Ancient China

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With thousands of years of fascinatingly diverse history, China is one of the world’s oldest and most monumental civilisations. Encounter millennia-old culture and religion with visits to some of China’s greatest and most intriguing ancient sights.

Places Visited

UK - Beijing (4N) - Datong (1N) - Wutaishan (1N) - Taiyuan (1N) - Pingyao (1N) - Xian (3N) - Luoyang (1N) - Zhengzhou (1N) - Shanghai (3N) - UK

18 Days from
£2,590
Fully inclusive
Moderate
Classic
Group Tour
Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, China’s fascinating capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3 Forbidden City & Hutongs
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into thesprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Take a rickshaw ride through the charming hutongs and in the evening sit down to enjoy the local delicacy, Peking Duck, followed by a performance of the Beijing Opera.
Day 4 Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate its sheer magnificence. Jade has been long cherished by the Chinese – at the Jade Museum you can understand and appreciate the delicate process of carving the stone and buy a piece if you wish. Savour the idyll of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.
Day 5 Temple of Heaven
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Drift your way through Panjiayuan, Beijing’s most extensive arts, crafts and antiques market.
Day 6 Travel to Datong
Travel by train to Datong, watching the rural splendour of China pass by your window. Arrive in time for a local dinner in this fascinating city.
Day 7 Hanging Temple, Datong
Grottoes carved from sandstone cliffs in the 5th and 6th centuries, Yungang Caves are replete with intricate Buddhist imagery. The 1400 year old, gravity-defying Hanging Temple seemingly floats 50 metres up the face of Jinxia Gorge. Travel on to Wutaishan.
Day 8 Alpine Wutaishan
One of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, Wutai (Five Terraced Mountain), is a place of scenic magnificence. In Wutaishan’s shadow an alpine valley shelters many important monasteries, temples and sculptures, some stretching back over 1000 years. Continue to Taiyuan and visit the Twin Pagoda Temple dating from the Ming Dynasty.
Days 9-10 Taiyuan and Pingyao
Enjoy the fascinating cultural relics of the Shanxi Provincial Museum and the beauty and tranquillity of Jinci Temple. Travel to Pingyao and visit the Shuanglin Temple. home to 2,000 colourful sculptures from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The next day, spend the day exploring Pingyao. The characterful old town of Pingyao is considered the best ancient walled town in the country. Stroll along the cobbled streets to view the Zhou Dynasty (827-728BC) city walls and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum. There will also be time to see the Yamen, a former government building from the Qing Dynasty before taking the bullet train to the former imperial capital of Xian.
Days 11-12 Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of these life size warriors. This evening enjoy a delicious feast of Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing. The next day Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda before admiring the thousands of fascinating relics at the Shaanxi Museum. There will also be time to explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
Day 13 Train to Imperial Luoyang
Board a bullet train from Xian to Luoyang, a city that was the capital for more than 13 dynasties. This afternoon visit the Longmen Grottos which house tens of thousands of age-old statues and sculptures depicting Buddha and his disciples carved from the limestone cliffs of Xiangshan and Longmenshan.
Day 14 Shaolin Temple
Travel to the famous Shaolin Temple, best known for its association with martial arts, and walk through the Pagoda Forest, a collection of 228 pagodas of various styles built from the Tang through to Qing Dynasties. Witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks. Continue to Zhengzhou.
Day 15 Yellow River & Shanghai
Learn about the river basin called ‘the birthplace of Chinese civilisation’ at Zhengzhou’s Yellow River Museum before heading to a lookout for panoramic views over the river itself. Fly to Shanghai.
Days 16 Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, east and west colliding on streets lined with skyscrapers and old temples. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens, the atmospheric old town and the excellent collections of the Shanghai Museum before admiring the colonial architecture on the Bund. In the evening take your seats for a fascinating Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 17 Fly Shanghai to UK
Wander through the Xintiandi area to admire the 1920s architectural styling. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a scenic cruise. Taste the delicious, traditional Shanghai cuisine for dinner.
Day 18 Fly Shanghai to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On most Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking driver and you will be met by local guides at each site.

