Day 1: Australia – – Beijing
Fly to Beijing. On arrival, you will be met by your guide and be transferred to your hotel.
Note: Some flights may depart the night before.
Day 2: Beijing (B)
After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square in the centre of Beijing. The square is named after the Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its north, which provides entry to the famed Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong.
Optional: Forbidden City Tour. Discover the former seat of the emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. A true architectural masterpiece, it is home to the fascinating National Palace Museum. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Peking Duck lunch. Indulge in Beijing’s most famous dish. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Authentic Beijing Tour. Spend the afternoon exploring the sights of Beijing. See the Temple of Heaven, a recognised world heritage site by UNESCO. An architectural masterpiece, the monument was built between 1406 and 1460 AD and was used by China’s emperors for ceremonies honouring the god of harvests. Take a rickshaw tour of Beijing’s ancient Hutong neighbourhoods, and visit a local family. Indulge in a traditional Beijing Noodle dish – Zhajiangmian (fried bean sauce noodles) meal at a local restaurant. A speciality of Beijing, zhajiangmian is cooked by mixing noodles with vegetables and fried soybean sauce. Additional cost applies.
Day 3: Beijing (B, L)
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall, one of the Seven Wonders of the World! You’ll have the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000km marvel at Juyong Pass. Then its on wards to tour the iconic Beijing 2008 Olympic Centre, which includes the famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube stadiums. You’ll see these magnificent structures from the outside, providing the perfect photo opportunity. You’ll visit one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia en route, and after lunch, see skilled artisans work at a cloisonné factory.
Optional: Musical Performance. Tonight, see a performance of either the Golden Mask Dynasty Show. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Beijing – Suzhou (B)
Start your tour of the Summer Palace, a former royal retreat and now a lovely oasis within the city of Beijing. Visit a Chinese herbal institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine. Take a high-speed train from Beijing to Suzhou. Alternatively, the group may fly to Shanghai and travel the short distance to Suzhou by bus.
Day 5: Suzhou – Wuxi (B, L)
Suzhou is known as ‘the Venice of the East’ and is famous for its exquisite canals, bridges, pagodas, and beautiful gardens. After breakfast, tour the Lingering Garden, a classic private garden with 500 years of history. Next, visit the Suzhou Silk Factory, the largest silk factory in the country, and discover the mysterious process of making silk. In the late afternoon, continue to Wuxi and visit Three Kingdoms City, a renowned film and TV studio. Covering an area of about 35 hectares, the Three Kingdoms City features structures built in the Han Dynasty style.
Optional: Grand Canal Cruise. A boat tour offers a glimpse into the daily life of Wuxi residents, past and present. Visit the rice trading markets along the northern bank, and see the houses lining the bridges in the southern bank. You will also see a one-arched bridge from the Qing dynasty, which arcs over a section of canal. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Wuxi – Hangzhou (B, L)
This morning tour the brilliant Lake Lihu, followed by a visit to a fresh water pearl exhibition. Continue to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as “the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world”.
Optional: Boat Ride at West Lake. See Hangzhou’s most famous natural feature up close with a boat ride on West Lake. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Evening Performance. See the story of West Lake come alive before your eyes, with an evening show of In the evening ‘Enduring Memories of Hangzhou. Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B, L)
Today we visit the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. After lunch drive to Shanghai. The Bund, on the Huangpu River and lined by historical architecture of European design, is the best place to capture the Western influences of the colonial era. Then visit the City God Temple Bazaar, which is composed of speciality stores selling traditional Chinese arts and crafts, medicine, and souvenirs.
Optional: Chinese Acrobatic Show. Catch a performance of the thrilling SPIRAL-Shanghai Acrobatic show. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Shanghai (B, L)
In the morning, tour Shanghai Museum, and see ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade, followed by a visit to an Emerald Exhibition Centre. You’ll visit the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck on the 88th floor, for a panoramic view of the Huangpu River and the Bund. Xintiandi (New Heaven and Earth) holds the historical and cultural legacy of the city. It was the site of the first congress of the Communist Party of China, but is now the most expensive place to live in China.
Optional: Half-day tour of Jin Mao Tower and Xintiandi. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Huangpu River Cruise. Cruise along the Huangpu River to appreciate the sights and skyline of Shanghai from a watery vantage point. Additional cost applies.
Day 9: Shanghai – – Australia (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Shanghai airport to board your flight to Australia.
Day 10: Australia
Arrive home today.