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CHINA: Shanghai international Literary Festival & Tour


As one of Melbourne’s specialist boutique international tour providers, we love nothing more than curating a tour that suits special interests. Run in small, intimate groups our tours offer a way to travel in style and to ensure you are travelling with like-minded people who can enrich your experience.
We often have clients come to us wanting to pursue items on their travel bucket list. Their circle of friends and family may not have the same interests or passions. Why should you miss out on the fun just because they don’t want to go?

One of the tours coming up in 2019 that we are really excited about is the 16th Shanghai International Literary Festival. This literary feast is an amazing mix of emerging and established international writers where the worlds of fiction, historians, travel writers and food writers come together to celebrate the written word.

The Shanghai International Literary Festival

The event now in its 16th year combines panel discussions, workshops and literary lunches and is China’s leading English-language literary festival. The program features winners of the world’s leading literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction, the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize to name a few.
Not only do you get to immerse yourself in a truly creative environment there will be plenty of time to explore Shanghai. This city was referred to as the “Paris of the East” during colonial times. It is rich in history and architecture and is now a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.

Shanghai Delights

Shanghai is also known for its culinary delights, including seafood such as steamed crab, suckling pig, soup dumplings known as Xiaolongbao and red braised pork belly. Explore the markets and street food along with 5 star opulent dining.

Archeological Wonders

During this tour, we take time out to visit the famous Terracotta warriors. This fascinating archeological site was built to protect the afterlife of China’s first emperor. He wanted to be just as powerful and important in death as he was in life, so commissioned these thousands of life sized terracotta models to be handmade to stand guard. This site often features on man-made wonders of the world lists.

Historic and Cultural Hangzhou

During our time in China we will also travel to the picturesque West Lake area of China known as Hangzhou. This really is considered to be the most beautiful city in China. It was actually frequented and loved by Marco Polo himself and has a rich cultural history. It has spectacular scenery such as the world heritage sites West Lake and the Grand Canal. It is also known for its Longjin tea and glorious silk production.
Whether it be the delights of Chinese cuisine, exploring the beauty of Chinese gardens or immersing yourself in history as far back as 200BC this is a trip you will remember for years to come. What’s more you have the thrill of touching shoulders with the who’s who of international literature. It’s almost a money-can’t buy adventure.

Why Choose Boutique Tours and Travel?

We have been running this exceptional annual tour for many years and have built relationships with local providers to ensure our travelers get the best of both worlds. A personal Australian guide to help you through the complexities of travelling internationally and insider knowledge on where to eat, what to see and what to do!
If you are interested in finding out more about this amazing opportunity to combine a passion for the far-east and international literature, then get in touch. Pursue your travel dreams with a readymade group of friends or solo. Either way it will be a travel experience that ensures those you have left at home are green with envy!

Boutique Tours and Travel offer boutique escorted small group tours to destinations drenched in history, culture and cuisine. Ask us for an itinerary for our 2019 Shanghai Literary Festival here.

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CHINA: Shanghai International Literary Festival & Tour

CHINA: Shanghai International Literary Festival


Boutique Tours & Travel invites you to join them at the 16th Shanghai International Literary Festival. This annual literary feast is a glorious mix of writers from around the world including novelists, food writers, journalists, intellectuals, historians and travel writers.

Cosmopolitan Shanghai was referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’  during colonial times and is now a stunning, vibrant and stylish modern city.

We will indulge in a variety of cuisine, cultural and shopping experiences. 

We journey to Xian and visit the amazing Terracotta Warriors. We also travel to Hangzhou, considered to be the most beautiful city in China. (You decide!)

So gather a couple of friends or three, maybe a group of friends or as a solo traveller and come join us and share our passion on this amazing vibrant city of Shanghai. 



The M Literary Festival has been running for 15 years, with the launch of the Shanghai International Literary Festival in 2003. Organised by and hosted at M on the Bund, the Shanghai Festival has grown from small beginnings into one of China’s leading English-language literary events.
The Festival has attracted many local and regional authors as well as others from well over 20 countries around the world. The festivals aim to bring together the best in fiction, literary non-fiction, journalism, the arts, poetry, current affairs, film, exploration and travel writing, economics and history, health and philosophy, food, wine and cookery and children’s writing, too.
Activities include interviews and readings, poetry slams and film screenings, panel discussions and writing workshops, sessions on photography, art and poetry. The festival features both acclaimed and emerging writers and include winners of the world's leading literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction, the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and many others. To date we have hosted over 1000 writers.
The festival is entirely not-for-profit and we rely on the generous contribution of our sponsors and partners to help underwrite the substantial costs involved and to make it possible.

Festival Objectives:
The festivals offer the residents of Shanghai and Beijing the opportunity to celebrate writers and their writing, with the following objectives:
• Foster a love of reading and discussion, debate and exchange of ideas 

• Promote the careers of emerging writers. 

• Support and encourage the translation of Chinese literature into other languages, and visa versa 

• Provide a focal point for the initiation of public- and private-sector- sponsored programs to develop writing in China. 

