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Ultimate China

  • Duration
    27 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
    Classic
  • Price From
    £6,090pp
  • Read Reviews
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This really is the ultimate tour for those who want to experience China in depth! From modern cities and ancient history to rural villages and spectacular landscapes, this is the tour for those wanting to see all of China's highlights in just one visit.

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 25 , Lunches: 24 , Dinners: 25
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    25 nights in 4 star accommodation
  • Visa Included
    Visa fees for UK passport holders
  • Cruise
    Yangtze River Cruise, Li River Cruise, Huangpu River Cruise
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 3Learn More
    X A good level of fitness is required as you need to be comfortable walking for 2-3 hours and covering longer distances. Other activities such as cycling will be at a gentle pace and will involve straightforward terrain. Download the detailed tour dossier for details of your chosen tour. Learn More
    Longer walking and gentle paced physical activities.
Travel Expert

How can we help?

For advice on where to go, what to do and how to choose your perfect tour, talk to our Travel Experts.

Call 0808 274 8594

Tour Highlights

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

Authentic Experiences

Our Ultimate China Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Tour Itinerary

  • 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.

    • Dinner
  • Day 3
    Imperial Beijing
    Day 3: Imperial Beijing

    This morning, head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and stroll into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Later, soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4
    The Great Wall
    Day 4: The Great Wall

    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 wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Visit a jade factory then spend the afternoon in the idyllic gardens of the Summer Palace.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 5
    Bullet train to Xian
    Day 5: Bullet train to Xian

    Take the bullet train to Xian and in the evening, enjoy a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings followed by a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6
    Terracotta Warriors
    Day 6: 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 life-sized warriors and horses. Also visit the workshop to see where the warriors are intricately recreated in the style of their ancient counterparts. After lunch, stroll along the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7
    Reed Flute Cave
    Day 7: Reed Flute Cave

    Fly to Guilin and visit Reed Flute Cave to see the colourful stalagmites and stalactites.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8
    Li River Cruise
    Day 8: Li River Cruise

    Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to charming Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. This afternoon you can spend some time browsing Yangshuo's vibrant markets.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9
    Yangshuo
    Day 9: Yangshuo

    Begin with a relaxing and invigorating session of Tai Chi, taking a class with a master to learn this ancient martial art. Explore the countryside and stop on the banks of the Li River for a photo opportunity with a cormorant fisherman. Enjoy time at leisure or choose one of the many optional activities available including cycling or bamboo rafting.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10
    Travel to Kunming
    Day 10: Travel to Kunming

    Take a bullet train to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 11
    The Stone Forest
    Day 11: The Stone Forest

    Meander through the formations of the UNESCO-listed Stone Forest, where towering limestone pillars stand tree-like in a fascinating illusion of woodland. This evening, dine on the local dish, 'Across the Bridge' noodles.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12
    Dali's Three Pagodas
    Day 12: Dali's Three Pagodas

    Board the bullet train to Dali, a charming town that offers a peek at bygone China and discover the magnificent Three Pagodas.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13
    Enchanting Dali
    Day 13: Enchanting Dali

    Today, explore the village of Xizhou to browse its local market, visit the Yan family home and watch a tie-dying demonstration and wander through Dali's ancient quarter. Also enjoy a relaxing cruise on Erhai Lake.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 14
    Explore Lijiang
    Day 14: Explore Lijiang

    Drive to Lijiang, set in the foothills of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and visit Shaxi village.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15
    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
    Day 15: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    The magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain comprises several peaks, the tallest of which soars to 5,500 metres. Taking a cable car, explore one of the gorgeous high meadows and enjoy the amazing vistas. On the way back to Lijiang, visit Baisha old town to view its spectacular Ming Dynasty frescoes and Baisha village, a settlement of the Naxi minority people.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 16
    Tiger Leaping Gorge
    Day 16: Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Journey to the 3,000-metre-deep Tiger Leaping Gorge. With its backdrop of snow-capped mountains, it is one of China's most extraordinary sights. Next, continue to the monastery town of Zhongdian, also known as Shangri-La. This afternoon is at leisure to acclimatise to the altitude

