Itinerary in brief:
- 3 nights Beijing
- 2 nights Shanghai
- 3 nights Hong Kong
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing
Arrive in Beijing where you’ll be met by your guide and taken to your hotel. Depending on your flight schedule you’ll be able to tour the Temple of Heaven, notable for its simple architecture and symbolism that reflects ancient Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Next you’ll explore the Forbidden City, built in 1420 and, legend has it, containing 9,999 different rooms. Check into your hotel where you’ll stay for 2 nights.
Day 2: The Great Wall of China
Today you’ll visit the Great Wall of China, one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Stretching over 6,000 km you’ll only visit a small but nonetheless impressive section, either walking or taking the cable car up to the top of the Wall. If there’s time you’ll have a picnic, enjoying the rugged scenery of the ivy covered stone surrounding you. Back in Beijing you’ll head for the Summer Palace. One a simple imperial garden it was transformed in the 18th Century into one of the capital’s major sites, where the court relocated each summer to escape the heat of the Forbidden City. You’ll walk amongst the lakes and pagodas enjoying the cool gardens which make the palace famous.
Day 3: Beijing to Shanghai
This morning you’ll be transferred to the station to catch the train to Shanghai. In 5 hours you’ll arrive in the sleek city where your local guide will welcome you. You’ll take an evening stroll along the Bund, the city’s famous walkway from the 1930s before exploring the signs and sounds of Nanjing Road. Next you’ll explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel that will take you over to the Pudong district, full of skyscrapers and new businesses. You’ll end your walk in the Lujiazui where you can see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai Tower, newly opened, 632 metres tall with 121 floors offering panoramic views of the city from the 118th floor.
Day 4: Shanghai
Today you’re guide will show you the city, starting in the Shanghai Museum. The ancient Chinese bronze collection has no equivalent in the world and is the highlight of the museum, as well as Qing dynasty jade and ancient Buddhist sculpture. You’ll explore the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre before walking through old town, where the locals chit chat in the narrow side streets. You’ll take a tea break at the Huxinting Teahouse before meeting a gardener who will tell you about the art of Bonsai plants in the famous Yu Garden.
Day 5: Shanghai to Hong Kong
This morning you’re guide will take you to Fuxing Park to watch the large groups of people practising their ritual of morning exercise. Next explore the French Concession, where colonial buildings are now classy restaurants and boutiques before heading to Tianzfang, a maze of alleyways and lanes full of small galleries and bars. In the evening you’ll be transferred to the train station for a night train in a hard sleeper cabin to Hong Kong, lasting 19 hours.
Day 6: Hong Kong
You’ll wake up in Hong Kong, a frenetic city of bright lights and blue harbours. Check into your hotel in the morning so that you can freshen up before your guide takes you to the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon, the Hong Kong equivalent of the ‘Walk of Fame’ in LA before taking the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island. You’ll take the tram to Victoria Peak and enjoy the stunning views over the harbour. As an extra treat, why not have afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hotel, a classic Hong Kong activity that can’t be missed!
Day 7: Hong Kong
Today is yours to do as you please in Hong Kong. Why not head out to Stanley on the other side of the island and enjoy the open space of the harbour and beach. It’s easy to get to on the bus from Central and is great fun to take a hike into the hills and enjoy the quieter, natural side of Hong Kong. Back in the city, grab some cash and head to Temple Street Market in Kowloon to pick up some authentic and some not so authentic souvenirs.
Day 8: Depart Hong Kong
Relax in the morning before your guide picks you up to be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.