Uitgebreide reisroute van de Internationale groepsreis Imperial China & Yangtze River Cruise
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Food

  • See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. Visit a quieter section of The Great Wall. Cruise down the Yangtze River past the Three Gorges Dam. Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre near Chengdu. Discover rural Yangshuo and its limestone karst scenery

Activities

  • Culture
  • Cultural Wonders
  • Natural Wonders
  • Culture Bestsellers
  • 1

    Arrive Beijing

    After a transfer to our hotel in the centre of Beijing, a welcome briefing will be held in the evening, to give us an opportunity to meet our leader and the rest of our group. During dinner we will have the chance to try some authentic Chinese cuisine, which is quite different to the British take on Chinese food! During most meals a variety of dishes will be served for the group to share (frequently utilising the ingenious 'Lazy Susan' rotating table-piece) and our leader will help us select dishes depending on the groups' tastes.Dong Fang Hotel or similar

  • 2

    Sightseeing in Beijing

    The sightseeing in Beijing today will include the Forbidden City with its innumerable courtyards and temples as well as Tiananmen square, the largest square in the world and able to hold over a million people. We will take a walking tour of the cities hutongs (narrow alleys) to see what is left of old Beijing and its traditions. This afternoon is free to explore.Dong Fang Hotel or similar

  • 3

    Visit the Great Wall

    We leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, an approx 2 hour journey to the north of the city. We go to one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall at Mutianyu which is an impressive sight, snaking across mountains and valleys into the distance. This section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The wall here is up to 8.5 metres high and 5 metres wide, and has 22 watchtowers on its 2,250-metre-long stretch. We will spend a few hours exploring the wall - please note that there are some steep steps to navigate and clients who suffer from vertigo may find it difficult, (there is an optional cable car). Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant on the way back to Beijing; we should expect some traditional northern Chinese cuisine involving vegetables (aubergine, lotus roots, mushrooms etc.), tofu, chicken and pork - and much more! There is the option of seeing an acrobatic or Kung Fu show or a trip to the opera this evening in Beijing.Dong Fang Hotel or similar

  • 4

    Beijing; overnight train to Xi'an

    This morning we visit the Temple of Heaven followed by the Summer Palace where you can witness first hand how vast the exclusive playground of China's emperors and their concubines once was.In the evening we board an overnight train (approx. 12 hours) to the ancient city of Xi'an. It is recommended to purchase food before the train as there is a limited selection on board. The train itself is of a good standard, although please note that facilities such as washrooms and toilets are shared with other passengers and the cleanliness can never be guaranteed. Sleepers are four berth (bunks) and bedding is provided.Overnight train

  • 5

    Morning walking tour of the Muslim quarter and mosque; free afternoon or optional cycle ride

    Xi'an is one of China's former capitals and one of the few cities in China to have retained its city walls, probably because they are so massive that no revolutionary was willing to tackle the huge task of removing them. Today, after an opportunity to try some local Chinese breakfast, we will embark on a walking tour, passing the Bell and Drum Plaza to the Muslim quarter, where we visit the Great Mosque. The Muslim quarter is a fascinating place to visit, especially in the evening when it comes alive with bustling bazaars and food stalls. This afternoon is free; it is possible to appreciate the sheer scale of the city walls; you can hire bikes and cycle along them.Skytel Hotel / Bell Tower Hotel Xi'an, or similar 

  • 6

    Day trip to visit the Terracotta Warriors

    Today we visit the famous Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin. Originally four armies were planned, at each point of the compass, life-size and lifelike. Three have been found and it is assumed the Emperor's successors decided enough was enough before the fourth was begun. The first pit excavated had an estimated 6,000 figures in its one army. The third pit has been opened to the public, which contains the 'command post' for the entire operation. This is one of China's great tourist attractions, and some people may find the sheer numbers of visitors rather overpowering. After our visit we will take our lunch at a local farmer's restaurant nearby with the opportunity to taste some fresh seasonal produce, home-made noodles and bread. The evening is free for further exploration in Xi'an. Perhaps your leader will take you to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Square to witness a water and light show (free of charge).Skytel Hotel / Bell Tower Hotel Xi'an, or similar 

