China’s must-see cities eclectic Beijing, buzzing Shanghai and historic Xi’an are mixed with its must-do experiences, like cruising down the iconic Huangpu River by night.
It’s Insider moments like…dashing through the ‘Hutongs’ of Beijing by rickshaw, as your driver navigates these ancient alleyways and you see street life unfurling at homes and market stalls. Arriving at a local family’s home, you’re invited in with smiles to an authentic meal of dishes like bean noodles, kung-po chicken, deep-fried meatball and homemade dumpling – dished up with stories of life in the Hutongs. And in Xi’an, it’s watching an expert chef create delicious hand-made noodles, and sampling them yourself during a traditional meal.
Welcome to Beijing! Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and settle in before meeting your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.
Welcome Reception Novotel Peace
Begin your visit to this great capital city by exploring one of the world’s largest public areas—Tiananmen Square, home to the National Museum of China, the mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the Great Monument to the Peoples’ Heroes. Pass through the south gate to the magnificent Forbidden City, a 180 acre complex of courtyards, palaces, pavilions and gardens, which served as the imperial palace for emperors and their households for more than 500 years. After lunch continue to the stunning Temple of Heaven visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven. Later, indulge in a relaxing foot massage, a Local Speciality, at the Foot Reflexology Centre. This evening, enjoy a succulent Peking Duck Regional Meal – a must during any visit to Beijing.
Buffet Breakfast,Lunch Regional Meal
Travel outside the city and look down upon the Chinese countryside from your perch on top of the Great Wall, which is actually a collection of fortifications built and rebuilt from the 5th century B.C. to the 16th century to defend against nomadic invaders like the Mongols. Walk the Sacred Way home to the remnants of the Ming Tombs, the once-lavish burial chambers of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Later this evening why not attend an optional martial arts show at the Red Theatre, featuring lively daring acrobats and Kung Fu.
Begin your day by greeting the famed Chinese giant pandas at Beijing Zoo, before embarking on a unique tour by rickshaw around the ancient alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences. Stop at the home of a local family for a Be My Guest lunch of traditional Chinese cuisine, followed by a visit to a local tea house, a Local Speciality. This afternoon, bid farewell to Beijing and fly to the city of Xi’an.
Buffet Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining Sheraton North City
Try a morning Tai Chi Class, a Local Speciality, and learn the fundamental principles of Tai Chi as well as some of the basic movements. Then venture out and explore Xi’an with a Local Expert starting with a visit to the ancient city wall, the most complete city wall that has survived in China. Continue to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the city’s most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left in Xi’an today. Learn the origin of Chinese characters, a Local Speciality, in a basic calligraphy class. Enjoy a Local Speciality meal including a noodle making demonstration. This afternoon visit the legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s subterranean tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, you have the option to enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner and cultural performance featuring music, dance, and traditional costumes with a special backstage visit.
This morning visit Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter with a Local Expert. The streets are full of life with men riding bicycles as their daily transportation, women chatting with their friends while selling food on the street and watching over children playing happily around their stalls. Admire the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and grandest Muslim buildings to be found in China. See the wooden Bell Tower, built in 1384 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a way to dominate the surrounding countryside and provide early warning of attack by rival rulers. Enjoy some free time to explore the area before continuing to a local restaurant to watch a demonstration on the art of making dumplings, a Local Speciality. Enjoy a Regional Meal of this delicious traditional Chinese dish and later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. This evening take a relaxing cruise along the Huangpu River and admire Shanghai’s illuminated skyline; a great introduction to the city.
Buffet Breakfast Regional Meal
Today is yours to explore Shanghai, do some last minute shopping or take an optional trip to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town founded more than 1700 years ago. In its heyday, Zhujiajiao was a bustling market town well known throughout the country. Today, old historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing dynasty post office can still be found when strolling down the ancient streets and exploring the many bridges that crisscross its canals. In the afternoon enjoy some free time back in Shanghai before joining your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner.
Buffet Breakfast,Farewell Dinner
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home.