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PG-09 China Experience


16 nights from UK £ 4,175 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 year round.
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.

Begin in BEIJING, home to the Great Wall and Forbidden City before a bullet train to XIAN to see the the Terra Cotta Warriors. Train on to CHENGDU to see the Giant Pandas.

LIJIANG famous for its old town dominated by the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is next before visiting KUNMING and the rock formations of the Stone Forest. China’s best scenery await you around GUILIN & YANGSHUO before rounding off your experience in SHANGHAI.

China Trip Guidebook
This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
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PG09 Experience China map


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

The Research Base for Giant Pandas & Leshan’s Giant Buddha

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.

Continue on 100 miles out of Chengdu to the astonishing Giant Buddha at Leshan. Although the 71 meter Buddha is the chief draw it is located at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in a lush park of temples and sculptures that is a pleasure to explore. It is also possible to see the Buddha from the river by boat although we don’t recommend that as the best and most varied views are in the park itself. If you do wish to take the boat ask your guide to arrange this – local payment for the boat trip required.

Drive back to your hotel in Chengdu 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 8 - Chengdu to Lijiang

Flight on to Lijiang, the Old Town, Mu Palace & Impressive Views From Black Dragon Pool

Early transfer to the airport for a flight on to Yunnan province. Arrival in Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage city of cobbled streets and tiled roofs set against the magnificent backdrop of the 5,596 meter high, 13 peaked Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

This afternoon you have an half day tour of the Lijiang’s Old City including the fabulous palace of the Mu Clan who ruled over this area for 400 years. This large complex is a superb example of local Naxi architecture. You also visit the Black Dragon Pool, a beautiful park containing traditional architecture and one of the most famous views in China of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain – stunning if the weather cooperates!

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 9 - Lijiang

The 13 Peaked Jade Snow Dragon Mountain & the Frescoes of Baisha Village

Today we drive the 15 km through beautiful countryside to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the 5,596 meter, thirteen peaked massif clearly visible from Lijiang but much more impressive up close. We take a cable car up to a high grassland plateau on the mountain from where the snow covered peaks tower above.

Descend by cable car and visit Baisha Village, the earliest known settlement of the Naxi people and a treasure trove of local, traditional architecture. The village is known for the 44 Baisha Frescoes drawn during the Ming Dynasty and which embody the artistic styles of the Naxi, Tibetan and Bai minorities.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 10 - Lijiang to Kunming

Free Time to Explore Lijiang & the Surrounding Villages & Landscape Before a Flight to Kunming

Today is free to continue to explore the labyrinth of the Old City which throws up surprises at almost every turn. It can also be an opportunity to get into the countryside, perhaps to visit the looming Jade Dragon snow Mountain 15 km from the city or make a day trip to stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge 60 km outside of Lijiang. Renting bicycles and exploring the surrounding countryside is another option perhaps making the ride to Baisha Village about 40 minutes away. There is plenty to do around Lijiang including settling in one of the numerous cafes and watching the world go by!

Afternoon transfer to the airport in good time for your flight to Kunming. Arrival in Yunnan Province’s capital of Kunming with its pleasant year round climate and a gateway to the highlights of popular south west China. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 11 - Kunming to Guilin

Visit the Unique Limestone Karst Formations of the Stone Forest

Today’s tour leaves the city driving 85 km south east to the extraordinary and unique Stone Forest or “Shilin” in Mandarin. This area of unusual and photogenic Karst formations covers a vast 2,670 sq km and is believed to have been formed over 270 million years ago. You see some of the Greater Stone Forest, Lesser Stone forest, the edge of the wild outer Stone Forest and the Stone Forest Lake.

After the tour transfer to the airport for an evening flight on to Guilin, one of China’s more pleasant cities and the jumping off point for the stunning scenery of this area of China and particularly at Yangshuo and along the Li River. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel to overnight.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 12 - Guilin & Longji

The Scenic Longji Dragon’s Back Rice Terraces & Traditional Village of Ping An

Today we drive the 80 km to the famous Dragon’s Back Rice Terraces of Longji which surround the picturesque village of Ping An made almost entirely of wooden buildings. To best appreciate the scenery we walk up to several view points for vistas across the hills that are covered with the terraces. The village of Ping An itself clings to the hillside and is built in the traditional wood and tiled style of this part of China and is as much of an attraction as the terraces themselves. After the tour drive back to Guilin.

The rest of the evening is free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 13 - Guilin to Yangshuo

A Classic Boat Cruise Along the Beautiful Li River to Lovely Yangshuo

After breakfast a transfer to the wharf to begin your cruise down the Li River to the relaxed town of Yangshuo. This trip is a real highlight and takes you through the stunning limestone karst scenery that has made this part of China so famous. Lunch is served on the boat and depending on the river conditions the trip usually takes from 5 to 7 hours.

Early afternoon disembark in Yangshuo making your own way to your hotel. Settle in and then free time to explore the wonderfully laid back town and its beautiful surrounding countryside.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Lunch on the Boat.

Day 14 - 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 15 - Yangshuo to Shanghai

Visit the Spectacular Reed Flute Cave Before Departing Guilin for Shanghai

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 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: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 16 - 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 17 - Depart Shanghai

Take the Ultra Fast Maglev to the Airport for Your Flight Out of China

Free time until a transfer to the Maglev station for the world’s fastest train to Pudong Airport to catch your flight out of China. Your transfer guide will buy a standard class Maglev ticket for you and make sure you get on the train which takes just 8 minutes to cover the 30km to the airport reaching a top speed of 430 km / hour (300 km / hour before 9am).

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.


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.


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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