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China Tailormade Holidays

Great holidays to the Great Wall of China and beyond
On The Go Tours / China / Tailormade Holidays

Bespoke journeys to China in 2016

A complete checker board of history, culture, sights and experiences, where old meets new literally around every corner, China has something for everyone and is a fascinating place to explore. Tell us where you want to go and what you want to see and we’ll recommend activities that perfectly complement your chosen itinerary on a tailor-made holiday whether it’s spending a night by the Great Wall, visiting the pandas in Chengdu, cruising down the Yangtze River or heading to the summit of Emei Shan Mountain. See the very best of China in 2016 on a bespoke journey with On The Go Tours.

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Our Approach

When planning your holiday we go a step beyond and include some special and unique experiences.

Read more about our approach to designing your tailormade holiday.

The best places to visit on a tailormade holiday to China

China is a place you can return to time and again and impossible to see all of in just one visit. Most first time visits to China start in Beijing and generally head south ending in Shanghai. However there is so much more to see and do. Harbin in the north holds the annual Ice Festival spectacular, the east is home to the beautiful canals of Suzhou and the west home to some stunning natural wonders plus so much more inbetween! Below are some of our top picks on what to do with your time in China.

Great Wall Highlight

Great Wall

An enduring symbol of Chinese civilisation and genius, the UNESCO protected Great Wall was built as a defensive structure to protect China against marauding invaders from the north. Although the present wall dates mainly from the Ming dynasty, some 20 states and dynasties were involved in its immense construction over a period of 2,000 years and followed different routes and building extensions as required. Snaking some 6,700km across barren hills, deserts, mountains and plateaus, the now Great ...
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Xian Highlight

Xi'an

Known as Chang’an in ancient times, Xi’an’s illustrious history spans more than 3,000 years having served as the capital city for 13 dynasties throughout the ages. After its decline in the 10th century, the city fell into obscurity until the discovery of Emperor Qin’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors in 1974. Now firmly on China's tourist trail, Xi'an provides visitors with a wealth of historical heritage and a world-renowned star attraction. Xi’an itself is surrounded by ...
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Suzhou Highlight

Suzhou

Suzhou, a 2,500-year-old cultural city is located in the south of Jiangsu, a province that hugs the coast south of Shandong province in an area of rivers that crisscross the Yangtze River Delta of southeastern China. A sort of oriental Venice, boats bob along waterways interwoven with small yet handsome bridges that run parallel to the streets and traditional houses built along them. Suzhou’s waterways link with the Grand Canal, located to the west of the city. Originally constructed to as ...
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Shanghai Highlight 1

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. The city’s oddities were due to the unusual circumstances of the city’s existence. Written into the Treaty of Nanjing was the notion of extraterritoriality, which translated as foreign nationals not being bound by Chinese law, but rather by the laws of their own consuls. Basically of ...
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Chengdu Highlight

Chengdu

Capital of southern China's Sichuan province, Chengdu is largely considered the region's culinary capital with a delicious range of dishes inspired by the fiery heat and aromatic flavours of chili peppers and garlic that thrive in the surrounding fertile plains. It's also home to the ubiquitous Sichuan-style hot pot, a mouth-numbing soup of oil and spice that cuts of meat and veg are cooked in. Considered the pinnacle of culinary experiences in Sichuan, hot pot is also a social event and just of ...
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Snow sculpture

Harbin

Situated in the far north of China close to the vast sub-Siberian plains, Harbin is the pleasant capital of Heilongjiang province. At one time a sleepy fishing hamlet (its name is a Manchu word meaning a ‘place for drying fishing nets’), Harbin benefited economically when the Russians linked it to Vladivostok through the China Far East Railway, an extension of the Trans-Siberian railroad, at the end of the 19th century. The railway brought large numbers of Russians to Harbin, spurring growth ...
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Guilin aerial shot - Highlight

Guilin

Considered the pearl in the crown of China's thriving tourism industry, the attractive landscaped city of Guilin is famed for its idyllic scenery of undulating karst hills and verdant vegetation that span out from the Li River flowing through Guilin from north to south. Unsurprisingly, this striking landscape is often the subject of traditional Chinese painting and has long inspired the country's top artists. For many foreign visitors, Guilin and its scenery typifies the exotic Chinese landscape ...
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Datong Highlight

Datong

Located close to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China, Datong is one of the country's most famous historical and cultural cities due to a long and prosperous past. Serving as the political, economical and military centre of the region throughout its 2,400 year history, Datong is home to a number of superb relics, chief among them the ancient Yungang Caves located about 10 miles west of the city. Built more than 1,500 years ago, the UNESCO World Heritage listed caves are a a ...
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China tailor made reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.75 out of 5 based on 4 recent reviews — See All Reviews

i would like to thank on the Go Tours and Theo Porter for organising what turned out to be a superb well organised holiday in China. Our time in Beijing was fantastic, our local guide Sabrina and our driver were always courteous, efficient and well informed from the moment we were picked up from the airport in Beijing till the moment we left on the Train to Shanghai.”  

