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SHI CHENG - CHINA

Dive into ancient history – 10 Nights / 04 Dives!

Shanghai, Qiandao Lake, Huangshan, Hangzhou

Departing JNB July 2015 – Return from Shanghai on July 2015

 

  

 DIVER TOUR PRICE: USD1, 995 per person sharing

NON-DIVER TOUR PRICE:  USD1, 830 per person sharing

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:  $450

Rates Excludes International Air Fairs

All pricing is subject to change without prior notice. All prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations and are only confirmed upon receipt of full payment. Terms and Conditions apply.

Price Includes:

·         Domestic flight from Shanghai to Huangshan

·         High speed train from Hangzhou to Shanghai (1st class seat)

·         All hotel accommodation (on a twin share basis) as listed in the itinerary

·         All entrance fees as listed in the itinerary

·         Scheduled sightseeing by air-conditioned coach

·         Professional local English-speaking guide in each city

·         Meals and Entertainment as listed in the itinerary

·         Service Charge & Government Tax

·         04 Dives in the Qiandao Lake

·         Use of weights, cylinder and air

Price Excludes:

·         International air fares  (Johannesburg – Shanghai – Johannesburg)

·         Airport Taxes and fuel charges

·         Visa Fees

·         Gratuities, tips to guides and drivers

·         Personal expenses i.e. laundry, beverages and entertainment not shown in the itinerary

·         Single room supplement.  Hotels in China charge per room per night (sleeps 1 to 3 persons)

  • Diving Equipment besides cylinder and weights
  • Any items not mentioned on the all-inclusive package inclusions list.

TOUR ITINERARY:

Monday, 13July 2015 - OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO HONG KONG / DUBAI / SINGAPORE

Check-in at OR Tambo International Airport for flight departing for Shanghai via Hong Kong or Dubai or Singapore as per your flight arrangements.  Lunch, Dinner & light breakfast served on-board the aircraft.  Flying time is approximately 10½ hours. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 – SHANGHAI ARRIVAL

International arrival from Hong Kong / Dubai / Singapore as per your flight arrangements.  Upon arrival, your local Shanghai guide will meet you at the airport and take you to dinner, before transferring you to the hotel, the Shanghai Salvo Hotel.  Dinner is included in your package price.

Shanghai is not “pure China” like Beijing… it’s a far more in-your-face megalopolis with very different appeal.  The centre point of Shanghai is the Huangpu River… offset by a breath-taking skyline of old and new buildings, indeed a remarkable architectural treasure trove.  Laced in between and around this is an international city of immense sophistication, with enough tourist attractions to keep you transfixed for many days.  Shanghai is indeed the sum of all its fascination parts… and the parts you will experience are a mix of breath-taking, awesome, impressive, surprising and unforgettable!

Shanghai will seduce you with her immense physical, spiritual and hedonistic charms.

Salvo Hotel

   

Wednesday, 15 July 2015  – SHANGHAI TO HUANGSHAN

After breakfast, enjoy some free time at leisure in the morning.  In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Huangshan.  Breakfast and dinner is included in your package price.

Domestic Flight FM 9267 (14h20 – 15h25) from Shanghai to Huangshan

Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Tunxi, at the Tiandu International Hotel.  After checking in, take a stroll along Tunxi Old Street and visit Ink Stone Workshop before dinner.  Return to your hotel after dinner.

Tunxi Old Town:  This small town was first built in Song Dynasty 700 years ago and some buildings from that period still remain.  The Street is paved with maroon flagstones with a total length of 1,273 meters and flanked by shops featuring the local Ahui style of stone base, brick construction and tile roof.  An ancient Western-European architect once visited the old street and said that he had found “The Eastern Ancient Rome”.  On Tunxi Old Street, you will find the oldest stores in Huangshan City that have been around for centuries.

Thursday, 16 July 2015 – TUNXI TO HUANGSHAN

After breakfast, transfer to Huangshan Scenic Area, and take the Yungu cable car up the mountain.  Enjoy the great views on top of this famous mountain with names like:  Beginning-to-Believe Peak, the Lion Peak, Stone Monkey Gazing over the Sea of Clouds.  Enjoy the sun-set if the weather permits.  Enjoy your stay in one of the hotels on top of the mountain, the Beihai Hotel.  Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is included in your package price.

Huangshan:  Known as “the loveliest mountain of China”, Mt. Yellow is noted for its statuesque mountains and rich cultural heritage.  In 1990 the UNESCO put Mt. Yellow on its list of “World Natural and Cultural Heritages”.  The beauty of Mt. Yellow lies in its “four wonders” pine trees with shapely foliage, rocks in a hundred and one images, an ocean of clouds, and hot springs.

