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Sights and sounds of China

 
1 Ancient Chengdu
Ancient Chengdu

PARKS AND POETS

On this half day Chengdu city tour you will visit Wu Hou Temple, Jinli Old Street and the wonderfully peaceful Wenshu Temple. Jinli Old Street was once the commercial heart of the old kingdom and has been fully restored in the traditional Sichuan style. Picturesque and bustling, you can buy crafts and traditional goods in the shops here.

The beautiful Wuhou Temple dates from the 3rd century and is an outstanding example of ancient Chinese architecture. This temple is a quiet place of reflection and tranquility with many areas to sit and relax in contemplation during your visit. The area around the temple is also worth exploring before you are met and driven back to your hotel.

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1 Ancient Chengdu

Ancient Chengdu

 
2 Chengdu Cooking School
Chengdu Cooking School

The Meal Deal

During this fun trip to the Chengdu cooking school, a local chef will introduce you to some of Sichuan cuisine's classic ingredients and specialities including colourful spices, tofu products, cured meats and dozens of different kinds of local pickles and chili bean paste - the soul of Sichuan cuisine. You then work alongside the chef and learn to prepare ingredients and cook then eat your selected dishes.

During your time at the cooking school you will learn so much about all the ingredients of Chinese cooking and how to blend and cook them. The expert chef will guide you through all the processes and give you the confidence to cook great Chinese dishes when you get home that will really impress your dinner guests.

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2 Chengdu Cooking School

Chengdu Cooking School

 
3 Great Wall of China & 798 Art District
Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

Golden day on the Wall

On this brilliant tour you walk the stunningly beautiful, and much less visited, Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, which includes a cable car ride up and down the wall. Located in Huairou County, about 45 miles from Beijing, the incredible Great Wall is one of the wonders of the world, and is a must visit during any stay in Beijing.

Stand on top of one of the ancient watchtowers taking in the vast scale and sheer beauty of the Wall as it snakes its way across the tops of impossibly steep mountain ridges. Enjoy lunch at a Chinese restaurant then return to the city, and stop to visit the 798 Art District, a complex of modern art, restaurants and bars in a converted factory. It's a modern contrast to the ancient wall of China. You will transfer back to your hotel after this visit.


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3 Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

 
4 Old Beijing
Old Beijing

Tea with Confucius

The Lama Temple, built in 1694, is an impressive compound once the home of Prince Yong who would later become Emperor Yongzheng. Upon his ascension to the throne the buildings were converted into a temple dedicated to Tibetan Buddhist study and today it remains one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world.

One of the pavilions within the temple houses a huge Buddha sculpture carved from a single trunk of white sandalwood. Also visit the Confucius Temple where people paid homage to Confucius during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty. Then enjoy a tea ceremony at a local teahouse and learn about the many and varied types of Chinese tea and the equally varied ways to drink it.

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4 Old Beijing

Old Beijing

 
5 Panda Volunteer Experience
Panda Volunteer Experience

Panda to the pandas every need

Most visitors to Chengdu make sure that they go to see the lovable Giant Pandas at least once. But on this special Panda Volunteer Experience you can get up close and personal with China's most revered and endangered species. You will have the opportunity to interact with these amazing creatures by preparing their lunches, feeding them, and cleaning their cages . . . something most people could only dream about doing.

The volunteering takes place at the Dujiangyan Base of the China Conservation and Research Centre which is located about a mile from Qingcheng Mountain, just over an hour's drive from Chengdu. Your volunteering day begins at 8.30 in the morning and lasts until 4pm. During this time you will get to work with between 20 and 40 Giant Pandas as well as several red pandas

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5 Panda Volunteer Experience

Panda Volunteer Experience

 
6 Shanghai Essentials
Shanghai Essentials

Get down to earth

On this interesting and busy tour you start with a morning visit to the Jade Buddha Temple which is situated in the northwest near the intersection of Anyuan Lu and Jiangning Lu. This is a very active temple and attracts large numbers of visitors from all over the world. It is also popular with Chinese tourists as it is one of Shanghai’s few Buddhist temples.

