Day 1: Australia – – Beijing
Fly to Beijing, the capital city of China, via a connecting city. Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Please note, some flights may depart the day before.
Day 2: Beijing (B)
After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square, the second-largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is named after the Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”) located to the north of the square, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong, and holds great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Optional: Forbidden City Tour
Forbidden City is the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. On this tour you’ll enter the Forbidden City to learn the Imperial era of Chinese History. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Peking-duck Banquet Dinner
An authentic Peking-duck banquet served with all the traditional accompaniments. Additional cost applies.
Day 3: Beijing (B)
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass. This 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 the northern route to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the wall’s constriction and you’ll have the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000 km marvel. On the way back to Beijing, we stop at one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a Cloisonné Factory. Cloisonné is a famous traditional enamel ware, known as the ‘Blue of Jingtai’ in China, with a history of over 500 years.
Optional: Golden Mask Dynasty
The large-scale poetic dancing drama, Golden Mask Dynasty Show, is based on a legendary age in China. The Golden Mask Dynasty Show incorporates dancing, lighting and acoustics, acrobatics and some magnificent costumes to recreate the wonderful legend. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Beijing (B)
Visit the city’s Summer Palace this morning. This lavish complex is made up of lakes, gardens and palaces. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour of the palace, which was once the summer resort of Emperors, is followed by a visit to the Chinese Herbal Institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine. As a bonus, you’ll enjoy a relaxing foot massage.
Optional: Hutong Life & Panda House Tour
On this tour, a rickshaw will take you around the intricate winding hutongs to admire the old courtyards. They are maze-like and deep and exactly as they were a long time ago. You are invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic Beijing life. Next, visit the Panda House in Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the Giant Panda. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Beijing – – Lanzhou (B, D)
You’ll be transferred to the airport today for your flight to Lanzhou. At China’s cartographic bullseye, Lanzhou marks the halfway point for overlanders trekking across the country. Growing up on a strategic stretch of the Yellow River and sitting between competing Chinese and Central Asian empires, Gansu’s elongated capital city frequently changed hands, reflected today in its mix of ethnic groups and cultures. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. You’ll walk along the Yellow River Park and appreciate the view of White Temple Mountain from Zhongshan Bridge if time permits. This evening, you’ll enjoy Lanzhou’s favourite food – Lanzhou beef noodles for dinner.
Day 6: Lanzhou – Jingtai – Xiahe (B, L, D)
After breakfast we’ll set off for Jingtai Yellow River Stone Forest Scenic Area. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive. You’ll visit the picturesque Liujiaxia Reservoir that sits on plateaus and in canyons, allowing visitors to return to the beauty of nature. Followed by a 20 min speedboat ride across the Yellow River Stone Forest to the Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves, one of the very noted for caves in China. Bingling means one hundred thousand Buddha in the Tibetan language. The grottoes are in two temples, upper and lower, and are distributed on the cliff that is 2 km long from north to south, borders on the Yellow River and is strategically located and difficult to access. Bingling Temple Grottos started in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). There are altogether 34 grottoes, 149 shrines, and 694 big or small stone statues, 82 mud statues here. There is an ink preface of that time found in the No.169 grotto, which is the earliest preface found in the all the grottoes by far. It was listed as the UNESCO world culture heritage in 2014. After lunch you’ll head directly to Xiahe where the Labrang monastery is located.
Day 7: Xiahe Tibetan County (B, L, D)
This morning we’ll head out for a sightseeing tour of Labrang Monastery. The Labrang monastery is a holy place where Buddhism followers learn the essence of Buddhism. Over four thousand monks live here. Constructed in 1709 by Ngawang Tsondru, Labrang Monastery houses a rich collection of Buddhist scriptures, about 65,000 of them in 18,200 volumes in various categories, including philosophy, collected works, medicine, sabda, history, biography and craftsmanship. Stroll around the halls and courtyards with your tour guide, get to know the history of Tibetan Buddhism, admire amazing architecture which mixed Han and Tibetan style, learn about the temples belief, people and soul. This afternoon, you’ll continue the journey to the Eight Corner City, also known as the Octagon City. The ancient city of Octagon is a city built in the Han Dynasty in Xiahe County, you’ll meet local residents with Tibetan and Han backgrounds and learn about the Silk Road history and culture.
Day 8: Xiahe – Linxia – Yongjing (B, L, D)
Set out with your guide to discover the Linxia Muslim country and explore the Eight Squares and Thirteen Lanes area. Following the ancient Silk Road, as early as in the Tang Dynasty, merchants and religious figures from such countries as Saudi Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) and Persia took business, missionary and settlement in the Eight Square and Thirteen streets, and gradually built eight mosques and their teaching halls in Islam. They are named as Hui nationality as Chinese Muslim.
Day 9: Yongjing – Wuwei (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we’ll head to Wuwei and visit the Leitai Han Dynasty Tomb. Wuwei City in central Gansu once occupied a strategic position on the famous Silk Road. The Leitai Han Dynasty Tomb is situated in Leitai Park so called, as there was a Temple built to honour the Chinese god Leishen on the 10 m high earth platform that was erected during the middle Ming Dynasty. The inscription on the tomb shows that it was constructed circa 186-219BC for an officer from Zhangye, another major town on the Silk Road. The most important find was the Bronze Galloping Horse. Known in Chinese as ‘Ma Chao Long Que’, the horse is depicted in a full gallop supported on just one foot upon the back of a bird in flight. We’ll then proceed to the Wuwei Confucian Temple that is a group of majestic imitation royal palace buildings. The bronze horse known as the national treasure was unearthed in the tomb of General Zhang of Wuwei Leitai. Collected in the Confucian Temple, the experts identified the cultural relics of the Eastern Han Dynasty as a long period of more than 1600 years.
Day 10: Wuwei – Zhangye (B, L, D)
Today we’ll visit the Xixia Kingdom Museum. Xixia Kingdom Museum is the first museum in China to display the history of the rise and fall of the Xixia Kingdom with the background of the Xixia Royal Cemetery. The entire building covers an area of 5,300 square meters. The museum selected 671 most representative Xixia cultural relics, monographs, papers, and magazine articles 413. There are mainly carved dragon pillars, Stone horses, glass kisses, Xixia inscriptions, stone statues, Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist paintings, iron suits, Xixia porcelain, official seals and more. Later we’ll drive to Zhangye and visit the Danxia National Park. With a landscape of red cliffs and multi-coloured ridges of strata, Danxia National Park was formed by the erosion of red sandstone. At sunset, you may see the colours of the mountains change continuously as the position of the sun changes.
Day 11: Zhangye – Lanzhou (B, L, D)
It is an early morning visit to Dafo Temple. The temple, also known as “Wofo Temple” (Sleeping Buddha Temple), it is very famous because it contains the biggest indoor sleeping Buddha in China. The temple was originally built in 1098, it was rebuilt many times in history, and the temple now still preserved its original main buildings: Giant Buddha Hall, Buddhist Classics Hall, and Clay Pagoda. You’ll then travel to Lanzhou with your tour guide by private vehicle, sit back and enjoy the sceneries along the way and relax.
Day 12: Lanzhou – – Australia (B)
Enjoy one last delicious breakfast this morning, before your Chinese adventure comes to an end. At the appropriate time, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home, unless you choose to extend your stay and continue to explore other mesmerising cities. You’ll be returning home with knowledge of a new culture, connections with new friends and memories to last you a lifetime.
Day 13: Australia
Arrive home in Australia today.