LOW DEPOSITS - JUST £49 PER PERSON!
The highlights of China
OFFER ENDS 31st AUGUST*
Ancient, enchanting and vastly different from the West, China is a wonder to behold. From the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors to the ancient Great Wall, so much history lies behind its glitzy facade of uber-modern high rises. This jam-packed tour takes us on a journey of discovery as we explore historic sites, see giant pandas and enjoy included tours in progressive Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an and Chengdu.
Best of China Holiday Itinerary
Fly overnight to Shanghai via Abu Dhabi.
Day One: Fly to Shanghai
Upon arrival, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay. After time to freshen up we'll head into the city to visit the futuristic, rocket-shaped Pearl TV Tower, an iconic landmark that pierces Shanghai's skyline and offers breathtaking views from its observation platforms. We'll then continue to the Shanghai History Museum for an informative insight into the background of this incredible city.
Day Two: Visit the Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai History Museum
Beneath Shanghai's glittering skyscrapers lies an ancient city packed with reminders of a bygone era. Today we lift the veil on traditional Shanghai as we discover the colonial grandeur of the buildings lining the famous Bund. We'll also enjoy a tour of the bustling bazaars in Shanghai's historic Old City, at the heart of which is the 16th-century, classical Chinese Yuyuan Garden - a peaceful oasis of pools, walkways and bridges.
Day Three: Tour Shanghai's Old City
Today we'll leave Shanghai and travel north via high-speed train to Beijing for a three-night stay. The journey takes around five and a half hours, bringing plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Day Four: Travel by high-speed train to Beijing
An action-packed day reveals the many of sights of China's astonishing capital. Our first stop is vast Tiananmen Square, site of Chairman Mao's Mausoleum and the Great Hall of the People. Across the square lies the vast complex of imperial palaces known as the Forbidden City, fronted by Tiananmen Gate and its iconic image of Chairman Mao. As we step inside this immense palace you'll see the old ceremonial spaces, working areas and private quarters once used by its privileged occupants.
Day Five: See Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven
Later, we'll visit the beautiful Temple of Heaven in Tiantan Park, the impressive Ming Dynasty shrine that was the centre of ceremonial life for five centuries. Our fascinating day then concludes with a traditional 'Peking Duck' dinner.
The Great Wall of China, an ancient fortification that twists its way over 20,000 km of Chinese countryside, is today's highlight. We'll visit pretty Badaling, where part of the wall has been lovingly restored, making it easy to admire the sheer magnitude of this incredible feat of engineering. After time for a stroll, your day continues with a visit to the tranquil, lakeside Summer Palace at Yiheyuan, where a jumble of lakes, gardens and colourful, traditional palaces lie within leafy surroundings. Later, an optional excursion is offered to the world-famous Peking Opera.
Day Six: Stroll along the Great Wall of China and visit the Summer Palace
Explore the ancient hutongs - a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and courtyard houses - on an included rickshaw ride this morning, taking you on a journey back in time to 'Old Peking'.
Day Seven: Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the hutongs and transfer to Xi'an
In the afternoon we'll transfer to the station for the high-speed rail journey of about five hours to China's ancient capital, Xi'an, for a two-night stay.
Today we'll visit the legendary Terracotta Army of the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. After being discovered in their vaults in 1974 this army of an estimated 8,000 lifelike foot-soldiers, horsemen and charioteers have become one of the world's greatest tourist attractions. See the remarkable spectacle for yourself then, later, enjoy a walk on the immense fortified city walls of old Xi'an.
Day Eight: See the Terracotta Army
Enjoy a morning visit to the Small Goose Pagoda, a Buddhist structure dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). After time to explore we'll take a last journey by high-speed train to Chengdu, in Sichuan province, for a two-night stay.
Day Nine: Visit the Small Goose Pagoda and transfer to Chengdu
Enjoy the atmosphere of Eastern Sichuan's capital, where high-rise modern developments contrast with traditional teahouses and the colourful shops of old Jinli Lu street. A tour highlight will be today's visit to the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre, where you are free to walk through the leafy park and see the giant pandas for yourself in their natural habitat.
Day 10: See giant pandas in their natural habitat
Dinner this evening brings the opportunity to sample traditional Sichuan cuisine, renowned for its rich flavours and heavy use of garlic and Sichuan pepper.
Spend your final day exploring this friendly and welcoming city. Perhaps take a stroll in People's Park, an expansive, green oasis in central Chengdu with an artificial lake, pretty gardens and the imposing Railway Protection Movement Monument. Don't miss a visit to the centuries-old Heming Teahouse, which nestles in verdant surroundings and occupies a peaceful spot in the park.
Day 11: Explore Chengdu and transfer to the airport
Late this afternoon, we'll transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight via Abu Dhabi.
Arrive back in the UK this morning.
Day 12: Arrive home