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China Explorer

  • Duration

    15 days
  • Tour Type

    Group Tour
  • Tour Style

    Go Beyond
  • Price From

    £3,590pp
  • Read Reviews

    5 Reviews
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Pairing the classical sights with a Yangtze cruise, visits to the atmospheric ancient towns and a hike on the Great Wall as it weaves on undulating alien landscapes; this itinerary will bring you closer to the authentic charm of China.

Tour Highlights

Our China Explorer tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.

Coronavirus Update for China

China currently has one of the lowest rates of new infections with 17 new daily infections reported yesterday* which makes us optimistic that we will return to life as normal and be able to enjoy our dream holidays soon. *Correct as of 23 November 2020.

Your COVID Cover Travel Insurance on us. For your peace of mind we are delighted to offer Staysure's award winning Covid cover travel insurance with every tour booked by 31 December. Learn More

Exciting Covid Vaccine News Announced. Read the full story

Tour Itinerary

This tour is designed for those who wish to further immerse themselves in the authentic charm of China and take part in more cultural and active experiences. This tour is also suitable for those who wish to take a Yangtze River Cruise.

  • Days 1-2

    Fly overnight to Beijing

    Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Beijing

    Fly overnight to Beijing, China's historic 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 and Tiananmen Square

    Day 3: Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

    Begin today in Beijing's symbolic heart with a stroll across Tiananmen Square into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial treasures which offers an unsurpassed insight into China's colourful past. Spend the afternoon strolling through the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace and admire the Chinese architecture, followed by a walk up Longevity Hill to enjoy the panoramic views. Stop for a photo at the Olympic Stadium.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 4

    Temple of Heaven and Beijing's Hutongs

    Day 4: Temple of Heaven and Beijing's Hutongs

    Arrive early and soak 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 start their day practising Tai Chi, dancing and playing cards. Next, visit Yandaixiejie, where you will have some free time to wander around the hutongs. These narrow alleys offer an authentic glimpse of the old Beijing before the emergence of high-rise buildings and modern commerce. Enjoy lunch at the hutongs before driving to the Simatai section of the Great Wall, staying overnight in Gubei Watertown. Ride up to the apex of the Wall by cable car to see the sunset.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 5

    Hike the Great Wall

    Day 5: Hike the Great Wall

    Travel to the Great Wall at Jinshanling, a section that is much less frequented by tourists than other parts. The stark yet magnificent surroundings allow you to put yourself in the shoes of those who walked this incredible structure hundreds of years ago. Your trek will last approximately four hours as the wall courses through dramatic landscapes and rugged terrain. Later, head back to Beijing and enjoy the evening at leisure.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 6

    Explore Xi'an

    Day 6: Explore Xi'an

    Fly to Xian, the former ancient capital and enjoy a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the Muslim Quarter. Sample the delicious, freshly cooked snacks and gain an insight into the city’s fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. Enjoy the evening at leisure or watch an optional fountain and light show and be dazzled by the city at night.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7

    Terracotta Warriors

    Day 7: Terracotta Warriors

    Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China's first emperor in the afterlife. Spend the morning gazing over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Also visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate the Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Later, enjoy a gentle cycle ride on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town, then enjoy the evening at leisure.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 8

    Pingle Ancient Town

    Day 8: Pingle Ancient Town

    Jump on the bullet train to Chengdu and drive to Pingle Ancient Town. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Tea Horse Road. Walk through its maze of teahouse-lined streets before walking through Jinji's dense bamboo forest, then see the forest and gorge from above by crossing Jinji Suspended Rope Bridge.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9

    Dujiangyan Panda Base

    Day 9: Dujiangyan Panda Base

    Drive to Dujiangyan and visit one of the world's finest panda conservation centres. Here, the pandas are kept in conditions very close to their natural habitat. Later, ascend Mount Qingcheng, the most sacred Taoist mountain in China, by cable car. It is a truly beautiful area with numerous lush, green peaks and secluded temples. Take a stroll among the mystic scenery of Yuecheng Lake then return to Chengdu.

    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10

    Ancient Ciqikou

    Day 10: Ancient Ciqikou

    Drive to Chongqing and visit the charming old town of Ciqikou – there's time to wander the cobbled alleyways and learn about its colourful history. Later, board your Yangtze Cruise vessel.

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
  • Days 11-12

    Yangtze River Cruise

    Days 11-12: Yangtze River Cruise

    As you cruise downstream, nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next two days, prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Enjoy various shore excursions as well as a side trip to Goddess or Shennong Stream. This is a chance to get a glimpse of life on the river banks.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13

    Three Gorges Dam

    Day 13: Three Gorges Dam

    Disembark your cruise vessel and visit the Three Gorges Dam. Next, travel to Yichang then fly to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the 'Paris of the East'.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 14

    Shangainese Shanghai

    Day 14: Shangainese Shanghai

    Wake up to the buzz of Shanghai and take a breakfast walking tour through the city's most fascinating districts, marvelling at monuments and rickety buildings before enjoying breakfast as the locals do – sample pancakes, fried bread sticks and tofu. Visit Yu Garden, the old town and a silk factory before taking a stroll along the Bund and enjoying a farewell dinner of authentic Shanghainese cuisine. In the evening, enjoy a cruise along the Huangpu River, serenaded by the neon lights of Pudong.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15

    Fly Shanghai to UK

    Day 15: Fly Shanghai to UK

    Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

    • Breakfast

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.

  • Nights 3

    Mercure Beijing Downtown 4 Star Hotel

    Mercure Beijing Downtown

    The 4-star Mercure Beijing Downtown is very well connected across the city, with easy access to the city centre and multiple transport links. The elegant and spacious guests rooms offer free internet access and satelite TV.

  • Nights 2

    Lanxi International Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Lanxi International Hotel

    A short distance from Xian's historic old town, the 4-star Lanxi International hotel features a terrace for you to enjoy, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. The modern guest rooms offer a private bathroom, desk and flat screen TV.

  • Nights 2

    Xinliang Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Xinliang Hotel

    The 4-star Xinliang Hotel is located in the heart of Chengdu, just a short distance from some of the cities key attractions. The hotel's interior was inspired by Bashu culture and blended with a modern charm. Enjoy the recreational facilities available to you, including a sauna and steamroom designed for escapism and relaxation.

  • Nights 2

    Jinjiang Huating Hotel 5 Star Hotel

    Jinjiang Huating Hotel

    A short distance from Shanghai's major tourist attractions, the 5-star Jinjiang Huating hotel offers elegant guest rooms with large windows providing views of Shanghai. This beautiful hotel is home to the rooftop Moon View Restaurant, offering breathtaking city views and exquisite Chinese dishes.

The best times to visit China are in spring (April to May) and autumn, (September to October) when temperatures are warm and humidity low.

City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -3°c
  • 3mm
  • Xi'an
  • 0°c
  • 7mm
  • Chengdu
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Shanghai
  • 5°c
  • 74mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 0°c
  • 5mm
  • Xi'an
  • 4°c
  • 10mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 12mm
  • Shanghai
  • 7°c
  • 59mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Xi'an
  • 9°c
  • 29mm
  • Chengdu
  • 12°c
  • 20mm
  • Shanghai
  • 10°c
  • 94mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 21mm
  • Xi'an
  • 15°c
  • 43mm
  • Chengdu
  • 17°c
  • 44mm
  • Shanghai
  • 16°c
  • 74mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 34mm
  • Xi'an
  • 20°c
  • 60mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 78mm
  • Shanghai
  • 21°c
  • 84mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 24°c
  • 78mm
  • Xi'an
  • 25°c
  • 54mm
  • Chengdu
  • 24°c
  • 107mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 182mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 26°c
  • 185mm
  • Xi'an
  • 27°c
  • 99mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 224mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 146mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 25°c
  • 160mm
  • Xi'an
  • 26°c
  • 71mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 201mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 214mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 46mm
  • Xi'an
  • 21°c
  • 92mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 119mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 87mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 22mm
  • Xi'an
  • 15°c
  • 60mm
  • Chengdu
  • 18°c
  • 35mm
  • Shanghai
  • 20°c
  • 56mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 5°c
  • 7mm
  • Xi'an
  • 8°c
  • 24mm
  • Chengdu
  • 13°c
  • 16mm
  • Shanghai
  • 14°c
  • 52mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -1°c
  • 3mm
  • Xi'an
  • 2°c
  • 6mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 5mm
  • Shanghai
  • 8°c
  • 44mm
China Explorer map

Tour Dates & Prices

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.

Our Price Match Promise & Flexible Booking Guarantee

Find a tour with the same inclusion cheaper and we will match it AND give you a reward. We will match the price of any Wendy Wu Tour quoted elsewhere. The price of your tour will never rise after you've paid. With our Flexible Booking Guarantee book with confidence with low deposits, free changes and late final payment. See full terms and conditions.

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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.

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Independent Traveller Reviews

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Extensions and Stopovers

Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.

Call us on 0800 1445 282 to book this tour