Grand Tour of China
This wide-ranging tour has China’s top destinations covered, with time to soak up the sights. Whether you are looking for history, character and culture, the modern and marvellous, or a straight-up combination of the two, then this is the itinerary for you.
- Survey Xian from its ancient city ramparts
- Take a 4-night voyage on the mighty Yangtze to see the magnificent Three Gorges
- Visit the world famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu
- Meander amongst the eerie Stone Forest in Kunming
- Visit Dali’s sentinel Three Pagodas, standing guard at the bottom of Mt Cangshan
- Cruise Suzhou’s Grand Canal, the longest of its kind
This tour is suited for customers who have an extensive amount of time to explore China and wish to take in the most famous and iconic sights in depth. This tour also incorporates a Yangtze River cruise and an overnight train journey in China.
Itinerary in Brief
- 3 Nights Beijing
- 3 Nights Xian
- 4 Nights Yangtze River Cruise
- 1 Night Chengdu
- 2 Nights Kunming
- 2 Nights Dali
- 1 Night Guilin
- 2 Nights Yangshuo
- 2 Nights Hangzhou
- 2 Nights Suzhou
- 2 Nights Shanghai
Days 1-2 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.
Days 3-4 Beijing and the Great Wall
Visit Tiannamen Square and explore the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs before sitting down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck. The next 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 its sheer magnificence. 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. Finally savour the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace. In the evening enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 5 Temple of Heaven
This morning soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven where you can watch, or take part in, an outdoor dance group. This afternoon take the Bullet train to Xian.
Days 6-7 Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Enjoy a delightful visit to the Little Wild Goose Pagoda before wandering around the narrow alleys of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings before a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing. The next day, view the enigmatic ranks of warriors that make up the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Later stroll on Xian’s beautifully preserved 14th century city walls.
Day 8 Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board your Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Days 9-11 Yangtze River Cruise
The Three Gorges Dam showcases a massive feat of engineering but as we cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breath-taking panorama after another, and take a side trip to the attractive Shennong Stream or Goddess Stream and the Shibaozhai Temple or Fengdu Ghost City.
Day 12 Drive to Chengdu
Disembark and explore old Ciqikou, whose narrow streets are perfect for a stroll to admire the traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu.
Day 13 Panda Conservation Centre
Visit Chengdu’s famous Panda Centre to see these celebrated bears in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Stop at the Shu Brocade and Embriodery Museum to learn how these richly decorative fabrics are created before flying to the pleasant city of Kunming.
Day 14 Kunming Stone Forest
Spend the morning exploring the unusual limestone rock formations of the Kunming Stone Forest. This evening dine on the delicious local delicacy, Across the Bridge Noodles.
Days 15-16 Enchanting Dali
Dali offers a peek of the China of times-gone-by. On your first day visit the Three Pagodas, whilst the next day explore the old quarter and pop over to Xizhou village to browse around the local market. There will also be a cruise on Erhai Lake.
Day 17 Fly to Guilin
Return to Kunming and then fly to the attractive city of Guilin.
Days 18-19 Li River & Yangshuo
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to charming 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 itself sits amongst paddy fields and dramatic karsts – spend the morning exploring. This afternoon is at leisure. There are many activities available including cycling, rafting and walking if you wish. In the evening see the famous cormorant fishermen.
Day 20 Fly to Hangzhou
Drive back to Guilin and enjoy a visit to the Reed Flute Cave where you can admire colourful stalactites and stalagmites. Fly to Hangzhou.
Days 21-22 Imperial Hangzhou
Spend the morning wandering around the Temple of Inspired Seclusion. Visit the Former Residence of Huxueyan before cruising on Hangzhou’s West Lake and admiring the gardens, pagodas and old bridges on its shores. Disembark your cruise and explore the Xihutiandi area. The next day transfer to Suzhou, renowned for its gardens and quaint charm and enjoy a day at leisure.
Day 23 Suzhou Historical Town
Suzhou’s centre has managed to retain a sense of quaint charm. Renowned for its gardens, visit two of the finest, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a typical example of the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony before cruising on the thousand-year-old Grand Canal.
Day 24 Explore Shanghai
Travel to Shanghai. Visit Matchmaker’s Corner where parents search for worth suitors for their children. Explore the ancient treasures of the Shanghai Museum before a delicious meal of Shanghai cuisine.
Day 25 Shanghai
Today’s explorations include the traditional Yu Gardens and the atmospheric alleys of the old town. Admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund before visiting the Silk Museum. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Day 26 Fly Shanghai to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Need to Know
- This is a group tour here is what is Included
- International flights and current taxes
- Domestic transportation
- All meals
- Touring with guides and entrance fees
- Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
- Private Tour options are available
- Extensions to this tour may be available