Classic China & Chengdu - 12 Days

FROM USD $3,849

Journey south from the nation's capital Beijing to the terracotta warriors in Xi'an and the beautiful Giant Pandas in Chengdu. Spend some time marvelling at these amazing creatures before continuing on to sensational Shanghai - China's gateway to modernity!

Day 1: Beijing
On arrival into Beijing International Airport you will be met by and On The Go Representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, so you can start exploring Beijing independently or relax and rest up for the evening at the hotel. Overnight - Beijing
Today you will set out to sightsee the nation's capital, starting with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square - home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and many important events in Chinese history - most notably the 1989 Student Protests. The Forbidden CIty - so called as it was only visited by people on Imperial business up until 1911 - is a vision in grandeur with yellow roofs, vermilion walls and the innermost sanctum of Beijing. This afternoon you will walk through the city's many temples, grand halls and courtyards before visiting the Temple of Heaven later today. Overnight - Beijing (B, D)
The UNESCO-Listed Great Wall of China in Badaling - seen on all our China Group Tours
Beijing - Mutianyu. Today you take a journey outside of the city to the most famous wall in the world - the Great Wall of China. Take a walk or maybe even a climb on some of the lesser visited parts of the wall - a much more fulfilling and intimate experience of the wall! Later on you can opt to see how they make traditional noodles and sample them afterwards. When you have walked enough of the wall - you return to Bejing for your final night there. Overnight - Beijing (B, L)
This morning is free to further explore Beijing, shop till you drop or take a leisurely walk to the temple of heaven and join in some Tai Chi in a local park. This afternoon you head over to the Summer Palace with its UNESCO listed imperial gardens on Kunming Lake. Tonight you'll be transferred to the train station for your overnight sleeper train to Xi'an. Overnight - Sleeper Train (B)
Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors at the archaeological site in Xi'an
Xi'an. Your morning in Xi'an starts with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda before a leisurely bike ride around the City Wall, which dates from the Ming Dynasty. You then head to the local Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque. Overnight - Xi'an (B, L, D)
Xi'an - Chengdu. Home to the world famous Terracotta Warriors, which were discovered in 1974 by local farmers who were digging for a well. These soldiers are over 2200 years old and no two warriors are the same - it is believed they are a self portrait of the individual soldiers. After an informative look around this battle ready army you'll visit local crafts people who make clay warrior replicas which you can purchase. This evening you head for the station and board another overnight sleeper train - this time to Chengdu - land of the Giant Pandas! Overnight - Sleeper Train (B)
Day 7: Chengdu
Awaken this morning in Chengdu - capital of Sichuan province - famed for its outstanding natural beauty, fiery cuisine and China’s first, largest and best known Panda research and breeding centre. On arrival into the station you'll be transferred to your hotel. Afterwards, visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple, the Tomb of Wang Jian and Jinli Lu street - part of the old city where an open air theatre and Sichuan Opera are performed in the evening you can opt to book and attend a performance locally if you like. Overnight - Chengdu
The Giant Pandas of China - the country's beloved mascots!
A short drive out of town takes you to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. China’s Giant Pandas are considered the most endangered mammal on the planet. Due to a loss of habitat in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces it is estimated that there are less than 1500 giant pandas remaining in the wild - 80% of which are located in Sichuan Provence.

The centre opened in 1993 and for the purpose of breeding, research and education. A team of 46 collaborating with researchers from 8 different countries and 15 guest experts work within the facility. Covering an area of over 92 acres, there is plenty of space for the Giant Pandas and several species of rare and endangered animals to freely roam. Visiting the Panda nursery is a must, here you can get relatively close to the centre’s infant population.

The Breeding Center has achieved breakthroughs in captive breeding, has set up the largest semen and cell bank for the Giant Pandas in the world and created the first Giant Panda stud book! Afterwards you head to Renmin park to drink some tea as the locals love to do. The evening is spent at leisure. Overnight - Chengdu (B, L)
Leshan's massive Great Buddha - a truly awesome sight
Day 9: Great Buddha
Driving to Leshan your morning is spent exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dafo (Great Buddha), which is carved into the red sandstone face of Lingyun Hill overlooking the treacherous confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it. It is standing at Dafo's huge 8m feet that you can really appreciate the scale of one of the world's largest Buddhas. Talking numbers, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m!

Later you return to the city and to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Arriving there our friendly local rep awaits for you in arrivals and transfers you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure - why not head out into the city and explore? Overnight - Shanghai (B)
The skyline and Huangpu River in Shanghai - the end point on some of our China Tours
Day 10: Shanghai
Good morning Shanghai! Just the mere mention of ‘Shanghai’ conjures up mystery, romance and general decadence. Pre – 1949, cosmopolitan Shanghai was a magnet for seekers of wealth, idle colonialists, explorers and the dispossessed. Everything went belly up in 1949, when Mao and the communists took to power and swept the good times and rock and roll away. A legacy of these heady times is Shanghai’s Bund where on and around this waterfront promenade are a vast series of grandiose pre-1949 buildings. Just across the Huangpu River is the new Shanghai, a high-tech development of gravity defying skyscrapers.

Today you tour many of the city’s top spots - Yu Gardens and Bazaar- Shanghai’s finest traditional garden, the Bund, Pudong and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jade Buddha Temple and take a cruise along the Huangpu River Overnight - Shanghai (B)
The Venice of the East - the Waterways of Zhujiajiao
Today, you journey to an oriental Venice – ancient Zhulialiao interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways. Enjoy the day with your guide taking in the scenic town and having a wander along it’s many pretty streets. Return for an evening at leisure in Shanghai. Tonight you can have a booking made at one of the many cities revolving rooftop restaurants and enjoy a dinner overlooking the stunning city lights - a great way to spend your final night! Overnight - Shanghai (B, L)
Day 12: Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flights. (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Beijing / Ends in: Shanghai
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:10, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: Standard (superior and deluxe available on request)
  • Tour Guide: Yes - for scheduled sightseeing
The On The Go Theatre
Discover the highlights of China on one of our group tours