Ancient Capitals by Rail 18 days

Ancient Capitals by Rail 18 days

China is one of the oldest civilisations on the planet and has grown and evolved through thousands of years of dynastic rule. The capitals of these ancient dynasties have much to explore, with well-preserved reminders to bring their remarkable history to life.

Hangzhou • Nanjing • Kaifeng • Anyang • Dengfeng • Luoyang • Xian • Yanan • Beijing
  • Itinerary and Map
    Ancient Capitals by Rail 18 days

    Day 1 – Arrive Hangzhou
    Arrive Shanghai airport and transfer directly from the airport to Hangzhou by road. Stay two nights at the West Lake Golden Plaza Hotel.
    Day 2 – Hangzhou
    A capital of China during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279), prosperous Hangzhou maintains its imperial past in the areas surrounding serene West Lake. Take a boat ride across the lake, walk in the lakeside parks, see Linyin Temple and Song Dynasty Town. (B,L)
    Day 3 – Hangzhou – Nanjing
    Visit Six Harmony Pagoda and sample the tea at Dragon Well tea plantation. A visit to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum is sure to intrigue. Travel by high speed train to Nanjing (Train G1898 1635/1751). Stay two nights at the Mandarin Garden Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 4 – Nanjing
    Nanjing was the ancient capital of the Jin (265–420) and other dynasties, then became the modern capital of the Republic of China before and after World War II. Visit Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Confucius Temple and old south city. (B,L)
    Day 5 – Nanjing – Kaifeng
    Visit 600 year old Zhong Hua Gate in the impressive city wall. Travel by high speed train to Kaifeng (Train G1962 1632/1932). Stay two nights at the New Dynasty Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 6 – Kaifeng
    Kaifeng was an imperial seat of power between 907 and 1127 and is believed to have been the largest city in the world towards the end of that period. It was also a centre for fine arts – Chinese painting and calligraphy flourished here. Visit the Song Dynasty Quarter, Dragon Pavilion, Iron Pagoda and Shanxi-Shaanxi-Gansu Guildhall. (B,L)
    Day 7 – Kaifeng – Anyang
    Transfer to Anyang (220 kms, 2.5 hrs). Visit Yinxu, the ruins of the last capital of the Shang Dynasty (1046-1600 BC). Stay one night at the Huaqiang Novlion Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 8 – Anyang – Dengfeng
    See the evolution of the Chinese written word at the Museum of Chinese Characters. Visit Wenfeng Pagoda. Transfer to Dengfeng in the afternoon (270 kms. 3.5 hrs). (B,L)
    Day 9 – Dengfeng – Luoyang
    Visit the historic Shaolin Monastery, the cradle of Shaolin Kung Fu. Transfer to Luoyang (60 kms, 1.5 hrs), another major capital of ancient China, seating various dynasties from the Eastern Zhou (1045–770 BC) to the Later Tang (923–937). Visit the old city area upon arrival. Stay two nights at the Chanwu Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 10 – Louyang
    Evidence of Louyang’s imperial past can be explored today at the Longmen Grottos, White Horse Temple, Luoyang Museum and Emperor’s Carriage Museum. (B,L)
    Day 11 – Louyang – Xian
    Travel by high speed train to Xi’an (Train G2003 0927/1122). Walk along the top of the 500 year old City Wall, visit the Bell Tower and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Stay two nights at Grand New World Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 12 – Xian
    The amazing Terracotta Warriors and Horses are included today and the region’s past explored at the excellent Shaanxi History Museum. Visit the Mosque and Muslim Quarter and see a colourful Tang Dance Show this evening. (B,L,D)
    Day 13 – Xian – Yanan
    Remaining in Shaanxi Province, travel by road to Yan’an (310 Kms, 4 hrs). See thundering Hukou Waterfall on the Yellow River en route. Visit Yellow Emperor Mausoleum, the burial place of the first king of China, who, legend has it, was the ancestor of all Chinese. Generations of emperors made offerings to the Yellow Emperor, the earliest recorded at this location began in 442 BC. The surrounding scenic area contains cypress trees that are over a thousand years old.
    Stay one night at the Zaoyuan Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 14 – Yanan – Beijing
    Visit Yanan Revolutionary Museum, Yangjialing Revolutionary Site and former headquarters of the Communist Party at Jujube Orchard. Overnight train to Beijing (Train Z44 2240/0827). (B,L)
    Day 15 – Beijing
    Transfer to your hotel for breakfast. After time to refresh take a tour of Beijing visiting the Temple of Heaven, Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and Coal Hill. Beijing was the capital of various dynasties and governments, presiding over China for most of the last 1,000 years. Stay three nights at Novotel Peace Hotel. (B,L)
    Day 16 – Great Wall excursion
    Travel north from the city to The Great Wall of China. Walk along the top of the wall at the Mutianyu section. Visit the Ming Tombs and Sacred Way on the return to Beijing. (B,L)
    Day 17 – Beijing
    Enjoy the lakeside setting and graceful gardens of the Summer Palace, visit the ancient narrow lanes of the Hutongs and the Lama Temple. (B,L)
    Day 18 – Depart Beijing
    Time at leisure until transfer to the airport for the flight home. (B)

  • Make a Booking

    • Tour Departure dates and prices

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      Prices are per person, in Australian dollars. Please confirm prices when booking.

    • Price Includes:
      • 16 nights in quality, well located 4 star hotels.
      • 1 night overnight train Yanan-Beijing in soft class, two berth sleeper
      • High speed trains Hangzhou-Nanjing-Kaifeng, Luoyan-Xian, first class seats
      • 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 1 dinner, plus a glass of local beer, tea or bottled water with lunch and dinner
      • All transfers, sightseeing, entrance fees, evening entertainment

      Price Excludes:

      • Visa fees
      • Gratuities

      Tour prices and inclusions based on a minimum of 2 passengers. A surcharge will apply during the Luoyang Peony Festival (01Apr-05May) and may apply during other local holidays and festivals.


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    Ancient Capitals by Rail 18 days
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