Beihai Hotel

   

Friday, 17 July 2015 – HUANGSHAN TO HONCUN AND BACK TO TUNXI

Try to get up early in the morning to catch the magical sunrise.  After breakfast, descend by foot from the western side of the mountain.  Along the way you will see Flying Rock, climb over the Brightness Apex, the second highest peak on Huangshan, and Turtle Peak.  Take the cable car down from Yungu Station.  Drive to Yixian County to visit the Hongcun Village before returning to your hotel in Tunxi.  Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is included in your package price.

Hongcun Village:  With a history of 800 years, Hongcun Village is the most representative local-style residences in southern Anhui Province.  It is listed as one of China’s top 10 charming villages and enjoys the reputation of ‘a village in the beautiful Chinese picture’.  For its unique feature, the village was added to the list of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.  Hongcun is also the shooting place for the famous film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ which was directed by LeeAn and won many prizes in the 73rd Academy Awards.

Saturday, 18 July 2015 – TUNXI TO QIANDAO LAKE

After breakfast, drive to Shexian County to visit the Tangyue Archways.  After lunch, journey to Qiandao Lake – Lake of a thousand islands, into the Dasha Hotel.  Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is included in your package price.

Archway (Paifang):  Paifang is a wooden or stone archway built mainly to commemorate the great achievements or to show the wealth of a family.  It is often erected in front of a tomb, temple, and ancestral hall or along the road.  Paifang can be divided into three types.  Loyalty Paifang is used to record a person’s merit or great deeds.  “Chastity” arch is built to honour a woman’s loyalty to her husband.  Other Paifang serves only as a symbol of a street or a village.  The practice of erecting Paifang first appeared in the Spring and Autumn Dynasty (770 BC-476 BC).

Dasha Hotel

   

Sunday, 19 July 2015 – DIVE SHI CHENG! QIANDAO LAKE

After an early breakfast, transfer to the lake for your first dive (check out dive in the lagoon).
The second and third dives will be to the ancient city of Shi Cheng!
Return to the hotel after the third dive.  Breakfast, Lunch and dinner is included in your package price.

Shi Cheng:

Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake) is the 1800 year old submerged Lion City that was a victim of a 1959 Xin'an River hydroelectric project.   At the foot of the Wu Shi Mountain lays an ancient city known as Shi Cheng (Lions City), built in Dong Han period (25 - 200).  Flooded in September 1959 for the Xin'an River Dam project, the city remains undisturbed from the surface at a depth of 26-40m.

A Chinese city, left to ruin after a dam flooded the valley it lay in, has become a paradise for divers, after an ingenious idea from a local tourist official.

The ancient city of Shi Cheng, known as the Lion City because it was surrounded by the five Lion Mountains, was founded over 1,300 years ago, but it vanished more than half a century ago to make way for a new hydroelectric power station, and a man-made lake.   A dam was built to create a man-made lake, and as the water rose, the city was left at the bottom of this new found body of water.

The once bustling city is now between 85 and 131 feet underwater in parts.

But Qiu Feng, a local official in charge of tourism, decided to see what remained of the city under the deep waters.

"We were lucky. As soon as we dived into the lake, we found the outside wall of the town and even picked up a brick to prove it," he said.  The town is in remarkable conditions, with wooden beams and stairs still remaining.

Now a film crew has been on site to record the preservation of the lost ruins.

The ancient city of Shi Cheng was also known as the Lion City because it was located in the province of Zhejiang, where it was surrounded by the five Lion Mountains.

Lion City is about the size of 62 football fields.

The entire town is intact, including wooden beams and stairs.

Intricate carvings engraved on buildings were seen when Chinese National Geography released images taken by archaeologists/divers rediscovering the lost city.

Monday, 20 July 2015 – QIANDAO LAKE TO HANGZHOU

After breakfast, you will do your last dive on the ancient city, then return to the hotel and check out.  After checking out, enjoy some lunch and hit the road to Hangzhou, where the beautiful West Lake and old temples will enchant you.  Upon arrival, visit broken bridge, Wulingmen Square and have dinner before checking into your hotel, the Zhejiang Media Hotel.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is included in your package price.

Hangzhou:  Hangzhou was praised by Marco Polo as “the noblest city and the best that is in the world”.  The pleasant city is best known for the charming West Lake.  It is also here that the famous Grand Canal ends.  Throughout Chinese history, Hangzhou has been popular as a relaxing and peaceful location for vacationers.

Qiandao Lake

  

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 – HANGZHOU

After breakfast at the hotel, relax on a leisurely one hour cruise across the magical West Lake.  Walk in the picturesque Huagang Park and wonder at the Su Causeway in the middle of the lake.  After lunch, you are taken to Temple of the Soul’s Retreat.  Then go to visit Mei Jia Wu Tea Plantation before returning to the hotel.  Breakfast and Lunch are included in your package price.

West Lake:  West Lake is the symbol of Hangzhou and regarded as one of the most beautiful sights in China.  It is said to be the incarnation of Xi Shi, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.  West Lake is also associated with many scholars, national heroes and revolutionary martyrs, thus embracing many aspects of Chinese culture.  In addition, many ancient buildings, stone caves and engraved tablets in surrounding areas are among the most cherished national treasures of China, with significant artistic value.

Temple of the Soul’s Retreat:  The monastery was founded in 328 AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty by Indian monk Huili.  It is notable for among China’s ten most famous Buddhist temples.  It is also one of the largest Buddhist temples in China containing over 1300 rooms and 3000 monks in its prime.  Here you will have opportunity to see a statue of Sakyamuni carved from 24 sections of camphor wood, said to be the largest wooden Buddhist statue in China.

Mei Jia Wu Tea Plantation:  Hangzhou produces Longjing Tea (Dragon Well Tea), one of the most famous tea in China well noted for its greenness, fragrance, mellow taste, and beauty of tea leaves.  Mei Jia Wu Tea Plantation is nestled in the green hills near the West Lake.  Here you walk around the ta field, picking tea leaves or just breathing fresh air watch demonstration of ‘pan-roasting’ tea leaves and savour Meijiawu’s very own variant of Longjing Tea.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 – HANGZHOU TO SHANGHAI

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda and Hupao Spring.  Transfer to the train station for your train to Suzhou.

High speed train G 7314 (13h00 – 14h07) from Hangzhou to Shanghai.

Upon arrival at Shanghai, your local Shanghai guide will meet you at the train station and take you to visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, for a bird’s-eye view of this modern city.  Then on the Shanghai’s landmark – the historic Bund.  Later you will have time for shopping in the famous Nanjing Road.  After dinner, have a cruise on the Huangpu River for the night view of Shanghai before transferring to your hotel, the Shanghai Salvo Hotel.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is included in your package price.

Hupao Spring:  (Tiger Running Spring):  Hupao Spring is one of the nicest parks in Hangzhou, well famed for its unique fountain.  The spring water here tastes pure and sweet.  Hupao Spring water and Dragon Well Tea have been known as the “two wonders of the West Lake”, and the combination of the tea and water is reputed to be uniquely refreshing and healthful.  Through the ages, visitors who came to Hangzhou City all took the opportunity to sip and taste the Dragon-Well Tea with Hupao Spring water.

Six Harmonies Pagoda:  was constructed first in 970 during the Northern Song Dynasty.  It is the perfect symbol of brick-and-wood structure and regarded as one of the true masterpieces of ancient Chinese architectures.  The pagoda is believed to have the power to suppress the tidal bore that storms up the river every year.  Upon ascending the pagoda, visitors will have a spectacular view of the surging tides of the Qiantang River.

Shanghai – Oriental Pearl TV Tower:  The city skyline’s prominent Orient Pearl TV Toweer is a recent landmark of Shanghai with a height of 468 meters, which is the tallest TV tower in Asia and the third tallest in the World.  The tower consists of 15 spheres of different size at different levels creating an artistic conception of “large and small pearls dropping into a jade plate”.  The Tower was completed in 1995 and was the tallest structure in China from 1994-2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Finance Centre,, which you can see clearly from here (to be surpassed in 2014 by the Shanghai Tower, already under construction next door).  The city views and of the traffic on the Huangpu River are spectacular.

The Bund:   A famous landmark of Shanghai, the Bund is a stretch of walkway along the Huangpu River, where tens of thousands of Shanghai folk come out to enjoy river scenes and take in the fantastic night lights.  You can observe buildings in Greek, Renaissance and Baroque styles.  One such famous landmark is the Peace Hotel where in the 1930s, Noel Coward wrote the first draft of his play ‘Private Lives’ (which he later typed up in Hong Kong’s lavish Peninsula Hotel).  Known as a miniature museum of international architecture, the Bund has dozens of high buildings standing along the shore and overlooking the shuttling sailing vessels on the Huangpu River.  Its reason enough to visit Shanghai.

