Shanghai – Beijing
This affordable premium tour takes in China’s two most popular destinations and the world’s fastest high speed train in between. Highlights include the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
- Group size limited to 20.
- Top guides handpicked by the owners of Laurus Travel.
- No forced shopping stops.
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers included.
- Free in-room Wi-Fi in all hotels.
- Quality meals in non-tourist restaurants.
- Unlimited supply of bottled water during group activities.
- Inter-city travel by bullet train
- Great Wall visit at Mutianyu including cable car.
- Half-day Jewish heritage tour in Shanghai.
- Peking Opera show in Beijing.
Meal Code: B = breakfast / L = Chinese / D = dinner
Scroll down for dates, prices and hotel list.
Day 1/Mon: Departing Home City
The journey begins with your transpacific flight departing from a city of your choice. You’ll lose a day upon crossing the International Date Line.
Day 2/Tue: Arrival in Shanghai
Welcome to Shanghai! Transfer to our hotel upon arrival. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.
Day 3/Wed: Shanghai (B/L/D)
With a population of 24 million (2015), Shanghai is China’s biggest city. Rapid economic growth in the past 30 years has again turned Shanghai into a leading global city with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport. Today’s visitors to Shanghai are delighted by its futuristic skyline that blends so well with its treasured historical landmarks.
Following tour orientation we visit Jade Buddha Temple located in an old neighbourhood, the famous waterfront promenade known as the Bund, and the Yu Garden in the old town centre. We wrap up the day with a drive through the glitzy financial district of Lujiazui on the opposite side of the Bund across Huangpu River.
Day 4/Thu: Shanghai (B)
Free day to explore on your own. We recommend Shanghai Museum and the Urban Planning Exhibition Center nearby. Shanghai Museum, a great place to explore on your own (audio guide available for a fee), is frequently cited by visitors as one of the best of its kind in China with a treasure trove collected from around the country.
Day 5/Fri: Shanghai – Beijing (B)
After breakfast we ride’s the world’s fastest train (350km/h) to Beijing.
Capital of China, Beijing is a world-class cultural and educational centre with a population of 21 million (2013), ranking it China’s second largest city behind Shanghai. Beijing is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates, treasures that make it the most popular tourist city in China by the number of visitors it receives every year.
Beijing was already a strategically important city in northern China for centuries when Kublai Khan (1215-1294) of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) moved his capital here from Karakorum in Mongolia. With the collapse of the vast Mongol empire in 1368, Beijing, known as Da Du or Grand Capital at the time, lost its status as the country’s capital. But the city regained its capital status in 1420 when the imperial court of the successive Ming Dynasty relocated to Beijing from Nanjing. Beijing continued to serve as China’s capital after Manchu tribes dethroned the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 and established the Great Qing Empire (Qing Dynasty), which lasted till 1912.
Free afternoon. Optional sightseeing in Lama Temple may be available upon request. Lama Temple, commonly known as Yonghe Temple among locals, was built in 1694 as residence of Prince Yong (Yinzhen), one of the sons of Emperor Kangxi. After Prince Yong ascended the throne as Emperor Yongzheng in 1722, half of his former residence was turned into a lamasery – a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism.
Day 6/Sat: Beijing (B/L/D)
We begin today with a visit to the Forbidden City. Officially known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties lived and carried out their administration. Construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years (1406-1420) to complete. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 hectares or 180 acres. The Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1912 but the royal family was allowed to continue to live in the Forbidden City till 1924, when the last emperor, Pu Yi, was driven out of the imperial palace. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, this is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Next up is Tian’anmen Square. Located in the heart of Beijing, the square measures 880 metres from north to south and 500 meters from east to west. Said to be the largest public plaza in the world, Tian’anmen Square has the capacity to hold one million people. The imposing Tian’anmen Tower sits at the north end of the square while the Monument to the People’s Heroes dominates the centre. The square is flanked by The Great Hall of the People (west) and the National Museum (east). Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and Qianmen (Front Gate) are located in the south of the square. One of the top 16 tourist attractions in Beijing, Tian’anmen Square is also the witness of the Chinese people’s great struggles for democracy and personal freedom since 1919.
