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Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in.
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing including the massive Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing and evening at leisure.
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Jinshanling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills.
This morning, we visit the gardens and temples of the grounds of Temple of Heaven, 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. Later today, enjoy a chance to cross a few palms with silver at Silk Alley markets, where even the most hardened non-shoppers manage to walk away with something they really desire!
We transfer you to the train station for your express train to Qufu, where you will be met by your guide to enjoy sightseeing including Confucius Temple, Confucius Mansion and the Confucius Forest, respectively the residence, temple, and graveyard of Confucius, the great philosopher, statesman and educationist from sixth century BC to fifth century BC.
Today, we drive to Taian to visit Mt. Tai by cable car. We visit Bu Yan Village, where the principles of Communism and communal work and land ownership are somewhat still in place here. We can see how the system works and the community life at work then drive to Jinan.
Located in the center of Jinan City, we visit Daming Lake Park and Baotu Sprint, Quancheng Square and the old town. Later today, we transfer to the airport for your flight to Xi'an, where you will be met and transferred to you hotel.
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 then we head down into the Muslim Markets for some shopping.
Today, we discover the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site. 7,000 Warriors stand battle ready and have done so for the past 2,200 years. Try counting them! Visit to a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines.
Transfer to the airport today to fly to Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda and capital of Sichuan province is famed for its outstanding natural beauty, fiery cuisine and China’s first, largest and best known Panda research and breeding centre. Enjoy an airport transfer to your hotel. We visit Jinli Street and the Wuhou Temple.
Enjoy an excursion this morning to the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Centre located at the foot of the Qingling Mountain range in Louguantai Forest Park north west of Xi’an. On the way back to Chengdu, we drive to Leshan to visit the Giant Buddha.
This morning, we transfer to the airport for your flight to UNESCO-listed Lijiang - a Naxi stronghold, enjoy free time in the labyrinthine streets of Dayan Old Town. This evening we attent a Naxi Ancient Music Show.
We head to the thrillingly named Tiger leaping gorge on the Yangtze River, where there is time to walk and take in the scenery. Some 16km long and up to 3000m deep, it is the worlds deepest canyon. The gorge is so narrow at various points that legend has it a tiger once escaped pursuit by leaping across. Visiting the gorge, you’ll have a chance to walk a section and take in the dramatic, yet stark scenery.
Enjoy an excursion to the stunning Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; its landscape includes one of the southernmost glaciers in the world. Access to the mountain is provided by a cable lift to Dragon Spruce Meadow, halfway to the glacier peak. Later today, we drive to picturesquely situated on Lake Erhai with a backdrop formed by the peaks of the 50km long Cang Shang range, Dali. Dali is a great place for some gentle-paced exploration and a little relaxation. Covering only about 4 sq km, much of Dali is contained by the remains of its Mingdynasty walls. Today is a big day so get lots of sleep the night before!
Sightseeing in Dali and surrounds includes a cruise on Lake Erhai, some orientation stops at some ancient temples and villages, a visit to Butterfly Spring - a popular spot surrounded by a marble ballustrade and overhung by an ancient tree that produces butterfly-like flowers and the famous Three Pagodas. Built when the region was a major Buddhist centre, Dali’s distinctively tall pagodas remain upright, despite wars and earthquakes. The largest of them - Qianxun tower dates back to 824 AD, some hundred years older than the two smaller octagonal pagodas behind, is 64m high, and is embellished with Buddhas made from local richly veined marble on each of its 16 levels. This evening we take the overnight soft sleeper train to Kunming.
Arriving in Kunming, enjoy an excursion to Kunming Flower and Bird market and the West Hill (Dragon Gate). Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, maybe buy some last minute souvenirs and gifts.
Departure transfer to the airport.
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...