China Highlights

This immersive tour takes in two spectacular cities, Beijing and Shanghai, and allows you to experience the Great Wall of China, Forbidden Palace, the Terra Cotta Warriors, Li River (on a cruise) and Shanghai's intricate ancient neighbourhoods that stand along modern architecture. Consider extending your tour to include a visit to meet the pandas in Chengdu.

Touring style: private tour with driver and professional English speaking guide.

Best time for this tour:  April  to May / October to November

Prices are seasonal and start from:

GBP 1670 per person, twin sharing, Standard Class Hotels

GBP 1750 per person, twin sharing, Superior Class Hotels

GBP 2357 per person, twin sharing, Deluxe Class Hotels

Price includes accommodation, breakfast, transfers, tours, professional English guide, private basis.

Airfares are additional. 

China Highlights at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai
  • Day 2: Shanghai city tour
  • Day 3: Train or flight to Beijing
  • Day 4: A tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs
  • Day 5: A tour of The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven
  • Day 6: High speed rail or flight to Xian
  • Day 7: Visit the Terracotta warriors
  • Day 8: Fly to Guilin
  • Day 9: Li River cruise
  • Day 10: Departure
China Highlights Image 1

Day 1: Shanghai Arrival

You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Distance and journey time:

Shanghai airport – Shanghai city approx. 45km): 1h

China Highlights Image 2

Day 2: Shanghai tour

In the morning head for the French Concession, a symbol of a time when Western powers were accorded many privileges. You will start your trip with a stroll through Fuxing Park where you will have an opportunity to watch the Chinese practising their ritual of morning exercise.
Afterwards wander the surrounding roads, admiring the old colonial homes that have now been transformed into restaurants, bars and different boutiques. Continue on to Xintiandi, an entirely renovated area that is considered one of the liveliest parts of the city.

Proceed to the nearby neighbourhood of Lujiazui, the epicentre of some of the most famous buildings: the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the never-ending Shanghai World Financial Center (the tallest building in Shanghai), where you can admire the city from the highest panoramic terrace in the world.

Shortly after, you will take the famous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, a mini subway line, to cross the Huangpu River to reach Puxi in a couple of minutes.
Discover the Bund, the city’s famous walkway along some of Puxi’s historical buildings. The area dates back to the 1930s, Shanghai’s rich culture and European influence.
Explore the famous Nanjing Road with its colourful signs. Overnight in Shanghai

China Highlights Image 3

Day 3: Travel to Beijing

There is a choice to travel on the high-speed train to Shanghai or take a short flight to Beijing. 

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
In the afternoon, take a tour by rickshaw to one of Beijing’s famous hutongs close to Houhai Lake. From here you will visit the Drum Tower, where the passing of the hours was signalled by a drum roll during the Ming era. The tower is opposite the Clock Tower and provides a pleasant insight into old Beijing.

Overnight in Beijing.

Distance and journey time:

Beijing airport – Beijing city (approx. 30km): 40 min

China Highlights Image 4

Day 4: A tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs

Visit the massive Great Wall, 90 km north of Beijing. After lunch at a local restaurant stop at the Ming Tombs, burial place for 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty, approached through the Sacred Way and Avenue of the Animals.

On your way back, visit the Summer Palace. At one time a simple imperial garden, the site was totally redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century becoming one of the capital’s major sites. The Imperial Court used to relocate to the Summer Palace during the summer months to escape the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. A mix of temples pavilions, lakes, pagodas and gardens make up this harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture. The Long Corridor, the Marble Boat, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill are the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.

Overnight in Beijing

Distance and journey time:

Beijing city– Mutianyu Great Wall (approx. 75km): approx 2 hours

Mutianyu Great Wall – Summer Palace (approx. 75 km): 1h45

Summer Palace – Beijing city (approx. 22 km): 40 min

China Highlights Image 5

Day 5: A tour of the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven

Visit the Temple of Heaven’s park to witness a uniquely Chinese morning ritual – public exercise. Beijingers, who believe that morning exercise is essential for their well-being. Discover the Temple itself, notable for its architectural simplicity and symbolism reflecting early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Here, emperors would forge the link between the round sky and the square earth through sacrificial rituals based on the founding principles of this ancient civilisation.

In the afternoon visit the Forbidden City. Most Chinese buildings face south, which according to ancient beliefs symbolised the barbarian threat and potential invasion from the north. This explains why the main entrance to the Forbidden City faces south towards Tiananmen Square, the third largest city square in the world.

Overnight in Beijing

China Highlights Image 6

Day 6: Fly to Xian

Afternoon transfer to the airport for flight to Xian. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Leave with your guide o discover the impressive city walls that were constructed during the Ming Dynasty. Mostly destroyed and then restored, they are some of the only town walls still left in China. Take a bike ride or an electric car ride to explore the town walls and look down on the hustle and bustle of the city streets below.

Visit Xi’an’s main Mosque, which is built in a Chinese style, and the very lively Muslim quarter which surrounds it.

Overnight in Xi'an.

Distance and journey time:

Xi’an Airport – Xi'an city 57km): 1 hr

 

China Highlights Image 7

Day 7: Terracotta warriors

Visit the amazing terracotta warriors, horses and chariots guarding the entrance to the 2000-year-old Qin Mausoleum and the Banpo Museum built around the site of a 5000-year-old Neolithic village.

Overnight in Xian

China Highlights Image 8

Day 8: Fly to Guilin

Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon, leave with your guide for a tour of the Reed Flute Cave which takes its name from the number of reeds which grow at the entrance of the cave and which are used in the making of flutes. The day will finish with a pleasant stroll round Shan Lake, known for its two marvellous pagodas, one dedicated to the sun and the other the moon.

