• Discover the history of over 5,000 years of Chinese civilisation, exploring the extraordinary traditional architecture, fine art, garden design, calligraphy and porcelain left by dynasties throughout the centuries.
• Visit several of China’s ancient and modern capitals, including Xi’an, Luoyang, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Beijing.
• Highlights will include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Army, as well as many lesser-known sites.
sinologist and Chinese speaker who has been visiting China since 1976
Depart London Heathrow 1430 on British Airways.
Arrive Beijing 0930 and transfer to the Bamboo Garden Hotel for three nights. Lunch with a Beijing family. Afternoon: Hutong area, Drum Tower. Evening introductory lecture.
Whole day excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu (fully restored according to the Ming design), returning via 798 Art District. Free evening.
Whole day excursion to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City (imperial palace from the Ming dynasty) and Summer Palace (huge complex of gardens and lakes making up the royal park).
By high-speed train to Taiyuan (capital of Shaanxi Province). Afternoon: Jinci Temple (Song dynasty sculptures), Qing dynasty Qiao Family Mansion. Two nights at Yun Jin Cheng Hotel, Pingyao.
Pingyao old town (one of the few remaining walled cities in China, a banking centre in the 19th and early 20th centuries). Free evening.
By high-speed train to Xi’an (ancient imperial capital and eastern terminus of the Silk Road). Afternoon: Shaanxi History Museum (Tang murals). Two nights at Titan Times Hotel.
Whole day excursion to view Terracotta Army site outside Xi’an. Return via Small Wild Goose Pagoda, and Drum and Bell Towers. Free evening.
By high-speed train to Luoyang. Afternoon: Longmen Buddhist Grottoes (UNESCO World Heritage site, comprising over 2300 caves and niches containing almost 110,000 stone carved Buddhas). Overnight stay at Hyatt Palace Hotel. Please note our stay here coincides with the Luoyang Peony Festival.
White Horse Temple (supposedly the first Buddhist temple in China) and Shaolin Temple (renowned for its martial arts). Continue for overnight stay at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Zhengzhou. Free evening.
By train to Nanjing on the Yangtze River. Afternoon: Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum. Overnight stay at Holiday Inn. Free evening.
Nanjing for visits including Nanjing Museum, Confucius Temple and Zhonghua Gate (600 year old city fortifications also known as the Gate of China). By train to Suzhou for two nights at Scholars Hotel. Free evening.
Visits in Suzhou: Garden of the Humble Administrator (maze of pools, islands and temples), boat ride on the canal, silk reeling factory. Free evening.
Transfer to Hangzhou on West Lake: tea plantation, Zhejiang Art Museum. Two nights at Lakeview Hotel.
By train to Hangzhou: Temple of Soul’s Retreat, boat ride on West Lake (Three Pools Reflecting the Moon, Bai and Su Causeways, Pavilion for Listening to Orioles), Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum. Free evening.
By train to Shanghai: Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum. Two nights at Jinjiang Hotel. Free evening.
Morning: Bund and Pudong areas. Free afternoon in Shanghai before farewell dinner at the Floating Restaurant.
Depart Pudong 1055, arriving Heathrow 1600.
11 Apr — 28 Apr 2020
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- Recent ACE Customer
This tour has been designed to make the most of our stay in China and introduce travellers to the rich variety of sites and experiences at each of our stops. In line with this, travellers should be prepared for a considerable amount of walking, particularly as many of the historical sites are spread over extensive areas. There will be several early starts, and please note that certain sites can become crowded during busy periods.
Cost of £4995 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double-bedded room, breakfast, fifteen lunches, seven dinners with soft drinks, beer or Chinese tea, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: visa, travel insurance, single room supplement £870.
Flight reduction: £650