My Mum and I wanted to go on a unique experience as a celebration for my graduation. My Mum has been to plenty of countries and her only requirement was that she had never been there before (easier said than done!). I just wanted to have a holiday that I wouldn’t forget for a while!
After a bit of research on the internet I found a website which specialised in China tours to all different reaches of the country – Emperor Tours. Both my Mum and I are used to traveling so having a tour which took us to different cities really appealed as we would be able to cover as much ground as possible in our time in the country. After going through the options with Mum we eventually decided on the ‘Historical Orient’ tour.
Mum could only get a week and a bit off of work so the 12 day tour seemed perfect, especially as it would take us to Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai and Suzhou! I like my history and Mum was looking for new experiences so we both felt that this China Tour was perfect!
We flew direct from London Heathrow to Beijing, which was quite a long flight! It took around 10 hours but this was less than if we had had to change at an airport along the way. Luckily we were able to sleep on the plane so it wasn’t too bad when we were picked up shortly from our hotel to be brought to the Temple of Heaven. Our luck continued and we were also able to visit the Olympic Village, Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube as well! By this point the traveling had caught up to us and after a welcome dinner in a traditional Chinese restaurant we both collapsed into bed.
The next day we had an early start and after a quick breakfast at the hotel we went on to Tiananmen Square, which was a lot bigger than I had pictured! We then walked through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to the Forbidden City. After lunch our tour continued to the beautiful Summer Palace where we then had a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake. We then explored the area around our hotel for a bit and relaxed again by having dinner in this lovely little restaurant nearby.
Day 4 marked the first day we had ventured outside the city as we visited the Great Wall, we climbed up as high as we could manage before taking in the scenery around us. I took so many photos! After lunch we then went to the Ming Tombs before our day was completed with a traditional Peking duck banquet which left us both stuffed!
For our last morning in Beijing we were taken on a rickshaw tour around old Beijing’s Hutong (alleyways) area before we were welcomed into the home of a very nice family. We both caught a quick nap on the flight to Xian before getting a taxi to the 5* Grand Noble Hotel. However, our day wasn’t over yet! We visited some of the ancient walls that surround the city and visited the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was almost otherworldly. As if our day couldn’t get even more jam packed we then sat down and enjoyed a spectacular Tang Dynasty dinner show.
The next day was the one that I was enjoying the most on our China tour, we were going to see the Terracotta warriors! I nearly maxed out my camera with all my photos, and it was just as interesting as I thought it would be! We also got an opportunity to see the landmark of Xian, the Bell Tower.
It was an early flight the next day to Guilin which really lives up to its title as one of the most picturesque cities in China! The beauty of the area was only improved by the complimentary foot massage we received after dinner, and after 7 solid days on our China tour our feet definitely needed it!
The next couple of days were somewhat a daze full of wonderful sites and experiences as we moved onto Shanghai. There were beautiful scenery and I felt like I really got a feel of the true China. As you can imagine, when we went to get our plane home on the last day we were both exhausted and sad to say goodbye. I know that I will definitely visit this diverse country again in the future!