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  • The Forbidden City in Beijing, China
  • The Great Wall, China
  • The Shanghai skyline, China
  • The bronze horse and chariot in Xi'an, China
  • The Terracotta Warriors at Xi'an, CHina
Route:
Beijing to Shanghai
Days:
15
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: JGCYY
Price From:
US$4,949.00
Countries Visited:

Starting this wonderful expose of China in Beijing, we journey into the heart of China marvelling at all its ancient wonders along the way; from the Great Wall and Beijing's Forbidden City to the Terracotta Warriors on guard in Xi'an. Cruise the mighty Yangtze River and while dwarfed by steep slopes either side of you before ending in decadent Shanghai.

What's Included

Excursions

  • Arrival & Departure Transfer
  • Chinese Acrobatic Performance
  • Bike ride in Xi'an
  • Guided Tour of Beijing
  • Guided Tour of Xi'an
  • Guided Tour of Nanjiing
  • Guided Tour of Suzhou
  • Rickshaw Ride through the Hutongs

Accommodation

11 night(s) in hotels, 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains, 3 night(s) on Yangtze cruise boat

Transportation

Flight

Meals

15 breakfast, 4 lunch, 6 dinner

Staff & Experts

Group Tour Leader, English-speaking local guide(s) on included excursions, Group tour leader

What's Not Included

  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes  
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.  
  • Optional excursions - Please see the optional excursions on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 2 - Arrive Beijing

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

For centuries the political heart of this hugely historic country, Beijing is an ever changing city and a looking glass between old and new, with an abundance of activities to enjoy.

Beginning the day with a pre-departure meeting, we soon head off on a guided sightseeing tour of the nation's capital, host of the 2008 Olympics. For 800 years Beijing has served as capital for several powerful dynasties. We visit iconic Tiananmen Square, home to the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the founder of Communist China and also the infamous scene of a student uprising and subsequent killings in 1989. On one side of Tiananmen Square is possibly Beijing's most famous sight, the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The gate is the main entry to the Forbidden City. A vision in grandeur, this 'city within a city' was once forbidden to anyone not on imperial business until as late as 1911. It is reported to house 9,999 rooms over 720,00 square metres. Later we take an exciting rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, weaving through old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, gaining a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. 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

Optional Excursions

Summer Palace – CNY30 • Beijing Opera – US$40 • Temple of Heaven – CNY35 • Beijing Duck Dinner – US$10 • Gate of Heavely Peace – CNY15 • Chairman Mao Museum – free • Lama Temple – CNY25 • White Cloud Temple – CNY20 • Forbidden City – CNY60

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 3 to 3 - Great Wall of China

The following morning we head out of town for the not-to-be-missed highlight that is a visit to the Great Wall. We travel to a place called Badaling, where we will walk along sections of the wall. No amount of photos can do justice to the sheer scale of the wall and the enormity of the undertaking in constructing it as a line of defence. The whole wall stretches for a seemingly-endless 7,000 kilometres over mountains and through desert all the way to the north-eastern corner of China. Now a UNESCO-protected site, the wall's construction spanned 2,000 years and some 20 different dynasties. The vigorous walk up and along the wall provides a rewarding vista of the rest of the wall winding its way past the horizon and of the surrounding countryside. We then visit the Jade Carving center before heading to our hotel at the foot of the Great Wall at Juuongguan Pass

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 4 to 4 - Overnight Train to Xi'an

We rise early this morning and head to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass in time to beat the crowds. Heading back to Beijing we have some time to take an optional trip to the cavernous Pearl Market. Tonight we will catch an overnight train to Xi'an.

Included Excursions

Arrival & Departure Transfer

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 5 to 5 - Xi'an

On our first morning in Xi'an we take a a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the enduring symbol of Xi'an, which was first built in 652 to hold sutras collected in India by a wandering monk. We then go for a leisurely bike ride on Xi'an's medieval city wall and visit to the Muslim Quarter. The spectacular wall and moat is 15 kilometres in perimeter and dates back to the Ming Dynasty. In the evening you have the option of a Tang Dynasty dinner and a performance of Chang'an music and dance, originally performed for the illustrious emperors.

