Hosted by one of Australia’s leading food writers Pat Nourse, Gourmet Traveller’s managing editor and restaurant critic
Be captivated by the magnitude of this 8th-century monument
Indulge in an authentic Peking Duck banquet served with all the traditional accompaniments in Beijing
These once-in-a-lifetime moments allow you to experience an unforgettable world of exclusive moments, incredible cultures and charming surprises
Personalise your holiday with a choice of included sightseeing options sure to leave you with lifelong memories
Choose from a variety of included dining options sure to tantalise the tastebuds of every guest
Be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, the remainder of the day is yours at leisure to explore or relax. Later this evening, get to know your APT Tour Director and fellow travellers during a Welcome Reception.
Stay: Three Nights: Regent Hotel Beijing or similar
Explore the gardens then board a traditionally styled boat for a private cruise along the shores of the Summer Palace.
Your sightseeing begins today with a tour of Tiananmen Square. Enlarged to four times its original size in the 1950s, Tiananmen is the world’s largest city square. After the tour, head to the World Heritage-listed Forbidden City, the largest surviving palace complex on earth. Located within the Imperial City of Beijing, the Forbidden City was home to 24 Chinese emperors between 1420 and 1924. Entrance to the city was once at the sole discretion of the emperor, but today visitors are able to access this extraordinarily preserved site. Later this afternoon we visit the World Heritage-listed Summer Palace, rebuilt for by Emperor Guangxu for Empress Dowager Cixi following the destruction of the Old Summer Palace by French and British troops in 1860. Here you will find a variety of palaces, gardens and pavilions, as well as man-made Kunming Lake. This evening indulge in an authentic Peking Duck banquet served with all the traditional accompaniments. The origins of this world-famous dish date back to the Imperial era, when a variation was created for the Emperor of China in the Yuan Dynasty. Traditionally known as Shaoyazi, there is even a mention of this dish in the ancient 1330 text, Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages.Daily :
Following dinner, you may choose to attend a fascinating Peking Opera show at Qianmen Liyuan Theatre, watch an exhilarating Kung Fu Show at the Red Theatre, or explore Silk Alley market.
Today, set out for the Great Wall of China, which winds its way from the Yellow Sea up into the Gobi Desert for more than 6,000 kilometres. Be captivated by the magnitude of this 8th-century monument as you wander along one of the best preserved stretches of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section. This section of the wall offers sprawling views and is densely dotted with imposing watchtowers as it once served as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. Enjoy lunch at a nearby local restaurant which offers views of the Great Wall. Return to the hotel for afternoon tea.Daily :
This morning, be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Yichang. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before exploring Yichang with a city tour. Later today, transfer to the smallest, most exclusive and luxurious ship cruising the Yangtze River, the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. Settle into your suite and acquaint yourself with your new floating hotel for the next four nights.
Stay: Four Nights: the luxurious Sanctuary Yangzi ExplorerDaily :
Cruise along the Yangtze River through China’s most picturesque area, the spectacular Three Gorges region. Pass through the longest of the Three Gorges, Xiling Gorge, cruising through Yellow Ox Gorge and under Huangling Temple, built around 770 BC - 476 BC and set amid groves of orange and pomelo trees. Later this afternoon, arrive at the Three Gorges Dam and take a tour of the world’s largest engineering project. After the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner.Daily :
Disembark your ship at Badong and transfer by ferry to a traditional Chinese sampan (longboat). As you cruise on this longboat, poled by a local Tujia boatman, you’re able to absorb the serenity of the river and take in the rich surrounding forest and towering rock formations. After lunch back on board, continue to the tranquil and spectacular Wu Gorge. Noted for its sheer peaks and towering cliff faces, the gorge is surrounded by the Wu Mountains and is the second of the Three Gorges system. Later, your ship will graciously glide between the majestic Chijia Mountain and Baiyan Mountain to enter Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most dramatic of the Three Gorges. Also considered the most beautiful, the two peaks of Qutang Gorge rise up alongside the Yangtze River some 1,300 metres. As you cruise past the south bank, look out for the ancient inscriptions that are engraved into the white chalk cliff faces. In the afternoon, there is the opportunity to attend a fun hands-on arts and crafts demonstration on board. This evening, you can indulge in a delicious dinner with your fellow guests and APT Tour Director.Daily :
Rise early to participate in a Tai Chi class atop the ship’s Observation Deck for a relaxing start to your day. Following breakfast, attend the morning lecture and calligraphy demonstration to learn the secrets of this ancient art form or perhaps relax and watch the scenery float by. After lunch, visit The 816 Underground Project, an intriguing, secret project, hidden in the mountains of Fuling. Know to be the world’s largest artificial military cave, The 816 Underground Project, initially began construction over 50 years ago and almost reached completion before the government suspended the project prior to producing any nuclear material. A visit to this Cold War relic offers an interesting insight into China’s military capabilities at the time. In the evening, enjoy the Emperor’s Farewell Dinner, a spectacular Chinese banquet feast.Daily :
This evening, choose your dining experience. Siam Garden serves the finest traditional Thai cuisine in Xi'an prepared by a Thai master chef. Alternatively, enjoy authentic Cantonese cuisine from traditional dim sums to freshly made noodles at Tian Xiang Ge. This dining institution also serves famous dishes from other regions of China, including local Xi'an specialities. Otherwise, soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Yi Cafe, presenting cuisine from China, South-East Asia and Europe.