Overnight in Guilin

Distance and journey time:

Xi’an city – Han Yangling tomb (approx. 27km): 40 min

Han Yangling tomb – Xi’an airport (approx. 30km): 25 min

Guilin airport - Guilin city (approx. 30km): approx 45 min

China Highlights Image 9

Day 9: Li River Cruise

Transfer to the pier for the Li River cruise. Take in the breathtaking landscape, limestone hills and picturesque villages scattered amongst the giant looming karst hills.

Overnight in Yangshuo.

 

China Highlights Image 10

Day 10: Departure

You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight or extend your China adventure to Yunnan or visit the pandas in Chengdu.

Distance and journey time:

Yangshuo – Guilin airport (approx. 85km): 1h30

Not quite right or still need some more inspiration? Please get in touch. We welcome your questions. We're here to help!

Highlights

Beijing: Great Wall and Forbidden City

The capital of China is rich in historical sites, cultural institutions and national heritage. From the narrow hutong alleys to impressive temples and The Forbidden City. Beijing is also a great base to visit the Great Wall.

Read more

Guilin: dramatic limestone karst hills

Cruise the misty, emerald green Li River, winding like a ribbon through timeless landscapes of bamboo and riverside villages and limestone cliffs to the delightful market town of Yangshuo

Read more

Journey along the Great Wall

In terms of military history, architecture, human endeavour and sheer scale, the Great Wall of China, over 10,000 km in length must rank as one of the most significant man-made structures on the planet.

Read more

Li River Cruise

The cruise follows the stunningly beautiful Li River from Guilin, the capital of Guanxi Province, four hours to the picturesque market town of Yangshuo.

Read more

Shanghai: Colonial and Futuristic city

Cruise the Huangpu River past ancient water villages to contrast the dazzling skyline of modern Pudong with the charm and elegance of the colonial-era Bund

Read more

Terracotta Warriors of Xian

Nothing can prepare the visitor for the unique and unforgettable experience of gazing down upon the more than 7000 life-size warriors and battle horses of this amazing UNESCO World Heritage site.

Read more

Xian: The Silk Road

Xi’an is best known for its incredible Terracotta Army – once seen, never forgotten; however, the city has many more attractions to offer.

Read more

Yangshuo on the Li River

Located among quintessentially Chinese countryside of bamboo and winding streams and stunning limestone pinnacles, this charming town is set idyllically on a bend of the Li River.

Read more

Accommodation

Beijing, Deluxe
Regent Beijing

Located in the historic heart of Beijing, this elegant, Michelin-starred luxury property is set an easy walk from most of the city’s attractions.

Read more

Beijing, Superior Class
Hotel Kapok Beijing

Located close to the Forbidden City, this boutique property infuses a contemporary, natural-light aesthetic with recurring traditional Chinese design motifs such as bamboo, and the iconic Chinese lantern.

Read more

Beijing, Standard Class
Beijing Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel

Set among the lanes or hutongs of historic Beijing, this beautiful Qing Dynasty property dates to the 18th Century, and was formerly the private villa of the prominent scholar Ji Xiaolan. Now a stunning boutique hotel

Read more

Great Wall of China, Superior Class
Brickyard at Mutianyu

Located less than an hour by road from Beijing’s attractions, this fascinating boutique property – a former brick factory – is run along ecological lines, and set conveniently to experience rural Chinese living, and a beautifully-preserved section of the Great Wall.

Read more

Guilin, Deluxe Class
Shangri-La Hotel Guilin

This comfortable and modern hotel combines western standards of comfort and convenience with design elements recalling traditional Chinese art and architecture.

Read more

Guilin, Superior Class
Sheraton Guilin Hotel

The hotel is conveniently set an easy walk from the city’s main attractions – Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, Shangshui Food Street, and the stunning Li River, with its fascinating night market.

Read more

Guilin, Standard Class
Guilin Bravo Hotel

Located an easy 10-minute walk from the city centre’s main attractions, this international-standard property is set overlooking the scenic Banyan Lake.

Read more

Shanghai, Deluxe Class
The PuLi Hotel and Spa

An elegant and very stylish luxury urban resort, The PuLi Hotel and Spa offers an oasis of calm in the heart of the city.

Read more

Shanghai, Superior
The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai Hotel

Located centrally in People’s Square, and an easy walk to both Nanjing Road and the city’s celebrated Bund, this charming boutique heritage property recalls the heyday of art deco Shanghai elegance.

Read more

Shanghai, Superior Class
Astor House Hotel

A stunning example of Classical-period influenced Victorian architecture, the property enjoys the distinction not only of being the first western hotel in China, patronised by such luminaries as Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin, but also the first building to be lit by electricity and to enjoy the novelty of telephone communication.

Read more

Xian, Deluxe Class
Sofitel Xian On Renmin Square

Located 10 minutes from the railway station, and 45 from the international airport, this luxury property - an easy walk from the Muslim Quarter, Bell Tower and Grand Mosque - is set in its own attractive grounds within the city walls.

Read more

Xian, Superior Class
Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square

Within the ancient walls of Xian, Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square is surrounded by serene courtyards and enchanting gardens

Read more

Yangshuo, Standard Class
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

Located 15 minutes by road from the city, this charming guesthouse is set among Guangxi’s stunning scenery of jagged limestone karst and green chessboard rice fields on a picturesque bank of the sinuous Yulong River.

Read more