We are delighted to announce our brand-new China tour that launched this week! First departures are September 2020 and if you book before 12th December 2019 – your partner flies free (or solo travellers get 50% off their airfare!) when flying with Cathay Pacific!
For now, let’s take you through the tour and show you all the exciting things you’ll see and do:
Day 1-2 – Fly to Chongqing
Fly overnight to the bustling city of Chongqing, the gateway to the Yangtze River and one of the largest cities in China. Depending on the time of your arrival, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 3 – Discover Dazu
Travel to Dazu, which is home to the UNESCO protected Dazu Rock Carvings. Thousands of symbols were carved on over 70 sites between the 9th – 13th century and they are some of the best-preserved carvings in the world. From here, you’ll have some free time to enjoy Dazu before heading back to Chongqing.
Day 4 – Wulong
One of Wendy’s favourite highlights, you’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site and spend time strolling through the national park, which has some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. See naturally formed stone bridges, narrow gorges and limestone formations. You’ll also see the famous Three Bridges National Park and Fairy Mountain.
Day 5 – Chongqing
Today it’s back to Chongqing to spend some time in one of our favourite cities. You’ll begin the day by heading to a 75-meter high stilt house, build along the bank of the Jialing River. From here you’ll head to E’ling Park – a green oasis of peace overlooking the bustling city of Chongqing. You’ll return to city for a traditional Chinese Hot Pot dinner (take a look at our China Foodie blog to find out more about this dish!) before boarding your 3 night cruise on the river Yangtze.
Day 6 -7 – Cruising the Yangtze
Cruise downstream on China’s most picturesque river and relax aboard the state-of-the-art cruise vessel. This is your time to relax and absorb some of the world’s most dramatic scenery – including the Three Gorges!
Over the next two days you can relax and enjoy the ride with side trips to the Goddess or Shennong Streams and several shore excursions, all executed in style by our well-trained guides. There is also evening entertainment and delicious meals to enjoy.
Day 8 – Disembark in Yichang
Upon arrival in Yichang you’ll disembark the cruise vessel and visit the Three Gorges Dam, which is a manmade marvel and an impressive feat of engineering. From here it’s to the bullet train to travel to your next stop, Chengdu.
Day 9 – Chengdu and the Pandas
No trip to China is complete without seeing the Pandas. You’ll visit the world-famous Panda Reserve at Chengdu and visit the conservation centre to learn about how the Pandas are protected and cared for, along with the safe breeding programme to help keep this beautiful species going.
You’ll see the Pandas up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat, and if you’re lucky you might get to see them feast on their favourite treat – bamboo! After your visit you’ll head to People’s Park to see matchmakers’ corner and then enjoy a traditional Sichuan meal for lunch, before re-boarding the bullet train to Xian.
Day 10 – Terracotta Warriors
Today is all about one of China’s greatest mysteries, the Terracotta Army of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Spend the morning wandering the excavation centre and admire the vast number of statues uncovered, including warriors in chariots and carved horses! You’ll visit the workshop of the craftsmen who re-create the warriors for tourists to take home and even watch the production process. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a warrior souvenir of your own and take pictures in the tourist area.
In the afternoon, take a stroll on the 14th Century City Walls that enclose Xian’s old town and see how it is kept beautifully preserved. After working up an appetite all day, enjoy a feast on Traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and watch a Tang Dynasty Show.
Day 11 – Bullet Train to Beijing
Hop on the bullet train for a final time to head to China’s symbolic capital. Enjoy a leisurely stroll to the Hutongs and visit a local family for an insight into living life in the Hutongs.
Day 12 – The Great Wall
Quite possibly the most talked about sight in the world – the Great Wall of China. Arise early to head to the wall and walk along the incredible structure. You’ll be able to experience the sheer magnificence and glory of one of the world’s most beautiful wonders. As the UKs Number One China Experts, you’re experience will be second to none as we benefit from priority parking and access to the wall, usually allowing time for you to stroll around for a while before the main crowds arrive.
In the afternoon, visit a Jade factory and enjoy the landscapes and view of the Summer Palace whilst you wander through traditional Chinese Gardens. To end the day you’ll be entertained by a traditional Acrobatic show
Day 13 – Explore Beijing
There is so much more to Beijing than people realise, and today is all about exploring the Imperial side of the city. Starting with soaking up the ambience of the Temple of Heaven and watching locals visit, mingle, dance and play cards in this harmonious oasis nestled amongst city life.
From here it’s onto the world famous (and the symbolic heart of Beijing) Tiananmen Square. Then into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City, which in 2020 celebrates its 600th Anniversary! Walk around the city and explore the numerous exhibitions that will appear in celebration of its anniversary, walk through the Gate of Supreme Harmony and take in the magnificent imperial complex.
In the evening you will experience Beijing’s best-known delicacy, Peking Duck as a farewell meal.
Day 14 – Return to UK
Depending on the time of your return flight, awake with a leisurely breakfast and potential time to soak up the last few moments of Beijing.
We carefully crafted this tour, taking parts of our other tours and combining it with the delights of Chongqing and the Yangtze River. We hope to see you in 2020!
For tips on when to go, take a look at our Best Time to Visit China page