Ancient history & fascinating culture make China a must-visit. Stroll the Great Wall & be dwarfed by the high-rises of Beijing & Shanghai. Get up close to the mystic limestone karsts of Yangshuo before being amazed by Xi’an’s famous & incredible Terracotta Army. When you’re not walking in the footsteps of emperors, see this amazing country from a different angle, like on the back of a rickshaw or bike!
Arrive in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Make your way from the airport to the hotel, check-in & let your Chinese adventure begin. Maybe head out into town to take a peek at this city, famed as one of the Four Ancient capitals of China & home to the 2008 Olympic Games. Later, head back to the hotel where you’ll meet your fellow travel buddies & Trip Manager who will be showing you the sights & sounds of China & Hong Kong for the next 12 days.
With our local guide leading the way, we head out of the city today, bound for an in-depth look at some of China’s fascinating ancient history. Located south of Beijing, at a site specially selected by the Emperor Zhu Di, lies the tombs of the Ming Emperors. Here 13 Emperors of the ancient Ming & Qing dynasty were buried during a period of over 200 years. Our Local Guide will explain the history of the tombs at this UNESCO World Heritage Listed site & show you some of the treasure that was retrieved during the tomb excavations. After a delicious lunch, there’s your chance to do a spot of shopping for some locally made souvenirs to take home for family & friends. Later it’s time for an unbeatable experience with a visit to one of the world’s most famous monuments, the Great Wall of China. Built, rebuilt & maintained from the 5th century BC until the 16th century, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Great Wall is now considered to be one of the new 7 Wonders of the World & stretches for over 8,850 km (5,500 mi). Our visit takes us to the Mutianyu section of the Wall. It’s off the beaten track & lacks the bustling crowds, so it’s your chance for some great photos & views as you imagine Mongolian warriors of the past trying to make their way across the Wall into China. Your visit includes a return cable car ride. Tonight is all about going local & indulging in some of the food that China is famous for. Try Wangfujing Night Market – it’s a great place to grab a bite for dinner. Tempt your taste buds with some Chuanr (meat kebabs), Fu Ling Bing (a pancake-like snack made from flour, sugar, honey & other ingredients) or some of the Tanghulu (candied fruits). Later, ask your Trip Manager for some tips on where to head out if you want to experience the party scene in Beijing by night.
Start your day in Beijing with a locally guided tour of Tiananmen Square – the world’s largest city square right in the heart of Beijing. Our expert Local Guide will tell you all about this place & its history. It is home to the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the resting place of the revered Chinese leader & the Monument to the People’s Heroes. It’s also flanked by the Great Hall of the People – the People’s Republic of China’s parliament building, & the National Museum of China. As the cultural & political centre of China, there’s so much to learn & discover while you’re here. There is plenty of time for photos before we walk through the Tiananmen Gate that leads into the famous Forbidden City. This massive former home to the Emperors of China was once off-limits to anyone but the royal court. Our local expert will show you the highlights & fill you in on the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site. Later, it’s your chance to get off the beaten track & explore the 798 Art District. This cool area is home to lots of former military factories that have been reclaimed & transformed into a thriving artistic community for Chinese artists. With some free time here, marvel at some of the modern sculptures or wander through architecturally distinctive factories that have been transformed into art galleries. Experience the stuff of legends today as we visit the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics. In the hands of our expert Local Guide you’ll learn about the recent games as you see all the key iconic sites & stadiums like the Bird’s Nest (Beijing National Stadium) & the Water Cube (Beijing National Aquatics Centre), with plenty of chances for photos. Tonight is your chance to go local & opt in for a delicious local dinner of famous Peking Duck. We’ll head to one of our favourite restaurants where you can indulge in this delicious meal of soft pancakes & crispy duck with spring onions, hoi sin sauce & cucumber – divine!
