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Combine Beijing and Shanghai with a visit to four ancient imperial capitals as well as the wonderfully preserved UNESCO listed town of Pingyao. Discover the roots of Chinese Buddhism at Wutaishan, the Longmen Grottoes in and the Hanging Monastery they will be explained here, in Datong. We also witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks.
- Discover the imperial treasures of Beijing
- Marvel at the Hanging temple at Jinxia Gorge
- Experience the spectacular Terracotta Warriors
- Explore the fascinating Longmen Grottoes
- Soak up the atmosphere in vibrant Shanghai
- Return international flights
- All Accommodation
- All meals
- All transportation & transfers
- All sightseeing & entrance fees
- English speaking National Escort & local guides
- Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Days 1-2: Fly 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: Forbidden City & Hutongs
Heading to Beijing's symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Take a rickshaw ride through the charming hutong's and in the evening sit down to enjoy the local delicacy, Peking Duck, followed by a performance of the Beijing Opera.
Day 4: Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate its sheer magnificence. Jade has been long cherished by the Chinese –at the Jade Museum you can understand and appreciate the delicate process of carving the stone and buy a piece if you wish. Savour the idyll of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.
Day 5: Summer Palace
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Drift your way through Panjiayuan, Beijing's most extensive arts, crafts and antiques market.
Day 6: Travel to Datong
Travel by train to Datong, watching the rural splendour of China pass by your window. Arrive in time for a local dinner in this fascinating city.
Day 7: Hanging Temple, Datong
Grottoes carved from sandstone cliffs in the 5th and 6th centuries, Yungang Caves are replete with intricate Buddhist imagery. The 1400 year old, gravity-defying Hanging Temple seemingly floats 50 metres up the face of Jinxia Gorge. Travel on to Wutaishan.
Day 8: Alpine Wutaishan
One of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains, Wutai (Five Terraced Mountain), is a place of scenic magnificence. In Wutaishan's shadow an alpine valley shelters many important monasteries, temples and sculptures, some stretching back over 1000 years. Continue to Taiyuan and visit the Twin Pagoda Temple dating from the Ming Dynasty.
Days 9-10: Taiyuan and Pingyao
Enjoy the fascinating cultural relics of the Shanxi Provincial Museum and the beauty and tranquillity of Jinci Temple. Travel to Pingyao and visit the Shuanglin Temple. Home to 2,000 colourful sculptures from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The next day, spend the day exploring Pingyao. The characterful old town of Pingyao is considered the best ancient walled town in the country. Stroll along the cobbled streets to view the Zhou Dynasty (827-728BC) city walls and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum. There will also be time to see the Yamen, a former government building from the Qing Dynasty before taking the bullet train to the former imperial capital of Xian.
Days 11-12: Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of these life-size warriors. This evening enjoy a delicious feast of Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing. The next day Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda before admiring the thousands of fascinating relics at the Shaanxi Museum. There will also be time to explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
Day 13: Train to Imperial 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 Grottos which house 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 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 Qing Dynasties. Witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks. Continue to Zhengzhou.
Day 15: Yellow River & Shanghai
Learn about the river basin called ‘the birthplace of Chinese civilisation' at Zhengzhou's Yellow River Museum before heading to a lookout for panoramic views of the river itself. Fly to Shanghai.
Days 16: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, east and west colliding on streets lined with skyscrapers and old temples. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens, the atmospheric old town and the excellent collections of the Shanghai Museum before admiring the colonial architecture on the Bund. In the evening take your seats for a fascinating Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 17: Fly Shanghai to UK
Wander through the Xintiandi area to admire the 1920s architectural styling. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a scenic cruise. Taste the delicious, traditional Shanghai cuisine for dinner.
Day 18: Fly Shanghai to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
‘Ancient China’ is a moderate tour. This means that the itinerary requires a good level of fitness. On several days there will be sightseeing on foot for extended periods of time. On the Great Wall of China in Beijing, some of the walking may be at more of an incline.
Your accommodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. In more remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities.
Coaches: Coaches with air conditioning are used on our group tours for city sightseeing, short excursions to the countryside and longer transfers where necessary.
Most Wendy Wu groups consist of 10 travellers or more and will be accompanied by both a National Escort and local guides. There will usually be no more than 29 travellers in each group although you may encounter other Wendy Wu tour groups while you are travelling.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don't include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment's notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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