No need to stress about how to tell the taxi driver where you want to go; your guide and driver will be there to meet you and take you directly to your hotel.
Tian‘anmen Square and the Forbidden City are the most famous sights in Beijing, and for a good reason. The scale combined to the glittering golden roofs of succession of gateways and halls leading to the private chambers of Emperors are awe-inspiring.
The Treasure Houses have a collection of precious items from the Qing Dynasty, some previously never exhibited. The Palace Museum, also called the Forbidden City, is vast and worth at least 2 hours exploring.
After lunch you are taken to see the hutongs. The rickshaw ride takes you into maze of tree shaded alleyways, a wonderful glimpse into the past, and a visit to a local family gives you an insight to changes and life here.
Temple of Heaven with its stunning central circular building demands as much praise as the other imperial buildings; this entire complex was built for one of the most important sacrifices of the ancient times. The adjacent park is a great place to observe local people exercise, do taichi or play instruments.
The Great Wall does not need introductions, but the Mutianyu section is perhaps less well known. It is more secluded, as the road there winds through countryside. The superb views along with a comfortable ride to the top in a cable car make this a great way to see the wall.
The Summer Palace is actually more of a vast park area, with spectacular landscaping and a beautiful lake. The pavilions and towers are still impressive, but the true magic lies in wandering amongst the willow trees; an experience you will never forget. If you, as many other have, would like to spend more time here instead on going to the next place, just tell your guide. You are the boss.
Olympic Park has two of the most well-known modern buildings in Beijing: the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest, to call them by their popular names. Today’s visit does not include going inside, but they are just as impressive from a distance.
In the evening your journey continues to Xi’an, where you will be met at the airport by your next local guide.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are the reason visitors come to this ancient capitol of China, and the experience is sure not to disappoint. Nowhere else in the world has such a place: thousands of lifelike and –size statues in perfect battle array.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda towers over the tree tops gracefully, and gives a great view to the surrounding temple grounds and nearby park.
The history of this area is said to be the history of China, as this is where the first capitol of the first thirteen dynasties was. Shaanxi History Museum gives a great overview of this era, and your guide makes sure you get the most out of the experience, as not all information is available in English.
Another jewel into your collection is a bike ride or rickshaw ride along the ancient City Wall of Xian. There is no other place on earth where it is possible to travel 14km on one city fortification.
After lunch you will be escorted to the airport for your connection flight to Shanghai.
Shanghai is the access point to the Water Towns of Suzhou and Hangzhou, but of course an experience in itself. Today your visit these key sights:
Yuyuan Garden built during Ming Dynasty is loved by all who visit the tranquil complex of corridors and pavilions among the beautifully planned landscaping. The contrast to the surrounding bustling Yuyuan Market could not be more pronounced.
The Bund is probably the best known sight in Shanghai, and the 52 remaining European style 19th century buildings still make it a charming walk along the river side.
Shanghai World Financial Center with its viewing deck at 474m (1,555ft) is a place to admire the present cityscape, whereas Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall gives you a glimpse of the future.
Suzhou has a network of canals connecting the rivers and lakes, largest of which is the Grand Canal, a great feat of engineering in its time. A boat ride lets you observe the people getting on with their daily lives along the canal.
Humble Administrators Garden is actually more the size of a park at 5 hectares, and very popular due to its beautiful design. After exploring here you will be glad to hop on a rickshaw to ride along the old lanes and streets.
Twinned in Chinese people’s minds by the saying: Paradise in heaven, Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth, Hangzhou is an essential visit to anyone in this area.
Lingyin Temple was established in 328AD, and is still the center of Buddhist worship in the area. In front of it is the Feilang Feng, a grotto with numerous engraved images.
The West Lake in Hangzhou is such a classic Chinese picture: calm water reflecting the pagodas and willow trees. A walk along the bank and to the Fairy Island is essential to any visit here.
After lunch it is time to get on the plane to Guilin.
Guilin karst mountains have created three natural formations: Reed Flute Cave, a glistening cavern of stalactites and stalagmites, Fubo Hill which rises from the Li River creating whirlpools below, and Elephant Trunk Hill, the symbol of Guilin.
In the evening, go for a walk along the Two Rivers Four Lakes area; see the Sun and Moon Pagodas, continuing to the riverside where coffee shops abound.
Cruise among the famous scenery along Li River, where strange shaped mountains have been given names such as Dragon Head Hill, is a chance to relax while the boat glides on the smooth waters.
In the afternoon you can enjoy a little activity, going on a bike ride to the beautiful countryside surrounding Yangshuo. A visit to a farming family gives you a chance to see real life here. Evening is for you to explore the lively little town.
Your guide will take you from Yangshuo back to Guilin to catch your flight onwards to Hong Kong. We hope you have enjoyed your experience of the wonders of China.
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