18 DAYS ●
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From international Shanghai and the pandas of Chengdu to the imperial highlights of Beijing and all the dramatic landscapes in between, relish the historical, cultural and natural delights of China on this comprehensive trip.
Admire the colonial architecture with a walk along the Bund
Stand in awe in front of the Grand Buddha of Leshan
Walk the parameters of Xian's 14th century ancient city wall
Take a relaxing cruise down the Li River which runs from Guilin to Yangshuo
Fly overnight to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the ‘Paris of the East’. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Sightseeing today begins with a visit to the classical Yu Garden and a stop in the old town before admiring the colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. Round off the day with a delicious meal of traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
Explore ultra-modern Pudong followed by a visit to a silk factory and the Shanghai Museum to see the collection of fine arts and antiquities. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Suzhou’s centre has managed to retain a sense of quaint charm even as the city has grown up around it. Renowned for its traditional gardens, visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden, typical of the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. Later, cruise on the thousand-year-old Grand Canal.
Travel to the water town of Wuzhen. A charming place of old-world timber buildings, cobbled streets and narrow waterways, it is an easy place to while away the day. Later, continue to the garden city of Hangzhou.
A restful morning is spent wandering around the Temple of Inspired Seclusion, one of China’s most renowned Buddhist temples. Later, enjoy a cruise on Hangzhou’s West Lake, admiring the gardens, pagodas and old bridges on its shores.
Browse the bustling local markets and visit the plantations of Meijiawu to learn the teamaking process, from bush to brew. Enjoy a cup of organic green tea and decide which of the locally produced teas you might like to purchase. Later, fly to the beautiful city of Guilin and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Begin today with a relaxing cruise along the Li River to the charming town of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery and grazing buffalo. Wander through the cobbled streets and visit the local market, then stop on the banks of the Li River for a photo opportunity with a cormorant fisherman.
Yangshuo sits in an exquisite rural location, surrounded by landscapes of emerald-green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Start the day with a relaxing and invigorating session of Tai Chi, taking a class with a master to learn this ancient martial art. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the countryside and enjoy some time at leisure. Later, travel through the countryside as you return by road to Guilin.
Visit Reed Flute Cave to admire the colourful stalagmites and stalactites. Continue to the pearl factory, then fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. This evening, enjoy an optional performance of Sichuan opera for the actors’ famous ‘face-changing’.
Travel to Leshan to visit the UNESCO-listed Grand Buddha which, at 71 metres, is the world’s largest stone-carved Buddhist monument. Get a bird’s eye view of the Buddha from the adjacent park, then a short boat trip will give excellent views from the river. Return to Chengdu and in the evening, sample a delicious Sichuanese meal.
Visit Chengdu’s famous giant panda reserve to see and learn about China’s celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Later, take the bullet train to Xian, the ancient former capital.
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 life-sized warriors and horses. Also visit the workshop of the craftsmen to see where the warriors are intricately recreated in the style of their ancient counterparts. Later, stroll along the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town. This evening, sit down to a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings followed by a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Visit the fascinating Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Later, fly to Beijing, the capital of China.
Spend the morning soaking up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Here, mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they practise Tai Chi, dance or play cards. Next, head to Beijing’s symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and stroll into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
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 both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it. Visit a jade factory before spending the afternoon enjoying the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace, wandering through traditional Chinese gardens and seeing the exquisite architecture. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dinner of Peking duck followed by an optional kung fu show.
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. 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 Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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Everyone needs a visa to travel to China, and this visa should be arranged before you travel. Your visa is included in the price of your holiday, and when it comes to organising it, our visa team will be on hand to help you with any questions or queries. Our step-by-step guide on completing your visa form is available on our website and we will comprehensively check your visa application form to make sure it meets the embassy guidelines. For those passengers travelling to the London visa centre, you will be met and assisted by a member of the Wendy Wu Tours team.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044. Out of hours is 0044 1888 288 288. Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. SMS and call rates can be expensive: we recommend that you contact your mobile supplier for more details. Some of our hotels have WIFI in the rooms and some will only have it in the lobby. There may be additional charges. Many websites, including Google, Facebook and Twitter are banned and inaccessible in China. If you need to access your email via Gmail whilst in China, please use an alternative email account whilst in the country.
Tipping while on holiday is common in most parts of the world and China is no exception. In order to avoid any inconvenience Wendy Wu Tours operates a tipping policy where a stated amount is given to your national escort at the beginning of your tour and tips are distributed to local guides and drivers throughout your tour. Yangtze cruise companies operate a service charge policy and this is paid separately when boarding the vessel. We indicate 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. 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.
The cost of meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consist of small dishes of local cuisine which are placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ for everyone to share. 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. If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend where to eat. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking.
Wendy Wu Tours inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Providing spacious, comfortable, air conditioned rooms the Crowne Plaza is in a great location for exploring the city. The hotel has a fitness centre, two swimming pools, a spa and a variety of dining options serving Chinese and international dishes....Read more
Holiday Inn Suzhou Youlian is located in the heart of ancient Suzhou, the Venice of the East. Each air conditioned, modern en-suite room includes satellite television, safety deposit boxes, a minibar and tea making facilities. The onsite Chinese restaurant offers Taihu Lake prawns and sweet and sour Mandarin fish for those wishing to try the local flavours. There is also a spa, an indoor pool and a fitness centre. ...Read more
The Best Western Richful Green Hotel is located in the heart of Hangzhou, steps away from the famous West Lake. It offers spacious and stylish air conditioned rooms with free Wifi, satellite television and a luxurious en-suite. The hotel also provides an onsite restaurant serving Cantonese cuisine, a health club and a beauty salon....Read more
Guilin Jin-Tone Hotel is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city and its local attractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, Wifi and tea making facilities. There is an onsite spa that offers Chinese massage, and the hotel’s restaurant serves Chinese and Western dishes. ...Read more
Centrally located, the New Century Hotel is near the beautiful Yangshuo Park. Facilities include a restaurant serving international cuisine, a bar, beauty salon and currency exchange. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a hairdryer....Read more
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.
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....Read more
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience the world. That's why we are touring experts - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing top sights magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you soon!
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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
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