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Day 1:
Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
Day 2:
This morning, you’ll visit the revered Temple of Heaven, one of China’s most influential buildings, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before visiting Tiananmen Square and passing in to the Forbidden City. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a tea ceremony and a visit to the famous Imperial Gardens of the Summer Palace.
Day 3:
Today, you’ll head out of the city to visit the Great Wall, one of mankind’s most remarkable structures. After lunch, you’ll visit the Ming Tombs Complex, housing the remains of the era’s 13 Emperors.
Day 4:
This morning, you’ll get a flavour of backstreet Beijing, with a rickshaw tour of a traditional Hutong, passing through its ancient alleyways and visiting a local family in their courtyard house. After lunch and a free afternoon you’ll catch the high speed train to Xi'an, where you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
Day 5:
In the morning, you’ll have a tour of Xi'an’s impressive city walls and gates. After lunch, you’ll visit Shaanxi History Museum to view its vast and impressive collection of ancient artefacts.
Day 6:
Today, you’ll have an exploration of the site of the world famous Terracotta Warriors, viewing the vast ancient army and discovering the background to the excavations. Later, you’ll visit the Banpo Museum and explore the 6,000 year old Neolithic archaeological site.
Day 7:
This morning, you’ll catch the flight to Chengdu and your next hotel.
Day 8:
Today, you’ll be driven to Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre to spend time with these iconic creatures and learn of the work carried out by the international team.
Day 9:
This morning, you’ll be driven to Leshan to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dafo, and its magnificent 71 metre (233 feet) high carved sitting Buddha figure, hewn out of the sandstone rock face. Later, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight to Guilin for your stay in one of the world’s most profoundly beautiful landscapes.
Day 10:
Today, you’ll visit the stunning natural wonders of Reed Flute Cave, Folded Colours Hill and Seven Star Park.
Day 11:
Today, you’ll have an amazing river cruise through this achingly beautiful and stunningly dramatic landscape, travelling from Guilin to Yangshuo, where you’ll disembark and spend the night.
Day 12:
This morning you can join a session at a local cooking school, practice tai chi or take in the Light and Sound show produced by Zhang Yimou. In the afternoon, you’ll fly to Chongqing, where you’ll be met and driven to board the Victoria Cruise boat for your cruise of the Yangtse River, departing Chongqing at 21:00 hours.
Day 13:
This morning, you’ll have an excursion to the ‘Ghost City’ of Fengdu, focus of many legends concerning the crossover to the afterlife, featuring the ‘bridge of helplessness’ the first of three tests for the departed soul, which together with the Ghost Torturing Pass and the Tianzi Palace tests, determine the fate of the participant.
Day 14:
Today, your cruise continues through the three gorge of Qutang (5 miles), Wu (25 miles) and Xiling (41 miles). After Wu Gorge, you’ll have a side excursion of the Goddess Stream aboard a smaller vessel. In the evening, you’ll pass through the lock gates of the mighty Three Gorges Dam.
Day 15:
In the morning, you’ll have an excursion to the famous dam, before continuing downriver to Yichang, where you’ll disembark and be taken to the railway station for the express train to Shanghai and check-in to your hotel.
Day 16:
Today, you’ll explore China’s temple to modernity, with a visit to the Oriental Pearl Television Tower and the Shanghai Historical development Centre. After lunch, you’ll explore the preserved historic European waterfront of colonial Shanghai and the Jade Buddha Temple. In the evening, you’ll take in Shanghai’s spectacular acrobatics show.
Day 17:
In the morning, you’ll visit the beautifully serene Yu Garden, followed by a wander of Shanghai Old Town. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the French Concession, the pedestrianized Xintiandi zone within the historic district and Shanghai Museum, the largest in China.
Day 18:
Today, you’ll be driven out to Zhouzhuang Water Village, a charming town of canals walkways and bridges, reminiscent to Bruges and Venice and imbued with an exotic oriental air. In the afternoon, you’ll be driven to Suzhou and check-in to your hotel.
Day 19:
In the morning, you’ll wander the delightful Lingering Garden before visiting the Su Embroidery Research Institute, and the Pan Gate, set in the ancient city wall. Later you’ll have a cruise of Suzhou’s Grand Canal, before travelling on to Hangzhou and your next hotel.
Day 20:
In the morning, you’ll have a cruise of Hangzhou’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, you’ll visit Lingyin Buddha Temple, the sculptured grottoes of ‘Flying from Afar Peak’ and enjoy a refreshing drink of tea at Longjing Tea Village, before the drive back to Shanghai.
Day 21:
Your time in Shanghai will be free until your driver takes you to the airport for your onward or departure flight.