Setting out from Beijing uncover some of China’s most famous and ancient sites, from the legendary Great Wall, to Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors and Leshan’s Giant Buddha, plus meet the country’s cuddly mascot, walk the Dragon’s Backbone and enjoy some free time in spectacular Yangshuo.
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.
Overnight: Beijing | Breakfast, Dinner
After a free morning to further explore the city, 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 we spend the night at our quaint hotel near Juyongguan Pass, which offers views of the Great Wall.
Overnight: Great Wall | Breakfast
Morning at the Great Wall
Beijing - Xi’an. Beijing - Xi’an. We rise early this morning and head (5 min bus drive) to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass when it opens to beat the crowds. Explore and enjoy the spectacular scenery in peace as this section sees far fewer tourists.After we visit a Jade Carving Centre and have lunch before returning to Beijing. Free time is offered in the cavernous Pearl Market, a one stop shop for souvenirs, handbag, silk and more. In the evening we board our train to Xi'an.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Arrive Xi’an, hotel check in and time to freshen up. Today we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of Xian’s most iconic landmarks, followed by the Muslim Quarter. After we enjoy a bike ride atop the Xi’an City Wall (electric car option available). Dating back to 1370 the 12m-high walls are some of the few remaining urban fortifications still standing in China today and after extensive restorations the City Walls offer ample opportunities from which to explore Xian. Tonight, offer an optional Tang Dynasty add-on, which includes dinner and a traditional performance, book with your travel consultant to secure your place.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Lunch
Xi’an - Chengdu. This morning we visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site. Standing in battle-ready formation and numbering into the thousands, the Terracotta Army is Xian’s most popular sight and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, 13 years after the army was discovered. Built by local craftsman during the 3rd century BC for emperor Qinshihuang, the life-sized warriors and horses were designed to offer protection in the afterlife. After we visit to a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines of the Terracotta Warriors. Late this afternoon we take a high speed train to Chengdu. Reaching speeds of up to 300km per hour the journey is an experience in itself!
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Today's highlight is the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened in 1993 it is fast becoming one of China’s must see places. 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. Later we visit the Wenshu Monastery, built during the Qing Dynasty. The temple is a hidden gem with few tourists visiting and a stop must be made at the delightful teahouse located inside the temple grounds which serves a fine cup of green tea and some of the best vegetarian food in the city. The evening is spent at leisure. On most nights Sichuan Opera is performed at the Shufengyayun Theatre and tickets can be booked locally or in advance.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast
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. Dafo has huge 8m feet, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m! Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Chengdu - Yangshuo. Early this morning we fly to Guilin where we’ll drive out to Longsheng for a tour of the spectacular terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. 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. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views.
Later we head to Yangshou for the night. The remainder of our time here is 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. Time can also be spent exploring the ancient alley of West Street. Maybe enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. By nightfall, visit any of the cafes, pubs or bars or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical, with a cast of 500 singers and dancers.
Overnight: Yangshuo | Breakfast x 3
Yangshou - Shanghai. In the afternoon on day 12, we drive to Guilin and fly onward to Shanghai. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. Shanghai is a city where old meets new with the former French concession and traditional Chinese buildings standing beside gleaming modern skyscrapers and neon lights. Spend the next day at leisure, independently exploring this cosmopolitan city. Head to the attractive Bund waterfront area and take in the spectacular Pudong skyline, stroll around the beautiful Yuyuan Garden and explore the picturesque Old Town.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast x 2
Friday. Our time in China comes to an end today. Following breakfast and hotel check-out a transfer will take you to the airport for your onward travels.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven, Beijing
The Beijing Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven is an elegant and comfortable hotel with well-furnished and spacious rooms. Practical in design, the guestrooms feature internet access and the hotel also boasts a range of restaurants and bars, as well as an indoor swimming pool. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Temple of Heaven, the hotel is the perfect base from which to explore this fascinating city.
Holiday Inn Express Beijing Minzuyuan, Beijing
Located just a stones throw from the Beitucheng Subway station, with access to Line 10 & Line 8, the Holiday Inn Express Beijing Minzuyuan is a perfect base to explore the many amazing highlights of Beijing. Within walking distance of the hotel you'll find the famous Birds Nest Olympic Stadium. The hotel boasts a stylish restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Wan Nian Grand Hotel, Xi'an
The Wan Nian Grand is a comfortable, friendly hotel with light and spacious guest 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 hotel is located 4 kilometres from the railway station and 30 kilometres from the airport.
Holiday Inn Express West Gate, Chengdu
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.
New West Street International Hotel, Yangshuo
Boasting a stunning setting surrounded by mountains, this modern-style hotel offers an array of facilities spread over a 60-acre area. Alongside the fantastic outdoor swimming pool, guests can enjoy tennis and badminton courts, a golf driving range, sauna and fitness centre. When it comes to dining, there is a choice between Chinese and Western cuisine, as well as a coffee shop. Guestrooms are spacious and well-equipped, with extra amenities including a small refrigerator and complimentary Wi-Fi, with some offering mountain views.
New West Street Hotel, Yangshuo
Offering a fantastic location in the very centre of Yangshuo, the New West Street Hotel is set just opposite Yansghuo Park. Its guestrooms are well-equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and an electric kettle, with some providing views over the surrounding mountains. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and for an additional fee, guests are able to enjoy the rejuvenating spa and massage treatments in the wellness centre.
Ramada Encore Shanghai Hotel , Shanghai
Ideally located close to several plazas and shopping centres, this modern hotel offers you a comfortable stay in one of China’s fastest growing cities. Guestrooms are equipped with all the essential amenities, with free WiFi and access to the breakfast buffet included. The onsite Dakang Restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, and you can expect a tasty menu featuring both Western and Chinese cuisine. Other amenities include a fitness centre, coffee shop and small convenience store.
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The tour exceeded our expectations. The tour guide was very professional and made sure we were well looked after everywhere we went. ”