Kicking off in Beijing, soak up all the attractions of China’s historic capital before heading south to the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an and the Giant Pandas of Chengdu. Cruise along the mighty Yangtze River, passing through the stunning Three Gorges and then explore Shanghai and ancient Suzhou!
Saturday. Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel.
After a short group meeting we embark on a sightseeing tour of the nation’s capital and home of the 2008 Olympics. Tiananmen Square, partly framed by illustrious Chang-an Avenue, is essentially the heart of Beijing and is a public arena for the people and stage for Chairman Mao mausoleum. Across from the square is the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Up above the gate and looking out across to all his people, is Chairman Mao. Perhaps today, he is looking at a different Beijing, one that is quickly entering the 21st century. Heading back a few centuries, we step into the Forbidden City, the walled city of the former Chinese emperors, it was only opened after the last emperor was overthrown in 1911. Encompassing architecturally stunning temples and halls, the complex of the Forbidden city is simply spectacular.
Later, we take rickshaws to explore the Hutongs of Beijing. As our trusty rickshaw driver peddles us through the network of alleys and old back lanes, we gain a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. 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
Juyongguan - 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. We have time to enjoy and explore the wall before visiting a Jade Carving Centre to learn about this ornamental rock and its importance in Chinese culture. After lunch we head back to Beijing. Free time is offered in the cavernous Pearl Market - an Aladdin's Cave of souvenirs, handbags and gadgets, before travelling by express soft sleeper train to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Upon arrival into Xi'an we transfer to our hotel for breakfast and check in with time to freshen up. Today we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of Xian’s most iconic landmarks, followed by the vibrant Muslim Quarter.
Later we enjoy a leisurely bike ride atop the Xi’an City Wall. 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 Xi'an. Tonight, we offer our Tang Dynasty dinner and show. Check out our Tang Dynasty bolton for more details.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Lunch
Xi’an - Chengdu. Today's highlight is 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. Later we visit to a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines of the Terracotta Warriors before flying to Chengdu.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Giant Buddha of Leshan
Driving to Leshan our morning is spent exploring the UNESCO-listed Great Buddha, which is carved into the red sandstone face of Lingyun Hill overlooking the confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it. We return to Chengdu and the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Wake up with a visit to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. First opened in 1987 with just six pandas, after years of successful breeding projects the population now stands at over 80. Visitors can learn all about a panda's development and see both baby and adults pandas as well as the smaller red pandas. 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. The evening is spent at leisure. On most nights Sichuan Opera is performed at the Shufengyayun Theatre.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast
Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River cruiser. This morning we transfer to Chongqing (approx 2 hours), the start point for our exciting Yangtze River cruise. Before boarding the cruise (if time permits) we can stroll along Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.
Overnight: Yangtze River Cruiser | Breakfast, Dinner
Yangtze River cruise. Good morning from the River Yangtze! At 6340km in length, the Yangtze is the 3rd longest river in the world, neatly dividing China into north and south and wending its way through eight very different provinces. The Gorges are a breathtaking sight!
The first gorge we pass, Qutangxia Gorge is the shortest and narrowest yet the most impressive. Here, the dramatic 1200m limestone peaks are often shrouded in mist and the river shoots through the narrow entrance with great haste.
Next comes Wuxia Gorge, which straddles Sichuan and Hubei Provinces. Lined by twelve sheer peaks, Wuxia offers a spectacular vista for some 45km. Finally is Xiling Gorge, the longest at 75km and which comprises seven smaller gorges. During our cruise, we mayalso sail through the new ship locks of the impressive Three Gorges Dam.
Whilst cruising, shore excursions are offered at no additional expense to Shibaozhai and Shennong stream, with its unique scenery and four natural gorges. Drift serenely along the stream in small, open ‘pea pod boats’ (water levels dependant), looking out upon lush greenery, jagged peaks and ancient villages of the Tujia people - one of the local ethnic minorities.
Overnight: Yangtze River Cruiser | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Yichang - Nanjing. Disembarking from our cruise in Yichang at approx 11:00am. After lunch, we take a high speed train bound for Nanjing (approx 6 hours) reaching speeds of over 310km. Hotel check in and evening free in Nanjing.
Overnight: Nanjing | Breakfast, Lunch
Nanjing. Spend the morning at leisure before we enjoy lunch and embark on our afternoon city sightseeing tour. Former capital of the Ming Dynasty and capital of Republican China, from 1911 - 1949, Nanjing holds a rich history of both ancient and modern China. We visit the Fuzi Miao (Temple of Confucius) and the Mausoleum of Dr Sun Yatsen as part of our guided tour of the city. In 2018 (currently closed till Dec 2017) we will also visit the Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre, which is a moving experience that charts the atrocities committed at this very site.