Festival Achievements
• Participation by “big name” authors has given the M Literary Festival a reputation for excellence 

• Support of emerging and established authors such as Timothy Garton Ash, Gore Vidal, Guo Xiaolu, Anna Funder, Thomas Keneally, Mohammed Hanif, H M Naqvi, Harold McGee, Christopher Doyle, William Dalrymple, Benjamin Law, Etgar Keret, David Grossman, Pankaj Mishra, Amitav Ghosh, Emma Donoghue, Matt Groenig (The Simpsons), Peter Hessler, Claire Keegan, Chris Patten, David Pilling, Arundhati Roy and others. 

• Extensive media coverage of the M Literary Festival, its authors and its sponsors in the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Economist and the Sydney Morning Herald, the United States’ National Public Radio, and it has been the subject of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary. Media coverage in China includes English- language, as well as some Chinese language coverage, with the M Literary Festival dominating English-language media during the festivals. 

• An international community of support has been built between leading consulates, local businesses, international and local arts organisations and international schools who sponsor M Literary Festival authors in both cities. 

• Through the consulates and councils, festival authors also speak to students at major universities such as Jiaotong, Fudan and Tongji Universities. 

• Commercial publishers use the M Literary Festival to launch books. Past launches have included Penguin’s English-language edition of Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem, Art Deco Shanghai by Deke Erh and Tess Johnston, Operation Yao Ming by Brook Larmer, national launch of Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos, Bending Adversity national launch by FT editor David Pilling and the national launch of Not Quite a Diplomat by Chris Patten. 


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CHINA:  Shanghai International Literary Festival

CHINA: Xian Terracotta Warriors

Join our Shanghai International Literary Festival and Tour and we also vist the amazing Terracotta Warriors. The Terracotta Army was discovered on 29 March 1974 by farmers digging a water well approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) east of the Qin Emperor's tomb mound at Mount Li   region  with underground springs and watercourses. For centuries, occasional reports mentioned pieces of terracotta figures and fragments of the roofing tiles, bricks and chunks of masonry. This discovery prompted Chinese archaeologists to investigate, revealing the largest pottery figurine group ever found in China. It is regarded as one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. It had lain underground for more than 2000 years before the farmers uncovered what is now considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world.

In December 1987, UNESCO selected the Tomb of the First Emperor (including the Terracotta Army Pits) as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

The museum mainly consists of three Pits and an exhibition hall: Pit One, Pit Two, Pit Three, and The Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots.  The Pits are arrayed as the buried army was in strict accordance with the ancient directives on the Art of War: facing east towards the ancient enemies of Qin State 


Pit one is usually crowded with tourists. According to our experienced guide, the best views are from the front of the Pit around the corners.

Pit One is the largest and most impressive — the size of an airplane hangar. It is believed to contain over 6,000 terracotta figures of soldiers and horses, but less than 2,000 are on display. All the most impressive Terracotta Army pictures were taken in Vault One.

All soldiers and horses face east in a rectangular array, each one either armed long spear, dragger or halberd. The vanguard appears to be three rows of infantry who stand at the easternmost end of the army. Close behind is the main force of armored soldiers holding weapons, accompanied by 38 horse-driven chariots.

On the southern, northern, and western side there stand one row of figures serving as the army's defense wing. Standing in front of such a grand ancient army array, one would feel the ground shake to the footsteps of the advancing soldiers.

Every figure differs in facial features and expression, clothing, hairstyle, and gestures, providing abundant and detailed artifacts for the study of the military, cultural, and economic history of that period.

This Pit opened to visitors in 1979. It measures about 210 meters long and 62 meters wide and the bottom of the pit varies from 4.5 meters to 6.5 meters below ground level. Ten earthen walls were built at intervals of 2.5 meters, forming 9 circling corridors.


Pit 2 began being excavated in 1976, Pit Two stands about 20 meters north to Vault One. As the highlight of the whole mausoleum, it uncovers the mystery of the ancient army array. It consists of four units, measuring 94 meters east to west and 84 meters south to north and 5 meters deep., forming a 6000 sq. meter built-up area.

The first unit contains rows of kneeling and standing archers; the second one is a chariot war array; the third unit consists of mixed forces with infantry, chariot and trooper standing in rectangular array; and the last one includes numerous troopers holding weapons. The four units form a rigorous battle array.

Pit Three the smallest Pit. There are only 68 terracotta figures, many of which are without heads. It's obvious that Pit Three represents the command post, as all the figures are officials.


The Exhibition of Bronze Chariots

The two bronze carriages displayed in the hall were discovered 20 meters from the west side of the Tomb of Qin Shihuang in December 1980, and were elaborately restored before exhibition.

The carriages have about 3,400 parts each and were driven by four horses. The second one is 3.17meters long and 1.06 meters high. The bronze horses vary from 65 cm to 67 cm high and 120 cm long. Each weighs 1,234 kg in total.

They were mainly made of bronze, but there were 1,720 pieces of golden and silver ornaments, weighting 7 kg, on each carriage. The carriages were so well-made, and so vivid, that they boast being the best-preserved and having the highest rank among the earliest known bronze relics in China. These chariots are the biggest pieces of ancient bronzeware ever found in the world.

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