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 17
    Tibetan Zhongdian
    Day 17: Tibetan Zhongdian

    Begin the day with a visit to a Tibetanstyle village where you will learn about the villagers' way of life. Also visit Dafo Temple, explore the spectacular Songzanlin Monastery and end the day with a tour of the old town.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 18
    Mystical Lhasa
    Day 18: Mystical Lhasa

    Fly to the city of Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet. This afternoon is at leisure to help acclimatise to the altitude.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 19
    The Barkhor Circuit
    Day 19: The Barkhor Circuit

    Lhasa is a modern, fast-growing city, but among the narrow, old, atmospheric streets you will feel a million miles from the modern world. Wander around the Barkhor Circuit with traditionally dressed locals and explore the Jokhang Temple, the sacred centre of Tibetan Buddhism. There will also be a visit to Sera Monastery, a renowned seat of Buddhist learning, and a local Tibetan arts and crafts shop.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 20
    Potala Palace
    Day 20: Potala Palace

    The Potala Palace is an architectural wonder towering over the city from its seat on Marpo Ri (Red Mountain). The Potala, the former winter palace of the Dalai Lama, houses thousands of rooms filled with old treasures from intricate shrines to beautiful frescoes. This afternoon, explore Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 21
    Fly to Chengdu
    Day 21: Fly to Chengdu

    Fly to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. Take a stroll through People's Park to see Matchmaker's Corner, where parents search for suitable partners for their children.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 22
    Giant Pandas
    Day 22: Giant Pandas

    Begin the day with a visit to Chengdu's famous conservation centre. Later, transfer to Chongqing and board your Yangtze River cruise vessel.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Days 23-25
    Yangtze River Cruise
    Days 23-25: Yangtze River Cruise

    Over the next three days, enjoy various side trips and shore excursions including the Three Gorges Dam. Disembark and transfer to Yichang for your flight to Shanghai.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 26
    Explore Shanghai
    Day 26: Explore Shanghai

    Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th-century temples. Visit Yu Garden, the old town, a silk factory and stroll along the Bund. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise andenjoy a meal of traditional Shanghainese cuisine.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 27
    Fly Shanghai to UK
    Day 27: 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.

