Day 1 London Heathrow to Beijing
You will take a scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Beijing.
Day 2 Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. You will have a chance to relax before your guide will escort you for dinner where you will meet and greet your fellow group members.
Day 3 Beijing City tour (B)
In the morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven – this was the place where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvest for the year, where you can observe the tradition of practicing Tai Chi in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world. Finally, there will be a visit to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries.
Day 4 Great Wall (B)
Today visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post along the wall offering breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its unique construction.
Day 5 Fly to Xian (B)
In the morning visit the Summer Palace, which includes a grand collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake. This will be followed by opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, which hosted the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs. Here, you can have a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens. Finally, 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, it is one of the largest military defensive systems in the world.
Day 7 Fly to Chengdu (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, with the day ending on a visit to the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chengdu.
Day 8 Leshan Buddha (B)
A full day excursion to the magnificent Leshan Buddha a 233-foot tall stone statue, built during the Tang Dynasty. The Buddha is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers near the city of Leshan, and it is the largest stone Buddha in the world. You will also visit the ancient town of Huanglongxi.
Day 9 Giant Pandas and fly to Shanghai (B)
After breakfast, the first stop will be at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, just 6 miles from downtown Chengdu. Here naturalistic habitats have been created to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding pandas. Afterwards transfer to the airport for a flight to the buzzing metropolis of Shanghai.
Day 10 Shanghai City Tour (B)
The first attraction of the day will be the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The centuries old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards and flowers, perfect for the horticulturist. At the Jade Buddha Temple, one can expect impressive temples, both historical and modern, sporting large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. After viewing the Shanghai museum, there will be an opportunity to visit the waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, on top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.
Day 11 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. After, 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 Panmen Gate.
Day 12 Fly to London Heathrow (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to London Heathrow.