21 October 2016
On this intriguing Classic Highlights of China tour you spend an action-packed 10 days travelling around this fascinating country seeing so many of the famous sights. Beginning in mind blowing modern Shanghai and ending in the historic capital Bejing, you see something new every day. You visit the Great Wall, get up close to the incredible Terracotta Warriors in Xian, walk around Tiananmen Square and through the Forbidden City.
On arrival at Shanghai you will be met by your experienced local guide and taken to your hotel in the city for a three night stay. Shanghai is located in the east of China and sits at the mouth of the Yangtse River and is the largest, most prosperous and populous city in the country. Shanghai is also a hot tourist destination renowned for its many historical landmarks and modern buildings. Tonight meet the rest of your group in the hotel's reception area for welcome drinks and a tour briefing.
Once known as the Pearl of the Orient, Shanghai has emerged as one of Asia’s most important cities and is a buzzing modern metropolis. Your tour takes you to the historical riverfront area known as the Bund - home to an impressive collection of 1920s neoclassical buildings. Then veer off the tourist trail to one of the oldest neighbourhoods near the serene Confucius Temple before heading to the Old Chinese Quarter to walk through the peaceful Yu Garden and the bazaar. Tonight enjoy a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobats.
Head out of Shanghai to the charming old world atmosphere of nearby Zhujiajiao, a traditional water canal town dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Browse through small stores along Great North Street and see the great Qing Post Office. Zhujiajiao's network of waterways, old wooden waterside houses and arch stone bridges are the perfect setting for a short canal cruise. Then back in Shanghai, visit the Propaganda Poster Art Centre for an insight into the tumultuous Cultural Revoloution period.
A morning at leisure in Shanghai seeing more of the sights. You can visit the fabulous Shanghai Museum, housed in a unique building resembling a traditional Chinese vessel and containing impressive collections. Alternatively you can go shopping along the famous Nanjing Road stopping for a drink at the colonial Peace Hotel. At midday you are taken to the airport for your flight to Xian, located close to the banks of the Yellow River and the starting point of the Silk Road. Tonight sample some of the wonderful local dumplings
One of the highlights of the tour today when you take a short drive to the remarkable Army of Terracotta Warriors - one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Each figure is unique both in facial features and expression. Still under excavation, these thousands of life sized warriors and horses were only unearthed in 1974 after being buried for 2,000 years. After lunch visit a Terracotta Warrior Factory to learn about the complex production process of these fascinating artworks.
Start the day with a stroll through Xian’s City Park which is alive with people exercising and enjoying a range of activities like tai chi, ping-pong, badminton and even ballroom dancing. Continue with a tour of this culturally diverse and exotic Chinese city. Xian has a history dating back to 1000BC. Walk around the stunning Old City Walls and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Great Mosque and enjoy the lively street markets. Later in the afternoon catch the high speed train to Beijing and transfer to your hotel.
Begin your exploration of this impressive capital city with a walk through Tiananmen Square which was built on the orders of Chairman Mao and can hold more than a million people. Continue on foot passing through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to enter the splendid Forbidden City. After exploring here leave via the North Gate and head into one of Beijing’s few remaining ‘hutongs’ or traditional lanes in the backstreets and have lunch at a family home. Later see the famous Drum Tower and this evening you can explore the Wangfujing night markets.
See one of China’s most iconic temples, the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven. Also known as Tiantan, this is a perfection of Ming architecture. The temple is located within a vast park and in the early mornings the area is alive with tai chi enthusiasts, elderly men practicing calligraphy, dancers and performers reciting Beijing opera. From here head to the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall before driving to the north-west of the city to visit the magnificent Summer Palace, filled with temples, pavilions, gardens and decorated corridors.
Another big day today when you travel to Mutianyu, 56 miles north-east of Beijing, to visit the country's most famous attraction - the Great Wall of China. It was built more than 2,000 years ago and extends 3,107 miles from the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Take the cable car up to the Wall from where you can walk or climb sections admiring the panoramic views. This evening join your group for a special Peking Duck dinner to celebrate the end of a fascinating journey through China’s culture and people.
Today your wonderful 10 day Classic Highlights of China tour comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing and shopping in the city before you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. This comprehensive tour packs in lots of China's iconic sights and will leave you with so many great memories.
Standard Rate fr £1832pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated