ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Shanghai
Arrive in Shanghai and transfer to your hotel for a refreshing welcome drink with your local guide. Afterwards, wander through the bustling streets of China’s largest metropolis and experience the bustle of downtown. Then, venture over to the west bank of the Huangpu River and admire the sprawling waterfront architecture of the Bund.
After lunch, take a leisurely stroll along Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s oldest shopping strip and one of the world’s busiest retail precincts. Then, head over to the east bank of the Huangpu River and marvel at the towering skyscrapers of Pudong, one of Asia’s most important financial hubs.
Watch the sunset from Cloud 9 cocktail bar at the top of the Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai’s tallest building, and savour the panoramic views of the city.
Day 2: Shanghai –Luzhi- Suzhou-Shanghai
In the morning, journey to the ancient water village of Luzhi, and discover the canals of the “Venice of China”. Then, head to Suzhou where you’ll become immersed in the historic residential gardens. After lunch, wander through the tranquil grounds of the Lingering Garden. There, you’ll experience its tail of destruction and revival over the course of its 400 year old history, before strolling along the Grand Canal.
Day 3: Shanghai - Guilin
Start your day at the picturesque Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai’s Old City before taking in the old-world charm of Li Nong town as you get a glimpse of life before the skyscrapers.
In the afternoon, immerse yourself in tradition at the Jade Buddha Monastery and admire its collection of jade Buddha statues from Myanmar. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin.
Day 4: Guilin - Longsheng –Guilin
From Guilin, embark on a full day tour to Longsheng. Hike the centuries old layers of rice terraces carved along the mountain side. Take in the spectacular views before reaching the summit referred to as the “Dragon’s Backbone”. Head back to Guilin for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy some free time. That evening, indulge in a relaxing night cruise as you sail along the Four Lakes and enjoy incredible views of the city’s attractions lit up at night.
Day 5: Guilin - Yangshuo
In the morning, journey to Yangshuo before continuing your cruise along the Li River. Breathe in the fresh air while you take in spectacular karst landscapes. Get up close with local fishermen using trained birds to bring in their catches. After lunch, enjoy some free time walking along the old town of Yangshuo.
In the evening, witness a spectacular display of lights and theatre as hundreds of local farmers, fishermen and dancers perform the famous “Impression Liu Sanjie” show against the stunningly lit backdrop of the Li River.
Day 6: Yangshuo – Guilin – Chengdu
Start the day exploring the landscapes surrounding Yangshuo with Moon Hill, tucked away in the hills south of Guilin. Behold the half-moon shape as you hike closer to the natural arch, the only remnant of a limestone cave. Then, wander through the cavernous Silver Cave, which stretches 10km into the mountain. Later, return to Guilin for your flight to Chengdu.
Day 7: Chengdu -- Leshan -- E’meishan
Visit Jin Li Temple, a stone’s throw from the oldest commercial district in China. Then, venture over to the Panda Conservation Centre and observe China’s cuddly national icon lazing about in custom made enclosures. A world-class research facility and conservation centre, the Panda Centre is also a primary destination to get a closer look at these endangered bears. Grab a drink and sit back to observe up to 83 of these Sichuan natives forage for honey and munch on bamboo.
After your visit, continue to Leshan and board a river cruise to the famous Giant Buddha – the largest stone Buddha in the world. An extraordinary 71m statue carved out of the stone cliff face, it’s positioned at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Quingyi rivers. Grab a photo with the backdrop of Mount Emei before moving on to E’meishan.
Day 8: E’meishan –Chengdu Airport- Xi’an
After breakfast, ride a cable car up to the Golden Summit of Mount E’mei, one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The highest peak is over 3,000 meters above sea level, and has spectacular views forged by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Then, hike through the forest to Wannian temple under the watchful eyes of Tibetan Macaques that inhabit this area of the mountain. After hiking down the rest of the mountain, return to Chengdu before flying to Xi’an.
Day 9: Xi’an
In the morning, travel back in time to 1200BCE as you discover more than 130,000 cultural relics at Shaanxi History Museum. Then, scale Xi’an City Wall, the oldest wall in China, erected in the 7th century and stretching over 13km in length. Listen to historic tales of the Silk Road and the brutal invasions that led to the wall’s construction. In the afternoon, head to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most significant Buddhism sites in China and oldest structures in the country.
In the afternoon, take a stroll through the bustling Muslim Quarter. Taste and experience its colourful stalls and delectable cuisine with distinctive dishes of Xi’an.
Day 10: Xi’an – Beijing
Begin your day amongst the famous Terracotta Warriors buried with the First Qin Emperor over 2,000 years ago. Hear about its accidental discovery by a local farmer before wandering around its earthen pits. Grab a souvenir from the museum before scaling China’s oldest wall, the Xi’an City Wall, erected in the 7th century. Listen to historic tales of the Silk Road and the brutal invasions that led to the wall’s construction. In the afternoon, head to the airport to board your flight to Beijing.
Day 11: Beijing
In the morning, take a stroll around Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world and among the most well-known historical sites in China. Continue on to the Forbidden City, once the seat of Chinese political power for almost 500 years and once home to China’s last ruling dynasties. Explore its serene courtyards and stately rooms before climbing the artificial coal hill behind it for spectacular views of Beijing’s sprawling skyline.
That afternoon, visit the Summer Palace, built by Emperor Qianlong as a gift to his mother in the 18th century. Wander through the tranquil grounds where imperial staff would flee from the stifling rooms of the Forbidden City during summer. Grab a refreshing beverage in the shady grounds before wandering through its famous pavilions and scenic lakes, including Kunming Lake and the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. Head over to the intricately carved Marble Boat before hiking to the top of Longevity Hill for panoramic views of the complex.
Day 12: Beijing
After breakfast, journey to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China to experience one of the world’s most iconic sights. Enjoy amazing views of the surrounding landscape as you scale the iconic wall spanning more than 6000km across China, erected to keep out Mongolian and Manchurian invaders. Hike along the wall’s high ridges and scope out its ancient watchtowers, dating back more than 2000 years.
On your way back, stroll through the tranquil grounds of the thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty in suburban Changping District. In the afternoon, relive the excitement of the 2008 Olympic Games with a photo stop at the magnificent Bird Nest Stadium and the Water Cube.
Day 13: Beijing
In the morning, head to the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Study its intricate design and stately prayer rooms before heading over to the magnificent imperial altar, once reserved for emperors to pray and make offerings for good harvests. Outside, witness a fascinating spectacle of locals greeting the sun with their daily qigong and kung fu exercises.
Later, get behind the wheels of an authentic Chinese rickshaw as you wind your way through the ancient hutong alleyways, dating back to the 13th century. Get a peek inside the traditional courtyard houses and bustling local markets tucked away in these ancient backstreets.
Day 14: Beijing
Transfer to Beijing International Airport for your flight home.