Popular with the Chinese for centuries as places of pilgrimage, rest and refreshment, the central provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hunan are brimming with history and beauty.
China’s Hidden Beauty 18 Days
- Itinerary and Map
Day 1 – Arrive Beijing
On arrival in Beijing transfer to your centrally located hotel.
Stay four nights at the Novotel Peace Hotel.
Day 2 – Beijing
Today you will visit the famous sights of Beijing including the majestic Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. In the evening attend a performance of the Chinese Kongfu Show. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Great Wall Excursion
Travel north from the city to the Great Wall of China. Visit the section known as Badaling Remnant, a little way off the usual tourist route and known for its beautiful natural setting. You can walk on top of the wall and appreciate the scale of this remarkable structure as it snakes down valleys and along ridge lines as far as the eye can see. On the way back to Beijing stop at the Ming Tombs to stroll along the Sacred Way lined with animal statues, and learn about the craft of cloisonné at a local factory. (B,L)
Day 4 – Beijing
Be delighted by the antics of the Pandas at Beijing Zoo before experiencing the graceful gardens and lakeside setting of the Summer Palace. See the Olympic Village and walk around the outside of the so called ‘bird’s nest’ and the Australian designed Water Cube. This evening enjoy a Beijing specialty – a Peking Duck Banquet. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Beijing to Datong
In the morning tour the Hutongs, Beijing’s ancient, narrow streets, by rickshaw, then transfer to the Beijing rail station to board the afternoon train to Datong in the Province of Shanxi, bordered to the north by the Great Wall of China. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.
Stay two nights at the Datong Grand Hotel. (B,L)
Day 6 – Datong
Visit the Cloud Ridge Caves, a series of caves carved into a cliff face between 460 and 494 AD and containing over 50,000 Buddhist statues. Various foreign influences can be seen in the caves including Persian and Byzantine weapons, Greek tridents and images of Hindu gods. See also Shanhua Temple and the Nine Dragon Screen, a massive tiled wall depicting fire breathing dragons. (B,L)
Day 7 – Datong – Wutai Shan
See the Hanging Monastery, a wooden temple built on a cliff during the same period as the caves. Travel south to Yingxian to see the Wooden Pagoda. Standing at over 67 metres it is among the tallest ancient wooden buildings of the world. Continue to Wutai Shan.
Stay one night at Wutai Shan Huahui Resort. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Wutai Shan – Taiyuan
To visit all of the temples in the Wutai Mountain scenic area would take great devotion and stamina. This morning sample just a few in this most sacred and scenic Buddhist area. Later drive to Taiyuan, the provincial capital city.
Stay one night at Shanxi Grand Hotel. (B,L)
Day 9 – Taiyuan – Pingyao
Visit Jinci Temple at Jin Springs, at the foot of Xuanweng Mountain. The complex includes a classical garden with a 3,000 year old cypress dating from the Zhou Dynasty. Next to Jinci is the Wang Family Hall, a private villa built in 1532 for Wang Qiong, a high ranking official during the Ming Dynasty. Drive on to Pingyao.
Stay two nights at the Yide Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 10 – Mian Shan excursion
Make a day trip to Mian Shan to visit the scenic areas where communities of Taoist and Buddhist monks built amazing temples that perch on the impossibly craggy slopes. (B,L)
Day 11 – Pingyao – Xian
Pingyao is a well preserved Han Chinese city with courtyard houses and ancient temples. Walk on the intact Ming Dynasty City Wall, explore the antique shops in Ming Qing Street and visit the intriguing Rishengchang Financial House Museum. Depart Pingyao late this afternoon by high speed train bound for Xian in the Shaanxi Province.
Stay two nights at the Grand Noble Hotel. (B,L)
Day 12 – Xian
Visit the Terracotta Warriors and Horses today, viewing a 360 degree movie presentation as an introduction to this most spectacular archeological site. (B,L)
Day 13 – Xian – Zhangjiajie
Walk along the imposing City Wall and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and its Northern Square filled with fountains. Take an evening flight to Zhangjiajie, in the northwest of Hunan Province and transfer to your hotel.
Stay three nights at the Zhuanjiacun Hotel. (B,L)
Day 14 – Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie was recognized in 1982 as China’s first national forest park. The weather is moist year-round resulting in dense foliage and misty vistas. Its most notable features are the pillar like mountains, formed by years of erosion, which are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings and, more recently, blockbuster movies! Begin exploring the area with a visit to Yellow Stone Village by cable car then after lunch take a stroll beside Golden Whip Stream. (B,L,D)
Day 15 – Zhangjiajie
Savour more of the fresh air and peaceful vistas on a visit to Tianzi Shan by cable car. See waterfalls and limestone caves. (B,L,D)
Day 16 – Zhangjiajie – Shanghai
Visit Tianmen (Heavenly Door) Mountain Scenic Area, just south of Zhangjiajie Village. Tianmen is the highest peak in the region and is regarded as the ‘soul’ of Zhangjiajie. The Glass Sky Walk is included during this visit. There are many graceful trees, karst hills and medicinal herbs and plants to be seen. Fly to Shanghai and transfer to your hotel.
Stay two nights at the Sunrise on the Bund. (B,L)
Day 17 – Shanghai
Take a guided walk along the Bund to learn about the colonial heritage of this famous waterfront area. See the area from a different perspective on a Huangpu River cruise then travel across the river to the business district of Pudong. Travel to the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower for amazing views over the expanding metropolis of Shanghai, and visit the History Museum at the base of the tower. (B,L)
Day 18 – Depart Shanghai
Transfer to the airport for your exit flight. (B)
- Make a Booking
- Group Tour Departure dates and prices
Tour Dates Twin share Land Only Single supp. 14 May 17 $6450 $8002 11 Jun 17 $6328 $7787 27 Aug 17 $6328 $7787 10 Sep 17 $6450 $8002 13 May 18 Contact us 10 Jun 18 ” “ 26 Aug 18 ” “ 09 Sep 18 ” “
Prices are per person, in Australian dollars. Please confirm prices when booking.
- Price Includes:
- 17 nights in quality, well located 3.5 to 5 star hotels.
- 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 6 dinners, plus a glass of local beer, tea or bottled water with lunch and dinner
- Train Beijing-Datong and Pingyao-Xian, second class seats
- Flights Xian-Zhangjiajie-Shanghai, airport and airline taxes and fuel surcharges
- All transfers, sightseeing, entrance fees, evening entertainment
- InterAsia China guidebook
- Visa fees
Prices based on a minimum of two people travelling together. Other departure dates available on request.
- Giant rock carvings of the Wutai mountains
- Temples perching on the craggy slopes of Mian Shan
- Xian’s mighty Terracotta Army
- Misty landscapes of Zhangjiajie