From the soaring skyscrapers, beautiful beaches, ridge top hikes, and haute cuisine of Hong Kong, travel to Beijing to the heart of ancient empires—from the Imperial Palace to the Great Wall, this modern capital is bursting with history. Visit the fabled Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an at the start of Silk Road, and enjoy the dazzling blend of architecture along the waterfront of Shanghai.
Best time to visit: March-June, September-November
Ideal for: Couples
Day 1 – Welcome to Hong Kong
Arrive and settle in. You might be tired after the long international flight, but you don’t have to go far to find excitement in Hong Kong. An economic powerhouse that’s known for its innovative cuisine, vibrant street markets, and modern architecture, Hong Kong also offers easy access to incredible natural beauty.
Day 2 – Hong Kong Island
Get to know Hong Kong Island on a highlights tour that includes visits to Man Mo Temple, the floating community of Aberdeen Harbor, the beaches of Repulse Bay, and a funicular ride to the top of Victoria Peak. Along the way, get up to speed on Hong Kong’s history, British legacy, contemporary politics, and other must-see attractions.
Day 3 – The Dragon’s Back Hiking Tour
Get out of the city for a stunning half-day hike along the Dragon’s Back trail, which winds its way along ridges, through forest, and down to the sands of Big Wave Bay. With incredible views over Hong Kong and the South China Sea, this moderate-level hike is well-worth the effort. End the day with a swim or a surf lesson.
Day 4 – Beijing
Fly to Beijing, China’s energetic capital and cultural center, get settled in and start exploring. There are 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city itself, and a wealth of historical architecture amidst the glittering skyscrapers. Stroll through ancient alleyways called hutongs, visit one of the many world-class museums, and enjoy a spicy hot pot on lantern-lit Ghost Street.
Day 5 – Beijing City Tour
See the best of Beijing on a guided city tour that visits Tiananmen Square, the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City—the world’s largest palace complex—home to 24 emperors from 1368 until 1911. Hop onto a pedi-cab or stroll through traditional neighborhoods and labyrinthine hutong alleyways, and see a side of Beijing that is quickly disappearing.
Day 6 – Visit the Mutianyu Great Wall
Avoid the crowds and join a knowledgeable guide to visit the 6th-century Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, one of the best preserved portions of this architectural masterpiece. Ancient watchtowers, which are uncommon on other sections of the wall, preside over stone parapets and the surrounding countryside. The imperial grandeur of the Great Wall is matched only by its stunning natural setting.
Day 7 – The Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace
Visit two of Beijing’s most impressive ancient sites, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. The temple complex dates back to the early 15th century, and is renowned for its philosophical and cosmological blending of architecture and landscape design. Next, explore the lavish imperial gardens and ornate artworks of the Summer Palace, spread along the shores of Kunming Lake.
Day 8 – Xi’an Muslim Quarter Tour
A short flight to Xi’an transports you to the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, which linked the Han Dynasty, which reigned from 206 BCE to 9 CE, to the outside world. With the spread of trade came an exchange of cultures—begin your stay with a guided tour of the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an, where traditional Muslim culture and cuisine thrives.
Day 9 – Terracotta Warriors & Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Just outside of Xi’an lies the site of one of the world’s most dynamic archaeological excavations, the 2,200-year-old terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Thousands of life-sized figures, arranged for battle and created with unique expressions, guard the tomb of the emperor. Travel to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon—this 210-foot-high pagoda was built 1,300 years ago to house Buddhist scriptures and statues from India.
Day 10 – Ancient City Walls & Calligraphy
Today, take a tour of the Xi’an Ancient City Wall, which was built nearly 600 years ago and remains almost entirely intact. One of the most extensive fortifications in the ancient world, you can now cycle its length with great views of the city the whole way. For a change of pace, explore the period paintings of the Tangbo Art Museum, and then try your hand at a traditional calligraphy class.
Day 11 – Fly to Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai, one of China’s most vibrant cities. Enjoy a guided tour of Nanjing Road, an ancient avenue that buzzes with a mix of ultra-modern attractions and historic shops. Strolling along the thriving waterfront of The Bund, an area that has defined the city for hundreds of years, you’ll see the Shanghai’s diverse architecture on display, with great views across the river to the modern skyline of Pudong.
Day 12 – Shanghai Highlights Tour
See the best of Shanghai on a highlights tour that will take you through the exquisite grounds of the 400-year-old Yu Garden, the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Shanghai Museum, which houses over 120,000 historical relics. Finally, take a trip up Shanghai Tower, the world’s second tallest building, where the viewing platform soars at 1,841 feet above the ground.
Day 13 – Excursion to Zhujiajiao
Enjoy a full-day excursion to the ancient town of Zhujiajiao, which is crisscrossed with a network of canals that date back over 1,700 years. Learn about the town’s vibrant history of trade, explore ornately engraved bridges, and float along the historic canals on a gondola.
Day 14 – Gardens of Suzhou
Drive out of Shanghai to the city of Suzhou, which has been dubbed the Venice of the East. Defined by its lattice-work of canals, scenic lakes, and peaceful rivers, Suzhou also has many classical Chinese gardens that were once part of extensive private residences. Next, visit Tiger Hill, an ornate cemetery constructed to honor King He Lu over two millennia ago.
Day 15 – Departure
Transfer to the airport for your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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