Great Sites of China (14 days)

Presentation of the tour “Great Sites of China”.

This is a tour proposal. This 14 days stay can be adapted to your possibilities and your desires. We will of course also take into account your budget and availability.

Daily program: Great Sites of China (14 days) Download the PDF brochure

Day 1: Arrival in Beijing.

Arrival at Beijing Airport. Welcome by your driver with a sign in your name, then transfer to Kelly’s Courtyard Boutique Hotel. End of the day free to rest from the long international flight, and discover on foot the neighborhood around the hotel.

Day 2: Beijing

Breakfast. Meet with your guide at 9:00 am for a first discovery of the Chinese capital.

Walk to Tiananmen Square, the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” then visit the Forbidden City, once home to the Chinese emperors and center of political power. At the exit of the Forbidden City, walk on the coal hill (108m high), from where you can enjoy a 360 degree view of Beijing. Lunch and then ride by bicycle rickshaw in a typical hutongs along Lake Houhai and discovery of Beihai Park, also known as the Winter Palace. Late afternoon free in Beijing’s shopping street, Wangfujing Street, and night market discovery.

Overnight at Kelly’s Courtyard Hotel.

Day 3: Beijing - Mutianyu

Departure for the Great Wall at Mutianyu: built over 6700 km long to protect the Middle Kingdom from the invasions of the Barbarians of the North, listed as World Heritage of Humanity. Ascent in gondola, descent on foot (possibility to go down toboggan, payable locally). Lunch, then visit the site of the thirteen tombs of the Ming emperors: you will reach the site by following the path of the spirits, lined with 36 animal statues, then mandarins, military and civilians. Return to Beijing, passing through the Olympic Stadium to see the bird’s nest and water cube designed by Herzoge and John Pauline (if you want to visit the interior of the site the entrance ticket is at your expense on site) .

Overnight at Kelly’s Courtyard Hotel.

Day 4: Beijing

Breakfast. Visit the summer palace outside of Beijing, as well as its great Kunming Lake. You can go for a boat ride on the pond in the huge park of Empress Cixi. Lunch then visit the Temple of Heaven nestled in the huge park of Tiantan Gongyuan, whose majestic triple roof rotunda is one of the most beautiful achievements of Ming architecture. Beijing specialty dinner, Peking duck.

Overnight at Kelly’s Courtyard Hotel.

Day 5: Beijing - Pingyao

Transfer to Beijing Railway Station to take a TGV to Pingyao (D2001, 07:52 – 12:08, 4:16, 2nd class). Arrival in Pingyao, welcome by your new guide and private driver. Lunch then afternoon, visit the residence of the Wang family representative of the prosperity of the rich merchants of Shanxi. You will end the day by visiting the temple of the Double Forest.

Overnight in Pingyao at Dejuyuan Hotel.

Day 6: Pingyao - Xi'an

Morning dedicated to the visit of the fortified village of Zhangbi and its military architecture with defensive underground galleries of more than 10 km. Return to Pingyao and discover the old city through the Ming and Qing streets. Discover the Rishengchang Museum, former exchange office of the House of Finance, and the old city walls. Transfer to Pingyao Station for a train to Xi’an (D2515, 19:19 – 22:16, 2nd class). Arrival in Xi’an, welcome by your new guide and private driver and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at Citadines Central hotel.

Day 7: Xi'an

This morning, you will have the opportunity to visit the park of the Little Wild Goose Pagoda, built to house the sutras brought back from India by the monk Yijing, and to attend a play of shadow puppets. In the afternoon, visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum. Known as the cradle of Chinese civilization, Shaanxi Province has many protected archaeological sites. There are more than 300,000 objects testifying to the richness of this civilization and tracing the history of China. Walk in the vicinity of the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower and discover the Muslim neighborhood including the visit of the Great Mosque.

Overnight at Citadines Central hotel.

Optional dinner “banquet ravioli” followed by a Tang dance show at the Grand Theater Tang.

