The Award Winning Leader in Escorted Worldwide Rail Holidays

01904 734 356

Open 7 Days A Week
17 Days from£3,495per person
View Dates & PricesEnquire

Grand Tour of China

17 Days from£3,495
per person
View gallery
(Tour code: CYG18)

Discover China's highlights on a single tour

A dizzying mix of ancient cultures, tumultuous history, breathtaking natural beauty and dynamic urban landscapes, China is a feast for all the senses. Magnificent Beijing, the legendary Terracotta Warriors, captivating pandas and a cruise through the Three Gorges combine to offer an unforgettable experience.

Highlights
  • Beijing
  • Great Wall of China
  • Xi'an & the Terracotta Warriors
  • Chengdu & Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute
  • Leshan & the Giant Buddha
  • Yangtze River Cruise & the Three Gorges
  • Wuhan & Yellow Crane Tower
  • Suzhou & its UNESCO-listed gardens
  • Shanghai and the Jade Buddha Temple
What’s Included
  • First Class Rail
  • 12 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • 5* Cruise Ship
    All-Inclusive Board Basis
    Century River Cruise ship

Grand Tour of China 2018Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 Heaven Temple, Beijing
Heaven Temple, Beijing

To Beijing

We depart London for our overnight flight to Beijing, arriving on Day 2. After transferring to the Novotel Peace Hotel, the rest of your day is free to begin your investigations of this captivating city.

Day 3 Tiananmen Gate, Beijing
Tiananmen Gate, Beijing

Exploring Beijing

Today we discover the sights and sounds of China's vibrant capital. This morning, we visit the Temple of Heaven, a beautiful edifice in central Beijing. After some time here, we visit the infamous Tiananmen Square, which, at over 4 million square feet, is the largest city square in the world.

Stretched out across this space are several vivid reminders of China's political history, including an imposing portrait of Chairman Mao. We also take in the neighbouring Forbidden City, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Boasting almost 1,000 buildings, this magnificently restored complex - with its historic pagodas and traditional Chinese palace buildings - makes a dynamic contrast with the square.

Day 4 Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

This morning we visit the world-famous Great Wall of China. Listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this masterpiece of Chinese workmanship stretches thousands of miles from the Gobi Desert to the Korean border - and is truly an awesome sight to behold.

We visit the Mutianyu section, a beautifully preserved stretch which offers incredible views over the seemingly endless mountain scenery. After ascending by chair lift, we have the opportunity to walk along the wall before returning to Beijing. Here we see the 'Water Cube' and the 'Bird's Nest', the main arenas used in the 2008 Olympic Games. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner together.

Days 5-6 Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an
Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an

To Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

Leaving Beijing behind, we join the rail service to Xi'an. Our journey on the new high-speed service takes us through the beautiful landscapes of rural China. In Xi'an we transfer to the Grand Mercure Hotel for two nights.

On Day 6 we discover the famous Terracotta Warriors - one of the world's greatest archaeological finds. The 6,000 figures - some with horses or chariots, but all with unique features - were buried in 210 BC, yet only discovered 40 years ago. The life-sized statues were built as part of an elaborate tomb of the Qin Emperor, believed to protect him in death just as his real army had in life. Built on an incredible scale, the soldiers - all grouped in rank order - are a breathtaking sight. Later we discover more of the walled city of Xi'an, taking in the Great Mosque, the city's lively bazaar and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Dating back to the 8th century, the towering structure is a leading example of Tang Dynasty architecture.

Days 7-8 Giant Buddha, Leshan
Giant Buddha, Leshan

Chengdu, Leshan and the Giant Buddha

We transfer to the airport today for the short internal flight to Chengdu, where we spend two nights at the Tibet Hotel.

On Day 8 we travel into rural China to Leshan, and visit the ancient Giant Buddha Statue. Carved into a towering mountain range, it is the world's largest stone statue at 233ft tall. We have time to admire this immense structure before returning to Chengdu. Here we see the Wenshu Monastery, one of China's finest Buddhist structures, as well as the historic teak buildings on Jinli Street.

