Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in.
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing, China's magnificent capital, including the massive Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing and 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 | Breakfast, Dinner
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills. 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 | Breakfast, Lunch
Beijing - Xi’an. Free morning, opt for a walk in the local street market located near our hotel. There are a few unusual breakfast delicacies on offer! Later we visit the Emperor's Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake and the Silk Alley Markets. After we drive past the 2008 Olympic Stadium commonly referred to as the ‘Bird's Nest’ and Aquatic Centre before boarding our overnight sleeper train (4 berth soft sleeper cabins) to Xi'an
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Arrive Xi’an and hotel check in. Later we tour the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where some 7,000 warriors stand in battle ready position and a factory demonstrating how the warriors are crafted. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Lunch
Xi’an - Chengdu. Today we head to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and later on take an exciting bicycle ride along Xi’an medieval City Wall. The 9 mile Xi’an City Wall perimeter looks down on the lively city beneath below. Later on we head to the airport for our flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival in Chengdu we check into our hotel and have the remainders of the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast
A short drive out of town takes us to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened in 1993 it is fast becoming one of China's must see places. The are in which it is based is the ancestral homeland of the Giant Panda since ancient times. The centre has been created to help and imitate the pandas' natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. Being one of the world's most endangered species - this is very important for China's beloved mascots.
Afterwards, visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple 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.The evening is spent at leisure.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Driving to Leshan our 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!
This afternoon we head to the Huanglongxi Ancient Town. Now restored to its former glory of ancient cobbled streets, ornate temples, and houses along its intriguing curving alleys. Thel evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Chengdu - Shanghai. This morning we fly south to spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps, China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is simply stunning. Today we take a tour of the many city sights including Yuyuan Garden and The Bund, with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
On day 10 you are free to explore this fascinating city independently.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast x 2
Sunday. Shanghai. Our tour ends after breakfast and onward departure transfer to airport.
Join us on a fascinating 5 day tour of North Korea. Isolated, controversial and almost untouched by tourism, North Korea is a mysterious place with a bumpy recent history yet offers the inquisitive traveller stunning mountain scenery, halls of treasure, ancient temples historic monuments and a warm welcome.
Highlight of our tour include a visit to Pyongyang Schoolchildren's Palace, a centre of extra-curricular activities for gifted children, the DMZ (demilitarised zone) border crossing with South Korea, various landmarks and projects relating to Presidents Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and ride the Pyongyang metro - the deepest underground system in the world. See our Uncover North Korea Bolt-on for more info.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The Rainbow is a contemporary hotel accented by the colours of traditional Chinese folk art culture. The spacious guestrooms display character of the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful wooden furniture whilst providing modern amenities fit for international travellers. The hotel also has a restaurant, cafe and bar.
Soft sleeper cabins are private compartments which have four bunks - two upper and two lower. A door separates the compartment from the aisle and bedding and pillows are provided. Each bunk is equipped with a small reading lamp. Temperature controls are installed alongside the door. Generally, the facilities include a clothes rack, slippers, clothes brush, stainless steel thermos, fine porcelain teacup, a waste bin and wall socket.
The Wan Nian Grand is a comfortable, friendly hotel with light, good sized rooms. Elegantly decorated, the rooms also boast modern amenities and the hotel has a wealth of facilities including an indoor pool and sauna house, a cafe and bar, and well-equipped business centre.
The newly opened Holiday Inn Express West Gate is a bright and modern hotel in downtown Chengdu. Guest rooms are clean and stylish with excellent amenities. Wi-Fi is available and complimentary wired internet is available in all rooms. Breakfast is served buffet style in the restaurant with a delicious array of Western and Chinese dishes. There is also an onsite bar available for refreshing beveradges. Located in the north of Chengdu and a 20 minute walk from Baiguolin Subway Station.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in China, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Feng was a very competent guide who had a lovely nature and spoke excellent English. She was very caring and went out of her way to ensure everyone was looked after and knew what was happening. Every part of the trip was well organised and went like clockwork. Our grouped gelled well together, sharing lots of laughs thanks to Feng. She provided us with wonderful commentary and interesting facts about China that made our trip worthwhile and interesting. I had a wonderful trip to China and enjoyed every minute of it. One of our group had an accident and she was calm and thorough in dealing with the situation. I can not speak more highly of her as a guide. ”