China: The Big One


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The complete Chinese adventure - this itinerary takes more time to explore the highlights of this beautiful and eclectic country, from busy cities, rural utopias and quirky ancient towns where you are free to absorb the relaxed atmosphere.

tour duration 28 Days from
tour price 3,545pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Beijing (4N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Guilin (2N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Kunming (2N) - Dali (2N) - Lijiang (3N) - Chengdu (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (3N) - Shanghai (3N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Visit the imperial treasures of Beijing
Come face to face with the enigmatic Terracotta Warriors
Cruise the languid Li River
Climb the heights of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Get lost in the mysterious Stone Forest
Sample delicious Shanghai breakfast snacks

Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Fly overnight to Beijing, China's historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is at leisure.
Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Day 3 Forbidden City and Hutongs
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Take a walk in Jingshan Park. Next visit Yandaixiejie Hutong for lunch with a local family; these narrow alleys offer a glimpse of old Beijing. Later, there's free time to explore. (B,L)
Day 3 Forbidden City and Hutongs
Day 4 Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Wangfujing
This particularly scenic section of the wall is reached by boat, and boasts spectacular views from the top. Spend the evening at leisure exploring colourful Wangfujing night market, or take an optional (at your own expense) Peking Duck dinner. (B,L)
Day 4 Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Wangfujing
Day 5 Imperial Summer Palace
Take a relaxed day exploring the beautifully designed grounds of the Summer Palace including the Long Walk and the Marble Boat. Spend time strolling around pretty Kunming Lake and walk up wooded Longevity Hill. (B,L)
Day 5 Imperial Summer Palace
Day 6 Temple of Heaven
Visit the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with tai chi, dancing and cards in a flurry of sociable activity. Take the overnight train to Xian. (B)
Day 6 Temple of Heaven
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 ?rst Emperor. Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, while you are introduced to these lifelike soldiers’ fascinating story. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition. Take a walking tour of the Muslim Quarter and sample freshly cooked snacks. With the evening free, why not enjoy a cold beer in Defu Lane. (B,L)
Day 7 Terracotta Warriors
Day 8 Cycling in Xian
Start your day with a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the wall and past many smiling locals. This afternoon visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum (B,L)
Day 8 Cycling in Xian
Day 9 Beautiful Guilin
Fly to Guilin and enjoy a leisurely walk around Ronghu and Shanhu Lakes. Take an optional visit to the Sun & Moon Pagodas for spectacular views over downtown Guilin. Enjoy some free time to wander around Zhengyang pedestrian street (B)
Day 9 Beautiful Guilin
Day 10 Hiking in Longji
Take an optional 4 hour hike in the stunning rice terraces of Longji. Walk past small hamlets and picture-postcard views of the terraces which cover the landscape in intricate patterns. Otherwise, spend more time in Guilin. (B)
Day 10 Hiking in Longji
Day 11 Yangshuo Countryside
Cruise downstream on the languid Li River, passing striking karst mountain scenery and lush, green fields. Look out for the cormorant fishermen, gently cruising along the waters in search of fish. This afternoon explore the countryside around this picturesque town of Yangshuo and take a saunter through the colourful streets. There is an option this late afternoon to walk up Moon Hill for spectacular views over Yangshuo. (B,L)
Day 11 Yangshuo Countryside
Day 12 Yangshuo Tai Chi
This morning take part in a traditional tai chi class at your hotel. Learn the skills behind this ancient and spiritual exercise. This afternoon explore independently or take part in optional activities of cycling or river rafting. (B)
Day 12 Yangshuo Tai Chi
Day 13 Kunming at leisure
Transfer back to Guilin stopping at the South China Pearl Museum and the colourful Reed Flute Caves along the way. Fly to Kunming, China’s ‘Spring City’. (B)
Day 13 Kunming at leisure
Day 14 Stone Forest
Meander through the formations of the UNESCO-listed Stone Forest, where towering limestone pillars stand treelike in a fascinating illusion of woodland. Return to Kunming to wander around Green Lake Park, this evening explore the Wenhua Alley district. (B,L)
Day 14 Stone Forest
Day 15 Dali's Ancient Town
Drive to Dali and visit the Three Pagodas. Spend the rest of the day immersed in the atmosphere of the fascinating old quarter and lively market. Stroll along Foreigners’ Street and explore the many dining options here. (B,L)
Day 15 Dali's Ancient Town
Day 16 Day at Lesisure
Relax with a day at leisure or take an optional visit to Weibaoshan to join in some meditation with a Taoist Master (B)
Day 16 Day at Lesisure
Day 17 Shaxi Ancient Town
Drive to Shaxi Ancient Town, nestled deep in the Himalayan foothills. Learn about the fascinating minority peoples that reside in the area and enjoy a local lunch. In the afternoon, continue to Lijiang and spend the evening wandering the Old Town. (B,L)
Day 17 Shaxi Ancient Town
Day 18 Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
A magnificent mountain massif, Jade Dragon incorporates several peaks, the tallest of which soars to 5,500 metres. Take a chairlift to one of the gorgeous high meadows and enjoy amazing vistas. Visit the minority Baisha Naxi Village and admire the fascinating Baisha Frescoes. (B,L)
Day 18 Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Day 19 Tiger Leaping Gorge
Today’s optional mini-trek to Tiger Leaping Gorge takes you through dramatic cliffs and down into the gorge itself. If you don’t join the trek, the day is at leisure in Lijiang. (B)
Day 19 Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 20 Chengdu like a local
Fly to Chengdu and walk around People’s Park. See beautiful golden koi, locals dancing and practicing tai chi, and Matchmaker’s Corner. Take an optional visit to a local teahouse. Wander the Wide and Narrow Alleys. (B,L)
Day 20 Chengdu like a local
Day 21 Giant Pandas
Visit Chengdu’s renowned panda base and see these charming creatures up close. Visit the Shu Brocade Museum enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Tonight there is an optional hot pot dinner and face changing show. (B,L)
Day 21 Giant Pandas
Day 22 Ancient Ciqikou
Take bullet train to Chongqing. Enjoy free time in the old town of Ciqikou then board your Yangtze Cruise vessel, home for the next three nights. (B,D)
Day 22 Ancient Ciqikou
Day 23-24 Yangtze River Cruise
A cruise down the Yangtze reveals some of the world’s most dramatic scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 23-24 Yangtze River Cruise
Day 25 Three Gorges Dam
A cruise down the Yangtze reveals some of the world’s most dramatic scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 25 Three Gorges Dam
Day 26 Shanghainese Shanghai
This morning take an exciting breakfast tour around some of Shanghai’s most exciting districts, tasting local delicacies, including pancakes and fried bread sticks. Wander the pleasant Yu Gardens and bustling Old Town before visiting the informative Silk Museum. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise (B,L)
Day 26 Shanghainese Shanghai
Day 27 Suzhou and Huangpu
There is an optional tour to Suzhou, the neighbouring Garden City. Otherwise, enjoy some free exploration of Shanghai. Tonight there will be a farewell Shanghainese meal. (B,D)
Day 27 Suzhou and Huangpu
Day 28 Fly Shanghai to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 28 Fly Shanghai to UK

