China: The Highlights
Experience China Like Never Before
Experience the variety of wonders that China has to offer; from the history of the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors to modern and cosmopolitan Shanghai. Take in the beauty of Guilin with a cruise on the Li River and the dramatic Three Gorges on the Yangtze River. Not only the natural beauty and the historic sites, but also the Chinese cuisine will be an essential part of this tour.
The tour starts in Beijing, China’s historical capital. After sightseeing in the city, you will visit the Forbidden City. The tour heads north to visit the most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Visit the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Xian before continuing to Wuhan. There you will go on a three day river cruise on the Yangtze river, with daily excursions. After the cruise you will have time to visit the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo before going on another cruise. This cruise along the Li River takes you to the charming village of Yangshuo. There are many activities available including cycling, rafting and walking through the exquisite rural landscape. Fly to the exuberant city of Shanghai and enjoy the atmosphere of the great metropolis, where east and west collide.
Dates available throughout the year
Suggested itinerary by Air
Fly to Beijing
Fly overnight to Beijing, China’s historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs before soaking up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck.
Great Wall & Summer Palace
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Jade has been long cherished by the Chinese – at the Jade Museum you can understand and appreciate the delicate process of carving the stone and buy a piece if you wish. Savour an afternoon in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you see the traditional Chinese gardens and exquisite architecture. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
Fly to Xian
Fly to Xian. This evening enjoy a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life sized warriors. Stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town.
Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board the Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Yangtze River Cruise
A man-made marvel, the Three Gorges Dam showcases this massive feat of engineering. But as we cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Take a side trip to the attractive Goddess or Shennong Stream and enjoy shore excursions to the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai.
Fly to Guilin
Disembarking from the cruise vessel, visit the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo. Fly to Guilin and visit the Reed Flute Cave.
Li River Cruise
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming village of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen.
Yangshuo sits in an exquisite rural location, surrounded by landscapes of jewel-green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the country side before having an afternoon at leisure. There are many activities available including cycling, rafting and walking though you may prefer to relax in the town. In the evening see the famous cormorant fishermen.
Fly to Shanghai
Fly to the exuberant city of Shanghai. Spend the afternoon admiring the fine arts and antiquities of the Shanghai Museum and strolling around People’s Square. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Today’s explorations include the peaceful Yu Gardens; and the atmospheric alleys of the old town. Admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund before enjoying the 1920s architectural styling of the Xintiandi area. This evening enjoy some tasty, traditional Shanghai cuisine.
Fly Shanghai to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Spring and autumn are traditionally considered the ideal times to visit China. During these periods, the weather tends to be warm and dry, in contrast to the bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summers experienced in much of the country.
Photo: Stone lion in front of palace in Forbidden City Beijing
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