Travel to Avatarberget

On this tour of China, we begin by visiting the venerable capital Beijing with all its famous buildings and memorials. The beautiful scenery at Wulingyuan and Zhangjiajie has long been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spend several days in this area and get to experience many beautiful natural scenery. The mountains and forests are really eye-catching and we are constantly enjoying new eye-catchers. A hike in Asia’s longest underground cave is also on the agenda. Off the east coast are small canal towns. We visit the small village Zhujiajiao and have a nice rowing boat trip in the canal system. The fashionable mega-city of Shanghai with its bustling shopping streets and giant skyscrapers is now a world economic center. The visit here may put an effective end to our tour of the famous and the lesser known China!

Travel to Avatarberget 2

Day 1: Travel to China
Flight to Beijing, China’s capital. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Beijing
We arrive in Beijing in the morning. Our guide meets at the airport and we start by going into the city center, Tiananmen Square. In this square, which is one of the largest in the world, many spectacular events have taken place. We walk around and feel the wings of history whizzing by, while our guide tells us the history of the square. The square is flanked by magnificent buildings. To the north is the Gate of Heavenly Peace which is the entrance to the Forbidden City, to the south is Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and Qianmen Gate, on the east and west sides we see the National Museum of China and the Great Hall of the People, which is the seat of China’s National Assembly. We have our first Chinese lunch and then head to our hotel for check-in. After a few hours of rest and time on our own, we go to a restaurant where we are served a welcome dinner. Overnight in Beijing. (Lunch and dinner)

