Wonders of China
A hugely comprehensive visit of this fascinating country
A hugely comprehensive visit of this fascinating country
We have selected this tour as the most suitable for you as it's your first trip to China. The trip is classed as 'comfortable', though it's worth noting there is a fair amount of walking on some of the tours, but of course they are all voluntary so if you ever wish to just relax in your room or explore on your own, this is certainly doable.
Days 1 & 2
Your holiday starts from home as we have organised a private transfer from Bristol to London Heathrow, from where you will fly overnight to Beijing. On arrival into Beijing International Airport, you will be met by your local guide and transferred approximately 1 hour to your hotel where you will stay for three nights.
Today you'll spend taking in the sights and sounds of buzzing Beijing. You'll take a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs and soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven. You'll visit the majestic Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen Square, built under the guidance of Chairman Mao Zedong, is one of the largest public squares in the world, said to hold a capacity crowd of over one million. The Forbidden City has been the sacred centre of the Chinese empire for 500 years and is a vast complex of over 900 buildings and covers an area of 180 acres.
You will rise early this morning to avoid the traffic to drive two hours northwest to the Juyongguan Pass where you can take a walk on the Great Wall of China. Once your group has been given an introduction to the Great Wall’s unique history, you will have free time to explore at your own pace. Later in the day you'll visit the Summer Palace, the former holiday retreat of the Qing emperors
This morning you will be transferred about one hour to Beijing airport for your two hour ﬂight to Xian. Xian has been a thriving hub for cultural exchange, economic trade as well as national politics for centuries and is home to some of China’s most ancient sights.
Today will take you exploring the magnificent Terracotta Warriors. From the bus park to the museum entrance is a 15-minute walk. There are electric carts offered by private vendors which can be organised at the time. Within the museum area the warriors can be seen in three different ‘pits’, which are active archaeological digs. The site is large and will take about two and a half hours to explore.
After this, you can visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition centre to see smaller models of the warriors being made.
Today you will take a morning ﬂight from Xian to Wuhan, a journey of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. On arrival, it's a rather long six-hour transfer through the countryside to the docks near Yichang which is located downstream from the Three Gorges Dam. Here you will board the Yangtze Cruise ship which will take you on an amazing journey up China’s Yangtze River on a 4-night cruise. Please note the Yangtze River cruise section of your itinerary will not be conﬁrmed by the cruise operators until after you commence your tour as it is subject to local river conditions and water levels. Your local guide will do their utmost to keep you informed of any changes but cannot guarantee against delays or – in rare cases – cancellations of sections of your itinerary.
Visit the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. Disembarking the ship, your coach ride will take 20 minutes to the viewing area above the ship locks where you will be able to truly appreciate the scale of this hydroelectric project. There is also a small museum here and a lookout point. Commenced in 1994 and completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken. The Dam is located near Sandouping, which is in the middle of the Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges Dam is 2,335m long, 185m high, 18m wide on the top and 130m wide at the bottom. The dam has raised the river to a level of 175m above sea level, creating a 600km long reservoir. The building of this huge dam was for the purpose of ﬂood control, electricity, navigation, and irrigation.
Prepare for breathtaking vistas as the ship passes through Wu and Qutang gorges. Switching to smaller vessels, take a relaxing trip on the Goddess Stream cruising through the beautiful and narrow gorges for 15km. Many protected species call the stunning peaks their home including monkeys, mountain goats, deer and wild boar.
Today you will visit the Shibaozhai Temple, an 18th century architectural marvel. This small temple was built at the top of a nine-storey pavilion clinging to the sheer south bank near Qutang Gorge. Sightseeing involves climbing nine storeys inside the building, so be prepared for a litttle work!
Your cruise comes to an end today and you will disembark at Chongqing, where you can visit the panda house before your flight to Guilin. The rest of your day is at leisure.
Today will involve more river cruising, as you meander along the Li River to the village of Yangshuo, where you will spend 1 night. This area is characterised by lush greenery, grazing buffalos and local fishermen, while stunning peaks loom overhead.
Disembarking from the cruise, your guide will walk with you to your hotel, about 30 minutes from the river. There are electric carts offered by private vendors which can be organised at your own cost.
You will wake in Yangshuo, which sits in an exquisite rural location surrounded by jewel-green paddy ﬁelds and dramatic limestone karsts. You'll spend the morning exploring the countryside before driving back to Guilin where you can visit the Reed Flute Cave and the South China Pearl Museum.
Today you will ﬂy just over two hours to the exuberant city of Shanghai for a two-night stay. Spend the afternoon admiring the ﬁne arts and antiquities of the Shanghai Museum and stroll around People’s Square. This evening, I'd suggest viewing the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise. Once known as the ‘Paris of the East’, Shanghai is now one of Asia’s most inﬂuential cities, presenting a blend of cultures; the modern and the traditional, along with the European and oriental.
Today’s explorations include the peaceful Yu Garden and a brief visit to old town. Stop for a coffee along the Bund, and I'd recommend a visit to the Silk Museum. This evening, enjoy some tasty, traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
Today your epic journey around China comes to an end. You will have the morning at leisure, and we have arranged for your bags to be held at the hotel before your driver takes you to the airport. You will need to check in at 16:00 for your 19:00 flight to London Heathrow.
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