The Forbidden City in Beijing

China's Imperial Tour

Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival to Beijing

On your arrival you will be welcomed by your own guide and driver and taken to your hotel.

Day 2: Beijing’s Imperial Sites
forbidden city china beijing

Probably the most iconic square in the world, the Tiananmen Square, awaits you this morning. The surrounding imposing buildings include the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), government buildings and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. Wonders continue with the Forbidden City, the best preserved imperial complex in the world. There are many permanent and temporary exhibitions, ask your guide for more information.
Temple of Heaven is relatively unknown outside of China, but it is yet another architectural and cultural gem. Starting from the Ming Dynasty, the Emperors came here to pray for good harvest. The surrounding vast park is popular among locals, for practicing martial arts and flying kites, among other pastimes.

Day 3: Mutianyu Great Wall
mutianyu great wall beijing

It’s a once in a life time experience… to stand on the Great Wall, one of the wonders of the world. We take you to the Mutianyu section, much less crowded but still accessible by a cable car, which allows you more time on the top. You can either walk down or take the cable car or chairlift.
At the end of the day another quintessentially Chinese experience, savoring the famous Peking Roast Duck, can be ticked off your list.

Day 4: Summer Palace and Hutong
Beijing Hutong

As a contrast to the busy city sites, today’s pace is slower and less crowded. The Summer Palace is surrounded by the largest imperial gardens in China and tranquil waters, best appreciated on the short cruise across.
Lunch is a gourmet experience of French cuisine in Chinese traditional surroundings.
The acclaimed Hutong district and its historic alleyways epitomize the old way of living in courtyard houses. A rickshaw ride and a visit to a local family give you more in depth understanding, as well as an explanation on how the gates give clues to what lies within the walls.
789 Art District is a relatively new development, where the influential art scene meets design and entertainment. The exhibitions and galleries are well worth a visit.

Day 5: Xi’an: City Sites
shaanxi history museum xian

After a morning flight to Xian, your local guide will take you to the Shaanxi History Museum, possibly the best in China. Your guide will make sure you get the most of the visit.
Cycling along the ancient City Wall of Xi’an is a unique experience, nowhere else in the world has a preserved city defense this long. If the weather is not suitable, or you prefer a change, a visit to the Bell Tower is available.

Day 6: Xi’an: Terracotta Army
xian terracotta warriors army

The Terracotta Army is a truly magnificent sight, a masterpiece of artistry and an insight into ancient warfare. Your guide and driver will take you in a private car to make sure you arrive fresh to enjoy it to the max. The adjoining museum gives details on the discovery process, which is still taking place, as new finds are made every year.
After lunch in a nearby restaurant (Sichuan food) you will be driven back to the city.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda on the grounds of the Buddhist Da Cian Temple and the Great Mosque in the heart of the Xian Muslim Quarter ends your exploration in Xi’an with our guide. However, the evening you might like to explore on your own, or watch a show. Your guide can help with suggestions and assist you in obtaining tickets.

Day 7: Nanjing
Confucius Temple in Nanjing

In the morning you fly to Nanjing where you will be greeted by your local guide and taken to your hotel.
Your day starts with visit to the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, where the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty is buried. It is a great example of ancient tombs, and the surrounding beautiful gardens are also well worth a visit.
The Zhonghua Gate is the largest of the 13 ancient gates of Nanjing. This gate is the most interesting as it shows you an excellent example of a defense system of an ancient Chinese city. The views of the city from the top are also great.
The Confucius Temple has a collection of exquisitely carved stone tablets, and a lively collection of shops and restaurants. Lunch is in one of them, serving Huaiyang cuisine.
Good to Know
We recommend a walk round the Xuanwu Lake and the islands on your free time in the evening, locals go there to exercise and practice dancing and martial arts. The silhouette of the city is quite beautiful at sunset.

Day 8: Suzhou Old Town
humble administrator garden in suzhou

In the morning a high speed train ride to Suzhou will give you a chance to experience this exhilarating form of transport.
The Humble Administrators Garden is a Ming dynasty classical design; some say it is the most beautiful in Southern China. Wear comfortable shoes, as the area exceeds five hectares.
A restaurant originally from the Ming Dynasty is the setting for your lunch break, offering local Su-style food.
The Grand Canal, the greatest engineering feat of ancient China after the Great Wall, was the source of the ‘Sea Silk Road’ and still is the centre of the network of lakes and smaller canals. A cruise along it offers a glimpse of the life of the local people.
Rickshaw ride through the old streets and Hutong of Suzhou is a wonderful way to see these interesting parts of the city in a relatively short time.

Day 9: Tongli Water Town
Tongli Ancient Town

The thousand year old Tongli Ancient Town is sometimes called ‘The Venice of East’, and for good reason. The charming canals and gardens are sure to delight, and a cruise is included in the day’s exploration.
Chinese style food in a Qing Dynasty style restaurant is accompanied by local tea and a traditional performance.
In the evening your guide will transport you to the airport to take a flight to Shanghai, where you will be met and taken to your hotel.

Day 10: Shanghai of the Past and Future
Shanghai the Bund

Your day is a combination of the intriguing past of this ‘Paris of the East’: Yuyuan Garden in the centre of the old quarter is from Ming Dynasty but the surrounding market street is a truly modern experience. The famous Bund, an embankment running along the Huangpu River, on one hand is an architectural gallery of old European styles, on the opposite bank stands Shanghai’s futuristic new developments.
After lunch in a traditional Shanghai restaurant you will see the bright future in the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where a giant model of the city reveals the proposed new developments.
The viewing platform in the Shanghai World Financial Center is the highest in the world, and has a glass floor; a combination which is not for the faint hearted but offers wonderful views over the city.

Day 11: Shanghai ‘Local Experience’

A truly unique experience; try the life of the Shanghainese people. Today starts with your guide taking you to the Caoyang New Neighborhood, where you will meet a local family. Shopping in the market for ingredients of Shanghai dumplings is followed by learning to make them and enjoying the flavors at lunch.

Day 12: Departing Shanghai

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport to catch your plane, making sure everything goes smoothly.

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