Day 1: New Zealand – – 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 day 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: Peking Duck Lunch. Indulge in one of China’s most iconic dishes, Peking Duck! Additional cost applies.
Optional: Forbidden City Tour. Take a guided walk through this fascinating place, home to the incredible National Palace Museum, and the former seat of the emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Authentic Old Beijing Tour with Temple of Heaven, Hutong Life Tour or Bell Tower, and dinner. The Temple of Heaven is recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is an architectural masterpiece and was built between 1406 and 1460 AD. The temple was used by China’s emperors for ceremonies honouring the god of harvests. Then, go on a tour of Beijing’s ancient Hutong neighbourhoods, and visit a local family where you will learn about tai chi, Chinese calligraphy, and cricket fighting. Alternatively, climb up Bell Tower to enjoy a bird’s eye view of old Beijing. This package also includes a traditional Beijing Noodle dish – zhajiangmian (fried bean sauce noodles) meal at a local restaurant. Additional cost applies.
Please note, due to time limitations, only one optional tour (Hutong Life tour or Bell Tower) can be completed. Your tour guide will advise which one is available and suitable based on the day’s schedule. Bell Tower requires climbing stairs.
Based on government policy, the number of rickshaws has been significantly reduced and adjustments to the Hutong Life Tour optional have been made to accommodate this change.
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
Enjoy a cruise along Suzhou’s Grand Canal after lunch. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Wuxi – Hangzhou (B, L)
This morning tour the brilliant Lake Lihu, followed by a visit to a freshwater 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 ‘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 costs 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 – – New Zealand (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Shanghai airport to board your flight to New Zealand.
Day 10: New Zealand
Arrive home today.