14nights Escorted Small Group Tour

This small group tour combines the iconic sights and cities of China, from the sophistication of Shanghai and the history of Beijing to the wonders of the Terracotta Warriors in ancient Xi’an. Head further afield to discover the famous Giant Panda in Chengdu, and see the dramatic scenery of the legendary Three Gorges on an unforgettable cruise along the Yangtze River.

• Shanghai: 3 nights
• Yangtze River Cruise: 4 nights
• Chengdu: 1 night
• Xi'an: 2 nights
• Beijing: 2 nights
• Mutianyu/ The Great Wall: 1 night

14nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights
Explore mystical Tibet on this four night extension.

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, a local guide will transfer you to the hotel. This evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, D.

Day 2: Lhasa
Today you will visit Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill. This is one of the three famous monasteries in the city and is dedicated to the Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name of the monastery means “wild rose” in the Tibetan language because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses at the time the monastery was built. After lunch, you will visit a local family to learn about their way of life before continuing to Norbulingha Palace for your final visit of the day. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
In the morning you will travel to Polata Palace, the highest ancient palace in the world. The original palace was built in the 7th century but the present building was built and expanded in the 17th century. You will also visit Jokhang Monastery which is part of the Palace complex. In the afternoon you will continue to the historic district of Lhasa to visit Bakhor Street. You will also have the chance to see the Dropenling Handicraft Centre which strives to keep local crafts alive and provide locals with a source of income. As a treat, you will try Butter Tea in a tea house. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Lhasa to Beijing
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

Day 5: Beijing
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Yunnan 5 nights
Explore the beautiful and historical Yunnan Province.

Day 1: Beijing to Lijiang
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Lijiang in the heart of Yunnan province. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide who will accompany you to your hotel for check-in. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lijiang
Today’s full day excursion will start by driving out of Lijiang to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which is home to the southernmost glacier in the northern hemisphere. The drive an viewing points allow for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and rivers. After lunch at a local restaurant you will continue to Baisha Village at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain where you will experience the Naxi people’s peaceful daily life. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, L.

Day 3 Lijiang to Shangri La
As you travel towards Shangri La today, you will stop for a visit at Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. From the top of the gorges you can look down the steep mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands River with its 18 frothing rapids. Stay: Shangri La E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Shangri La
The town of Shangri La served as the inspiration for the now world famous luxury hotel chain. It is found in a stunning setting in Yunnan surrounded by mountains and lakes. Your first visit of the day will be to Songzanlin Monastery known as “Little Polata” as its design is based on the iconic Polata Monastery in Tibet. This is the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan and offers impressive views. This afternoon you will have a tour of Shangri La Old Town where you can see the well preserved historic buildings and streets where local shop owners ply their trade and make traditional artisanal goods. Dinner this evening will be at Yak Hot Pot, a popular restaurant serving food from the region with a Tibetan influence. Stay: Shangri La E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Shangri La to Beijing
In the morning after breakfast, you will transfer back to Lijiang for your flight to Beijing. Upon arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure. Stay: Park Plaza Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 6: Beijing to UK
At the designated time, transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to Shanghai Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Shanghai.

Day 2: Shanghai Transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay. An early check-in is guaranteed so you’ll be able to head to your room as you arrive. Freshen up and spend the rest of the day relaxing or sightseeing at leisure. This evening, meet your group and tour leader at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai This morning, head out for a guided tour around the city. Begin in the Old Town, which sits inside the ancient city walls, before continuing to the beautiful Yu Garden and the leafy tree-lined streets of the French Concession. This afternoon, take a stroll along the famous Bund waterfront ahead of a private cruise along the Huangpu River. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Shanghai Today, you’ll drive to the waterside city of Suzhou (approx. 1½ hours west of Shanghai). Known for its culture, canals and classic gardens, a morning tour starts at the UNESCO-listed Administrator’s Garden and takes in sights like historic Pingjiang Road, Garden of the Master of Nets and the famous Pan Gate. After lunch, head back to Shanghai where the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Shanghai to Yichang Spend this morning exploring the city at your own pace before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Yichang. On arrival, transfer to Maoping Pier to board the luxurious Century Glory for your four-night cruise along the Yangtze River. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Century Glory. B.

Day 6: Yangtze Cruise Start the day with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck before having breakfast in the dining room. This morning visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest ever hydroelectric dam. After a buffet lunch on board, you can join an optional tour exploring the Tribe of the Three Gorges; a beautiful spot along the river where dramatic landscapes, local people and historic cultures thrive. Tonight, a buffet dinner will be followed by the captain’s welcome party. Stay: Century Glory. B, L, D.

Day 7: Yangtze Cruise Early risers can start the day with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck. Enjoy breakfast as the Century Sun sails through the beautiful Wu Gorge. This morning, head out for a small boat cruise along the Shennv Stream, a scenic tributary of the Yangtze. After lunch, there’s an optional shore excursion to the White Emperor City; an ancient temple complex that overlooks the spectacular Qutang Gorge. Stay: Century Glory. B, L, D.

Day 8: Yangtze Cruise Awake to a final early morning of t’ai chi, pastries and a hot drink on deck. After breakfast, there’s an optional shore excursion to the striking hill fortress of Shi Baozhai. Have lunch on the ship and enjoy some time at leisure – perhaps joining in with a selection of fantastic on-board activities. Tonight, rejoin the group for your final dinner on board. Stay: Century Glory. B, L, D.

Day 9: Chongqing to Chengdu Following breakfast, the Century Glory will arrive into Chongqing. Disembark the ship and transfer to the station for your high-speed train journey to Chengdu. This afternoon visit the Wenshu Monastery, an ancient Buddhist temple built in the Tang Dynasty, and enjoy a stroll down the city’s historic Jinli Street. This evening have dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Chengdu to Xi’an Today starts with a visit to the Chengdu Panda Base; a famous research centre that specialises in the breeding and conservation of baby pandas. Enjoy some time to explore before heading out for lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to the station for your first-class, high-speed rail journey to Xi’an. Head to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. Approx. journey time: 3¾ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Xi’an It’s an entire day of sightseeing, starting with an early morning visit to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). You’ll arrive just as the doors open to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. If an archaeologist is available, a meet and greet session will give you the chance to chat about their current work. This afternoon, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda – a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens – and join a cooking class where you’ll learn how to make traditional Chinese dumplings. This evening, you’ll have the chance to watch a dramatic Tang Dynasty Show. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Xi’an to Beijing Start today in the city’s busy Muslim Quarter; a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls and unusual culinary creations. Continue to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China, and have lunch at a local restaurant. Later, transfer to the station for your first-class, high-speed train journey to Beijing. On arrival, the rest of the evening is free to spend at your own leisure. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L.

Day 13: Beijing Your tour of the capital begins with an early morning visit to Tian’anmen Square, followed by a wander around the Forbidden City. After lunch, the tour continues at the classic Summer Palace, which is home to a huge number of lakes, gardens and palaces. A boat ride on one of the lakes is included here (subject to weather  conditions). This evening, experience a classic Peking duck dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 14: Beijing to Mutianyu Begin your final day with an early morning visit to the Temple of Heaven; arriving early means that you’ll avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. Join a local  t’ai chi lesson before you continue to the Mutianyu section of the iconic Great Wall (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). This evening you’ll stay at the stylish Brickyard Retreat; a small converted tile factory where each room overlooks views of the Great Wall. Tonight, join a farewell dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Stay: Brickyard Retreat (or similar).  B, L, D.

Day 15: Mutianyu After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights
Explore mystical Tibet on this four night extension.

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, a local guide will transfer you to the hotel. This evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, D.