• Submitted 29 Oct 2015

Our tour of China with your company was excellent, just as it was in India in 2012. All three tour guides were outstanding they were knowledgeable, made great suggestions for extra activities. They were always courteous and always checking that our needs were being met. All of our drivers were amazing especially negotiating the very busy and hectic traffic wherever we went, at no point did we ever feel unsafe whilst travelling in the cars and the standard and quality of the cars were excellent. The hotels that you chose were also excellent and met our standard and requirements. Our only disappointment was the food component for lunch on our daily tours, it seemed to be more about the quantity rather than quality. We also realised that there was a premium class of train travel that we would have taken up, so in future could you give all options available for our selection. ”  

• Submitted 10 Oct 2015

Excellent guide at all times.

Magnolia went out of her way to make sure all was good. As an added extra, she introduced us to her home village. Thoroughly pleasant. Highly informative and great fun to be with. ”  

• Submitted 2 Apr 2015

Useful tips for planning your tailor-made trip to China

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO SPEND IN CHINA?
China is a vast country spread across a wide range of topography and getting from one place to another can eat into your travel time. If you only have a week to spend in China it's best to concentrate on a smaller region whereas if you have two weeks or more you will have more time to move around the country and explore different regions. You can visit the major attractions of Beijing and Xi'an in a week and with an extra 7-10 days cover the highlights of the south including Guilin and the Yangtze alongside the pulsating city of Shanghai on the eastern coast.

WHAT SORT OF ACCOMMODATION WOULD YOU PREFER?
The majority of hotels in China tend to be of the large, non-descript variety built in the plain yet functional architectural style of Communism. This suits domestic Chinese tourists just fine but for foreign travellers can be rather uninspiring so consider including a few nights' stay at boutique properties such as courtyard hotels in the hutongs of Beijing or Tibetan-inspired guesthouses in the southwest of the country. These boutique properties are often more expensive than regular hotels but will have bundles of character and offer something a little special. A growing range of international brand hotels operate in China so accommodation offerings improve year on year with great choices across 3, 4 and 5 star standard hotels.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY A GUIDE THROUGHOUT YOUR TRIP?
So that you can get the most out of the sites you visit we include the services of local English-speaking guides at your chosen destinations as well as private transfers to get you from your hotel to these sites. For any train journeys or flights the guide or driver will assist you through boarding or check in and you will then be met at the other end by a new local guide or driver. If you would prefer to be accompanied throughout then this is possible but will greatly increase the cost of your holiday as you will be paying for another person's transport alongside your own and accommodation at the other end.

TRAVELLING AROUND CHINA - KNOWING YOUR OPTIONS
The vast distances in China often require domestic flights especially if you're looking to cover different areas of the country. Domestic flights in China are reasonably priced but will add to your budget, however, this is often the quickest means of travel. The train system in China is superb with cities all over the country linked by rail. Trains are a safe, comfortable and civilised way to travel around China with four classes of train - hard seat and soft seat, suitable for short distances, and hard sleeper and soft sleeper for longer, overnight journeys. We only use soft sleeper class (where available) for overnight train journeys as these are far superior with 4-berth compartments, a lockable door and bedding provided.

WHAT SORT OF PACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL AT?
This will depend on how long you have to spend in China and how many destinations you wish to include but if you prefer a slower pace then it's best to include fewer destinations and spend more time in each. This will also allow you to include a mix of touring and free time to explore at leisure. If you are happy with a fast pace seeing as much as possible then you can forgo some free time for touring and the obligatory check-in and check-out time that comes with moving between destinations.

ARE THERE ASPECTS OF CHINA THAT YOU ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN?
With such a long and colourful history influenced by a host of cultures and religions China offers a wealth of unique experiences. Nature lovers may want to include visits to wildlife reserves, keen hikers may want to include trekking in the mountainous regions while foodies may be interested in cooking classes and culture vultures looking to see Peking opera and theatre. If there's any aspect of Chinese culture that interests you, let us know so we can work it into your holiday.

