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Glories of China

12 days

Shanghai - Guilin - Xi'an - Beijing

Shanghai's Bund Li River, Guilin

A popular classic 12-day tour of the highlights of China, combining Beijing for the Great Wall and Forbidden City, Xi'an for the Terracotta warriors, the scenic landscape of Guilin, and the dynamic modern city of Shanghai

Price includes cost of single entry group visa (minimum 2 persons) - a saving of up to £320 for a family of four

Day 1  Depart London Heathrow or regional airports.

Day 2  Arrive Shanghai. Met on arrival by your driver and transfer to 4- or 5-star hotel. (B)

Day 3  Full day city sightseeing tour of Shanghai, to include the Yu Garden - a traditional house and garden in old China town district; the famous Bund or waterfront with its European-style former banks and trading houses; and the Shanghai Museum with its rich collection of art and antiques. Then take a boat trip on the Huangpu River that flows through Shanghai, giving you the best view of the city's modern striking skyline. (B, L)

Day 4   Free day in Shanghai. (B)

Day 5   Transfer to airport for the two-hour flight to Guilin. Met on arrival and transfer to 4- to 5-star Grand Lijiang Waterfall Hotel. (B)

Day 6   Boat trip on the beautiful Li River past striking scenery of limestone peaks and rice paddy fields to the small riverside town of Yangshuo. Visit Yangshuo's busy market and main street before transfer back to Guilin by road. (B, L)

Day 7   Transfer to airport for flight to Xi'an. Met on arrival by driver and local English-speaking assistant and transfer to 4-star Somerset Xindicheng Xi'an Hotel or Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel. (B)

Day 8  Day excursion with your own English-speaking guide and driver to to the life-size warriors of the world-famous Terracotta Army in the morning, created in the 3rd century BC to guard the tomb of China's first emperor. Also visit Xi'an's Grand Mosque and the streets of the Muslim Quarter. Lunch included. (B, L)

Day 9  Transfer to railway station for high-speed train to Beijing. Met on arrival by your driver and transfer to 4-star standard Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen, popular with westerners. (B)

Day 10  Start the day with a visit to Tiananmen Square, followed by the Forbidden City - the complex of buildings in the heart of Beijing that was the centre of power for China's rulers for over 400 years. Explore both the grand halls and some of the smaller rooms and courtyards that housed the imperial family. Then visit the imposing Temple of Heaven where emperors prayed for good harvests. Also visit a shop selling freshwater pearls. (B, L)

Day 11  Full day excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, about 1.5 hours drive north of Beijing. The wall here is not so busy at some other sections and is very scenic as its winds its way down the mountainside. Includes cable car up to the wall. Walk along part of the wall and explore the many fascinating aspects of this iconic symbol of China's past. En route to the wall pass the 2008 Olympic stadium, known as the 'Bird's Nest' and the 'Water Cube' - the national aquatic centre. Also visit a workshop carving items from jade, a stone of special significance to the Chinese. (B, L)

Day 12  Transfer to Beijing airport for flight back to UK, arriving later the same day. (B)


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