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Welcome to China's city of dreams, and the start of your remarkable journey through epic landscapes, bustling cities and historic wonders. Arriving into Shanghai airport our friendly local team await to whisk you off to your hotel for some much needed rest after the journey.
After a relaxing breakfast we set out to the station to catch the high speed rail to ancient Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. One of China’s most charming cities, Suzhou’s fame rests on its waterways and canals that are dotted with traditional bridges, houses and UNESCO-listed gardens. After check in when you arrive enjoy a fascinating cruise on the Grand Canal which will expose Suzhou’s beauty and ancient ambience. In the afternoon get to understand how silk is produced and made when visiting a silk workshop. Last stop today is a walk in the Humble Administrator’s Garden.
Continuing our journey by high speed rail we make our way to the city of Hangzhou. Hangzhou is unusual for a Chinese city, in that it encompasses large tracts of greenery which might normally be classified as countryside. This is thanks to Xi Hu, the large lake that Hangzhou straddles. The lake is dotted with various islands and causeways, whilst the shoreline offers wonderful vistas of green trees, hills, flowers, pavilions, pagodas and boats. Spend the afternoon with our expert guide exploring the Lingyin Temple and scenic West Lake.
Today, we fly from Hangzhou to charming Guilin. Arriving here, meet with our team who await to take you straight out to see the breathtaking Reed Flute Cave where you will see enchanting stalagmites, stone pillars, stele, stone curtains and stone flowers. We conclude our day with a visit to Elephant Trunk Hill taking in the karst limestone peak scenery and wonderful flora and fauna along the way.
This morning your Li River cruise departs from downtown Guilin for a full days tranquil river drifting. The 90 Km Li River cruise is the centerpiece of any trip to northeastern Guangxi Province. Gorgeous Karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Bear witness to rural China as peasants reap rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. After passing what can only be described as stunning outdoors you arrive in to Yangshuo where you will be met by our local team to move onto your hotel.
Making our way back to the city of Guilin we head to the airport and catch a flight to Kunming. Stepping off the plane here, you will feel you have moved into more tropical climes with it's abundance of flowers having earned it the name ‘City of Eternal Spring’. (OVERNIGHT AT THE CHAMPAGNE UNION OLD HOTEL SERVICE MANSIONS)
Heading out of the city early we make our way through wonderful scenery of mountains and snow capped peaks to the town of Lijiang. Here, for the afternoon we will explore the stunning Black Dragon Pool with its pond reflecting the distant peaks and perfect oriental gardens. End your day with witnessing a Naxi ethnic minority groups folkloric music performance.
Taking a chair lift up the mountains see spectacular peaks in abundance heading up to the Yunshan Terrace where you will see in all it's awe the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Returning back down we visit another of the regions ethnic group exploring Basha Village and see also the Baisha Mural. We conclude our day watching the world famous impressions show and a wander around the Shuhe Old Town of Lijiang.
Travelling by coach today we venture to the fabled town of Shangri-la. Along the way you make a stop at a scenic juncture to see the first bend of the Yangtze River. (OVERNIGHT AT THE SHANGRI-LA MAOYUAN HOTEL)
Today we explore the ancient Songzanlin Monastery, affording you an insight into Tibetan culture and if you come at the right time, you may see the Lama having their evening lessons, and many Tibetan people enjoying the ceremony. On the way back to your hotel we stop to meet and interact with a Tibetan Family. (OVERNIGHT AT THE SHANGRI-LA MAOYUAN HOTEL)
Taking to the sky once more today we fly back north to the city of Xi'an. After a long days travel we simply transfer you to your hotel on arrival for some R&R,
Spend today exploring the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where 7,000 Warriors stand battle ready and have done so for the past 2,200yrs. Try counting them! Visit to a clay workshop specialised in making replica figurines.
We spend the morning at leisure before taking a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and enjoying a bicycle ride atop the long Xi’an City Wall. The wall is long (about 9 miles) but is fairly flat so a relaxing bike ride is a great way to explore some of the city. LAter, we head back to the station and catch the sleeper train to Beijing city.
Welcome to the big smoke of China's capital city. After your arrival transfer, we explore the heart of Beijing including the vast Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao’s tomb and various monuments to the people are located. Dominating the city’s heart is the Forbidden City, a centre of power for five centuries and seat of the emperors.
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.
Spend your last day here exploring the Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake with it's fascinating buildings and gardens.
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 ...