This morning there’s free time for you to explore Beijing. You could get a shopping fix & visit the Silk Market. It truly is a shopping paradise! With over 1,700 vendors selling everything from handbags to watches, electronic accessories to clothing, jewelry to suitcases – there’s never a shortage of some gifts to take home. If a historical fix or some culture is more your thing, then ask your Trip Manager for some ideas on where’s best to head or check out one of Beijing’s many museums. There’s also the Beijing Zoo for those who are interested in seeing some of the animals that China is famous for such as Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed monkeys, Manchurian Tigers or the Giant Panda. You may want to visit the Temple of Heaven – a location that Chinese emperors would visit annually to pray for prosperity in the coming year. Things get a little bit more local later, as we make our way into one of Beijing’s hutongs. The hutongs are narrow streets, formed with traditional Chinese residences that are still inhabited by local families. Get out on 2 wheels as we cruise around the hutongs in the back of a rickshaw, before a truly local experience – you’ll enjoy something different as we meet a local family living in the area & take a tour of their home before sharing lunch with them. Later, visit Beijing’s World Heritage Listed Summer Palace, referred to as "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design." Our Local Guide will bring the Summer Palace to life describing how one of the Empress Dowagers diverted 30 million tells of silver destined for the Royal Navy to enable the reconstruction of the grounds. Tonight we do as the locals do & take an overnight train to Xi’an.
Wake-up in Xi’an, a former ancient capital of China. Surrounded by old city walls once used to protect the area, Xi’an served as the home to some of many of China’s most important early dynasties. After breakfast, we meet up with our Local Guide, and journey to the countryside & the site of the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Listed Terracotta Army. Marvel at the incredible collection of terracotta sculptures of the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China. After lunch, our Local Guide will show us around the site of the Terracotta Army. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers, excavation projects have unearthed three pits containing over 8,000 soldiers as well as chariots & horses. Our guide will give us an insider’s look at how the site was discovered, its historical significance & the effort that has gone into restoring the warriors. After exploring this site, we go back to Xi’an for tonight’s unmissable optional activity - the Tang Dynasty Dumpling dinner & show. Feast on a main course featuring over 16 types of delicious dumplings, before being entertained at a traditional Chinese cultural show. Afterwards you could explore some of the local nightlife in the brightly lit, tree-lined area of the Xi’an’s South Gate.
Rise, shine, and give your legs a shake out – today we’ll be taking on Xi’an by two wheels. Cycling through the chaotic streets, we’ll be able to poke through back alleys and learn to navigate the city. After a tour of Xi’an’s bustling Muslim area, we’ll head ‘home’ and pack our bags for another incredible destination. After a speedy flight we’ll land in Chengdu, where we can settle into our hotel before heading out to explore the teahouse dotted city.
Team squeals will fill the air at breakfast this morning, as we prepare for half a day at a Panda Sanctuary. If hanging out with these gorgeous creatures hasn’t completely worn you out, you can sign up for a Sichuan Cooking Class in the evening.
This morning we say goodbye to panda land and get ready to board a flight to Guilin. This city will be the gateway to our time in the countryside – it’s time to get a little bit traditional. After a drive out of Guilin we’ll arrive in Yangshuo, where we’ll sip Tsingtao and shop the late night markets. With the quaint setting of this village & surrounding limestone karsts, we may never want to leave this endlessly scenic region. But while we’re here, why not try your hand at a local cooking class or check out the Impression Liu Sanjie show set on the Li River.
On yet another conveniently included flight we’ll hop from Yangshuo to Shanghai, waving to the charming countryside setting on take off. Our ultimate scene change awaits us in Shanghai, a city bursting with energy and neon lights. Not content seeing the city so simply from ground view, we’ll take to the highest viewing platform in the city at the Shanghai Tower.
This morning, shop Shanghai-style as we visit the Chenghuang Miao (City God Temple). With three temples & a surrounding complex of shops, restaurants & teahouses to be explored, you can people watch, shop, eat or just take time to chill. Later, it’s more sightseeing as we head to the famous Bund, Shanghai’s riverside promenade. Historic buildings line the road that contains wharves, while views over the Huangpu River show off the famous skyline of Pudong. Then the city is yours to explore. Your Trip Manager has loads of ideas for ways to spend this afternoon. Maybe a visit the popular shopping street of Nanjing or see a different side of the country’s Communist history at the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. With free time tonight, you could grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the Xintiandi district, which are made up of renovated shikumen (traditional stone houses). Later, you could ask your Trip Manager for some tips on where to check out Shanghai. There’s the option to see a Chinese Acrobatic Show – a brilliant 1.5 hour show that features acrobatics, contortion and tightrope acts. This is a must-see while in Shanghai! Later, you could head out for a drink in the city, but don’t forget to take photos of Shanghai’s neon-tinged skyline before you go.
It’s time to swap addresses, emails & numbers this morning as our trip ends after breakfast.
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Trip Name: China Adventure (From Apr 2018)
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: £2,061
Supplier Tour ID: CHINAD/203859
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