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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. This evening, enjoy dinner in a city restaurant. (Timings: Leave hotel at 08:30, back to hotel 13:00-14:00, dinner at local restaurant - leave hotel 18:00-18:30)
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. (Timings: leave hotel 08:00, back to hotel 17:00-18:00)
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 Xi’an after some free time for dinner and drinks. (Timings: leave hotel 12:30, Overnight train departing 19:57)
Pulling into Xi'an Station, our friendly guide will be there to meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Later today, we visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors, Huanqing Hot Springs and a workshop where clay warrior replicas are made. (Timings: arrive 07:58, leave hotel 09:30, back to hotel 19:00).
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 and Great Mosque. Later, fly from Xi’an to Guilin. (Timings: leave hotel 09:00, flight to Guilin leaves at 18:25, arrives Guilin 20:05).
Renown for it’s striking, if bizarre scenery, vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin is often the subject of Chinese painting. We undertake a relaxing cruise down the River Li to Yangshuo, spending some time exploring its little shops and cafes. Back in Guilin, we visit the enormous Reed Flute Caves. (Timings: leave hotel 08:30, arrive Yangshuo 14:00, back to hotel 19:00)
Today, we fly from Guilin to scenic 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. We visit Six Harmonies Pagoda and Chinese Tea Museum. (Timings: transfer to airport 11:00, flight leaves 12:55, arrives 14:40).
We explore the West Lake, Lingyin Temple and take a bicycle ride in this scenic area. (Timings: leave hotel 09:00, back to hotel at 20:00).
Driving through some of China most scenic landscapes, we head to Tunxi where is at the foot of our destination, Mt Huangshan. Tunxi is an ancient town with some amazing well preserved Ming and Qing buildings. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and head out to explore on your own. (Timings: leave hotel 09:00, arrive Tunxi 12:00, dinner 18:30, back to hotel afterwards).
This morning we enjoy a cable-car journey up the mountain to the scenic area, where you’ll stay. Your guide will take you to see some of the amazing and magical scenic points of interest in the region. (Timings: leave hotel 09:00, back to hotel 16:00. Dinner at hotel).
Considered the most beautiful mountain in China, Yellow Mountain or Huangshan is one of a range of 72 peaks in Anhui Province. Set amidst rural landscapes and with its slopes clad in pine, the scenery is breathtaking which you will enjoy with a full day's guided hike/walk. (Timings: leave hotel 09:00, back to hotel 15:00, dinner at hotel).
What goes up must come down! Heading back down the mountain by cable car, we reach Tunxi once again then take to the highway for the journey to Suzhou, also known as China's Little Venice. (Timings: leave hotel 10:00, arrive Suzhou 15:00).
Today we enjoy a tour of ancient Suzhou, a Venetian-like town with its UNESCO-listed gardens and many waterways and bridges. Enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, which stretches over 1,000 miles from Beijing to Hangzhou and crosses the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. The hubbub of activity comprising boats and people both on and along the Canal offers an amazing sight. (Timings: leave hotel 09:30, back to hotel 15:30. Dinner at hotel)
Enroute to Shanghai we stop off at lovely Zhouzhuang - an ancient town featuring traditional buildings, small bridges and tree-lined waterways astride the Jinghang Canal. Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is breathtaking. Enjoy a tour of the Bund area and a cruise on the Huangpu River. (Timings: leave hotel 09:30, arrive Shanghai hotel 20:00).
Once known for its decadent magnetism that attracted fortune-seekers and adventurers, Shanghai looks like a European city in a Chinese setting. Enjoy a big day out in Shanghai, with a visit to the Oriental Pearl TV tower, Jade Buddha Temple, charming Yuyuan Gardens and the Old City. (Timings: leave hotel 09:30, back to hotel 17:30)
Enjoy a free day for you to explore the sights of Shanghai. Perhaps visit the Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, French Quarter or the Old City and have a drink at landmark Peace Hotel on Shanghai’s famous Bund, with its legendary jazz band which play nostalgic rhythms amidst 1930s Art Deco elegance.
A fond farewell to your new found friends in China. Hotel check out and onward transfers to the airport for your flights home. (departure time is dependent on your flight).
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...