Beijing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai
- Walk on the incredible Great Wall of China, near Beijing
- Race across China on a high-speed bullet train from Beijing to Wuxi
- Walk through Tiananmen Square, where key events in Chinese history have taken place
- Sit by tranquil West Lake in Hangzhou, much admired by Marco Polo
- Stroll in one of the finest Chinese classical gardens, in Suzhou
- Immerse yourself in the bustling metropolis Shanghai
Savour the beauty of China’s ancient history, rich culture, delicate cuisine, thriving industries, and modern architecture. Walk along the Great Wall near Beijing, discover the exquisite southeastern cities Wuxi, Suzhou, and Hangzhou – long known for their natural beauty, and immerse yourself in dynamic, cosmopolitan Shanghai.
Pace: Moderate – please be prepared for intervals of brisk walking and full days.
NOTE: Some flights may depart the night before.
After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square, the second-largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is named after the Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to the north of the square, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong, and holds great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Optional Program: Forbidden City Tour – Continue on to the incredible Forbidden City, a true architectural masterpiece, and the imperial palace from the Ming to the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912). The complex is home to the National Palace Museum, and consists of 980 buildings covering 72 ha (over 180 acres). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world!
Optional Program: Peking Duck Dinner – Tonight, head out for a Beijing speciality which is one of the most famous Chinese dishes, Peking Duck.
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall of China at Juyong Pass. This is one of the three most famous passes along the Wall, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. Just 60 km from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was the northern route to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the wall’s construction and you’ll have the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000 km marvel.
On the way back to Beijing, we stop at one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a cloisonné factory. Cloisonné is a famous traditional enamel ware, known as the ‘Blue of Jingtai’ in China, with a history of over 500 years. It was so called because blue was the colour typically used for enamelling, and Jingtai was the reign title of the 7th Ming Emperor.
Optional Program: The Golden Mask Dynasty – This phenomenal show incorporates dancing, acrobatics, magnificent costumes and lot of surprises. Seen by an estimated 1.1 million people, it is one of Beijing’s must-see shows.
Enjoy a tour to the Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for emperors, followed by a visit to a Chinese herbal medicine institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years, as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage.
Optional Program: Hutong Life & Panda House Tour w/Lunch – A rickshaw will take you around the intricate winding hutongs to admire these old courtyard dwellings, built during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Even today, when many have been developed into upscale restaurants, tea houses, and boutiques, many residents are reluctant to move from their beloved hutongs. On this tour, you are invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic ‘old Beijing’ life. Next, visit the Panda House in Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the giant panda.
Optional Program: Chinese Kung Fu Show – This show is an energetic mix of traditional Chinese martial arts, dance and high-flying acrobatics set in a modern theatre. Combined with an excellent storyline, exceptional stage design and professional actors this show is not to be missed for kung-fu enthusiasts or those seeking a thrilling performance.
Take a high speed train to Wuxi, an ancient city, richly endowed with natural attractions due to its pleasantly warm and moist climate. Wuxi boasts a reputation of being the ‘Land of Fish and Rice’. Enjoy the scenery as we pass by Lake Tai, the third-largest freshwater lake in China. This evening, we will stroll along the trendy yet traditional Nanchang Street, composed of both ancient and modern architecture, and juxtaposed with the peaceful atmosphere of the waterside town and fashionable life of Wuxi.
Optional Program: Jiangnan Dumpling Lunch – Enjoy a traditional lunch that includes the famous xiao long bao, a Chinese steamed bun filled with minced pork and tasty soup, prepared in a small bamboo steaming basket (xiao long).
This morning, visit one of the largest freshwater pearl exhibitions in the country. After lunch, travel by coach to Suzhou, an elegant city with canals, stone bridges, and meticulously designed gardens. Suzhou has been referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’ by Chinese poets and writers since ancient times. As a large area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is also known as ‘Venice of the East’. It is also known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its many classical gardens, renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Visit the Lingering Garden, which is among the finest in China.
Optional Program: Grand Canal Cruise – Take a cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage listed Grand Canal of over a thousand years to view life along what was known as ‘China’s golden waterway’ in its heyday.
Optional Program: Western Buffet Dinner – Enjoy a sumptuous western style buffet dinner with at your hotel, a relaxing way to wind down the day.
This morning visit a silk spinning mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the finest thread and cloth. After lunch, travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as ‘the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world’. Upon arrival, take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, and noted for its scenic beauty which blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites.
Optional Program: Impression West Lake – This evening, enjoy an open-air performance, a masterpiece created by Zhang Yimou, acclaimed film and theatre director, and architect of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games Opening Ceremony.
Experience tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. Then travel by coach to Shanghai, a vibrant metropolis and the commercial centre of China. Upon arrival, walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined with colonial architecture of European design, it is the best place to capture the Western influences of the old days. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure strolling along the bustling shopping district, Nanjing Road. Afterwards, you may join an optional Huangpu River Cruise (at your own expense).
Optional Program: Huangpu River Cruise – As you cruise along the Huangpu River, you will get a glimpse of the history and spectacular view of cosmopolitan Shanghai. On one side of the river, there is The Bund, a landmark of Shanghai. Lining the boulevard of the waterfront are grandiose solid buildings of Western style dating back to the early 19th century. On the other side is the charming image of modern Shanghai.
This morning, visit the Shanghai Museum to see ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade. The rest of the afternoon is at your own leisure, or you may join our optional programs.
Optional Program A: Jin Mao Tower, Xintiandi & Maglev Train Tour – Visit the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck (88th floor) for a panoramic view of the Huangpu River and the Bund. Then explore the affluent Xintiandi (New Heaven and Earth) area which holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. Xintiandi was the site of the first congress of the Communist Party of China, and is now the most expensive place to live in the country. Next, experience the world’s fastest commercially operating train, running between the city and Shanghai airport with a top speed of 431km/h. Note: This program cannot be combined with Shanghai Disneyland Package.
Optional Program: Chinese Acrobatic Show – Tonight you can watch a stunning Chinese acrobatic show combining Chinese performing arts and modern technology, comparable to the tradition of the Broadway Musical. Note: This program cannot be combined with Shanghai Disneyland Package.
Optional Program B: Shanghai Disneyland Package – Newly opened in June 2016. Shanghai Disneyland showcases a never-before-seen world of wonder where you can ignite the magical dream within your heart and experience fun, adventure and thrills for guests of all ages! Includes standard Shanghai Disneyland admission and one transfer in each direction. Note: Transfers is at a set time and will be arranged by the local guide on the tour. If you prefer to stay behind at the resort, you must make your own way back to the hotel. This package cannot be combined with other optional programs on this day and require a minimum of at least 6 people.
|2019||Twin Share PP||Single Supplement|
Valued at $1,599
|* = Peak Season Surcharge: $300pp|
- Airfares, taxes & fuel surcharges from Sydney or Melbourne with a full service Chinese carrier
- Eg. China Southern/Eastern Airlines, Air China, China/Hainan/Sichuan/Xiamen Airlines (subject to availability)
- 9 nights 3-4 star (local rating) hotel accommodation
- Daily breakfast
- High-speed bullet train
- Round trip airport & hotel transfers
- Air conditioned coach transportation
- Baggage limit: 1 piece 20kg per person
- All sightseeing & entrance fees
- English-speaking tour guide(s)
- Prepaid tipping: $100pp
- China visa (required)
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses & anything optional