Overnight: Nanjing | Breakfast, Dinner
A short train journey East is Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. The charming city boasts extensive waterways and canals dotted with traditional bridges, houses and gardens. A cruise on the Grand Canal exposes Suzhou’s beauty, as does our exploration of the Lingering Garden.
Overnight: Suzhou | Breakfast
Suzhou - Shanghai. Today we travel by road to bustling Shanghai where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Perhaps visit the Plaza tower, French Quarter, The Bund or the Old City.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast
Sunday. Tour ends after breakfast and included onward transfer to airport.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' 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 when necessary.
Yong An Hotel, Beijing
Just a 5 minute walk from the Agricultural Exhibition Centre, the Yong An hotel is a modern hotel with great amenities. Guest rooms are classically decorated with large windows allowing lots of natural light. The hotel has a restaurant that serves up both Chinese and western dishes. Complimentary wi-fi is available and the popular buzzing bar street is just a 15 minute taxi ride away.
Changjuyuan Hotel, Great Wall
Just a 15 minute walk to the Great Wall, Changjuyuan Hotel is a quaint property with some lovely views of the surrounding area. Guest rooms are basic but clean and comfortable with air conditioning and en suite facilities. The hotel has a number of facilities including a karaoke room and picking garden.
Wan Nian Grand Hotel, Xi'an
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.
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.
Century Star, Yangtze & Three Gorges
The Century Star prides itself on quality over quantity. All the cabins are comfortable with large windows. The ship itself has a whole host of leisure and dining facilities, including a gym, beauty salon, sun deck and stunning panoramic restaurant.
Century Sky Cruiser, Yangtze & Three Gorges
Described as one of the best 5 star ships on the Yangtze River, the Century Sky Cruiser offers complete comfort whilst cruising this legendary river. The deluxe cabins offer comfortable accommodation with en suite facilities and floor to ceiling windows for great views of the river on your very own private balcony. The ship also includes a Grand Restaurant and Sun Bar along with elevators and a five storey open-air Grand Atrium Lobby.
Nanjing Fangyuan Jinling Plaza, Nanjing
Built in 2005, the Nanjing Fangyuan Jinling is a modern hotel suitable for both business and leisure clients. There are a number of types of room from standard to suites and all designed with calming tones and warm lighting. The hotel has a beautiful indoor pool (open seasonally) and a restaurant, however more restaurants and shops are available a short walk away. The accommodation is well located out of the city and close to the Nanjing Bridge.
Suzhou Nanya Hotel, Suzhou
Enveloped in elegant surroundings this 4 star hotel is well-equipped with recreational and business facilities. The smart guestrooms are comfortable with excellent amenities including internet access.
Ramada Wujiaochang Shanghai , Shanghai
Located within the Wujiaochang business district, this modern high-rise hotel boasts comfortable living. Guests can grab a drink at the lobby bar and dine in the on-site restaurant, or alternatively venture out into the city to find somewhere to local to eat. Guest rooms benefit from high-speed internet access and LCD TVs. There's also a gym, sauna, spa, shop and concierge for additional convenience. The Bund and People's Square, in the heart of Shanghai are less than 10km away as is the shopping haven of Nanjing Road.
Excellent guide - confident and patient.”
Travelled to China to take this tour in March 2014. Yet another unforgettable experience with OTG. Tour guides were well organised, informative and fun throughout. A good mix of people within the tour group lead to a great tour of these amazing places and historic sites. The tour takes in all the major historic sites of China and all tour guides were well equiped to answer all of our questions. Amazing and would highly recommend! Thank you once again OTG!!”
The guides were well informed. They were professional and caring throughout the whole tour. They were accommodating regarding requests. It was a pleasure to be with them.”
Stephanie was brilliant. Her enthusiasm and laughter rubbed off on the group and helped everyone to relax.
She was very professional yet friendly. Plus she had an amazing amount of knowledge about everywhere we visited. This was not just the sight seeing spots and the restaurants. It was also about providing directions or accompanying you when you needed something which was non standard. eg A wheel broke on our suitcase and so we needed a replacement. Not only did Stephanie know where to go for the best deals but she also came with us.. It was the same when someone's shoe got broken. She accompanied them to a shop and even negotiated a discount for them.
