Nature and Culture Exploration
15 Days / 14 Nights
Shanghai - Suzhou - Chengdu - Wolong Nature Reserve - Leshan - Xian - Zhangjiajie - Beijing
Visit the bustling Shanghai, the picturesque town of Suzhou, then head to Mt. Emei, the Leshan Giant Buddha, visit the Pandas in Chengdu before flying to Xian. Then explore one of China's most amazing sights, the Tianzi Mountain and Zhangjiajie and finally explore Beijing, and Gubei water town, and climb the Great Wall.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience China with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Shanghai (-/-/-)
You will be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to a hotel in central Shanghai. Today you will have an opportunity to rest and recover from the long flight. In the late afternoon you will have a briefing about the following 11 days. Welcome dinner will be followed by that. After dinner visit The Bund.
The Bund, also called the Zhongshan Road, is the famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. It has been the centre of Shanghai’s politics, economy and culture for hundreds of years. Consulates of most countries, many banks, businesses have settled there.
Day 2. Suzhou (B/-/-)
We will drive 1.5hrs to famous garden city - Suzhou. You’ll first visit Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous classic gardens in China. The sophisticated layout of the garden is really impressive.
After lunch, visit Panmen Gate. This grand gate is part of the ancient city wall built in 514 B.C. and restored in 1351 (during the Yuan Dynasty). Then transfer to visit a Suzhou Silk Factory to see how the silk is processed from silk worm to the final product. In the late afternoon, drive back to Shanghai.
Day 3. Shanghai Highlights (B/-/-)
After breakfast, the local guide will pick you up at your hotel lobby at about 9 am. Today’s activities include a visit to the Shanghai Museum, the Yu Garden, and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower while you will have free time in the afternoon to explore further at your own pace.
The Shanghai Museum used to be near the Bund. It is now situated in People's Square and its new buildings were built in 1996, designed by a Shanghai architect named Xing Tonghe. The new design symbolizes China's ancient understanding of the world: round sky and square earth. The museum has a circular roof and rectangular base. It stores 120,000 precious artifacts, which narrate a story of China's 5,000-year civilization.
Yu Garden is one of the most famous gardens in China and is national heritage listed. It was built in 1559 and extended in 1577. Each section of the garden is separated by curved white walls crowned with the head and body of a dragon on them. It's named after the original owner.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is unquestionably an icon of Pudong’s renaissance. Looming through the mist, like a reproduction of a classical Chinese ink painting of landscape, stands Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It’s soaring height of 468 meters boldly characterizes the Lujiazui cityscape.
Day 4. Shanghai - Chengdu - Leshan (B/-/-)
Take an early morning flight to Chengdu, arrive in Chengdu and meet your local guide. Then drive directly Mt. Emeishan (approx 2 hrs). Have a simple lunch box on the way. After arriving at the parking lot of Wannian Temple, we will have to walk 30mins up to Wannian Temple on the mountain which is one of the most ancient temples on Emei Mountain. After your visit hike about an hour to Qingyin Pavilion. Time permitting, keep walking for another 50mins down to the famous Ecological Monkey Area. Among more than 3000 species of plants and animals, the wild monkeys are the real hosts of this magic mountain mainly because of their naughtiness and cleverness. After that we walk down back to Qingyin Pavilion, continue walking 40mins down to Wuxiangang Station, then take the shuttle bus to the bottom of the Mountain. Drive to Leshan city, stay overnight.
Day 5. Leshan - Chengdu (B/-/-)
Take a short drive to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, carved into the side of Mount Lingyun. The looming Leshan Giant Buddha is a Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) relic that is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world at 71 meters. The Buddha, built in 713 AD by a Chinese monk named Haitong to calm the river waters, was crafted from a cliff face. It seems that so much stone fell into the river below from the carving process that it did indeed calm the area’s waters. While often crowded with tourists and battling the effects of pollution, Leshan is nevertheless an exquisite UNESCO world heritage site that is not to be missed for its impressive size and beautiful surrounding area.
After lunch, drive back to Chengdu, visit Wenshu Temple in the afternoon, where you can spend some time sitting in its tea house to enjoy a cup of tea and absorb the special atmosphere of Chengdu. After dark you may wander around the local market and the Jinli bar street, taste local delicacies or just enjoy watching the locals going by their daily activities.
After dinner, attend the Sichuan Opera - a dazzling show performed with local instruments, hand shadows, candle storytelling, fire spitting, and face changing.
Day 6. Wolong Nature Reserve (B/-/-)
In the morning, we will drive 1.5hours to the Wolong Nature Reserve (located in the southwest of Wenchuan County, 80 miles /130km from Chengdu). It is the earliest, largest and best-known panda reserve in China. It was placed on UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Network in 1980. With the warm and humid climate favourable for bamboos, the pandas' favourite food, it is an ideal living place for the giant pandas. As the largest and most important natural panda reserve in China, Wolong Nature Reserve has always been receiving great attention from all over the world. We will have enough time to enjoy our visit with the pandas today. Late afternoon we will drive back to downtown Chengdu.