  • Mercure Beijing Downtown
    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 guest rooms offer free internet access and satellite TV. Along with room service, other in room amenities such as a refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities are provided.
  • Lanxi International Hotel
    Lanxi International Hotel
    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.
  • Xin Liang Hotel
    No.246, Shangdong St., Chengdu·Sichuan
    Xin Liang Hotel
    The 4-star Xin Liang Hotel is centrally located in the Chunxi Road Business District, adjacent to Tianfu Square, making it an ideal starting point for exploring Chengdu. The hotel draws inspiration from Bashu culture, seamlessly blending elegant and modern elements, providing a tranquil oasis in the bustling city. Featuring Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast, the property also provides rooms with soundproof windows, a work desk, refrigerator, and a flat-screen TV featuring satellite channels.
  • Metropolo Hotels
    No.46 Beijing Middle Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet, 850000, China
    Metropolo Hotels
    The 4-star Metropolo Hotels (Potala Palace store, Lhasa) offers a relaxing haven for travelers in Lhasa, integrating Chinese and Western elements. Conveniently situated, it is just 7km from Lhasa Railway Station and in close proximity to attractions like Potala Palace and Tibet Museum, adding to its appeal. Featuring a fitness area, restaurant, Wi-Fi and good quality toiletries, this is the perfect hotel to stay in Lhasa.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
  • Lijiang Wangfu Hotel
    No.9, Yigu Lane, Nanmen Street, Gucheng District, Lijiang
    Lijiang Wangfu Hotel
    Ideally located in South Gate Square within the ancient city of Lijiang, the Lijiang Wangfu Hotel offers guests comfortable 4-star accommodation. Featuring ornate doorways and lanterns, and peaceful courtyards, you will feel truly immersed in your local surroundings. Each room features air-conditioning and Wi-Fi for your comfort and convenience.
  • Landscape Hotel
    No. 96 Yuer Road, Dali Ancient Town, Yunnan, China
    Landscape Hotel
    Landscape Hotel is a 3-star hotel situated inside the Dali Ancient Town, close to Dali railway station and Dali airport. The simplistic style of the rooms keeps the focus on how the hotel seamlessly blends the traditional courtyard style with local influences. Each room offers guests Wi-Fi and Chinese cuisine is served at breakfast.
  • Jinjiang Hotel
    Jinjiang Hotel
    JinJiang Hotel is located close to Kunming's main attractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. The hotel is home to one revolving restaurant as well as 6 dining options and a bar. The onsite fitness centre and spa is a highlight.
  • Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    1 North Shanhu Road, Guilin, Guangxi Province
    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    Located in Guilin's city center and opposite the attractive Sun and Moon pagodas, the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel offers luxury rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and a stunning en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.
  • Elite Garden Hotel
    Elite Garden Hotel
    In the centre of Yangshuo, the 4-star Elite Garden Hotel offers spacious guest rooms designed and decorated to make you feel at home, all equipped with free internet access, complimentary bottled water and a coffee machine. The private bathrooms include both bath and shower facilities.
  • Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel
    No.5 Zunyi South Road, Changning District, Shanghai 200336 China
    Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel
    Formerly known as the Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel, the 4-star Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel is located in the heart of Shanghai and welcomes visitors to a luxurious and relaxing retreat from the city. Guests will have easy access to the major metropolitan area as well as the Shanghai Public Library and Honggiao Golf Club.
  • Victoria Yangtze River Cruise
    Victoria Yangtze River Cruise
    Sail along the Yangtze River in comfort, aboard one of the wonderful 4-star vessels of the Victoria Cruise fleet. Relax in your Superior Cabin situated on the Main Deck, equipped with Wi-Fi access, an ensuite bathroom, and a private balcony - a tranquil retreat for you to relax and take in the scenic beauty around you. Onboard entertainment may include informative lectures, painting demonstrations, Tai Chi, lessons in the Mandarin language and more! Amenity package upgrades are available upon enquiry with our Reservations team.

