• Discover the history of over 5,000 years of Chinese civilisation, exploring the extraordinary traditional architecture, fine art, garden design, calligraphy and porcelain left by dynasties throughout the centuries.
• Visit several of China’s ancient and modern capitals, including Xi’an, Luoyang, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Beijing.
• Highlights will include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Army, as well as many lesser-known sites.
Depart Heathrow 1620 on British Airways.
Arrive Beijing 0930 and transfer to the Bamboo Garden Hotel for three nights. Afternoon: Hutong area, Drum Tower. Evening introductory lecture.
Whole-day excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu (fully restored according to the Ming design), returning via 798 Art District. Free evening.
Whole-day excursion to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City (the imperial palace from the Ming dynasty) and Summer Palace (huge complex of gardens and lakes making up the royal park).
By high-speed train to Taiyuan (capital of Shaanxi Province). Afternoon: Jinci Temple (Song dynasty sculptures), Qing dynasty Qiao Family Mansion. Two nights at Yun Jin Cheng Hotel, Pingyao.
Pingyao old town (one of the few remaining walled cities in China). Free evening.
By high-speed train to Xi’an (ancient imperial capital and eastern terminus of the Silk Road). Afternoon: Shaanxi History Museum (Tang murals). Two nights at Titan Times Hotel.
Whole-day excursion to view Terracotta Army site outside Xi’an. Return via Small Wild Goose Pagoda, and Drum and Bell Towers. Free evening.
By high-speed train to Luoyang. Afternoon: Longmen Buddhist Grottoes (UNESCO World Heritage site, comprising over 2,300 caves and niches containing almost 110,000 stone carved Buddhas). Overnight stay at Lee Royal Hotel Mudu.
White Horse Temple (supposedly the first Buddhist temple in China) and Shaolin Temple (renowned for its martial arts). Continue for overnight stay at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Zhengzhou.
By train to Nanjing on the Yangtze River. Afternoon: Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum. Two nights at Mandarin Garden Hotel.
Nanjing: Nanjing Museum, tomb of first Ming Emperor, Zhonghua Gate (600 year-old city fortifications also known as the Gate of China). Free evening.
By train to Suzhou: Garden of the Humble Administrator (maze of pools, islands and temples), boat ride on the canal, silk reeling factory. Overnight stay at the Scholars Hotel. Free evening.
By train to Hangzhou on West Lake: tea plantation, Zhejiang Art Museum. Two nights at Lakeview Hotel.
Hangzhou: Temple of Soul’s Retreat, boat ride on West Lake (Three Pools Reflecting the Moon, Pavilion for Listening to Orioles), Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum. Free evening.
By train to Shanghai: Yuyuan Garden, Bund and Pudong areas. Two nights at the Sunrise on the Bund Hotel.
Morning: Shanghai Museum. Free afternoon in Shanghai before farewell dinner at the Floating Restaurant.
Depart Shanghai Pu Dong Airport 1055, arriving Heathrow 1600.