A Tale of Three Cities

8 Days / 7 Nights

  Beijing - Xi'an - Shanghai

8 Days / 7 Nights

A Tale of Three Cities

  Beijing - Xi'an - Shanghai

Explore China’s legendary Golden Triangle and visit three of the nation’s most important cities – Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. In one trip, enjoy incredible views from the Great Wall, witness history at Tiananmen Square and step back in time at the Forbidden City. Visit different religious sites from Buddhism to Islam and be wowed at the Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 21st Century. Complete with several museum tours, plus a show by one of China’s amazing acrobat troupes, immerse into a diverse and bustling country to discover the China of yesterday, today and tomorrow on this eight-day tour.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit three of China’s most compelling destinations in one trip
  • Witness one of mankind's most awe-inspiring constructions at the Great Wall of China
  • Explore the impressive subterranean army of the Terracotta Warriors
  • Enjoy an evening of theatre, danger and vertigo at a Chinese Acrobats show
  • Learn about China’s gripping political history on Tiananmen Square and explore the Forbidden City

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • All transfers and sightseeing with private car/driver and English Speaking local tour guides in different cities.
  • Meals as listed in the proposal with one glass of soft drink at local restaurants
  • 7 nights’ hotel accommodations and breakfasts based on Entry Level Standard Twin/Double Room
  • Air tickets PEK/SIA/SHA inclusive of tax and fuel surcharge on economy class
  • Acrobatic show in Shanghai with regular seat

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Beijing

DAY 1 - Beijing

Touch down in China’s massive capital, Beijing. After a transfer to the hotel, spend the rest of the day delving into the local life of this sprawling metropolis, where ancient history meets modern innovation.

DAY 2

DAY 2 - Beijing – The Great Wall of China

Start the first full day with a relaxed breakfast before travelling to one of the world’s most breathtaking landmarks – the Great Wall of China. On the way, stop at a jade factory and learn how this ornamental mineral is transformed into traditional artefacts. Upon arrival at Badaling – one of the best-preserved sections of the wall – climb atop the ancient watchtowers and take in awe-inspiring views of this 6000-kilometre long historic monument. Snaking its way through the lush mountainous landscape, the Great Wall of China deterred invaders throughout the centuries and is the longest man-made structure ever built.

After a well-deserved lunch at a local restaurant, spend the afternoon exploring the Ming Tombs. Consisting of 13 mausoleums, these imposing buildings were built for the emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and are some of the largest and best preserved imperial tombs in the country. Stroll through the tranquil grounds along the ‘Sacred Way’, past the ornate stone statues of humans and animals that flank the path on both sides.

DAY 3

DAY 3 - Beijing

Spend the morning discovering Tiananmen Square – the largest public square in the world and one of China’s most recognisable sites. From the proclaimation of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong in 1949 to the brutal protests of 1989, learn about the square’s impressive and rich political history. Continue north to the Forbidden City. Also known as the Imperial Palace, this enormous complex was the seat of Chinese political power for almost 500 years and, with more than 8,000 rooms, it is not only the biggest temple complex in the world but also boasts some of the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient wooden structures.

In the afternoon, escape the city and seek refuge at the Summer Palace, a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design. Comprised of several lakes, gardens and palaces, it once provided a welcome break for the imperial staff during Beijing’s stifling summer months. Wander about the tranquil grounds and explore the impressive gallery of several thousand paintings along the 728-m long corridor. Finish the day with a serene boat ride on Kunming Lake and take in the views of this georgeus landmark, before heading back to the hotel to rest and relax.

DAY 4

DAY 4 - Beijing – Xi’an

After a laid-back breakfast, spend the last morning in Beijing visiting the picturesque Temple of Heaven. Surrounded by an extensive park, this imperial temple consists of three main altars and was visited by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual religious ceremonies to pray for good harvests. Built to provide a link between heaven and earth, it’s one of the greatest achievements of Chinese architecture.

After these heavenly wanderings, it’s time to take to the skies (literally) and head to Xi’an; the city of eternal peace. Steeped in history, it is often called the birthplace of Chinese civilisation and served as the capital for 13 dynasties. Upon arrival, dive straight into the city’s rich heritage and visit the Xi’an City Wall. Built by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, it’s one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world and also boasts some of most complete city walls in China.

Next, explore the bustling Muslim quarter of Xi’an and visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and most renowned Islamic mosques in the country. Divided into four courtyards, this sacred site beautifully blends together traditional Muslim and Chinese architecture styles.

End this exciting day of travelling with a well-deserved dinner before checking into the hotel for a good night’s rest.

DAY 5

DAY 5 - Xi’an

Start the day with a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, before visiting the famous Terracotta Warrior Museum – Xi’an’s most important attraction and one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. Each with a different facial expression, thousands of life-sized soldiers form the army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China, to protect him in the afterlife. The terracotta warriors are arranged in typical battle formation, including spears, swords and horse-drawn chariots, and are a testament to the emperor’s power (and megalomania!). Discovered almost untouched in 1974, the sight of this incredible subterranean army will blow the mind of even the most experienced traveller. Before leaving, stop at the Xi’an Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition for souvenirs and to pay homage to this ancient craft.

Enjoy a local lunch before visiting the stunning Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. This Tang-style pagoda was built in 652 AD to house Buddhist figures, sutras and relics brought from India by Chinese monk Xuan Zang. With support from other scholars, Xuan Zang translated numerous important scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese, many of which are still used today.

DAY 6

DAY 6 - Xi’an - Shanghai

After breakfast, spend the morning perusing the Shaanxi History Museum. Located in the city’s southern suburbs, it’s the first modern national museum and exhibits an impressive collection of over 370,000 historic and cultural artefacts, unearthed in Shaanxi Province. Find relics, including terracotta figures, bronze ware and murals, and learn about the many different dynasties that ruled the region, from Han, Wei, Jin to Tang, Ming and Qing.

Enjoy a local lunch before heading to Xi’an Xianyang Airport to board the plane to Shanghai. Nicknamed Hu, Shanghai has evolved from a small seaside fishing village into the largest industrial city in China. This multicultural metropolis effortlessly blends modern and traditional Chinese culture and is home to the country’s largest commercial and financial centre. After arriving at the hotel, spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the city which is famous for its many sightseeing and shopping opportunities.

DAY 7

DAY 7 - Shanghai

Spend the morning strolling around Yuyuan Garden, an oasis in the heart of this crowded city. Covering a maze of pavilions, rockeries, lakes, dragon walls and traditional buildings, one of its highlights is the picturesque Nine-Bend bridge, which connects the garden to the Old Bazaar. Featuring beautiful Chinese architecture, dive right into this bustling market and stock up on souvenirs from the plethora of jewellery, silk, antiques and arts and crafts shops or simply indulge in some local snacks.

In the afternoon, visit the Jade Buddha Temple, one of Shanghai’s rare Buddhist gems. Home to 70 resident monks, the bright saffron coloured temple possesses a fine two-meter high white jade Buddha statue, encrusted with jewels, which was brought by Burmese monks in 1882.

As a final highlight in China, watch a captivating Chinese acrobats show. Mastering balance, agility and coordination, these dare-devil displays are one of the oldest performing arts. Be prepared for an exhilarating night of culture, magic and theatre – from contortionists to high-wire stunts – this performance has it all!

DAY 8

DAY 8 - Depart Shanghai

End this cultural and historic discovery of China with breakfast at the hotel before transferring to Shanghai International Airport to embark on the journey home or ahead to a new destination. 

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