China, also called the Middle Kingdom is the largest and one of the most diverse countries in Asia. The modern era of political stability has once again steered the empire into the elite group of global economic superpowers.
At heart, it remains one of the cradles of civilisation having world’s oldest continuous civilisation that dates back to 3,000 BC. Its unique living culture, fascinating ancient traditions, rich history and incredible natural diversity make it a truly extraordinary destination for all, from nature-lovers and adventure seekers to history buffs and gastronomes.
Prices from USD $11,295 per person or GBP £8,695 per person.
(Prices subject to currency exchange rates and exclude international flights.)
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met and driven to your hotel. Our favourites are the serene Aman at Summer Palace or the ultra-modern Upper House. You can take it easy after your flight, or dive straight into the city’s hustle and bustle with a short tour with your expert local guide.
Over the next two days, you will explore some of Beijing’s majestic monuments with your private guide and get a taste of the capital’s ancient as well as modern ways of life. Depending on your interests, we can arrange incredible experiences including special access to city’s top galleries, studios and sites, an exclusive champagne picnic on the iconic Great Wall, a classic Peking duck dinner in one of the oldest restaurants or a private Taichi lesson with a local master.
Travel from Beijing to Xian on the high speed train reaching speeds of up to 300 km/h! Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to your hotel. Our preferred hotel in Xian is the iconic Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand. Today, with your expert local guide, you will explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and sample amazing local street food in the old quarter.
You will spend the day learning about the world-famous Terracotta Warriors with a local expert and explore the imposing Ancient City Wall. For gourmands, we can arrange amazing food experiences – Xian is famous for dumplings! And for art lovers, we can arrange a private calligraphy or watercolour painting class with a local master.
Fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province and home to the beloved Giant Panda! You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Our favourite city hotel is The Temple House. If you prefer quiet natural surroundings, Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain on the outskirts of Chengdu is an excellent option. This evening, enjoy a bit of cultural immersion with an interesting Sichuanese opera performance.
With your private guide, you will spend the day exploring the city’s fascinating museums, traditional old quarter and the famous Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base. For a more hands-on experience, you can also volunteer at one of the renowned Giant Panda bases on the outskirts of the city. If you can handle spicy food, one of the must-try local specialities is the Sichuan Hot Pot. We can recommend and reserve tables at the city’s most authentic restaurants.
Fly to Guilin in the afternoon, gateway to one of the most scenic regions of China. You will be met on arrival and driven to your hotel. Our preferred hotel is the Shangri-La. Time permitting, you can have a short orientation tour with your private guide.
Today, you will take a scenic boat journey from Guilin to Yangshuo on Li River, which is believed to be the most beautiful river in China. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in a beautiful countryside location overlooking majestic Karst Mountains. Our favourite resort is the Banyan Tree Yangshuo. In the evening, enjoy an impressive cultural performance in a natural amphitheatre.
You can relax at your hotel and make use of its excellent spa or spend the day exploring the countryside. Depending on your interests, we can arrange cycling, hiking, bamboo rafting, village tours or an interesting cooking class.
Today, you will be driven to Longsheng where you will hike up to the breath-taking Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces. Here, you will say in a simple boutique hotel overlooking the verdant landscape, a photographer’s paradise!
With your private guide, you will spend the day hiking through minority villages along the rice terraces.
You will be driven back to Guilin for your flight to Shanghai. Beijing’s nemesis, this sprawling and dazzling metropolis represents 21st century China. You will be met and driven to your hotel. Our favourites are the luxurious Peninsula and iconic Fairmont Peace Hotel, located on the Bund.
Days 14 and 15:
You will spend the next two days exploring the sites in and around Shanghai. There are fabulous museums, markets, ancient quarters, landscape gardens and superb shops and restaurants. We can also arrange an excursion to nearby towns of Suzhou, Tongli or Hangzhou.
Today, you will be transferred to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport for your flight home.
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What most people read, see and hear about China is filtered. These days, the term “China” is often associated with large-scale development and industrialisation, exploitation, suppression, pollution, a massive population, wealth and strange food. However, there is a lot more to China than its politics and mammoth cities.
China has the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Its cultural and natural diversity are astounding and with a continuous civilisation dating back to 3,000 BC, it’s an incredibly rewarding and important destination for history buffs with a vast pool of rich architectural and cultural treasures.
Although most travellers focus on the iconic sights in and around Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai, smaller towns and remote countryside farther afield offer an incredible array of experiences for those seeking to get away from large crowds and discover the cultural roots of this ancient civilisation. Whether it is:
Where should I go?
China is the most populous country in the world with approximately 1.38 billion inhabitants. In terms of area, it is the third largest country, spread across 9.6 million square kilometres. It shares its boarders with 14 countries and spans from towering rugged mountains in the west and sunken basins and rolling plateaus in the north to a vast 18,000 kilometre coastline and fertile areas in the east and south. The country is blessed with some of the biggest rivers, lakes and mountains in the world.
With the rapid development and urbanisation taking place all over the country, it’s more important than ever to visit this fascinating country sooner than later!
A selection of pictures by courtesy of Wild China
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By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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