Day 3: Beijing
Today it will be a full day excursion in Beijing’s surroundings. First we go north a few miles and soon we see the mighty Great Wall of China winding along the mountainside. This large structure was started over two thousand years ago as a protection against barbarian invasions from the north. The wall did not help, however, because Genghis Khan and his Mongols conquered Beijing and China in the 13th century! After this interlude, new emperors during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) succeeded in driving out the Mongols and now an even larger and more fortified wall was rebuilt. It is this wall that we see today. On the way we will also visit a shop and factory where you can see the typical craft cloisonné. These are beautiful enamel works that have been made here for many hundreds of years. After lunch we continue to Minggravarna, the scenic area where 13 of the 16 emperors during the Ming Dynasty are buried. Overnight in Beijing. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 4: Beijing – Zhangjiajie
Today we will go to the Forbidden City after breakfast. This magnificent area was the seat of the Chinese emperor for five hundred years, from 1420 to 1911. The third Ming emperor began construction of the new imperial palace around 1406. During this time, China had just dropped the yoke from the Mongols and as a precautionary measure moved the capital south to Nanjing. But the third emperor, Yongle, now dared to move back to Beijing. In 1420 he settled in the completed city. The name Forbidden City comes from the fact that it was absolutely forbidden for ordinary people to ever enter the palace area. After the tour, we head to the old areas of Beijing. In low gray one-storey houses, the population lived far from the splendor of the imperial palace. Some of these old houses and alleys, called hutongs, still exist. We get to walk around here and also have a simple but good lunch at home in a regular family. In the evening we fly to Zhangjiajie. Overnight in Zhangjiajie. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 5: Zhangjiajie
Hunan Province is located in southern China, where Mao Zedong, among others, was born. The province is otherwise best known for its beautiful nature and its mighty rock formations. Around Zhangjiajie there are fantastic forests with lots of different tree species, including redwood and gingko. And in the middle of these forest areas, high pointed mountain peaks rise like pinnacles and spiers in a fantasy castle. Those who have seen ‘Stenskogen’ in Kunming or ‘Sockertoppsbergen’ around Guilin can compare the experiences. Everyone is usually amazed at these strange karst or sandstone formations. We visit Huangshizhai, translated ‘The Yellow Stone Village’, with several good vantage points at an altitude of about a thousand meters, from where you can see almost half of all these mountain peaks in the Zhangjiajie area. In the afternoon we also come to the Golden Whip Valley. This area is famous for its clean water, its lush mountains, steep cliffs and tranquil, peaceful valleys. Overnight in Zhangjiajie. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 6: Zhangjiajie
Today we will take a closer look at the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. One of the more than 3,000 mountain peaks is called the ‘Southern Sky Column’. This over a thousand meter high, solitary mountain peak has become world famous since a Hollywood photographer filmed it in 2008. Director James Cameron saw these images and was so inspired that he included the image of this peak in his spectacular 3D fantasy film Avatar which premiered in 2009. Since then the local authorities in Zhangjiajie have renamed the mountain ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’ !! We travel around the area and enjoy the scenery. With the help of a strange elevator, Bailong Elevator, we travel over 300 meters up a vertical mountainside and can meanwhile visit large parts of this ‘Scenic Area’. The lift ended up in the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the tallest and fastest outdoor lift in the world’. Once at the top we have a glorious view of ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’. In the afternoon we also visit the Tianzi peak in the northern part of the reserve. From here we look out over the huge stone forest that stands beautifully against the blue hills in the distance. These rock formations are even older than those we saw earlier at Zhangjiajie. Overnight in Zhangjiajie. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 7: Zhangjiajie – Shanghai
We continue our journey of discovery in the area. Today we will visit the cave of the yellow dragon. This cave is Asia’s longest, with a multitude of huge underground chambers, fantastic cave formations with stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is today very well explored, but for those of us who come here for the first time, each new chamber is a little adventure to marvel at. The locals have long known about the existence of the cave, but they did not visit it, as it was considered a haunt for both spirits and the Yellow Dragon. It was not until 1982 that speleologists, cave researchers, began to investigate this unusually large underground formation in more detail. When we walk around the cave, it is necessary to have real shoes and good flashlights. Late in the afternoon we leave this scenic area and fly to Shanghai, China’s largest city and center of trade and economy. Overnight in Shanghai. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: Shanghai
After breakfast we throw ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the world city. What could be better than starting with a panoramic view of Shanghai? We head to Pudong and the giant skyscraper Jinmao Tower. The house was completed in 1999 and was then among the tallest in the world with its 420 meters above sea level. Today, there are more scrapers even in Shanghai that are higher, but from Jinmao we still get a glorious view of the Huangpu River, the impressive shoreline The Bund with its old bank palaces and of course the forest of skyscrapers as far as the eye can reach. After this ‘top experience’, we can walk around for a while on the promenade The Bund to eventually reach the bustle of business on Nanjing Street, the most important business street in China. Many will want to spend a good time here. After lunch we must also see the old Shanghai. The classic Chinese garden Yu Yuan with its small ponds, ornate dragons and spectacular rock formations is beautiful to wander through. In the evening we will be spectators to the most impressive and magnificent acrobatic show that China has to offer. Breathtaking experiences are promised! Overnight in Shanghai. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 9. Shanghai – Zhujiajiao – Shanghai
Today there will be a day trip in the surroundings. The lowlands around Shanghai are filled with small beautiful cities with extensive canal systems. One of these is Zhujiajiao, also known as ‘Shanghai Venice’. In this over 1,700 year old and very well preserved city, we will spend a few hours. We walk around the small streets with beautiful well-built arch bridges over the canals and of course do a tour with a rowing boat in the canal system. Here you feel really moved far back in time! Overnight in Shanghai. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 10: Shanghai – Beijing
In the morning we fly back to Beijing. After arrival we return to the center, have lunch and then visit the Temple of Heaven. In this large area of ​​southern Beijing there are several impressive buildings, most notably the ‘Hall of Worship of Good Harvests’. Here the emperor went in the spring to pray and sacrifice to appease the heavens to make the earth fertile in the coming year. In the afternoon, there is time left to explore Beijing’s fantastic shopping offerings. Overnight in Beijing. (Breakfast)

Day 11: Beijing
All day free at your own disposal. Feel free to ask the guide about suitable excursion destinations and good shopping places. In the evening we enjoy a dinner where Peking duck is one of the dishes. Overnight in Beijing. (Breakfast and dinner)

Day 12: Return from Beijing
After this beautiful tour of China, it’s time to fly back to the boarding place. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight. (Breakfast)

Travel to Avatarberget