|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
18 Day Ancient China Tour Itinerary
DAYS 1-2: FLY OVERNIGHT TO BEIJING
Arrive in Beijing, China’s fascinating capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
DAY 3: IMPERIAL BEIJING
This morning, head to Beijings symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and stroll into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Take a rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys of the warren-like hutongs and learn more about living in this traditional area. In the evening, sit down to enjoy the local delicacy, Peking duck.
DAY 4: THE GREAT WALL
This morning is dedicated to Chinas most iconic sight the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it. Visit a jade factory, where you will be able to buy a small handcrafted piece. Jade is revered throughout China and is said to bring fortune and prosperity to those who wear it. Spend the afternoon at the idyllic Summer Palace, wandering through traditional Chinese gardens and seeing the exquisite architecture.
DAY 5: TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape and mingle with the locals as they practice Tai Chi, dance or play cards. Later, browse your way through Panjiayuan, Beijings most extensive arts, crafts and antiques market.
DAY 6: HISTORICAL DATONG
Travel by train to Datong, watching the rural splendour of China pass by your window. Datong is known for its abundant historical relics and natural beauty. Arrive in time for a local dinner in this fascinating city.
DAY 7: THE HANGING TEMPLE
Today, you will explore some of Chinas UNESCO World Heritage sites. Grottoes carved from sandstone cliffs in the 5th and 6th centuries, Yungang Caves are replete with intricate Buddhist imagery. Also visit the 1,400 year old, gravity-defying Hanging Temple that seemingly floats 50 metres up the face of Jinxia Gorge. Travel on to Wutaishan.
DAY 8: WUTAISHAN
One of Chinas four sacred Buddhist mountains, Wutaishan (Five Terraced Mountain) is a place of scenic magnificence. In Wutaishans shadow, an alpine valley shelters many important monasteries, temples and sculptures, some dating back over 1,000 years. Here, visit the Bodhisattva Summit Temple and Xiantong Buddhist Temple. Continue to Taiyuan, the capital and largest city in Shanxi Province and visit the Twin Pagoda Temple, constructed during the Ming Dynasty.
DAY 9: TAIYUAN AND PINGYAO
Enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of Jinci Temple before travelling to the old town of Pingyao. Pingyao is a living museum and home to Chinas best preserved ancient city walls. Here, take part in a traditional Chinese paper cutting experience, an art dating back to the 6th century.
DAY 10: EXPLORE PINGYAO
Explore the characterful old town of Pingyao, strolling along the cobbled streets to view the old city walls and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum. There will also be time to see the Yamen, a government building during the Qing Dynasty, before taking the bullet train to the former imperial capital of Xian.
DAY 11: TERRACOTTA WARRIORS
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of Chinas first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of these life-size warriors and visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Workshop. Later, take a stroll on the beautifully preserved ancient city walls that enclose Xians old town. This evening, enjoy a delicious feast of Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
DAY 12: DISCOVER XIAN
Admire the relics at the Xian Museum before visiting the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and watching a calligraphy demonstration. There will also be time to explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
DAY 13: LUOYANG
Board a bullet train from Xian to Luoyang, a city that was the capital for more than 13 dynasties. This afternoon, visit the Longmen Grottoes which houses tens of thousands of age-old statues and sculptures depicting Buddha and his disciples carved from the limestone cliffs of Xiangshan and Longmenshan.
DAY 14: SHAOLIN TEMPLE
Travel to Dengfeng and visit the famous Shaolin Temple, best known for its association with martial arts, and walk through the Pagoda Forest, a collection of 228 pagodas of various styles built from the Tang through to the Qing dynasties. Later, witness a kung fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks. Continue to Zhengzhou.
DAY 15: HUANGPU RIVER CRUISE
Fly to the exuberant and cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the Paris of the East. In the evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a scenic cruise.
DAY 16: COSMOPOLITAN SHANGHAI
Shanghai is Chinas great metropolis, east and west colliding on streets lined with skyscrapers and old temples. Visit the classical Yu Garden and stop in the old town before admiring the colonial architecture on the Bund. This evening, take your seats to see the fascinating ERA acrobatic show.
DAY 17: EXPLORE SHANGHAI
Wander through the Xintiandi area to admire the 1920s architectural style, view the artefacts at the Shanghai Museum and explore the Silk Factory. Taste delicious, traditional Shanghainese cuisine for dinner.
DAY 18: FLY SHANGHAI TO UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.