From the 16th – 24th August I had the pleasure of hosting 32 Ecruising.travel guests on our 9 Day Majestic China group tour from Beijing to Shanghai before seeing them, as well as a further 58 of our guests board the Majestic Princess for its inaugural journey from Shanghai to Sydney for the Australian season.
Our tour began with 4 nights in Beijing visiting iconic sites such as the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. We also included a day trip out to the Great Wall of China to one of the less visited sections of the wall, the Mutianyu section. Taking the cable car up to the wall, this less visited section allowed our guests to experience this amazing feat of construction without the crowds of more visited sections.
Whilst visiting these sites is a must for any person travelling to China, we were able to provide our guests with some more unique experiences along the way such as being able to visit a traditional area of Beijing (Hutong) which are disappearing due to the rapid rise of the Chinese middle class. Here we were able to have lunch at a local family home who were able to give us an insight into this more traditional way of living.
From Beijing the group caught a flight to Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors. Our stop in this ancient area included visits to the Hangyangling Museum (which houses some fascinating archaeological finds from the area), the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Xi’an City Wall which is an impressive fortification with it being so wide that they have a marathon on top of the wall annually!
Of course the main attraction of the area are the Terracotta Warriors and we were able to spend a morning viewing the 3 different pits open to the public including a special introduction to the Warriors by the Curator of the Terracotta Warriors Museum explaining the site and its history.
After our two days in Xi’an we caught another flight to Shanghai for our final 3 nights. Shanghai is a contrast to the more traditional cities of Beijing and Xi’an, whilst not possessing the ancient sites of either it does have a modern, almost futuristic feel. There is still plenty to do and see in Shanghai such as taking in a famous acrobatic show, visiting a silk market, venturing out to the water town of Zhujiajiao known for its canals or just taking a night time stroll along the famous Bund to view the magnificent light show that happens every night as the buildings and structures of the area are lit up in various colours.
For anyone considering a trip to China I would have no hesitation in recommending it, it is a country of contrasts with its ancient and traditional ways competing against the new and modern China.