Arrive Shanghai, China
Arrive in Shanghai, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Shanghai | A Wealth of Heritage Revealed
This morning, visit the Shanghai Museum accompanied by its curator, viewing exceptional collections of historically significant art and housewares, including bronzes, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, jade, furniture and coins. Proceed to the observation deck of the Shanghai Tower, where you have the opportunity to enjoy a stunning birds eye view of the city. After lunch at a local restaurant, walk through Shanghai’s historic Jewish Quarter, and learn how it became a haven for Jews fleeing Europe during World War II. Visit the small museum and former synagogue. Tonight, meet your fellow guests for a cocktail and welcome dinner.
Shanghai | Walk Along the Bund
Stroll the Bund, the waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River, popular with locals and visitors alike. Visit Yu Garden, a former private garden built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that features an exquisite layout, beautiful scenery and garden architecture. Savor a lunch of steamed dumplings at a local restaurant. Then, transfer to the airport and fly to Beijing. Upon arrival, check in to your luxurious hotel.
Beijing | Discover the Great Wall
This morning, journey to the Mutianyu portion of the Great Wall — its most well-preserved section. Marvel at the size and scale of the site, which began as a series of fortifications in the seventh century BC to block the invading nomadic tribes of the Eurasian steppe. Walk or ride a cable car to the top of the wall and revel in magnificent vistas of the surrounding mountains. Return to Beijing and proceed to the hutongs (networks of winding alleyways), where you Ride Like a Local by pedicab. Explore the area and its lines of siheyuan (courtyard residences) surrounded by buildings on all four sides.
Beijing | Tai Chi & Tiananmen Square
Partake in a morning tai chi class at the historic Temple of Heaven. Built in 1420, it is considered the most beautiful example of Ming Dynasty architecture. After lunch, visit Tiananmen Square, site of the mausoleum of Mao Zadong and the 1989 Chinese democracy movement protests. Continue to the Forbidden City, located in the heart of Beijing. Once off-limits to most for more than 500 years, it is one of the world’s largest palace complexes and features a vast collection of historic buildings. Take in the Chinese Imperial Palace, the former home of the nation’s royal families.
Luoyang | The Birthplace of Kung Fu
Fly to Luoyang and journey to White Horse Temple. Considered the first Buddhist monastery built in China, it was established in the first century. After an authentic lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure. The next day, visit legendary Shaolin Temple and witness a thrilling private demonstration of Shaolin kung fu by resident monks. This Zen Buddhist monastery is considered the birthplace of the martial arts, first formalized here in the sixth century. Stroll through the stone and brick Pagoda Forest. Enjoy lunch before visiting the Songyang Academy of Classical Learning, renowned center of Confucian philosophy. Next, explore the spectacular Longmen Caves, a memorable opportunity to experience the rich history and arts of China. Devoted to the Buddhist religion, its grottoes and niches contain the largest, most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties.
Xian | Historic Walled City
This morning, board a high-speed train to Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province. Set amid the Guanzhong Plain, it is one of the oldest cities in China. After lunch at a local restaurant, stroll along the ramparts of Xian’s impressive City Wall. Check in to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure, gathering later in the evening for dinner.
Xian | Magnificent Terra Cotta Warriors
Today, accompanied by one of Xian’s leading specialists, visit the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. The site includes a life-size army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 soldiers, each with a unique face, exhibit remarkable craftsmanship. After lunch, board a high-speed train to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Chengdu | Cherished Giant Pandas
This morning, visit the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. This site provides pandas with a nurturing environment, affording an unforgettable opportunity to see these endangered living symbols of China as they roam freely in their natural habitat. Then, discover the beautiful, well-preserved Wenshu Temple dating back to the seventh century. Stroll along Jinli Walking Street, a faithful reconstruction of a traditional Sichuan market street. Watch traditional Chinese handicrafts being made and folk artisans putting on entertaining shows, such as shadow puppetry or a face-changing performance.
Guilin | Picturesque Landscape
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin. After lunch at a local restaurant, explore Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave, two of China’s most iconic natural wonders. Continue to your hotel in Yangshuo for an afternoon and evening at leisure. Later, gather with your fellow travellers for dinner at the hotel.
Guilin | The Li River by Bamboo Raft
Today, embark on a leisurely bamboo raft trip on the Li River, drifting quietly downstream, past stunning limestone peaks. Observe life along the shore, where fishermen use cormorants to collect their catch and farmers still cultivate rice paddies by hand. This afternoon, you may choose to explore the area by bicycle or kayak. This evening, experience the Liu San Jie Impression Show, a stunning spectacle of sight and sound orchestrated by the mastermind of the Beijing Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies.
Hong Kong | Victoria Peak & Floating Villages
Fly to Hong Kong, China’s glittering gateway of international trade and finance. Check in to your hotel and enjoy time at leisure exploring this world-class city. The next morning, depart for Sheung Wan, one of the earliest British settlements. Stroll through an herbal medicine market, and stop at Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road for an informative look at a typical Chinese temple. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city, Victoria Harbour and Lamma Island from atop Victoria Peak. Continue to Aberdeen for a leisurely sampan (wooden boat) ride through the floating villages of the Tanka community, observing the ebb and flow of everyday life. After lunch, spend your afternoon at leisure. Tonight, gather for a cocktail reception and farewell dinner.
Depart Hong Kong
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.