Day 2: Lhasa
Today you will visit Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill. This is one of the three famous monasteries in the city and is dedicated to the Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name of the monastery means “wild rose” in the Tibetan language because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses at the time the monastery was built. After lunch, you will visit a local family to learn about their way of life before continuing to Norbulingha Palace for your final visit of the day. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
In the morning you will travel to Polata Palace, the highest ancient palace in the world. The original palace was built in the 7th century but the present building was built and expanded in the 17th century. You will also visit Jokhang Monastery which is part of the Palace complex. In the afternoon you will continue to the historic district of Lhasa to visit Bakhor Street. You will also have the chance to see the Dropenling Handicraft Centre which strives to keep local crafts alive and provide locals with a source of income. As a treat, you will try Butter Tea in a tea house. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Lhasa to Beijing
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

Day 5: Beijing
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Yunnan 5 nights
Explore the beautiful and historical Yunnan Province.

Day 1: Beijing to Lijiang
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Lijiang in the heart of Yunnan province. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide who will accompany you to your hotel for check-in. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lijiang
Today’s full day excursion will start by driving out of Lijiang to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which is home to the southernmost glacier in the northern hemisphere. The drive an viewing points allow for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and rivers. After lunch at a local restaurant you will continue to Baisha Village at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain where you will experience the Naxi people’s peaceful daily life. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, L.

Day 3 Lijiang to Shangri La
As you travel towards Shangri La today, you will stop for a visit at Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. From the top of the gorges you can look down the steep mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands River with its 18 frothing rapids. Stay: Shangri La E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Shangri La
The town of Shangri La served as the inspiration for the now world famous luxury hotel chain. It is found in a stunning setting in Yunnan surrounded by mountains and lakes. Your first visit of the day will be to Songzanlin Monastery known as “Little Polata” as its design is based on the iconic Polata Monastery in Tibet. This is the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan and offers impressive views. This afternoon you will have a tour of Shangri La Old Town where you can see the well preserved historic buildings and streets where local shop owners ply their trade and make traditional artisanal goods. Dinner this evening will be at Yak Hot Pot, a popular restaurant serving food from the region with a Tibetan influence. Stay: Shangri La E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Shangri La to Beijing
In the morning after breakfast, you will transfer back to Lijiang for your flight to Beijing. Upon arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure. Stay: Park Plaza Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 6: Beijing to UK
At the designated time, transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected quality hotels that are perfectly located for local and independent sightseeing. The luxurious Century Glory is your home on the Yangtze River. This elegant ship is the newest ship to sail on the river, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony. On land, you’ll spend your final night at the Brickyard Retreat in Mutianyu Village; a converted tile factory where all rooms look out to stunning views of the Great Wall.

Is this for you?

This small group tour offers a superb exploration of China, combining iconic sights with a four-night cruise along the Yangtze River.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 10)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A maximum of 16 guests on the land tour. The ship can accommodate 306 guests so expect to share activities and excursions.

What to expect

• Special diets, including vegetarianism and gluten free, cannot be adequately provided for in China
• With many stairs and steep slopes at monuments and the Great Wall, the tour is not suitable for those with walking difficulties
• There are early mornings and late evenings throughout to help maximise your sightseeing opprortunities and experiences
• Expect crowds at the main sights
• Baggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg; excess luggage fees will apply locally
• Optional cruise excursions are bookable locally and payable once on board
• A compulsory cruise tipping fee of approx. RMB150 per person is payable locally.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected quality hotels that are perfectly located for local and independent sightseeing. The luxurious Century Glory is your home on the Yangtze River. This elegant ship is the newest ship to sail on the river, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony. On land, you’ll spend your final night at the Brickyard Retreat in Mutianyu Village; a converted tile factory where all rooms look out to stunning views of the Great Wall.

Solo travellers

Sole use room from £4503

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2021 Apr 8; May 13; Sep 9; Oct 14; Nov 4

2022 Apr 7; May 12; Jun 2; Sep 8; Oct 13; Nov 3

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on selected dates from £4866 per person.

Kuoni highlights

Kuoni highlights

What really sets this tour apart is the unforgettable four-night cruise along the Yangtze River. While most only offer three nights, our extra night means you’ll have even more time to enjoy the stunning sights along the river. This tour is packed full of exclusive experiences, from a meet and greet session with an archaeologist at the Terracotta Warriors to spending the night in a converted tile factory that overlooks views of the Great Wall of China.