The Hidden Villages
17 day private package (Price on Enquiry)
Available Upon Request Custom days with Hong Kong extension
Discover a more traditional China of old with stunning scenery and friendly locals. Our Hidden Villages tour takes you on a journey of discovery through regions of China untouched by the modern economic growth and rarely visited by other tour companies.
Temple of Heaven; Tiananmen Square; Forbidden City; Summer Palace; The Great Wall; Xian Ancient City Wall; Terracotta Warriors; Big Wild Goose Pagoda; Guizhou; Anshun/Kaili; Langde; Zhaoxing; Sanjiang;… and much more!
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London Heathrow to Beijing
Travel from London Heathrow airport for scheduled flight direct* to Beijing.
* We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.
*Emperor Tours will always book direct flights – however during peak periods (eg. Christmas, Easter and summer holidays) airlines charge considerably more, so a small supplement may apply. Alternatively we will book indirect flights.
Arrive at Beijing Airport and transfer to hotel in city centre. Rest of day free to relax. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional Chinese restaurant.
Today we begin the tour with a visit to the magnificent Forbidden City - which served as imperial palaces for 24 emperors since 15th century. This massive palace compound never fails to impress.
In the afternoon the tour continues to the enchanting Summer Palace - the largest imperial garden in China, where late Qing emperors and empresses stayed between May and October seeking escape from the pollution inside the city. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake.
Today we travel outside the city to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Stretching over 4,500 miles and visible from space, over 1 million Chinese lost their lives in the construction of this amazing engineering marvel. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the wall whilst having the time to explore and photograph one of the wonders of the world.
The evening is time to relax with a traditional Peking Duck Banquet!
Beijing to Xian
Morning transfer to airport for flight to Xian. Upon arrival, your tour begins with yet another highlight of the entire journey – the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built over 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang. Over 7,000 life-sized figures unearthed since 1974, this is truly one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.
In the afternoon visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, also known as the best-preserved Buddhist temple complex, the Temple was initially built in 589, during the Sui Dynasty (581-618).
Tonight enjoy a spectacular Tang Dynasty dinner show.
Xian to Guizhou
After breakfast we will visit the Ancient City Walls, originally built during the Tang Dynasty, it is the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. Later transfer to airport for flight to Guiyang – capital city of Guizhou Province. Upon arrival at Guiyang Airport you are met by our English speaking tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Guiyang to Anshun
Today's program highlights the remaining culture of the Old Han (Chinese) ethnic group.
We will drive for 1.5 hours to reach Tianlong Village. The ancestors of these villagers migrated from Jiangxi Province to Guizhou Province during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Women here are still dressed in traditional Ming dynasty costumes, and houses remain faithful to the Ming architectural styles. We will watch a local opera performance called 'Ground Opera', famed for the performers' symbolic masks.
Afterwards another village visit will be arranged to a place called Stone Village, home to the ethnic Buyi minority. Overnight in 3* Guesthouse.
Anshu / Kaili
This morning we'll visit the Huangguoshu Waterfall and Tianxingqiao Scenic spot, then a drive for 2 hours to the village of Kaili. The Huangguoshu Waterfall, the largest waterfall in Asia, is 74 metres high and 81 metres wide. Hidden behind the waterfall is a 134-metre long Water-Curtain Cave with fantastic stalactites. Situated in Zhengning County, it is located in a lime-stone area 1500 metres above sea level. The region has long been known for its scenic beauty of crisscrossing streams and alternating peaks and gorges.
Transfer to Kaili. Overnight in hotel.
This morning we visit Qingman, a quiet village inhabited by the Folded & Silk Felt Miao to learn about their culture.
After lunch we visit Matang Gejia Village. The Gejia people are classified as a subgroup of the Miao, but have made numerous attempts to be reclassified as an independent ethnic group, so far unsuccessfully. Possibly, we can see local people making Batik – the decorating of cloth using wax and dye. Overnight in hotel.
Kaili to Langde to Jidao-Rongjiang
A short drive along the Bala River will take us to the village of Langde, a real gem of a village with traditional wooden houses and waterwheels.
After lunch we will continue our journey to Datang, a Miao village with an aquatic granary and the Miao women's 'Mini skirt'. Visit Paika Village, and learn more about the 'Lusheng' – the Miao people's most important musical instrument. Overnight in Hotel.
Rongjiang to Congjiang to Zhaoxing
On the road to Zhaoxing we will visit Basha, a small Miao village with very little signs of modern influence. The local people rarely venture out of the village except for selling firewood and shopping for daily necessities in markets. Both the men and women can be seen in traditional costumes, wearing their hair long.
We pass another village called Yintan, a Dong village built on the top of the mountain with a beautiful landscape. The Dong can be recognized by their turbans (for men), and pleated skirts (for women). They are also best known for their architecture, particularly their drum towers, and wind and rain bridges (Feng Yuqiao), which are pavilions for sheltering people during bad weather.
2 more hours drive will take us to Zhaoxing, one of the largest Dong villages in the region, with more than 700 households and a population of 4000. We will visit the drum tower in Gaozeng and the roofed bridge in Longtu. Overnight in Hotel.
Zhaoxing to Sanjiang
From Zhaoxing we will continue our journey from Guizhou Province south into Guangxi Province. We will visit Sanwang Temple, which was built for the three sons of Yelang Emperor of the ancient Yelang Kingdom.
Sanjiang in Guangxi province is a village inhabited by the South Dong, one of the two subgroups of the Dong ethnic minority. A short drive away from Sanjiang will take us to Chenyang, a quaint little village with one of the largest Wind and Rain Bridge (Fengyuqiaos) in the region. Here we will explore the villages on foot, visiting lively markets and hillside farms.
Sanjiang to Longsheng-Guilin
Today will transfer to Longsheng. On arrival you will enjoy the amazing scenery and visit the stunning "Dragon’s Backbone" Rice Terraces.
Late afternoon transfer to Guilin and your hotel. (Time permitting, we will arrange for you to see the cormorant fishing after dinner).
Guilin to Shanghai
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Guilin. Later in the afternoon you will visit the Reed Flute Cave which got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside it, from which people make flutes.
This evening transfer to airport for flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, be met and transfer to hotel.
Start your tour this morning by visiting the Jade Buddha Temple, originally built in 1882 to keep two jade Buddha statues which had been brought from Burma by a monk named Huigen. Later we visit the Old Town and the enchanting Yuyuan Garden. Finally today we will take you for a leisurely walk on the Bund– Shanghai’s famous waterfront, where you will be treated with the breathtaking skyline on both sides of Huangpu river.
This evening enjoy the famous Shanghai Acrobatic show.
A whole day free to do some last minute shopping and exploring.
Shanghai to London Heathrow
Morning transfer to airport for flight Home. End of itinerary.
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