Welcome to Beijing, home to incredible UNESCO-listed sites, awe-inspiring scenery and mouthwatering Peking duck. Your adventure begins at Beijing Airport (PEK), where a tour representative will meet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel for the night.
The evening is at leisure, so take the time to relax or hit the city streets in search of dinner.
After breakfast, it’s time to begin your exhilarating exploration of Beijing. First up is Tiananmen Square, which is particularly significant for being the scene of the 1989 student protests. Marvel at its 400,000 sqm and take in highlights such as the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People.
Next up is the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City palace complex, one of the city’s most impressive sites. Step into the Imperial Palace and see stories of Chinese dynasties come to life. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure or choose to take part in an optional tour of Old Beijing.
- Tour of Old Beijing (from CNY280 per person)
Rise, shine and prepare with a hearty breakfast because today will be unforgettable – it’s time to discover the Great Wall of China. En route, stop at a fascinating Jade Museum and immerse yourself in the history of this gemstone, known as ‘yu’ in Chinese. Watch skilled artisans at work, then continue your journey through picturesque countryside and mountains. Arrive at the renowned Mutianyu Pass of the Great Wall, a section that has been thoughtfully restored to present a tapestry of watchtowers and meandering paths. For an additional cost, you could hop on a cable car and enjoy the view from above.
Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure or join an optional trip to the theatre.
- Golden Mask Dynasty show (from CNY380 per person)
It’s time to leave Beijing today, but not before a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties visited this complex of imperial religious buildings to pray for a good harvest. It continues to play an essential role in society, with the people of Beijing gathering to perform tai chi, dance and sing. Walk its iconic halls and pavillions before continuing to a Chinese herbal institution to learn about the traditional use of herbs for medicinal purposes. Continue the journey by train to Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius and your home for the next three nights.
It’s time to tick another UNESCO-listed site off your list – the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu. Immerse yourself in the life of the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th – 5th centuries BC. Comprised of more than 100 buildings, the site has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries.
Visit the cemetery and Confucius’ tomb, and marvel at the complex’s outstanding artistic and historic character. Your tour guide is on hand to make sure you catch the highlights, including the Kong Family Mansion, Lingxing Gate and Dacheng Hall.
The rest of the day is free to explore as you please.
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like. Take the opportunity to rest at the hotel or hit the streets of Qufu for some independent exploration. Discover the ancient ruins of Minggu City, breathe deep amid the greenery of Kong Forest or return to Confucius Temple and Cemetery – there's always more to see. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional tour of Nishan Shengjing Jinsheng.
- Nishan Shengjing Jinsheng tour (from CNY380 per person)
After a morning of perusing the artefacts of the Qufu Confucius Museum, you’ll begin the journey by train to Suzhou, a stunning spot known as the ‘Venice of China’. Lose yourself amid its network of canals, beautiful bridges and charming gardens. The unmissable Master of the Nets Garden is among the finest in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The evening is yours to spend at leisure before a day of exploration tomorrow.
This morning, mingle with the locals on Pingjiang Road, where old buildings line the canals and traditional souvenirs and local snacks can be found down narrow lanes. Visit an old silk factory and see firsthand how the fine material is spun from raw mulberry cocoons. Get in touch with the Suzhou of days gone by at Suzhou Museum, home to a fascinating collection of art and artefacts, from porcelain to paintings.
After breakfast, depart the canals of Suzhou for the Ancient Water Town of Zhujiajiao, near Shanghai. Established around 1,700 years ago, the town is home to archaeological findings dating back 5,000 years, 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers. Find peace among the serene canals and traditional houses that line the water’s edge before a change of pace on Shanghai’s bustling Nanjing Road.
One of the world’s most renowned shopping streets, it’s packed with international designers and local stores offering traditional snacks and souvenirs. After a busy afternoon, you may like to spend the rest of the day at leisure or join the optional river cruise.
- Huangpu River cruise (from CNY280 per person)
After breakfast, head for the market at the City God Temple of Shanghai. Admire the surrounding ornate architecture as you shop for gold jewellery, traditional snacks and crafts. After lunch, the French Concession district awaits with its European influences, tree-lined streets and quaint cafes.
Take in the classic colonial buildings as you browse the boutiques for souvenirs. It wouldn’t be a trip to Shanghai without an evening visit to the Bund. It’s your last evening, so spend it relaxing before your onward journey or end it on a high with an optional acrobatic show.
- Acrobatic show (from CNY380 per person)
It’s time to say goodbye to China as your tour comes to a close with a transfer to Shanghai Airport (PVG).