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Yangtze Splendour Tour

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Yangtze & Pandas Tour

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Essential China Tour

China Tours

China is one of the most scenically and culturally diverse destinations in Asia, where the natural, modern and imperial worlds clash magnificently. From the grandeur of the Great Wall and the silent ranks of Xi'an's remarkable Terracotta Army, to the dramatic slopes of the Yellow Mountains and the dynamic streets of Shanghai, lies a world of quite exquisite superlatives.

Tours in China

Yangtze & Pandas Tour

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  • Images of China and Hong Kong - Group TourClassical and HeritageCruisingCultural and HistoryNewEscorted Tours

    Images of China and Hong Kong - Group Tour

    Shanghai (3 nights), Beijing (3 nights), Xi’an (2 nights), Guilin (1 night), Yangshou (1 night), Hong Kong (2 nights)

    15 days £2585

    Departing: 22nd March 2015

  • Splendours of China - Group Tour Classical and HeritageCruisingCultural and HistoryNewRail

    Splendours of China - Group Tour

    Shanghai (2 nights), Suzhou (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights), Xi’an (2 nights), Chengdu (1 night), Guilin (2 nights)

    15 days £2495

    Departing: 20th March 2015

  • Yangtze Highlights - Group TourClassical and HeritageCruisingCultural and HistoryEscorted Tours

    Yangtze Highlights - Group Tour

    Beijing (3 nights), Xi’an (2 nights), Chengdu (1 night), Yangtze River Cruise (3 nights), Shanghai (2 nights)

    13 days £2140

    Departing: 15th April 2015

  • Essential China - Group TourCultural and HistoryRailEscorted Tours

    Essential China - Group Tour

    Shanghai (2 nights), Beijing and the Great Wall (3 nights), Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors (2 nights), and Guilin (2 nights)

    12 days £2435

    Departing: 19th April 2015

  • Yangtze & Pandas - Group TourCruisingCultural and HistoryEscorted Tours

    Yangtze & Pandas - Group Tour

    Beijing (3 nights), Great Wall, Xi’an (2 nights), Chengdu (2 nights), Bifengxia Giant Panda Base at Ya’an, Chongqing, Yangtze Gorges Cruise (3 nights), Yichang, Shanghai (2 nights) and Guilin (2 nights)

    14 days £2675

    Departing: 31st March 2015

  • China Panorama - Group TourClassical and HeritageCultural and HistoryNewEscorted Tours

    China Panorama - Group Tour

    Shanghai (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights), Xi’an (2 nights), Dali (2 nights), Lijiang (2 nights), Bangkok (1 night)

    14 days £2875
    SAVE £550 per person

    Departing: 22nd March 2015

  • Yangtze Splendour - Group TourCruisingCultural and HistoryEscorted Tours

    Yangtze Splendour - Group Tour

    Beijing (3 nights), Great Wall, Xi’an (2 nights), Terracotta Warriors, Chongqing, Yangtze Gorges Cruise (3 nights), Yichang, Shanghai (2 nights) and Guilin (2 nights)

    15 days £3115

    Departing: 26th March 2015

  • China With A DifferenceClassical and HeritageCultural and HistoryTailor Made Tours

    China With A Difference

    Beijing (4 nights), Great Wall, Chengdu (2 nights), Xi’an (2 nights), Terracotta Warriors, Long Sheng (3 nights), Guilin (1 night) Shanghai (2 nights)

  • Trans-Siberian EastboundCultural and HistoryRailTailor Made Tours

    Trans-Siberian Eastbound

    Moscow (1 night), Tsars Gold Train (5 nights), Irkutsk (1 night), Tsars Gold Train (2 nights), Ulaan Baatar (1 night), Tsars Gold Train (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights)"

  • Classic ChinaClassical and HeritageCultural and HistoryNewTailor Made Tours

    Classic China

    Beijing (3 nights), Datong (2 nights), Taiyuan (2 nights), Xi'an (2 nights), Guilin (2 nights), Hangzhou (1 night) Xidi (1 night), Huangshan (1 night), Shanghai (3 nights)

  • Explore China with Shangri-La HotelsCultural and HistoryTailor Made Tours

    Explore China with Shangri-La Hotels

    Beijing (3 nights), Great Wall, Xi’an (2 nights), Terracotta Warriors, Shanghai (2 nights), Suzhou (1 night) and Guilin (2 nights)

  • Trans-Siberian WestboundCultural and HistoryRailTailor Made Tours

    Trans-Siberian Westbound

    Beijing (2 nights), Tsars Gold Train (2 nights), Ulaan Baatar (1 night), Tsars Gold Train (3 nights), Irkutsk (1 night), Tsars Gold Train (4 nights), Moscow (1night)

Things to See & Do

  • Great Wall

    Great Wall

    China's Great Wall stretches across the northern part of the country and was built as a barrier against the Mongol hordes. In places it runs through spectacular mountain scenery, and there are an increasing number of people who want to do a trek along a section of this man-made wonder. China’s iconic symbol and a testament to the power of the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall stretches from the eastern seaboard to the Gobi Desert. Bales can take you to some of the less crowded sections of the wall at Mu Tian Yu or Jinshanling.

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  • Forbidden City

    Forbidden City

    The Forbidden city acquired its name from the fact that it was off limits for 500 years. It holds the title of China’s most preserved ancient monument and is an enchanting place to visit. Wandering around its buildings, it is easy to see why the Ming and Qing dynasties who resided here were reluctant to stray too far from its city walls. The highlight is the Hall of Supreme Harmony which sits on a marble terrace. Built in the 15th century it was home to ceremonial occasions such as the Emperor’s birthday and coronations. Be sure to look out for the ornate Dragon Throne.

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  • Terracotta warriors

    Terracotta warriors

    Be in awe of China’s army of 8,000 intricately detailed sentinels in Xi’an at the starting point of the Silk Road. China’s ancient capital and the starting point of the famous Silk Road, Xi’an’s imperial history spanned some 12 dynasties, covering a period of nearly 2,000 years. Today its worldwide renown is due mainly to the presence of the spectacular Army of Terracotta Warriors, but its city streets hide a wealth of other treasures that span the ages of Imperial rule. The more recently discovered Han Yang Ling Imperial Tombs are also a worthy inclusion.

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  • Tiannanmen Square

    Tiannanmen Square

    Tiannanmen Square holds the title of the world’s largest square and is the centrepiece of modern Beijing. It was originally conceived to symbolise the greatness of the Communist Party and during the Cultural Revolution, up to a million people would parade here. It holds the mausoleum of Chariman Mao and is dominated by the Forbidden City. It’s a pleasant spot to wander and to watch children enjoying the national pastime of kite-flying.

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  • Yangtze Cruise

    Yangtze Cruise

    Flowing from eastern Tibet to Shanghai, the Yangtze passes through some of China’s most expansive scenery. Cruise the mighty Yangtze, taking in the Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam Project – for many the most relaxing part of their visit to China.. The world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam is an engineering feat to rival the Great Wall itself. Five times larger than the Hoover Dam in the United States, this immense structure is nearly 1.5 miles long and towers almost 200 metres above the waters of the Yangtze River.

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  • Summer Palace

    Summer Palace

    Located on the outskirts of Beijing, the immense Summer Palace is a wonderful spot to wander for an afternoon. It is easy to see why royalty escaped to its cooler climes to avoid the intense heat of Beijing. It is dominated by Kunming Lake which can be crossed by ferry to the south lake island. A myriad of pavilions, palace temples and gardens which were once the playground for Royalty, enchant modern day visitors.

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  • Shanghai


    A bustling multi-cultural megalopolis at the mouth of the Yangtze, Shanghai is a fascinating mix of modern style and colonial heritage. A city of nearly 20 million, Shanghai has risen from post war austerity to become one of China’s most dynamic cities, with a style and vibrancy very much in keeping with its meteoric rise. A shoppers’ paradise and boasting some of the finest restaurants in China, Shanghai is fast asserting itself as the ‘Paris of the Orient’.

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  • Pandas


    China’s endangered Giant Pandas have long been the symbol of conservation worldwide with only 1,600 left in the wild. You can experience first hand pandas playing and feeding in the Chengdu Conservation Centre.

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  • Li River Cruise

    Li River Cruise

    A cruise between Guilin and Yangshuo provides a glimpse of rural life and some of China’s most beautiful scenery.The ancient and picturesque city of Guilin lies along the western banks of the Li River, nestling amongst the stunning limestone landscapes of China’s Guangxi Zhuang province, making it an ideal base from which to explore the timeless majesty of the region’s glorious canvas of verdant plains, lakes and rivers. With over two millennia of history and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, this is one of the most beautiful regions in China, its landscapes reputed to be the ’finest under heaven’ according to Chinese proverbs. Originally founded in 314 BC by the Qin Dynasty, the city’s fortunes grew with the construction of a canal that linked it with the Yangtze, its importance eventually seeing it become a provincial capital under the Ming.

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  • Pingyao


    The UNESCO World Heritage Site, old town of Pingyao contains the best preserved ancient walled city to be found in China. The centre of the city is closed to traffic and the best thing to do is to wander and observe traditional Chinese life.

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Highlights of China

Travel Experts

  • Paul Taylor

    When in Shanghai, in the evening take a trip to the Fairmont Peace hotel so see the original Jazz band that play each night - some are in their 90's.

    Paul Taylor
    Sales Centre Supervisor
  • Sue Livsey

    Head to Mu Tian Yu or Jinshanling to see the Great Wall, its less crowded than Badaling.