Stephanie is a star and made sure that our trip far exceeded what we had hoped for”
The tour was great in that we were allowed free time to do our own thing rather than being rushed from pillar to post. This meant we were able to get a feel of modern China, not just see a series of ancient things. Also having some dinners free meant we could try local food rather than be always having to eat tourist menu number one. We were lucky in that Stephanie knew some very good restaurants near our hotels. Stefanie was fun, informative and contributed a lot to our enjoyment of the tour. ”
Both Benny and Steph were fantastic. nothing was too much trouble and they both ensured we had a great trip. Bennys enthusiasm was amazing and his love of his country very obvious. Loved the trip and would recommend to anyone.
Could I please ask that Steph email us the contact list of all fellow travellers of the trip as I am yet to receive this.
I had a great tour and Feng was a great guide for the first part of my tour.”
I did the Yin and Yangtze tour, joining from and returning to Hong Kong, where I visited a son on secondment from London. The first thing to mention is that I came as a single traveller, but I need have had no worries. The group comprised both younger and older travellers from several different countries, including half a dozen other solo members, and we all mingled, collaborated and supported each other brilliantly, to an extent that I have not experienced on previous holidays. This aspect made a great holiday even better - so thank you, guys; you know who you are!
Next, I have to say that the organisation and management of the tour were outstanding; everything just clicked, and any minor problems were quickly resolved. Special thanks to our principal tour manager, Stephanie, who was just great. Now and then one did get the feeling that things were somewhat regulated, prescribed or circumscribed to conform to the wishes and notions of the host nation, but given where we were that was perhaps hardly surprising and it did not detract from the enjoyment. There was of course relatively little contact with "ordinary people"; those Chinese with whom we did have contact, in hotels, restaurants, tourist venues, taxis and trains etc, were, I thought, efficient and business-like rather than particularly friendly or personable. Perhaps they have yet to learn to relax in the company of foreigners!
The tour itself, the places we visited and the sights we saw, exceeded expectations. Whether one was in a city, at a famous site/sight or just in the street, on the Yangtze cruise (or an astonishing "peapod" boat!), in a garden or museum, at the Great Wall, on a train or among soaring new skyscrapers and bridges, there was variety aplenty, much to admire and wonder at, so much that was unique, historic, or just different from anything experienced before.
Our accommodations varied, from fair to rather good, but were generally comfortable and spotless; and the food throughout was varied, plentiful and enjoyable. At the end, though, in Shanghai, my remaining companions and I found our way to the French quarter. There we happened upon the 'Boxing Cat Brewery', serving real ales, cocktails and an international variety of food, which, I confess, by that stage came as a welcome change! With a pool table and dart-board for amusement, it felt just like "home". But then Shanghai is a very cosmopolitan city, evidently trying hard to be like Hong Kong, and very much part of modern China.
Overall, this trip really was "on-the-go" and, partly because of a heavy cold that developed in the last few days, I came home exhausted. But I wouldn't have missed any of it. Everyone should go! Thank you, to all in my group and to everyone at On the Go Tours. ”
Stephanie was an absolute pleasure and so helpful. She made the trip really enjoyable and went above and beyond the call of duty, wonderful lady.”
Firstly we do not think that the experience as a whole could have been better so really there are only good things to relate in that regard. The National guides we had, Nicky on the tailor-made tour, and Betty and Tom (not their real names obviously) on the Yin and Yangtze were exemplary and we cannot speak highly enough of their knowledge, attitude, patience, assistance, and thoughtfulness. They were able to change the itinerary depending on traffic etc to ensure we had the maximum time advantage at each attraction. There was never an apparent hurry and everyone's varying needs and wishes were catered for. Speaking to other tourist groups along the way, this was not always their experience.
The tours fully covered all the tourist aspects of China that were advertised on the brochures and were the ones we wanted to experience. The only exception was the cruise terminated above the wall of the Three Gorges Dam due to adverse weather conditions. In hindsight this was probably for the best as we understood that being on the ship in the 5 cavernous locks is noisy and could be smelly with diesel fumes. The next morning Tom had made all the necessary arrangements for a bus tour of the dam wall and associated facilities, so we missed nothing.
We were the oldest couple on the tour but did not have any problems with the pace at all. Our guide, Tom, made himself available to the younger ones to go out in the evening thus enhancing their experience.
Since our return we have recommended "On The Go" to people we know and will continue to do so. We would have no hesitation to take one of your tours again to another exotic destination.
Thank you Kelly for your friendly can do attitude through the planning, advice, and purchase phases of this holiday. We have enjoyed every bit. ”
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Excellent guide - confident and patient.”