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Best of China
Holiday length: 14 days
Start city: Beijing
End city: Shanghai
Departs: Daily (guaranteed with 2 people)

  Included in this 14 day holiday is a three night Three Gorges' Cruise - known for their scenic and dramatic beauty.   Starting in the capital city Beijing and ending in the waterside city of Shanghai, this tour visits some of the major sightseeing highlights of any visit to China such as The Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors.

Day 1
  Beijing arrival
    On arrival at Beijing you will be met and transferred to your hotel - home for 3 nights.  Remainder of the day free to relax and settle in.
Day 2
  Beijing  (B, L)
    Start your exploration of this amazing city with a private escorted tour to the Temple of Heaven - part of the compound of buildings for the Ming & Qing emperors, boasting the largest sacrificial place in Beijing along with some imperial alters to Heaven, Earth, Sun and Moon.  Tiananmen Square is arguably the largest public square in the world.  Continue to the Forbidden City - made up of over 9000 rooms, spanning 250 acres, and build between 1406 and 1420.  Home to emperors and their households, the Forbidden City was the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
Tonight try a mouth watering Peking Duck dinner - crispy lean duck with plum or garlic sauce, scallions and pancakes.
Day 3
  Beijing (B, L)
    Explore the wonders of the Great Wall of china on a privately escorted tour by return cable car to Mutianya Great Wall - a well preserved section of the Great Wall connecting Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi and Jinshanling in the east.  After climbing the wall return to the city and take a pedicab tour to Hutong (Beijing's traditional alleyways).  These alleys have a special place in the rich history and culture of Beijing.  The name of a Hutong represents its origin, location or history.  It is in these gray-tiled long lanes that families play, shop, gossip and live.
Day 4       (train travel included)
  Beijing - Xi'an (B, L)
    Explore the incredible richness of the Summer Palace this morning.  Located northwest of Beijing this iconic Palace is famous for its well preserved imperial garden - the largest of its kind still in existence in China today.  It is only a short 15km drive from central Beijing, but you are transported into another world.  Boating on the Kunming Lake will allow you a vivid glimpse of the palace while being lulled by gentle breezes.  After a short rest transfer to the rail station for your high speed train to historic Xi'an.
Day 5
  Xi'an  (B, L)
    Fall under the charm of the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum this morning - one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Return to downtown Xi'an and visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, built during the Tang Dynasty and used as storage of buddhist scriptures from India.  Continue with a viewing of the exterior of the Bell and Drum Towers, symbols of Xi'an and both playing important parts in the city's history.
Day 6      (flight included)
  Xi'an - Guilin (B, L)
    Set off this morning to visit the ancient City Walls of Xi'an - a well maintained example of Chinese city walls.  You may like to undertake a bike trip on the walls (optional and at your own expense) and experience the old and modern Xi'an.  Later stroll Muslim Street, featuring many cultural sites, different architectural styles and historic mosques.  Muslim Street is also famous for its food options and local snacks such as Rou Jia Mo, Yang Rho Pao Mo and Liang Pi.  Transfer to the station for your 2nd class train from Xi'an to Chengdu.
Day 7
  Guilin - Yangshuo (B, L)
    Commence your day with a leisurely cruise on the Li River, disembarking in Yangshuo - a beautiful town known for its karst landscape.  You will have a free afternoon to explore the tourist spots - Moon Hill, Big Banyan etc.  In the evening we recommend a visit to West Street which hosts lively nightlife in both Chinese and Western Style.
Day 8     
  Yangshuo (B, L, D)
    Today you have the choice of biking with a private guide or taking a private vehicle into the countryside to view the stunning scenery, rice paddies, water buffalo and get a glimpse into the local farmers life.  You then have the option to spend 1 hour bamboo rafting down the Yulong River.  After lunch at a local restaurant take part in an afternoon cooking class.
Day 9       (train travel included)
  Yangshuo - Guilin - Chongqing (B, D)
    This morning drive back to Guilin and visit the amazing limestone Reed Flute Cave - a fascinating gallery of natural sculpture, followed by a walk around the cities central lakes.
After your refreshing walk continue to the rail station for your high speed train (2nd class seat) to Chongqing - a 4 hour journey.  On arrival you will be met and transferred to your Yangtze Cruise boat.

Day 10
  Three Gorges' Cruise (B, L, D)
    Today you will visit Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named 'The Pearl of the Yangtze'.  If weather does not allow this, instead you will visit Fengdu, a village that has been relocated as a result of the Yangtze's rising waters, bought about by the Three Gorges Dam.
Optional Shore Excursion (weather permitting): Fengdu's "Ghost City" - known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill.

Day 11
  Three Gorges' Cruise (B, L, D)
    Today you will enter the Three Gorges, sculpted by nature, passing through the first two - Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge.  Qutang is the shortest and narrowest, and also the most dramatic of the Gorges.  Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest covered mountains and sheer cliffs.  Transfer to another vessel for a relaxing excursion through the attractive forges of Goddess Stream.  Depending on the river conditions an alternate excursion may be substituted to the gorges of Shennong Stream.  Enter Xiling Gorge - the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges.
Optional Shore Excursion (weather permitting): White Emperor City, an ancient city overlooking the western end of Qutang Gorge.

Day 12      (flight included)
  Yichang - Shanghai (B)
    You will be met at the dock and transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai.
Day 13
  Shanghai (B, L)
    Today explore the wonders of Shanghai, starting with the Yu Garden, featuring traditional architecture from the Yangtze Delta and over 400 years old.  After exploring the garden and adjoining market transfer to the Xintiandi area to visit the Shikumen Open House Museum and The Propaganda Poster Art Centre.  Continue to The Bund and Nanjing Road.  Here on the waterfront you can view modern skyscrapers side by side with colonial area buildings.  Nanjing Road is one of this cities busiest shopping streets.
Day 14
  Shanghai departure (B)
    Pick up from the hotel and transfer to the airport for your departure flight


  • Private tour escorted by an English speaking guide and private car
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary
  • Economy class domestic flight Xi'an - Guilin and Yichang - Shanghai
  • 2nd class domestic train Beijing - Xi'an and Xi'an - Chongqing
  • First entrance fees
  • Travel Notes

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