Nanjing Road:  This is China’s longest commercial street.  Mainly traffic-free, it is lined with big department outlets, specialty stores, upscale boutiques, and a variety of fine restaurants… and places for foot-and-body massages.  (Don’t leave China without having had at least a foot massage).  Even if you are not a shopper, Nanjing Road will captivate you with its vibrant street scenes.  (We challenge you to actually leave there without buying something!).

Huangpu River Cruise:  The Huangpu River divides  Shanghai into Pudong and Puxi, on one side of the river, you’ll see the Bund, on the other side is Pudong where all the modern skyscrapers stand (including the famous Oriental TV Tower, Jinmao building and Shanghai World Financial Centre – 2nd tallest building in the world).  The evening cruise is a lovely way to experience Shanghai’s night view.

Thursday, 23 July 2015 – SHANGHAI

After breakfast, spend precious tie in the classic Yuyuan Gardens.  On to the bustling Yu Bazaar nearby, where you can pick up some souvenirs.  Lunch is at a Mongolian Barbecue which is as much a show as it is an exotic eating experience.  Later, enjoy a walk along the adjoining Shanghai Old Street, with its endless streams of pedestrians, traditional shops, tea houses and theatres.  Later to the incredible Urban Planning Museum on the People’s Square.  This evening enjoy the feel of old Shanghai at Xintandi, where a plethora of restaurants will attract you for drinks and dinner.  In the evening, be amazed by the sensational performance of the famous Acrobatic Show before returning to your hotel.  Breakfast and Lunch is included in your package price.

Yu Garden & Bazaar:  The Yuyuan Garden was built in the Ming Dynasty classical style over 400 years ago.  This perfectly exquisite classic garden was established in 1577 by a government official, primarily for his parents to enjoy a happy and tranquil time in their dotage.  It was built in traditional Chinese style with numerous rocks and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions.  The beautiful garden adjoins the very busy Yu Bazaar that is a cauldron of unending interest.

Urban Planning Museum:  The Exhibition Centre on People’s Square is a six-storey building, with two basement levels, displaying Shanghai’s urban planning and development.  Exhibits include models of planned and recent developments, as well as Shanghai’s history.  The centrepiece is a huge scale model of the city of Shanghai, showing all existing and approved buildings.  It is a breath-taking display of human foresight, craftsmanship and civic pride.  In fact, you’ve never seen anything like it!!

Xintandi Area:  It’s a traffic-free shopping, eating and entertainment district of Shanghai… consisting of an area of restored traditional shikumen (“stone gate”) houses on narrow alleys, some adjoining houses which now serve as book stores, cafes and restaurants, and shopping malls.  Most of the cafes and restaurants feature both indoor and outdoor seating.  Xintandi has an active nightlife.  Xintandi means “New Heaven and Earth”.

The Acrobatic Show:  A multimillion-dollar stunning acrobatic extravaganza and the first of its kind in China.  This is a multimedia odyssey whose inspiration is a direct result of the combination of traditional Chinese acrobatic arts and modern technology.  This show takes human endeavour to its outer limits, and is a fine example of ‘Chinese High Culture’.  The Finale – involving motor cyclists in a steel ball – will have you all but crawling under your seat.  Unbelievable performance!

Friday, 24 July 2015 – SHANGHAI – NEXT DESTINATION – JOHANNESBURG

After breakfast, you will have a free day until your evening transfer to the station for the ride of your life.  The Maglev bullet train will take you 431 km/hr to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

International flight (not included in this quotation) from Shanghai to Johannesburg via Dubai / Singapore / other stopover destination, to Johannesburg.  Breakfast is included in your package price.

Maglev (magnetic levitation) train:  Built by the Germans, the world’s fastest commercial train (431 km/hr.) covers the 30km journey from Pudong area to the airport in just 7 minutes and 20 seconds.  The project took 10 billion Yuan and 2.5 years to complete the 30.5 km track overhead.  The train has no wheels, or engine, but has powerful magnets providing lift, propulsion and braking.  Talk about a thrill?  Maglev isn’t just about getting from point A to B… rather; it’s a ride, a glorious glide, from the past to the future.  The train runs between Longyang Road Station and Pudong International Airport.

JOHANNESBURG

Arrival OR Tambo International Airport – put your watch back 6 hours.

Home sweet home with unforgettable memories of your wonderful trip to China.

 

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