Mix the bustle of China’s metropolises with the tranquility of rural life on a 12-day adventure. Explore hidden corners of Beijing’s Forbidden City. Cycle along ancient city walls and learn about Xi’an’s famed terracotta soldiers. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the gorgeous Li River. Meet and interact with Shanghai’s celebrated acrobats, and watch them train. Along the way, discover how China’s many contrasts make it one of the world’s most intriguing places.
Accommodations: Comfortable, mid-range hotels (10 nights), soft sleeper overnight train (1 night).
Meals Included: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners.
Transportation: Private bus, plane, boat, train.
Day 1 — Beijing
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a welcome dinner of Peking duck.
Days 2, 3, & 4 — Beijing
Explore the highlights of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square and the lavish Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage site spanning more than 800 palaces, temples, government buildings, and homes. Visit the stunning Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds, which offer a chance to watch locals practicing tai chi, water calligraphy, and other activities. Then set off on an excursion to the Great Wall, one of the greatest structures ever built. Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section, and spend time exploring the towers. If you wish, hop in a toboggan and ride alongside this architectural marvel, taking in spectacular mountain views. Later, enjoy a walking tour of some of the city’s traditional hutong neighborhoods. Then catch an overnight train to Xi’an.
Days 5 & 6 — Xi’an
Arrive in the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an, once the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Set out to experience the city like the locals do with a bike ride atop the ancient walls. Then enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at the historic Gao’s Grand Courtyard House. Visit backstage, interact with local artists, and enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry. In the evening, delve into the bustling alleyways of the Muslim Quarter, perusing colorful shops and food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and an array of sweets. The next day, encounter Xi’an’s famed terra-cotta warriors, an army of life-size soldiers that stand guard outside the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Learn about the discovery and excavation of these archaeological treasures. Then have lunch in the farming village where the artifacts were found.
Days 7 & 8 — Guilin – Yangshuo
Fly to Guilin and immerse yourself in the local culture. Trek through the countryside, passing through villages and rice fields, and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Li River.
Day 9 — Yangshuo
Rise early for a private Tai Chi class with a local expert. Then take an easy cycling trip through the countryside, passing rice paddy fields and striking karst mountains. Later, learn how to prepare local cuisine at a cooking school and enjoy the results for dinner.
Days 10 & 11 — Shanghai
Fly to the vibrant metropolis of Shanghai and take an orientation walk through the historic Bund area. Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance.
Day 12 — Shanghai
Depart at any time.
The price does not include: travel insurance, administration fees, client contribution to the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents of $ 1 CAD per $ 1,000 CAD.