24 January 2017
On this great Treasures of China tour you spend an action-packed nine days travelling around this fascinating country seeing so many of the famous sights. Beginning in the historic capital Beijing and ending in Chengdu, where you meet the cuddly Giant Pandas, you experience something new every day. You visit the Great Wall, get up close to the incredible Terracotta Warriors in Xian, walk around Tiananmen Square and through the Forbidden City and enjoy a cruise along the beautiful Li River.
On arrival at Beijing you will be met at the airport by your experienced local guide and taken to your hotel in the city for a two night stay. There are so many iconic sights and things to do in China's capital city and you can begin your exploration today. In the evening meet the rest of your group in the hotel's reception area for welcome drinks and a tour briefing finding out all the exciting things that you will be doing over the next nine days and nights.
Begin your exploration of this impressive capital city with a walk through Tiananmen Square which was built on the orders of Chairman Mao and can hold more than a million people. Continue on foot passing through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to enter the splendid Forbidden City. After exploring here leave via the North Gate and head into one of Beijing’s few remaining ‘hutongs’ or traditional lanes in the backstreets and have lunch at a family home. Later see the famous Drum Tower and this evening feast on Peking Duck.
A big day today when you travel to Mutianyu, 56 miles north-east of Beijing, to visit the country's most famous attraction - the Great Wall of China. It was built more than 2,000 years ago and extends 3,107 miles from the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Take the cable car up to the Wall from where you can walk or climb sections admiring the panoramic views. Return to Beijing and in the evening board the high speed train to Xian where you are taken to your hotel in heart of the old city.
Start the day with a stroll through Xian’s City Park which is alive with people exercising and enjoying a range of activities like tai chi, ping-pong, badminton and even ballroom dancing. Continue with a tour of this culturally diverse and exotic Chinese city. Xian is located close to the banks of the Yellow River and has a history dating back to 1000BC. Walk around the stunning Old City Walls and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Great Mosque. Enjoy the lively street markets and tonight try Xian’s famous local dumplings at a restaurant.
One of the highlights of the tour when you take a short drive to the remarkable Army of Terracotta Warriors - one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Still under excavation, these thousands of life sized warriors and horses were only unearthed in 1974 after being buried for 2,000 years. After lunch visit a Terracotta Warrior Factory to learn about the complex production process of these fascinating artworks. Late you are taken to the airport for your flight to Guilin where your hotel is near the banks of the Li River.
This morning transfer to the pier to board your boat for a journey along the Li River which takes you past tranquil farming and fishing scenes and picturesque villages. The stunning limestone karsts that tower above the river create a magical landscape. When you arrive at the small town of Yangshuo - set in the lush green rice paddies of southern China - you pick up bicycles and head into the countryside on a tour. This evening walk around the cobblestone streets, relax in a cafe or watch a spectacular sound and light show over the river.
An early start this morning when you are picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport for the short flight to Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan province, the largest in south west China and renowned for its stunning mountain scenery, dense forests, historic sites and fabulous world famous spicy cuisine. Chengdu is a city with a difference and despite rapid development there are still pockets of backstreet life, tea houses and riverside parks to explore.
Rise early again this morning to visit the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Base, just a short drive out of Chengdu and one of the highlights of this region. The base is a fascinating place to observe Giant Pandas and learn about these endangered animals. Take time to watch the younger ones at play which is always a source of much entertainment. After lunch visit Dufu's Cottage and the People's Park and learn tai chi from a local instructor. Tonight join the rest of your group for a farewell dinner of Sichuan cuisine.
Today your action-packed tour around China comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing in Chengdu where you can also shop for souvenirs in the colourful markets, before heading for the airport to catch an onward flight and explore more of this fascinating country or begin your journey home, taking with you so many wonderful memories.
Classic fr £2294pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated