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Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel, where you sit back and relax after your long flight.
Today we explore the heart of Beijing including the vast Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao’s tomb is located. Dominating the city’s heart is the Forbidden City, a centre of power for five centuries and seat of the emperors. Entering through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, we enjoy a guided walk of this old city within a city.
Today we drive out of the city to Badaling, where we can walk a section of the Great Wall. Some sections are fairly steep, but the walk on the vast wall is one of those ‘must do’ experiences! We visit the tombs of the Ming emperors and a cloisonne workshop, where we’ll see firsthand the unique Chinese art of combining copper and enamel.
We have a guided visit to the Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace with its UNESCO-listed imperial gardens, located on Kunming Lake. Overnight train to Pingyao.
On arrival into Pingyao you will be transferred to your hotel. Later today we will have a guided tour of possibly the best-preserved ancient walled city in China, charming Pingyao is a city of beauty where red lanterns sway against grey brick walls and cobbled streets lead you to imperial residences and ancient temples. Mostly off-limits to cars, the city resembles a movie-set with its buildings almost entirely from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
This morning after breakfast we will have a tour of The Temple of the City God which consists of several courtyards, halls and a magnificent three-gate wood archway. It also retains a main hall very much in its original state. Later today we will head to the train station for our onward journey to Xian.
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. Today, we visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors and a workshop where clay warrior replicas are made. Tonight why not add on our Tang Dynasty bolt-on and experience a musical and dance extravaganza!
Today, we visit the city symbol, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, before enjoying a leisurely bike ride on Xi’an’s medieval City Wall, which dates from the Ming dynasty. We then visit the local Muslim Quarter. This afternoon we will take the express train to the ancient city of Luoyang.
Luoyang was once the center of the Chinese universe and home to over 1,300 Buddhist temples. The city has a rich history with cultural relics throughout the area and nearly 400,000 artifacts kept in museums. Today we head to Longmen Caves, one of China's few surviving masterpieces of Buddhist rock carving. This invaluable UNESCO listed site began in AD 494 and more than 100,000 images and statues of Buddha appeared over the next 200 years.
This morning you are free at your leisure to pick up some last minute souvenirs before heading on to Shanghai by overnight train.
Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is stunning. After checking into your hotel 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.
A sort of oriental Venice, ancient Suzhou is interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways. We enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, tour the Humble Administrator’s Garden and visit a silk workshop.
We will transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...