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China Explorer

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China Explorer

1-Join tour Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and check-in to the hotel.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

2-Exploring Beijing
Beijing is the political and cultural centre of this vast country. Today you will have free time where you can chose to do a number of things. You may wish to wander across Tienanmen Square into the iconic Forbidden City, the one-time home of the Ming and the Manchu (Qing) emperors and the largest and best preserved collection of ancient buildings in the whole of China.Alternatively you could visit the Temple of Heaven or just walk through the Houtongs in the area.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

3-Walk the Great Wall before catching the overnight train to Xian
It’s a busy day today as we drive out of the city to Mutianyu to visit the Great Wall. Its construction commenced in the 3rd century BC by Shi Huangdi, thousands of conscripted workers laboured on it and many lie buried in its brick and stone ramparts. Returning to Beijing we are scheduled to leave the city this evening on the sleeper train. The main railway station is a hive of activity.
Overnight: Basic Overnight Train

4-Arrive in Xian; free to explore the city
We arrive in Xian in time for breakfast. We make the short journey from the train station on foot. Our stay in Xian reveals the extraordinary continuity of Chinese civilisation. Xian (Changan) served 11 dynasties and was the very starting point of the Silk Road between Central Asia and Europe. Its ancient monuments include the Great Mosque, a wonderful 15th century working mosque within the old muslim Hui District. There is also the option to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a 7-storey high structure with a superb overview of the city.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

5-In Xian visit the Terracotta Army
Today we take the public bus and visit one of the highlights of any visit to China – the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses who guard the Qin Shi Huangdi Tomb. There are literally thousands of lifesize warriors, dating from 200BC. This dramatic find of the 1970s is considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the century. We should have time to stop at the on-site factory to see how the warriors are made today. In the early evening we take the overnight sleeper train to Suzhou.
Overnight: Basic Overnight Train

6-Suzhou, the garden city
Suzhou sits astride the Grand Canal which was completed in 610AD and linking the Yellow River with the Yangtse, and Beijing with Hangzhou, the 1,800 km Grand Canal was a magnificent engineering feat. Over the centuries it has transported food north from the fertile lands in the south. Over 2,500 years old, Suzhou is sometimes called the ‘Venice of the Orient’ with a series of bridges, canals and ancient buildings. But a little of Suzhou’s special magic lies in its famous gardens, perhaps the most beautiful in all China. This afternoon we have time to explore this lovely old town with the opion to take boat ride on the pretty canals or visit to the large ‘Humble Administrator’s Garden’ which has streams, ponds and beautifully decorated pavilions scattered throughout. Here water reflects land and provides a fresh tableau at every turn.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

7-Fast train to Shanghai
We continue our exploration of the town. There is time to make an optional visit to the ‘Lingering Garden’ which features a man-made mountain and lake, garden courts and elegant buildings, a real contrast to the garden from yesterday. Early afternoon we catch the train to Shanghai. Shanghai is one of Asia’s most vibrant and dynamic cities. It began as a fishing village in the 11th century, but after the end of the first opium war and of the five newly opened treaty ports Shanghai soon became the most cosmopolitan city, with Asian, Russian, European and Jewish influences. Here were cabarets and ballrooms, fine shops and satirical newspapers, and with such style and influence Shanghai was dubbed the ‘Paris of the Orient’. Today its elegant past is still noticeable as you walk down ‘the Bund’.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

8-In Shanghai
Time in Shanghai is left free for your own exploration. You may wish to visit the 16th century Yu Yuan Gardens or stroll along the Bund.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

9-Tour ends in Shanghai
Our tour ends this morning.

Tour includes:

Bus, Train
6 nights Simple Hotel
2 nights Basic Overnight Train
Tour Staff:
Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s)
Group Size:
Generally 8 – 14

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explore holidaysExplore have been running small group adventure holidays throughout the world since 1981 and have a vast array of experience, knowledge and well established close personal contacts in all the countries in which they operate, which makes them stand out as one of the most trusted adventure tour operators in the UK.

They are passionate about what they do, and above all, simply love nothing more than to travel. The founder directors ran overland trips through Asia, Africa and the Americas in the 1960s and 70s prior to setting up the company, and were determined that the spirit of adventure that was such an important part of those early pioneering days, should continue to play key role as part of the driving ethos of Explore.

Our Opinion
It is little wonder that over 60% of all Explore customers who travel each year have travelled with them previously, Explore are clearly committed to the “travel experience” and their itineraries are always offer that slight “Explore Twist” which makes them even more appealing.

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