ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and meet with your guide before making your way to your hotel. Later, venture over to the Temple of Heaven, a renowned architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire its ancient decor and stately prayer rooms before heading over to the magnificent imperial altar. In the afternoon, head back to your hotel for an evening exploring the bustling streets of downtown Beijing.
Day 2: Beijing
In the morning, visit Tiananmen Square, the third largest public square in the world and one of the most popular attractions in China. Continue over to the Forbidden City, the ancient seat of Chi-nese political power for almost 500 years and once home to China’s last ruling dynasties. Explore its tranquil courtyards and imperial courtrooms before climbing the coal hill behind it for spectacular views of Beijing’s sprawling skyline. In the afternoon, stroll along the banks of Beihai Lake and watch young couples paddling dinghies across its peaceful waters. Head towards Houhai Lake and wander through the historic hutong alleyways crammed with traditional courtyard houses, restaurants and bars. Later, head over to the Drum Tower for a demonstration of a centuries-old ritual once used to mark the hours in the day. Finish at nearby Clock Tower savouring spectacular views of the neighbouring hutongs from a roof terrace whilst indulging in authentic local cuisine.
Day 3: Beijing
Start your day with a visit to the Great Wall of China, 70km from Beijing. Then, take in spectacu-lar views of the surrounding landscape as you scale the iconic walls of this 2000-year old struc-ture. Hike along the wall’s high ridges spanning more than 6000km and scope out its ancient watchtowers, once used to spot Mongolian and Manchurian attackers. Snap some photos in the morning light before climbing the wall by cable car. Settle down for a tasty picnic lunch on the Great Wall, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
In the afternoon, venture over to the Summer Palace, built by Emperor Quianlong in the 18th century. Wander around its tranquil grounds and explore the serene temples and picturesque lakes, including Kunming Lake and the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. Head over to the grand Marble Boat before hiking the 60m to the top of Longevity Hill for panoramic views of the whole complex.
Make your way back to the hotel for a night off in Beijing.
Day 4: Hong Kong
In the morning, head to the heart of the capital’s art scene, District 798, located northeast of Beijing. Previously a cluster of abandoned factories, District 798 is now the pulsing heart of Beijing’s contemporary arts and culture scene. Take a stroll around its eclectic galleries and exhibitions, featuring Asia’s hottest up-and-coming artists, before refuelling at one of its trendy cafes. Grab a souvenir at a hip designer boutique before exploring the tiny alleyways and grabbing a drink at one of the nearby cocktail bars.
After lunch, head to Beijing airport for your flight to Hong Kong.
In the afternoon, arrive in Hong Kong and be greeted by your guide before transferring to the hotel. After checking in, take a stroll around the bustling streets of downtown Hong Kong before grabbing a tasty snack from a street side food stall. Later, stop by one of Hong Kong’s infamous yum cha houses to feast on a spread of tasty dumplings. Finish the day unwinding at a high rise bar overlooking Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline.
Day 5: Hong Kong
Experience fast-paced Hong Kong like a local as you embark on a full day exploring the city on foot. Duck beneath its modern surface and venture through Hong Kong’s lively street markets, starting at the Bird and Flower Market. Take in the sights, sounds (and smells) of hundreds of vendors hawking unusual bird breeds before wandering past fragrant stalls heaped with exotic blooms. Later, wander over to the Goldfish Market on Tung Choi Street and browse hundreds of stalls stocking everything from brightly coloured fish and underwater plants, to live snakes.
In the afternoon, head over to the Langham Palace Mongkok shopping complex, an homage to Hong Kong’s rapid modernisation and booming lust for designer brands. Afterwards, board the world-famous Star Ferry, ranked by National Geographic as one of the world’s top 50 tourist attractions. Grab a photo in front of the spectacular Hong Kong skyline, featuring some of the world’s tallest buildings, before disembarking at North Point. Wander through the fascinating wet markets of Chun Yeung Street before ending the day on Ko Shing Street, famous for its Chinese pharmacies stocking exotic remedies that remain as popular today as Western medicine. Finish the day indulging in the culinary charms of the Temple Street night market, known for its fresh seafood and exotic local specialties.
Day 6: Hong Kong
Depart in the morning with your guide and venture to Lantau Island. Board the Ngong Ping Cable Car and savour unrivalled views of the South China Sea and Lantau National Park (opt for the glass-floored “crystal cabin” for a complete view of your surroundings). Later, arrive at the tourist village of Ngong Ping and hike the 238 steps to the Bronze Tian Tan Buddha Statue at the peak of Lantau. Then, trek over to the 100-year old Po Lin Monastery, one of the most important Buddhism sites in Hong Kong and once inaccessible to the public. Later, stroll through the ethereal woodlands of the Wisdom Path to a cluster of antique wooden headstones inscribed with Confucianist, Taoist and Buddhist prayers by the master Jao Tsung-I.
In the afternoon, catch the bus to Tai’O, a town founded by China’s Tanka fishermen ethnic minority, previously known as “sea gypsies”. Observe their sacred fishing rituals that continue today before exploring this waterfront village and its earthen stilt houses. Afterwards, indulge in exotic street food specialties, including dried fish and shrimp, shrimp pâté and rice cakes before visiting the centuries-old Kwan Tai temple, the oldest temple structure on Lantau. Immerse yourself in the island’s artistic traditions as you chat with local calligraphers, artists and feng shui gardeners.
End the day with a visit to Cheung Sha, one of Hong Kong’s longest beaches. Take a stroll along the trendy waterfront and stop in at famous Mediterranean eatery, Stoep. Catch the bus to-wards Mui Wo and connect to Hong Kong island via ferry. Overnight in Hong Kong.
Day 7: Hong Kong
Make your way to Hong Kong International Airport for your flight home.