In Search of China's White Gold
23 Oct — 10 Nov 2020 | Tour Directors: Elizabeth Morrell, Lars Tharp
• Discover the history of Chinese porcelain, which Europeans valued so highly that for centuries they have called it ‘white gold’
• Explore China’s sweeping landscapes, cities and villages with visits to still-functioning potteries and kilns
• Spend time in Shanghai Museum, home to one of China’s finest ceramic public collections
sinologist and Chinese speaker who has been visiting China since 1976
Danish-born art historian, lecturer and broadcaster
Depart London Heathrow 1335 on British Airways.
Arrive Shanghai 0755. Transfer to Jin Jiang Hotel, Shanghai, for two nights. Visit to Old City, Yu Yuan Gardens. Evening introductory talk.
Morning: Shanghai Museum (focus on Chinese early pottery and porcelain). Afternoon: walking tour of the Bund. Free evening.
By coach and train to Hangzhou (West Lake). Visits to Lingyin Temple (Temple of Soul’s Retreat with its wall of carved Buddhist figures) and Dragon Well tea plantation. Continue to Lakeview Hotel for two nights. Free evening.
Hangzhou: Grand Canal Museum and Grand Canal, followed by boat trip on West Lake. Free evening.
By coach and train to Huangshan. Visit to village of Chengkan. Continue to Tunxi (one of the districts near to Huangshan) for two nights at Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng.
By coach to Huangshan scenic area to take cable car up the mountain to enjoy the views. Return to Tunxi for visit to Hu Kai Wen ink stick mould factory and the old city. Free evening.
By coach to Jingdezhen, the ‘porcelain capital’ of China, with visit en route to ancient village of Hongcun in Yixian County. Transfer to Tao Xi Chuan Traders Hotel for three nights.
By coach through the countryside to Yaoli and Gaoling mountain (where ‘kaolin’ was mined) for visit to traditional village at the foot of the mountain with medieval alleys and waterfront. Free evening.
Visits to Ceramic Cultural Exhibition area (chicken egg kilns and traditional wheel potting), Dragon Pearl Pavilion, Imperial Porcelain Kiln site and museum, Jia Yang Tao Ci Company (long established porcelain producer in new purpose built premises) and Jin Keng Song Dynasty Kiln site. Free evening.
By coach to Longquan (400km journey) returning to a remote corner of the wealthy Zhejiang province. Two nights at Longquan International Hotel.
Visit to the site of the Great Kiln outside Longquan (famous for production of celadon ware since the 10th century), followed by visit to Da Yao Kiln site and village. Continue for visit to Long Quan Celadon Museum. Free evening.
Visit to Shang Yang with new Celadon Centre project (workshop, exhibitions and showrooms). Continue towards Wu Yi Mountain scenic area, with visit en route to the Jian Yao Kiln (Song dynasty ‘rabbit’s fur’ ware). Transfer to Wu Yi Mountain for two nights at Atour Hotel.
Morning ride on bamboo rafts along the Nine Bends Creek with its dramatic scenery. Free afternoon with opportunity to learn about the teas of Wu Yi Shan or take an optional walk in the hills. Free evening.
By train to Quanzhou for two nights at Hilton Hotel. Visit to Quanzhou Maritime Museum.
By coach to Dehua for visits to Qu Dou Gong local kiln site, Temple to the God of the Kiln, Dehua Ceramics Museum and the Yueji site (working kiln) and ceramics art centre and studio, followed by a visit to a modern factory. Free evening.
Morning: Luoyang Bridge, Kaiyuan Temple, exterior view of Mosque, Confucian Temple and Wenxing Wharf. Flight from Quanzhou to Hong Kong. Overnight at Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers.
Free day at leisure in Hong Kong. depart Hong Kong 2330.
Arrive Heathrow 0445.
23 Oct — 10 Nov 2020
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This tour will require a good level of fitness as it will involve a significant amount of walking, around old kiln sites, villages and on mountain stairways and pathways. Some archaeological sites will have uneven and steep surfaces. Please note that this tour will also involve some long journeys by coach of up to 4.5 hours in duration (approximately 400km), and we will also make use of the bullet train network. In Huangshan we will take a cable car up the mountain to enjoy the views, and later in the tour we will take a ride on bamboo rafts along the Nine Bends Creek to see the dramatic scenery.
Cost of £5895 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, sixteen lunches, six dinners with water, soft drinks, beer or Chinese tea, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: visa, travel insurance, single room supplement £845.
Own flight reduction: £700.