: R38530
Climb the Great Wall & enter the Forbidden City, explore the Longman grottoes & encounter an army of Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. Then cruise the River Li in scenic Yangshuo before ending your adventure in Shanghai, the Paris of the East.

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Starting fromR38 530
Package ValiditySet travel dates 11 JUN 2016 - 20 AUG 2016 & 12 NOV 2016. *** Excludes entrance fees of approx. USD115 - USD120 per person & tipping kitty of approx. USD80 - USD85 per person ***
Duration13 days
Starts inBeijing
Ends inShanghai

{tab Description}

- Return airport/hotel transfers
- Internal flights from Xi’an to Guilin & Guilin to Shanghai
- 12 nights 3 - 4 star hotel accommodation
- 2 high speed trains - Beijing to Luoyang & Luoyang to Xi'an
- Selected meals
- All relevant transfers & transportation
- Services of a tour leader & local guide at local sights
- Rickshaw ride through Beijing's Hutongs
- Chinese acrobatic performance
- A bike ride on medieval City Wall in Xi'an
- Raft/cruise excursion on the Yu Long River
- Highlights include Beijing, Luoyang, Guilin/Yangshuo, Badaling & Xi'an, Longsheng & Shanghai

 ** a high sesaon surcharge starting from an additional R1250 per person applies for set departure dates between 03 SEP 2016 - 29 OCT 2016 **

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Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China & the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer & hotel check in. The remainder of the day offers free time.

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Forbidden City

Today, we embark on a tour of the nation’s capital. The famous portrait of Mao Zedong, China’s communist father still looks out over gargantuan Tiananmen Square from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. On the square you can not miss the mausoleum, an austere behemoth in granite where Mao lies in state in his crystal coffin. We take a stroll on the square all under the watchful eye of the dutiful guards. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs & vermilion walls, the Forbidden city was forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. We enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls & courtyards. The Forbidden city boasts 9999 rooms! Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing.

This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates & human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant.

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The Great Wall

Today, we travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where we take a walk along the famed Great Wall. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen, the Great Wall of China is very impressive. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kilometres. Continuing, we visit a cloisonne workshop of decorative metal & enamel sculpture.

This evening take an optional Beijing by Night city tour & see some of the capital's monuments illuminated against the night sky (payable locally).

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Summer Palace

Beijing - Luoyang. Spend the morning touring the famous Summer Palace on Kunming Lake. This vast complex is replete with lavishly decorated temples, halls & courts, reconstructed in 1902 at the whim of the extravagant Dowager Empress Cixi. We visit the famed Silk Alley markets & drive past the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium en route to the train station where we take the late afternoon bullet train to Luoyang. Reaching speeds of up to 305km per hour the journey is an experience in itself!

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Longman Caves

Today we explore the UNESCO world heritage listed 6th Century Longman Caves, etched into the cliffs along the Yi River. The 1300 caves (grottoes) were carved out by hand during the Northern Wei Dynasty & are adorned with more than 100,000 statues and images of Buddha & his disciples. Later we tour the first Buddhist temple in China - White Horse Temple before having a delicious local dinner.

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Luoyang - Xi’an. Early this morning we visit Peony Square to watch or partake in a little exercise. Many Chinese exercise in the square daily, practising ballroom dancing & tai chi, sword fighting or playing sports like badminton & hacky sack in the wee hours of the morning. The square’s name originates from the long history of peonies in Luoyang. In April the flower comes into full bloom & the city is full of colour & fragrance. Afterwards we board the new high speed train to Xi'an (journey time approximately 3 hours). Once in Xi'an we visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, Grand Mosque & Muslim quarter. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

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Terracotta Warriors

Most famous for the legendary Terracotta Warriors, perhaps the greatest find of the 20th century & only just usurped by the discovery of King Tut’s gold-laden tomb in Egypt. These warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike, each is said to be an individual portrait. We visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site & a workshop where warrior figurines are made. This evening we can attend a Tang Dynasty dinner & performance with Chang’an music & dance originally performed for the illustrious Tang emperors.

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Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Xi’an - Guilin - Yangshou. Today, we tour take a casual bicycle ride on top of the 9 mile Xi’an City Wall (no need to go the entire way around) perimeter peeking down upon the lively city beneath us. Later we fly south to Guilin. Onward transfer to Yangshuo (approx 1.5hrs drive). Hot pot lunch, late evening hotel check in.

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Guilin & Yangshuo

Yangshuo - Guilin. Renowned for the striking scenery of vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin & Yangshuo are often the subject of many Chinese paintings. Today, we take a 2 hour rafting cruise along the calm clean waters of Yu Long River. As our captain punts (propels us forward by pushing against the river bed with a long pole) our flat bottom boat along the shallow waters endless photo opportunities arise. The remainder of our time in Yangshuo is spent at leisure. Choose to hike, hire a bicycle or motorbike & head off on one of the many mountain trails or stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish - a centuries old tradition, though somewhat commercialised these days. Time can also be spent exploring West Street. The ancient alley is laden with quirky shops, tea shops, antiques, calligraphers & art studios. Maybe take a beginners art class with a local painter or enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. By nightfall, sit in any of the al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer & delicious speciality foods from the region, catch a film at any of the outdoor cinemas or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical, with a cast of 500 singers & dancers. In the late afternoon of day 10 we return to Guilin.

{tab Day 11}

Dragon's backbone

Guilin – Longsheng – Shanghai. A 90 minute drive leads us to Longsheng, to walk the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil up the steep mountain, layer upon layer, climbing to its summit. Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we’ll pass many of the Yao & Red Yao minority women, baskets on their backs, who are also climbing skyward. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views. The full panorama offers thousands of ribbon like terraces cascading to the meandering streams & valley floor beneath. Returning to Guilin, transfer to the airport & board an evening flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival you'll be met & transferred to your hotel.

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Free day in Shanghai

Focus your eyes on Shanghai! Today is free day for you to independently explore the city. Perhaps visit The Bund, Jade Buddha Temple or the Old City where you can shop on Nanjing Road. Head for the Oriental Pearl TV Tower at sunset, Shanghai dazzles at dusk!

{tab Day 13}


Thursday. After breakfast & hotel check out, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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