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Welcome to Beijing! Arrival transfer from the airport to our hotel. Overnight - Beijing
Today, 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. The Forbidden City, was the seat of the great emperors and the innermost sanctum of the Beijing. Enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a city restaurant. Take an overnight Train to Datong Overnight - Train (B, D)
You arrive into Datong early giving you a whole day to explore the area. Take a guided sightseeing walk around the Yungang Grottoes (some of the first and grandest of Buddhist grottoes containing intricately carved buddhas of all shapes and sizes), Huayan Temple, Nine Dragon Wall and Shanua Temple. The Nine Dragon Wall is a 600-year-old Nine-Dragon Screen made up of glazed tiles, the 50-m ceramic wall depicts a fire breathing dragon. Overnight - Datong
Today you head over to the Hanging Temple and the Wood Pagoda for more sightseeing. The Hanging Temple is a sight to behold and is a structure that seriously defies gravity. Constructed on an impossibly precipitous rockface, it literally hugs the cliff. Overnight – Datong
Today, 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. The Forbidden City, was the seat of the great emperors and the innermost sanctum of the Beijing. Built between 1406 and 1420, it served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a city restaurant. Overnight - Beijing
Arriving back into Beijing you visit Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace with its UNESCO-listed imperial gardens, located on Kunming Lake. Overnight Beijing
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 practised and ancient craft. Tonight catch an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an. Overnight - Sleeper Train
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. Overnight - Xi'an
Xi’an - Guilin. 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. Overnight - Guilin
Guilin - Yangshou - 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. Overnight - Guilin
Guilin - Hangzhou. 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, 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. On day 8 visit Six Harmonies Pagoda and Chinese Tea Museum. The following day explore the West Lake, Lingyin Temple and take a bicycle ride. Overnight - Hangzhou
Huangzhou - Tunxi. 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. Overnight - Tunxi
Visit Huangshan by cable car. 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. Set amidst rural landscapes and with its slopes clad in pine, the ethereal scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. 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. Overnight - Huangshan (Yellow Mountain)
Tunxi - Suzhou. 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. On day 14 a cruise on the Grand Canal exposes Suzhou’s beauty. Also visit a silk workshop and the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Overnight - Suzhou
Suzhou - Zhouzhuang - Shanghai. En route to Shanghai stop off at lovely Zhouzhuang - an ancient town featuring traditional buildings, small bridges and tree-lined waterways astride the Jinghang Canal. 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. On day 16 tour the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Old City area, Oriental Pearl TV tower and Shanghai Museum. Overnight - Shanghai
Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to the airport.
The discovery of despotic Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors occurred in 1974 when local farmers digging...