paddle out to the river boats with all manner of souvenirs. Free time in charming Yangshuo, with its little shops and cafes.
Day at leisure.
Today, we transfer back to Guilin to fly to scenic Hangzhou. Hangzhou is unusual for a Chinese city, in that it encompasses large tracts of greenery which might normally be classified as countryside. This is thanks to Xi Hu, the large lake that Hangzhou straddles. The lake is dotted with various islands and causeways, whilst the shoreline offers wonderful vistas of green trees, hills, flowers, pavillions, pagodas and boats. Today, we visit Six Harmonies Pagoda and Chinese Tea Museum.
Today, we explore the West Lake, Lingyin Temple and take a bicycle ride.
Today, we drive (roughly 3.5 hrs) to the Yellow Mountains. Visit Huangshan by cable car. Considered the most beautiful mountain in China, Yellow Mountain or Huangshan is one of a range of 72 peaks in the south of Anhui Province. Set amidst rural landscapes and with its slopes clad in pine, the ethereal scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. Some 9,000 steps have been carved into the mountain, for those that want to walk up the most stunning stairwell on earth, though our excursion does include a return cable-car journey to the scenic area, where you’ll stay for 2 nights in a hotel at the top.
Day at leisure.
We descend from the Yellow Mountains and drive to Suzhou. Rest of the day at leisure.
A cruise on the Grand Canal exposes Suzhou’s beauty. Also visit a silk workshop and the Humble Administrator’s Garden.
En route to Shanghai stop off at lovely Zhouzhuang - an ancient town featuring traditional buildings, small bridges and tree-lined waterways astride the Jinghang Canal. Upon arrival to Shanghai enjoy a tour of the Bund area and a cruise on the Huangpu River.
Today, we tour the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Old City area, Oriental Pearl TV tower and Shanghai Museum.
Today is free for you to explore the sights of Shanghai. Perhaps visit the French Quarter or the Old City and have a drink at landmark Peace Hotel on Shanghai’s famous Bund, with its legendary jazz band which play nostalgic rhythms amidst 1930s Art Deco elegance. We will transfer you to the train station for the overnight train to Hong Kong.
We will pick you up from the train station and transfer to your hotel. We have included for you today a half day city tour including Repulse Bay, Victoria Peek and Aberdeen.
We will have you on a full day trip of Macau today.
Free time in Hong Kong for the next 2 days.
Today we bid you farewell with a transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...