China is a country of complete contrasts. Timeless traditions and world changing innovations sit side by side, tranquil rice fields and quaint monastery villages exist alongside hectic modern metropolises. China never disappoints and draws for all manner of traveller from those with passions for history or food to lovers of the natural world who can visit the enigmatic Giant Pandas. No trip to this vast country would be complete without stepping into some of China’s 3000-year history. Take a stroll along the snaking Great Wall spanning 5500 miles across northern China, explore the Forbidden city home to numerous Emperors of the Ming & Qing dynasties. In Xi’an visit the enigmatic legions of Terracotta Warriors standing sentinel over the first emperor of China Qin Shi Quang’s tomb.
Meet China's most famous resident - the charismatic Pandas
Walk along part of the 21,196km wall that spans northern China, one fo the modern wonders of the world
Come face to face with Xi'an's enigmatic army - The Terracotta Warriors
Explore China's past at the Imperial Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and & Summer Palace.
Fly overnight from London to Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China, for a 3-night stay. On arrival in Beijing Capital International Airport, you will be met in the arrival hall by your local guide. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer approximately 1 hour to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. A tour introduction will be held in the hotel either this evening or the next. Food and drinks will not be served at this meeting, it is simply an opportunity for your group to meet and learn more about travelling in China.
Walk through Tiananmen Square and into the magnificent Forbidden City. Sightseeing here will involve approximately 3-4 hours on foot. Later, soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven for about 1 hour where you can watch, or take part in, an outdoor dance group. Tonight, eat a traditional Peking duck dinner.
You will rise early this morning to avoid the crowds and drive approximately 2 hours northwest of the city to the Juyongguan Pass to take a walk on the Great Wall of China, appreciating the wall itself and the dramatic scenery. Your visit involves walking from the bus to the first section; once your group has been given an introduction to the Great Wall’s unique history you will have free time to explore at your own pace. Later, visit the Jade Museum and then stroll through the Summer Palace. This evening, enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.
This morning you will be transferred approximately 1 hour to Beijing airport for your 2-hour flight to Xian. On arrival, take a walk on the ancient city walls before you check in. Your local guide will give you time to explore the ancient city walls at your own pace. There are options here to hire a bicycle or an electric cart to drive along the length of the wall, these are offered by private vendors and can be organised at your own expense. Later this evening, enjoy a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of the life-sized Terracotta Warriors. The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses is located approximately a 1 hour drive outside of Xian. From the bus park to the museum entrance is a 15-minute walk. There are electric carts offered by private vendors which can be organised at your own cost. There is no electric cart available for the return from the museum exit to the bus park. Within the museum area the warriors can be seen in three different ‘pits’, which are active archaeological digs. The site is large and will take about 2 and a half hours to explore. After this, visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition centre to see smaller models of the warriors being made. Later, take a 3-hour bullet train to Chengdu.
Today, meet the Giant Pandas at Dujiangyan Panda Base. Located in the forested Sichuanese countryside around 1 hour’s drive north of Chengdu, Dujiangyan offers refuge to Giant Pandas with the aim to reintroduce them into the wild. Later, return to Chengdu and soak up the atmosphere on lively Jinli Street, before enjoying a typical Sichuan meal this evening.
This morning visit the Giant Pandas at the Panda Conservation Centre, where you can learn more about China’s celebrated bear. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to see the feeding of the younger pandas, as this only happens at the start and end of each day. Sightseeing involves approximately 1 and a half hours on foot and there are electric carts offered by private vendors that can be organised at your own cost. Take a trip to the Shu Brocade Museum. Later, visit Matchmaker’s Corner where you can watch parents search for suitable suitors for their children, and visit a traditional tea house where you can try traditional Chinese tea (at your own expense).
Any time before your flight is at leisure. You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport, according to the departure time of your international flight.
Arrive in London