• Duration

    9 days

  • Location

    Beijing to Shanghai

  • Price


  • Package by Tucan Travel

The juxtapositions on this tour couldn’t be starker. In Beijing ancient wonders such as the Forbidden City sit amongst the bustle of modern-day China. Going inland we journey into the heartland where daily life follows centuries-old tradition, before we end in Shanghai where the future is seemingly already here.

Day 1 to 2 – Arrive Beijing

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.

For centuries the political heart of this hugely historic country, Beijing is an ever changing city and a looking glass between old and new, with an abundance of activities to enjoy.

Beginning the day with a pre-departure meeting, we soon head off on a guided sightseeing tour of the nation’s capital, host of the 2008 Olympics. For 800 years Beijing has served as capital for several powerful dynasties. We visit iconic Tiananmen Square, home to the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the founder of Communist China and also the infamous scene of a student uprising and subsequent killings in 1989. On one side of Tiananmen Square is possibly Beijing’s most famous sight, the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The gate is the main entry to the Forbidden City. A vision in grandeur, this ‘city within a city’ was once forbidden to anyone not on imperial business until as late as 1911. It is reported to house 9,999 rooms over 720,00 square metres. Later we take an exciting rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, weaving through old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, gaining a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant

Optional Excursions: Summer Palace – CNY30 • Beijing Opera – US$40 • Temple of Heaven – CNY35 • Beijing Duck Dinner – US$10 • Gate of Heavely Peace – CNY15 • Chairman Mao Museum – free • Lama Temple – CNY25 • White Cloud Temple – CNY20 • Forbidden City – CNY60

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 3 to 3 – Great Wall of China

The following morning we head out of town for the not-to-be-missed highlight that is a visit to the Great Wall. We travel to a place called Badaling, where we will walk along sections of the wall. No amount of photos can do justice to the sheer scale of the wall and the enormity of the undertaking in constructing it as a line of defence. The whole wall stretches for a seemingly-endless 7,000 kilometres over mountains and through desert all the way to the north-eastern corner of China. Now a UNESCO-protected site, the wall’s construction spanned 2,000 years and some 20 different dynasties. The vigorous walk up and along the wall provides a rewarding vista of the rest of the wall winding its way past the horizon and of the surrounding countryside. We then visit the Jade Carving center before heading to our hotel at the foot of the Great Wall at Juuongguan Pass

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 4 to 4 – Overnight Train to Xi’an

We rise early this morning and head to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass in time to beat the crowds. Heading back to Beijing we have some time to take an optional trip to the cavernous Silk Alley Market. Tonight we will catch an overnight train to Xi’an.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains

Day 5 to 5 – Xi’an

On our first morning in Xi’an we visit one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century: Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Made up of some 7,000 life-sized soldiers standing in military formation in excavated pits under what can only be described as a great big aircraft hangar. Made of local clay, no two soldiers’ faces are alike, as each is said to be an individual portrait, which does little to make it any less eerie.

Emperor Qin’s army of 2,200-year-old soldiers was discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well. The reason for the warriors was that emperors were buried with their slaves, but slavery had been abolished by the time of Qin. To compensate, the emperor had the warriors made to protect him in the afterlife. Many of the soldiers are severely dismembered, said to be the result of a peasant revolt after the emperor’s death rather than the passage of time. The emperor’s tumulus (ancient grave mound) is located about a mile away and, according to folklore, contains untold treasures and so far nothing but a few exploratory digs have been attempted to find out. In the evening you have the option of a Tang Dynasty dinner and a performance of Chang’an music and dance, originally performed for the illustrious emperors.

Optional Excursions: Bell Tower – CNY27 • Drum Towers – CNY27 • Great Mosque – CNY25 • Goose Pagoda – CNY25 (additional charge of CNY20 to climb the pagoda) • Small wild goose pagoda – CNY50 • City Walls – CNY40

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 6 to 6 – Overnight Train to Shanghai

We begin the next day with a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the enduring symbol of Xi’an, which was first built in 652 to hold sutras collected in India by a wandering monk. We then go for a leisurely bike ride on Xi’an’s medieval city wall and visit to the Muslim Quarter. The spectacular wall and moat is 15 kilometres in perimeter and dates back to the Ming Dynasty.

In the evening we catch an overnight train to Shanghai

Accommodation: 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains

Day 7 to 8 – Shanghai

The name Shanghai is synonymous with wonder and oriental decadence. Prior to 1949, the city was a magnet for fortune seekers, idle foreigners, explorers and the dispossessed. The reason for this laissez faire attitude to all things commercial and social was to do with the notion of extraterritoriality, which meant foreign nationals were not bound by any local laws but by the laws and norms established by their respective consuls. Basically anything went. Until 1949, foreigners dominated commerce, banking and industry, amassing huge fortunes and transforming the landscape of foreign concessionary sections of Shanghai. This all came to a spectacular end in 1949, when the People’s Liberation Army under Mao took power. One legacy of these heady times is Shanghai’s Bund, where several colonial buildings line the promenade.

During our first day in Shanghai we take a city tour that takes in the stunning Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, the charming Yuyuan Gardens as well as the Bund and Old City. After a day of seeing the city’s highlights by land, in the evening we board a cruise on the Huangpu River to get a different perspective of this fascinating city.

The next day we make the short trip out of town to the Suzhou water canals by high speed train. This ‘Venice of the east’ is made up of a patchwork of canals and waterways. As well as cruise the Grand Canal, which at nearly 2,000 kilometres is the longest constructed waterway in the world. There will also be a visit to a silk workshop.

Optional Excursions: Jade Buddah Temple – CNY10 • Oriental Pearl Tower – CNY100 • Shanghai Museum – free • Urban Town Planning Museum – CNY40 • Shanghai World Finance Centre – CNY150 • Yu Yuan Garden – CNY300

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 9 to 9 – Depart Shanghai

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

What’s Included

  • Guided Tour of Xi’an
  • Chinese Acrobatic Performance
  • Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise
  • Bike ride in Xi’an
  • Guided Tour of Shanghai
  • Historic cruise of the Grand Canal in Suzhou
  • Guided Tour of Suzhou
  • Arrival & Departure Transfer
  • Rickshaw Ride through the Hutongs
  • Guided Tours of Beijing
  • Guided Tour of Badaling
  • 6 night(s) in hotels, 2 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains
  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Travel by train, taxi, on foot
  • Group Tour Leader, English-speaking local guide(s) on included excursions

What’s not included

  • Entry Fees ($120-125) & a Tipping Kitty ($55-60) are payable at the start of your tour, administered by your Tour Leader.
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes
  • Visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Optional excursions – Please see the optional excursions on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.
Flight FromDestinationDateDepartsArrives
Los AngelesBali11 Dec 2016 10:0015:00
BaliLos Angeles18 Dec 201616:3019:00