Included Excursions

Chinese Acrobatic Performance

Optional Excursions

Drum Towers – CNY27 • Great Mosque – CNY25 • Goose Pagoda – CNY25 (additional charge of CNY20 to climb the pagoda) • Small wild goose pagoda – CNY50 • City Walls – CNY40

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 6 to 6 - Xi'an

Today we discover one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century: Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors. Made up of some 7,000 life-sized soldiers standing in military formation in excavated pits under what can only be described as a great big aircraft hangar. Made of local clay, no two soldiers' faces are alike, as each is said to be an individual portrait, which does little to make it any less eerie.

Emperor Qin's army of 2,200-year-old soldiers was discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well. The reason for the warriors was that emperors were buried with their slaves, but slavery had been abolished by the time of Qin. To compensate, the emperor had the warriors made to protect him in the afterlife. Many of the soldiers are severely dismembered, said to be the result of a peasant revolt after the emperor's death rather than the passage of time. The emperor's tumulus (ancient grave mound) is located about a mile away and, according to folklore, contains untold treasures and so far nothing but a few exploratory digs have been attempted to find out. In the evening you have the option of a Tang Dynasty dinner and a performance of Chang'an music and dance, originally performed for the illustrious emperors.

Later in the day we head to the airport for our flight to Chengdu, where you will have the rest of the evening at leisure.

Included Excursions

Bike ride in Xi'an

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 7 to 7 - Giant Buddha of Leshan

Driving to Leshan explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dafo (Great Buddha), which is carved into the red sandstone face of Lingyun Hill, overlooking the treacherous confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it. By standing at Dafo's huge 8m feet, you can really appreciate the scale of one of the world's largest Buddhas. Talking numbers, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m! In the afternoon we head to the Huanglongxi Ancient Town, ow restored to its former glory of ancient cobbled streets, ornate temples, and houses along its intriguing curving alleyways.

Included Excursions

Guided Tour of Beijing

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 8 to 8 - Panda Research Base

Our first stop is the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened in 1993, it is fast becoming one of China's must see places. The area in which it is based is the ancestral homeland of the Giant Panda. The centre has been created to help and imitate the pandas' natural habitat, so they have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding, which is very important as the Giant Panda is one of the world's most endangered species. Afterwards, we visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple and Jinli Lu street - part of the old city where an open air theatre is located. You can choose to attend a performance of the Sichuan Opera in the evening.

Optional Excursions

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – CNY58

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 9 to 9 - Chongqing

Today we drive to Chongqing, the starting point for your Yangtze river cruise. The afternoon will allow you time to the People's Square in the city centre.

Accommodation

1 night(s) on Yangtze cruise boat. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 10 to 11 - Yangtze River cruise

After spending our first night onboard the boat, this morning we begin our epic cruise down the mighty Yangtze River. One of China's most important arteries and stretching for over 6,000 kilometres, the Yangtze is the third longest river in the world and naturally dissects China from north to south. In the higher reaches of the river we travel through the utterly stunning Three Gorges. The first we sail through, the Qutangxia Gorge, is the shortest but narrowest. Here the river squeezes through 1,000-metre high limestone peaks that seem to spring up in and out of the mist. We step on to dry land for two hours at either Fengdu 'Ghost City' or Shibaozhai 'Stone Treasure Fortress'. In the Chinese vision of the afterlife, the dead must undergo three major tests to enter the netherworld. These tests are taken at three locations: Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge; Ghost Torturing Pass and the Tianzi (son of heaven) Palace. These three locations are among many attractions in the Ghost City. At Shibaozhai you can explore the beautiful 12-floor fortress, laden with fascinating murals, artefacts, paintings and statues. You will have the option to also visit White Emperor City.

