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Huan Ying! Welcome to China and the start of your holiday. Upon arrival into Beijing you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. The night of the 4th September has been booked so you can check straight into your room on arrival on the 5th.
After breakfast we set out to sightsee the nation’s capital. Tiananmen Square is a square for the public and also home of the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Communist father of the Communist People’s Republic and the striking Monument to the People’s Heroes. Across the way is the Forbidden City. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden City, once forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. Enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a city restaurant.
Today, travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where you can walk (almost climb on some sections) on the Great Wall. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kms! Continuing on, a visit is made to the tombs of the Ming emperors, where some 13 emperors were interred. The tombs are approached via a sacred gateway and gate houses. Also visit a cloisonne workshop, where you’ll see firsthand the production of decorative items utilising the techniques of this practiced and ancient craft.
Visit Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace with its UNESCO-listed imperial gardens, located on Kunming Lake. Tonight catch an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.
Xi’an is perhaps most famous for the discovery of Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. 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. No two faces are alike – each is said to be an individual portrait. Today, we visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors, Huanqing Hot Springs, a scenic spot in the shadow of Li Mountain and a workshop where crafts people make clay warrior replicas.
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.
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 passing an endless procession of peaks and simple villages. The local fishermen use trained cormorants to catch fish and local village boys paddle out to the river boats with all manner of souvenirs. We spend some time in charming Yangshuo, with its little shops and cafes. Back in Guilin, we visit the enormous Reed Flute Caves.
Take to the skies with our flight 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, whilst the shoreline offers wonderful vistas of green trees, hills, flowers, pavillions, pagodas and boats. Hangzhou is also the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and an important centre for silk, tea and paper-making. We visit Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Chinese Tea Museum.
Today we explore the West Lake, Lingyin Temple, the city's most famous Buddhist temple featuring a magnificent 20m-high statue Sakyamuni. Later enjoy a bicycle ride.
Sitting at the foot of Mt Huangshan, Tunxi is an ancient town that is set around the junction of two rivers in the southernmost area of Anhui Province. Its famous ancient street are lined with many ancient, yet very well preserved, buildings in the Ming and Qing style. Upon arriving in Tunxi, the remainder of the day at leisure.
Considered the most beautiful mountain in China, Yellow Mountain or Huangshan is one of a range of 72 peaks in the south of Anhui Province. Some 9,000 steps have been carved into the mountain, for those that want to walk up the most stunning stairwell on earth, though our excursion does include a return cable-car journey to the scenic area, where you’ll stay for two nights in a hotel at the top.
Set amidst rural landscapes and with its slopes clad in pine, the scenery is simply breathtaking. Today enjoy a guided hike/walk to see some of the amazing and magical scenic points of interest in the region.
Travel 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.
Enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal which exposes Suzhou’s beauty. We also visit a silk workshop and the Humble Administrator’s Garden. At 40,000 square metres, with three linked sections that comprise small lotus ponds, pavilions, islands, bridges and open space, there is nothing humble about the design.
After breakfast we travel to the lovely Zhouzhuang - an ancient town featuring traditional buildings, small bridges and tree-lined waterways astride the Jinghang Canal. Continue on to Shanghai, perhaps China’s most modern city, Shanghai's amazing Pudong skyline is breathtaking. Upon arrival enjoy a tour of the Bund area and a cruise on the Huangpu River.
Enjoy a city tour which includes Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, the Old City area, the Oriental Pearl TV tower for its stunning views and the Shanghai Museum for its mighty collection of relics.
Today is spent at your leisure to explore Shanghai at your own pace. Perhaps enjoy a spot of shopping at Nanjing Road.
Your tour with us comes to an end today, we truly hope you have had a great time, collecting many wonderful memories of this beautiful country. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure flight.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...