In Pursuit of Pandas
From $2,708 - 9 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
In Pursuit of Pandas provides the opportunity to discover some of China’s most impressive historical, cultural and natural sights.
In Beijing, see the historical wonders of the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. No trip to Beijing would be complete without visiting the Great Wall and you will have the opportunity to walk on this wonder of the world. Continue to Xian where you will see one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century; the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. The tour concludes in Chengdu with a visit to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where you will be able to see these rare and amazing animals up close.
In Pursuit of Pandas will allow you to enjoy some of the most exciting experiences China has to offer.
DAY 1: AUSTRALIA TO BEIJINGFly to Beijing for a three night stay.
DAY 2: BEIJINGStroll through Tiananmen Square, passing Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum to the treasure-filled Forbidden City. Rectangular in shape, surrounded by a 6m-deep moat and a 10m-high wall, it is the world’s largest palace complex. Next visit the unique 15th-century Temple of Heaven, one of the most perfect examples of Ming architecture with four gates, one at each of the four points of a compass. The groups of locals that gather here to sing folk songs, practice tai chi and sword dancing, play chess or gossip will be the highlight of your visit. This evening sample the local delicacy, Peking Duck.
DAY 3: BEIJINGIt is often quoted in Beijing that ‘you have not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall’. Construction began on the Wall over 2,000 years ago. Stretching from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west, it is more than 5,000km long. Walk along the wall, admiring the panoramic views and reflect on the immensity of the material and labour required for its construction. Later you will explore the exquisite landscaped beauty of the Summer Palace, once a royal garden and summer retreat for the members of the Emperor’s family and their courtesans. This evening you will enjoy an exciting acrobatics performance.
DAY 4: BEIJING TO XIANFly to Xian for an overnight stay. This afternoon you will visit the ancient City Wall, one of the best preserved in China. In the evening feast on a traditional Shui Jiao Dumpling banquet followed by a performance of music and dance dating back to the Tang Dynasty.
DAY 5: XIAN TO CHENGDUThis morning visit one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Thousands of workers spent more than a decade creating the life-sized, terracotta army. It was designed to defend Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb and ensure that he would have a standing army to protect him in the afterlife. Later, fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, for a three night stay.
DAY 6: CHENGDU – LESHANTravel to Leshan to visit the Grand Buddha, the world’s largest stone-carved Buddhist statue. The Buddha is over 71m tall and is wide enough for more than 100 people to sit between its feet. Take a short boat trip to view the statue from the river. On your return to Chengdu visit the ancient town of Huanglongxi, known for its beautiful scenery and traditional culture. This evening enjoy delicious Sichuan cuisine.
DAY 7: CHENGDUVisit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see these famous animals in an environment similar to their natural habitat. The base includes a protected wilderness and breeding area, as well as a museum and research facility. Later, stroll along the ancient Jinli Street, where you will find yourself surrounded by old-world stores selling handicrafts and local snacks.
DAY 8: DEPART CHENGDUThis morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Chengdu airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 9: ARRIVE AUSTRALIAArrive home today.
Important note:CZ – Above prices include airline fuel surcharge of $305 and tipping of $50 (correct as at Sep 2013 and subject to change). Please note the tipping amount of USD45(AUD50) is payable on arrival in China.
CX – Above prices include airline fuel surcharge of $344 and tipping of $50 (correct as at Nov 2013 and subject to change). Please note the tipping amount of USD45(AUD50) is payable on arrival in China.
SQ – Above prices include airline fuel surcharge of $575 and tipping of $50 (correct as at Sep 2013 and subject to change). Please note the tipping amount of USD45(AUD50) is payable on arrival in China.
Abbreviations: CZ - China Southern Airlines; CX - Cathay Pacific Airways, SQ - Singapore Airways
CHINA (Winter Touring)