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Essential China

Mixed Board Basis 20 nights from £2,699 per person

  • Included:
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
  • No credit card fees for Visa and Mastercard
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 - ACEC)

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 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 and meet the other members.

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, opt to take a cable car ride up tower 14 and then if you fancy toboggan back down!

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). In the evening you have an option to go to the Kung Fu show following the tale of a young boy.

The morning of day four is at leisure, and then in the afternoon you’ll take a bullet train to Shanghai – the journey lasts around 5.5 hours travelling at 300km an hour to cut down journey time by 12 hours!

Day 5-6

Shanghai

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. Then spend the day at your leisure, enjoying all that Shanghai has to offer. We’d recommend an Acrobat performance for some evening entertainment!

You’ll have another free day 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. Next to the Bazaars you can go into the Yuyuna Gardens – a 5 acre wonderful garden often with events taking place inside. After exploring all there is to see, you’ll board an overnight train to Xi’an – the journey lasts around 18 hours.

Day 7-8

 Xi’an

On arrival to Xi’an after checking into the hotel you’ll have a couple of free days to explore the city. 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.

Head to the Big Goose Pagoda – a beautiful Buddhist temple, if you go in the evening you’ll be in time for an amazing light show. Opt to go on a cycling tour of the ancient city walls and hop off as you wish to admire the views and absorb the history.

Day 9

Terracotta Warriors

On day nine you’ll head out from Xi’an for a guided 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 10-12

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.

Day 11 you’ll need to grab your walking boots, you’ll go on a scenic hike around Emei Shan. Visiting fascinating monasteries and exploring with 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 Giant Buddha where you can board a boat to float along the river before stopping to explore a beautiful forested park for views of the statue and temples. You can climb down the path from the statues head to its enormous toes! There are plenty of teahouses dotted in the park too.

Day 13

Emei Shan/Chengdu

Today you’ll board a fast train to Chengdu – the journey takes around one hour leaving you time to explore this tea and spice loving city.

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, rock climbing, acupuncture and a traditional massage, cooking classes, tai chi, or catch a show 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 water 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)

We would recommend staying a day or two post tour to ensure you get to fully experience this vibrant city.

  • International flights
  • Internal travel: train, local bus, air-con bus, boat, walking, bicycle, taxi
  • Hotels (10 nights), basic monastery (3 nights), sleeper trains (4 nights), Yangtze boat (3 nights)
  • 1 lunch (allow USD540-705 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, and 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 310 5719am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 332 669

Tom

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