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PG-03 China Explored

BEIJING ► XIAN ► CHENGDU ► YANGTZE ► SHANGHAI ► GUILIN ► YANGSHUO ► HONG KONG

15 nights from UK £ 3,920 per person

Price based on 2 people travelling. This price is to give guidance and final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability. Trip runs April to November.
Please note that this is a private tour (not a group tour). It can be tailored to your requirements and we can also book your international flights if required.

Start in BEIJING home to the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Speed on by bullet train to XIAN, capital of Tang Dynasty China to see the ranks of the Terra Cotta warriors.

CHENGDU and the Giant Pandas are next before three nights cruising the YANGTZE RIVER. On to SHANGHAI with it’s neon skyline before the contrast of GUILIN & YANGSHUO with their timeless classical China scenery.
The trip finishes in vibrant HONG KONG.

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China Trip Guidebook
This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
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TRIP MAP & DESTINATIONS VISITED

PG03 China Explored map

DAY BY DAY TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1 - Arrival Beijing

Arrival Beijing With Time to Relax at the Hotel

Welcome to Beijing, China’s cultural and political capital and a real highlight with it’s extraordinary blend of ancient and modern sights. Your guide will greet you at the airport with a transfer by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax from the long flight or start to explore the city with the help of your personalised and exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before the trip. The area around your centrally located hotel is perfect for an introductory walk.

Meals Included: None today.

Day 2 - Beijing

The Great Wall at Stunning Mutianyu & the Ming Tombs

Today we will be showing you one of China’s most famous sights – the Great Wall. We visit the dramatic and less crowded Mutianyu section 70 km from Beijing set amongst spectacular mountain scenery. Dating back to the 6th Century and largely rebuilt in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the best preserved sections of the wall largely due to the high standard of construction. Today’s tour includes the cable car up and down from the Wall.

After, drive to the Ming Tombs, the burial place of 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors between 1368 to 1644AD some of whom oversaw the construction of the wall section you saw earlier. The tombs are approached along the scared way guarded by giant marble figures and animals.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 3 - Beijing

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park & the Hutongs by Rickshaw

Start today with vast Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and home to the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People’s Heroes. To the north of the square is the equally huge palace complex of the Forbidden City. We will walk up the middle axis from south to north taking in the splendour of the most important central buildings before finishing in the ancient garden by the north gate. Directly north of the Forbidden city is Jingshan park where we climb beautifully landscaped “Coal Hill” for one of Beijing’s best views.

In the afternoon step back in time with a trip by cycle rickshaw through the narrow lanes and alleys of Beijing’s ancient residential Hutongs – the traditional Chinese city homes. There is also luxury in the Hutongs and we will visit Prince Gong’s Mansion, an extravagant residential complex of gardens and pavilions built in 1777.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 4 - Beijing to Xian

Half Day Tour to the Beautiful Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace Before a Bullet Train to Xian

Today’s tour starts with the Temple of Heaven considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. Perfectly symmetrical, its primary purpose was as a prayer hall the Emperors visited to ask the Gods for good harvests. Set inside a large park popular with Beijingers, you are likely to see cultural activities such as kite flying, Tai Chi classes, singing and ballroom dancing. Continue on to the tranquil Summer Palace west of Beijing built in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong. Dominated by Kunming lake, dotted with peaceful pavilions and gardens, it is as popular an escape from the city for today’s residents as it was for the Imperial court.

After the tour a transfer to the station to catch a bullet train. Reaching speeds of over 300 km/hour the overall trip is on a par with flying with the added bonuses of views from the window and being able to stretch your legs.

Late afternoon arrival in Xian, China’s Tang Dynasty Capital and terminus of the Silk Road with a transfer to your hotel to overnight.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 5 - Xian

The Terra Cotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Walls & Muslim Quarter

Today visit one of China’s most extraordinary sights, the Terra Cotta Army built by China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 246 BC. Several thousand of the life-sized soldiers are on display and, with no two soldiers looking alike, make for a truly impressive spectacle.

