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Cultural China

A fascinating Tour of China!

Sat 2nd May 2020
15 Days

Day 1: 02 May (Saturday): Check in

All board! Today we make our way down to Melbourne airport for our flight to China.


Day 2: 03 May (Sunday): Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing (D)

Depart Melbourne and fly via Singapore to Beijing Capital Airport. After clearing immigration and customs, claim your baggage, and proceed to the arrivals hall where you will meet your guide who will be holding a Carswells Welcome Sign. Transfer to your hotel and check in, the afternoon is at leisure so you can relax after your long haul flight. Tonight you will enjoy an International style buffet welcome dinner near the hotel, including some wine.                                                                                                  

Overnight: Beijing Penta Hotel 


Day 3: 04 May (Monday): Beijing (BLD)

Today we will visit the Great Wall where you will have the opportunity to not only see one of the most impressive sections of the Great Wall of China but also take a walk along it. After lunch near the Great Wall where we will have an opportunity to buy some jade souvenirs, you will travel to visit the Sacred Way with its fabulous stone animals. The way leads to the Ming Tombs in the shadow of Longevity Mountain. A visit to the Underground Palace of Dingling will allow you to see imperial coffins, burial artifacts and treasures. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner.

Overnight: As above 


Day 4: 05 May (Tuesday): Beijing (BL)

This morning we take a stroll in Tiananmen Square, the heart of China and bordered by the Great Hall of the People. Then we walk to the Forbidden City, the complex of the imperial palace, which was home to the Emperors for over 500 years. Grand halls and courts gradually give way to more intimate domestic quarters, giving an insight into the pampered isolation of the emperors. This afternoon we travel across the city center to take a rickshaw tour through the narrow streets and alleys of the oldest part of Beijing. This is where we get the feel of the real China. Away from the tourist attractions we get to experience real Chinese life and culture first hand. You will have time to speak with the local people about work and family life in Beijing and take a look around their homes and compounds in the Hutong where they live. Then we take a relaxing cruise on Houhai Lake before driving back to your hotel for a rest. Dinner tonight will be own arrangements.

Overnight: As above 


Day 5: 06 May (Wednesday): Beijing (BLD)

After breakfast, we visit the favorite haunt of the Empress Dowager, the Summer Palace. Walking in this veritable museum of classical Chinese garden architecture, where the royal family could relax away from the formal ceremony of the court is a pleasant experience. There are a number of pavilions as well as the Long Corridor, now a popular place for people to spend the day. After lunch we will have an opportunity to taste several Chinese Teas and enjoy Chinese Tea culture. Then we will visit the imposing Temple of Heaven where the Emperor came each year to intercede with the Gods for a good and plentiful harvest.

Overnight: As above 


Day 6: 07 May (Thursday): Beijing, Xian (BD)

This morning we will take a bullet train from Beijing to Xian (approx. 9:20am, 3:00pm or similar). Lunch will be by own arrangement during your train trip. Our Xian local guide will pick up the group at the exit of the railway station and transfer us to your hotel for check in. This afternoon we have an opportunity to visit the Muslim street. 

Overnight: Titan Times Hotel Xian



Day 7: 08 May (Friday): Xian (BLD)

First thing this morning we visit the Museum of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses. This is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world with three exhibition halls, the largest of which is 180 meters by 60 meters, housing the continuing excavation of an army of 8,000 terracotta soldiers and horses that guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of the unified China. It is a stunning exhibition of ancient artefacts that is well laid out and easy to view. This afternoon we enjoy a tour to the City Wall and then drive back to the hotel for a rest. Enjoy an International style buffet dinner in our hotel tonight.

Overnight: As above 


Day 8: 9 May (Saturday): Xian, Chongqing (BD)

After breakfast we will be transferred to take bullet train to Chongqing D1701 (approx. 8:00am, 1:20pm or similar). Lunch will again be by own arrangement during your train trip. Chongqing local guide will pick up the group at the exit of the railway station and take us to visit Chongqing Zoo to see the Giant Pandas. After a special Sichuan style hot pot dinner you will board your 5 Star Cruise ship (approx. 9pm). There will then be a short safety briefing and Captains welcome on the sundeck (smart casual).

Overnight: Century Legend Cruise ship, Standard cabin



Day 9: 10 May (Sunday): Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)

Before breakfast you will have the opportunity to try some Tai Chi exercise onboard.

