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)
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.
Today’s optional tours (additional cost applies): Continue your day with an optional Rickshaw tour of the traditional Hutong area, 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, enjoy a complementary oriental foot massage at a traditional Chinese medical centre where you will learn about alternative treatments for illness and have the chance to consult a Chinese Medical professional.
Day 4: Beijing –– Luoyang (B)
Today you will be transferred from Beijing to Luoyang via bullet train. The city of Luoyang is widely considered the birthplace of Chinese civilization and is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to relax and prepare for your tour tomorrow.
Day 5: Luoyang (B,L,D)
Today, you’ll discover the Longmen Grottoes, densely scattered along the cliffs on both banks of the Yi River. Construction began in 493AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and there are now 2345 caves with 2680 statues, over 70 stupas and 2680 inscribed stone tablets. Continue on to explore the traditional shops and cuisine of Luoyang Old Town, with its stunning ancient architecture and imposing city gate dating back to 600 AD.
Day 6: Luoyang to Zhengzhou (B,L,D)
Today you will visit the Shaolin Temple, situated in Songshan Mountain, it is the most reputable and longest standing temple in China. It is also the birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu. The main scenic spots in the temple are the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Grand Hall, the Sutra Depository, Hall of Thousands of Buddha and the Pagoda Forest. After enjoying a special Shaolin vegetarian lunch you will visit a local martial arts school. This tour will bring you face to face to know about a group of kids who are dedicated to Chinese Kung Fu. Later this afternoon you will be transferred to Zhengzhou city.
Day 7: Zhengzhou –– Yichang (B,D)
Today, you will be transferred to Yichang by bullet train. Upon arrival, you will board the Yangtze River Cruise ship and to 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 8: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Your first day on the Yangtze River will begin with a beautiful buffet breakfast before setting out on your first optional shore excursion to the Three Gorges Project. The Three Gorges Dam Site is one of the largest construction projects undertaken by mankind and is the biggest hydropower project in the world. You may also choose to visit the Tribe of the Three Gorges, the only large scenic spot that has not be influenced by the Three Gorges Dam project, which showcases the abundant Ba Culture and Shu Culture. In the evening, you will return to the ship and attend the Captain’s Welcome Banquet and enjoy the evening of dancing.
Day 9: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Today you may choose to enjoy an optional shore excursion to the mesmerizing Shennong Stream. The stream flows through 3 beautiful gorges including the Mianzhu Gorge, Parrot Gorge and Longcangdong Gorge. Each gorge is renowned for its unique and stunning scenery. The Shennong Stream is also home to the Hanging Coffins – which are ancient coffins containing the remains of decendants of the Tujia people. Another excursion choice for today is to visit the White Emperor City. It’s an ancient temple that is located atop Baidi Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River in Fengjie County. In the afternoon, you will return to the ship in time for lunch and enjoy the crew’s performance in the evening.
Day 10: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Today is a scheduled optional shore excursion to the legendary Shibaozhai. The site has a history of over 400 years when it was built into the side of a 200-meter-tall hill. The striking 9 story red pagoda was built in 1819 to make it easier for people to reach the Buddhist temple at the very top of the hill. Also, you may choose to attend an excursion of visiting the Fengdu Ghost City which is also known as the “City of Ghosts”. You will see the temples built on Ming Mountain depict the punish instruments and demon paintings, demonstrating the Chinese people’s imagination of hell. In the evening you will enjoy the Farewell Dinner and pack your bags in preparation to disembark the cruise tomorrow.
Day 11: Chongqing- Xi’an (B)
Today, you will disembark the cruise ship and be transferred to Xi’an. You will be met by your tour guide and escorted to your hotel. Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in all of China, with a history of over 3,000 years. As one of the four great ancient capitals, it served as the capital city during several of the most significant dynasties in China’s history. Xi’an is now home to a great number of precious and ancient relics, but is best known as the starting point of the famous Silk Road and where the towering Terracotta Army can be found. Take some time to relax ahead of your full day tomorrow.
Day 12: Xi’an (B,L)
Today you will learn about over 1000 years of Xi’an history, which served as China’s capital for 13 dynasties and visit the Terracotta Warriors Site, considered the eighth wonder of the world and discovered by accident in 1974. Wear comfortable shoes today as, you will explore the army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots that has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique and the painstaking repair and evacuation continues to this day. On the way to the terracotta warriors, you will also visit an excellent factory where you can learn more about the creation, conservation and history of the Warrior vaults. After lunch, walk through the famous Moslem Street, where many delicious foods and souvenirs are available for purchase.
Day 13: Xi’an – – New Zealand (B)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Day 14: New Zealand
Arrive home today