Day 8: Xi'an

Breakfast, then bike ride on the oldest ramparts of China measuring 14km. Then departure for the famous historical site of the terracotta army, protecting the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi. Reminiscent discovery of 6,000 warriors and clay horses, life-size, aligned in battle formation.

Overnight at Citadines Central hotel.

Day 9: Xi'an - Guilin - Ping'an

Transfer to Xi’an airport for a flight to Guilin. Arrival in Guilin, welcome by new guide and driver. This morning, departure for the village of Ping’an, located in the region of rice terraces Longji north of Guilin. Arrival below the village of Ping’an, deposit of suitcases in a safe place (prepare a small bag with the affairs of a night), and climb to the hotel in the center of the village (30 minutes walk). This village of the Zhuang ethnic group is located in the heart of rice terraces. Climb up the rice paddies for a breathtaking panorama and discover the different points of view of the site.

Overnight at Ping’an Hotel.

Day 10: Ping'an - Yangshuo

Short walk in the morning from Ping’an village to the old Zhuang village of Longji (1h30 one way, easy).

Meet the Yao women, famous for their beautiful embroidered pink costumes, their heavy silver jewels and their long hair sometimes touching the ground! Find your vehicle and drive to Yangshuo. Along the way, stop to climb Xianggongshan Hill, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Yangshuo area offering a bird’s-eye view of the Li River and its forest of karst peaks stretching as far as the eye can see.

Overnight at the Yangshuo Secret Garden Hotel in the countryside in the preserved old village of Jiuxian.

Day 11: Yangshuo

After your breakfast, easy bike ride (about 20 km) in the countryside and off the beaten track.

Take small paths along the Yulong River, through sleepy hamlets, rice paddies and fish ponds to the 400-year-old Dragon Bridge (also called Yulong Bridge). Lunch on the pier near the bridge. Then take a bamboo raft and go down the Yulong River, a tributary of the Li River (loaded bike on the raft). Pushed to the pole, your raft will descend quietly the small stream. End of free day in the center of Yangshuo around West Street. Overnight at Yangshuo Secret Garden Hotel.

Optional in the evening, attend the sound and light show “Liu San Jie”, based on a very popular Chinese musical, directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (director of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games) . The show takes place on the Li River in a beautiful natural setting surrounded by karst mountains (payable locally).

Day 12: Yangshuo - Guilin - Shanghai

Departure around 8:30 in the morning by car to the village of Xingping located among one of the most beautiful karst landscapes of China. Walk along the main street whose buildings typically represent the architectural style of northern Guangxi Province during the Ming and Qing dynasties and discover the charms of the countryside among the fruit trees: pomelos, mandarines and khaki. Power raft ride on one of the most beautiful sections of the Li River, through small fishing villages, rice fields and bamboo groves, the 9 horse hill to the village of Yangdi. Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Shanghai. Arrival in Shanghai, welcome by your English speaking guide and private driver then transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at Grace Land Hotel.

Day 13: Shanghai

This morning, walk in the Fuxing Park to discover the morning activities of the Shanghaïans: Taichi, dances, and songs in a most festive atmosphere. Then head to the financial district and its skyscrapers where you can have a superb 360 ° view of Shanghai from the tower of the Pearl Oriental. Visit the Shanghai History Museum at the foot of this tower. Lunch then walk on the Nanjing Road and the famous Bund along the Huangqu River separating the skyscrapers from the financial district of the buildings of the era of concessions. Late afternoon in the Xintiandi district, the most exclusive district of Shanghai. In the evening, attend the circus acrobatics show Era.

Overnight at Grace Land Hotel.

Day 14: Shanghai

This morning, visit the Shanghai Museum located in the heart of People’s Square. Discovery of ancient art pieces beautifully crafted including including collections of bronzes, porcelain, sculptures, calligraphy, seals. In the afternoon, continue your visit with a stroll through the heart of the old city and its pedestrian streets lined with traditional stalls, including the Yu Garden. Late afternoon in the small intertwined streets of the Tianzifang district.

Transfer to the airport to catch your return flight. End of services.

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