China on a Shoestring–Hong Kong to Beijing
Day 1 Hong Kong
Arrive at any time. As fellow group members will be arriving throughout the day there are no planned activities until the group meeting at 6PM, followed by dinner. On arrival please check the notice board in the hotel entrance for details of the time and place of the meeting.
Day 2 Hong Kong/China border
Visit Stanley Market or Nathan Road for some shopping or catch the views of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. Leave in the early afternoon of Day 2, catching the cross-border train to Shenzhen to board an overnight train bound for Guilin in Guangxi Province (approximately 13 hours). Train is your main mode of transport in China and a great way to travel.
Day 3-6 Yangshuo
Arrive in Guilin in the early morning and transfer to a local public bus for the 1½ hour journey to the small country town of Yangshuo. The Li River and the limestone karst mountains interspersed with picturesque riverside villages and markets make this area perhaps the best known scenic attraction in China. *Please note: if you have pre-booked the China Cultural Theme Pack your CEO will inform you when you will see each show throughout your tour: Li River Light Show (Yangshuo), Acrobat Performance (Shanghai) and the Shaolin Kung Fu Show (Beijing). On Day 6 we take an afternoon bus to Guilin train station for the overnight train to Wuchang (approximately 21hrs).
Day 7-9 Yichang/Three Gorges Dam & Xiling Gorge (1L)
On Day 7, arrive in Wuchang and take a fast train to Yichang. Yichang has a very local feel, with great backstreets and alleyways with quaint tea houses and temples for exploring. It is renowned for its tea and fruit, all of which can be see on the street stalls. There is a great local food market where people can find prickly ash, hot pepper and chili powder, which are amongst the ingredients that add a local flavour to most dishes. Both an inspiration to generations of painters and poets and a source of international controversy, the Three Gorges remains one of the world’s natural scenic wonders while the massive Three Gorges Dam is an incredible feat of modern technology. Board a boat on the morning of Day 8 and cruise along the Yangtze River to view both the Xiling Gorge and the Three Gorges Dam. On Day 9, enjoy a free morning to explore Yichang before we take an overnight train to Xi'an (approx 17hrs).
Day 10-12 Xi'an
Xi'an was once one of China's imperial capital. On Day 10, enjoy an orientation walk to get familiar with the Muslim Quarter. Spend almost 3 full days exploring the active Muslim Quarter and its serene Great Mosque as well as the exotic local street food stalls and the majestic Ming Dynasty City Wall. A trip to the famous Terracotta Warriors is a highly recommended optional excursion Xi'an. These life-size, 2000-year-old statues were formerly housed in underground vaults until discovered by a farmer in 1974. In the early evening of Day 12 catch an overnight train to Shanghai (approximately 17hrs).
Day 13-15 Shanghai
Blending 21st century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai is the vibrant pulse of new China. Arrive at noon, enjoy an orientation walk along the Bund, with its spectacular array of art deco-style buildings. The afternoon is free to explore, go across the river where you can take in the sights of Pudong - a modern financial centre - with its amazing skyscrapers. Explore the busy Yuyuan Bazaar, the French Concession, or shop 'til you drop in China's hippest stores! There is enough to see in the impressive Shanghai Museum to spend half, if not a whole, day exploring. It houses one of the best collections of Chinese bronze and artwork. Try to catch a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobats one night. Enjoy a free time to explore on Day 15, in the early evening take an overnight train to Beijing (approximately 17hrs).
Day 16-17 Beijing
Arrive early in the morning which allows for plenty of time to visit the numerous important sights in this giant city - Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The back-street hutongs, packed full of local shops and restaurants are a world away from the imperial splendors, but also part of this energetic city. Use your free time to explore at your leisure before heading off to the Great Wall on the morning of Day 17.
Day 18 Beijing
Depart any time.