  • 7

    Bullet train to Chengdu; afternoon sightseeing tour

    We transfer to the train station and catch a morning bullet train (duration approx. 4 hrs 15 mins) to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, arriving around lunch time / early afternoon. This area is recognised throughout China as being 'the spicy province', and it certainly lives up to its name! Major flavour combinations include garlic, star anise, chili peppers, and the ever-present Sichuanese peppercorn (hua jiao) which is used in many recipes. In the afternoon, your leader will take you on a walking tour (using public buses) through the lively parks and city centre square where you will get a taste of local life. Don't miss the options to join the locals in the atmospheric outdoor tea houses for a cuppa.Garden City Hotel or similar

  • 8

    Sightseeing trip to Leshan Giant Buddha; return to Chengdu

    Today, we will visit one of the iconic UNESCO sites near Chengdu - the Leshan Giant Buddha. About 2-3 hours drive from Chengdu, this 71m tall Buddha carved out of the cliff face of the mountain is the biggest sitting Buddha in the world and took almost 100 years of hard work to finish about 1300 years ago. You will have 2 options of visiting the Buddha, either by boat on the river or by walking around it in the mountain. Be prepared for the crowds and long queues who come to worship this Giant Buddha if you walk. Your group leader can advise you on the best way to visit depending on the season. We return to Chengdu in the late afternoon. In the evening there is the opportunity to taste some of the legendary Sichuanese cuisine in the form of a Chengdu hotpot dinner. The typical flavours of this iconic dish are created with Sichuan pepper (hua jiao) and involve a certain amount of interaction as the food is cooked in a large hot pot by the diners themselves! For those not a fan of spice there are options to omit the peppers from the hot broth in which the food items are cooked.Garden City Hotel or similar

  • 9

    Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre; to Chongqing, board cruise boat

    With an early start today we will visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. Hopefully these intriguing and rare animals will be feeding, as this is when they're most active; otherwise, we will have the opportunity to watch the Pandas indulge in their most common form of entertainment, sleeping!We then travel by train to Chongqing City (approx 3 hours), the embarkation point for our Yangtze River Cruise (after a 30-minute transfer to the dock). On arrival, we will board our 4-star cruise boat and settle into our cabins. We will stay in air-conditioned twin-berth cabins with en suite bathrooms.Cruise boat (4-star international rating/ 5-star local rating)

  • 10

    Two full days cruising the Yangtze River including the Three Gorges and the dam

    These two days are spent cruising on one of the world's great rivers as we head downstream through stunning scenery of towering cliffs and gorges. En route we pass many towns and villages that have sprung up along the banks of the river that supplies the lifeblood to the heart of China. To try to limit the impact of flooding, the Chinese government has undertaken a huge construction project with a massive dam being built. This has flooded the famous Three Gorges of Qutang, Wu and Xiling. A journey amidst these natural wonders is a must-see for any visitor to China. The nights are spent on the boat and there is time for shore excursions on the way as the boat docks at some of smaller towns and villages, and the lesser gorges by smaller boats, depending upon water levels.The day-to-day schedule for the cruise and timings can change due to adverse weather conditions, river conditions and permission of navigation authorities. The details of onboard and shore activities will be explained in the briefing and the river guide will be able to give you more information after boarding. The cruise will cover what is commonly considered as the essence of the Three Gorges, but some parts of the gorge will be passed through the night. If water levels are ok we will cruise through a series of locks through the dam itself, but this can not be guaranteed as it depends on the weather and river traffic. Cruise boat (4-star international rating/ 5-star local rating)

