Explore the highlights of China starting in Beijing with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before exploring two parts of the Great Wall at Badaling and Juyongguan Pass. Travel onwards to Xi’an and meet the Terracotta Warriors. Continue to Shanghai and Suzhou – two of the south’s most fascinating cities – both ancient and modern.
Day 1: Beijing
Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in.
Day 2: Forbidden City
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing, China’s magnificent capital, including the massive Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing and 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 at a city restaurant.
Day 3: The 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. This evening we spend the night at our quaint hotel at the foot of the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass.
Day 4: Morning at the Great Wall
Beijing – Xi’an.We rise early this morning and head to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass for when it opens to beat the crowds. We have time to enjoy and explore the wall before visiting a Jade Carving Centre to learn about this ornamental rock and its importance in Chinese culture. After lunch we head back to Beijing. Free time is offered in the cavernous Silk Alley Market, before travelling by express soft sleeper train to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province.
Day 5: Terracotta Warriors
Arrive Xi’an and hotel check in. Later we tour the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where some 7,000 warriors stand in battle ready position and a factory demonstrating how the warriors are crafted. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Day 6: Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Xi’an – Shanghai. Spend the morning at leisure. Later we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and take a bicycle ride along Xi’an medieval City Wall. Dinner is served early this evening prior to boarding the overnight express train bound for Shanghai.
Day 7: Sizzling Shanghai!
Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps, China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is stunning. After breakfast at our hotel, we take a tour of the many city sights including Yuyuan Garden and The Bund, with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
Day 8: Suzhou – an oriental Venice
Shanghai – Suzhou – Shanghai. Today we take a high speed train journey to ancient Suzhou. A sort of oriental Venice, ancient Suzhou is interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways which feed a series of classical gardens, laid out here since the Song dynasty, a thousand years ago. They are justly famous across China. Suzhou sits very close to the Grand Canal. We enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, tour the Humble Administrator’s Garden and visit a silk workshop.
Day 9: Shanghai
Sunday. Shanghai. Our tour ends after breakfast and onward departure transfer to airport.