Classic Gardens, Ancient Canals & Misty Peaks

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: ming

From: £3441.00

Highlights

  • Explore China by Bullet Train, without taking internal flights
  • Start in the futuristic city of Shanghai, enjoying an in-depth tour and time at leisure
  • Tour the Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  • Visit an ancient water town
  • Relax in style in Hangzhou, staying close to the romantic West Lake
  • Marvel at the magnificent Yellow Mountain range
  • Journey through China's Imperial and Communist past in Beijing
  • Hike along a wild section of the Great Wall of China
  • Includes all flights, trains, transfers, hotels, excursions & meals as shown
  • Click to get a tailored quotation based on this tour

Shanghai - Days 1 - 4

Day 1 - Fly to Shanghai -The private tour departs on a direct overnight flight from London, or via an alternative route at one of the major regional airports in the UK if you prefer.

Day 2 - Welcome to Shanghai - Arrive in Shanghai in the morning and be welcomed upon arrival for transfer to your hotel. You will receive a walking orientation tour around your hotel with our guide, familiarising you with the surroundings and answering any questions you may have. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax, or you may prefer to add an afternoon tour.

Day 3 - Highlights of Shanghai - Shanghai is China's most developed mega city, a futuristic metropolis symbolised by its forest of towering skyscrapers. However, if you know which street to turn down, you can still find relics of a bygone era and the occasional oasis of calm.

Our special tour introduces you to Shanghai's rich history and local life, starting at the classic Yu Gardens. We admire the European buildings of the riverside Bund area, once known as the "Paris of the Orient" and enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Huangpu River. Take lunch in the French Concession before discovering the traditional houses of Xintiandi, now converted into upscale shops, restaurants and bars. (B,L)

Day 4 - At leisure in Shanghai - Enjoy time at leisure in Shanghai to relax, shop or pursue your own interests. (B)

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Suzhou's Classical Gardens - Day 5

Day 5 - Suzhou's Classical Gardens - One of the great attractions of a visit to Shanghai is the ease with which you can combine some of special places nearby, each of which offers a very different insight into Chinese life and history and a different experience for the visitor. One such place is the small picturesque city of Suzhou, famed for its huge collection of classical Chinese gardens. Today you will leave Shanghai to drive to Suzhou, visiting the traditional water town of Luzhi en-route. You will be shown around by your local guide, with highlights including the Humble Administrators Garden, Lotus Garden, Santang Street, Panmen Gate, a silk spinning factory and a short cruise on canal. (B,L)

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Hangzhou & West Lake - Day 6 - 8

Day 6 - Bullet Train to Hangzhou - We will conclude our sightseeing in Suzhou and then you will be transferred to the train station at Suzhou for the Bullet Train to Hangzhou. Here you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in time for dinner (not included) and a relaxed evening stroll. (B)

Day 7-8 - Hangzhou & West Lake Tour - Described by noted explorer Marco Polo as "the City of Heaven - the most beautiful and magnificent in the world", Hangzhou has managed to retain its charm and beauty, in the face of widespread urban development in China. Situated at the end of the Grand Canal, Hangzhou offers a number of interesting sites, but is most famed for the beguiling West Lake, surrounded by mountains on three sides and dotted with tiny islands. The views here are stunning, not least at sunset.

You will enjoy a guided tour around the area on the first day, including seeing the gold fish of Flower Harbour, enjoying a short cruise on the West Lake, visits to the Dragon Well tea farm and Guozhuang Garden plus a walk down Guanqian historical street. Day 8 will be at leisure for you to relax or pursue your own interests. (B,L)

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Huangshan - Day 9 - 10

Day 9 - Transfer to Huangshan & ancient village - Take the morning bullet train for three hours between Hangzhou and Huangshan, arriving at 13:00. You will be met by your guide on arrival and driven to Tangmo for a tour of this picturesque Tang era ancient water village and its treasured gardens. You will then have some free time on the old street ot Tunxi and will later be transferred to your hotel. (B,L)

Day 10 - Spectacular mountain landscapes - Today we will start early, taking the cable car to top of Huangshan, China's famed Yellow Mountain range. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been an inspiration for painters and poets for centuries. Upon arrival at the top, we will spend the day walking between some of the most panoramic lookout points, seeing powerful granite peaks and ancient bamboo forests towering above the clouds. Specific highlights include the vividly named Brightness Summit, the Rock Flying from Afar and the Cloud-dispelling Pavilion

In the evening you will stay at a hotel on the top of the mountain to be able to enjoy the spectacular sunset and enjoy the peak after the majority of the crowds have left for the day. (B,L)

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Beijing & Great Wall - Day 11 - 15

Day 11 - Bullet Train to Beijing - Around midday you will travel from Huangshan North station to Beijing South on the high speed Bullet Train. The journey takes five and a half hours, meaning you will arrive in time to have dinner in Beijing. You will be met at the station and taken to your hotel in the city centre. (B)

Day 12 - Special tour: Beijing's Past & Present - Our special tour gives you an in-depth view of the the city's history, culture and modern life. We start amid the Communist-style buildings of Tiananmen Square and walk into the mythical Forbidden City, home to 24 Chinese Emperors. Here you can learn about China's dynastic past, before climbing Coal Hill for an overview of the central Beijing landscape. After lunch in a traditional hutong, enter the Confucius and Buddhist temples to understand China's two most important belief systems and their role in daily life. (B,L)

Day 13 - Temple of Heaven Park & Hutongs - We start at the Temple of Heaven, considered by UNESCO "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design", to learn about Chinese philosophical beliefs, cosmogony, art, dynastic politics and sacrificial rituals. We visit early to gain wonderful insights into local life, as large groups of elderly Beijingers gather to take communal exercises, sing, socialise and play musical instruments. We take lunch at a family hutong home and then survey the traditional streets from the back of a rickshaw and on foot. Enjoy some cultural activities like calligraphy or paper cutting or perhaps attempt to cook the Chinese way by making some local dumplings. (B,L)

Day 14 - Hike the Great Wall - We drive two hours north of Beijing to access the iconic Great Wall of China to hike a wild section away from the crowds. Here we can truly appreciate its full majesty and savour stunning views of the surrounding mountains, taking the cable cars down from the restored part at Mutianyu, allowing you a look at the Wall in its original state. (B,L)

Day 15 - Return flight to the UK - You will be transferred with your guide to the ai...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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