On the second day of the cruise the Yangtze draws us through Wuxia Gorge. Here the scenery has changed and we are treated to lush green trees and rising mists at every turn. We will hope to spot the twelve peaks that penetrate the mist. Today's excursion is to Shennong Stream where we transfer to a smaller 'peapod' boat and visit the serenely beautiful Shennong Lesser Gorge a tributary of the Yangtze. There is a host of wildlife we may see from monkeys and birds above us to different fish below. As we head up the gorge we pass curious caves and the coffins of the Ba people surreally suspended from the cliffs.

Included Excursions

Guided Tour of Xi'an,Guided Tour of Nanjiing

Accommodation

2 night(s) on Yangtze cruise boat

Meals

2 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 12 to 14 - Nanjing & Suzhou

Still on our cruise, today we pass through the Xiling Gorge which is in fact made up of several smaller ones. After lunch we disembark the boat for the last time and move on to Wuhan for the night.

The next morning it's all aboard the high speed D3008 (Hankou - Shanghai) train bound for Nanjing. Reaching speeds of 250 kilometres per hour it's not long before we pull in to Nanjing. This afternoon we have a sightseeing tour of the city that was capital during the Ming dynasty and that of the China Republic from 1911-1949. We will visit the Fuzi Mao (Temple of Confucius) and the Memorial Hall to the Nanjing massacre, more commonly known as the Rape of Nanking, a moving experience and reminder of darker periods in this country's history.

After Nanjing a short train journey east takes us to Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. This 'Venice of the east' is made up of a patchwork of canals and waterways. We will get to cruise the Grand Canal, which at over 1,800 kilometres in length is the longest canal on Earth. Later in the day there will also be a visit to a silk workshop.

Included Excursions

Guided Tour of Suzhou,Rickshaw Ride through the Hutongs,Guided Tour of Beijing

Optional Excursions

Nanjing Treaty History Museum – CNY10 • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum – free • Nanjing River Bridge – CNY20 • Sun Yatsen Mausoleum – CNY80 • Ming Xiaoling Tomb – CNY70 • Zijin Shan Observatory – CNY30 • Ming City Walls – free • Ming City Gates – CNY20 • Drum Tower – free • Bell Tower – free Garden of the Master of the Nets – CNY20 • Humble administrator garden – CNY70 • Suzhou Silk Museum – CNY15 • Blue Wave Pavillion – CNY15 • Luzhi Spots Entrance – CNY80 • Luzhi Canal Cruise – CNY40

Accommodation

3 night(s) in hotels

Meals

3 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 15 to 15 - Shanghai

The name Shanghai is synonymous with wonder and oriental decadence. Prior to 1949, the city was a magnet for fortune seekers, idle foreigners, explorers and the dispossessed. The reason for this laissez faire attitude to all things commercial and social was to do with the notion of extraterritoriality, which meant foreign nationals were not bound by any local laws but by the laws and norms established by their respective consuls. Basically anything went. Until 1949, foreigners dominated commerce, banking and industry, amassing huge fortunes and transforming the landscape of foreign concessionary sections of Shanghai. This all came to a spectacular end in 1949, when the People's Liberation Army under Mao took power. One legacy of these heady times is Shanghai's Bund, where several colonial buildings line the promenade.

For the next two days you are free to explore Shanghai at your own pace. You might want to consider taking in the stunning Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, the charming Yuyuan Gardens as well as the Bund and Old City. In the evening a cruise on the Huangpu River is a popular way to enjoy your last evening in this fabulous city.

Optional Excursions

Jade Buddah Temple – CNY10 • Shanghai Plaza Tower– CNY100 • Shanghai Museum – free • Urban Town Planning Museum – CNY40 • Shanghai World Finance Centre – CNY150 • Yu Yuan Garden – CNY300

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 16 to 16 - Depart Shanghai

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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