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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 
Experience remarkable Chinese sights like these mountains reflecting in a Guilin Lake when you take a tailor-made holiday with Alfred&.

The very best of China

By Malcolm Holcroft
Asia Travel Expert for Alfred&

China is a vast country with so many contrasting elements to it, all of which deserve to be explored. This classical China itinerary allows you to experience both the excitement of the country’s major cities and the delightful tranquillity of the countryside.


11 days
Guide price range
On request
Best months to go
April to October

Top Experiences
Itinerary Highlights


A stroll through the Forbidden City

Quite rightly, the Forbidden City is usually at the top of people’s check lists when travelling to China....


Exploring the karst hills of Guilin by jeep

We drive far away from the hub of tourists, deeper into the valleys, and showcase what life here is really like...


Visiting the Terracotta Warriors

Recognised as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, it’s no surprise how many people come to see the Terracotta Warriors ...

Day by day
Itinerary in detail


Arrival in Beijing

Your first day in Beijing is all about acclimatising to your new environment. Once your English-speaking guide has transferred you from the airport to your hotel, the day is yours to spend as you wish. Personally, I always like to stay somewhere a bit plusher the first night and enjoy the hotel facilities as I shake off my jet lag.


Beijing & The Great Wall

Swap the skyscrapers and smog for mountain air and the Great Wall this morning as you head to one of the best sections of this ancient landmark. The Great Wall at Mutianyu is surrounded by rich green vegetation and with few crowds and such stunning vistas, you’ll be leaving inspired and refreshed as well as with a camera full of beautiful photos.



This intimate and original tour of the Forbidden City is fascinating from start to finish, begging you to ask questions about the site’s history you perhaps may not have previously considered. Guided by Jerimiah, an American scholar who’s been based in Beijing since 2002, you’ll have one of the most knowledgeable sources of information with you too!

Things to do:


Beijing & Xi'an

Hop on board one of China’s acclaimed high-speed trains as you travel south to Xi’an to explore another of China’s epic cities filled with ancient history.



Most people visit Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors and due to its popularity, it’s so important to plan ahead. On this excursion with a local insider, you’ll safely avoid the worst of the crowds while learning all there is to know about the site. In the afternoon, hop in your guide’s vintage jeep and explore the nearby countryside and mountains together.

Things to do:


Xi'an & Chengdu

After a leisurely morning, head back to the train station in Xi’an for another exciting rail journey to the charming city of Chengdu. On first glace, Chengdu seems like any other Chinese city, but once you start meeting the locals, you’ll realise this is rather a special place.



This morning you have the truly special experience of visiting the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre. Imitating their natural habitat, the centre provides the best possible environment for these endangered bears to breed and rear their young. This is a day I can promise that will stay with you forever.

Things to do:


Chengdu & Guilin

At this rate, you’ll be an expert in train travel throughout China as you travel further south through the picturesque countryside to Guilin by high speed rail. With its dramatic limestone karst hill landscape though, you’ll be glad you took the scenic route which is an experience in itself.



One of my favourite ways to explore this region is with a local guide and his jeep on an off the beaten track tour. Away from the tourist attractions, head deeper into the valleys, meet the locals in the farming communities and discover ancient sites you didn’t even know existed.

Things to do:


Guilin, Li River & Yangshuo

The Li River is one of the most peaceful places you can visit in China and cruising along on a boat with huge limestone cliffs surrounding you on each side is something you’ll remember forever. Upon arrival in Yangshuo have a stroll around West Street where you’ll find plenty of cute shops, bars and restaurants to explore.


Yangshuo, Hong Kong & Departure

Today this exciting adventure comes to an end as you transfer from Yangshou to Guilin train station where the high-speed train to Hong Kong awaits you.

Alfred & Malcolm Holcroft

Malcolm has always been fascinated with the far east, especially China and has visited five times so far. While he loves exploring the big cities, he also loves getting off the beaten track immersing himself in the local culture. He admits there can be challenges when it comes to things like language but relishes in how beautiful and untouched China still is, in our modern globalised world. One of his favourite activities is people watching in the public parks and he can quickly become absorbed as he observes how differently the people go about their day to day lives. This is a country that will at times throw you out of your comfort zone but will also teach you so much if you let it.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Suzanne, who's travelled extensively in China. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guides who can take you to The Great Wall’s quietest spots, the villagers who can show you how to create your own lucky clay cat and the cooks who can rustle you up breakfast pancakes, Shanghai-style.

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