Day 7. Chengdu - Xian (B/-/-)
In the morning, take a morning flight to Xian. Upon arrival your local guide will pick you up at the airport and take you to visit the magnificent Qin Terra-cotta Army. It was built about 2,500 years ago and contains more than 6,000 warriors, soldiers and horses. UNESCO listed it in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages. In the late afternoon we will drive back to Xian; visit the Great Mosque, and the Muslim Quarter. In the evening we will have a chance to enjoy Chinese Dumpling feast with a Tang Dynasty dance show.
Day 8. Xian - Zhangjiajie (B/-/-)
Breakfast served at hotel. In the morning we will visit the Shanxi History Museum. The Shanxi History Museum's permanent exhibition primarily displays Shaanxi's ancient history. Representative pieces from all periods have been selected to show the development of civilization in this region.
After lunch transfer to Xian airport, take the flight to Zhangjaijie, pick up and check in to your hotel.
Day 9. Wulingyuan Scenic Area - Tianzi Mountain - Yuanjiajie Scenic Area (B/-/-)
Today after breakfast, we will begin our first day’s hike in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. First, we will visit the Tianzi Mountain Area (2 hours hike) - boasts rocky peaks in grotesque shapes and shrouded in drifting mist. After that, take the scenic shuttle bus to the restaurant to enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, we will continue with another hike in the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area (2 hours) - one of the must-see attractions in Zhangjiajie. Today you will experience the Bailong Elevator - the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. After the tour, drive back to your hotel.
Day 10. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (B/-/-)
Today after breakfast, we will drive to the entrance of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. First we will take the cable car to visit Huangshi Village. After lunch, continue to visit the Golden Whip Stream (2.5 hours hiking) - it is considered by some as the most beautiful valley in the world. After the tour drive back to your hotel.
Day 11. Zhangjiajie - Beijing (B/-/-)
In the morning after breakfast, we will firstly have a half day tour to Tianmen Mountain (4 - 4.5 hours including roundtrip cable car) - which is famous for the Tianmen Cave. After the tour in the afternoon we will drive you to the airport where you will take a flight to Beijing. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in.
Day 12. Beijing Highlights (B/-/-)
After breakfast, follow in the footsteps of emperors, court ministers and eunuchs and head to the magnificent and colourful Forbidden City. Also called Imperial Palace Museum, it is located in the very heart of Beijing. It remained the residence of the emperors for nearly five hundred years, from the 15th century to the early 20th century, and was the actual and symbolic seat of imperial power. Popularly known as the Forbidden City, it was built in the Ming Dynasty between the 4th and the 18th years of the Yongle period (1406 - 1420 AD). Many of the buildings of the Palace have been repaired and rebuilt, but their basic form and layout remain in their original state.
After a late lunch, we will transfer you to visit the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is located in a northwestern suburb of Beijing, it is an immense park containing some Chinese traditional architecture and arts. It was built and served as a royal garden during the Qing Dynasty. It exhibits the essence of Chinese classical landscape gardening. The halls, the pavilions, the corridors, the pagodas, the bridges and the water were elaborately arranged. The long corridor is one of the most exquisite structures in the garden. It is over 700 meters long and decorated with thousands of Chinese traditional paintings. Travel back to the city to enjoy a delicious Peking Duck dinner - the capital's most famous dish. Once imperial cuisine, now the legendary duck dish is served at restaurants around the world.
After the delicious Peking duck dinner, we will go to Chaoyang Theatre to enjoy a wonderful Acrobatic Show.
Day 13. Beijing - Gubei Water Town (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we will go to see the local people doing their morning exercises and join them to learn Taiji from the master in the Temple of Heaven. Tai Chi, or Taijiquan in China, is an outstanding gem of traditional Chinese culture that is valuable in promoting health, developing combat and self-defence skills, and improving concentration and overall well-being.
Then we will visit the Temple of Heaven. This was the venue for the Ming and Qing emperors to offer sacrifices to the Heaven and pray for harvest. This temple was built in the 18th year during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle in 1420. Enjoy a hutong rickshaw experience along Houhai.
After lunch visit the Lama Temple (Yonghegong). In the afternoon, take a 2-2.5hrs drive to Gubei Water Town. Check in to your hotel, then you will have a free evening to walk around and explore the area.
Day 14. Gubei Water Town - Simatai Great Wall (B/-/-)
This morning is left free for us either to climb to the top of Simatai Great Wall, or to explore the Watertown and take part in some culture activities (e.g. learning tie-dye, kite painting, need to be booked ahead of time) .
This water town is a rare combo of Great Wall, mountains, lakes and old village. At the end of the hike, transfer back to Beijing. Check in to the hotel.
Day 15. Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule for your flight back to the UK.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS FROM £2,750 per person + international flights
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic economy class flights with tax
Train tickets listed in the itinerary
Private vehicle with driver.
All the activities listed in the itinerary
Experienced English-speaking guide.
Entrance fees: All first-entrance tickets to the tourist spots mentioned in the itinerary
Accommodation: local 3 star hotels or equivalent, twin sharing basis
Meals: Breakfast only, any lunches and/or dinners mentioned will be on clients' own account
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to China
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fee for China
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Photography charges at monasteries/palaces/sites.
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