    Sue Livsey
    Far East Product Manager

Best Time To Go and Weather

Covering an area greater than continental Europe, China is the largest country in the world.  In a country as large and topographically varied as China, the climate differs considerably between north and south and seasonal temperatures vary greatly.  In general, although rain and high humidity characterise the summer months, the length of the rainy season and the amount of rainfall is much greater south of the Yangtze River. Winters are dry with little precipitation particularly in the north and northeast where it is also very cold.

Essential Information

  • Time differenceGMT +8hrs
  • Flight Time10.5 hrs
  • VisaYes for British passport holders*
  • ImmunisationsHepatitis A & B, Japanese encephalitis, Malaria, Typhoid.**
  • CurrencyYuan
  • CapitalBeijing
  • Area9.5 million sq km
  • Population1.2 billion
  • Dialling Code+86
  • Electricity220V
  • LanguageCantonese, Mandarin

* Please check with the tourist board to confirm

** Please check with your health professional to confirm

Climate Information

Average Temperature (°C)
Average Rainfall (mm)

Additional Information

Key Phrases
Ni hao – Hello Zai jian – Goodbye Xie xie – Thank you Ni Hao Ma – How are you? Di Shi - Taxi
January to February - Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival – This beautiful gorge located 50 miles from Beijing showcases a spectacle of ice sculptures. January to February – Chinese New Year People ‘sweep the bad luck’ out of their houses in the lead up to this important Chinese festival which promises firework displays, dragon dancing, lion dancing and decorative Chinese lanterns. March to April – Hong Kong International Film Festival Budding and established film makers from the booming Chinese film industry are commemorated within several interesting venues across the city. April – Shanghai International tea culture festival Tea lovers and experts gather for seminars, trade fairs, talks and auctions to celebrate the culture of tea drinking. June – Dragon Boat Race Known as the Duan-Wu Festival, crowds commonly gather at Xinjin, in the southern part of Chengdu, to watch dragon boats race down the Nanhe river, traditionally commemorating the death of poet Qu Yuan. September - Shanghai International music Fireworks festival Held in Century Park, this is both an audio and visual spectacle. September to October - Moon festival 3000 year old tradition where hundreds gather on the 15th day of the eighth luni-solar month, to eat glutinous rice mooncakes while admiring the full moon. October to November - Shanghai International Arts Festival Held since 1999, this music and performing arts event has won awards for being China’s most influential festival. December – Hong Kong Winter festival Twinkly lights, carol singers, and impressive fireworks over Victoria Harbour make Winterfest a special Christmas event.
Food & Drink
Hot pot comes in two styles, Sichuan and Mongolian and involves cooking your own meal by placing thinly sliced meat or fish into a bubbling stew. Both are common in Beijing. Wonton Noodles – Popular Cantonese dish typically served in a steaming hot soup with vegetables and fish or meat wontons (dumplings). Dim sum – Cantonese savoury bite-size snacks such as steamed buns, rolls and dumplings, typically eaten in Bangkok and served with tea Birds nest - An unusual but common Cantonese delicacy often cooked in a soup. Birds nest may also refer to a nest-shaped noodle dish which acts as a ‘bowl’ for meat and seafood fillings. Peking duck – Famous Beijing dish where the whole duck is cooked until crispy and typically used to fill pancakes with hoisin sauce and scallions. Rice cakes A Chinese staple dessert, often eaten at New Year and made up of sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates and lotus leaves.
Tipping isn’t common in China and many people consider it to be rude so reserve it for larger international hotels and high-end restaurants where it’s acceptable to add on a 10-15% charge. Do not tip airport staff but it’s reasonable to tip a tour guide 60-100 yuan renminbis ($10-15).
Books to Read
The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan) Enticing story around four sets of Chinese immigrants and their daughters in San Francisco, following their complex relationships, secrets and despair The Concubine’s Daughter (Pai Kit Fai) After nearly being murdered by her father at birth, this story follows the life of Li-Xia over 40 years, her societal struggles of World War II China and her dream of literacy. Wild Swans Bestselling classic in more 30 languages and inspiring tale of courage and love across three generations in 20th Century China.
Movies to Watch
Beijing Bicycle This 2001 drama tells the story of a young boy named Gui who moves to Beijing from the countryside in search of work Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon Beautiful cinematography set within the Qing Dynasty, showcasing a romance and story of two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword The Last Emperor Biopic academy-award winning film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, set in the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Music to Listen to
The Chinese Opera Among the oldest art forms in the world, the Beijing branch of opera (Jingju) is among the most famous, dating back to the Tang Dynasty The Naxi Orchestra Taoist temple music known as Dòngjing, is a form of music from the Han, Song and Tang dynasties which is lost in other areas of China.