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Discover China

(Tour code: 17CVS)Take a whirlwind adventure through China’s ancient and modern wonders

Take a whirlwind adventure through China's ancient and modern wonders. Travel from vibrant Shanghai to verdant Suzhou, cruise the Yangtze River and walk along the Great Wall, on a magical holiday by rail.


Secure your 2017 holiday for only £100pp low deposit when booking on or before 9th December 2016, plus save up to £50 per person when booking on or before 31st October 2016.  Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Shanghai’s secrets
  • Suzhou
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Beijing
  • Cruising the Yangtze
  • The Terracotta Warriors
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Selected Breakfasts
    Selected Lunches
    Selected Evening Meals
    7 Nights Hotel Accommodation
  • Return Scheduled Flights
  • 4 night cruise on the Yangtze River

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Days 1-2

To Shanghi

Your tour begins with a flight from London to Shanghai, arriving into this bustling city on Day 2. After time to settle in to your hotel, this afternoon you explore Shanghai on a guided sightseeing tour. Discover the iconic Bund, part of the city's famously futuristic architecture, as well as delving into Shanghai's past with a visit to the Shanghai History Museum.

  • Day 2 - Dinner
  • Tour of Shanghi
  • Shanghai History Museum
Yu Garden
Day 3

Shanghai’s secrets and Suzhou

Continue your tour of Shanghai today, 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 pavillions 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. Later, your holiday continues to Suzhou, 'China's garden city.'

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Yu Garden
  • Old City of Shanghai
  • Yuyuan Bazaar
Lingering Gardens
Day 4

Exploring Suzhou

Explore the beauty of Suzhou today, on a guided sightseeing tour. Your tour includes time to enjoy the Lingering Garden, one of Suzhou's numerous UNESCO-listed classical gardens. Originally commissioned in 1593, the garden is designed to reflect China's natural landscape, after the 'shan shui' or 'mountains and water' style of painting and landscape architecture - a movement which has seen popularity in China since the 5th century. Continue to the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, located in a Qing Dynasty garden, where skilled embroiderers produce hand-crafted silk artworks to this day. Delve into Suzhou's rich heritage of artistic stitching during your time here, and learn how delicate needlework has been a cultural mainstay of this region since the days of the Emperors. Later, you are treated to a cruise along Suzhou's Grand Canal, passing traditional houses, ornate stone bridges and overhanging trees along the route, before making your way to Beijing by rail.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Guided City Tour
  • Lingering Garden
  • Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute
  • Cruise along Suzhou’s Grand Canal
Tiananmen Square
Day 5

Beijing’s highlights

Enjoy a full day discovering the incredible history and architecture on a guided tour today. Visit Tiananmen Square, the location of the now infamous 1989 uprising, before exploring the sprawling beauty of 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.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you continue this afternoon to the Summer Palace. Centred on a glass-smooth lake topped with colourful bobbing boats, a turbulent history belies the palace's peaceful atmosphere, as many of the ancient buildings suffered damage under Anglo-Franco occupation during the Opium Wars. After a busy day exploring Beijing's best attractions, you enjoy a dinner of authentic Peking duck tonight.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Guided City Tour
  • Summer Palace
Great Wall of China
Day 6

The Great Wall of China

Enjoy a highlight of your tour today, with a visit to the iconic Great Wall of China. You visit the Badaling section of the wall, one of the best preserved and most visited parts of this world-famous structure. Built in the Ming Dynasty, Badaling has proved the favourite portion of the wall for many famous faces, including Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Great Wall of China
Cruising the Yangtze
Days 7-10

Cruising the Yangtze

After transferring to Yichang, take to the water today, for a scenic cruise along the Yangtze River. On Day 8, you pass through the striking Xiling Gorge, making your way through the Qutang and Wu Gorges on Day 9. On Day 10 you pass through Fengdu, known as the 'ghost city', as its many temples are dedicated to the afterlife.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Yangtze River Cruise
The Terracotta Warriors
Days 11-12

The Terracotta Warriors

Disembark at Chongqing today, and transfer to Xi'an by flight, the ancient former capital of China. Tonight, sample 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, the Great Mosque and the lively Muslim Quarter bazaar.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Guided City Tour
  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 13

Return to London

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

  • Breakfast
  • Scheduled Flight

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