Day 1 London Heathrow to Beijing
You will take a scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Beijing. Alternatively, we can arrange departures from your local airport.
Day 2 Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. In the afternoon you will have time to relax or take a walk in the surrounding area. Your guide will be pleased to advise on what you can do at your leisure.
Day 3 Beijing city tour (B)
In the morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven – this was where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvest for the year. Here, you can observe the tradition of practicing Tai Chi in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, one of the largest city squares in the world. Finally, there will be a visit to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries.
Day 4 The Great Wall (B)
Today will begin with a visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall. It used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. Mutianyu is an area of the Great Wall with much fewer tourists, and offers stunning views. It was built in the mid 6th century and its rich history can be observed in its unique construction.
Day 5 Beijing city tour and to Xian (B)
During the morning you will visit the Summer Palace, which includes a grand collection of lakes, gardens and palaces where you can expect scenic views and walks. Afterwards, you will have a chance to enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, followed by a stop at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, which hosted the memorable 2008 Olympics. Following an opportunity for photographs, the final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs, offering a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens. Late that afternoon you will catch a flight to Xian.
Day 6 Terracotta Warriors (B)
Today your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of ten thousand life size statues of the Chinese army made over two thousand years ago, yet preserved almost perfectly. This will be followed by a visit to the ancient city wall in Xian in the afternoon, which can be enjoyed through a peaceful stroll or a bike ride. It is the most complete city wall that has survived in China and one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. This evening you will try a dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.
Day 7 Xian city tour and to Shanghai (B)
Today, you will visit to the Shaanxi museum which houses over a quarter of a million artefacts on display, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, will explore China’s unique architecture style. The last stop you will visit the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai.
Day 8 Shanghai city tour (B)
The first attraction of the day your guide will take you to will be the Yu Yuan Gardens, first conceived in1559 during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan. The Yu Yuan Gardens occupies an area of 5 acres and is home to beautiful pavilions, corridors, rockeries, streams, ponds, courtyards and flowers. Perfect for the horticulturist. At the Jade Buddha Temple, you can view impressive temples, both historical and modern, sporting large, intricate sculptures of Buddha.The porcelain artworks of the two precious Jade Buddhas are rare relics. Afterwards you will spend time at the Shanghai museum, followed by the opportunity to visit the impressive waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, take a trip to the on top of the Shanghai world financial centre, where you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city. The optional recommended night cruise on the Bund can be booked with your local tour guide in Shanghai.
Day 9 Suzhou day trip (B)
Today will feature an excursion to the scenic city of Suzhou, known as the ‘Venice of the East’. Its attractive gardens are renowned for their remarkable history and skilled horticulturalists, an example being the Master of the Nets Garden. Later in the day enjoy a cruise on the striking Grand Canal, a local silk mill still in operation, but uses only traditional methods for silk production. Finally, there will be a chance to visit the famous historical landmark, Panmen Gate. It is estimated to be around 2,500 years old. Return to Shanghai.
Day 10 Fly back to London (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to London Heathrow.