Day 1: Australia –– Shanghai – Suzhou
Depart Australia for China. You will be met upon arrival by a tour representative and then transferred to Suzhou for check in at the hotel.
Day 2: Suzhou – Wuxi (B)
Suzhou was once dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ for its network of beautiful waterways. This city is also beloved for its famous Lingering Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also happens to be on the agenda for today. After seeing the gardens, visit a working silk-spinning mill and then travel to Wuxi. The sights to take in in Wuxi include Lake Tai, the third-largest freshwater lake in China; and Nanchang Street, a boulevard lined with a mix of old and new architecture.
Optional: Grand Canal Cruise
Enjoy a cruise along Suzhou’s Grand Canal after lunch. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Dim Sum Dinner
Feast on a delicious dim sum dinner that includes xiaolongbao, a Chinese steamed bun filled with minced pork and hot soup. Additional cost applies.
Day 3: Wuxi – Hangzhou (B)
Tour the Brilliance of Lake Lihu this morning. The visit to the lake, which is located at the famous Lake Taihu, is followed by an excursion to a freshwater pearl farm. It is then onto to Hangzhou; the city Marco Polo once described as the most beautiful and magnificent in the world.
Optional: The Romantic Show of Songcheng
The Romantic Show of Songcheng is a live spectacle that has been performed more than 20,000 times. The show is a symbol of the city and chronicles the rule of the Song Dynasty. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B)
This morning, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hangzhou’s West Lake Cultural Landscape. The group then travels to a tea plantation to taste Dragon Well tea and to see how this green tea is hand-picked and pan-fried. The tour travels to Shanghai later in the day.
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: Huangpu River Night Cruise
Set off on an evening cruise along Huangpu River and take in the sight of Shanghai at night. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Shanghai (B)
Take a step back in time to old-world Shanghai at the Shanghai Museum, which is home to a collection of more than 12,000 objects and artefacts. There is some free time after the museum visit.
Optional: Shanghai Insight Tour
This excursion takes you to the Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone to see Jinmao Tower. Then, it is on to another of Shanghai’s famous sites: Xintiandi. This car-free district is a hub for shopping, dining and entertainment. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Chinese Acrobatic Show
Catch a performance of the thrilling ERA-Intersection of Time show. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Shanghai –– Tai’an (B)
Board a famous bullet train for the speedy journey to Tai’an, a city that sits at the foothills of Mt. Tai.
Day 7: Tai’an (B)
Enjoy a free day to explore the city at your own pace.
Optional: Confucius Insight Tour
Visit the Confucius Temple, built in 478 BC as a place for various dynasties to offer sacrifice to Confucius. From here, travel to Kong Family Mansion, which is the government office and private mansion of Confucius’ descendants. The last stop of the excursion is the Cemetery of Confucius, a well-preserved site of religious tombs and gardens. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Tai’an – Jinan –– Beijing (B,L)
Travel to Jinan after breakfast and visit Daming Lake, located in the centre of the city. Admire the size and importance of the lake before travelling to see Black Tiger Spring. According to legend, the spring once boasted a black rock, shaped like a tiger, at its entrance. The sound of the water rushing over the rock was also said to resemble the roar of a tiger. In the evening, board a bullet train and travel to Beijing.
Day 9: Beijing (B)
Explore the world-famous Tiananmen Square and the mystical Forbidden City today. The Forbidden City was the former home of emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties and is now the location of the National Palace Museum.
Optional: Musical Performance
Tonight, see a performance of either the Golden Mask Dynasty Show or Kong Fu Legend Show. Additional cost applies.
Day 10: Beijing – Great Wall (B,L)
Today’s highlight is a trip to arguably China’s most famous landmark: the ancient Great Wall of China. Travel to the section at Juyongguan (Juyong Pass) and clamber up the steep steps to admire the scale and history of this incredible man-made wonder. On the way to the Wall, there is a stop at a large jade exhibition.
Optional: Hutong Life Tour
Explore the hutongs (alleyways) of Beijing via rickshaw, a traditional mode of transport that is perfect for navigating the twists and turns of these lanes. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Peking Duck Banquet Dinner
Indulge with an authentic Peking Duck banquet dinner, served with all the traditional trimmings and accompaniments, to toast to your last night in China. Additional cost applies.
Day 11: Beijing –– Australia (B)
Visit Beijing Zoo after breakfast to see some of its most beloved, and iconic, residents: the giant panda. There is a visit to Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine to learn about traditional Chinese healing, and there is some free time to shop for last-minute treasures in Wangfujing. Later in the day, a transfer will take you to the airport to catch your Australia-bound flight.
Day 12: Australia
Arrive home today.