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15 days from £4,880pp
See the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors.
Visit Chengdu Panda Research Base and see the giant pandas.
Discover Yangshuo's countryside by bike.
Sample local Beijing breakfasts and learn to make dumplings.
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Day 1 International outbound flight
International outbound flight
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Beijing.
Day 2 Beijing
Day 3 Beijing
Begin your discovery of China’s vast capital with a visit to the historic Tiananmen Square. Surrounded by the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, and Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest and each day, thousands of locals come and pay respects to Chairman Mao’s statue from far and wide. Continue to the Forbidden City, a vast site of ancient buildings that was once off limits to all but the emperor and the imperial family. You will have time in the afternoon to rest or explore Beijing independently.
Day 4 Beijing
Today you will visit the Great Wall at Jinshanling, with its spectacular views and mountain scenery. This is one of the quietest and most attractive parts of the wall and should prove to be one of the highlights of your trip. Take a four-hour walk on the wall with your private guide, looping back through a valley. After the excursion you will be taken back to Beijing.
Day 5 Beijing
Spend the morning sampling a selection of Chinese breakfast specialities on a shared group tour. This three-hour tour will take you deep into the Hutongs, grids of streets of low-rise buildings with preserved siheyuan (courtyard) housing that speak of Old China. In the afternoon you visit the fun and interesting Sony ExploraScience Centre, with its interactive exhibitions before attending an exciting Kung Fu show in the evening.
Day 6 Xian
Early this morning take a tour of the Temple of Heaven with your private guide with a chance to participate in a Tai Chi lesson. This Confucian-designed temple is technically an altar and stands in the middle of a leafy park, where you can witness Beijing's elderly citizens practice various exercises and dances. Later, you will be taken to Beijing West railway station by private transfer. Take the bullet train to the city of Xian, a five-and-a-half-hour journey. On arrival you're met by a private guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.
Day 7 Xian
This morning see Xian's star attraction, the Terracotta Army, with your private guide. Even if you have read about these ancient models, nothing can prepare you for their sheer scale and number. Discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well, it is now one of the main tourist attractions in China and one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Enjoy lunch at a local family’s home with a chance to chat with them and gain insight into their lives. After lunch, take a short cycling excursion on the Ancient City Wall. Originally built during the Ming dynasty, the city wall has been restored to its former glory and you can marvel at the sheer scale of the construction as you stroll along the ramparts that provide magnificent views of the city. End the day with a visit to the Muslim Quarter, walking through the narrow lanes that feature old mud brick houses, butchers’ shops, small sesame oil factories and the Grand Mosque.
Day 8 Chengdu
Day 9 Chengdu
Today you'll visit the Chengdu Panda Research Base, which provides an excellent opportunity to get as close as possible to China's 'ambassador’ animal and see some less endangered species, such as the smaller red panda. In the afternoon, visit the Bamboo Park where you'll learn how to play mahjong with a master, in the picturesque setting of a teahouse.
Day 10 Guilin
Spend the day visiting Giant Buddha of Leshan. Carved within a cliff face overlooking the confluence of the Dadu and Min rivers, at 71 metres it is one of the largest Buddhas in the world. Return to Chengdu airport via Huanglongxi old town, which is about 1,700 years old and has been recently restored. Its ancient streets, trees, temples, wharves and heritage houses offer a wonderful glance in to how life in China used to be. Evening flight to Guilin and on arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to your hotel.
Day 11 Yangshuo
This morning you take a cruise on the Li River to the picturesque town of Yangshuo. En route, the cruise passes some extraordinary karst peaks and scenery along with delightful country houses and communities. After checking in to your hotel you'll take a private cycling tour into the scenic countryside, riding through interesting local villages and rice paddies.
Day 12 Yangshuo
This morning take a private Kung Fu class and learn some basic moves before enjoying a ride on a bamboo raft on Yulong river in the afternoon. This is extremely relaxing and offers superb views and photographic opportunities.
Day 13 Shanghai
Morning transfer to Guilin airport for your flight to Shanghai. On arrival in Shanghai, you will be met at the airport by your guide and taken to your hotel by private car. Alternatively, you may wish to take a ride on the super-fast Maglev train into the city and continue by private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to soak in the atmosphere of China’s exciting modern city.
Day 14 Shanghai
In the morning, you will take a private food and walking tour through the leafy streets of the former French Concession. Stopping off at only-known-to-locals streetside stalls and small eateries, you’ll try different regional foods, including the Shanghainese signature dish, xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). Later, you’ll learn how to make dumplings under the guidance of a local chef before sitting down to enjoy your handiwork.
Day 15 International return flight
Shanghai , International return flight
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