  • 12

    Disembark cruise; overnight sleeper train to Liuzhou

    We complete our cruise this morning and disembark and will take a look at the dam and learn about the massive engineering project that took place. We then drive to Yichang where we catch the afternoon train to Liuzhou (approx. 16 hours).Overnight Train

  • 13

    Arrive Liuzhou; transfer to Yangshuo; afternoon cookery class

    We arrive in Liuzhou early this morning (4:30/5:00am) and then transfer by road for 3.5 hours through the stunning towering limestone scenery to Yangshuo. The surrounding region is famous for the steep-sided karst mountains that pierce the otherwise flat landscape of paddy fields; a view of a rural landscape that has changed little in centuries. Despite its small size, Yangshuo has quite a good tourist infrastructure due to its large transient population of backpackers and domestic tourists. In the afternoon we have a cookery class, led by a local host, to discover how to make some of China's most iconic dishes, before enjoying our home-made culinary creations for lunch.New West Street Hotel or similar

  • 14

    Explore the local countryside by bike; meal with a local family

    This morning gives us the opportunity to appreciate the spectacular landscape on two wheels; as we take a bike and ride towards Moon Hill, one of the most famous in the area. The biking is at a leisurely pace, and there are plenty of stops to hydrate and appreciate the glorious scenery! Lunch is spent with a local family, giving us the opportunity to sample some new dishes and create friendships over food. Expect delicious dishes such as clay-pot taro, stir-fried chicken and veggies, and traditional fried eggs. Please note that for anyone unable to or not wanting to cycle, your leader can arrange a taxi or minivan to take you on a scenic drive through the countryside to meet the group at the lunch stop (at your own expense). The afternoon is free to relax or enjoy one of the many optional activities Yangshuo has to offer.New West Street Hotel or similar

  • 15

     Free day in Yangshuo, surrounded by towering limestone scenery.

    Today is free to relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and iconic scenery around Yangshuo. There are many optional activities available; cruise on the Li River, visit the Black Buddha caves or enjoy a Chinese massage or a kung fu class, or watch the Liu Sanjie Show: an outdoor performance set on a natural stage formed by the Li River and 12 peaks. Even if you choose just to relax this is an ideal place, you can take a stroll around the market and examine the local produce or enjoy one of the cafes and watch the world go by.New West Street Hotel or similar

  • 16

    To Guilin for flight to Shanghai; evening tour along the Bund

    In the morning we transfer to the airport at Guilin to fly to Shanghai; a city with a real international feel to it which will seem a world away from the countryside you have come from. In the evening we take a walking tour of the famous Bund area, to see the iconic buildings along the riverside lit up in all their glory. There will be the opportunity to visit the Jin Mao Tower (optional), which is the 18th tallest building in the world and boasts a spectacular view of Shanghai from the observation deck.Greenland Jiulong Hotel or similar

  • 17

    Visit Xitang water town

    An early start (around 7am) to avoid the crowds at the ancient water town of Xitang; famous for its cobbled streets and bridges arching over the many canals. There are several well-preserved buildings from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, and the town is a delightful place to explore on foot. We will take lunch here before the journey back to Shanghai (around 2 hours) where the evening will be free.Greenland Jiulong Hotel or similar

  • 18

    Full day in Shanghai

    With a population of around twelve million, Shanghai is yours to explore today. This morning we enjoy a visit to firstly the Shanghai museum, followed by the Yu Yuan garden; the rest of the day is free to explore. Though it no longer warrants the title 'Paris of the East', many of the vestiges of its colonial past are still apparent. It is worth strolling along Nanjing Road (Shanghai's 'Oxford Street') or visiting the Shanghai tower, (currently, the tallest building in China and second tallest in the world, standing at 632m high) or Shanghai's smaller television tower to see some of the city's stunning architecture.Optional activities this evening include the Shanghai Acrobatic show, which comes highly recommended!Greenland Jiulong Hotel 

  • 19

    End Shanghai

    For those on the group flight to London the flight is in the morning, with a same day arrival into London in the evening.

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