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SG-04 China Discovered


16 nights from UK £ 2,690 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. Trips run from March to December.
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.

Discover China with this classic trip from HONG KONG to BEIJING.

Along the way take in the scenic beauty around YANGSHUO, the giant Pandas of CHENGDU and relax on a 3 night cruise along the YANGTZE RIVER.

After modern SHANGHAI visit the Tang Dynasty capital of XIAN before the Ming Dynasty city of PINGYAO before ending the trip in China’s present day capital.

China Trip Guidebook
This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
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SG04 China Discovered map


Day 1 - Hong Kong to Yangshuo

Bullet Train to Guilin & Transfer Direct to the Picturesque Town of Yangshuo

Make your own way to West Kowloon station for a bullet train to Guilin – the train tickets will have been delivered to your accommodation in Hong Kong. Pass through the traditional scenery of south central China, a lush land of villages and farms once north if industrial Guangzhou. Afternoon 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 relax for the rest of today.

Meals Included: None today.

Day 2 - 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: None Today – this hotel does not offer breakfast.

Day 3 - Yangshuo

Continue to Explore the Delights of This Special Part of China

Today is free to discover more of Yangshuo and enjoy this very special part of China or just relax and recharge the your battery before your continuing on your China travels.

Meals Included: None Today – this hotel does not offer breakfast.

Day 4 - Yangshuo to Chengdu

Bullet Train on to Chengdu in Sichuan Province

This morning make your own way to the station for a bullet train to Chengdu leaving plenty of time to catch your train. Your hotel will be able to arrange a taxi and in almost all cases the guide who initially met you on arrival in Guilin will have given you the tickets and guidance on getting to the station.

Late afternoon 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 5 - 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 6 - 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 7 - 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 8 - Yangtze to Shanghai

Tour to the Vast Three Gorges Dam Before Continuing a Bullet Train 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 transfer directly from the Dam to the train station for a bullet train to Shanghai.

Evening 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 9 - Shanghai

Soak Up the City & Explore More of Shanghai’s Sights Independently

Today is free to explore Shanghai. The city is China’s shopping capital and a good place to stock up on souvenirs. Another option is to wander the French Concession, Xintiandi or Tianzifang stopping at cafes and restaurants – perhaps our favourite activity!

Alternatively we can arrange a trip out to one of the nearby water towns such as Suzhou, Hangzhou or Zhouzhuang all offering a more traditional experience from China’s past.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 10 - Shanghai to Xian

A Bullet Train on Xian & Free Time on Arrival

After breakfast make your own way to the station for the bullet train to Xian, the once golden city of Emperors, soldiers, arts, culture and the capital of the prosperous Tang Dynasty.

On arrival your guide and driver will meet you to transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is to explore the wealth of sights this ancient capital of the Tang Dynasty has to offer. The Drum and Bell Towers located in the centre of the city are particularly easy to visit independently as is the Muslim Quarter and cycling the City Walls.

Your exclusive personalised Trip guidebook has plenty of ideas to make the most of your time.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 11 - Xian

Visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors & Free Afternoon

After breakfast 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.

Return to Xian with the rest of today is free to start exploring this giant of Chinese history with the help of your trip Guidebook.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 12 - Xian to Pingyao

Bullet Train on to Pingyao & Free Time

After breakfast make your own way to the station to catch a bullet train on to Pingyao.

Afternoon arrival in Pingyao, an intact Ming Dynasty city and once a centre of banking in China with the only complete city wall of that era left in China.

Pingyao also holds an International Photography Festival every September which draws in entries from all over the world providing stark contrast to the ancient architecture.

Transfer to your hotel with the rest of today is free to start exploring this ancient and easily navigated city with the help of your trip Guidebook.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - Pingyao

Free Day to Explore Fascinating Pingyao City

A free day to explore the ancient streets of the city which are easy to navigate. If you wish to enter any of the old banking houses or temples you will need to buy a ticket which covers most of the sights within the city walls as well as the walls themselves. Your hotel will be able to assist with the purchase of this. A free evening to continue to explore the city, the centre of which is beautifully lit by traditional Chinese lanterns.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 14 - Pingyao to Beijing

Bullet Train on to China’s Capital of Beijing

This morning make your own way to the station to catch a bullet train on to your final destination of Beijing.

Welcome to 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 station 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: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 15 - Beijing

Trekking Along a Wild & Spectacular Section of the Great Wall

For the active and energetic, one of the best ways to see the Great Wall is to walk it and with nearly 4,000 miles of actual wall we need to be selective! The most scenic section to trek within reach of Beijing is at Jinshanling. The trek involves about 6km of walking along the wall itself which averages 4 hours. This is the best way to see and absorb yourself in China’s best known sight, get some superb photos and avoid the tourist crowds.

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 16 - Beijing

Explore More of Beijing’s Sights Independently

A free day to explore the wealth of sights Beijing offers. Besides the must sees the city offers ample opportunity to shop in markets such as Hongqiao, the Silk Market or our favourite, the vast Panjiayuan antique market. For something a bit more sedate we recommend Ho Hai lake and its ancient residential Hutongs which offer a great opportunity to absorb local culture combined with many small cafes, bars and restaurants. For a more contemporary experience the 798 district to the east of the city offers an impressive array of galleries, cafes and restaurants.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 17 - Depart Beijing & China

Depart China With a Wealth of Memories of This Unique Destination

Free time for any final sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs if time. Make your own way to the airport leaving good time for your flight out of China. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic China experience 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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