Ever since the world discovered China through the writings of adventurer Marco Polo some 700 years ago, we’ve come to regard this large Asian country as the embodiment of all that is mysterious and exotic. Even now, after decades of economic growth, this vast country has lost none of its fascination. Indeed, the contrast between China’s ancient customs and the new ultra-modern state has only increased our fascination with a culture that dates back many millennia.read more/less
It’s a culture that is much celebrated by the Chinese themselves, as evidenced by the preservation of such important historic sites as the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace in the capital of Beijing, each recalling the days of China’s emperors. And then, of course, there’s the famous Great Wall, winding for 6,700 kilometers from the Yellow Sea to Central Asia, while its countless shrines exude the spirit of age-old Eastern religions. Given its huge size, China offers visitors limitless scope for exploration. From cruising through the picturesque Yangtze Gorges, visiting a bustling city or seeking out the tranquility of an ancient temple, China is full of incredible experiences.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Niujie Mosque, Pearl Factory, Peking Opera, Jade Factory, Mutianyu Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Beijing Olympic Park, Peking Roasted Duck, Shanxi History Museum, Xian City Wall, Great Mosque, Muslim Street, Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Special art lacquer work shop, Ancient style street, Suzhou City, Zhouzhuang Water Town, Shanghai Museum, Xiaotaoyuan Mosque, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai World Finance Center
Return flights in economy class on award-winning Etihad Airways from Johannesburg to Beijing via Abu Dhabi
FREE Stopover in Abu Dhabi with return airport transfers
1 night double/ share twin hotel accommodation with breakfast in Abu Dhabi
8 nights double/share twin accommodation in China’s 5-star Hotels – 3 nights in Beijing, 2 in Xian, 1 in Suzhou and 2 in Shanghai
Airport and train station transfers in Beijing, Xian, Suzhou and Shanghai as per the itinerary
Second Class High-Speed train tickets between Beijing-Xian-Suzhou
Minibus transfer from Suzhou to Shanghai
Sightseeing tours as per the itinerary in Beijing, Xian, Suzhou & Shanghai with photo stops as per the itinerary
Professional services of expert English-speaking Tour Guide throughout China
Private group transportation in modern, deluxe air-conditioned minibus/coach
Entrance fees to attractions as per the itinerary, parking, local taxes, tolls and service charges
Meals comprise 9 Buffet Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 8 Dinners – 22 Meals in total
5 Lunches & 8 Dinners are at local restaurants ( all Indian Halal Cuisine with just 1 Lunch Chinese Cuisine)
Any services not mentioned
23 JUN 2019 DAY 01 SUNDAY FLY JOHANNESBURG – ABU DHABI
Flight: Etihad Airways EY 603
Depart: 23 JUN 20H05 OR Tambo International
Arrive: 24 JUN 06H25 Abu Dhabi International
Check in online or at the Etihad Airways counter in the departures hall at OR Tambo International Airport at least three hours before departure. Ensure that your baggage is through checked to Abu Dhabi. Clear security and immigration and report to your boarding gate at least 45 minutes before departure. Depart for Abu Dhabi.
24 JUN 2019 DAY 2 MONDAY TRANSFER AIRPORT – HOTEL
Transfer: Group Transfer from Airport to Hotel by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 24 JUN 07H30 Abu Dhabi International Airport
Drop Off: 24 JUN 08H30 Selected Hotel
Deplane and complete an eye scan. Clear Immigration and scan cabin luggage. Reclaim main baggage and clear Customs. Look out for your tour representative holding the Group Name Board outside the Arrivals Hall. Meet and greet and transfer to your selected hotel in downtown Abu Dhabi.
24 JUN 2019 DAY 2 MONDAY HOTEL ABU DHABI
Hotel: Selected Hotel In 24 JUN Out 25 JUN 1 Night
Room: 1 Double / Twin Bed & Breakfast Noon Check-In
Check-in and check-out times vary globally with the norm being between 12h00 and 15h00 for check-in on the day of arrival and between 10h00 and 12h00 for check-out with no guarantees for early check-in/late check-out unless paid for. Early check-in may be granted subject to room availability and at the sole discretion of Front Office staff. Upon check in, hotel staff will request an imprint of your credit card or a cash deposit for any optional in house services not included in the tour price e.g. items consumed from mini-bar, laundry, telephone etc. Upon checking out the Client may settle the bill for any extras or have the cancelled voucher returned if there are none. A day at leisure to relax or go as you please. Overnight at your hotel.
