Day 1: Shanghai
Arrive in Shanghai and transfer to your hotel for a refreshing welcome drink with your local guide. Afterwards, wander through the bustling streets of China’s largest metropolis and experience the hubbub of downtown Shanghai. Venture over to the west bank of the Huangpu River and marvel at the sprawling waterfront architecture of the Bund.
After lunch at a local restaurant, take a leisurely stroll along Nan-jing Road, Shanghai’s oldest shopping strip and one of the world’s busiest retail precincts. Then, witness Shanghai’s soaring skyscrapers as you explore the financial district of Pudong on the east bank of the Huangpu River. Finally, journey to the summit of Shanghai’s tallest building, the Jin Mao Tower and end the day savouring panoramic views of sunset from Cloud 9, one of the world’s highest cocktail bars.
Day 2: Shanghai – Luzhi-Suzhou-Shanghai
Departing in the morning, venture by car to the city of Suzhou to explore centuries-old water villages. On your way back, traverse the ancient canals of Luzhi, known by locals as the “Venice of China” before immersing yourself in the dynastic history of the Suzhou residential gardens. Later, wander through the tranquil grounds of the 400-year old Lingering Garden, as you hear its tale of destruction and revival. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisure-ly stroll along the Grand Canal.
Option: Shanghai – Suzhou - Boating - Shanghai
Departing in the morning, venture by car to the city of Suzhou to immerse yourself in the dynastic history of the Suzhou residen-tial gardens. Later, wander through the tranquil grounds of the 400-year old Lingering Garden, as you hear its tale of destruction and revival. Lunch at Suzhou local restaurant and enjoy local Su-zhou folk song with music. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the Grand Canal. Then transfer back to Shanghai for the night.
Day 3: Shanghai – Guilin
Start your day at the picturesque Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai’s Old City before taking in the old-world charm of Li Nong town as you get a glimpse of life before the skyscrapers. After lunch, immerse yourself in the Buddhist traditions at the Jade Buddha Monastery and admire its collection of jade Buddha statues from Burma. Then, make your way to the airport for your flight to Guilin.
Day 4: Guilin – Longsheng -Guilin
From Guilin, embark on a full day tour to Longsheng. Hike the centuries old layers of rice terraces carved along the mountain side. Take in the spectacular views before reaching the summit referred to as the “Dragon’s Backbone”.
Head back to Guilin for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy some free time. That evening, indulge in a relaxing night cruise as you sail along the Four Lakes and enjoy incredible views of the city’s attractions lit up at night.
Day 5: Guilin – Yangshuo
In the morning, journey to Yangshuo before continuing your cruise along the Li River. Breathe in the fresh air while you take in spectacular karst landscapes. Get up close with local fisher-men using trained birds to bring in their catches.
In the afternoon, enjoy some free time walking along the old town of Yangshuo where you can have dinner on your own at a local restaurant.
That evening, witness a spectacular display of lights and theatre as hundreds of local farmers, fishermen and dancers perform the famous “Impression Liu Sanjie” show against the stunningly lit backdrop of the Li River.
Day 6: Yangshuo-Guilin airport – Xi’an
Start the day exploring the landscapes surrounding Yangshuo with Moon Hill, tucked away in the hills south of Guilin. Behold the half-moon shape as you hike closer to the natural arch etched in the countryside. Then, wander through the cavern-ous Silver Cave, which stretches 10km into the mountain. Later, return to Guilin for your flight to Xi’an.
Day 7: Xi’an
In the morning, travel back in time to 1200BCE as you discover more than 130,000 cultural relics at Shaanxi History Museum. Then, scale Xi’an City Wall, the oldest wall in China, erected in the 7th century and stretching over 13km in length. Listen to historic tales of the Silk Road and the brutal invasions that led to the wall’s construction.
In the afternoon, take a stroll through the bustling Muslim Quar-ter. Taste and experience its colourful stalls and delectable cui-sine with distinctive dishes of Xi’an.
Day 8: Xi’an – Beijing
Begin your day amongst the famous Terracotta Warriors buried with the First Qin Emperor over 2,000 years ago. Hear about its accidental discovery by a local farmer before wandering around its earthen pits. Grab a souvenir from the museum before con-tinuing to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most signifi-cant Buddhism sites in China. Afterwards, make your way to the airport for your flight to Beijing.
Day 9: Beijing
In the morning, take a stroll around Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world and among the most well-known historical sites in China. Continue on to the Forbid-den City, once the seat of Chinese political power for almost 500 years and once home to China’s last ruling dynasties. Explore its serene courtyards and stately rooms before climbing the artifi-cial coal hill behind it for spectacular views of Beijing’s sprawling skyline.
That afternoon, visit the Summer Palace, built by Emperor Qi-anlong as a gift to his mother in the 18th century. Wander through the tranquil grounds where imperial staff would flee from the stifling rooms of the Forbidden City during summer. Grab a refreshing beverage in the shady grounds before wan-dering through its famous pavilions and scenic lakes.
Day 10: Beijing
After breakfast, journey to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China to experience one of the world’s most iconic sights. Enjoy amazing views of the surrounding landscape as you scale the iconic wall spanning more than 6000km across China, erected to keep out Mongolian and Manchurian invaders.
In the afternoon, relive the excitement of the 2008 Olympic Games with a photo stop at the magnificent Bird Nest Stadium and the Water Cube.
Day 11: Beijing
In the morning, head to the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Study its intricate design and stately prayer rooms before head-ing over to the magnificent imperial altar, once reserved for em-perors to pray and make offerings for good harvests. Outside, witness a fascinating spectacle of locals greeting the sun with their daily qigong and kung fu exercises.
Later, continue on to Beijing Zoo, erected during the Qing dyn-asty, and observe China’s most treasured national icon - the panda. In the afternoon, wind your way through Beijing’s nar-row hutong alleys by rickshaw before dropping by a local household for a glimpse of daily life in the city.
Day 12: Beijing
Transfer to Beijing International Airport for your flight home.