Natural Wonders of China
15 days from €5,520pp
Cycle through Shanghai’s former French Concession.
Explore the summit of sacred Huang Shan along winding trails.
Step back in time with a visit to Chengkan, Xidi and Pingshan ancient villages.
Enjoy the scenery of Zhangjiajie National Park and Wulingyuan Scenic Area.
Walk on the Glass Bridge and take an exhilarating cable car ride up to Tianmenshan.
- Huang Shan
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
Including international flights from Ireland.
Day 1 International outbound flight
International outbound flight
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Shanghai.
Day 2 Shanghai
On arrival in Shanghai, you will be met at the airport by your guide and taken to your hotel by private car. Alternatively, you may wish to take a ride on the super-fast Maglev train into the city and continue by private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to acclimatise and relax.
Day 3 Shanghai
In the morning, you will explore the vibrant city of Shanghai by bike. This private cycling tour takes you through the French Concession, with its elegant Art Deco villas, before plunging you into the backstreets and alleyways of off-the-beaten-path residential areas and the maze of narrow streets that make up Shanghai’s old town to see the daily life of local people. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Shanghai independently. We suggest visiting the Jade Buddha temple, one of the few working monasteries in the city, and the colonial waterfront of the Bund, where you can look across at the ultra-modern skyscrapers of the Pudong district. Fuxing Park is also a pleasant place to wander around, as are the Yu Gardens. You may also wish to visit the interesting Propaganda Poster Art Centre.
Day 4 Huang Shan
This morning you will be transferred to the railway station for your bullet train to Huang Shan in Anhui province, a journey of approximately 4.5 hours. Upon arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Tunxi Ancient Street independently. Dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), the street is lined with Chinese traditional medicine pharmacies and shops, selling curios and knick-knacks. There are also two interesting museums, Tunxi Museum and Wan Cui Lou, with exhibitions of Ming and Qing furniture, calligraphy and paintings, ceramic, and other cultural relics.
Day 5 Huang Shan
Depart for Huang Shan this morning with your private guide. Listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site, Huang Shan is one of China’s sacred mountains and a popular subject in traditional Chinese paintings and literature. Your guide will accompany you on the cable car up to the top of Huang Shan where you will stay the night in simple accommodation. In the afternoon, you will discover the wealth of breathtaking views on clear days or seas of mist and cloud, which gives the mountain a mysterious feel on other days, along paved walking trails at the top of the mountain with your guide. There may be an opportunity to view the sunset at the summit, weather-permitting.
Day 6 Huang Shan
Rise early this morning to view the sunrise over Huang Shan, weather-permitting. After breakfast back at your hotel, you can further explore the scenery at the summit before descending by cable car and depart for the charming ancient village of Chengkan. Chengkan was a cultural centre during the Sui and Tang dynasties and later became a commercial centre during the Ming and Qing dynasties. You will see its Ming and Qing style architecture – whitewashed walls with slanted, grey tiled roofs as well as memorial arches, ancestral halls, courtyards and gardens. Transfer to your guesthouse in Bishan village after the excursion.
Day 7 Huang Shan
Today, you will visit the ancient rural villages of Xidi and Pingshan in the Huizhou region of Anhui with your private guide and driver. A well-preserved ancient community, Xidi has become a kind of living museum, declared a part of the "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui" World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. A visit to the village provides an amazing insight into the life that has been led here for centuries. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Ping, the tranquil village of Pingshan is an excellent example of Huzhou architectural style of white-washed walls and dramatic eaves set around carved wooden pillars. Walk along the narrow alleyways and canal-side paths to see locals going about their daily lives and houses daubed with fading Maoist slogans.
Day 8 Hangzhou
Early in the morning, you will depart for Huang Shan North railway station to take the high speed train to the city of Hangzhou, a journey of approximately 3 hours. On arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to your hotel. Afternoon tour of Hu Xueyan’s former residence. A wealthy Hangzhou businessman during the Qing dynasty, Hu Xueyan built this residence from mahogany brought from Southeast Asia and a traditional garden that rivals any in Suzhou. Continue to Hu Qing Yu Tang traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy founded by Hu Xueyan in 1874. Watch the staff handle the herbs and ingredients and you’ll see locals waiting while their own packets are prepared. The museum attached provides further useful insight into its origins and theories. This evening you may wish to see the Impression West Lake show; a spectacle of lights, music, dance and theatrics.
Day 9 Zhangjiajie
This morning, you’ll visit the West Lake. Considered one of the most beautiful sights in Hangzhou, this scenic lake is sheltered on three sides by hills. Its many pretty pavilions and bridges, built in memory of famous Chinese poets and emperors, provide a lovely tranquil setting. Take a short walk along the Su Causeway before enjoying a leisurely cruise on the lake. After the excursion, you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Zhangjiajie, where on arrival you will be met by your private guide and taken to your hotel by private transfer.
Day 10 Zhangjiajie
Today, you will begin your exploration of Zhangjiajie, famous for its precarious peaks, streams, dense forests, and large karst caves. You will walk along visit the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge that offers panoramic views of the Grand Canyon below. Afterwards, take a scenic 2-hour scenic walk down stairs built into a thin crevasse in the canyon wall to the Grand Canyon before taking a boat ride to the exit. In the afternoon, you visit Baofeng Lake. 'The Abode of Immortals in the World', Baofeng Lake is a scenic area just outside of the national park. The water here is caught between several large pinnacles, all of which have been given fanciful names. Take a short boat ride on the lake and your guide will explain the origins of the names of some of these rock formations.
Day 11 Zhangjiajie
Your guide and driver will collect you from your hotel in the morning and you will drive out to your guesthouse near Wulingyuan Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards you will spend the day exploring the area with your private guide. The landscape of Wulingyuan is striking throughout the year, with mystical rock formations, bounding streams and a positively sub-tropical atmosphere, which provided the inspiration for Hallelujah Mountain in the movie Avatar.
Day 12 Zhangjiajie
Day 13 Guangzhou
Zhangjiajie , Guangzhou
After some free time this morning, you will be taken to Tianmenshan (Heaven’s Gate Mountain) by your private guide and driver. The limestone karst mountain of Tianmenshan looms large over Zhangjiajie City and can be reached by perhaps the most incredible cable car journey in China. Take a 30 minute ride to the top of the mountain, crossing over different sceneries from the rooftops of the city to picturesque patchwork of rice and rapeseed terraces and the slopes of Tianmenshan. At the top, there is a viewing platform from where on a clear day, one can see Zhangjiajie National Park. After admiring the views, return by cable car to the half way point to take a minibus up to the large arch known as Tianmen Cave. Later this afternoon, you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Guangzhou. On arrival, a guide and driver will meet you and take you to your hotel by private transfer.
Day 14 Guangzhou
Day at leisure and you can explore Guangzhou independently. We suggest walking around Shamian Island. This lovely tree-lined neighbourhood of well-preserved colonial buildings on the sandbanks along the Pearl River was once home to foreign merchants, and today is a laid-back area ideal for strolling. You may wish to enjoy a ‘Dim Sum’ lunch (these Chinese ‘small plates’ are a speciality in Guangzhou), and take a cruise on the Pearl River to see light displays from the city’s numerous skyscrapers in the evening.
Day 15 International return flight
Guangzhou , International return flight
Today you will be taken to the airport by private transfer in time for your return flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.
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