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An enthralling, mesmerising journey
This extraordinary tour offers a spectacular roll call of the region's best-known sights. From the breathtaking Great Wall to the vast Forbidden City; from Xi'an's excavated Terracotta Army to Chengdu's famous pandas; and from Hanoi's temples to the majestic seascape of Halong Bay - each wonderful highlight offers the experience of a lifetime.
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
- Discover Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon
- See the tunnel complex at Cu Chi
- Explore the Mekong Delta by boat and visit picturesque Ben Tre
- Explore Beijing's greatest attractions
- An excursion to the Great Wall
- A high-speed train journey from Beijing to Xi'an
- A guided tour of Xi'an, including a visit to the 'Terracotta Army'
- Chengdu's Wenshu Temple and historic Jinli Street
- Entry to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre
- Hanoi's layered history and Ngoc Son Temple
- The chance to enjoy some of the world's best street food
- Watch a traditional 'Water Puppet' show
- Spend a night on a traditional junk cruising Halong Bay
- 11 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in Ho Chi Minh City (2 nights), Beijing (3), Xi'an (2), Chengdu (1), Hanoi (2) and Halong Bay (1)
- Nine lunches and seven dinners, including a Peking Duck dinner on Day Six
- Return overnight flights from London to Ho Chi Minh City, returning from Hanoi
- Three regional flights
- Air-conditioned coach travel throughout
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement
N.B. Visas are required for travel on this tour (see Further Information)
Fly overnight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Meet your guide, transfer to your first hotel, then enjoy an introductory tour of the city. See the President's Palace and the colonial grandeur of the General Post Office. Visit Reunification Hall, the War Remnants Museum and the bronze Buddha at the Xa Loi Pagoda, and explore the Cu Chi tunnel complex - used by the Viet Cong as a base and now a memorial to those who died in the conflict.
Today you'll head out into the rice fields and orchards of the Mekong Delta. Visit sleepy Ben Tre, and take a boat trip out along the network of waterways to local craft workshops and a fruit farm. You'll stop for lunch in a Delta village, before returning to HCMC for a relaxed evening.
This morning, you'll fly to Beijing. Once here we'll transfer you to your second hotel where you'll have the rest of the day to relax.
Discover the historic highlights of the Chinese capital on today's tour. In Tiananmen Square you'll see Mao's tomb, the Great Hall of the People, and the museums of Chinese History and the Revolution, before stepping through the gates of the Forbidden City to see where 24 Chinese emperors lived in unimaginable splendour. You'll also visit in the beautiful Temple of Heaven in Tiantan Park.
Travel out of the city to Badaling, where a lovingly restored section of the Great Wall snakes its way across steep, forested hills. Your day will also include a glimpse of the amazing Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium.
This evening, enjoy a traditional 'Peking Duck' dinner, and perhaps join our optional excursion to the world-famous Beijing Opera.
Enjoy two contrasting tastes of Beijing's history today. Stroll the tranquil expanse of the Summer Palace at Yiheyuan, and take a rickshaw tour of the labyrinthine alleyways and hidden courtyards houses of the hutong - Beijing's ancient residential district.
Later we'll head to the station to begin our five-and-a-half hour train journey through the Chinese countryside to the ancient capital - Xi'an.
Since 1974, some 8,000 unique footsoldiers, horsemen and charioteers of the Terracotta Army have been uncovered surrounding the tomb of China's first emperor. The vast excavation site just outside the city is unlike anywhere else on earth.
Returning to Xi'an you'll also spends some time atop the city's ancient walls.
Today we'll fly south west to Chengdu, the capital of Eastern Sichuan. Here modern developments contrast with the ancient Buddhist Wenshu Temple, the traditional teahouses of People's Park and the shops of old Jinli Street. Sample traditional - and often spicy - Sichuan cuisine, at dinner this evening.
One of the highlights of your stay in Chengdu will be a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre to learn about these wonderful creatures and the steps being taken to ensure their survival. After a fascinating couple of hours here we'll transfer to the airport and board the short flight to Hanoi.
Once here we'll head to your next hotel, then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Discover the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the former leader's traditional house, the fascinating Museum of Ethnology and the colourful Dong Xuan market on today's guided tour. A walking tour of the Old Quarter will explore the maze of the '36 Streets' and stop at Ngoc Son Temple on tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake. The day ends with a traditional Water Puppet show.
This morning we'll drive through timeless rice paddies of the Red River Delta to the Gulf of Tonkin. Here we'll board our cruise vessel and head out among the stunning conical islands and limestone pillars of Halong Bay. You'll stay on the vessel for the night, enjoying a cookery demonstration and a tai chi class on board.
Enjoy brunch on board, then board our coach and head back to Hanoi. A final dinner will be served here before we return to the airport and check in for your overnight flight home.
Arrive back in the UK, at the end of a wonderful holiday.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visas
British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for six months beyond the entry date to China. A visa is required for entry to Vietnam and China. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. For British Citizens, current visa charges are, per person, £96 to enter China and £54 for Vietnam.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kgs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
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