Saturday. Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure exploring China’s capital city. Vast squares, magnificent palaces and beautiful gardens are just some of the treasures still visible from the Beijing’s imperial past, while down narrow alleyways one can find charming tea houses, traditional workshops, and quiet courtyards.
First thing this morning we will embark on a guided tour of the city centre, including the legendary Forbidden City, which stood as the residence of emperors and as the political powerhouse of the country for over half a millennia. Today it houses the Palace Museum and is the country’s largest and best-preserved complex of ancient buildings, which we will get to explore. The red-roofed Gate of Heavenly Peace stands entrance to the Forbidden City just off of Tiananmen Square, a vast public space which is home to Chairman’s Mao’s Mausoleum and several historic monuments as well as being a fascinating place to people watch and snap a few pictures.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs – or backstreets, of Beijing and in the evening we will witness a jaw-dropping Chinese acrobatic performance. Human pyramids, spinning plates, juggling hoops and swinging ropes are just some of the tricks you can expect to see here. Later we’ll head to a local restaurant for 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 at the foot of the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass.
Overnight: Juyongguan Pass. | Breakfast
Beijing - Xi’an. We rise early this morning and head to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass first thing before the crowds arrive. 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 - a multi floor shoppers paradise with clothing, jewellery, gadgets and much more, 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 - Shanghai. 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. We’ll enjoy an early dinner this evening before heading to the train station for our overnight journey to Shanghai.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Arriving early in the morning we will be welcomed by a skyline filled with shimmering skyscrapers, gleaming shopping malls, luxurious hotels and thriving art centres in modern Shanghai. After check-in and breakfast at our hotel, we will take a tour of the many city sights including Yuyuan Garden and The Bund – once the trading and commercial centre of Old Shanghai, before ending with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast
Saturday. Shanghai. Our tour will come to an end after breakfast and your onward departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
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!
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.
Juyongguan Pass Great Wall, Great Wall
At the foot of the Great Wall, Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel offers classic Chinese architecture and basic but comfortable en suite rooms. An on site restaurant serves up local cuisine and Wi-Fi is available throughout. Being just a few minutes from the entrance to the Juyongguan Pass gives us the opportunity to be first up at the Wall in the morning.
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.
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.
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.