24 JUN 2019 DAY 2 MONDAY ABU DHABI OPTIONAL TOURS
Optional Tour: You are at leisure. Consider taking an Optional Tour or explore Abu Dhabi on your own.
Date: 24 JUN Start AM / PM
Experience the thrill of cruising through the desert with this evening safari with BBQ dinner. Head out on a six-hour adventure through the stunning landscapes outside Abu Dhabi and make your way to a Bedouin-style camp tucked into the iconic sand dunes. Race over the rolling hills in a 4×4, sand board down them at breakneck speeds, climb atop a camel for a once-in-a-lifetime experience or even rent a quad bike (additional cost). This trip includes round-trip hotel transport, henna painting, sheesha smoking, and even a belly dancing show, plus a savoury BBQ dinner with fellow travellers.
Explore top attractions in the UAE’s capital on this 4-hour Abu Dhabi sightseeing tour. Travel through Abu Dhabi by air-conditioned coach as a guide sheds light on the region’s rich culture and heritage. Marvel at the soaring domes and minarets of Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the bustling souks, where everything from gold jewellery to fresh dates has a price to barter on. Then, travel past the Corniche’s pristine gardens and beaches to the Heritage Village, where the Abu Dhabi of old is brought to life.
25 JUN 2019 DAY 3 TUESDAY TRANSFER HOTEL – AIRPORT (B)
Transfer: Late afternoon Group Transfer from Hotel to Airport by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 25 JUN 17H00 Selected Hotel
Drop Off: 25 JUN 18H00 Abu Dhabi International Airport
Breakfast and day at leisure. Noon checks out from your hotel room and leaves your baggage with the concierge. All group members must ensure that they are assembled in the hotel lobby with their baggage and ready to depart from the hotel at least one hour before transfer pick up time this afternoon. Transfer to the airport.
25 JUN 2019 DAY 3 TUESDAY FLY ABU DHABI – BEIJING
Flight: Etihad Airways EY 888 Depart 25 JUN 21H30 Abu Dhabi International
Arrive: 26 JUN 08H50 Beijing Capital International Airport
Check in online or at the Etihad Airways counter in the departures hall at Abu Dhabi International Airport at least three hours before departure. Ensure that your baggage is through checked to Beijing. Clear security and immigration and report to your boarding gate at least 45 minutes before departure. Depart for Beijing.
26 JUN 2019 DAY 4 WEDNESDAY TRANSFER AIRPORT – HOTEL
Transfer: Group Transfer from Airport to Hotel by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 26 JUN 10H00 Beijing Capital International Airport
Drop Off: 26 JUN 11H00 Pudi Hotel
Deplane and clear Immigration. Reclaim baggage and clear Customs. Look out for your tour representative holding the Group Name Board outside the Arrivals Hall. Meet and greet and transfer to the Pudi Hotel (formerly Marriott) in downtown Beijing.
26 JUN 2019 DAY 4 WEDNESDAY HOTEL BEIJING (D)
Hotel: Pudi Hotel Beijing In 26 JUN Out 29 JUN 3 Nights
Room: 1 Double / Twin Bed & Breakfast Noon Check-In
Check-in and check-out times vary globally with the norm being between 12h00 and 15h00 for check-in on the day of arrival and between 10h00 and 12h00 for check-out with no guarantees for early check-in/late check-out unless paid for. Early check-in may be granted subject to room availability and at the sole discretion of Front Office staff. Upon check in, hotel staff will request an imprint of your credit card or a cash deposit for any optional in house services not included in the tour price e.g. items consumed from mini-bar, laundry, telephone etc. Upon checking out the Client may settle the bill for any extras or have the cancelled voucher returned if there are none. A day at leisure. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at your hotel.
27 JUN 2019 DAY 5 THURSDAY TOUR BEIJING (B/L/D)
Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Niujie Mosque, Pearl Factory.
Date: 27 JUN Start AM
After breakfast depart for your tour of Beijing. Despite its enormous size, Tiananmen Square is only the fourth largest in Public Square in China. Tiananmen Square is oriented north to south, with the Forbidden City occupying the northern end. Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and the Monument to the People’s Heroes are located near the centre, the Great Hall of the People is in the northwest corner of the Square and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution along with the Museum of Chinese History are in the northeast corner.
A UNESCO Heritage site located directly north of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City is probably China’s most popular museum. A visit to the Palace Museum is more like a very long walk from one enormous plaza to another, interspersed with peeks into different official and residential buildings. The 3rd Ming emperor, Yongle, built the Forbidden City from 1406 to 1420 and moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing. Twenty-four successive Ming and Qing emperors ruled from the palace until 1911 when the Qing dynasty fell. Puyi, the last emperor, was allowed to live inside the inner court until his expulsion in 1924. Lunch at a local restaurant.
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 in customary Chinese fashion of wood and entirely without nails, the hall sits on a three-tiered marble terrace with balustrades and a conical roof covered with 50,000 blue glazed tiles. Set out in two sections – one rectangular, the other semi-circular to symbolize Heaven and Earth, it was here that, on the day of the winter solstice, the Emperor would ascend the Heavenly Altar to offer sacrifices and pray for good harvests.
Originally designed by Nasruddin, the son of an Imam, the Niujie Mosque is the largest and oldest mosque in Beijing. First built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty, the mosque features traditional Chinese architecture with Arabic calligraphy in the interior. After it was destroyed by armies of Genghis Khan in 1215, the Mosque was rebuilt in 1443 in the Ming Dynasty and significantly expanded in 1696 under the Qing Dynasty. It is undergone at least three renovations since and is now one of the major mosques in Northern China that serves the majority of Beijing’s Muslims who live in the vicinity.
Visit a freshwater Pearl Factory located not far from the Summer Palace. The production of freshwater pearls originated in Beijing from the ancient art of pearl culture for use in the manufacture of authentic pearl jewellery. Visitors are shown a video on pearl cultivation before having the opportunity to browse through the factory store to view or buy from a wide range of pearl jewellery on display. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at your hotel.
28 JUN 2019 DAY 6 FRIDAY TOUR BEIJING (B/L/D)
Tour: Great Wall at Mutianyu, Jade Factory, Ming Tombs, Photo stop at Olympic Park
Date: 28 JUN Start AM
Jade is, and always has been, a stone highly prized by the Chinese. Its use in ornaments, ritual objects and ceremonial weapons can be traced back to 5,000 BC. In ancient times jade was a material associated with royalty and people of high status. Kings and nobles wore jades and upon their death, the jade is placed in their tombs to accompany them in the after-life. An inevitable part of any organized tour of China is the stops at factories or showrooms to show visitors the local crafts and products, in the hope that visitors will be enticed into spending some money. On arrival at the Jade Showroom, you will be greeted by a showroom guide who explains the process of jade carving and polishing and then takes you on a tour of the showroom.
The Great Wall at Mutianyu is located in Huai Rou County some 75 kilometres north-east of Beijing and is known for its beautiful surroundings of dense woods and rich pastures. The surrounding natural scenery is breath-taking. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, this section served as the northern barrier defending the Capital and the Imperial Tombs. Should you wish to reach the highest point, an (Optional) cable car ride is a good choice. After lunch, drive to the Ming Tombs.
The Ming Dynasty lasted from 1368 to 1644 totalling 277 years with 16 emperors. Except for the second emperor Jianwen, who disappeared without a trace, the other 15 emperors all have their own tombs. Emperor Zhu Yuangzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty made Nanjing its capital and was buried there. Emperor Jintai’s Tomb is at Jin Mountain to the west of Beijing. The other 13 Ming emperors were all buried at the foot of Heaven and Longevity Mountain in Jundu Mountain Range, north of Beijing. Of the thirteen tombs, only three are open to the public and accessible via a statue-lined path called the Sacred Way, where the carvings of mythical animals and legendary figures are believed to ward off evil spirits.
On the drive back to Beijing, a short photo stop outside the 2008 Beijing Olympics Park will let you view the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. The Beijing National Stadium, more commonly referred to as the Bird’s Nest, was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at a cost of $423 million. Since the Olympics and all its fanfare, the stadium has become a major landmark and tourist attraction, as well as a venue for both international and domestic sporting competitions. Though relatively new to the Beijing landscape, the National Stadium has become a must-see attraction for tourists. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. This evening, consider attending an Optional Acrobatic Show. Return to and overnight at your hotel.
29 JUN 2019 DAY 7 SATURDAY TRANSFER HOTEL – TRAIN STATION
Transfer: Group Transfer from Hotel to Beijing Train Station by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 29 JUN 06H45 Pudi Hotel
Drop Off: 29 JUN 07h30 Beijing Train Station
Checkout from your hotel after an early breakfast and transfer to the train station to catch the High-Speed Train to Xian.
29 JUN 2019 DAY 7 SATURDAY TRAIN BEIJING – XIAN
Train: High-Speed G 653
Depart: 29 JUN 08H05 Beijing Train Station
Arrive: 29 JUN 13H43 Xian Train Station
Board High-Speed Train G 653 departing from Beijing at 08H05 and arriving in Xian at 13H43.
29 JUN 2019 DAY 7 SATURDAY TOUR XIAN (B/L/D)
Reception on arrival at Xian Station by your tour representative. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Shanxi History Museum, the largest centre for the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of cultural relics in Shanxi Province. The museum has a fascinating collection of over 200,000 exhibits from the Neolithic Age, of the Fang State in the Shang Dynasty and of the Jin Dynasty. In addition, cultural relics of the Northern Dynasty, collections of Shanxi pottery, copper relics of the Jin and Yuan dynasties and cultural relics of merchants of the Ming and Qing dynasties are all displayed here.
Xian’s Old City Wall is rectangular in shape with a walkway on top and a total length of 14 kilometres. Built in Chinese architectural style as a defensive fortification, it has a moat, drawbridges, watchtowers, corner towers, parapet walls and gate towers. The wall is 12 metres high, 14 metres wide at the top, 18 metres at the base with ramparts every120 metres along the main wall. There are parapets on the outer side of the wall with 5,984 crenels and 4 watch towers located at the corners. The moat around the wall is 18 metres wide and 6 metres deep. The area within the wall is roughly 36 square kilometres, enclosing the small area of 14 square kilometres occupied by the old city.
Continue to the Great Mosque on Huajue Lane in downtown Xi’an that is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved mosques in China. According to historical records engraved on a stone tablet inside, the Great Mosque was built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty using a blend of traditional Muslim and Chinese architecture. Covering an area of over 12,000 square meters, the mosque is well laid out and divided into five courtyards landscaped with gardens. The further one strolls into its interior, the more serene one feels. Islam was first introduced into northwest China by Arab merchants and travellers from Persia and Afghanistan during the 7th Century. Some of them settled and married women of Han Nationality and their descendants are the Muslims of Xian today.
Our tour ends with a visit to the nearby Muslim Quarter. Also known as Huimin Jie in Pingyin, it is the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’an. Located to the north of the city centre, the quarter is a hive of activity, covers several blocks and is inhabited by over 20,000 Muslims. There are about ten mosques in the area that features a Muslim food and souvenir market. The popular Beiyuanmen Muslim Market is a great choice after sightseeing in the city centre. After dinner at a local restaurant, check in on arrival at your selected hotel for your stay in Xian.
29 JUN 2019 DAY 7 SATURDAY HOTEL XIAN
Hotel: Golden Flower Hotel Xian In 29 JUN Out 01 JUL 2 Nights
Room: 1 Double / Twin Bed & Breakfast Noon Check-In
Check-in on arrival at your selected hotel. Evening at leisure, overnight at your hotel.
30 JUN 2019 DAY 8 SUNDAY TOUR XIAN (B/L/D)
Tour: Terracotta Warriors, Wild Goose Pagoda, Lacquer Art Shop & Ancient Style Street – time permitting.
Date: 30 JUN Start AM
Today we visit the greatest archaeological find of the 20th Century – the army of Terracotta Warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at Emperor Qin’s Tomb. In ancient China, when someone wealthy or of high status died, there would be someone or something buried with the dead. The Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses were built to be buried with First Emperor of Qin when he died. Chinese Emperors usually began building their tombs when they were alive and Qin Shi Huang began to build his tomb soon after he became Emperor. It took about 40 years to finish with over 700 thousand workers used to build the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses. The warriors and horses are the same sizes as those in real life. Each warrior looks different and the weapons they hold are all made of metal and can be used in real wars.
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. As part of the Da Cien Temple Complex, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion and its simple but appealing style of construction. First built to a height of 60 meters with five storeys, it is now almost 64 meters high with the addition of two storeys. Externally the Pagoda looks like a square cone. Built of brick, it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Inside, stairs wind upward so that visitors can climb and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the arch-shaped doors on the four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty while Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the Pagoda.
After lunch, we stop by a special art lacquer workshop. Lacquer is a natural substance obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree, that’s indigenous to China. Up to a few hundred layers of lacquer are applied to an object’s surface in order to attain the final thickness of between five and eighteen millimetres. After the lacquer has dried, the object is decorated by carving various designs into the surface. While traditional imperial lacquerware came in the form of chairs, screens, tables and vases, today one can find objects ranging from trays, cups and vases to small decorative boxes, which are produced in Xi’an’s lacquerware workshops.
Time permitting you may go shopping at the Ancient Culture Street. In 1990, large-scale reconstruction gave the old street a new look and the area flourished with a variety of cultural products among which the writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper became popular along with stone inscriptions, paintings and calligraphic works by celebrities and books with ancient seals. In these antique shops, you will find authentic handicrafts that reflect the richness of ancient folk art and offer insight into the profound nature of Chinese culture. Each year many celebrated calligraphers and painters meet there to display their outstanding calligraphic and painting works drawing tourists from home and abroad, Round off the evening with dinner at a local restaurant. Return to and overnight at your hotel.
01 JUL 2019 DAY 9 MONDAY TRANSFER HOTEL – TRAIN STATION
Transfer: Group Transfer from Hotel to Xian Train Station by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 01 JUL 06H45 Selected Hotel
Drop Off: 01 JUL 07H30 Xian Train Station
Checkout from your hotel after an early breakfast and transfer to the train station to catch the High-Speed Train to Suzhou.
01 JUL 2019 DAY 9 MONDAY TRAIN XIAN – SUZHOU
Train: High-Speed G 1918
Depart: 01 JUL 08H05 Xian Train Station
Arrive: 01 JUL 16H43 Suzhou Train Station
Board High-Speed Train number G1918 and departing Xian at 08H05, arriving in Xian at 16H43. Reception on arrival at Suzhou Station by your tour representative. After lunch, depart on your tour of Suzhou City and Zhouzhuang Ancient Water Town.
01 JUL 2019 DAY 9 MONDAY TOUR SUZHOU (B/L/D)
Historically, Suzhou was synonymous with high culture and elegance, and generations of artists, scholars, writers and high society in China were drawn by its exquisite art forms and the delicate beauty of its gardens. Like all modern Chinese towns, Suzhou has unfortunately endured much destruction of its heritage but the city still retains many pockets of charm to warrant exploration. Suzhou’s main attraction is her gardens, of which the Humble Administrator’s Garden is not only the Suzhou’s largest garden but also one of the top four gardens in China – a symphonic combination of rocks, water, trees and pavilions that reflects the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. Originally built in 1509 by a retired magistrate Wang Xianchen, it ranks as the best example of Chinese classical gardens with Ming Dynasty style. Adding to the charm are some excellent museums, surviving canal scenes, pagodas and humpbacked bridges.
Surrounded by lakes and rivers and crisscrossed by a network of canals Zhouzhuang, is fondly called the “Venice of the East”. It’s the largest old water town in China and known for its profound cultural background, well preserved ancient residential houses and the elegant watery views. Escape the metropolitan mayhem of the city and see how daily life has remained unchanged in these quaint and ancient enclaves. This charming old water town can be explored on foot or via a boat tour on the canals. Other interesting sights here include the Ming-era Hall of Zhang & Shen’s Residences and the Chengxu Temple, a Song Dynasty Taoist Shrine. With many stone bridges across the rivers showing distinctive views of the old water town, the Shide and Yongan Bridges, represent the most famous symbols of Zhouzhuang. Round of the day with dinner at a local restaurant before checking in at your selected hotel for your overnight stay.
01 JUL 2019 DAY 9 MONDAY HOTEL SUZHOU
Hotel: Pan Pacific Hotel In 01 JUL Out 02 JUL 1 Night
Room: 1 Double / Twin Bed & Breakfast
Check-in on arrival at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Evening at leisure, overnight at your hotel.
02 JUL 2019 DAY 10 TUESDAY DRIVE SUZHOU – SHANGHAI
Transfer: Group Transfer from Suzhou to Shanghai by Minibus / Coach
Pick Up: 02 JUL 06H45 Pan Pacific Hotel
Drop Off: 02 JUL 07H30 Radisson Blu Hongquan Hotel Shanghai
Checkout from your hotel after breakfast and drive to Shanghai.
02 JUL 2019 DAY 10 TUESDAY HOTEL SHANGHAI
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hongquan Hotel In 02 JUL Out 04 JUL 2 Nights
Room: 1 Double / Twin Bed & Breakfast Noon Check-In
Arrive in Shanghai. Noon check-in at the Radisson Blu Hongquan Hotel
02 JUL 2019 DAY 10 TUESDAY TOUR SHANGHAI (B&D)
Depart on your afternoon tour of Shanghai Museum, located in People’s Square. Founded in 1952, the Shanghai Museum remains China’s most important museum of classical Chinese art. In a modern building that’s something of a work of art itself – its unique round top and square base encompasses traditional Chinese concepts of the earth – the museum’s four floors include impressive displays of bronzes and ceramics from prehistoric cultures to the 19th century, ink drawings, calligraphy and seals, as well as large collections of art from ethnic minorities. It’s also home to large collections of jade, coins, furnishings from the Ming and Qing periods 1368-1912, and a well-stocked gift shop.
Continue to the Xiao Taoyuan Mosque, headquarters of the Shanghai Muslim Association and one of the famous Muslim Cultural centres in Shanghai. First built in 1907 and rebuilt in 1925, featuring traditional West Asian architecture. IT has a rectangular courtyard and a prayer hall on the west side with a capacity for 200 worshipers. Inside the middle, there exists a vaulted dome, with the Wangyue (Moon Watching) Pavilion upstairs. A three-storeyed hall building stands on the eastern side, with a library and a reading room on the second and the third floor and a sermon room on the first floor. The Imam’s room, reception rooms, and ablution facilities are located on the southern side of the courtyard. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening. Return to and overnight at your hotel.
03 JUL 2019 DAY 11 WEDNESDAY TOUR SHANGHAI (B&D)
Depart on your full day tour of Shanghai after breakfast, starting with the splendid Yu Yuan Garden laid out in 1559. Also known as the Garden of Happiness, it covers an area of some 20,000 square metres and consists of an outer and an inner garden. The oldest section is the Outer Garden, with further changes made in the 18th century when Sansui Tang, the park’s main hall was added. The building is notable for its lovely roof ornaments, figurative representations in bas-reliefs, and window openings, as well as its dragon-adorned walls. The best-known building is the Hall of Spring where the Company of the Little Swords had its headquarters between 1853 and 1855 when it ruled Shanghai.
Continue to the bustling Chenghuangmiao Tourist Area located in the old city of the East Huangpu District that caters to sightseeing, shopping and food. Besides the Chenghuangmiao Temple. There are also some free spots, such as Zigzag Bridge outside Yuyuan Garden and the mid-lake Pavilion Teahouse a must-visit spot where visitors can experience Shanghai’s folk customs, authentic snacks and local cuisine. The colourful lamps on antique buildings also make it a beautiful landscape. There are several small commodity wholesale malls and complex shopping malls, as well as many gold shops, jewellery and souvenir stores.
Moving on we visit the Shanghai World Financial Centre is a lofty skyscraper in Pudong New Area, Shanghai. It is a mixed use skyscraper which consists of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and shopping malls. In September 2007 the skyscraper was topped out at 492 metres to become the then 3rd tallest building in the world. The building’s most distinctive architectural feature is the aperture at the building peak, which has a trapezoidal shape resembling a bottle opener. It was originally a circular shape but was changed after the government of China objected, stating that the circular hole resembled the rising sun on the Japanese flag.
This evening you can stroll the Bund. The Zhongshan Lu is a lovely broad promenade running along the west bank of the Huangpujiang River. It’s particularly popular among tourists as the area has retained a European feel. It was once the location of the city’s International Settlement that is particularly noticeable in the many old English and French buildings now serving as restaurants, boutique stores, galleries, and offices. Always bustling, it’s a splendid place for a stroll day or night as you take in the Bund’s 52 unique buildings constructed in a variety of styles including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance influences, along with what amounts to one of the world’s most impressive collections of Art Deco architecture.
Xintiandi – meaning New World is an affluent eating and entertainment district of Shanghai. The district is composed of an area of reconstituted traditional mid-19th-century shikumen (stone gate) houses on narrow alleys, some adjoining houses which now serve as book stores, cafes and restaurants, and shopping malls. Most of the cafes and restaurants feature both indoor and outdoor seating. Xintiandi has an active nightlife on weekdays as well as weekends, though romantic settings are more common than loud music and dance places. It is considered one of the first lifestyle centres in China. It is also the most expensive place to live in China and is home to the Chinese elite and top executive expats. Dinner at a local restaurant. Return to and overnight at your hotel
04 JUL 2019 DAY 12 THURSDAY TRANSFER HOTEL – AIRPORT (B)
Transfer: Evening Group Transfer from Hotel to Airport by Minibus / Coach.
Pick Up: 04 JUL 19H30 Radisson Blu Hongquan Hotel
Drop Off: 04 JUL 20H30 Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Breakfast and day at leisure. Noon checks out from your hotel room and leaves your baggage with the concierge. All group members must ensure that they are assembled in the hotel lobby with their baggage and ready to depart from the hotel at least one hour before transfer pick up time this evening. Your guide will reconfirm your pick up time and transfer you to the airport.
05 JUL 2019 DAY 13 FRIDAY FLY SHANGHAI – ABU DHABI – JOHANNESBURG
Flight Etihad Airways EY 867
Depart 05 JUL 00H45 Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Arrive 05JUL 06H20 Abu Dhabi International Airport
Flight Etihad Airways EY604
Depart 05 JUL 10H05 Abu Dhabi International Airport
Arrive 05 JUL 16H30 OR Tambo International Airport
Check in online or at the Etihad Airways counter in the departures hall at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at least three hours before departure. Ensure that your baggage is through checked to your final destination Johannesburg. Clear security and immigration and report to your boarding gate at least 45 minutes before departure. Depart for Abu Dhabi.
Arrive in Abu Dhabi. Deplane and clear security. You are in transit until departure time and may browse the duty-free shopping area to pass some time. Report to your boarding gate at least 45 minutes before departure. Depart for Johannesburg. Arrive in Johannesburg and clear immigration. Reclaim Baggage and clear Customs. Welcome, Home! Itinerary Ends.
|24 JUNE||ABU DHABI||TO BE ADVISED|
|26 JUNE||BEIJING||THE PUDI HOTEL – FORMERLY THE MARRIOTT|
|29 JUNE||XIAN||THE GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL|
|01 JULY||SUZHOU||THE PAN PACIFIC HOTEL|
|02 JULY||SHANGHAI||THE RADISSON BLU HONG QUAN|