Mountains and Lakes
Day 1 - 2 - London - Beijing
Fly direct from London to Beijing. On arrival, be met and transfer to your hotel. You will be joined by a guide who will be with you for your entire visit. Start off with a day’s sightseeing in and around Beijing. Visit the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, Tiananmen Square, home to China’s Parliament – The Great Hall of the People and The Gate of Heavenly Peace from where Mao declared China as the People’s Republic in 1949, you will then visit The Forbidden City, the former home to many of China’s Emperors. If you can’t fit it all in, continue the following day.
Day 3 - Beijing
Another full day of sightseeing starting with a visit to this magnificent city continues by visiting the Imperial Summer Palace where you can marvel at the opulent lifestyle of China’s Emperors.
Day 4 - Great Wall of China
Take a car to visit and walk on the Great Wall of China. It is breathtaking to see what a feat of construction it is and how huge it is. We recommend the quieter Mutianya section of the Great Wall. While there also visit the Tombs of the magnificent Ming Dynasty Emperors and The Sacred Way before returning to the City.
Day 5 - 7 - Beijing - Shanghai
Fly from Beijing to Shanghai. On arrival transfer to your hotel and enjoy Shanghai for the rest of the day at your leisure.
Start by visiting the city’s Bund, the waterfront area, flanked by the magnificent colonial-era buildings previously owned by the wealthy trading houses and banks of the early 1900s. Then visit the beautiful Yu Gardens before lunch and enjoy an afternoon visit to the excellent Shanghai Museum and the interesting Urban Planning Centre.
Head out of town by car to the traditional water village of Zhouzhuang and visit one of the town’s old merchant’s houses. Drive on to Suzhou and visit the fascinating Silk Museum and learn all about how silk is produced. Then explore Suzhou’s remarkable classical Chinese style gardens, which are on the United Nations’ World Heritage List, this includes The Humble Administrator’s Garden and the intriguingly named Garden of the Master of the Nets.
Day 8 - 11 - Shanghai - Huangshan Mountain Village
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Huangshan Mountain Village. Huangshan is a UNESCO world heritage site because it is a beautifully preserved ancient village, which was home to the Wang Clan. The homes in this ancient village are wonderfully preserved in traditional Ming and Qing Dynasty style and most families have had generations of ancestors living in the same house. Take a simple lunch in the atmospheric Leiguang Restaurant, overlooking the village. Then drive to Huangshan Scenic Area at the foot of the Huangshan Mountains. A scenic cable car ride will transport you to the top of the mountain, and overnight in simple accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure, but an early night is recommended so that you can get up early to enjoy the sunrise.
Enjoy the spectacular sunrise from Huangshan Mountain, weather permitting. You will have time to do some hiking on the mountain and enjoy the superb scenery of mountain pine trees, peaks and clouds. Suggestions hikes are to the Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, and the Grand Canyon of West Sea. Then return down the mountain by cable car passing by wonderfully named Beginning-to-Believe Peak. Drive 3-4 hours to Hangzhou. Spend a day exploring Hangzhou. Visit the atmospheric Lingyin Temple where Buddhist monks still live and pray and home to one of the largest indoor Buddha statues in the world. If time allows, visit the Tea Museum in this city famous for its tea plantations. Take the rest of the afternoon around the charming West Lake and enjoy a boat ride and explore the beautiful parks and causeways.
Day 12 - 14 - Hangzhou Mountain Village - Lijiang
Visit to Lijiang’s fascinating Old Town, Dayan, where your guide brings alive the area’s history and its indigenous Dongba culture. Visit the Black Dragon Pool and enjoy the area.
Head out to the countryside outside of Lijiang – on foot, by horse or by car! Venture over the mountains to Wenhai Lake, which is rarely visited. The small villages in this area are reminiscent of a China from many years ago and is a perfect way of seeing a more rural China. Enjoy meals at local villages, such as Baisha and and Yu Hu villages, the former home of renowned naturalist, Dr Joseph Rock and where the more traditional Naxi way of life continues.
Day 15 - 17 - Lijiang - Shangri-La
Transfer to Qiaotou Town located at the entrance of the Tiger Leaping Gorge from where your trek to a Naxi family guesthouse for lunch. Enjoy the scenery of three of the famed snow mountains including Jade Dragon, Haba and Meli. Then continue onto your basic accommodation for the night (basic with private bathroom) at about 2400m above sea level. The next day complete your journey to Mid Tiger Leaping Gorge, and then onward to Shangri-La.
Shangri-La, also called “mini- Tibet”, on the Tibetan Plateau where the majority of people are of Tibetan ethnicity. Visit the fascinating Sumstenling Monastery and Zhongdian’s old town. After lunch, visit the traditional pottery making village in Tanwei.
Day 18 - Shangri-La - Shanghai - Beijing - London
Make your way back to Shanghai/Beijing via Kunmig by plane for your onward journey.
- Internal flights
- Entrance fees to sites and attractions
- International flights
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance