Visiting the nation’s capital - Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Yangshuo, Hangzhou, Suzhou and cosmopolitan Shanghai. This cultural rollercoaster of a tour is filled with top UNESCO sites, spectacular scenery and unique experiences, guaranteed to captivate and enthrall.
Today, set out to sightsee the nation’s capital. Tiananmen Square is a square for the public and also home of the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Communist father of the Communist People’s Republic and the striking Monument to the People’s Heroes. Across the way is the Forbidden City. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden City, once forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. The Forbidden City, was the seat of the great emperors and the innermost sanctum of the Beijing. Built between 1406 and 1420, it served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a city restaurant. Overnight - Beijing (B, D)
Today, travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where you can walk (almost climb on some sections) on the Great Wall. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kms! Continuing on, a visit is made to the tombs of the Ming emperors, where some 13 emperors were interred. The tombs are approached via a sacred gateway and gate houses. Also visit a cloisonne workshop, where you’ll see firsthand the production of decorative items utilising the techniques of this practised and ancient craft. Overnight - Beijing (B, L)
Beijing - Xi’an. Visit Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace with its UNESCO-listed imperial gardens, located on Kunming Lake. Tonight catch an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an. Overnight - Sleeper Train (B)
Xi’an is perhaps most famous for the discovery of Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the 2,200 year old Terracotta Warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers standing battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. No two faces are alike – each is said to be an individual portrait. Today, we visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors, Huanqing Hot Springs, a scenic spot in the shadow of Li Mountain and a workshop where crafts people make clay warrior replicas. Overnight - Xi'an (B, L, D)
Xi’an - Guilin. Today, we visit the city symbol, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, before enjoying a leisurely bike ride on Xi’an’s medieval City Wall, which dates from the Ming dynasty. We then visit the local Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque. Later, fly from Xi’an to Guilin. Overnight - Guilin (B, L, D)
Guilin - Yangshou - Guilin. Renown for it’s striking, if bizarre scenery, vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin is often the subject of Chinese painting. We undertake a relaxing cruise down the River Li to Yangshuo passing an endless procession of peaks and simple villages. The local fishermen use trained cormorants to catch fish and local village boys paddle out to the river boats with all manner of souvenirs. We spend some time in charming Yangshuo, with its little shops and cafes. Back in Guilin, we visit the enormous Reed Flute Caves. Overnight - Guilin (B, L, D)
Guilin - Hangzhou. Today, we fly from Guilin to scenic Hangzhou. Hangzhou is unusual for a Chinese city, in that it encompasses large tracts of greenery which might normally be classified as countryside. This is thanks to Xi Hu, the large lake that Hangzhou straddles. The lake is dotted with various islands and causeways, whilst the shoreline offers wonderful vistas of green trees, hills, flowers, pavillions, pagodas and boats. Hangzhou is also the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and an important centre for silk, tea and paper-making. On day 8 visit Six Harmonies Pagoda and Chinese Tea Museum. The following day explore the West Lake, Lingyin Temple and take a bicycle ride. Overnight - Hangzhou (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Huangzhou - Tunxi. Sitting at the foot of Mt Huangshan, Tunxi is an ancient town that is set around the junction of two rivers in the southernmost area of Anhui Province. Its famous ancient street are lined with many ancient, yet very well preserved, buildings in the Ming and Qing style. Upon arriving in Tunxi, the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight - Tunxi (B, L, D)
Visit Huangshan by cable car. Considered the most beautiful mountain in China, Yellow Mountain or Huangshan is one of a range of 72 peaks in the south of Anhui Province. Set amidst rural landscapes and with its slopes clad in pine, the ethereal scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. Some 9,000 steps have been carved into the mountain, for those that want to walk up the most stunning stairwell on earth, though our excursion does include a return cable-car journey to the scenic area, where you’ll stay for two nights in a hotel at the top. Overnight - Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Tunxi - Suzhou. Travel to ancient Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. One of China’s most charming cities, Suzhou’s fame rests on its waterways and canals that are dotted with traditional bridges, houses and UNESCO-listed gardens. On day 14 a cruise on the Grand Canal exposes Suzhou’s beauty. Also visit a silk workshop and the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Overnight - Suzhou (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Suzhou - Zhouzhuang - Shanghai. En route to Shanghai stop off at lovely Zhouzhuang - an ancient town featuring traditional buildings, small bridges and tree-lined waterways astride the Jinghang Canal.
Perhaps China’s most modern city, Shanghai's amazing Pudong skyline is breathtaking. Upon arrival enjoy a tour of the Bund area and a cruise on the Huangpu River. On day 16 tour the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Old City area, Oriental Pearl TV tower and Shanghai Museum. Overnight - Shanghai (B:2)
Today is free for you to explore the sights of Shanghai. Perhaps visit the Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, French Quarter or the Old City and have a drink at landmark Peace Hotel on Shanghai’s famous Bund, with its legendary jazz band which play nostalgic rhythms amidst 1930s Art Deco elegance. Overnight - Shanghai (B)
Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The single supplement price needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply
Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen hotels, room availability as well as time of travel. Please bear this in mind if comparing prices as we always aim to deliver exceptional value.
Please note that discounts will apply if there are more 4 our more people in your travelling party, since fixed costs like transportation and guiding are shared across the group.
Totally China - 18 days
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
Shanghai - Post-tour accom.
Make the most of your time away! Listed below are the optional activities that are available on this trip. Please note that you will need to book these prior to travel as we cannot always guarantee availability of these activities once you are on holiday.
The Tang Dynasty Show is a performance of Chang’an music and dance that originated during the time of the illustrious Tang Dynasty. Colourfully choreographed according to various historical records of the ancient arts with a host of singing, dancing and musical instrument playing performers, coupled with simple backdrops and props, this is entertainment that was once fit for a Tang emperor!
At the crossroads between East and West, Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Hong Kong has good museums, numerous markets, great seafood, restaurants, bars and nightlife. Jump aboard the comfortable overnight sleeper train from Shanghai direct to Kowloon in central Hong Kong.
Included on all group tours. For tailor - made or city breaks - book and pay locally.
Hutongs are a special feature of Beijing. On a peddle powered rickshaw and accompanied by a local guide, you’ll gain a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life, as you meander through Beijing’s old back lanes. This bolt-on is included in all our group tours. Additionally it can be included to any of our tailormade or city break itineraries.
An evening of death-defying acrobatic feats involving very lithe individuals clad in awesome technicolour costumes, performed in tune to sound and light and dinner (Chinese banquet-style). The performance can be added to any tailor-made or city break itinerary.
Nanjing, capital of imperial China under the early Ming dynasty, offers an fascinating mix of imperial and revolutionary history. Famed for it’s City Wall (one of the worlds longest), Nanjing has mant sites of interest including the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the great pioneer of the Chinese Revolution, the ruins of the Ming Palace, the Tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Ming Emperor and the Yangtze River Bridge.
If you are interesting in trips with similar experiences to this one, then check out some of the ones we've listed below.
From the snow capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas and Everest - the world's highest mountain, to Patagonia's immense glaciers and holy Mt Sinai in Egypt, Morocco's Atlas Mountains, Russia's Urals and China's breathtaking Yellow Mountain. Our tours visit all of these breathtaking mountain regions and more.
The discovery of despotic Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors occurred in 1974 when local farmers digging a well stumbled upon the site. Qin (a man heavily pre-occupied by death and his legacy) enlisted 700,000 people over some 36 years to create his tomb and had the warriors made in order to be buried near him to protect him in the afterlife. His burial complex is also said to contain 48 tombs for his concubines who were buried alive with the emperor upon his death, a fate also reserved for workers, to prevent the location and design of the tomb from becoming public knowledge.
Some say it can be seen from space, but unless you’re a top gun at NASA, perhaps you’ll never know. Instead, experience the real deal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and an enduring symbol of Chinese civilisation and genius, the UNESCO protected Great Wall of China was built as a defensive structure to protect China against marauding invaders from the north.
Highlights & Inclusions
Below is a list of key highlights and what is included on this tour. Further, where appropriate, we have listed the items that are not included in the tour price.
Beijing - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, UNESCO-listed Great Wall, UNESCO-listed Ming Tombs, UNESCO-listed Summer Palace, Silk Alley markets, Cloisonne Factory
Guilin - River Li cruise, Yangshuo
Suzhou - UNESCO-listed gardens, Grand Canal and waterways, Humble Administrator’s Garden, Silk factory
Xi’an - UNESCO-listed Terracotta Warriors, clay warrior workshop, Huaqing Hot Springs, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Tunxi & UNESCO-listed Huangshan region - Yellow Mountain
Shanghai - Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jade Buddha Temple, The Bund and Old Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden, Huang River skyline of Pudong City
17 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Hangzhou - bicycle ride
Suzhou - historic Grand Canal cruise
Economy class flights - Xi’an - Guilin - Hangzhou
Touring and excursions as per itinerary
All relevant transfers and transportation
16 nights 3 - 4 star hotels & 1 night sleeper train (soft sleeper carriage)
Guilin - River Li cruise to Yangshuo
Huangshan - cable car ride to Yellow Mountain
Shanghai - Huangpu River cruise
Airport arrival and departure transfer day 1 & day 18
English speaking specialist guides at local sights
What's Not Included
International flights and visa
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature
Here's what some of our past travellers have written in to us and said about their experiences on this trip.
Totally China - 18 days
Just wanted to let you know we are back from our China trip and had a wonderful time, On the Go were superb! It all started with your help, you were quick to help and offer information to ourselves, for which I thank you. This was the start of the good customer service we received from booking to the end of our holiday. We will certainly book with On the Go again.