China Highlights - 8 days / 7nights
Experience the highlights of this vast and fascinating country. See the old world and the new Olympic city of Beijing, walk the Great Wall, take the high spped train to see the Terracotta warriors of Xian and then finish off at the sky scrapper lined city of Shanghai.
Nov-Mar: AUD 1575 pp*
Apr-Oct: AUD 1650 pp*
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 7 nights with breakfast, transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned car and monument entrance fee as per itinerary. Lunches as per itinerary. Beijing-X'ian train fare & X'ian-Shanghai airfare.
Hotels Standard: 4 star
Note: extra supplements will apply for Perehera Festival period (7-17 Aug 08).
Day 01 Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. You are greeted by your guide at the airport outside the luggage claim area with your name displayed and then transferred to the four-star Beijing Guangxi Hotel or similar.
Day 02 Beijing (B, L)
Morning sightseeing takes you to Tian'an Men Square and the Forbidden City, the residence of Chinese emperors for more than 500 years. Afternoon sightseeing features the Temple of Heaven, where emperors once prayed for good harvests. The a visit to the Summer Palace, a summer resort for Empress Dowager Ci Xi.
Day 03 Beijing (B, L)
The highlight today is to conquer the Badaling Great Wall, a symbol of the Chinese ancient civilization and to the Changling, one of the Ming Tombs, the burial grounds for the 13 Ming Dynasty emperors and the Sacred Way. Drive back to city and stop by the Olympic venues, which are more commonly known as "Bird's Nest" and "Water Cube". You can take some photos from the outside.
Day 04 Beijing / Xian (B, L)
In the morning, take the high speed train to the ancient city of Xian. Meet and check into the four-star Xi'an Aurum International Hotel, or similar. Today you will enjoy a leisure stroll on the top of the Ancient City Wall, the best preserved in the world, and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda.
Day 05 Xian (B, L)
A full day tour recalls the glories of ancient Xian as you visit the burial site of an incredible army of 8000 lifelike Terra-cotta soldiers. After lunch drive back to the city and visit the Great Mosque in the Muslim quarter. This Mosque is the only one in China that perfectly combines the Muslim customs and Chinese culture with features like a unique garden.
Day 06 Xian / Shanghai (B, L)
After breakfast in the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival in Shanghai, the commercial center of China, meet your guide and proceed to visit the fabulous Yu Garden, then a leisurely stroll at the famous waterfront Bund and Nanjing Road the shopping center.
Day 07 Shanghai (B, L)
Pick up at your Shanghai hotel lobby and transfer to visit the Zhujiajiao , the best-preserved ancient water town among the four ancient towns in Shanghai with a history of 1700 years. Followed is the Xin Tiandi (New Heaven and Earth) Occupied by trendy bars, restaurants and shops, the area is now a top nightspot for the locals and tourists alike. The neighborhood of remodeled "Stone Gate" houses is architectural evidence of the international influences in Shanghai's history. Next is the French concession in Shanghai, China from 1849 until 1946, which progressively expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Day 08 Shanghai (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your departure flight
THE BENELUX BONANZA
The journey I was about to undertake would not only in geographical terms span vast distances over land and sea......it was an odyssey which would cover a period of over four hundred years and one in which I would try to establish a "connection" with my ancestors.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham