Day 1: Australia – – Beijing
Today, depart Australia with Qantas to begin your China holiday (please note, some flights will depart 1 day earlier). On arrival into Beijing, you will be met at the arrivals hall of Beijing International Airport and transferred to your hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure to relax after your flight.
Day 2: Beijing (B,D)
Today after breakfast, begin your China trip with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”) located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes and has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
After, continue on to the incredible Forbidden City, which was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty, the years 1420 to 1912. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world!
After time to explore the Forbidden City, continue on to the Temple of Heaven. The temple was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Covering an area of 273 hectares，it is the largest architectural complex in the world for rituals to pay homage to heaven and a photographer’s gem.
Tonight, head out to a local restaurant and enjoy a signature dish of the region, Peking Duck.
Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall – Beijing (B,L)
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass. Juyong Pass Great Wall is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. 60 km from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was a solid stronghold encircling a valley, which was the northern direct access to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the walls construction and your given the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000 km marvel.
Return to Beijing and stop at one of the largest Jade Exhibitions in Asia en-route. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a cloisonn factory. Cloisonn is a famous traditional enamelled metalware, known as the ‘Blue of Jingtai’ in China, with a history of over 500 years.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): The Golden Mask – Tonight, enjoy a live show. The Golden Mask Dynasty, the show incorporates dancing, acrobatics, some magnificent costumes and one or two surprises. Performed daily at Beijing’s Happy Valley Amusement Park in 2007, it has been seen by an estimated of 1.1 million people.
Day 4: Beijing (B,L)
This morning, enjoy a tour to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace houses the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for Emperors (most famously for China’s ‘Dowager Empress’, Cixi). Afterwards, visit the Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure the Giant Panda. Then visit a Chinese herbal institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years, as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): Hutong Life A rickshaw will take you around the winding hutongs laneways to admire these old courtyard houses. Even today, there are many residents reluctant to move from their beloved hutongs, and many have been converted into boutiques, teahouses, and restaurants. You will be invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic Beijing life of a bygone era.
Day 5: Beijing –– Suzhou (B,D)
Today after breakfast, you will board your high speed bullet train to Suzhou. Suzhou is an extraordinarily delicate and elegant city with its canals, stone bridges and meticulously designed gardens which has often been referred to as “Paradise on Earth” by Chinese poets and writers since ancient times. As a large area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is also known as “Venice of the East”. It is also known as the “Garden City” due to its many classical gardens, renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Visit the Lingering Garden which is among the nest gardens in China.
Day 6: Suzhou – Hangzhou (B,L,D)
This morning visit a Silk Spinning Mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the nest thread and cloth. After lunch, travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as “the most beautiful and magni cent city in the world”. Upon arrival, take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for its scenic beauty which blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): Impression West Lake –an evening spectacle of music, light, and dance, entirely staged on the beautiful West Lake in HangzhouCity, with natural mountains and real water as its backdrop. This show is the creation of Chinese film and theatre director Zhang Yimou, and the music was composed by Kitaro, a legendary Japanese musician.
Day 7: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B,L)
Today after breakfast we make our way back to Shanghai. Enroute, experience an oriental tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. Then travel by coach to Shanghai, the vibrant metropolis and commercial centre of China. Then we walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined by the colonial architectures of European design, this area is the best place to capture the western nuances of the old days. The Bund is regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure strolling along the bustling shopping district, Nanjing Road.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): ERA: Intersection of Time – See a captivating combination of Chinese history, mesmerizing martial arts and incredible special effects throughout this unique spectacle. Watch a protrayal of China’s evolution to the global superpower it is today, and enjoy exciting live music and elaborate costumes.
Day 8: Shanghai (B,D)
After breakfast, visit Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck (88th floor) for a panoramic view of Huangpu River and the Bund. Then taste the famous Xiao Long Bao at a Shanghai Dim Sim restaurant for lunch (at your own expense). After lunch, head to the City God Temple of Shanghai, symbolic of the large temple complex and surrounding traditional district of commerce in the city.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): Huangpu River Cruise – Cruising on the Huangpu River has become a must for most visitors to Shanghai. When the sun sets, the river is veiled in the glittery neon lights on its banks. Cruising on the river in the evening, visitors can experience its silence and beauty under the moonlight.
Day 9: Shanghai – – Australia (B)
Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your Qantas flight home.
Day 10: Australia
Arrive home today