Your overnight flight allows you to maximise your time in China, so sit back and get plenty of rest for the adventures ahead.
Spend today getting to know Beijing. See the city’s scenic side with boat ride on the stunning Lake Kunming. Next visit the Summer Palace, a masterpiece of imperial garden design. In this pastoral paradise, you’ll marvel at the architectural elements, precision landscaping and historic legacy, before transferring to your hotel.
Tour the spectacular Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex and the seat of power from 1420 to 1912. To understand the many changes China has undergone since then, your next stop is Tiananmen Square. In 1949, Moa Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China here. Forty years later, the square witnessed a monumental demonstration. Complete your day of discovery among the sizzling snacks, intriguing handicrafts and bustling atmosphere of Hongqiao Market.
Continue your journey through the history of Beijing with a visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. After scenic snaps and entertaining facts, enjoy a champagne picnic here before heading back to central Beijing. The pace quickens as you take to the streets by pedi-cab. This allows you to explore the Temple of Heaven and then whizz through the hutong neighbourhoods, which have been an integral part of the city since as far back as the 13th century.
Take the high-speed train to the ancient walled city of Pingyao, home to some of the best-preserved traditional architecture anywhere in China. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases the centuries-old courtyards, temples and towers scattered throughout the city. From the elegant to the awe-inspiring, Pingyao has it all. Your stay at Jing’s Residence is the perfect way to get acquainted with antique China, as you learn everything from shoe making to noodle making to performing traditional massage.
Walk the ancient City Walls as you learn about the lifestyles of the past and how Pingyao became a financial centre for China. At the opera, almost nothing has changed. Drink in the intricate details visible on every surface of the shrine from which the upper crust would watch the elegant performances. After discovering the Daoist Temple and perusing the vibrant city markets, experience the art of paper cutting which has been popular here for more than a millennium.
Transfer to the train station for a high-speed train ride to Xian which, like Beijing, is one of the four ancient capitals of China. On arrival you have some time to settle into your room at the Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel before the adventure continues. Head out on an afternoon food tour in Xian’s famous Islamic Quarter where delightful flavours and intriguing creations abound. This is heaven for those with love food.
Today’s full-day tour will leave you completely astounded. Xian has been a significant settlement for more than 3,000 years, and for this reason, it is often called China’s ‘eternal city’. Buildings, monuments and other crucial sites showcase the heritage of civilisations that have come and gone over this turbulent stretch of time. Among the many marvels, discover the eastern terminus of the famous Silk Road and visit the phenomenal Terracotta Warriors who find their home here.
Today’s flight to Guilin brings a change of setting. As you head to rural Yangshuo, gaze at the great stretches of emerald rice paddies broken only by the mighty Li River. The horizon is dotted with pronounced limestone karsts and the gradual slopes of verdant hills further out. Find your hotel in a quiet and inviting spot within the grounds of a fascinating former sugar mill. Ride a bamboo raft along Yulong River, admire the limestone scenery and view local life as you float downstream.
After a relaxed morning taking in the incredible scenery, enjoy a rafting experience along Li River. After a rest and a bite or two to eat, continue on to Xingping Ancient Town. Once the largest town along the river, both Fishing Village and Xingping Old Street are full of history. Discover the hidden treasures of the town before the backdrop of characteristic topography which forms the basis of many local myths and legends.
Transfer to Guilin airport for your flight to Shanghai, the most populous city in the world. You’ll find your luxury hotel situated directly on the stylish Bund – centrepiece of the extraordinary city skyline. After an afternoon of leisurely exploring, watch the sun set over this fascinating city from the opulent rooftop bar.
Today’s tour unveils all the attractions of this unique city. Stroll along the Huangpu River promenade first, before visiting the elegant former British Consulate, ornate Astor House Hotel and the former HSBC headquarters to discover how Shanghai became what it is today. Next, take a Jeep tour to see the futuristic side of the city. After viewing a series of post-modern masterpieces, find ultimate relaxation with a traditional Chinese massage.
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. Or, if you’re yearning for more, extend your journey to include any number of experiences. Finish off with a journey into the heart of Tibet, travel north to see Mongolia’s Gobi Desert or head down to the beaches of Thailand or Vietnam.