Highlights of China / 17 days

 

 

 

Daily schedule

1 Arrive in Beijing, transfer to hotel. Afternoon to Temple of Heaven. Overnight in Beijing

2 Visit the Tian An Men square and the Forbidden City, Summer Palace. Enjoy show in the evening. Overnight in Beijing

3 Visit Great Wall, Holy Road. Afternoon Hutong tour. Soft sleeper overnight train to Xi'An. Overnight on the train

 4Terra Cotta Army, afternoon to bustling Muslim area. In the evening enjoy Tang Dynasty show with dumpling buffet. Overnight in Xi'an

5 Visit the amazing Han tombs, flight to Guilin. Overnight in Guilin

6 In the morning visit the Reed Flute cave, continue to Fubo hill for bird's eye view of Guilin's nature. In the afternoon visit a tea plantation where you can enjoy a Chinese tea ceremony. Overnight in Guilin

7 Drive to Longsheng to admire the Longji Rice Terrace and the Zhuang minority villages. Overnight in Ping'An

8 Visit the Zhuang and Yao villages around Ping'An and enjoy hiking tour. In the afternoon back to Guilin. Overnight in Guilin

9 Li river cruise to Yangshuo, free afternoon to enjoy the bustling little town. Overnight in Yangshuo

10 Bike tour in the beautiful nature around Yangshuo (3-4 hours). In the evening Liu SanJie show (optional). Overnight in Yangshuo

11 Back to Guilin, flight to Hangzhou. Overnight in Hangzhou

12 Boat trip on West Lake, visit historic street of Hangzhou. Overnight in Hangzhou

13 Linyin temple in Hangzhou, then to Wuzhen water village in the Yangzi delta. Enjoy cruise on the lit canals in the evening. Overnight in Wuzhen

14 Visit historic part of Wuzhen, afternoon to Suzhou. Overnight in Suzhou

15 Visit the most beautiful garden of Suzhou, continue to bustling Shanghai, cruise on Huangpu river. Overnight in Shanghai

16 Visit the Bund and Nanjing road, afternoon go by high speed Maglev train, visit Shanghai Museum. In the evening up Jinmao Tower for sky line of Shanghai by night. Overnight in Shanghai

17 Yuyuan Garden and bazaar, Jade Buddha Temple. In the evening amazing acrobatics show in Era theater. Overnight in Shanghai

 

Itinerary:


Day 1: Arrival Beijing, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you will visit the Temple of Heaven.

 

Day 2: In the morning you will visit the Tian An Men square and the Forbidden City. In the afternoon you can admire the wonderful Summer Palace and in the evening we have reserved seats for you to enjoy a Beijing Opera show OR Chinese acrobatics show. Before the Opera show you can go back stage to see the performers put on their extensive make up.

 

Day 3: Today you will visit one of the highlights of China: the Great Wall at Badaling and the Holy Road. In the afternoon you will make a Hutong tour by pedicab. This is a really great way to see the 700 year old traditional Beijing residences. You can visit one of the houses and take a look at the old courtyards. In the evening you will take the soft sleeper overnight train train to Xi’an.

 

Day 4: Arrive Xi'an in the morning, where your new local guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Xi'an. In the afternoon you will visit another highlight of China: the Terra Cotta Army. In the afternoon visit the Mosque and the Muslim Square. In the evening there is a renowned Tang Dynasty Show which you will enjoy together with a dumpling banquet.

 

Day 5: Today you will visit the tomb from the Emperor of the Han dynasty. Very different from the Terra Cotta Warriors but equally splendid! You will continue to the airport for your flight to Guilin.

 

Day 6: We start this wonderful leg of the tour by visiting the Reed Flue Cave, which contains beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. We then continue to Fubo Hill where you can climb to the top of the hill to enjoy the amazing karst landscape of Guilin. If you are not interested in the climb, you can have a look at the rock stone carvings and Buddha statues at the foot of the Fubo hill. In the afternoon we will go to a tea plantation, where you get to see a Chinese tea ceremony, and where you will detailed explanation about the processing of tea and the different ways to enjoy a good cup of tea.

 

Day 7: About 2 1/2 hours drive outside of Guilin we can find the Zhuang minority villages and the famous Dragon Backbone Rice terraces. These rice terraces are built along the slope of the mountain, with an elevation ranging from 885m to 380m. In Longsheng we can find the Zhuang and Yao minority living side by side, even though the Zhuang minority is larger. The spiraling rice terraces are said to look like the backbone of a dragon. We spend the night a the small Zhuang village called Ping'An.

 

Day 8: Today we enjoy the serene peace of Ping'An by going for a leisurely walk in the surrounding countryside and in between the rice fields. In the afternoon we return to Guilin.

 

Day 9: We take the Li river cruise, one of the most famous boat rides in China. The karst mountains seem to be made out of blue Jade. Really spectacular! On both sides we can see small villages, water buffaloes, and children playing in the water. The boat tour takes about 3 hours, and we can enjoy lunch on the boat. Free afternoon in the charming and bustling town of Yangshuo, a great place for souvenir shopping.

 

Day 10: We start the day with a guide bicycle tour. Our guide will show you the most lovely places around Yangshuo, the green countryside full of rice fields and sleepy water buffaloes. A really great way to see the country side in a relaxed way. In the evening you van book the Liu SanJie show. This is a spectacular show, directed by famous director Zhang YiMou, who also arranged the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008. The show is staged on the Li river, using the karst mountains as the background.

 

Day 11: transfer back to Guilin airport for the flight to the green city of Hangzhou. Marco Polo once wrote that Hangzhou was the most beautiful city on earth.

 

Day 12: We start the day by going to the wonderful West lake and we take a boat trip on the lake. The West lake is famous for its stunning beauty and wonderful park around the lake. We then continue to see the historic streets of Hangzhou with its many colorful shops.

 

Day 13: In the morning to the serene Linyin Buddhist temple with its many halls and impressive statues. Continue to Wuzhen water village, where the many small and winding roads with high arched bridges are sure to charm you!

 

Day 14: Excursion to the old part of Wuzhen water village where we can see many museums where old arts and crafts are still being practiced. Very interesting to see the old style houses and beautiful handicrafts on display there. In the afternoon continue to Suzhou.

 

Day 15: Excursion to the most beautiful garden of Suzhou: The Master of the Nets Garden. Continue to Shanghai where we make a boat trip on the busy Huangpu river and we can enjoy the skyline of Shanghai from the boat.

 

Day 16: In the morning visit the Bund boulevard with its lovely European style buildings. After that we take a walk on the Nanjing Road, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world with local as well as international shops. In the afternoon we take a return trip with the Magnetic Levitation train, better known as the Maglev train. This train can reach speeds up to 430 km per hour. After that, we will visit the Shanghai museum, the biggest, and perhaps the best, museum in China. In the evening you will go by elevator up the Jinmao tower, one of the highest towers in Shanghai. From there you will have an unforgettable view of the skyline of Shanghai by night.

 

Day 17: Visit the Yuyuan Garden and the old city center of Shanghai. This 5 acre garden is famous for its traditional Chinese design and its sense of harmony. Our next stop is the bustling bazaar. In the afternoon we visit the Jade Buddha temple, with an incredible Jade statue of a serene and peaceful Buddha. After dinner we go to the most amazing acrobatics show you will ever see in your life: the Era acrobatics! What a beautiful end to a wonderful trip!  

 

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© 2014 by Clary van Meijel.