You will be warmly welcomed by your guide and driver, and taken to your hotel directly. To make sure you stay connected, you will receive a cell phone for in-land calls to your guide and a pocket sized Wi-Fi device to allow you to get online wherever you are.
Shanghai is known as the Paris of the East, sophisticated and multicultural. Yuyuan Garden celebrates the distinctive Chinese design in architecture and landscaping, and the surrounding Yuyuan Market is a treasure-trove of all manner of souvenirs. The Bund along the Huangpu river side, however, is unmistakably European but gives a metropolitan air with its surrounding high rise developments.
Lunch is dedicated to savoring the local delicacies, known all over the world in the Chinese communities as a ‘foodie’s paradise’.
Shanghai Museum is perhaps the finest in China, and gives a good overview of the history in the area. A visit to the Shanghai World Financial Center’s observation deck is sure to thrill, as the 360 degree view is further accentuated by the glass floor, at the height of 474 meters.
Your guide and driver will take you to Suzhou in a private car for a day visit. You will be able to chat about the attractions and history on the way, so whilst there you can concentrate on enjoyment in the beautiful ancient water town.
The Humble Administrators Garden is an exquisite example of a classic Chinese garden, and not to be missed when in Suzhou. The Grand Canal is part of a great feat of engineering, comparable to the Great Wall in its time, and a marvelous way to observe people’s daily life.
The Hutongs (courtyards and lanes) old streets are charming, and easiest to view on board a peddle powered rickshaw.
The Garden of the Master of Nets is a small gem, where a clever use of space makes it appear larger than it is. The name comes from the retired official who took to fishing, and restored the gardens from ruin in the 18th century.
The day is dedicated to flying from Shanghai to Yichang and a private transfer to your cruise boat on Yangtze.
The ship will cross through the Three Gorges Dam and the five step ship locks, before entering the 1st gorge, Xiling. You can climb up to the top of the dam to see the view of the valley below.
In the evening, Captain’s welcome banquet is a lovely way to start the journey.
The morning excursion is to a tributary of Yangtze, the Shennong Stream, where crystal clear water runs through deep ravines, and spills out in beautiful waterfalls.
There is an option to join a trip to the White Emperor City, or Baidicheng, which is an old town now forming an island, since the water level rose.
Tonight there is some evening entertainment provided by the crew.
Fengdu Ghost City is the excursion today, there is a cable car taking people to the top of Ming Shan Hill, for a nice view over the gorge.
Talent Show Party in the evening is open for all, so bring along that harmonica.
Chongqing is a thriving city with a glorious past, but it is very modern now. Ciqikou Old Town nearby gives a good impression on how it used to look like, and is a charming place in its own right.
In town you stroll through the Goose Neck Park, so called due to its long and narrow shape, and where locals practice their taichi, and visit the pandas in the Chongqing Zoo.
Later on in the day your guide will escort you to your flight to Xi’an for the next leg of your journey.
Seeing the Terracotta Warriors and Horses is one of those buck list items ticked, and an experience which you will never forget. The painstaking excavation still continues, and each year new discoveries are made.
Back in Xi’an City, the Big Goose Pagoda offers a great vantage point of the city, and is surrounded by the Da Cien Temple grounds.
More of the great past of Xi’an is explored today; the Shaanxi History Museum is a great overview of the history of China, as this province is one of the cradles of culture, and the Xi’an City Wall is the best preserved city fortification in the world. A leisurely bicycle ride along the top is the best way to see the city center, but there is also a rickshaw option.
Finally, a glimpse into the Muslim heritage in the heart of Xi’an, where the Great Mosque is one of the finest architectural designs in China, combining Chinese architecture with Islamic practices. This area is full of a rich culture and history dating back to the Silk Road era.
In the evening you will fly to Beijing and prepare for the grand finale of your time in China.
Tiananmen Square is not only in the centre of Beijing literally, but a central symbol of national pride, place where flag is raised each morning in front of a multitude of ardent spectators. To the north of it the Forbidden City tells of a different kind of awe, brought on by the design of the ceremonial grandeur of the halls and courtyards.
The Temple of Heaven is perhaps lesser known outside China, but culturally just as important as the center of the ancient annual sacrifice for good harvest. The surrounding park is vast, and a great place to observe locals practice taichi, fly kites and in general relax.
All day is dedicated for the experience listed on many bucket lists: the Great Wall of China. We take you to the Mutianyu section, as it is much less crowded and in a beautiful part. A cable car takes you to the top, so you arrive fresh and ready to trek along.
Tonight we have made reservations for you well in advance, as the Beijing Roast Duck is so popular and takes some time to cook.
The Summer Palace is also called Garden of Nurtured Harmony or Yiheyuan, and the surrounding park and lakes are as important part of the experience as the pavilions and buildings. A short cruise across the lake on a dragon style ferry is included.
Hutongs are an integral part of Beijing life style, but they are fast disappearing. Come on a rickshaw ride to the narrow alleyways, and visit a local family who has lived here for generations and hear their stories. See what life looks like in the hutongs today.
The Olympic Park continues to be a popular site for visitors, the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest are very impressive from close up. The time available does not allow a visit inside but we will visit them briefly.