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Best of China

This trip blends the perfect mix of Chinas major metropolises with a priceless opportunity to experience traditional rural life. Explore hidden corners of Beijings Forbidden City. Cycle along ancient city walls and learn about Xians famed terracotta soldiers. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the gorgeous Li River and marvel at the ancient art of shadow puppetry. Our local CEO knows just where to take you for the best highlights of this incredible country.

  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ACBNG/155163
  • Starts: Beijing, China
  • Finishes: Shanghai, China
You will Visit
  • Beijing
  • Shanghai

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Beijing

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a Peking Duck welcome dinner.

02

Day 2: Beijing

Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Spend time exploring the towers, views, and the magnificent structure of this unique wonder.
One of the greatest structures ever built, the Great Wall was constructed in stages over 2,000 years. This massive structure stretches 6,000km (3,728 mi) westwards from the sea to western China. The section we visit is called Mutianyu and is one of the best preserved Ming Dynasty sections reachable from Beijing.

03

Day 3: Beijing

Explore historic Beijing including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. After, take a walk through the hutongs, local backstreet neighbourhoods.
Today we delve into the history of Beijing, visiting the dramatic Forbidden City and the immense Tiananmen Square. Hear tales of emperors and their concubines, a long crafted culture and rich tradition. Witness how ancient Chinese customs are still valued today, while also blended with modern technology and western influences. Visit the Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds, full of locals whiling the hours away practicing water calligraphy and Tai Chi, playing cards, and walking pet crickets, all with the colourful Temple of Heaven in the background. Take a walking tour featuring some of Beijing's traditional alleyways and backstreets known as hutongs.

04

Day 4: Beijing/Xi’an

Continue to explore Beijing with our local CEO and enjoy some free time on your own. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Xi'an.
Accommodation this evening will be in Soft Sleeper train cars which have 8-9 compartments per cabin. Each compartment includes 4 beds (two upper and two lower beds) and a sliding door which can be locked. Beds include a quilt, pillow, sheet, and reading lamp with space for luggage in each compartment.

05

Day 5: Xi’an

Explore Xi'an like the locals with a bike ride along the ancient city walls. Later, visit the Muslim Quarter and local markets and enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at the historic Gao's Grand Courtyard House. Visit backstage, interacting with the local artists, and enjoying a performance of shadow puppetry.
Arrive in the ancient Chinese capital and traditional silk road terminus, Xi'an, in the morning. We will be met and transferred to our hotel. After settling in, we will gather for an inner city bike ride along the 14km (9 mi) of ancient city walls.

In the evening, explore the multicultural feel of the Muslim Quarter with shopping lanes and street-side food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and a fine array of sweets. Opt to try some of the best street food in China – the spicy beef and lamb kebabs are always a favourite.

06

Day 6: Xi’an

Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors the archaeological wonder built over 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Afterwards, visit a Village and enjoy lunch. Opt to enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner banquet in the evening.

07

Day 7: Xi’an/Yangshuo

Fly to Guilin and continue on to China's lush southwest to experience the rural culture and unique limestone karst scenery of the Yangshuo area. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Li River.

08

Day 8: Yangshuo

Trek through the beautiful countryside, passing through villages and rice and fruit fields. Later, try preparing local cuisine at a cooking school and enjoy the results for dinner.

09

Day 9: Yangshuo

Rise early for a private Tai Chi class with a local expert. Later, you'll have an opportunity to wander the shop and cafe-lined streets or relax with a drink.
Enjoy a free afternoon, which you can choose to spend relaxing. Later on, opt to experience some of Yangshuo's vibrant nightlife.

10

Day 10: Yangshuo/Shanghai

Fly to Shanghai and take an orientation walk along the Bund area.
In a great day of contrasts, you'll awake overlooking the rural countryside and finish the day in the heart of China's bustling metropolis, Shanghai.

Cosmopolitan Shanghai is a mesmerizing array of old and new, from the 19th century Asian-infused Victorian and early 20th century Art Deco architecture to the bold 21st century futuristic skyline additions.

11

Day 11: Shanghai

Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance.

12

Day 12: Shanghai

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Chinese Shadow Puppetry, Xi’an National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tai Chi Class, Yangshuo Hands-On: Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo, Yangshuo
    • Arrival transfer
    • Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven
    • Visit Beijing's traditional hutongs
    • Excursion to the Great Wall
    • Xi'an Muslim quarter orientation walk
    • Cycle along the Xi'an city walls
    • Terracotta warriors tour
    • Lunch in a local village
    • Li River boat ride
    • Walk through the countryside with village visits
    • Shanghai orientation walk
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (10 nts), soft-sleeper train (1 nt)
    • 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private bus, plane, boat, train, bicycle, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Walk the Great Wall and cycle along the Xi'an city walls
  • Explore Beijing's traditional alleys and backstreets known as hutongs
  • Enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry
  • Face the Terracotta Warriors and visit the farming community where they were discovered
  • Learn to cook local specialities at a rural cooking school