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR BUDGET
As most of China's population spend their holidays travelling around their home country, services in China are very much affected by public holidays so it's worth avoiding events such as Chinese New Year and National Week when prices sky rocket and availability plummets. Travelling outside of peak tourist seasons can make your budget go further so consider visiting in the shoulder seasons when the weather is still decent yet crowds not at their peak. The standard of accommodation will also greatly affect the cost of your holiday as will the number of domestic flights required. It's always a good idea to have a budget in mind when planning a tailor-made holiday so that we can deliver the best value for your money and make adjustments where best suited.

Inspirations for a holiday in China

Get off the beaten track and do something different in China. China is full of unique and wonderful things to do. Here are a selection of our favourites to feed your imagination!

Kung Fu Show | Beijing | China
The art of Shaolin

Kung Fu Show - Beijing

In the centre of Beijing the Red Theatre puts on a daily show tipped ‘the most exciting kung fu show in the world’. Take your seats for a spellbinding spectacle that follows the story of a young boy through his life becoming a kung fu master!

The Great Wall of China | China
Off the Beaten Track

Mutanyu Great Wall

Everyone goes to Badaling but few seek out parts of the wall further afield. Mutianyu just 70km from Beijing is a great easy and less crowded way of seeing the wall. Head up by cable car, explore great swathes of the wall pretty much to yourself and return by exciting toboggan!

Cycling in Yangshuo | China
Pedal Power

Cycling in Yangshuo

Get on your bike and cycle through quaint local towns, over ornate ancient bridges, past stunning karst hills and beautiful poppy and sunflower fields with the iconic karst hills all around as you travel from Yangshuo to Moon Hill. Finish off with a delicious local lunch of Chinese food at its best!

Mount Tai Shan | China
The holiest of mountains

Mount Tai Shan

Take a journey to the holiest of the five Taoist mountains – Mount Taishan. Just outside Jinan in Shandong you can bravely take the 6000 step pilgrimage to the top to be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains – or you can take the slightly easier cable car which gets you there in minutes!

View of the city | Hong Kong | China
Retail Therapy

Hong Kong shopping!

No trip abroad is complete without a bit of retail therapy and Hong Kong, China’s most westernised city is the perfect place to shop until you drop. Spend a few days here and explore massive retail malls, quirky market stalls and hawker bazaars.

Jiuzhaigou Valley | China
Nature's Masterpiece

Jiuzhaigou

Head to northern Sichuan and marvel at the spectacular Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. It s a great place to wander around, see the reflective lakes which frequently appear to change colour and take lots of pictures – it’s China’s nature at its best!

Suggested tailormade holiday itineraries for China

Such a vast and varied country like China has plenty of offer though for a first-time visit there's a few classic itineraries that tick off the major sites including Chengdu to see the pandas, the beautiful south for the stunning scenery of Guilin and Yangshuo, and a journey between Beijing and Shanghai for China's historic cities. Here's a selection of our favourite China itineraries but you can find plenty more inspiration by using our interactive map below.

Garden in Suzhou | ChinaTailored To Suit You

Postcard from China

10 days | FROM USD $2,539

From Beijing to Shanghai via the Jinan Province, visit UNESCO sites, Qufu - Confucius' birthplace, sacred Tai...

Giant pandas | ChinaTailored To Suit You

Classic China & Chengdu

12 Days | FROM USD $3,499

Journey south from the nation's capital Beijing to the terracotta warriors in Xi'an and the beautiful Giant in...

The Great Wall of China | China	Tailored To Suit You

Totally China

18 days | FROM USD $5,569

Visiting the nation’s capital - Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Yangshuo, Hangzhou, Suzhou and cosmopolitan of...

In search of Shangri-La

To the west of China lies the Tibet Autonomous Region. Sitting majestically amongst the lofty Himalayas the ‘roof top of the world’ has been drawing in visitors for both its religious significance as well as its elemental beauty sitting on the highest plateau on the planet! The capital, Lhasa – the ‘traditional’ seat of the Dalai Lama is where most trips to Tibet will start and is the home to the magnificent Potala Palace. The north of Tibet offers vast areas of grassland and steppe, desert and mountain plateau as well as part of the famed Silk Road.

Explore China with our interactive map

Tailored To Suit You OTG Independent

Tailored To Suit You

On this range you won’t be joining other travellers, but will be on your own private itinerary. Accommodation, pace of travel and the style of trip is tailored to your individual needs. From pre-priced packages available off the shelf to fully curated tailor-made holidays, this range also includes our selection of one-night stopovers, day-tours and short breaks.

The OTG Independent range gives you all the great service aspects of our Signature range with the flexibility to create a truly unique and bespoke holiday or adventure to a variety of destinations around the world.

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