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Grand Tour of China

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Discover China's highlights on a single tour

You are viewing 2020 itinerary. Select departure year
201920202021
15 daysFrom £2,995 per person

2020 Tour code: CYG20

About the 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

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - To Beijing

We depart London for our overnight flight to Beijing, arriving on Day 2. After transferring to the Novotel Peace Hotel, you are free to settle in.

Heaven Temple, Beijing
Day 3 - Exploring Beijing

Today we discover the sights and sounds of China's vibrant capital. This morning, 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 contemporary square.

Our final visit of the day is to the breathtaking Summer Palace.

Forbidden City, Beijing
Day 4 - The Great Wall of China

We visit the world-famous Great Wall of China. Listed as one of the modern 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.

Great Wall of China
Days 5-6 - To Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

We begin our day with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, a beautiful edifice in central Beijing. In the afternoon we leave Beijing behind, and join the rail service to Xi'an. Our journey on the high-speed service takes us through the beautiful landscapes of rural China. In Xi'an we transfer to our hotel, the Grand Mercure Remnin Square, 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 44 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. Tonight, there is a delicious and traditional dumpling banquet.

Terracotta Warriors
Days 7-8 - Chengdu & Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute

Today, we travel on the new high-speed rail service from Xi'an to Chengdu, where we spend two nights at the Tibet Hotel.

On Day 8 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 enchanting and rare creature, at close quarters in a near-natural habitat setting. We then return 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.

Panda Chengdu
Day 9 - Chengdu and the Yangtze River

Head to Remnin Park this morning. Known in English as People's Park, the site is known as a Major Historical and Cultural Site of China. After, we enjoy a traditional aspect of China with a tasting in a local tea house.

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 a local luxury 5-Star Century river ship for our three-night cruise along the Yangtze River and through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges.

People's Park, Chengdu
Days 10-11 - The Yangtze

This morning enjoy the scenery as you cruise onwards. This afternoon we visit the stunning Shibaozhai Pagoda, rising 12 stories up a sheer cliff face. This evening, we sit down to enjoy the Captain's Banquet on board.

Our cruise continues on Day 11 with a shore excursion to Shennong Stream, a stunning beauty spot where the cliff sides soar steeply away from the nearly emerald waters of this beautiful stream.

Yangtze River
Days 12-13 - To Wuhan and Shanghai

We disembark at Yichang today, before we visit the colossal Three Gorges Dam, which is now the world's largest hydro power project. After, 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 Shanghai. We spend two nights at the Pullman Jing'an Hotel.

Wuhan
Days 14-15 - Shanghai and London

Today, we begin our explorations of Shanghai. We see the Yu Garden in Shanghai's historic core, where we enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, as well as the bazaar and the Jade Buddha Temple, ahead of visiting the beautiful French Concession and the Bund in the afternoon. This evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner at Xianqiangfang Restaurant, a restaurant renowned for its traditional cuisine.

On Day 15, we transfer to Shanghai airport by coach and high speed Maglev train for our return flight back to London, where our tour ends on arrival.

Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

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Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

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Pullman Shanghai Jing'an, Shanghai

Pullman Shanghai Jing'an, Shanghai

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Marco Polo Hotel, Wuhan

Marco Polo Hotel, Wuhan

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Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

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Train

Chinese Railways

Ship

Century river cruise ship

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Hong Kong
Suzhou

Reviews

97% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 37 verified reviews

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Anonymous

Submitted 3 weeks ago

Great trip, well thought out, saw all the main sights without being too rushed.

Anonymous

Submitted 4 weeks ago

Brilliant well organised tour catering for a group of 38

Anonymous

Submitted 09/11/2019

This was an amazing tour. The hotels were excellent and well situated. The local guides were knowledgeable and helpful. For me the downside was the size of the group. 42 was rather large.

Mr M Robinson

Submitted 12/10/2019

Excellent well organised tour with minimal hassle at terminals as porterage very effective. Excellent tour guide throughout and very informative local guides. Highly recommended. Only disappointing feature was the Yangtse river trip where vessel was a bir dated and shabby and service quality - particularly in restaurant - rather patchy..

Anonymous

Submitted 05/10/2019

A very busy but well managed itinerary with both an excellent Tour Manager and local guides.

Mr C Bell

Submitted 05/10/2019

Great itinerary, fantastic tour manager.

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