Upon arrival in Beijing, the capital city of China, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by the tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Beijing has served as the capital of five dynasties over a period of 800 years. Today, visit Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world, and the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty. Your welcome banquet includes the local delicacy, Peking Roast Duck .Enjoy rest of the day at leisure or join an optional Temple of Heaven & Hutong Life tour with Dinner (£79/pp). Temple of Heaven, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
Then take a famous rickshaw Hutong Tour & Local Family Visit, this package also includes a traditional Beijing Zhajiangmian (‘Fried Sause Noodles’) as Dinner . Hutongs are traditional alley ways that made up Beijing’s old city planning, take a special rickshaw ride for an immersive tour to get a wonderful glimpse into yesterday’s world, the old way of life and traditional Beijing culture, and see the dramatic changes the city has undergone continue to visit a local family.
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall, the most famous image of China, and a chance to climb a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel. Visit one of the largest Jade Exhibitions in Asia en-route before the Great Wall.
After lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a Cloisonné Factory. Then we will drive pass by modern exteriors of the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. Tonight, you can choose to attend an optional large scale dramatic musical, “The Golden Mask Dynasty” (£50/pp).
Start your tour the exquisite Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient imperial garden in China, and a former summer resort for Emperors. Then, visit a Chinese Herbal Institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years. In the afternoon, depart for Shanghai, and be transferred to Suzhou upon arrival.
This morning, visit the Lingering Garden, one of the classical garden masterpieces on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Suzhou is known as the “Venice of the East” as a large part of the city is covered in water.
After lunch, you may take an optional cruise along the Grand Canal for a glimpse of the local life and China’s golden waterway in its heyday (£35/pp). Then, visit a Silk Spinning Mill to learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the nest thread and cloth. You will be transferred to Wuxi hotel this afternoon.
To start the day, visit a Fresh Water Pearl Farms. Then, head to admire the famous Lingshan Grand Buddha, with a thousand-year old Buddhism temple nearby. Later, you will travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as “the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world”.
Upon arrival, take a boat ride on the West Lake, known for its scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sights. This evening, you can enjoy an optional performance, “Enduring Memories of Hangzhou” (£90/pp), a masterpiece created by Zhang Yimou, the director of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games Opening Ceremony.
In the morning experience an oriental tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. After lunch, travel by coach to Shanghai, the vibrant metropolis and commercial Centre of China. Upon arrival, walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined by the colonial architectures of European design, this area is the best place to capture the western influences of the old days. At night, you may enjoy a Huangpu River Night Cruise (£45/pp)and get a glimpse of the dazzling and charming night view of Shanghai.
Today, visit the Shanghai Museum and indulge in ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade. Later, you will visit Shanghai Old Street, a busy shopping centre where you may find souvenirs and delicious local food. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon. In the evening, attend a thrilling optional Chinese acrobatic show “ERA – The Intersection of Time” at your own expense (£60/pp).
After breakfast, enjoy the morning at leisure and then fly to Xi’an. Xi’an was the first Chinese City to open its doors to the world during the Tang Dynasty. Over a period of more than 2000 years, Xi’an was the capital of eleven dynasties. Upon arrival, visit the Ancient City Wall which is not only the most complete city wall that has survived in China, but also one of the largest and most complete ancient military defence systems in the world. Then, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the city. It is said to have been built to house and protect Buddhist scriptures collected by the Chinese monk, Xuan Zang, the key figure in the classical Chinese novel, “ Journey to the West”.
After breakfast, you will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum and see the attached life-sized defending army to the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. This site is regarded as “ the eighth wonder of the world” and is among the top archaeological excavations of the 20th century. Visit an Art Ceramics Factory before we enjoy the optional tour “special local Imperial Dumpling Banquet Dinner and the traditional Tang Dynasty Singing and Dancing Show” for (£70/pp) in the evening.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will fly to Beijing/Shanghai for connecting flight to London.