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Additional Price Information:

Prices are fully inclusive from the UK and based on London Heathrow departures
Regional departures available
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,160pp (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single room option from £440 (no supplement if you are willing to share)
Tipping payable locally US$70pp
Medium Paced Tour

Additional Price Information:

Prices are fully inclusive from the UK and based on London Heathrow departures
Regional departures available
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,160pp (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single room option from £440 (no supplement if you are willing to share)
Tipping payable locally US$70pp
Medium Paced Tour

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
Super House International Hotel - Beijing (4 Nights)

The 4 star Super House International Hotel combines traditional Chinese culture with contemporary comforts. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a safety deposit box. Facilities include a restaurant serving authentic Chinese cuisine, a coffee shop, lobby bar and tea room. There is also a fitness centre with sauna and a small boutique.

Datong Hotel - Datong (1 Nights)

Featuring 221 spacious rooms, the Datong Hotel is situated in a lively area of the city centre. All of its chic and spacious air conditioned rooms come with flat screen satellite television, and en-suite and a safety deposit box. The onsite restaurant offers Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.

Friendship Hotel - Wutaishan (1 Nights)

Wutaishan Friendship Hotel features modern accommodation in the Wutaishan Scenic Area. Rooms are elegantly furnished and include satellite television, tea making facilities, free Wifi and an en-suite bathroom. The hotel also has an onsite fitness centre, supermarket and restaurant, which serves local Chinese dishes.

Shanxi Grand Hotel - Taiyuan (1 Nights)

The centrally located Shanxi Grand Hotel in Taiyuan has modern en-suite rooms which include satellite television, free Wifi, air conditioning, tea making facilities and a safety deposit box. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves local and international cuisine. There is also a fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool for your use.

YuLong International Hotel - Xi'an (3 Nights)

Located 5 kilometers from the city downtown, Yulong International Hotel ,combines elegance and sophistication with first-class service. Facilities include three restaurants, a lobby bar, games room, beauty salon, fitness room and business centre. The 258 beautifully decorated and well-equipped rooms have air-conditioning, satellite LCD flatscreen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, mini-bar, hairdryer and a safe deposit box.

Peony Hotel - Luoyang (1 Nights)

Right in the heart of Luoyang, the Peony Hotel has well-appointed en-suite rooms with modern amenities, including a flat-screen TV, electric kettle and a minibar. The hotel also features a restaurant serving Cantonese, Sichuan, and Western flavours, a massage parlour and a fitness centre.

Xinhuajianguo Hotel - Zhengzhou (1 Nights)

Xinhuajianguo Hotel is located in downtown Zhengzhou and offers guests comfortably furnished en-suite rooms. Facilities include satellite TV, free internet access, a mini bar and other amenities. The onsite restaurant boasts superb Chinese cuisine. Other services and facilities include a sauna, beauty salon, fitness room and laundry service.

Mingde Grand Hotel - Shanghai (3 Nights)

Located in People's Square, the Mingde Grand Hotel Shanghai is close to the city’s main attractions. The modern, stylish rooms with free Wifi, a minibar and a flat screen satellite television. Complimentary toiletries are included in the bathroom. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves both Chinese and international dishes. The hotel also boasts an indoor pool, a spa and a fitness centre.

Hong Kong  Extension - 4D/3N

Hong Kong Extension - 4D/3N

4 Days from £320
Hong Kong Shopping - 4D/3N

Hong Kong Shopping - 4D/3N

4 Days from £560
Hainan Island - 5D/4N

Hainan Island - 5D/4N

5 Days from £340
Dubai at Leisure - 4D/3N

Dubai at Leisure - 4D/3N

4 Days from £260
Hong Kong & Macau - 4D/3N

Hong Kong & Macau - 4D/3N

4 Days from £380
Hong Kong & Lantau Island - 4D/3N

Hong Kong & Lantau Island - 4D/3N

4 Days from £360
Emirates Extension - 5D/4N

Emirates Extension - 5D/4N

5 Days from £460

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. Calls may cost £1 per minute to the UK, plus a 10% service charge, but will vary by location. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
 
In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
 
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
 
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
 
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
 
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
 
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
 
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

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Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those who are interested in gaining an understanding of China’s ancient and religious history and who have an interest in learning about a specific region of the country. We have designed this tour to take in key historical and religious areas of Shanxi Province, as well as visit the popular destinations of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai.

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