Fine China - 13 Days
From 2022-04-23 to 2022-11-19
12 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners (a traditional Chinese meal in Beijing and a local dinner in Xi'an).
12 nights 3 - 4 star hotels.
Chinese acrobatic performance.
Rickshaw ride through Beijings' Hutongs.
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall.
Raft/cruise excursion on the Yulonghe River.
2 economy class flights: Xi’an - Guilin and Guilin - Shanghai.
Touring of Beijing, Badaling, Juyongguan, Luoyang, Xi'an, Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng.
Tour Guide escorted for groups of 6 or more.
English speaking specialist guides at local sights.
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles.
Beijing Capital Airport arrival transfer on day 1 and departure transfer day 13 from Shanghai Airport.
2 high speed trains: Beijing - Luoyang and Luoyang - Xi'an.
Day 1 - Beijing Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer from Beijing Capital Airport to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to independently explore this astonishing city.
Day 2 - Beijing Today, we embark on a tour of the nation’s capital. The famous portrait of Mao Zedong, China’s communist father still looks out over gargantuan Tiananmen Square from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. On the square you can't miss the mausoleum, an austere behemoth in granite where Mao lies in state in his crystal coffin. We take a stroll in the square all under the watchful eye of the dutiful guards. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden city was forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. We enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. The Forbidden city boasts 9999 rooms! Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing.
This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck.
Day 3 - Great Wall After a free morning to further explore the city, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills. We also visit a Jade Carving Centre before heading to our quaint hotel near Juyongguan Pass, which offers views of the Great Wall.
Day 4 - Juyongguan Pass Beijing - Luoyang. We rise early this morning and head (5 min bus drive) to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass when it opens to beat the crowds. Later we return to Beijing to explore the famous Pearl Market - an Aladdin's Cave of clothing, jewellery and electronic gadgets before taking an afternoon bullet train to Luoyang. Reaching speeds of up to 305km per hour the journey is an experience in itself! Check in to hotel in Luoyang, late evening.
Day 5 - Luoyang First thing today we drive to the Shaolin Kung Fu Temple (approx 2 hours), set on the foothills of the Songshan Mountain. Here generation after generation of Shaolin monks have devoted themselves to practising Chan Buddhism and a martial art widely recognised as the origins of kung fu. Over the years hundreds, if not thousands, of people have flocked to this very site to learn this ancient discipline and we'll have the opportunity to watch a performance of kung fu during our visit. Returning to Luoyang you’ll have some free time, and the option to walk to Xiyuan Park where ball room dancing, tai chi, aerobics and badminton lessons take place every evening.
Day 6 - Luoyang Luoyang - Xi’an. Today we explore the UNESCO-listed 5th and 6th Century Longmen Caves etched into the cliffs of the Yi River. The 2,300 caves (grottoes) are adorned with 110,000 statues and images of Buddha carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty. This afternoon we board the high speed train to Xi’an (journey time approx 2hrs). After hotel check-in and some time to fresh up we’ll embark on a casual bike ride around the Xi’an City Wall. Looking down as you peddle offers delightful views of the city hubbub and daily life with the Old City in the centre of the walls and the modern city on the outside.
Day 7 - Xi'an Most famous for the legendary Terracotta Warriors, perhaps the greatest find of the 20th century and only just usurped by the discovery of King Tut’s gold-laden tomb in Egypt. These warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike, each is said to be an individual portrait. We visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site and a workshop where warrior figurines are made. Tonight, we welcome you to join the optional Tang Dynasty Show, which includes dinner, a traditional performance and transfers (bookable locally).
Day 8 - Xi'an Xi’an - Guilin - Yangshou. Today we visit the Wild Goose Pagoda and Grand Mosque and Muslim Quarter of Xi'an, followed by a delicious hot pot lunch. Later we fly south to Guilin, then an onward transfer to Yangshuo (approx 1.5hrs drive), late evening hotel check in.
Day 9-10 - Guilin Yangshuo - Guilin. Renowned for the striking scenery of vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin and Yangshuo are often the subject of many Chinese paintings. Today, we take an hour long rafting cruise along the calm clean waters of Yulonghe River. As our captain punts (propels us forward by pushing against the river bed with a long pole) our flat bottom boat along the shallow waters endless photo opportunities arise. The remainder of our time in Yangshuo is spent at leisure. Choose to hike, hire a bicycle or motorbike and head off on one of the many mountain trails or stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish - a centuries old tradition, though somewhat commercialised these days. Time can also be spent exploring West Street. The ancient alley is laden with quirky shops, tea shops, antiques, calligraphers and art studios. Maybe take a beginners art class with a local painter or enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. By nightfall, sit in any of the al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and delicious speciality foods from the region, catch a film at any of the outdoor cinemas or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical, with a cast of 500 singers and dancers. In the late afternoon of day 10 we return to Guilin.
Day 11 - Longsheng Guilin – Longsheng – Shanghai. A 90 minute drive leads us to Longsheng, to walk the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil up the steep mountain, layer upon layer, climbing to its summit. Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we’ll pass many of the Yao and Red Yao minority women, baskets on their backs, who are also climbing skyward. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views. The full panorama offers thousands of ribbon like terraces cascading to the meandering streams and valley floor beneath. Returning to Guilin, transfer to the airport and board an evening flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival you'll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 12 - Shanghai Focus your eyes on Shanghai! Today is free day for you to independently explore the city. Perhaps visit The Bund, Jade Buddha Temple or the Old City where you can shop on Nanjing Road. Head for the Shanghai Plaza Tower at sunset, Shanghai dazzles at dusk!
Day 13 - Shanghai Thursday. After breakfast and hotel check out, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
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