On this tour you visit three major cities and two small towns that provide unique experiences of, and insights into, China. Beijing and Xian present a fascinating and awe inspiring insights into classical and imperial China. Their archaeological treasures and incredible great historical palaces, temples and gardens are second to none. Shanghai is uniquely remarkable as the vibrant economic heart of China – a city that seems to pulse under your feet and where modernity seems to have outpaced itself. Datong and Pingyao present beautiful sites and experiences – temples, monasteries, pagodas, sculpture and unique traditional architecture. Together this tour provides you with opportunities to soak up very different contrasting experiences in very different city and town contexts.
You transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast you visit Tiananmen Square, look across the vast space to the Great Hall of the People and stand before the massive Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace) Gate bearing a huge portrait of Mao Zedong, where he proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic on 1 October 1949. Lying behind is the Forbidden City, as the former imperial palace is called, where the magnificent marble courtyards, huge halls, gilded temples and ornate pavilions the residence of the emperors and their families are now open to your wonderment. This evening a traditional Peking Duck dinner completes a very special day. (B/L/D)
You will be taken north today to pace the ramparts of China’s famed Great Wall, originally constructed over 2000 years ago to keep northern invaders at bay. Returning from the Great Wall, you will make a photo stop at the National Olympic Stadium. (B/L)
Today you visit the Temple of Heaven, where the emperors for the good of the empire, carried out the most important sacrifices and ceremonies of the year. Set in a huge park planted with conifers, the beautiful blue-tiled buildings here represent the epitome of Ming architecture After lunch you will visit the Summer Palace, the famed pleasure gardens of the Qing emperors, originally constructed by the emperor Qianlong to celebrate his mother’s 60th birthday in 1751 and later the favourite retreat of the dowager empress Cixi until her death in 1908. Beautiful ornamental plantings, languid willows and painted pavilions surround a scenic lake, across which are enchanting views to the pagoda-capped Jade Spring Hill and the mountains beyond. (B/L)
This morning you travel by train to Datong and where you arrive in the late afternoon around 4.41pm. This evening you have time to relax in our hotel and enjoy a leisurely dinner. (B/D)
One of the most interesting sights you will visit today is the gravity defying Hanging Monastery 80km from Datong. The complex is built on the extremely sheer cliffs of Mount. Hengshan above, Jinlong Canyon. You will truly be awed by the magnificence of the Hanging Temple, which is the most amazing sight on the Hengshan Mountain. Located in Yingxian County, and about 70 kilometres south of Datong, you will also visit the Wooden Pagoda, the oldest and highest wooden structure in China. It is regarded as the “First Pagoda in the World” and a gem in the architectural field. You will later also visit the cave houses and meet some of the local people. (B/L)
This morning you will explore one of China’s most spectacular holy sites, the Yungang Grottos. From thumb sized figurines to a 17 metre colossus, the Buddhist carvings at Yungang are remarkable. The carvings took 40,000 labourers almost half a century and to complete. Once you have finished exploring the Grottos, you will travel by car onto Pingyao, the famous World Heritage Walled City of Antiquity. Pingyao retains its Ming:Qing city walls and layout, shop fronts and more than 4000 domestic residences dating back centuries. En route you will visit the Qiao Family House, home to a powerful trading family. It was in this mansion that award-winning Chinese director Zhang Yimou set interior scenes for his film Raise the Red Lantern (B/L/D)
The past is alive in Pingyao. As the morning sun bathes its grey city walls in warm tones, you will find yourself flung back in time, as your eyes behold a Ming dynasty fortress built by the Ming Dynasty emperor Hongwu in 1370 AD, in all its imposing glory. The old walled city is an architectural treasure trove. In 1986, Pingyao was declared a national historical city, which protects it from ever being demolished. (B/L)
You travel to Taiyuan airport for your flight to Xian, and transfer to your hotel. Over 1,000 years ago, Xian was the capital city of the Tang Dynasty and the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the world. (B/L)
This morning you will view the excavated Terracotta Warriors and Horses, buried over 2000 years ago to guard the tomb of the first emperor Qinshihuang who died in 210 BC. Later you will walk along Xian’s massive City wall, which of old encircles the inner city and is one of the best preserved in China. This evening you will enjoy the lavish spectacle of the Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show. (B/L/D)
Fly to Shanghai Dominating the Yangtze Delta, Shanghai is the pulsating commercial heart of China. Walk along the famous Bund past the facades of the colonial buildings lining the Huangpu River and look across to the fantastic skyscrapers of the Pudong district on the opposite side. After lunch you will visit the beautifully maintained Yu Garden, an outstanding example of a classical garden dating from the 16th century, now surrounded by a bustling market area. Later you will ascend the Shanghai World Financial Centre Observatory Tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings, for an astonishing view over the whole city. This evening you will be entertained by one of Shanghai’s famous acrobatic troupes. (B/L)
Today enjoy a free day. Perhaps you will want to explore the fabulous shops along Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road. (B)
You transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
|Twin Share||Single Supplement||Twin Share||Single Supplement|
|Apr, Nov 12||$3190||$810||$3745||$1330|
|May, Sep-Oct 12||$3265||$865||$3925||$1485|
|Dec 12, Jan-Feb 13||$3045||$690||$3575||$1190|
The prices of above tour are based on the basis of a minimum of 2 persons travelling together.