About the Holiday
Saturday. Hello China! Arrive Beijing and included airport transfer to our hotel.
The Forbidden City
This morning, we explore the heart of Beijing, China's pulsating capital, including the vast Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao’s tomb lies and various monuments to the people are located. Dominating the city centre is the Forbidden City, a centre of power for five centuries and seat of the emperors. Entering through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (replete with Chairman Mao’s portrait), we enjoy a guided tour of this old city within a city. Later we take an exciting rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, weaving through old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, gaining a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant.
Great Wall of China
After a free morning to further explore the city, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills. This evening we spend the night at our quaint hotel near Juyongguan Pass, which offers views of the Great Wall.
Morning at the Great Wall
Beijing - Xi’an. We rise early this morning and head (5 min bus drive) to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass when it opens to beat the crowds. We have time to enjoy and explore the wall before visiting a Jade Carving Centre to learn about this ornamental rock and its importance in Chinese culture. After lunch we head back to Beijing. Free time is offered in the cavernous Pearl Market - an Aladdin's Cave of souvenirs, handbags and gadgets in Beijing, before travelling by express soft sleeper train to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Wild Goose Pagoda and City Wall
We pull in to Xi'an in the morning - hotel check-in and time to freshen up. Today we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Muslim Quarter before taking a casual bicycle ride on top of the nine mile Xi’an City Wall (no need to go the entire way around) perimeter peeking down upon the lively city beneath us. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Breakfast and Lunch
Thursday. This morning we discover the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site, where 7000 warriors stand battle ready and have done so for the past 2200 years. Later on we visit a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines. Our tour comes to an end after today's sightseeing. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Please ensure your flight is booked to depart Xi’an after 6pm.