DAY 1 – HONG KONG / GUILIN
A drive to Victoria Peak will allow you to enjoy one of most extraordinary and legendary vista of any modern city. Once an upper-class residential area from colonial times, the Peak is still among Hong Kong's most exclusive areas with an awe-inspiring view of the whole city. Take in the sights as you make your way to Hong Kong Airport where you’ll have a Chinese dim sum lunch before taking your flight to Guilin. Guilin translates as ‘Sweet Osmanthus’, owing to the many fragrant trees found within the city. You’ll check into the Sheraton Hotel, where your evening meal will be served.
DAY 2 – LI RIVER
After breakfast, take a scenic 52 mile cruise along the serene Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. It is said that to sail along the Li River is like sailing through a traditional Chinese painting. Enjoy incredible panoramas of picturesque mountains dotted with peaceful rice paddies with water buffalo meandering along the river banks. See the fishermen gliding along on their narrow bamboo rafts, many of them still using specially trained cormorant birds to capture fish on their behalf. During your Li River cruise, you’ll be offered a light box lunch. Disembark in the little town of Yangshuo, which has a history spanning 1,000 years. Wandering along the streets in Yangshuo, you may browse for souvenirs. Returning to the hotel, you’ll have the option to join a guided walk to the nearby lake. In the evening, enjoy a Chinese set dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 3 – GUILIN / BEIJING
Following breakfast, check out and depart for a morning tour of the ancient town of Daxu, founded during the early Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126). Daxu has wonderfully preserved ancient buildings with worn bluestone streets. Your tour then takes you onto the Reed Flute Cave, whose name was derived from the reeds used for making flutes and pipes that grow at its entrance. The cave is regarded as the largest and most impressive cave in Guilin and features a landscape of stalactites, stalagmites and fantastic stone shapes in unusual colours. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before travelling to the airport where you will take a flight to Beijing. On arrival, you’ll transfer to the Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel where a buffet dinner will be served.
DAY 4 – BEIJING
After breakfast, you’ll visit the largest city centre square in the world, Tiananmen Square, which covers 34 acres. This historic site is surrounded by the Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and the National Museum. Your tour also includes a visit to the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum; it was once the Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty through to the Qing Dynasty. Although the palatial complex is the largest in the world, covering more than 210 acres, the intricate detail within the pavilions and courtyards is incredible. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before you continue to visit the Temple of Heaven, the largest group of temple buildings in China, and the largest heaven-worshipping architecture in the world. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 in the Ming Dynasty. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was used by the Emperors to worship to the God of Heaven to pray for a good harvest. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is an impressive structure, comprised solely of wood. See the intricate joinery and dovetailing used to create the wonderful architectural details without the use of steel, cement or a single nail. In the evening you’ll have a traditional Peking Duck dinner at a selected restaurant.
DAY 5 – GREAT WALL OF CHINA
You’ll have breakfast and check out of your hotel before setting off to visit one of mankind’s mightiest creations, the Great Wall of China. Built in 3rd century BC to protect China’s northern border from marauding nomads and barbarians, the wall stretches over 4,500 miles east to west. Today, it remains a poignant reminder of the painstaking endeavours of nearly one million workers. Your tour will include a visit to the Badaling section of the Wall. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant within the wall area before your drive to Xingang to re-join Arcadia.
The booking deadline for this tour is 20th December 2015. Bookings after this time will be on a request basis. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (Double =HKG804, Single =HKG805). Prices shown on your record of shore excursions are per person, not per room. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made after the booking deadline will incur a 100% cancellation fee. Flight times and further details will be advised on board. Hotels, flights and order of itinerary are subject to change. This excursion will leave Hong Kong on the 17th March and return in Xingang on the 21st March. Please check your cruise embarkation/disembarkation dates prior to booking this overland tour.
This excursion is physically demanding. Be prepared for very early morning starts, lengthy days, climatic changes and delays at airports. This is an inclusive excursion programme. No refunds will be given for any unused portion. Comfortable, soft-soled shoes are recommended.
The fare includes: transport by coach, boat, economy class air, sightseeing, meals and accommodation as described. 2 glasses of local beer and soft drinks are included with lunch; either rice or 2 glasses of house wine is included with evening meals. Those wishing to order alternative beverages will be charged separately.
The fare does not include: items of a personal nature such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, fees for doctor’s visits and prescriptions/medication, visas and travel insurance.
What to pack: please remember your passport and any medication you require. Luggage limit is 1 case per person with a maximum weight of 20kg.
Visas: all passengers must obtain a Chinese visa prior to embarking Arcadia.
Weather: the temperature is likely to be cold in March. The temperature can be as low as 2°C in the morning, rising to approximately 11°C during the day.
Customs and traditions: please dress conservatively when visiting shrines and temples to respect local customs and cultures.
Traffic: as Beijing is a major city and business centre, traffic can be very heavy. Everything will be done to maintain the itinerary, but some delays may be experienced.