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Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in. Overnight - Beijing
Today, we embark on a tour of the nation’s capital. The famous portrait of Mao Zedong, China’s communist father still looks out over gargantuan 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 was forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911. 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 - delicious. Overnight - Beijing
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. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and 8 story human pyramids are just a few tricks these showstoppers pull out. Overnight - Beijing
Beijing - Luoyang. 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! 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 Luoyang
Today we explore the UNESCO world heritage listed 6th Century Longman Caves, etched into the cliffs along the Yi River. The 1300 caves (grottoes) were carved out by hand during the Northern Wei Dynasty and are adorned with more than 100,000 statues and images of Buddha and his disciples. Later we tour the first Buddhist temple in China - White Horse Temple. Overnight - Luoyang
Luoyang – X’ian. In the early hours of the morning we set out on foot to Peony Square to watch or partake in a little exercise. Hundreds of Chinese take their daily exercise by practising ballroom dancing, performing tai chi, sword fighting and play sports like badminton and hacky sack at the break of dawn. After free time we board the new high speed express train to Xi'an (journey time approximately 2 hours). Overnight - Xi'an
Most famous for the legendary Terracotta Warriors, perhaps the greatest find of the 20th century and only just usurped by the discovery of King Tut’s gold-laden tomb in Egypt. These 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. This evening we can attend a Tang Dynasty dinner and performance with Chang’an music and dance originally performed for the illustrious Tang emperors. Overnight - Xi'an
Xi'an - Yangshuo. 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. Overnight - Yangshuo
Renowned for the striking scenery of 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. The remainder of our time in Yangshuo is spent at leisure. Stop and watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish - a centuries old tradition. Time can also be spent exploring West Street. By nightfall, sit in any of the al fresco cafes, pubs or bars, or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical, with a cast of 500 singers and dancers. In the late afternoon of day 10 we return to Guilin. Overnight - Yangshuo (1), Guilin (1)
Guilin - Longsheng - Shanghai. 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 travel onward to Shanghai
Shanghai - breakfast. Focus your eyes on Shanghai! The day is free day for you to explore. Perhaps visit The Bund, Jade Buddha Temple or the Old City where you can shop on Nanjing Road. Head for the Oriental Pearl TV Tower at sunset, Shanghai dazzles at dusk! Overnight - Shanghai
Shanghai - breakfast. Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...