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Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel.
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing, China's magnificent capital, 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. This afternoon we take a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing and this evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant.
Today, drive to Badaling, where we can walk on a section of the famous Great Wall. A symbol of total Chinese genius, the Great Wall is a cultural icon. At least 20 dynasties were involved in its construction. Stretching some 6700 kilometres, we walk along just a small chunk of this massive masterpiece of human endeavour. Later we visit a cloisonne workshop, viewing the step-by-step process of this curious, yet quite beautiful art form. This evening take an optional Beijing by Night city tour and see some of the capital's monuments illuminated against the night sky (payable locally).
At the Summer Palace on Kunming Lake, we view the lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902. The Long Corridor, a hand painted 730m covered walkway, offers gentle respite from the elements. This afternoon, even the most hardened non-shoppers can’t help coming away with a few goodies at the Silk Alley markets. Name-brand attire, bling-bling jewellery, knock-off handbags and shoes are popular acquisitions. Later we travel by train to Xi’an viewing en route the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Centre.
Xi’an is Shaanxi Province is perhaps most famous for Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the 7,000 life-sized soldiers, some 2,200 years old, stand battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. We tour the archaeological site and Terracotta warrior replica workshop.
Spend the morning at leisure before touring the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and taking a bike ride along the great Old City Wall. Peering from the Old City Wall offers spectacular, if not unique views of the city and residence going about their daily lives.
Spend the morning at leisure before flying to Chongqing, the start point for our exciting Yangtze River cruise. Before boarding the cruise we can stroll along Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.
The first gorge we pass, Qutangxia Gorge is the shortest and narrowest yet the most impressive. Here, the dramatic 1200m limestone peaks are often shrouded in mist and the river shoots through the narrow entrance with great haste. Next comes Wuxia Gorge, which straddles Sichuan and Hubei Provinces. Lined by twelve sheer peaks, Wuxia offers an spectacular vista for some 45km. Finally is Xiling Gorge, the longest at 75km and which comprises seven smaller gorges. During our cruise, we’ll also sail through the new ship locks of the impressive Three Gorges Dam construction. Whilst cruising, shore excursions are offered at no additional expense.
We disembark from our cruise in Yichang late this morning. After lunch we take a high speed train bound for Nanjing. Reaching speeds of over 310km per hour we head to Nanjing in just a little more than 5.5 hours arriving late evening.
Spend the morning at leisure before we enjoy lunch and embark on our afternoon city sightseeing tour. Former capital of the Ming Dynasty and capital of Republican China, from 1911 - 1949, Nanjing holds a rich history of both ancient and modern China. We visit the Fuzi Miao (Temple of Confucius) and the Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre, which is a moving experience that charts the atrocities committed at this very site.
A short train journey East is Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. The charming city boasts extensive waterways and canals dotted with traditional bridges, houses and gardens. A cruise on the Grand Canal exposes Suzhou’s beauty, as does our exploration of the humble administrator’s house and garden.
An hour’s journey brings us to bustling Shanghai to enjoy a city tour including the Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, French Quarter, The Bund and the Yunnan Gardens and Old City.
Departure transfer to the airport.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...