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Essential China

20 Night Small Group Tour from £2,519 per Person Including Flights

  • Included:
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Click here for Pricing & Dates

Overview

This tour of China takes you on 21 days of exploration around China’s most incredible cities, natural wonders and ancient sites.  Starting in the capital Beijing, you’ll see the Great Wall before travelling on to the world famous Shanghai, followed by a trip to see the iconic Terracotta Warriors. Through the rest of the journey you’ll visit a panda breeding centre, take a river cruise down the Yangtze and take in the sights of Hong Kong – this is truly your chance to see the best of China in one amazing tour. (GCL)

Highlights:

  • See the iconic Great Wall
  • Visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • Explore the amazing city of Shanghai
  • Visit the Terracotta Warriors
  • Get up close to giant pandas the Panda Breeding Centre (top tip: to see new born pandas, book this trip in autumn)
  • Marvel at the Grand Buddha in Leshan
  • Float down Yangtze River
  • See the sights in Hong Kong

Details

Day 1

Beijing

On arrival in Beijing you’ll transfer to your hotel and have a little bit of time to explore before the first group meeting at 6pm, where you’ll go through the details of your tour.

Day 2-4

Beijing/Great Wall

On the second day you’ll travel north to a section of the world famous Great Wall. This is truly one of the most iconic aspects of China and you’ll be able to get some fantastic photos from any of the 22 towers, as well as learn about its rich history.

On day three you’ll get the chance to explore two of Beijing’s top attractions – starting off with a guided tour of the historical Tiananmen Square, before heading over to the awe-inspiring Forbidden City. You’ll then have free time to visit the markets, view a Tibetan monastery or even explore the hutongs (ancient alleyways).

The morning of day four is at leisure, and then in the late afternoon you’ll take an overnight train to Shanghai – the journey lasts around 17 hours.

Day 5-7

Shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai and check into your hotel. From here you’ll take an orientation walk through the famous Nanjing Road before you reach the Shanghai Museum – known as one of the best in the whole of China.

Your sixth day is free to explore Shanghai. It’s a city of multiple wonders including fantastic shops and markets, unexpected colonial enclaves and a huge range of historical buildings and temples. After a morning of exploring in your own free time on day seven, you’ll board an overnight train to Xi’an – the journey lasts around 18 hours.

Day 8-9

Xi’an/Terracotta Warriors

On the morning of day eight you’ll arrive into Xi’an you’ll check into your hotel. Then you can visit the Muslim Quarter where you’ll see the Great Mosque and experience some amazing street food. Head to the city walls in the evening for a spectacular sunset.

On day nine you’ll head out on a day trip from Xi’an for a guided half-day tour of the Terracotta Warriors. Buried for over 2,000 years, the warriors were discovered in 1974 and now a fascinating glimpse into ancient China – not to be missed! In the evening, you’ll hop back on an overnight train to Emei Shan – the journey will take between 15 and 17 hours.

Day 10

Emei Shan

Upon arrival to Emei Shan in the afternoon, you will travel to the monastery for an overnight stay –this stay will be a fantastic, unique experience. The rest of the day will include a brief orientation walk, and free time to explore the main squares and bustling markets.

Dinner included

Day 11-12

Emei Shan

You’ll need to grab your walking boots – day 11 involves a scenic hike around Emei Shan. Including fascinating monasteries, the beautiful views from Mt Emei - one of China’s sacred Buddhist peaks – and an insight into the region, this is a brilliant way to learn more about Emei Shan.

On day 12 you will be visiting a family owned tea plantation near Emei Mountain, visiting the old villages and learning about China’s interesting tea culture.

Day 13

Emei Shan/Chengdu

Start the day with a visit to Dafo - the world’s largest stone carved Buddha - and view its magnificence from numerous viewpoints. There’s the option to hop on a boat and float along the Mingjang River to get a view of the statue from afar, before stopping at a forest-clad park for more views of the statues and beautiful temples. There are plenty of teahouses dotted in the park, too.
Later on in the day, you’ll board a fast train to Chengdu – the journey takes around one hour.

Day 14

Chengdu/Yangtze River

Day 14 gets to an adorable start - visiting the giant pandas at the Panda Breeking Centre. Created to provide these endangered animals with an ideal breeding environment, you'll learn all about their life cycle and see numerous rare species, including the elusive red panda. In the afternoon you'll board a two hour fast train to Chongqing, where you'll embark on a Chinese-style boat and settle in for the night.

Days 15 - 16

Yangtze River

Over the next two days you'll be drifting along the Yangtze River, floating through the Three Gorges en route to Yichang. There is the opportunity on both days to hop off the boat and take a trip down a beautiful tributary, or simple sit back on the deck and enjoy the stunning views.

Day 17

Yangtze River/Liuzhou

Once your boat has arrived in Yichang, you will board an overnight train to Liuzhou - the journey takes around 16 hours.

Day 18

Liuzhou/Yangshuo

This morning you will drive three and a half hours to Yangshuo, a gorgeous town with a backdrop of limestone karst mountains and the winding Li River. After a quick orientation walk, there's plenty of activities to choose from to while away the afternoon, including bamboo rafting, cooking classes, tai chi, or catching a showing of Light and Sound, produced by Zhang Yimou.

Day 19

Yangshuo

Today you will take a scenic bike tour through the picturesque countryside, offering an insight into the rural Chinese lifestyle. Along the way you'll pass rice paddies with grazing white buffalo, soaring limestone karsts and beautiful country scenery, with lunch at a local family's home in between.

Lunch included

Day 20

Hong Kong

You’ll arrive in Shenzen in the afternoon where you’ll cross the border and catch the metro into Hong Kong, where you’ll be able to enjoy the afternoon and evening. Your last evening of the tour is free for you to explore the heart of the city, looking through markets, shops and even taking a harbour cruise.

Day 21

Hong Kong

You depart Hong Kong. (Transfer is not included)

What's Included:

  • International flights
  • Internal travel: train, local bus, air-con bus, boat, walking, bicycle, plane, taxi
  • Hotels (10 nights), basic monastery (3 nights), sleeper trains (4 nights), Yangtze boat (3 nights)
  • 1 lunch, 1 dinner (allow USD350-420 for meals not included)
  • Great Wall excursion and entrance (Beijing); Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City guided tour; Shanghai Museum entrance; Xi'an orientation walk; Terracotta Warriors excursion and tour; Panda Breeding Center excursion (Chengdu); Emei Shan entrance; overnight stay in a monastery; Leshan Giant Buddha visit; Three Gorges boat trip with tributary excursion; and Yangshuo countryside bike ride with local lunch (full-day).
  • English-speaking Chinese tour guide throughout, plus local guides
  • Small group experience with maximum group size of 16, average of 12

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 18ºC
WED 24ºC
THU 22ºC
FRI 21ºC
SAT 13ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
9ºC
11ºC
16ºC
22ºC
26ºC
28ºC
30ºC
29ºC
24ºC
20ºC
16ºC
11ºC
0
0
1
2
3
4
8
7
4
2
1
0

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
9ºC
0
Feb
11ºC
0
Mar
16ºC
1
Apr
22ºC
2
May
26ºC
3
Jun
28ºC
4
Jul
30ºC
8
Aug
29ºC
7
Sep
24ºC
4
Oct
20ºC
2
Nov
16ºC
1
Dec
11ºC
0

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

01342 3105719am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 332 669

Lynn  Delgado

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