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Luxury family China: emperors, warriors & pandas

15 days from £9,510pp

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Tour highlights

  • See the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors.

  • Visit Chengdu Panda Research Base and see the giant pandas.

  • Discover Beijing’s Hutongs and scenic Yangshuo countryside by bike.

  • Take in an awe-inspiring kung fu show and learn the moves.

  • Sample local Beijing breakfasts and learn to make dumplings.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international and domestic flights
  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

With international business class flights from a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Beijing.

  • On arrival, you'll be met for the drive into the city. You have the rest of the day free to relax and recover from your journey.

  • 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.

  • 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 be one of your trip's highlights. 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.

  • 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 exhibits, before attending an exciting kung fu show in the evening.

  • Early this morning, learn the ancient art of t'ai chi with a master in a private class before exploring the Temple of Heaven with your private guide. 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 practise 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • You will be taken by private transfer to Xian North and depart for Chengdu on a bullet train, a four-hour journey. On arrival, you're met by a private guide and driver and taken to your hotel. You will have time at leisure before this evening’s Sichuan Opera show. Sichuan Opera is a traditional art form that combines several stunts like sword-hiding, fire-spitting and most famously, face-changing.

  • 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.

  • Spend the day visiting the 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 into 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. This afternoon is at leisure and you can explore Shanghai independently. We suggest visiting the Jade Buddha temple, one of the few working monasteries in the city, and the colonial waterfront of the Bund, where you can look across at the ultra-modern skyscrapers of the Pudong district. Fuxing Park is also a pleasant place to wander around, particularly in the morning when locals engage in exercise classes, as are the Yu Gardens.

  • Today you will be taken to the airport by private transfer in time for your return flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

Audley Travel specialist Chris
Contact a China specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to China will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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