Days 1-2 To Beijing

We depart London for our overnight flight to Beijing. Arriving on Day 2, we visit the Temple of Heaven, a beautiful edifice in central Beijing. Set in a vast public park, the Temple is a popular meeting point for locals. After transferring to the Novotel Peace Hotel, the rest of your day is free to begin your investigations of this captivating city.

  • In-flight Meal
  • Day 2 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Temple of Heaven
  • Scheduled flights
Day 3 Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

Today we discover the sights and sounds of China's vibrant capital. We visit the infamous Tiananmen Square, which, at over 4 million square feet, is the largest city square in the world. Stretched out across this space are several vivid reminders of China's political history, including an imposing portrait of Chairman Mao. We also take in the neighbouring Forbidden City, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Boasting almost 1,000 buildings, this magnificently restored complex - with its historic pagodas and traditional Chinese palace buildings - makes a dynamic contrast with the square.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Tour of Beijing
Day 4 The Great Wall of China

This morning we visit the world-famous Great Wall of China. Listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this masterpiece of Chinese workmanship stretches thousands of miles from the Gobi Desert to the Korean border - and is truly an awesome sight to behold. We visit the Mutianyu section, a beautifully preserved stretch which offers incredible views over the seemingly endless mountain scenery. After ascending by chair lift, we have the opportunity to walk along the wall before returning to Beijing. Here we see the 'Water Cube' and the 'Bird's Nest', the main arenas used in the 2008 Olympic Games. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner together.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Excursion to The Great Wall
  • Visits to 2008 Olympic Sites
Days 5-6 To Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

Leaving Beijing behind, we join the rail service to Xi'an. Our journey on the new high-speed service takes us through the beautiful landscapes of rural China. In Xi'an we transfer to the Grand Mercure Hotel for two nights. On Day 6 we discover the famous Terracotta Warriors - one of the world's greatest archaeological finds. The 6,000 figures - some with horses or chariots, but all with unique features - were buried in 210 BC, yet only discovered 40 years ago. The life-sized statues were built as part of an elaborate tomb of the Qin Emperor, believed to protect him in death just as his real army had in life. Built on an incredible scale, the soldiers - all grouped in rank order - are a breathtaking sight. Later we discover more of the walled city of Xi'an, taking in the Great Mosque, the city's lively bazaar and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Dating back to the 8th century, the towering structure is a leading example of Tang Dynasty architecture.

  • Excursions
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Days 7-8 Chengdu, Leshan and the Giant Buddha

We transfer to the airport today for the short internal flight to Chengdu, where we spend two nights at the Tibet Hotel. On Day 8 we travel into rural China to Leshan, and visit the ancient Giant Buddha Statue. Carved into a towering mountain range, it is the world's largest stone statue at 233ft tall. We have time to admire this immense structure before returning to Chengdu. Here we see the Wenshu Monastery, one of China's finest Buddhist structures, as well as the historic teak buildings on Jinli Street.

  • Day 7 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, lunch
  • Flights
  • Chengdu Giant Buddha
Day 9 Chengdu and the Yangtze River

Today we visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute, which is spread out over 200 acres and is now home to more than 100 of these magnificent creatures. The project allows us to see the Giant Panda, an incredibly enchanting and rare creature, at close quarters with almost uninterrupted views. Later we transfer to the station for the high-speed bullet train service to Chongqing, situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Here we board the luxury 5-Star Century river ship for our three night cruise along the Yangtze River, through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Giant Panda Breeding Centre
Days 10-11 The Yangtze and the Three Gorges

This morning there is an optional excursion to Fengdu Ghost City. This afternoon we visit the stunning Shibaozhai Pagoda, rising 12 stories up a sheer cliff face. Our cruise continues on Day 11 with a journey through some of the most wonderful scenery on the river - the Three Gorges. First we enter the shortest but most dramatic of the gorges, Qutang Gorge, with steep mountains on either side of the 5 mile stretch. Continuing through the Wu Gorge, we then transfer to smaller river boats for a trip along one of the narrow Yangtze tributaries. This evening, enjoy the Captain's Banquet on board, as we descend the awe-inspiring feat of engineering that is the complex lock system at the Three Gorges Dam.

  • Excursions
  • Days 10-11 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Days 12-13 To Wuhan and Suzhou

We visit the colossal Three Gorges Dam, which is now the world's largest hydro power project, before our lunchtime disembarkation in Yichang. From here we travel by highspeed train to Wuhan, for a night at the Marco Polo Hotel. On Day 13 we visit Wuhan's distinctive Yellow Crane Tower, the subject of many local legends, before transferring to the railway station for our eastward journey to Suzhou. We spend two nights at the 5-Star Pan Pacific Hotel.

  • Day 12 - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, lunch
  • Three Gorges Dam
  • Yellow Crane Tower
Day 14 Exploring Suzhou

With its beautifully preserved centre, Suzhou is known as 'China's Garden City', and today we discover some of its standout attractions. We visit the Master of Nets, a traditional garden with many classic architectural styles. Later we enjoy a rickshaw ride along the pretty Pingjiang Canal and through the narrow, bustling streets, before taking a cruise on the charming Shantang Canal.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Excursions
Days 15-17 To Shanghai and London

We travel by high-speed train to Shanghai, a fast-paced metropolis where centuries-old street markets jostle for position with soaring skyscrapers. On Day 16 we explore Shanghai's great variety of landmarks. We visit the Jade Buddha Temple, a mighty structure with many statues made from precious stones. We also see the attractive Yu Garden in the city's historic core. Later we head to the Bund, a glamorous boulevard stretching out along the river, lined with colonial buildings. The rest of your day is at leisure. On Day 17 we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London.

  • Days 15-16 - Breakfast, lunch
  • Day 17 - Breakfast
  • Shanghai tour
  • Scheduled flights




Make Enquiry

Please select your preferred departure date below and fill out our simple enquiry form and a member of our specialist travel experts will be in touch.