Day 1: New Zealand –– Beijing
Depart New Zealand today on your international flight to Beijing! (Please note: some flights depart 1 day earlier)
Upon arrival at the airport in Beijing you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to relax and prepare for your full day tomorrow in China’s capital.
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)
Today you may choose to explore Beijing on your own. Alternatively you can join a selection of optional tours with our experienced local guide.
Optional Tour: Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City. 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: 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, 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 –– Hangzhou (B)
In the morning, you can choose to spend the day at your leisure – take advantage of the hotel facilities or explore Beijing.
Optional Tour: Visit the Temple of Heaven and practice the martial art of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an internal martial art system which places emphasis on the development and control of Chi energy (consciousness) within the body. The Temple of Heaven a sprawling complex of religious buildings located in the south-eastern section of central Beijing. The site was constructed by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties who would host annual ceremonies of prayer for good harvest here.
Later this afternoon you will be transferred to Hangzhou via bullet train.
Day 5: Hangzhou (B,L)
Today, your 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.
Optional Tour: In the evening, you may choose to attend the Romance of Song Dynasty Show featuring colourful costumes dancing, acting and acrobatics and tells the story of the five areas of Hangzhou.
Day 6: Hangzhou – Suzhou (B,L)
Today, you will be transferred from Hangzhou to Suzhou via bus. Upon arrival, spend some time exploring the Master of the Nets Garden it is 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: After lunch, you will have the option to 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 7: 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. You will then continue to the Bund by the Huangpu River, and witness the old meeting the modern side of the city.
Optional Tour: Enjoy an evening on the Huangpu River Cruise, 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 8: Shanghai –– New Zealand
Today you will be transferred to the airport for flight home. We hope you enjoyed your journey to China with us!
Day 9: New Zealand
Arrive home today