Day 1: New Zealand – – Beijing
Board your flight bound for China’s buzzing capital city, Beijing. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Please note, some days may depart the day before.
Day 2: Beijing (B)
Rise early to start your first full day in Beijing. First stop is the impressive Tiananmen Square, situated in the centre of this bustling city and located just north of the iconic Forbidden City. See the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong, before the rest of the day is yours to do as little or as much as you like.
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)
On the agenda today is a stop by one of the most iconic landmarks of China, the impressive Great Wall. Head to Juyong Pass where you’ll have the opportunity to climb a portion of the wall, before continuing on to see the former stadiums of the 2008 Olympic Games. Travel to one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia, and see skilled artists work at a local cloisonné factory.
Optional: Golden Mask Dynasty. Be entertained as you watch a traditional musical show this evening. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Beijing – Suzhou (B)
Begin your day with a visit to the Summer Palace, before stopping by a local Chinese herbal institute to learn about their ancient remedial ways. Transfer through to Suzhou this evening. Depending on the date you choose, you may transfer via a flight to Shanghai then coach, or take a train straight through to Suzhou by train.
Day 5: Suzhou – Wuxi (B, L)
Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Suzhou is iconic for its grand winding canals, many bridges, pagodas and magnificent gardens. Take a wander through the spectacular Lingering Garden, a place with a long 500 year histroy. It’s then off to a local Silk Factory where you’ll have the chance to witness first hand the production process that goes into making the precious fabric. Continue on to Wuxi this afternoon to see the Three Kingdoms City, a renowned TV studio and popular tourist attraction.
Optional: Grand Canal cruise. Take a magnificent cruise along Suzhou’s incredible Grand Canal, admiring the gorgeous gardens and ancient pagodas along the way. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Wuxi – Hangzhou (B, L)
Wake this morning to tour the gorgeous Lake Lihu, followed by a visit to a fresh water pearl exhibition. Journey through to Hangzhou, once described by the legendary adventurer Marco Polo as the ‘most beautiful and magnificent city in the world.’ The rest of the day is yours to explore this wonderful city for yourself.
Optional: West Lake cruise. Take a cruise along the gorgeous West Lake, known for its scenic beauty and as the most iconic site in the whole of Hangzhou. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Evening performance. See the fabulous story of West Lake be brought to life in a dramatic perform of ‘Enduring Memories of Hangzhou.’ Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B, L)
Today sees you visit the Dragon Well Tea Plantation, known famously as the best green tea in the whole of China. Drive to the impressive city of Shanghai after lunch, where you’ll bare witness to some of this city’s most extraordinary sites including The Bund, the City God Temple Bazaar and more. Spend time getting to know this incredible place, exploring its bustling streets, indulging in its local street eats and shopping up a storm at its many speciality stores.
Optional: Acrobatic Show. This evening you will witness the spectacular acrobatic display, SPIRAL. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Shanghai (B, L)
Take a tour of the incredible Shanghai Museum this morning, before the rest of the day is yours to do as little or as much as you like.
Optional: Jin Mao Tower. Head to the 88th floor of this impressive building, and look out at the spectacular views below from the observation deck. It’s then on to the iconic Xinriandi, the site of the first congress of the Communist Party of China. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Huangpu River. Head out on a cruise of the legendary Huangpu River, and see the dazzling view of Shanghai at night. Additional cost applies.
Day 9: Shanghai – – Yichang (B, D)
Board a high-speed train from Shanghai to Yichang this morning. You will then hop on-board your deluxe Yangtze River cruise, where you will spend the next four nights. Dinner is included this evening prior to boarding your cruise.
Day 10: Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
Spend your first day on-board the cruise admiring the spectacular scenery of Xiling Gorge. You’ll have the chance to disembark the ship and explore the wonders of this natural beauty, including the incredible Three Gorges Dam site, a hydroelectric gravity dam.
Day 11: Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
This morning includes a shore excursion to the Shennong Stream or Lesser Three Gorges (cruise ship dependent). Later, you will sail through Wu Gorge, which is famous for its quiet beauty and the Qutang Gorge, the shortest and most spectacular of the Three Gorges.
Day 12: Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast on-board this morning, before taking a shore excursion to the stunning Fengdu Ghost City or Fengdu Mount Shuanggui Scenic Region (cruise ship dependant). Indulge in a delicious farewell dinner tonight.
Day 13: Chongqing – – New Zealand (B)
Disembark your Yangtze River cruise after breakfast, before transferring to the airport for your flight home to New Zealand.
Day 14: New Zealand
Arrive home today.