Your guide will meet you in arrivals, ready to take you to the hotel.
The Forbidden City impresses not only by its colossal scale but also the intricate details in the carvings and eaves of the golden roofs. Your guide is a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of the symbolic meanings, from the dragons, phoenixes and symmetry of this colossal palace complex.
Tiananmen Square has an air of a place that has seen empires rise and fall, a fitting stage for grand events. It’s located right next to the Forbidden City and offers the chance to take some iconic photos.
A visit to the Hutongs is an essential part of any Beijing visit, the charming old lanes and courtyard homes are changing fast, after remaining untouched for centuries. We’re visit a local family to get an in depth explanation of the meaning of decorations on the doorways, and to find out what life is like today as well as in ancient times. The rickshaw ride adds to the experience and offers a chance to save your legs.
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is known as having less visitors but one of the best views, in addition to having most watch towers because of the strategic importance of the area. It’s no wonder it is rated as Beijing’s No.1 attraction on TripAdvisor.
The Temple of Heaven was irreplaceable in imperial China, as this is where the emperors performed the mysterious ceremonies to ensure good harvest. The richly carved white marble walkways were only for his feet, but ironically now locals frequent the park and stroll among the ancient pine trees.
The Summer Palace is a breathtakingly beautiful place, willows leaning towards the surface of the charming lake, and winding pathways leading to the pavilions and pagodas in the distance.
In the afternoon your guide will escort you to the airport to catch your flight to Kunming.
The Stone Forest must be one of the most unusual phenomenons in China: the fantastically shaped rocks leaning and rising form a stunning natural maze. The native Sani people still live in the area, and perform their songs and dances to visitors.
The Jiuxiang Caves are another product of natures work; the stalactites and stalagmites form a stunning art gallery.
In the morning your journey continues to Dali and among the minority people of Yunnan. Erhai Lake is tranquil and surrounded by pine forests, making it a relaxing place to have a short cruise. Two Bai minority towns have their renowned crafts: Zhouchneg Town is known for the colorful batik work and Xizhou for the ancient houses, richly painted on the outside.
On the way back to Dali you have a chance to visit the graceful Three Pagodas, built thousand years ago in a triangle shape to house Buddhist scriptures.
This morning you get to enjoy the mountain views while your driver takes you to Lijiang Old Town, famous worldwide for the charming old architecture. Wangu Tower is a landmark of the town, with the dazzling Jade Dragon Snow Mountain behind it.
On the way to the mountains this morning, a stop in the Baisha Village to see the renowned murals, an unusual combination of e cultures of the Naxi, Tibetan and Han people. Jade Dragon Mountain is just as magnificent as the name implies: access to the over 4km height is with a cable car.
Today is dedicated to getting from Kunming to Bangkok.
Today you will experience the three most famous temples in Bangkok: Wat Tramit, Wat Arun and Wat Pho, all richly decorated with gold spires reaching to the sky.
Royal Grand Palace used to be the residence of Thai kings, and ceremonies are still frequently held here. It also houses the greatly revered 14th century Emerald Buddha.
Damnoensaduak Floating Market is a place to go to early in the morning, when the sun is still new and local people shopping for their fruit and vegetables. The experience includes a boat ride and a visit to a coconut farm to taste the fresh produce. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy shopping or meandering in the bustling streets.
The pleasures of Chiang Mai wait for you; after a flight you will be met and taken to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a temple overlooking the whole city. The day ends with the delicious Khantoke Dinner, with the best dishes Northern Thai cuisine has to offer, accompanied by performance of the hill tribes in the area.
A full day experience awaits you: First an elephant safari, where you have a chance to see training and working of these majestic animals, and ride in the jungle on the back of one. Return journey is by an ox-cart to the camp to enjoy delicious lunch, followed by a bamboo raft down river and a visit to an enchanting orchid nursery.
Chiang Rai province is the area where Laos, Myanmar & Thailand join, it’s called Golden Triangle. Mae Sai Border is one of the busiest border markets, where jewelry and silverware among other things are traded and bought. The area has a long history with opium trading which is explained more in detail in an interesting museum.
Your journey continues to the famous beaches of Phuket by air.
A speed boat takes you to Phi Phi Island this morning, to see the famous scenery from "The Beach" movie and to have a swim in the azure sea and enjoy snorkeling in the Loh Samah Bay, Phi Phi Don Island, and Khai Nok Island, and explore the Peleh and Viking Caves.
The day is free for you to enjoy relaxing on the beach with a cool drink in your hand, or go shopping.
Your transfer service will take you to the Phuket airport for your flight to Bangkok, where you can catch your connecting flight or may well decide to stay a few days more. We’re sure you will enjoy this trip, and trust your be back with China Highlights again.