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Discover China

13 Days from £2,095per
Great organisation and very knowledgeable local guides and tour manager
Mr R Pyner
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You are viewing the 2020 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: 20CVS)

Take a whirlwind adventure through China’s ancient and modern wonders

Take an adventure through China's ancient and modern wonders. Travel from bustling Beijing, with its Great Wall, to ancient Xi'an and its Terracotta Warriors, cruising the Yangtze River en-route. 

  • Beijing
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Shanghai’s secrets
  • Cruising the Yangtze
  • The Terracotta Warriors
  • Xi’an
What’s Included
  • 4-5* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Lunches
    Selected Evening Meals
    7 Nights Hotel Accommodation
  • Return Scheduled Flights
    Upgrades Available
  • 4 night cruise on the Yangtze River

Discover China 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 To Beijing
To Beijing

To Beijing

Your tour begins with a flight from London to Beijing, arriving into this bustling city on Day 2. On arrival, you have plenty of time to settle in to this wonderful country.

  • Day 2 - Dinner
Day 3 The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

This morning begins with a rickshaw tour of Beijing's hutongs, or backstreets, known for their association with the city's history.

Later, enjoy a highlight of your holiday, with a visit to the iconic Great Wall of China. You visit the Mutianyu section of the wall, one of the best preserved and most visited parts of this worldfamous structure. This particular section is one of the oldest sections of the wall, and it was first built in the 6th century. After time to explore this magnificent piece of ancient engineering at your own pace, you return to Beijing, pausing en-route at the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube - examples of Beijing's modern architecture - for a photo opportunity. After a busy day exploring Beijing's best attractions, you enjoy a dinner of authentic Peking duck tonight.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 4-5 Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai
Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai

Shanghai’s secrets

Spend the morning exploring Beijing with a guided tour. Visit Tiananmen Square, the location of the now infamous 1989 uprising and, at over 4 million square feet, the largest city square in the world.

You continue this afternoon to the Forbidden City - a palace and garden complex once inhabited by the Chinese royal family, and now preserved as a testament to China's long history. The incredible complex was built on a grand scale, with 980 buildings spread over 180 acres housing the family, their staff and the royal guard from 1406 to the abdication of the last Chinese Emperor in 1912. Constructed to reflect the Purple Palace, where it was thought god resided in heaven, the Forbidden City's opulence is testament to the Emperor's role as a divine ruler.

Leave the capital behind this afternoon, as you board the high-speed train to Shanghai. On arrival, you are met by a local English-speaking guide, who takes you on a sightseeing tour. Discover the iconic Bund, part of the city's famously futuristic architecture, as well as the French Concession, where distinctive western architecture pays testament to the history of French colonialism in this region. There is also time to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Nanjing Road, a largely pedestrianised thoroughfare and major shopping centre in Shanghai. Afterwards, dinner is served at a local restaurant.

Continue your tour of Shanghai on Day 5, with a visit to some of the city's hidden attractions. Yu Garden is an oasis of peace amidst Shanghai's lively streets, situated in the older quarters of the city. The extensive gardens are spread out over 5 acres, and have a serene feel, with the typical features of Imperial gardens created by China's former rulers - from ornate pavilions and tranquil pools filled with brightly-coloured fish, to curious stacked rockeries and decadent halls with traditional winged roofs. You also visit the Old City of Shanghai, the Chinese enclave that resisted the influences of the foreign concessions in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, and the Yuyuan Bazaar, a busy shopping quarter adjacent to the city's oldest street.

This afternoon, transfer to Maoping, enjoying China's excellent high-speed rail from Shanghai to Yichang, to board the Century Diamond or Sun cruise ship, for a journey by water through some of China's most dramatic and beautiful scenery.

  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Lunch
Days 6-8 Yangtze River
Yangtze River

Cruising the Yangtze

Today, your scenic cruise along the Yangtze River begins. You take a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam today, before your ship passes through the striking Xiling Gorge. On Day 7, the ship makes its way through the Qutang and Wu Gorges, both renowned for their beauty.

On Day 8 you visit Shibaozhao Pagoda.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 9-10 Panda, Chengdu
Panda, Chengdu

Chengdu and its pandas

Disembark from the ship today in Chongqing, where you board the high-speed train to Chengdu. On arrival, you take in the city's highlights, including the Wenshu Monastery, and lively Jinli Street.

On the morning of Day 10, enjoy a visit to the Panda Research Centre where more than 120 adorable giant panda cubs have been born over the years, before lunch at a local restaurant. Following this, you visit the beautiful Renmin Park, built in 1911 as 'the people's park'.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 11-12 The Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors

After breakfast, transfer to Xi'an, the ancient former capital of China, by rail. Tonight, sample some local specialities with a dumpling banquet for dinner.

On Day 12, you visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, which were discovered on the outskirts of Xi'an in the 1970s. Later, return to the city for a guided tour, taking in a wealth of ancient sites - from the imposing city walls, to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Great Mosque.

  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Xi'an

Return to London

Board your scheduled flight from Xi'an to London Heathrow today. Your tour concludes on arrival in the UK.

  • Breakfast

Travel Update

Updated 10/03/2020

Please note that we have cancelled all departures of our Discover China holidays in March or April. All customers have been notified. May departures are currently scheduled to run. We will continue to monitor the situation and update customers as information becomes available.

If you choose to cancel your holiday entirely outside of this period, our standard cancellation fee will apply.

We are taking bookings for August onwards. 

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

What’s included
  • Fully escorted by a UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Scheduled flights from London to Beijing and from Xi'an to London
  • All rail and coach travel throughout your tour
  • 7 nights' hotel accommodation
  • 4-night cruise on the Yangtze River
  • Breakfast every day, 7 lunches and 10 dinners, including a captain's farewell dinner
  • Sightseeing tours of Beijing & Xi'an
  • Visit to the Great Wall of China
  • Excursion to the Terracotta Warriors
  • Guided tours of Shanghai & Chengdu
  • Visit to the Panda Research Centre


Enahancing your tour

  • 2For1 Flight upgrades from £350 per person

Not Included

  • British Citizens require a visa.

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

What our customers think

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Tour Rating

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Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
Discover China

Take a whirlwind adventure through China’s ancient and modern wonders


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