Ancient China

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Trace three thousand years of magnificent history. Visit 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 and also Shaolin, where we witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous monks.

Days 1-5 : UK – Beijng

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through Tiananmen Square, past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum to the treasure-filled Forbidden City, which has the largest and best preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. We also take a rickshaw ride through the traditional Hutong areas. Our evening meal includes the local delicacy, Peking Duck followed by a performance at the Beijing Opera. Walk on the Great Wall to reflect on 2,000 years of history and then visit the unique Temple of Heaven. The next day, indulge in some shopping at the bustling markets and tour the exquisite Summer Palace.

Day 6 : Datong

Depart Beijing and travel by train to the former ancient and cultural capital, Datong for an overnight stay.

Day 7 : Wutaishan

Explore the Yungang Caves, which have been carved into the north cliff face of Wuzhou Mountain and consist of over 50,000 Buddhist statues and frescoes. We also visit the 1400 year old Hanging Monastery, which is suspended 50 metres above the ground on the western cliff face of Jinxia Gorge. Travel by coach to Wutaishan for an overnight stay.

Day 8 : Taiyuan

Discover the magnificent beauty of Wutaishan (Five Terraced Mountain. Within the alpine valley is the monastic village often referred to as the ‘Holy Land of Chinese Buddhism’, home to traditional architecture, temples and sculptures. Later in the day, travel to Taiyuan for an overnight stay and visit the Ming Dynasty’s Twin Pagoda Temple, the Provincial Museum and the Jinci Temple, which offers a wonderful combination of historical relics and beautiful landscapes.

Days 9-10 : Pingyao - Xian

Continue by coach to Pingyao, a remarkably well-preserved World Heritage listed town offering an insight into the architectural styles of Imperial China. The next day, explore this town by visiting the Ancient City Wall, built in the Zhou Dynasty (827-728 BC), the Rishengchang Financial House Museum and the Zhengguo. We also visit Shuang Lin Temple and the Yamen, a former government building of the Qing Dynasty before boarding the overnight train to the former ancient capital of Xian.

Days 11-12 : Xian

Arrive in Xian in the morning. Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and the renowned Shaanxi Museum which is home to thousands of priceless relics. In the evening enjoy a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing. The next day, visit one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century – the Terracotta Warriors, followed by a walk along the Ancient City Wall.

Days 13-14 :  Luoyang

Travel by train to Luoyang, an imperial capital for more than 13 dynasties. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Longmen Grottoes before travelling to Dengfeng where we visit Shaolin Temple and witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks.

Day 15 : Dengfeng 

We visit the Yellow River and the Zhengzhou Folk Museum before flying to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the ‘Paris of the East’.

Days 16-17 : Shanghai

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through the beautiful Yu Gardens and the Old Town as well as a visit to the Shanghai Museum. We also walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture. Enjoy a fascinating Chinese Acrobatic show in the evening. The next day, we explore the restored Xintiandi area with its unique 1920’s style shikumen buildings and in the evening, enjoy a cruise on the panoramic Huangpu River.

Day 18 : Shanghai 

Fly to the UK, arriving home later the same day or the following morning depending on airline chosen.

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