The Yangtze, snaking its way from western China Qinghai Tibet Plateau to the East China Sea, is an essential means of transport and we will see many ships carrying all sorts of merchandise along the river. Our first port of call is the remarkable city of Fengdu, believed in days gone by, to be the abode of devils. Here 700 temples, with their bizarre statuary on Mingshan Hill, bear testimony to the citys notoriety as the City of Ghosts.

Overnight: As above


Day 10: 11 May (Monday): Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)

Today we navigate the magnificent Yangtze Gorges. In the morning at about 7:30am, pass through the shortest and narrowest gorge, Qutang Gorge (8 km). At 9:00am enter the second gorge, Wu Gorge (44 km), with peaks rising to dizzying heights above the river. At approximately 10:30am, we will take an exciting ride by small craft along the swift waters of the Shennong Stream, one of the many tributaries in this fertile area. Here the imposing mountains, dramatic precipices and crystal clear waters offer spectacular scenery. We then return to the ship around 4:00pm and enter the Xiling Gorge (Western Section), which is the last and longest of the three Gorges (75km) and is renowned for swift currents and dangerous shoals.

Overnight: As above                                      


Day 11: 12 May (Tuesday): Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai (BLD)

After breakfast on the boat, we leave our cruiser behind at Sandouping and disembark at approximately 8.00am. Here we board our coach for a visit to one of mankind greatest engineering feats to date, the construction site of the Three Gorges Dam Project, and Complete at downtown of Yichang. The construction formally began in 1994 and the body of the dam was completed in 2003.  The final construction was completed in 2008.  The dam wall is 2,335 meters long, 185 meters wide at the bottom, tapering up to 18 meters at the top. After visiting Three Gorges Dam project, we will be transferred by vehicles directly to the downtown of Yichang. After lunch in Yichang, you will fly onto Shanghai.

Overnight: Shanghai Greenland Jiulong Hotel


Day 12: 13 May (Wednesday): Shanghai (BLD)

Today, visit the Shanghai Old Town, with its history dating back some 400 years.  People love this area due to the variety of shops and commodities available. Visit the Yu Garden, an island of tranquility amid the hustle and bustle of the city. Covering nearly 5 acres it contains over 30 pavilions and has numerous corridors, small halls, lotus ponds, bridges and winding paths which are characteristic of the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty. It was a private garden with a history of 400 years. 

Outside the Yu Garden there is a very interesting market, the Yuyuan Bazaar, with everything that you can think of for sale at low prices. This afternoon we will do some easy sightseeing around Nanjing Road and the Bund. After a short rest back at the hotel there will be an early dinner available before an amazing Acrobatic show.

Overnight: As above


Day 13: 14 May (Thursday): Shanghai Suzhou Shanghai   (BLD)

This morning after breakfast we travel one and half hours by coach to Suzhou, the city with over 2,500 years of history, regarded by Marco Polo as the Venice of the Orient. Suzhou is also known as the Silk Capital of the World and a Land of Rice and Fish in China. Suzhou has long been famous for its canals and gardens. The canals are all linked to the Grand Canal, which is believed to be the largest internal waterway in the world. It was originally constructed to carry grain from the southern regions to the capital. It was 1,794km long, from Hanzhou to Beijing connecting to rivers on the way, but the northern section has now dried up. We will visit a Silk Factory to see how silk is produced from silkworms and made into the finished articles. We will also have a sightseeing tour cruising on the canals to view peoples daily life and also visit a market. Drive back to Shanghai and have a short rest before dinner.

Overnight: As above


Day 14: 15 May (Friday): Shanghai  (BLD)

Today we will visit Jade Buddha Temple, and French Concession. Lunch will be included near the Xintiandi area. Later, we will visit Tianzifang, compared with the brand new modern buildings, you can find special architecture of Old Shanghai and people who lived in Shanghai in their life still live here. It is such a peaceful and quiet place and also a good shopping area. There are lots of beautiful and unique goods. We will also take a tour around Pudongs New Developing Zone and visit the tallest building Shanghai Center Tower to get a view of the whole city. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight including some wine.

Overnight: As above


Day 15: 16 May (Saturday): Shanghai, Home   (B)

Today you be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport to check in for your departure flight back home. Travel via Singapore, on arrival in Melbourne Cardwells will pick you up and return you back home.

Price Per Person Twin Share: $6,872 

Single Supplement $1,594


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Tour: Cultural China on Sat 2nd May 2020