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Get to the heart of China with this unique highlights edit for first-time visitors. From the poetic karst peaks of Guilin to the glass and steel towers of cosmopolitan Shanghai, you’ll marvel at the many faces of contemporary China on this multisensory adventure.
Discover the true essence of China on this classic, relaxing journey specially designed for your first visit to this magnificent country. Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai represent the known China, from imperial palaces to towering skyscrapers, but the area surrounding the famed city of Guilin in southern China offers an intimate look into the less-developed parts of China. The stunning natural landscapes, rice terraces and ethnic minority villages of Guilin and the nearby town of Yangshuo have inspired generations of Chinese poets and painters. Experience the illustrious history and inspiring landscapes of China on this journey to China’s classic destinations.
Begin your Beijing adventure in style as WildChina arranges private access to the concept store and gallery of Ma Ke’s fashion house, Wuyong. • Gaze across Tiananmen Square • Enter the Forbidden City, where emperors ruled for five hundred years • Hike up jingshan and take in a commanding view over the Forbidden City • Uncover a treasure trove of Qing Dynasty curios in the Temple Hotel • Get lost in Beijing’s hutongs • Wander through the popular imperial neighborhoods around Houhai Lake and try some of Beijing’s unusual local snacks • Savor a Peking duck dinner in one of Beijing’s oldest kaoya restaurants.
Hike along the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and gaze in awe at Ming-era watchtowers and fortresses snaking across verdant hills • Pop a bottle of champagne on top of a watchtower • Delve into the heart of Beijing’s contemporary art scene at the 798 or Caochangdi Art District. • Start the day practicing taiji (tai chi) with a master in the Temple of Heaven. • Pick up unique souvenirs on Luilichang market street, known for its traditional Chinese stone dwellings housing, traditional craftwork, artistry, and antiques.
Gaze into the heart of Xi’an as you set out along the city’s ancient city wall • View the proudly unflinching Terracotta Warriors • Learn about Xi’an’s 1,300 year old Muslim community by visiting the Great Mosque • Experience Xi’an with more than just your eyes by sampling some of Xi’an’s famous dumplings • Admire the countless terracotta figurines and burial objects of the Hanyang Tombs, the resting spot of a Han Dynasty emperor, from atop a glass walkway.
Spend the day hiking at your own pace through minority villages along the verdant, softly undulating Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces • Spend the evening in Guilin at your leisure.
Walk through the ancient streets of Daxu, a town with a history dating back 2,000 years • Stop by a local’s home and learn the art of making soymilk with nothing more than a stone wheel • Continue along country roads to the Li River, considered by many to be the most beautiful river in China • Embark on a bamboo raft cruise along the river • Enjoy the spectacle of Impression Liusanjie, choreographed by the mastermind behind the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, in a natural amphitheater.
Bike or hike through Yangshuo’s enchanting scenery, with karst mountains and mist swirling around you • Option 1: Hike or bike along old country roads to the bucolic villages of Aishan & Moon Hill • Option 2: learn how to cook like a local in a cooking lesson • Option 3: partake in an ink painting lesson • Option 4: learn the intricacies of Chinese characters in a calligraphy lesson • Option 5: learn the art of taichi from a taichi master.
Experience a snapshot of local life by walking around Fuxing Park, a meeting spot for fitness dancers and taichi enthusiasts • Travel back to Shanghai’s stylish 1930s as you stroll through the tree-lined avenues of the French Concession • Explore modern art studios in the trendy, bohemian area of Tianzifang • Visit the Shanghai Museum, a veritable treasure trove of Chinese artifacts • Enjoy VIP seating at an ERA Acrobatics Performance that fuses Chinese acrobatics with modern technology.
Option 1: Explore the old watertown of Tongli, known as the ‘Venice of the East’ for the canals that wind their way between the town’s Ming and Qing era buildings • Option 2: visit the tea plantations, gardens, and temples of elegant Hangzhou • Option 3: spend the day in the verdant and calming classical gardens of Suzhou
An artsy, modern boutique hotel featuring minimalist designs, The Opposite House offers luxury amenities amid Beijing’s happening Sanlitun area.
The Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xi’an is a modern escape inside the city walls, boasting luxurious art deco flair and landscaped gardens.
Situated amidst Longsheng’s undulating rice terraces, this local boutique hotel was built in the traditional Chinese way, using only pegs and grooves.
Housed in a former sugar mill, the Yangshuo Sugar House exudes luxury and has breathtaking views of karst mountains and winding rivers.
The Peninsula has a strong art deco influence reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai with luxurious rooms, restaurants and a rooftop bar overlooking the Bund.