Colourful China

Beijing/Xi'an/Kunming/Lijiang/Shanghai 

This slightly longer tour features everything in THE BEST OF CHINA tour plus a visit to the ethnically diverse province of Yunnan the south of China. Here you will visit the stone forest of Kunming, beautiful scenery and step back into time visiting the 800-year old town of Lijiang. Yunnan is in southwestern China and with its varied and dramatic landscape and breathtaking views encompassing snow-capped mountains, rice terraces, lakes and deep gorges, the region is known for its large number of colourful ethnic minorities It's home to 25 of the country's 56 recognized ethnic groups and each has a unique culture and cuisine. Then there's dramatic landscape and breathtaking views . Modern Kunming, known as the “Spring City,” has many museums and temples, including colorful Yuantong Temple. To the southeast, Shilin Stone Forest contains limestone karst peaks formed 270 million years ago.

 

Day 1

Stopover destination - Beijing

Upon arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport your professional local English speaking guide will meet you in the Arrival Hall.  With your guide, enjoy the views of Beijing CBD & the SOHO Business Street on your way to the hotel. After checking-in and freshening up, your guide will take you for a stroll of the area around your hotel - the famous Wanfujing Street. Visit the Snack street off Wanfujing street where you can sample local delicacies before returning to your hotel.

 

Day 2

Beijing (Breakfast, Lunch, Show)

After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour of Beijing visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  Drive along Chang an Avenue and your guide will point out  the National Grand Theatre and Ancient City Walls. After seeing how the nobility lived, partake of Jiaozi (steamed dumplings) for lunch in the company of a Chinese family. Later, enjoy a pedi-cab tour of the ancient courtyard houses called the Hutongs and the popular Houhai Lake Bar Street. After dinner, enjoy the exciting and dramatic Kung-fu show before returning to the hotel.

 

Day 3

Beijing (Breakfast, Lunch, special Dinner)

After breakfast at hotel, journey to the The Great Wall at Mutianyu. Stroll along this incredible wonder and enjoy the breathtaking view. After a late lunch at a good Chinese restaurant, return to Beijing to visit the tranquil Imperial gardens of the Summer Palace. In the evening, enjoy a delicious Peking Roasted Duck returning to your hotel.

 

Day 4

Beijing (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, visit the holiest temple in Beijing - Temple of Heaven and then the Lama Temple. After lunch at a good Chinese restaurant, drive through "Chinese Wall Street"- Beijing Bank Street to get to the famous Xiushui market where you will put your bargaining skills to work at the. In the evening, transfer back to your hotel.

 

Day 5

Beijing - Xi'an (Breakfast, special Dinner)

After breakfast, have some free time in the morning before saying goodbye to your Beijing guide as you will be transferred to the train station. Enjoy the scenery en-route on your High Speed train journey from Beijing to the ancient city of Xi'an. Upon arrival, your local Xi'an guide will meet you at the airport and take you to visit the Ancient City walls that surrounds this old city. If you are interested, you could even rent a bike on the wall and ride the entire wall in an hour and a half. visit the Big Goose Pagoda where you will be able to climb to the top of the pagoda for a bird's view of Xi'an. In the evening, enjoy a Dumpling banquet before returning to your hotel.

 

Day 6

Xi'an (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum; here, you will learn about China's history and have a better understanding before your visit to the warriors. After some Hand-pulled noodles for lunch, you will visit the thousands of life size Terracotta Warriors and Horses about an hour and a half from Xi'an. Your visit includes a Circlorama 360 film presentation of the history of the warriors..thus enhancing your visit. In the afternoon, you return to Xi'an to visit the Grand Mosque with Muslim Quarter. Stroll on Muslim street and see how Chinese Muslims live. Your guide will show you the famous local snacks available here. After an exciting day, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Optional extra - if you like extravagant costumes, elaborate staging and Chinese dances, ask your guide to take you to the Tang Dynasty dinner and show.

 

 

Day 7

Xi'an - Kunming (Breakfast, Dinner)

After breakfast, head to Shu Yuan Men for some unique shopping experience. It is time to say goodbye to your Xian guide as you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Kunming. Domestic Flight (included) from Xi'an to Kunming. On arrival in Kunming, your local English speaking guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Western Hill and take a 10 minutes chairlift up the hill. From the top, follow a path winds down the famous "Dragon Gate". Visit the well-known Flower & Bird Market in the old part of Kunming city. After dinner, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kunming.

 

Day 8

Kunming - Lijiang (Breakfast, Lunch)

A rare experience today as you take a full day excursion to the legendary Stone Forest, where you marvel at the enthralling labyrinth of jagged limestone crags. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lijiang. Visit the Suhe Tea House and Horse Old Town, a primitive village which is special for its unsophisticated simplicity. Walk to the Black Dragon Pond, an ideal place to photograph the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (5596 m). Then free time on your own to wander around the delightful, untouched and extremely historic old town of Lijiang.

 

Day 9

Lijiang (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, visit Dry Sea (Ganhai) the closest and also the best place to get a panoramic view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the White Water River flowing down from top. Taste this pure, unpolluted water, allowing the cool sensation to wash away tension and inspire thoughts of the river's pristine source high in the mountains. Later, you drive on to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain...ascending in a chair lift, and visiting Spruce Meadows. Hike on paths along the mountain to enjoy the breathtaking views of the main peak. On the way back, visit the Baisha Village, a simple Naxi village in the neighborhood of Jade Peak Monastery, and the 600-year-old "Camellia Tree of 10,000 blossoms" at the Yufeng Lama Temple.

Optional Extra: If you like shows, ask your guide about the "Impression Lijiang" show.

 

Day 10

Lijiang - Shanghai (Breakfast, Lunch)

Buffet breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Domestic Flight (included) from Lijiang to the modern city of Shanghai. Upon arrival, your local Shanghai guide will meet you at the airport and take you to visit the Oriental Pearl TV tower, for a bird's-eye view of this modern city. Then on to Shanghai's landmark - the historic Bund. Later time for shopping in famous Nanjing Road. After dinner, have a cruise on the Huangpu River for the night view of Shanghai before transferring to your hotel.

 

Day 11

Shanghai (Breakfast, special Lunch, Show)

After breakfast, spend precious time in the classic Yuyuan Gardens. On to the bustling Yu Bazaarnearby, where you can pick up some souvenirs. Lunch is at a Mongolian Barbecue, which is as much a show as it is an exotic eating experience. Later, enjoy a walk along the adjoining Shanghai Old Street, with its endless streams of pedestrians, traditional shops, tea houses and theatres. Later to the incredible Urban Planning Museum on the People's Square. This evening enjoy the feel of old Shanghai at Xintandi, where a plethora of restaurants awaits you for drinks and dinner.  Later, be amazed by the sensational performance of the famous Acrobatic Show before returning to your hotel.

 

Day 12

Shanghai (Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will have a full day at leisure for independent sightseeing or shopping.

 

Day 13

Shanghai - Stopover destination - Johannesburg (Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will have a free day until your evening transfer to the station for the ride of your life. The Maglev bullet train will take you 431km/hr to the airport for your onward destination or flight home.

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