Disembark your ship for the final time in Chongqing this morning. A strategic port since ancient times, Chongqing was established in the 11th century and has a dramatic history, having played a key role in World War II due to its mountainous landscape. Head to the Chongqing Zoo, where more than 200 varieties of wild and rare animals are on display, including the protected giant pandas. This beautiful creature is fast replacing the dragon as China’s emblem and has been kept in zoos since the early Han Dynasty - over 2,000 years ago. Later, visit a local restaurant for lunch before transferring to the airport for your flight to Xi’an.
Stay: Two Nights: Xi’an, Shangri-La HotelDaily :
This evening, enjoy a Tang Dynasty cultural performance and feast on a local dumpling dinner. Alternatively, you may like to embark on a tour of the Muslim Quarter, famous for its cultural atmosphere, filled with buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Following your tour of this lively district, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Today you will discover the attractions of Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China. The city was one of China’s Four Great Capitals and is the eastern point of the famous Silk Road. Visit the ancient city wall, one of the largest military defensive systems in the world, constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty. Afterwards, travel to a clay factory where impressive terracotta soldiers are still made today. Spend the afternoon at the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum.Daily :
In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal of Chinese cuisine at the Dragon Phoenix restaurant. Alternatively, you may wish to head to Lost Heaven, one of Shanghai's most awarded restaurants that specialises in the tribal cuisine of Yunnan province. Or for a western influenced seafood experience, Amanda Restaurant, has a menu that is sure to inspire and delight.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Shanghai. On arrival, ride the high-speed Maglev train and watch the onboard speedometer race towards an exhilarating 300 kilometres per hour. Check-in to your hotel overlooking the Huangpu River. Beyond the crisp cool veneer, Shanghai's architectural heritage is like nowhere else. From Jesuit cathedrals, Jewish synagogues and Buddhist temples to home-grown lòngtáng laneways and shíkùmén housing, lift the lid to a treasure chest of architectural style with time at leisure.
Stay: Three Nights: Shanghai, Fairmont Peace HotelDaily :
This morning, be joined by a local guide for an orientation tour through downtown Shanghai. Stop at the 88-story Jin Mao Tower and take an elevator to the viewing deck, where you will delight in panoramic views of the city. Standing at 420 meters high, this tower is one of the tallest buildings in China and renowned throughout the country. After lunch visit an authentic local silk factory for an insight into the history of Chinese silk manufacturing. This evening, after dinner at your leisure, enjoy premium seating at a thrilling acrobatic show.Daily :
Choose your activity this morning. Perhaps cruise the Huangpu River through the heart of the city, then explore Yu Garden and enjoy a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Regarded as one of the most lavish gardens in China, Yu Garden was built over a period of 20 years by Pan Yunduan who wanted to impress his father, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty. Following your tour, sit down to a dim sum lunch. Alternatively, you may prefer to take part in a hands-on cooking class, during which you will learn how to make Shanghai dumplings. Your final option is a full day excursion to Jinxi, an ancient water town. Although only an hour from bustling Shanghai, Jinxi is worlds away in pace and serenity. Wandering through the covered corridors along the Jinxi River, you’ll discover ancient bridges arching over the town’s many water alleys. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and time at leisure before returning to the city. This evening, savour a special Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast this morning, your incredible journey through China draws to a conclusion with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight home.Daily :
There's more to Chinese cuisine than you may think. Try authentic dishes, gourmet delights and familiar fare
Stay in some of China's finest hotels such as Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel
The trips combine unique itineraries with the expert knowledge of Gourmet Traveller hosts to create truly memorable travel experiences.