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This is the trip for you who want to experience the most and best of China! We visit the capital Beijing with the Great Wall and Forbidden City, the imperial city Xi'an with the famous Terracotta Warriors, the vibrant metropolis Shanghai, garden cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou and the beautiful Guilin. Experiences altogether create a unique Chinese panorama! Have you planned to once in a lifetime travel to China, here is the trip for you!
Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai
Travel with night flights. Meals are included on board.
Day 2: Shanghai
We land in the metropolis Shanghai, where there are more skyscrapers than in most big cities in world. Let us start with a visit in one of the tallest skyscrapers, Jin Mao Tower. From the 88th floor we have a splendid view of Pudong and the old western style buildings from colonial times. In the evening we gather for a welcoming dinner.
Day 3: Shanghai
Shanghai city is only a few hundred years old, but there are still a few historical buildings and parks. We will firstly visit the Yuyuan Garden, which was built by a rich officer hundred years ago. After obtaining a view of the Bund from above, it is good for you to walk here and enjoy the sight of the Huangpu River and all the skyscrapers in Pudong peninsula. Then you have some time on your own. Otherwise, it is also very enjoyable to just stroll along the impressive pedestrian and shopping street, Nanjing Lu. The day ends with a breathtaking acrobatic show performed by one of the famous teams in Shanghai.
Day 4: Shanghai - Suzhou
Museums are not just boring centers with rows of objects. The Shanghai Museum, considered as one of the best in China, where Chinese history and culture are presented in a very interesting and captivating way. After the museum visit we head to Suzhou by bus, which is known for "Venice of the East". Suzhou is a paradise for garden lovers. We will firstly walk through the Humble Administrator's Garden and get insights of how the Chinese believe a garden should look like. Suzhou is also famous for its silk production. During a visit to silk production centre, we have opportunity to learn more about how raw silk is made from the silk moth, via the cocoon. In the evening we walk through the beautiful Master of the Nets Garden and listen to classical Chinese music.
Day 5: Suzhou - Hangzhou
There are numerous waterways in Suzhou’s landscape. On the way to Hangzhou, we stop in the small canal town Tongli, where we take a boat trip and walk around amongst the picturesque houses. Once in Hangzhou, we visit Longjing during the afternoon, "Dragon Well", where one of China's most exclusive teas is grown. We will get information about the tea plantation and may also taste different kinds of tea.
Day 6: Hangzhou - Guilin
The city Hangzhou is famous for the West Lake. Her beauty is sung by generations of Chinese poets. We will take cruise on the West Lake and have opportunity to experience the poets’ sights before flying to Guilin.
Day 7: Guilin
In south, most of China's rice is cultivated. With a full day excursion to the growing districts, we can attain a good insight of the Chinese farming labors. At the mountain Longsheng, "Dragon's Backbone", we view all the winding cultivation terraces extend for miles along the slopes. Here we will meet some China's minority peoples.
Day 8: Guilin - Yangshuo
There is also other scenery in the very southern China. During a four-hour boat trip along the Li River, we enjoy and admire the famous sugar-loaf mountains. After arriving in the small village Yangshuo, we do a tour of the surrounding countryside by small open golf cars and get further knowledge about Chinese peasant life. In the evening there is an optional activity watching a lavish "River Show," directed by the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. It was he who directed the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008!
Day 9: Yangshuo - Guilin - Xi’an
In the morning, it is a nice time to explore Yangshuo on your own. There are old markets, parks, alleys and of course shopping streets. On the way back to Guilin, we visit the famous Reed Flute Cave about its strange stalactite and stalagmites. In the evening we fly from Guilin to Xi'an.
Day 10: Xi'an
The population of Xi'an is more than six million, but which is still far less than in old times. Over two thousand years, the city has been a cosmopolitan center. Buddhism was spread here, and several large shrines were built. We will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to explore how Buddhism came to China. Then we visit a jade carving workshop which turns the raw jade stone into exquisite works of art. Then the highlight of the day comes in the afternoon, the 8000-strong terracotta army. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Shi Huangdi, built his mausoleum here, and after his death the terracotta soldiers guarded the tomb. In the evening we eat Jiaozi, or dumplings, with various fillings. During the meal, we enjoy a song and dance performance, dating back to the ancient Tang Dynasty.
Day 11: Xian - Beijing
After breakfast we board on the new exciting 'super train' that started to run after Christmas in 2012. This ‘super train’ links several major cities in China and it only takes 4.5 hours from Xi'an to Beijing. The average speed is over 300 km/h! During the trip, we can look various Chinese landscapes from window. After arriving in Beijing, we firstly make a visit to the Temple of Heaven. This impressive park with great temple was built in early 1400's. Emperors went there yearly to pray for good harvest for the coming year.
Day 12: Beijing
We start with a tour of the world's largest square, Tiananmen Square, with surrounding buildings Mao's Mausoleum, the Great Hall of People, National Museum and Tiananmen gate. Next stop is the Forbidden City, the world's largest palace complex and home for emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties in nearly 500 years. Then it is time for a tour of Beijing's remaining hutongs, or ancient alleyways. We eat lunch at a home of an ordinary family in one of the houses in a hutong. In the evening we may have a party for the colorful Beijing Opera. (Optional)
Day 13: Beijing
Today will be a full day tour around Beijing's suburb. We begin with a manufacture factory of cloisonné, traditional Beijing crafts. Then we continue to a holy path, spirits way. Here we walk slowly and imagine how an emperor was transported along this route to their final resting place in one of the Ming Tombs after death. Along our journey, we will notice that the mountains rise increasingly and the road becomes more winding. We soon will arrive at the Great Wall of China, this remarkable edifice finished for several hundred years, and which extends over more than 6000 kilometers! Here we are!
Day 14: Beijing
After a morning visit to the Summer Palace, which was emperors and empresses’ favorite residence in summer, you are free for your own program in the afternoon. In the evening we gather to enjoy the city's culinary specialty, Peking duck.
Day 15: Departure from Beijing
Transfer to airport for flying back to sweet home. Meals are included on flight.