Day 9 Chengdu pandas
Chengdu pandas

Chengdu and the Yangtze River

Today we visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute, which is spread out over 200 acres and is now home to more than 100 of these magnificent creatures. The project allows us to see the Giant Panda, an incredibly enchanting and rare creature, at close quarters with almost uninterrupted views.

Later we transfer to the station for the high-speed bullet train service to Chongqing, situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Here we board the luxury 5-Star Century river ship for our three night cruise along the Yangtze River, through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges.

Days 10-11 Yangtze River
Yangtze River

The Yangtze and the Three Gorges

This morning there is an optional excursion to Fengdu Ghost City. This afternoon we visit the stunning Shibaozhai Pagoda, rising 12 stories up a sheer cliff face.

Our cruise continues on Day 11 with a journey through some of the most wonderful scenery on the river - the Three Gorges. First we enter the shortest but most dramatic of the gorges, Qutang Gorge, with steep mountains on either side of the 5 mile stretch. Continuing through the Wu Gorge, we then transfer to smaller river boats for a trip along one of the narrow Yangtze tributaries. This evening, enjoy the Captain's Banquet on board, as we descend the aweinspiring feat of engineering that is the complex lock system at the Three Gorges Dam.

Days 12-13 Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan
Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan

To Wuhan and Suzhou

We visit the colossal Three Gorges Dam, which is now the world's largest hydro power project, before our lunchtime disembarkation in Yichang. From here we travel by highspeed train to Wuhan, for a night at the Marco Polo Hotel.

On Day 13 we visit Wuhan's distinctive Yellow Crane Tower, a stunning example of traditional Chinese architecture and the subject of many local legends, before transferring to the railway station for our eastward journey to Suzhou. We spend two nights at the 5-Star Pan Pacific Hotel.

Day 14 Suzhou
Suzhou

Exploring Suzhou

With its beautifully preserved centre, Suzhou is known as 'China's Garden City', and today we discover some of its standout attractions. We visit the Master of Nets, a traditional garden with many classic architectural styles. Later we enjoy a rickshaw ride along the pretty Pingjiang Canal and through the narrow, bustling streets, before taking a cruise on the charming Shantang Canal.

Days 15-17 Nanjin Road, Shanghai
Nanjin Road, Shanghai

To Shanghai and London

We travel by high-speed train to Shanghai, a fast-paced metropolis where centuries-old street markets jostle for position with soaring skyscrapers. We see the Yu Garden in Shanghai's historic core.

On Day 16 we explore Shanghai's great variety of landmarks. We visit the Jade Buddha Temple, a mighty structure with many statues made from precious stones. On Day 17 we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London.

Please note

Please note

Please note that throughout your tour you will need to be able to transfer your own luggage on and off each train we travel on as porterage is not included.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Scheduled flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai to London
  • All internal flights as described
  • First-Class, high-speed rail travel throughout

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 12 nights' 4 and 5-Star hotel accommodation
  • 3-night cruise on board a 5-Star cruise ship on the Yangtze River

Delicious meals included

  • 36 meals, including 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 8 dinners, including an authentic Peking duck dinner in Beijing

 

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Tours of Beijing, Xi'an, Suzhou and Shanghai
  • Excursions to the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall of China
  • Tour of Xi'an
  • Visits to the Giant Buddha Statue in Leshan and the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute
  • Excursion to Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower

Enhancing your tour

  • Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy from £450 per person each way

British Citizens require a visa to enter China. Please see the Visa section of 'Things You Should Know' for further details.

What our customers think
95%

of travellers would recommend this tour

Tour Rating

based on 23 verified reviews

Available tour extensions
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
from £445 per personView details
Tibet Extension
Tibet Extension
Tibet
from £1,795 per personView details
Lori Mcclaren
Lori
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Phil Conde
Phil
Kathryn Cambridge
Kathryn
Grand Tour of China

Discover China's highlights on a single tour

Call:

Enquire
Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2017/18

Long haul rail holidays to North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

Order Brochure
GRJ Independent

Tailor make this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

Click to enquire
Similar tours
View Shortlist 0