Day 1: New Zealand –– Beijing
Your China holiday will begin with an international flight to Beijing. Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport you will be met by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel to prepare for your tour tomorrow.
Day 2: Beijing (B)
Today you may choose to explore the city of Beijing at your own pace. Alternatively, you can join a selection of optional tours with our experienced local guide.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City- Set out with your trip leader to discover Beijing’s imperial treasures. Stand in Tiananmen Square, one of the largest and grandest public plazas in the world before progressing on to the Forbidden City. Enter the imposing walls of the Forbidden City, once the exclusive domain of the Ming Dynasty, for an exclusive tour through this vast complex of courtyards and lanes.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Hutong Tour – Take a rickshaw tour of the traditional Hutong areas, famous for the old-style buildings, and time-honoured workshops. Enjoy a meal with a local family here before returning to your hotel.
Day 3: Beijing (B,L,D)
Today, you will travel into the rugged mountain landscapes north of the city to the magnificent Great Wall of China. Once on top of this ancient defensive structure, you’ll find that some sections are quite steep, but the views are magnificent and the experience is truly unforgettable. You will then learn about Jade, China’s most precious and celebrated stone, and its manufacturing process at the largest Jade factory in Beijing. Furthermore, you will visit the 2008 Olympic Games Sites including the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. Before returning to your hotel, experience the oriental foot massage at a traditional Chinese medical center where you will learn about alternative treatments for illness and have the chance to consult a Chinese Medical professional.
Day 4: Beijing – – Jinan – Tai’an (B,L)
After breakfast, take the bullet train to Jinan. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your tour guide and visit Daming Lake located in the center of Jinan City. The lake covers 81 hectares and therefore the lake retains a constant water level throughout the year and becomes a natural and cultural symbol of Jinan city. Then you will proceed to the Black Tiger Spring. According to the old myth, in the old days, there was a black rock in front of the cave. The rock was black in color and resembled a tiger. The sound of the water rushed out from the rock resembled like that of a roaring tiger. The resemblance of the shape and sound is the reason to name the spring as Black Tiger Spring. Later this evening you will be transferred to Tai’an and check in for your hotel.
Day 5: Tai’an (B)
Today, you may enjoy a day of leisure, exploring the city at your own pace. Tai’an is host to a great number of historical and cultural sites.
Day 6: Tai’an – – Hangzhou – West Lake (B,L)
In the early morning you will be transferred to Hangzhou by bullet train. ON arrival, you will embark on a tour of Hangzhou city – renowned for its beauty and abundance of cultural heritage. It is also the political, economic and cultural centre of the Zheijang Province and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. You will then visit the West Lake area in Hangzhou, comprising of the West Lake and the surrounding hills, which have inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th Century. It is considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in China, and is home to numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens, causeways and artificial islands. While you’re in the West Lake scenic area, visit to tea plantation, here you will learn about tea picking and processing. Then, you will be transferred from Hangzhou to Suzhou via bus.
Day 7: Hangzhou – Suzhou (B,L)
Today, you will be transferred to Suzhou and spend some time exploring the Master of the Nets Garden – one of the finest gardens in China, and for which Suzhou is renowned. You will explore the garden and admire the effortless cohesion of art, nature and architecture that has attracted thousands of visitors since 1140CE.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies): Suzhou’s Grand Canal – take a boat trip along the longest canal in the world – Suzhou’s Grand Canal. Some sections date as far back as the 5th century BC and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – there are many beautiful homes to admire along this impressive waterway.
Day 8: Suzhou – Shanghai (B,L,D)
After breakfast, spend the morning perusing the most famous silk factory in China to understand the manufacturing processes of silk and its rich history in China before being be transferred to Shanghai via bus. Upon arrival, you will visit the Nanjing walking district and discover the history and culture of Shanghai at the Shanghai Museum. You will then continue to the Bund by the Huangpu River, and witness the old meeting the modern side of the city.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Huangpu River Cruise – enjoy an evening on the river allowing you to take in the famous sites of Shanghai including; the People’s Hero Monument, the Bund, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the dramatic skyline of the Pu Dong business district, the bustling International Passenger Station of Shanghai Harbour, the docks and the Wu Song ancient gun fort relics.
Day 9: Shanghai – – Yichang (B,D)
Today, you will be transferred from Shanghai to Yichang by high speed train. Upon arrival, you will board the Yangtze River Cruise ship and settle in before departure tomorrow. The expansive Yangtze River is the largest river in Asia and the third largest in the world. It is renowned not only for its impressive size, but also for the natural beauty of its surrounds. The river begins in the remote mountainous regions and winds its way through stunning gorges, lush and fertile regions and connects with numerous lakes and waterways.
Day 10: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Start the morning with a morning exercise on board in the presence of the beautiful Three Gorges Dam. Spend your day out on an optional excursion or relax on board the cruise ship. This evening you will return to the ship and attend the Captain’s Welcome Banquet and enjoy the evening entertainment with a Chinese dancing ball.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Excursion – Three Gorges Dam Site. The Three Gorges Dam Site is one of the largest construction projects undertaken by mankind and is the biggest hydropower project in the world.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Excursion – Tribe of the Three Gorges. You may also want to visit the Tribe of the Three gorges, the only large scenic spot that has not been influenced by the Three Gorges Dam project, which showcases the abundant Ba Culture and Shu Culture.
Day 11: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Today, you may choose to embark on the exciting optional excursions or for a leisure day on board the ship. The afternoon will see you continuing to cruise into the western section of Xiling gorge.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream Explore the Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream, a shining pearl hidden in remote mountains. You will leave your cruise ship and board smaller vessels to sail through the narrower and breathtaking Lesser Three gorges region or Shennong Stream, lined by sheer cliffs and mountains.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): White Emperor City. You may also choose the optional excursion to visit the White Emperor City, an ancient temple that is located atop Baidi Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River in Fengjie County.
Day 12: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Today you will pass through the mountains of Eastern Sichuan. Participate in the optional excursion or relax, pamper yourself with a massage and make the most of the last full day on your ship. Tonight, enjoy the farewell dinner and pack your bags in preparation for disembarking tomorrow.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Fengdu ghost City. Today’s optional excursion is the Fengdu ghost City to see why it’s regarded as the “City of ghosts.” The temples built on Ming Mountain depict the punish instruments and demon paintings, demonstrating the Chinese people’s imagination of hell.
Optional Tour (additional cost applies – refer fine print): Shibaozhai is a 12-story wooden pagoda built against the rock in 18th century. It locates in Zhongxian County on the south bank of the Yangtze River. There are steles and inscriptions of past dynasties of each floor. Visitors may also appreciate the spectacular Yangtze River from the windows of each floor during climbing.
Day 13: Chongqing – – New Zealand (B)
Today, you will disembark the cruise ship and head to airport for your scheduled flight home. We hope you enjoyed your journey to China with us and return to your home by next day.
Day 14: New Zealand
Arrive home today.