Essence of China
Beijing to Shanghai
Experience the variety of wonders that China has to offer; from the history of the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors to modern and cosmopolitan Shanghai. The tour starts in exuberant city of Beijing, China’s historical capital. While sightseeing in the city, you will visit Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. Also, a trip to China would not be complete without seeing the famous Great Wall. A visit to the Mutianyu section of the wall is among the best-preserved and most scenic part. Next is Xi’an, where you will see the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Xian. Finally, head to Shanghai and enjoy the atmosphere of the great metropolis, where east and west collide.
Discover what this vast and diverse country has to offer.
Dates available throughout
Suggested itinerary by Air
Arrival in Beijing
Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. Upon landing, you will be greeted at Beijing International airport and transferred to your hotel. As this is your arrival day, the remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or begin exploring.
Beijing’s Free & Forbidden Spaces
Today you will visit Tiananmen Square, one of the oldest and largest city squares in the world. Adjacent to the square is the world famous Forbidden City – superbly elegant and in close to pristine condition. Then you can visit Jingshan Park. The top of the park provides stunning views over the Forbidden City and Beijing, but also offers insight into the lives of the locals who go to the park every day to socialise. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (not included) before visiting spectacular Summer Palace, which sprouts above lush forest canopy and sits along the serene Kunming Lake. The colourful palace is home to China’s largest royal garden, a beautiful promenade along the lake’s shore, and dragon boats you can rent for a leisurely cruise. We finish the day with welcome dinner.
Beijing – A day tour to the Great Wall
In the morning visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, which is among the best-preserved and most scenic parts. Built more than 2,300 years ago, the Mutianyu Great Wall’s pristine parapets line the ridges of soft, sloping hillsides that are blanketed with verdant forests. Take it all in, along with a delicious picnic lunch, atop one of the wall’s highest watchtowers. The transfer between Beijing and Mutianyu is approximately 90 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions.
Beijing – train to Xi’an
The Temple of Heaven, constructed in the early 15th Century, is a masterfully landscaped and designed structure that combines imperial Chinese decor with spiritual grandiosity. Spend the morning exploring its opulent, bright and colourful Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, where emperors would pray for healthy harvests. Take a relaxed stroll through Beijing’s historical hutongs. In these old neighbourhoods, traditional courtyard houses connected by narrow stone-paved alleyways have been transformed to hubs of culture for visitors and locals alike. After lunch in an authentic hutong family home, ride a rickshaw to Houhai Lake. Later in the afternoon, catch a high-speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your selected hotel.
Xi’an’s Clay Legion & Walled City
Today you’ll journey out in to the countryside surrounding Xi’an and visit what is undoubtedly one of the man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors. Afterwards you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, we return to Xi’an city centre to walk atop Xi’an’s ancient city wall, its stone parapets providing wide views over the city and above the wall’s lush park and moat. Next, visit to the Great Mosque, China’s oldest and largest Mosque which combines Chinese and Middle Eastern aesthetics into a series of serene gardens. Finish your day exploring the city’s Muslim Quarter, a grid of tree-shaded walking streets lined with aromatic street food booths and unique markets.
Xi’an’s Relics & Historic Streets
This morning is free to explore the local neighbourhood around the hotel. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a famous Buddhist pagoda in China and an architectural marvel of cement-less brick constructions that soars 64 metres. The evening will start with a lesson in the art of making Chinese dumplings, a delicacy that is famous in the Xi’an region. Then enjoy the fruits of your labour with a traditional dumpling feast for dinner.
Fly to Shanghai
Before an afternoon flight to Shanghai, we make one final stop at Xi’an – the Han Yang Lin Mausoleum. The lesser known tomb of Emperor Liu Qi of the Han dynasty is spread over 10 square kilometres.
A short flight brings you to Shanghai, where you’ll be met at the airport by your new local representative who will look after for the remainder of the tour. After your airport transfer, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day is free for you to relax or a first exploration of the city. Your local representative will be able to make some recommendations for dinner locations.
Shanghai, China’s Modern Cosmopolis
In the morning walk along the waterfront to Yu Garden and the old town area around it. Yu Garden, dating back to 1559, is one of the restored features of Shanghai’s Old Town. The Garden, heavily influenced by classical Suzhou garden design, holds more than 40 traditional halls, towers, pagodas, and pavilions. Afterwards, enjoy free time for the afternoon. Perhaps take a walk through cobblestone alleys of Xintiandi, where the old architecture and culture from Shanghai’s past meets modern life. In the evening, you can enjoy the wonder of the Shanghai circus, a spectacular show of acrobatics that will amaze you.
Departure from Shanghai
Enjoy a free day for last minute shopping or, if time permits, continue exploring the remarkable city before your flight from Shanghai to UK.