Day 1: New Zealand – – Beijing
Depart New Zealand today on your flight to Beijing (please note, some flight may depart 1 day before). You will arrive at Beijing International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Beijing, China’s massive capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Day 2: Beijing (B,D)
Today after breakfast, begin your China trip with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”) located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes and has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
After, continue on to the incredible Forbidden City, which was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty, the years 1420 to 1912. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world!
Tonight, head out for one of the most famous Chinese dishes and a specialty of Beijing, Peking Duck.
Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall of China – Beijing (B,L)
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass. Juyong Pass Great Wall is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. 60 km from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was a solid stronghold encircling a valley, which was the northern direct access to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the walls construction and your given the chance to climb a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel.
On our return to Beijing, we stop at one of the largest Jade Exhibitions in Asia en-route. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a Cloisonné Factory. Cloisonne is a famous traditional enamel ware, known as the “Blue of Jingtai” in China, with a history of over 500 years. It was so called because “blue” was the typical colour used for enamelling and “Jingtai” was the reign title of the 7th Ming Emperor.
Optional Tour: Golden Mask Show – The Golden Mask Dynasty, the show incorporates dancing, acrobatics, some magnificent costumes and one or two surprises. Seen by an estimated of 1.1 million people, it is one of Beijing’s must see shows.
Day 4: Beijing (B,L)
Today, enjoy a tour to the Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for Emperors followed by the Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the Giant Panda. Then visit a Chinese Herbal Institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage which has existed for thousands of years.
Optional Tour: Hutong Life Tour – A rickshaw will take you around the intricate winding hutongs to admire the old courtyards. They are maze-like and deep and exactly as they were a long time ago. Even today, there are many residents reluctant to move from their beloved hutongs. You are invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic Beijing life.
Day 5: Beijing – – Shanghai (B,L,D)
This morning, experience the high-speed train to Shanghai! Travelling at up to 300km/h, they are a testament to China’s desire to be a technological power house. Shanghai has a long history as a gateway to China on the Yangtze River delta. It is the largest economic and trade center in China, and one of China’s cultural centres. On arrival to Shanghai we visit a Silk Spinning Mill and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the nest thread and cloth. Then we walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined by the colonial architectures of European design, this area is the best place to capture the western nuances of the old days. Continue to the Old Town which is a perfect combination of gardens, temples, old architecture, civil culture, business souvenirs and food.
Optional Tour: Huangpu River Cruise – When the sun sets, the river is veiled in the glittery neon lights on its banks. Cruising on the river in the evening, visitors can experience its silence and beauty under the moonlight.
Day 6: Shanghai (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit Shanghai Museum to see ancient Chinese art. The museum is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. The eleven Galleries cover most of the major categories of Chinese art: Ancient Bronze, Ancient Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming and Qing Furniture, Seals, and Minority Nationalities. Then we explore the Xintiandi Area, an affluent and fashionable pedestrian street composed of unique Shikumen (stone gate) and modern architecture style. Our farewell dinner this evening will be a banquet of delicious Shanghai cuisine.
Optional Tour: ERA: Intersection of Time – See a captivating combination of Chinese history, mesmerizing martial arts and incredible special effects throughout the unique spectacle. Watch China evolve from humble beginnings to the global superpower it is today, and enjoy entertaining live music and elaborate costumes as you experience show.
Day 7: Shanghai – – New Zealand (B)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight home. We hope you have enjoyed and unforgettable journey!
Day 8: New Zealand
Arrive home today.