Afternoon sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in southeastern Beijing the Temple of Heaven is China’s largest extant sacrificial temple where, during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the emperors conducted the elaborate and most exalted sacrifices addressed to “the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.” Construction of the temple started in 1406, during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle, and took 14 years to complete. The temple was expanded under the Qing emperors Qianlong (1736-1796) and Jiaqing (1796-1820). Occupying 2.73 square kilometres (roughly 1,700 by 1,600 metres), the area of the Temple of Heaven is more than twice that of the Forbidden City.
The famous Hongqiao Pearl Market, the largest pearl market in the world, is right across the street from the Temple of Heaven. Recommended by numerous guidebooks for freshwater pearls, Hongqiao teems with domestic and international shoppers. If you are interested, please ask the guide to drop you off there. However, you’ll need to get back to the hotel by taxi, which costs about 50 yuan or US$8.
Today we enjoy a delicious dinner at a popular Peking Roast Duck restaurant. Peking Roast Duck is a famous Beijing dish prized for the thin and crispy skin with authentic versions serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners. The meat is wrapped in a thin layer of pancake (Chinese tortilla) together with shredded scallion, cucumber, and a sweet and salty sauce made of wheat flour. Condiments may also include pickled garlic and white sugar.
Day 7/Sun: Beijing (B/L)
After an early breakfast we embark on a full-day excursion to the legendary Great Wall at Mutianyu, 75km northeast of the city.
Zigzagging over 6,000 kilometres from east to west along undulating mountains, the Great Wall was built to hold off tribal invaders from the north. As history shows, the Wall failed the Chinese rulers miserably, especially in the case of Kublai Khan whose cavalrymen swept across China from the Mongolian steppe, thus the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
Construction of the earliest sections of the Wall started in the 7th century B.C. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 and took 200 years to complete. The wall we see today in Beijing is almost exactly the result of this effort.
We conclude the day with a stop at a hutong neighbourhood. Hutong refers to an ancient alleyway with siheyuan or ”4-sided courtyard house” on both sides. The name hutong dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 A.D.). According to some experts, the word originated from the Mongolian language, in which it is pronounced as hottog and means “well.” In ancient times, people tended to gather and live around wells. So the original meaning of hutong should be “a place where people live around”.
Day 8/Mon: Beijing (B/L)
This morning we visit Summer Palace, a well preserved UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The imperial resort was first named Garden of Clear Ripples, which was burnt down by the allied forces of Great Britain and France in 1860 at the end of the Second Opium War (referred to as Arrow War by the British). Reconstruction started 25 years later and was completed in 1895 when the name was changed to Yi He Yuan (Garden of Good Health and Harmony). The design gives prominence to Longevity Hill, and Kunming Lake south of the hill. The sprawling complex covers an area of 290 hectares and the buildings inside consist of over 3,000 bays.
After lunch the afternoon is set free for you to shop and explore on your own.
Day 9/Tue: Beijing – Home City (B)
Free morning. Transfer to airport to board by taxi on your own for your return flight. Arrive home the same day.
Contact us for printer-friendly PDF file
|Shanghai||3||Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou or similar||luxury|
|Beijing||4||Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng or similar||luxury|
2019 Dates and Prices
|Oct 14||Oct 22||$1915/$1440||$825/$620|
|Oct 21||Oct 29||$1915/$1440||$825/$620|
|Oct 28||Nov 05||$1915/$1440||$825/$620|
|Nov 11||Nov 19||$1915/$1440||$825/$620|
|2020 Dates and Prices|
|Mar 16||Mar 24||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Mar 23||Mar 31||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Mar 30||Apr 07||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Apr 06||Apr 14||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Apr 23 (Thur)||May 01 (Fri)||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Apr 30 (Thur)||May 08 (Fri)||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|May 04||May 12||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|May 07 (Thur)||May 15 (Fri)||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|May 11||May 19||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|June 29||July 07||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|please contact us for more summer departures|
|Aug 31||Sep 08||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Sep 03 (Thur)||Sep 11 (Fri)||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Sep 07||Sep 15||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Sep 14||Sep 22||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Oct 05||Oct 13||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
|Oct 19||Oct 27||$1980/$1490||$890/$670|
* Land Only price does not include international air.
|What the tour price includes:
||What the tour price excludes:
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