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Welcome to Beijing and the start of your exclusive Oriental Adventure! On arrival into Beijing International Airport you will be met by and On The Go Representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, so you can start exploring Beijing independently or relax and rest up for the evening at the hotel.
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills. Returning to the city we make a stop along the way to visit the Ming Emperors Tombs then onto your hotel.
Today you will set out to sightsee the nation's capital, starting with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square - home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and many important events in Chinese history - most notably the 1989 Student Protests. The Forbidden City - so called as it was only visited by people on Imperial business up until 1911 - is a vision in grandeur with yellow roofs, vermilion walls and the innermost sanctum of Beijing. This afternoon you will walk through the city's many temples, grand halls and courtyards before visiting the Temple of Heaven later today.
Spend the morning touring the famous Summer Palace on Kunming Lake. 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 en route to the train station where we take the late afternoon bullet train to Luoyang. Reaching speeds of up to 305km per hour the journey is an experience in itself!
Today we 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.
After breakfast we visit the Peony Square to watch ballroom dancing, tai chi and sword fighting. Afterwards we board the new high speed train to Xi'an (journey time approximately 3 hours). Once in Xi'an we visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, Grand Mosque and Muslim quarter and this evening have a delicious local dinner. The evening is at leisure.
This morning we visit the Huaqing Hot Springs and then the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where some 7,000 warriors stand in battle ready position and a factory demonstrating how the warriors are crafted.
Your morning in Xi'an starts with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda before a leisurely bike ride around the City Wall, which dates from the Ming Dynasty. You then head to the local Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque.
This morning we fly to Chengdu - capital of Sichuan province - famed for its outstanding natural beauty, fiery cuisine and China’s first, largest and best known Panda research and breeding centre. On arrival into the station you'll be transferred to your hotel. Afterwards, visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple, the Tomb of Wang Jian and Jinli Lu street - part of the old city where an open air theatre and Sichuan Opera are performed in the evening you can opt to book and attend a performance locally if you like.
A short drive out of town takes you to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where we spend the entire day getting up close and personal to our cuddly friends. Later we head to the airport and fly 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. (OVERNIGHT 5* CRUISE ONE OF THE PRESIDENT FLEET)
Good morning from the River Yangtze! At 6340km in length, the Yangtze is the 3rd longest river in the world, neatly dividing China into north and south and wending its way through eight very different provinces. The Gorges are a breathtaking sight! Whilst cruising today and tomorrow, shore excursions are offered at no additional expense to Shibaozhai and Shennong stream, with its unique scenery and four natural gorges. Drift serenely along the stream in small, open ‘pea pod boats’, looking out upon lush greenery, jagged peaks and ancient villages of the Tujia people - one of the local ethnic minorities. (OVERNIGHT 5* CRUISE ONE OF THE PRESIDENT FLEET)
We disembark from our cruise in Yichang late this morning and catch a flight to Shanghai. Here, our friendly tea, await to transfer you to your hotel.
Today you 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 along the Huangpu River .
Today we take a high speed train journey to ancient Suzhou. A sort of oriental Venice, ancient Suzhou is interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways which feed a series of classical gardens, laid out here since the Song dynasty, a thousand years ago. They are justly famous across China. Suzhou sits very close to the Grand Canal. We enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, tour the Humble Administrator’s Garden and visit a silk workshop before returning to the city by train.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...