Fine China - 13 days

FROM USD $3,499

Climb the Great Wall, enter the Forbidden City, inspect a grotto, challenge the Warriors at Xi’an and cruise the River Li at scenic Yangshuo. We top off your Eastern feast with a choice of sparkling Shanghai or dazzling Hong Kong.

Day 1: Beijing
Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in. Overnight - Beijing
Today, we embark on a tour of the nation’s capital. The famous portrait of Mao Zedong, China’s communist father still looks out over gargantuan Tiananmen Square from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. On the square you can not miss the mausoleum, an austere behemoth in granite where Mao lies in state in his crystal coffin. We take a stroll on the square all under the watchful eye of the dutiful guards. A vision in grandeur with it’s imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls, the Forbidden city was forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911, when the last emperor, Puyi, was turfed off his throne. We enjoy a guided walk through the city’s many temples, grand halls and courtyards. The Forbidden city boasts 9999 rooms! Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing.

This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant. Overnight - Beijing (B, D)
Fine China - 13 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
The Chinese Monument on the Great Wall of China in Badaling
Today, we travel beyond Beijing to Badaling, where we take a walk along the famed Great Wall. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen, the Great Wall of China is very impressive. Following a ridge of barren hills through northern China, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kilometres. Continuing, we visit a cloisonne workshop of decorative metal and enamel sculpture.

This evening take an optional Beijing by Night city tour and see some of the capital's monuments illuminated against the night sky (payable locally). Overnight - Beijing (B, L)
Beijing - Luoyang. Spend the morning touring the famous Summer Palace on Kunming Lake. This vast complex is replete with lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902 at the whim of the extravagant Dowager Empress Cixi. We visit the famed Silk Alley markets and drive past the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium en route to the train station where we take the late afternoon bullet train to Luoyang. Reaching speeds of up to 305km per hour the journey is an experience in itself!

If travelling in 2013 please see Go Guide for alternative arrangements. Overnight - Luoyang (B)
One of our groups in Tiananmen Square at the start of their China Tour
Today we explore the UNESCO world heritage listed 6th Century Longman Caves, etched into the cliffs along the Yi River. The 1300 caves (grottoes) were carved out by hand during the Northern Wei Dynasty and are adorned with more than 100,000 statues and images of Buddha and his disciples. Later we tour the first Buddhist temple in China - White Horse Temple. Overnight - Luoyang (B, D)
Day 6: Luoyang
Luoyang - Xi’an. Early this morning we visit Peony Square to watch or partake in a little exercise. Many Chinese exercise in the square daily, practising ballroom dancing and tai chi, sword fighting or playing sports like badminton and hacky sack in the wee hours of the morning. The square’s name originates from the long history of peonies in Luoyang. In April the flower comes into full bloom and the city is full of colour and fragrance. Afterwards we board the new high speed train to Xi'an (journey time approximately 3 hours). Once in Xi'an we visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, Grand Mosque and Muslim quarter and this evening have a delicious local dinner. The rest of the evening is at leisure. Overnight - Xi'an (B)
Light prayer candles outside the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an on one of our China Tours
Most famous for the legendary Terracotta Warriors, perhaps the greatest find of the 20th century and only just usurped by the discovery of King Tut’s gold-laden tomb in Egypt. These warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike, each is said to be an individual portrait. We visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site and a workshop where warrior figurines are made. This evening we can attend a Tang Dynasty dinner and performance with Chang’an music and dance originally performed for the illustrious Tang emperors. Overnight - Xi'an (B, L)
Xi’an - Guilin - Yangshou. Early this morning opt for our Panda excursion to the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Centre a 2 hour drive from Xi’an. Later, we tour take a casual bicycle ride on top of the 9 mile Xi’an City Wall (no need to go the entire way around) perimeter peeking down upon the lively city beneath us. Later we fly south to Guilin. Onward transfer to Yangshuo (approx 1.5hrs drive). Hot pot lunch, late evening hotel check in. Overnight - Yangshuo (B, L)
The Dragon's Backbone rice terraces in Longsheng
Days 9 - 10: Guilin & Yangshuo
Yangshuo - Guilin. Renowned for the striking scenery of vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin and Yangshuo are often the subject of many Chinese paintings. Today, we take a 2 hour rafting cruise along the calm clean waters of Yu Long River. As our captain punts (propels us forward by pushing against the river bed with a long pole) our flat bottom boat along the shallow waters endless photo opportunities arise. The remainder of our time in Yangshuo is spent at leisure. Choose to hike, hire a bicycle or motorbike and head off on one of the many mountain trails or stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish - a centuries old tradition, though somewhat commercialised these days. Time can also be spent exploring West Street. The ancient alley is laden with quirky shops, tea shops, antiques, calligraphers and art studios. Maybe take a beginners art class with a local painter or enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. By nightfall, sit in any of the al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and delicious speciality foods from the region, catch a film at any of the outdoor cinemas or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical, with a cast of 500 singers and dancers. In the late afternoon of day 10 we return to Guilin. Overnight - Yangshuo (1), Guilin (1) (B:2)
Day 11: Dragon's backbone
Guilin - Longsheng - Guangzhou. A 90 minute drive leads us to Longsheng, to walk the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil up the steep mountain, layer upon layer, climbing to its summit. Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we’ll pass many of the Yao and Red Yao minority women, baskets on their backs, who are also climbing skyward. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views. The full panorama offers thousands of ribbon like terraces cascading to the meandering streams and valley floor beneath. Returning to Guilin, we travel onward to Hong Kong OR fly to Shanghai (see ‘Onward to Shanghai’ itinerary below). If heading for Hong Kong, later tonight we board the express sleeper train to Guangzhou. Overnight - Sleeper Train to Guangzhou (B)
A country lane and the karst limsetone outcrops of Yangshuo as seen on our Fine China Tour
Day 12: Hong Kong
Guangzhou - Kowloon/Hong Kong. Arrive Guangzhou and transfer by train to Hong Kong and onward to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore, maybe head over to Victoria Peak, Stanley Markets or Aberdeen Harbour.

Note: Touring arrangements from here forward exclude the services of a tour guide, although local representatives will be on hand to assist with your arrival into Kowloon. Overnight - Hong Kong
Day 13: Hong Kong
Thursday. Tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out at 12noon. Hong Kong International airport is a quick 24min journey on the Airport Express train running at 12 minute intervals. The train ride is not included as part of your itinerary. (B)

Onward to Shanghai

Day 11 - Dragon's backbone
Yangshuo - Longsheng - Shanghai - breakfast. Evening flight to Shanghai and hotel check in. Overnight - Shanghai

Day 12: Shanghai
Shanghai - breakfast. Focus your eyes on Shanghai! The day is free day for you to explore. Perhaps visit The Bund, Jade Buddha Temple or the Old City where you can shop on Nanjing Road. Head for the Oriental Pearl TV Tower at sunset, Shanghai dazzles at dusk! Overnight - Shanghai

Day 13: Shanghai
Shanghai - breakfast. Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Beijing / Ends in: Hong Kong or Shanghai
  • Departs: Saturday - March to November
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:11, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes (for groups of 6 of more)
Special Offers
The On The Go Theatre
Discover the highlights of China on one of our group tours