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Huan ying, welcome to Shanghai, China and the start of your holiday! Our local representative will great you at the airport and assist with your transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax after your long flight.
Today, we journey to an oriental Venice via high speed train - ancient Suzhou interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways. We cruise on the Grand Canal at 1800km in length it's the longest canal on earth and ranks alongside the Great Wall as China’s greatest engineering achievement, and visit a silk workshop.
Pre 1949, cosmopolitan Shanghai was a magnet for seekers of wealth, idle colonialists, explorers and the dispossessed. Everything went belly up in 1949, when Mao and the communists took to power, a legacy of these heady times is Shanghai’s Bund where there is a series of grandiose pre 1949 buildings. Just across the Huangpu River is the new Shanghai, a high-tech development of gravity defying skyscrapers. Today we tour many of the city’s top spots - Yu Gardens and Bazaar- Shanghai’s finest traditional garden, the Bund, Pudong and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jade Buddha Temple and take a cruise including a cruise along the Huangpu River. This evening we board the overnight sleeper train to Xian.
Arriving in Xian, you will be met but the local guide at the station. We then head to Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors, reputed to be the greatest discovery of the 20th century - 7,000 life-sized clay soldiers stand ready for battle. We visit the archaeological site and the workshop where the replica warriors are crafted.
Early this morning we visit the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue Centre to see Pandas and other animals. We then tour the lofty Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The complex of temples, pagoda’s and expansive gardens, constructed during the 7th century offered refuge and a store house for Chinese Buddhists to translate the very important Buddhist sutras from India. The fun starts now as we take a leisurely bicycle ride atop the well-preserved Xi’an city wall. At a minimum of 6 metres in width, 9 miles in length - with no steep inclines the wall offers a great vantage point for peeping down upon the city hubbub below. After we visit the Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter and enjoy some free time in the city centre.
This morning we board the highspeed train to Luoyang to explore the UNESCO - listed 6th Century Longman Caves etched into the cliffs of the Yi River. The 1300 caves (grottoes) are adorned with 100,000 statues and images of Buddha and his disciples, carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty. Later on we tour the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China.
Today, we visit the Peony Square to watch ballroom dancing, tai chi and sword fighting. After some free time, we board the overnight sleeper train to Beijing.
Arriving in Beijing, you local guide will meet you off the train. Spend the morning at leisure before touring the Summer Palace. This vast complex is replete with lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902 at the whim of the extravagant Dowager Empress Cixi. We visit the famed Silk Alley markets and drive past the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium
Today we walk the famous Great Wall of China. built as a defensive structure to protect China against marauding invaders from the north. At one time perhaps nearly 9700km long, the wall was garrisoned by nearly 1 million soldiers and featured over 1,000 fortified passes and 10,000 beacon towers. Today, the now partially ruinous Great Wall stretches some 6700 kms across barren hills, deserts, mountains and plateaus. Today’s visit offers a healthy, if steep and vertiginous walk with breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside. After taking time to catch our breathe we tour a nearby cloisonne workshop demonstrating the ancient Chinese art of combining copper and enamel to make decorative pieces. Tonight, a death defying Chinese acrobatic performance entertains us.
Today, we embark on a guided tour of the nation’s capital. Tiananmen Square, a patriotic vision of grandeur and the Forbidden city, the walled city of the former Chinese emperors boasting stunning temples, courtyards and reception halls. We take an afternoon rickshaw ride navigating the old back lanes and courtyards of Beijing’s Hutongs and tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking Duck Dinner at a city restaurant.
Today you bid a fond farewell to China. After breakfast and hotel check out, we will transfer you to the airport 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 ...