We also visit a relic of the Tang Dynasty, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, home to some of the most famous Buddhist scriptures in China. It is possible to climb the pagoda – you will need to buy a ticket locally if you wish to do this – for views over Xian. Continue to the 14 km Ming Dynasty City Walls which are up to 18 meters thick at the base and 12 meters in height. It is possible to hire bicycles and ride some sections of the wall – local rental payment required.

Finish the day with a wander through Xian’s vibrant Muslim quarter, including a visit to the Great Mosque, unusually built entirely in the Chinese architectural style. This area is an excellent place to souvenir shop.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 6 - Xian to Chengdu

The Underground Hanyangling Mausoleum & Onward Bullet Train to Chengdu

On the way to the bullet train station we visit the unique Hanyangling Mausoleum, the burial place of the Emperor Jing of Han who ruled from 188 BC to 141 BC. The Mausoleum is China’s first underground museum where you can actually walk over the burial pits along glass paths. Much less crowded and more intimate than the Terra Cotta Army, the experience allows you to get up closer to the ancient artefacts which are well presented.

Arrival in Chengdu, capital of mountainous and spicy Sichuan province and the place to come and see Giant Pandas. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of today is free to start exploring Chengdu with the area around your hotel being full of interest. Alternatively, this characterful hotel’s courtyard is an ideal place to relax.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 7 - Chengdu to Yangtze

The World Famous Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding & Bullet Train to Chongqing to Join Your Yangtze Cruise

This morning we visit Chengdu’s famous Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding which has over 60 pandas and is considered the best place in the world to see these endangered icons of China. In addition to the many pandas you can see here (including Red Pandas) there is an opportunity to hold a panda cub although note that this is not guaranteed and requires a local payment direct to the the Research base of RMB 2,000 per person in the photo (not per photo) and must be booked in advance which we can do for you.

Transfer on to the station to catch a bullet train to a vast city on the banks of the Yangtze River and start point for Cruises downriver. Transfer on arrival to your cruise ship which departs early evening with dinner once underway. Note that some cruise ships do not offer dinner the first night in which case we will take you to a local restaurant before boarding.

Settle in to your cabin and start to explore the boat before heading to an observation deck as the ship departs later in the evening to watch the city of Chongqing recede into the distance.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast and Restaurant / boat Dinner.

Day 8 - Yangtze River

Cruise Through Qutang Gorge & Take a Side Trip to Shibaozhai

Your first full day on board navigating the 8 km long Qutang Gorge, the Yangtze’s third gorge. The ship also stops for a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, a complex perched on cliffs above the river with commanding views. In the evening the crew put on a show or other entertainment in the ship’s lounge.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on the ship.

Day 9 - Yangtze River

Tributary Side Trip & Cruise the Wu & Xiling Gorges to the Three Gorges Dam

Today the ship stops for a side trip up on of the Yangtze tributaries switching passengers to much smaller boats to do so. The ship also cruises through the impressive Wu Gorge as well as the West section of Xiling Gorge both of which offer some of the best scenery along the river. During the evening a complete change of scene as the Giant Three Gorges Dam is approached.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on the ship.

Day 10 - Yangtze to Shanghai

Tour to the Vast Three Gorges Dam Before Continuing to Shanghai

This morning you need to pack and check out of your room before a final shore excursion to the gigantic and controversial Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest in terms of its ability to generate electricity through its 32 turbines. After this tour a coach will take you to the Yichang Cruise Terminal where you meet your transfer guide. Transfer on to the airport for your flight to Shanghai.

Arrival in Shanghai, China’s exciting and futuristic financial capital and living testament to China’s phenomenal growth. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast on the ship.

Day 11 - Shanghai

Yuyuan Gardens, Old Shanghai, Antique Market, the Bund, Skyscraper & Acrobats

you will have a full day private tour of some of Shanghai’s highlights starting with the classical Yuyuan Garden that dates back to 1577. Surrounding the garden is Old Shanghai, an area that has been a vibrant commercial centre for over a century. Here we visit Fuyou Road antique market, one of the best places for souvenir hunting and a fascinating experience even if not shopping. The tour continues with a walk down the Bund along which the Huangpu River runs and where some of Asia’s finest colonial architecture is located. From here we cross the River by ferry to Shanghai’s ultra modern Pudong Financial district for a bird’s eye view of the city from the top of one of the stunning skyscrapers.

There is no better way to round off this Shanghai experience than with a visit to the world famous Chinese Acrobats for a show filled with colour and excitement.

Return to your hotel or head out to sample Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 12 - Shanghai to Guilin & Yangshuo

Flight on to Guilin Transferring Directly to Yangshuo

Free time before a late morning flight on to Guilin in Southern China’s Guangxi province. Arrival in Guilin with a transfer direct to your hotel in Yangshuo, a relaxed town about 1 hour from Guilin and surrounded by some of China’s best scenery.

Free time to start exploring the area, a firm favourite of many for it’s blend of stunning countryside, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of superb activities to do all of which are easy to arrange locally through your hotel as the whim takes you.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - Yangshuo

Free Day to Explore the Town & Beautiful Surrounding Countryside

A free day in Yangshuo to continue to explore the town and it’s beautiful surrounding countryside. A wide range of local tours and activities can easily be booked locally through the hotel. Such activities include cycle tours, rafting trips, cookery, Tai Chi or calligraphy classes or you can do as so many do here – just relax and take in all the scenery from the terrace of your hotel or the many cafes and restaurants in the town itself.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 14 - Yangshuo to Hong Kong

Visit the Spectacular Reed Flute Cave Before Departing Guilin

Free time today before a transfer back to Guilin for your onward transport. On the way we stop at Guilin’s beautiful Reed Flute Cave, an extensive and colourful subterranean experience over 180 million years old and full of stalactites, stalagmites and 70 inscriptions which can be dated back as far as 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty and has been a tourist attraction for nearly 1,200 years!

Continue to the airport for your flight on to Hong Kong. Arrival in Hong Kong. This former British colony is still very distinct from Mainland China with one of the world’s most impressive skylines, superb food, world class shopping and tranquil islands dotted with timeless temples and fishing harbours. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 15 - Hong Kong

Free Day to Explore Hong Kong’s Many & Varied Attractions

A full day in Hong Kong to explore this fabulous city, famous Victoria harbour, the Peak, outlying islands such as Lamma and Lantau, vibrant markets and fantastic entertainment scene.

Shopping and food are world class and if you still have any energy left by the end of the day the nightlife is some of the most varied and vibrant in Asia. In short you will have plenty to keep you occupied!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 16 - Depart Hong Kong

Free Time Before Departing China With a Wealth of Memories of This Unique Destination

Free time to today to further explore the city (most flights back to Europe depart late at night). If you are looking for something a bit quieter and you didn’t make it to one of the outlying islands yesterday this could be an ideal way to spend today. All of them have good hiking options and delicious seafood with frequent ferry services departing from the piers on Hong Kong Island’s Central district.

Make your own way from your hotel to the airport for your flight out of the city. The easiest way to get to the airport is by taxi which your hotel can arrange. There is also an efficient airport bus service or you can use the Airport Express trains.

See our Trip guidebook or ask your hotel for full details. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic China experience with us full of all the memories which make this country such a fascinating destination that continues to inspire us!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

HAND-PICKED ACCOMMODATION FOR THIS TRIP

The hotels & accommodation used for this trip are from our hand picked selection and all are excellent for their class. We also offer upgraded hotels in most locations. Click here to explore additional hotel options and let us know of any changes you wish to make.

TOUR INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

What is included?

Transport between destinations as described.

All accommodation as specified under the accommodation tab

All private transfers and any other transportation as described

All meals as specified in the itinerary

All tours as specified in the itinerary

All entrance fees to sights toured in the itinerary

24 hour emergency assistance

Visa Paperwork required in order to obtain the visas

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The Chinese visa – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend Citybond Suretravel (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

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