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
  • Chengdu
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Dali
  • 8°c
  • 14mm
  • Guilin
  • 8°c
  • 63mm
  • Kunming
  • 9°c
  • 16mm
  • Lhasa
  • -1°c
  • 1mm
  • Lijiang
  • 6°c
  • 2mm
  • Shanghai
  • 5°c
  • 74mm
  • Xian
  • 0°c
  • 7mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 53mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 0°c
  • 5mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 12mm
  • Dali
  • 9°c
  • 23mm
  • Guilin
  • 10°c
  • 97mm
  • Kunming
  • 10°c
  • 16mm
  • Lhasa
  • 2°c
  • 1mm
  • Lijiang
  • 8°c
  • 6mm
  • Shanghai
  • 7°c
  • 59mm
  • Xian
  • 4°c
  • 10mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 81mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Chengdu
  • 12°c
  • 20mm
  • Dali
  • 12°c
  • 28mm
  • Guilin
  • 13°c
  • 137mm
  • Kunming
  • 14°c
  • 20mm
  • Lhasa
  • 5°c
  • 3mm
  • Lijiang
  • 10°c
  • 17mm
  • Shanghai
  • 10°c
  • 94mm
  • Xian
  • 9°c
  • 29mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 14°c
  • 114mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 21mm
  • Chengdu
  • 17°c
  • 44mm
  • Dali
  • 14°c
  • 24mm
  • Guilin
  • 19°c
  • 247mm
  • Kunming
  • 17°c
  • 24mm
  • Lhasa
  • 9°c
  • 6mm
  • Lijiang
  • 13°c
  • 21mm
  • Shanghai
  • 16°c
  • 74mm
  • Xian
  • 15°c
  • 43mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 20°c
  • 224mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 34mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 78mm
  • Dali
  • 18°c
  • 66mm
  • Guilin
  • 24°c
  • 352mm
  • Kunming
  • 19°c
  • 97mm
  • Lhasa
  • 13°c
  • 28mm
  • Lijiang
  • 17°c
  • 56mm
  • Shanghai
  • 21°c
  • 84mm
  • Xian
  • 20°c
  • 60mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 24°c
  • 312mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 24°c
  • 78mm
  • Chengdu
  • 24°c
  • 107mm
  • Dali
  • 20°c
  • 178mm
  • Guilin
  • 27°c
  • 347mm
  • Kunming
  • 20°c
  • 181mm
  • Lhasa
  • 16°c
  • 71mm
  • Lijiang
  • 18°c
  • 167mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 182mm
  • Xian
  • 25°c
  • 54mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 293mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 26°c
  • 185mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 224mm
  • Dali
  • 20°c
  • 186mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 231mm
  • Kunming
  • 20°c
  • 202mm
  • Lhasa
  • 16°c
  • 117mm
  • Lijiang
  • 18°c
  • 242mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 146mm
  • Xian
  • 27°c
  • 99mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 200mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 25°c
  • 160mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 201mm
  • Dali
  • 19°c
  • 219mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 173mm
  • Kunming
  • 20°c
  • 204mm
  • Lhasa
  • 16°c
  • 121mm
  • Lijiang
  • 17°c
  • 207mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 214mm
  • Xian
  • 26°c
  • 71mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 186mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 46mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 119mm
  • Dali
  • 18°c
  • 158mm
  • Guilin
  • 26°c
  • 82mm
  • Kunming
  • 19°c
  • 119mm
  • Lhasa
  • 14°c
  • 68mm
  • Lijiang
  • 16°c
  • 161mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 87mm
  • Xian
  • 21°c
  • 92mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 83mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 22mm
  • Chengdu
  • 18°c
  • 35mm
  • Dali
  • 15°c
  • 104mm
  • Guilin
  • 21°c
  • 66mm
  • Kunming
  • 16°c
  • 79mm
  • Lhasa
  • 10°c
  • 9mm
  • Lijiang
  • 13°c
  • 70mm
  • Shanghai
  • 20°c
  • 56mm
  • Xian
  • 15°c
  • 60mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 22°c
  • 85mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 5°c
  • 7mm
  • Chengdu
  • 13°c
  • 16mm
  • Dali
  • 11°c
  • 33mm
  • Guilin
  • 16°c
  • 64mm
  • Kunming
  • 12°c
  • 42mm
  • Lhasa
  • 4°c
  • 1mm
  • Lijiang
  • 9°c
  • 16mm
  • Shanghai
  • 14°c
  • 52mm
  • Xian
  • 8°c
  • 24mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 16°c
  • 69mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -1°c
  • 3mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 5mm
  • Dali
  • 8°c
  • 15mm
  • Guilin
  • 11°c
  • 43mm
  • Kunming
  • 9°c
  • 11mm
  • Lhasa
  • 0°c
  • 1mm
  • Lijiang
  • 6°c
  • 4mm
  • Shanghai
  • 8°c
  • 44mm
  • Xian
  • 2°c
  • 6mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 12°c
  • 44mm
+ -
Ultimate China map

Places Visited: UK - Beijing (3N) - Xian (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Kunming (2N) - Dali (2N) - Lijiang (2N) - Zhongdian (2N) - Lhasa (3N) - Chengdu (1N) - Yangtze River Cruise (3N) - Shanghai (2N) – UK

2024 - Download Detailed Itinerary

2025 & 2026 - Download Detailed Itinerary

Tour Dates & Prices

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.

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Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

Departures for Solo travellers only are available for this tour on selected dates.
In addition to being for solos only these departures feature smaller group sizes, free airport lounge access and complimentary cocktails on arrival.

Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

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.

Group Tour includes

Additional Price Information

What our Customers Say

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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.

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