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Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your journey of a life time through the Orient! When you arrive at Beijing airport our local guide and driver await to transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of today is at your leisure.
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing, China's magnificent capital, including the massive Tian'anmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take rickshaws to explore the Hutongs of Beijing. As our trusty rickshaw driver peddles us through the network of alleys, old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, it gives us a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. There is time to meet a local family and take a peek inside their home, before returning to our hotel.
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, where we can walk a section of the famous Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty. Here, the 6m wide pathway with regular watchtowers makes a formidable defence. Though never directly attacked, the wall was taken over by aggressors sweeping around from the side. Later we visit a cloisonne workshop demonstrating the ancient Chinese art of combining copper and enamel to make decorative pieces. Tonight, an evening of choreographed acrobatic performance.
Morning market walk and a visit to the Summer Palace. We explore the lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902 at the whim of the extravagant Dowager Empress Cixi. Visit to the famed Silk Alley markets and drive by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium en route to the train station.
Arrive Luoyang and transfer to hotel. Later we explore the UNESCO world heritage listed Longman Caves etched into the cliffs along the River Yi. The 1300 caves (grottoes) were hollowed out to create temples inside the mountain. Carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty and adorned with more than 100,000 statues and images of Buddha and his disciples, experts consider them an artistic triumph of Buddhist stone carving. Later this afternoon, we tour the stunning White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China
Early this morning we walk to Peony Square to watch or partake in a little exercise. Many Chinese get their daily exercise by practising ballroom dancing, performing tai chi, sword fighting and play sports like badminton and hacky sack in the early hours of the morning. After some free time we board the new high speed express train to Xi'an, evening at leisure.
Renowned for its noodles, Xi’an in Shaanxi Province 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 which stand battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, each is said to be an individual portrait. We tour the Terracotta Warrior site and a workshop where replicas are crafted. This evening, On Broadway - Chinese style we can attend a Tang Dynasty dinner and performance with Chang’an music and dance originally performed for the illustrious Tang emperors.
Exploring the city, we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, enjoy a bike ride on top of the City Wall and check out the Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque. Later, we board our overnight express train bound for Shanghai.
Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is stunning. We enjoy a tour of the many city sights including Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple and The Bund, with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
Today, it's a short train journey to ancient Suzhou by high speed express train. The Venice like city is interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways. We take a cruise on the Grand Canal and visit a silk workshop.
A free day to explore Shanghai. Tonight (approx 6:30pm) we board the sleeper train bound for Hong Kong. Overnight train – Kowloon/Hong Kong.
Welcome to Hong Kong! Arriving into Kowloon at approx 1pm, the remainder of today and tomorrow morning offer free time. Perhaps head up Victoria Peak to look down over the islands and the new territories, or why not end your Chinese adventures with a sampan (junk) boat ride around Aberdeen’s harbour and a seafood dish in one of the famed restaurants by the water front.
Make your way to Hong Kong Airport in time for your flight home. For reference, Hong Kong International airport is a quick 24min journey on the Airport Express train, running at 12 minute intervals.
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...