Highlights of China

From £1599 for 14 days
Trip Overview
Tracing the remnants of China's imperial past, we discover the magnificent monuments of Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors, the imposing mosques of Xi'an, and the delightful canals of Xitang. We also have time to explore some of the exquisite landscapes and tranquil countryside of Yangshuo, so beloved by Chinese poets and painters. Visit a time capsule containing one quarter of the human race, where the modern world coexists with the ancient, and each region has its own traditions and mouthwatering culinary delights.
Essential Info
Starts: Beijing
Ends: Shanghai
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: EACH
Countries visited: China
What's Included


9 breakfasts and 5 lunches and 1 dinner are included


Reasonable fitness requiredGroup normally 5 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs


Travel by train, private minibus, public bus and 2 internal flights

Trip Highlights
-Enjoy 3 full days sightseeing in Beijing
-See the Great Wall at the less visited and scenic Mutianyu section
-Visit rural Yangshuo amidst stunning karst scenery
-Marvel at the Terracotta Warriors standing shoulder to shoulder
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price GBP
2nd April 2017
14th April 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
23rd April 2017
5th May 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
13th May 2017
25th May 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
14th May 2017
26th May 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
10th June 2017
22nd June 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
11th June 2017
23rd June 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
30th July 2017
11th August 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
13th August 2017
25th August 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
3rd September 2017
15th September 2017
Beijing - Shanghai
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
Day 1 - Beijing
There will be a welcome briefing this evening followed by an opportunity to taste the famous Beijing duck during an optional welcome dinner.
Day 2 - Beijing
We leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, an approx 2 hour journey to the north of the city. We go to one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall at Mutianyu which is an impressive sight, snaking across mountains and valleys into the distance. This section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The wall here is up to 8.5 metres high and 5 metres wide, and has 22 watchtowers on its 2,250-metre-long stretch. There are some steep steps to navigate and clients who suffer from vertigo may find it difficult, (there is an optional cable car). There is the option of seeing an acrobatic or Kung Fu show or a trip to the opera this evening in Beijing.
Day 3 - Beijing
The sightseeing in Beijing today will include the Forbidden City with its innumerable courtyards and temples, and the Temple of Heaven Park in the southern part of the city. We also visit Tiananmen square, the largest square in the world and able to hold over a million people.. We will take a walking tour of the cities hutongs (narrow alleys) to see what is left of old Beijing and its traditions.
Day 4 - Beijing
Just outside the city centre is the Summer Palace, a huge park dotted with impressive pavilions and temples which, like the Forbidden City, was once the exclusive playground of China's emperors and their concubines. Today we will spend a couple of hours here, before we board an overnight train to the ancient city of Xi'an. It is recommended to try and get food before the train as there is a limited selection provided on the train. The train itself is of a good standard, although facilities such as washrooms and toilets are shared with other passengers. Sleepers are four berth and bedding is provided.
Day 5 - Xi'an
Xi'an is one of China's former capitals and one of the few cities in China to have retained its city walls, probably because they are so massive that no revolutionary was willing to tackle the huge task of removing them. Today we will visit the city and the Bell and Drum Plaza at its heart, along with the Great Mosque. The Muslim quarter is a fascinating place to visit, especially in the evening as it comes alive with the bustle of the bazaars and food stalls. It is possible to hire bikes (optional) and cycle on the city walls and appreciate the sheer scale of the walls.
Day 6 - Guilin
Today we visit the famous Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin. Originally four armies were planned, at each point of the compass, life-size and lifelike. Three have been found and it is assumed the emperor's successors decided enough was enough before the fourth was begun. The first pit excavated had an estimated 6,000 figures in its one army. The third pit has been opened to the public, which contains the 'command post' for the entire operation. This is one of China's great tourist attractions, and some people may find the sheer numbers of visitors rather overpowering. In the afternoon we fly to Guilin and then take a transfer on to Yangshuo, with its truly iconic scenery.
Day 7 - Yangshuo
This morning we walk along the Lijiang river and visit Reed Flute cave, its name comes from the reeds growing nearby, from which flutes were made. The cave is filled with a large number of stalactites and stalagmites. We then transfer by road for 2 hours through the stunning towering limestone scenery to Yangshuo. The surrounding region is famous for the steep-sided Karst Mountains that pierce the otherwise flat landscape of paddy fields. A view of a rural landscape that has changed little in centuries. Despite its small size Yangshuo has quite a good tourist infrastructure due to its large transient population of backpackers and domestic tourists. No trip to China is complete without understanding its cuisine, so this evening under the watchful eye of an expert we partake in a cookery lesson.
Day 8 - Yangshuo
Today we have the chance to appreciate the spectacular landscape on two wheels; as we take a bike and ride towards Moon Hill, one of the most famous in the area. Lunch is spent at a local family-run restaurant, giving us the opportunity to sample some new dishes. The afternoon is free to relax or enjoy one of the many optional activities Yangshuo has to offer.
Day 9 - Yangshuo
Today is free to relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and stunning scenery around Yangshuo. There are many optional activities to choose from: visit the Black Buddha caves, enjoy a Chinese massage or even a kung fu class or watch the Liu Sanjie Show an outdoor performance set on a natural stage formed by the Li River and 12 peaks. Even if you choose simply to relax this is an ideal place, you can take a stroll around the market and examine the local produce or enjoy one of the cafes and watch the world go by.
Day 10 - Tongli
In the morning we transfer to the airport at Guilin to fly to Shanghai; a city with a real international feel to it which will seem a world away from the countryside you have come from. In the evening we take a walking tour of the famous Bund area, to see the iconic buildings along the riverside lit up in all their glory. There will be the opportunity to visit the Jin Mao Tower (optional), which is the 18th tallest building in the world and boasts a spectacular view of Shanghai from the observation deck.
Day 11 - Shanghai
Today we will spend the day visiting the ancient water town of Xitang; famous for its cobbled streets and bridges arching over the many canals. There are several well-preserved buildings from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, and the town is a delightful place to explore on foot. We will take lunch here before the journey back to Shanghai (around 2 hours) where you will have the evening at your leisure. (N.B. for the 2016 itinerary today will be spent in the water town of Tongli).
Day 12 - Shanghai
Today after a visit to the tranquil Yuyan Gardens and Bazaar, the day is free to explore Shanghai, the largest city in China, with a population of around twelve million. Though it no longer warrants the title 'Paris of the East', many of the vestiges of its colonial past are still apparent. It is worth strolling along Nanjing Road (Shanghai's 'Oxford Street') or visiting the newly opened World Financial Centre with the highest observation deck anywhere in the world at 474m or Shanghai's smaller television tower to see some of the city's stunning architecture. Shanghai's world famous Acrobatic Troupe performs nightly and their show is well worth a visit.
Day 13 - Shanghai
For those on the group flight to London the day is free day for further sightseeing or shopping.The French Quarter, an area of unchanged old Shanghai, the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai's most famous temple and Shanghai's various museums are many of the options available. Evening depart.
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