The Shangri-La Express is a combined rail journey and river cruise that zigzags across China from Beijing to Hong Kong. The route introduces passengers to the city of Xi'an, known as the burial place of the first Emperor of Quin and his incredible Terracotta Army, and Chengdu, the home of the giant panda and capital of the Sichuan Province.
The First Class sleeping carriages on the Shangri-La Express offer passengers an ideal environment in which to experience the passing Chinese countryside. Carriages are fitted with upper and lower berths, the lower of which converts to daytime sofa seating. Between each cabin, there is a washroom with washbasin. There are toilets at the end of each cabin and a shower car with shower compartments.
Passengers dine in the train's restaurant cars, where meals prepared by the on-board chefs are served. Breakfasts are Western-style while lunch and dinner comprise a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes and specialities. Wines from around the world accompany meals; soft drinks, tea, and coffee are readily available.
The Shangri-La Express also offers a 'Piano Bar' carriage, where the resident pianist entertains and takes requests. It is the ideal place to relax, read a book, or get to know your fellow passengers as you watch the passing scenery. Attendants also give educational presentations here during the journey.
The river cruise portion of the journey takes passengers through the spectacular Three Gorges region, passing the Qutang Gorge, the Wu Xia Gorge, and the Xiling Gorge, where we see the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the world. The Shangri-La Express then continues through Guilin, a city with an unusual skyline of towering limestone hills, and the city of Guangzhou before reaching the former British colony of Hong Kong.