Then visit the Yu Garden and Old Town Bazaar before having lunch at a Chinese restaurant followed by a walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture. The Bund, also called the Zhongshan Road, is the city's waterfront and has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. Explore Xintiandi and the charming art district of Tianzifang and visit Shikumen Open House Museum in Xintiandi before returning to your hotel.

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6 Shanghai Essentials

Shanghai Essentials

 
7 Shanghai Old & New
Shanghai Old & New

The ancient and modern

Visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Centre where you can see Shanghai’s past, present and future. This informative and interesting venue contains some amazing scale models depicting Shanghai at various points in its development. Then visit the Shanghai Museum, which is one of the best museums in China. Located in the centre of the city in People's Square, it contains one of the finest collections of ancient Chinese art and antiques.

After lunch at a Chinese restaurant visit the tallest building in China, the Shanghai World Financial Centre. Its unique rectangular opening at the top of the tower for wind tunnelling is an instantly recognisable landmark on the Shanghai skyline. Currently the third tallest building in the world, it has a very impressive observation deck located above the opening that offers a birds eye view of the city from the world’s highest observation deck.

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7 Shanghai Old & New

Shanghai Old & New

 
8 Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas
Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

Pandas and palaces

China’s most famous animal gets somewhat pampered in the Giant Panda hall at Beijing Zoo. In the morning you have a memorable visit to the zoo to see these wonderful creatures at rest and play. Then stop at one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in the world -The Summer Palace - one of the finest landmarks in Beijing.

It has long been a royal garden and was enlarged and embellished by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century then later abandoned before being rebuilt in 1888. The lovely Kunming Lake occupies three quarters of the area and you have a boat ride before walking the Long Corridor. After lunch at a local restaurant visit the stunning Temple of Heaven before returning to your hotel.

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8 Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

 
9 Summer Palace Tour
Summer Palace Tour

Lair of the Dragon Lady

The Summer Palace is one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in the world. In the 18th century, Emperor Qianlong enlarged and embellished it, only to abandon it a few years later. The grounds today are stunning, as is the lovely Kunming Lake, which occupies more than three quarters of the total area. Enjoy a boat ride before walking the Long Corridor, a 2,000-foot hall featuring 8,000 paintings.


These stunning works of art were collected by the Emperor during his travels around the country and you have time to appreciate them on this great tour, during which you will hear all about the Lair of the Dragon Lady. There are so many amazing places to visit and sights to see when visiting the Chinese capital Beijing, and this Summer Palace tour should certainly be on your list.

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9 Summer Palace Tour

Summer Palace Tour

 
10 Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Seeing is believing

Admit it, this is what you have travelled so far to see. Start this full-day tour with a visit to the famous UNESCO World Heritage listed Terracotta Warriors site, which is a little over one hour's drive from Xian. Here you see one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century . . . the amazing warriors and their horses, each one with individual faces and expressions.

The Terracotta Army is made up of more than 7,000 soldiers, horses and chariots. The life-sized figures were made by thousands of workers and designed by the self-proclaimed Emperor Qin Shi Huang to defend himself in his afterlife. Sightseeing here, which includes an excellent museum, involves approximately two and a half hours of walking and after lunch you are taken back to your city hotel.

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10 Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

 
11 Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour
Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour

Heart of the City

You are collected from your hotel and taken to the centre of Beijing. This morning, you will walk through the expanse of Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest public squares, where you pass several monuments, including the mausoleum that houses Chairman Mao’s remains. The northern gate of the square features a portrait of the PRC’s founding father, and is also the gate through which you enter the Forbidden City.

Once in the Forbidden City you walk in the steps of emperors. It was completed in 1420, and was home to 24 emperors, the last of which left Beijing in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9,999 rooms, which at its peak housed up to 10,000 people. Discover for yourself why the 170 acres were forbidden to common people as you stroll through what is arguably the best-preserved example of classical Chinese architecture in the world.


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11 Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour

Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour