This tour has now been completed.
This was an excellent compact tour with a broad range of activities.
It included visits to some famous sites – the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the Yu Gradens of Shanghai – with equally amazing sites not generally covered in tours to China.
The UNESCO protected ancient walled town of Pingyao is probably the best preserved glimpse of Ming and Qing society in China. With traffic excluded, original banks and craft shops provided wonderful impressions of a time gone by. Around this area, the well preserved Wang and Qiao family courtyard houses displayed the lives of the mandarin classes.
In Luoyang, the Longmen Buddhist grottoes were as impressive as the more famous at Dunhuang on the Silk Road. Luoyang is the peony capital of China, and April was blossom time for this often painted national flower. Nearby, at the world renowned Shaolin temple, the home of martial arts, we saw monks young and old performing their amazing feats and enjoyed the extensive park-like temple grounds.
In Shaanxi, the tour stopped off on the way to Xi’an at Huashan, Flower Mountain, with its five spectacular peaks in the form of an open flower. We took a breathtaking cable car ride up to near the North Peak, and enjoyed the precipitous ridges and peaks, either on the paths hewn from the rock, or from the comfort of the viewing sites near the cable car.
The tour included two shows: the Zen Buddhist monk show was performed on a spectacular natural outdoor stage with mountain backdrops; and the Tang dynasty show in Xi’an, with delicious dumpling dinner, presented the pinnacle of Chinese cultural elegance.
Other highlights included a Song Dynasty themed park in Kaifeng; a hovercraft ride on the Yellow River; smooth and efficient train rides at up to 240km/hr; visiting a family courtyard in Pingyao; eating lots of delicious food; visiting the Financial Centre, the tallest building in Shanghai, and walking across the glass tiles; and finished with the famous Humble Administrator’s Garden and silk factories in Suzhou, “the Venice of China”.
All this came with excellent accommodation, a minimum of travel, and the wonderful hospitality only NZCFS partners in China can deliver.
You can view the flyer of the Discover China Tour here: NZCFSDiscoverChinaApril2011
For more details on any New Zealand China Friendship Society Tours, please contact our Tours Convenor, Dave Bromwich, at Dave Bromwich at [email protected]