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 Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

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.

09-Oct > 05-Nov - £3,745 BOOK NOW
16-Oct > 11-Nov - £3,745 £3,545 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £3,290 (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single room from £840 (none if willing to share)
Tipping paid locally RMB1250pp

02-Apr > 29-Apr - £3,790 BOOK NOW
07-May > 03-Jun - £3,790 BOOK NOW
03-Sep > 30-Sep - £3,890 BOOK NOW
17-Sep > 14-Oct - £3,890 BOOK NOW
08-Oct > 04-Nov - £3,890 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £3,290 (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single room from £840 (none if willing to share)
Tipping paid locally RMB1250pp

02-Apr > 29-Apr - £4,190 BOOK NOW
16-Apr > 13-May - £4,190 BOOK NOW
07-May > 03-Jun - £4,190 BOOK NOW
03-Sep > 30-Sep - £4,290 BOOK NOW
17-Sep > 14-Oct - £4,290 BOOK NOW
08-Oct > 04-Nov - £4,290 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £3,290 (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single room from £840 (none if willing to share)
Tipping paid locally RMB1250pp

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
Super House International Hotel - Beijing (4 Nights)
hotel star rating

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.



YuLong International Hotel
YuLong International Hotel - Xi'an (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

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.



Jin-Tone Hotel
Jin-Tone Hotel - Guilin (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

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.



Jasper International Hotel
Jasper International Hotel - Yangshuo (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Yangshuo Jasper International Hotel is located a 5 minute complimentary shuttle ride to the centre of Yangshuo’s pedestrianised market streets. Each of its 400 air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, safety deposit boxes and tea making facilities. There are 2 onsite restaurants offering local southern Chinese cuisine as well as Western cuisine. The outdoor pool is a highlight.



Jinjiang Hotel
Jinjiang Hotel - Kunming (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Jin Jiang Hotel is located close to Kunming’s main sttractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. The hotel includes the Shanghai and the Lily restaurant, which serve local Huaiyan and Yunnan specialties. The onsite fitness centre and spa is a highlight.



Asia Hotel
Asia Hotel - Dali, Yunnan (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Backed by the snow-capped Cangshan Mountain range and facing Erhai Lake, the four-star Asian Star Hotel offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the natural scenery of this area. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant, fitness room and currency exchange facilities. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, a telephone and a view of the mountain or lake.



Adange Hotel
Adange Hotel - Lijiang, Yunnan (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

Located in the city centre of Lijiang, the Adange 4 star hotel offers 283 elegantly furnished en-suite rooms equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, safety deposit box and refrigerator. The onsite restaurant offers local Chinese and Western dishes. A swimming pool and gym are also available.



Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel - Chengdu (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel is located a ten minute walk from the centre of Chengdu. All of its air conditioned, en-suite rooms have a safety deposit box, tea making facilities and a flat screen satellite television. There are also complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, a fitness centre and an onsite restaurant featuring Chinese and Korean cuisine.



Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai
Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai - Shanghai (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

Holiday Inn Shanghai Downtown is located in central Shanghai, with easy reach of a large shopping centre, local resaturants and the metro. Each air conditioned, modern en-suite room includes satellite television, a minibar and tea making facilities. The onsite Chinese restaurant offers Dim Sum and seasonal Hairy Crab for those wishing to try the local flavours.



A visa is required by all nationalities. A 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. Many websites, including most Google Products, Facebook and Twitter are banned in China and therefore inaccessible. 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. However, it is not always clear who it is appropriate to tip and how much. Furthermore, travellers may not have the right amounts of cash available at the right time. 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. The amount is designed to be at a reasonable level for travellers while being fair to the local people and includes a gratuity for the national escort. If you are travelling in a smaller group with local guides only, then tipping is paid in each destination.  To be fair to the guides we ask for slightly higher amounts per traveller with small groups. Yangtze cruise companies operate a service charge policy and this is paid separately when boarding the vessel.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre or post tour arrangements, you should allow 65 RMB per person per day for the guides and 35 RMB per person per day for the drivers.
 
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.

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).

What's Included

International flights and current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Meals as stated
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

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. This tour has many optional activities available, giving you the choice of free time or taking part in activities.

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