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Discover China

Take a whirlwind adventure through China’s ancient and modern wonders

12 daysSold out

2019 Tour code: 19CVS


This tour is operated by Raildiscoveries

About the tour

Take an adventure through China's ancient and modern wonders. Travel from bustling Beijing, with its Great Wall, to ancient Xi'an and its Terracotta Warriors, cruising the Yangtze River en-route. This tour is operated by our sister company Rail Discoveries.



This tour is operated by Raildiscoveries

What’s included


Day 1 - Beijing

Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Presidential Hotel in Beijing.

Forbidden City, Beijing
Day 2 - The Great Wall of China

This morning begins with a rickshaw tour of Beijing's hutongs, or backstreets, known for their association with the city's history.

Later, enjoy a highlight of your tour, with a visit to the iconic Great Wall of China. You visit the Mutianyu section of the wall, one of the best preserved and most visited parts of this worldfamous structure. This particular section is one of the oldest sections of the wall, and it was first built in the 6th century. After time to explore this magnificent piece of ancient engineering at your own pace, you return to Beijing, pausing en-route at the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube - examples of Beijing's modern architecture - for a photo opportunity. After a busy day exploring Beijing's best attractions, you enjoy a dinner of authentic Peking duck tonight.

The Great Wall of China
Days 3-4 - Shanghai’s secrets

Spend the morning exploring Beijing with a guided tour. Visit Tiananmen Square, the location of the now infamous 1989 uprising and, at over 4 million square feet, the largest city square in the world.

You continue this afternoon to the Forbidden City - a palace and garden complex once inhabited by the Chinese royal family, and now preserved as a testament to China's long history. The incredible complex was built on a grand scale, with 980 buildings spread over 180 acres housing the family, their staff and the royal guard from 1406 to the abdication of the last Chinese Emperor in 1912. Constructed to reflect the Purple Palace, where it was thought god resided in heaven, the Forbidden City's opulence is testament to the Emperor's role as a divine ruler.

Leave the capital behind this afternoon, as you board the high-speed train to Shanghai. On arrival, you are met by a local English-speaking guide, who takes you on a sightseeing tour. Discover the iconic Bund, part of the city's famously futuristic architecture, as well as the French Concession, where distinctive western architecture pays testament to the history of French colonialism in this region. There is also time to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Nanjing Road, a largely pedestrianised thoroughfare and major shopping centre in Shanghai. Afterwards, dinner is served at a local restaurant.

Continue your tour of Shanghai on Day 4, with a visit to some of the city's hidden attractions. Yu Garden is an oasis of peace amidst Shanghai's lively streets, situated in the older quarters of the city. The extensive gardens are spread out over 5 acres, and have a serene feel, with the typical features of Imperial gardens created by China's former rulers - from ornate pavilions and tranquil pools filled with brightly-coloured fish, to curious stacked rockeries and decadent halls with traditional winged roofs. You also visit the Old City of Shanghai, the Chinese enclave that resisted the influences of the foreign concessions in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, and the Yuyuan Bazaar, a busy shopping quarter adjacent to the city's oldest street.

This afternoon, transfer to Maoping to board the Goddess II cruise ship, for a journey by water through some of China's most dramatic and beautiful scenery.

Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai
Days 5-7 - Cruising the Yangtze

Today, your scenic cruise along the Yangtze River begins. You take a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam today, before your ship passes through the striking Xiling Gorge. On Day 6, the ship makes its way through the Qutang and Wu Gorges, both renowned for their beauty.

On Day 7 you visit Fengdu Ghost Town.

Yangtze River
Days 8-9 - Chengdu and its pandas

Disembark from the ship today in Chongqing, where you board the high-speed train to Chengdu. On arrival, you take in the city's highlights, including the Wenshu Monastery, which boasts the title of Chengdu's best-preserved Buddhist temple, and lively Jinli Street. On the morning of Day 9, you have plenty of time at leisure, then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Following this, you visit the famous Leshan Giant Buddha, an ancient monument that stands over 200ft tall.

Panda, Chengdu
Days 10-11 - The Terracotta Warriors

Transfer to Xi'an, the ancient former capital of China, by rail today. Tonight, sample local specialities, with a dumpling banquet for dinner. On Day 11, you visit the Panda Research Centre, where pandas are studied and cared for. You visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, which were discovered on the outskirts of Xi'an in the 1970s. Later, return to the city for a guided tour, taking in a wealth of ancient sites - from the imposing city walls, to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Great Mosque. 

The Terracotta Warriors
Day 12 - Return home

Make your way to the airport your flight back home.


Additional information

Recommended Airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving into Beijing Airport, which is approximately 15 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Xi'an Airport, which is approximately 20 miles from your final hotel.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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.


The Presidential Hotel

The Presidential Hotel, Bejing

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Xin liang Hotel

Xin liang Hotel, Chengdu

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Ambassador Hotel, Shanghai

Ambassador Hotel, Shanghai

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Tianlang Jincheng Art Hotel

Tianlang Jincheng Art Hotel, Xian

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Chinese Railways
Discover China

Helping you plan your tour...


Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis