This fascinating tour focuses on three very different cities, travelling by high-speed train from the pandas of Chengdu to the Terracotta Army and Ming Dynasty walls of Xian, and onward to the capital, Beijing, for the Forbidden City and unforgettable Great Wall
Flight - 1 night
Chengdu - 2 nights
Xian - 2 nights
Beijing - 3 nights
Flying direct to Chengdu and taking the fast train across the miles to Xian and Beijing, this tour wastes no time in its journey to China’s most memorable landmarks, maximising your time to experience the culture and colours of the country, its natural beauty, noisy streets, and bewildering blend of medieval monuments and striking modernity. The capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu has a mountain backdrop, a skyline of soaring towers, and a street scene of vivid pagodas and narrow lanes, all in stark contrast to the carefully planned Panda Project habitat, protecting the endangered Red and Giant species. The UNESCO listed Silk Road city of Xian is the Shaanxi capital, known as the root of Chinese culture since its 8th-century Tang Dynasty heyday, and famed for the astounding thousands of Terracotta Warriors, the statues all about six feet tall, and each with unique facial features. The national capital, Beijing is an enormous amalgam of China’s past and present, from the 2nd-century Great Wall to the 15th-century palaces of the Forbidden City, and 21st-century showcase of futuristic architectural design, via Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Expect the unexpected and enjoy the baffling variety of this amazing country.
Culture & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
5 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guides
Day 1 Fly overnight from London Heathrow to Chengdu.
Day 2 On arrival, transfer to the 5-star Tibet Hotel for a two-night stay in this vibrant city.
Day 3 Visit the Panda Breeding Research Centre, begun in the 1980s with just six pandas, and now home to a population of over 200 of the Giant and Red pandas, in 66 hectares of rivers and forested slopes. Later, walk along ancient Jinli Street, the narrow pedestrian lane lined with artisan workshops and street-food stalls. Enjoy an optional performance of traditional ‘Sichuan opera’ music and dance (£35, pre-bookable). (B, L)
Day 4 Travel by high-speed train (4hrs) to Xian, the oldest of the four Great Ancient Capitals, marking the start of the Silk Road. Named ‘Eternal Peace’ in its Tang days, the city’s Ming dynasty walls now circle a mayhem of modern commerce. Visit the Hanyang Tombs mausoleum complex of Emperor Liu Qi. Two nights at the 5-star Grand Noble Hotel. (B)
Day 5 View the ranks of the life-size Terracotta Warriors, dating from 210BC, when they were sculpted and buried in the vast tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, all facing east, the direction from which his enemies came. Continue to the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, the treasury of the Huaxia civilisation; and walk the ramparts of the ancient city wall to see the scale of its Ming layout. (B, L)
Day 6 Travel (6hrs) by high-speed train to Beijing, China’s inimitable, inscrutable capital, blending ancient ‘hútòng’ alleys of single storey houses with airy avenues of soaring glass structures. Transfer to the Chinese 5-star Hotel Sunworld Dynasty, for a three-night stay. (B, D)
Day 7 Visit the perfectly symmetrical and spirit-level flat Temple of Heaven Park, a masterpiece of Ming architecture, with its Echo Wall and Red Stairway Bridge; continue to the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections, where watchtowers still oversee the structure and its surrounds, and we include the gondola ascent (and descent) of the wall, for fantastic views of its stretch across the northern hills. (B, L)
Day 8 Visit Tian An Men Square, the largest city square in the world; the formidable Forbidden City, a monumental palace complex at the heart of the city; and the vast expanse of the Summer Palace, a complex of Qing dynasty gardens, lakes, bridges and palaces, the dream of notorious Empress Dowager Cixi. Optional Kung Fu show at the Red Theatre (£35, pre-bookable). (B, L),
Day 9 Transfer to Beijing airport for the return flight direct to London Heathrow. (B)
Tour involves carrying luggage on and off trains and some uneven surfaces and inclines.
TRAVEL IN CHINA
Hotel facilities include restaurant/s, bar, coffee shop, English speaking reception staff, WiFi (mostly free) and air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, mini-bar, complimentary mineral water, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV. Included meals, often around large tables of 8, are at either the hotel or in local restaurants and generally offer a selection of Chinese dishes with a drink. Transportation is in private air-conditioned vehicles with local guides accompanying all tours (except on flights and rail journeys).
This 5-star hotel features a Tibetan theme with modern art decor and it is a 15-minute walk from Chengdu train station. Restaurants, bar, gym, WiFi (free) and 275 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
This Chinese 5-star hotel is centrally located, a five-minute walk from Bell and Drum Tower. Restaurants, bar, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 428 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
This Chinese 5-star hotel is in the heart of the Wangfujing Area, a 10-minute drive from Tian An Men Square. Restaurants, bar, indoor pool, gym and WiFi (free). 395 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
per person in a twin/double room
Air China from Heathrow
per person in a twin/double room
Air China from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £365
Air China Business Class from £1645
Sichuan Opera £35
Kung fu show at the Red Theatre £35
Extra Nights - Chengdu
Tibet Hotel (per night) £45
Single supplement £45
Extra Nights - Beijing
Hotel Sunworld Dynasty (per night) £60
Single supplement £60
Add £495 per person
Arrival transfer add £35
Departure transfer add £25
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 4 lunches and 1 dinner, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm