This small group tour combines the iconic sights of China, such as Beijing’s Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, with time exploring lesser-known regions like the waterside city of Suzhou and the beautiful natural landscapes that surround the city of Guilin.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Guilin: 1 night

• Yangshuo: 1 night

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 3 nights

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour

This superb small group tour combines the iconic sights of China, such as Beijing’s Forbidden City and the world-famous Terracotta Warriors in ancient Xi’an, with time spent exploring further off the beaten track in the lesser-visited regions of Guilin and Yangshuo.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Guilin: 1 night

• Yangshuo: 1 night

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 2 nights

• Mutianyu/The Great Wall: 1 night

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

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

Day 2: Shanghai Transfer to your hotel where a guaranteed early check-in means you’ll be able to head to your room as soon as you arrive. Freshen up and spend the rest of the day relaxing or sightseeing at your own pace. This evening, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the rest of your group and tour leader at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai Your Shanghai sightseeing begins this morning with a guided tour around the city. You’ll 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 – an area of Shanghai once administered by the French government. This afternoon take a stroll along the Bund, the famous waterfront on the west bank of the Huangpu River, before embarking on a private cruise along the river. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Shanghai Today, you’ll drive to the charming waterside city of Suzhou (approx. 1½ hours west of Shanghai). Known for its culture, canals and elegant, classical gardens, a full morning tour will start at the UNESCO-listed Administrator’s Garden, before continuing to other iconic sights like historic Pingjiang Road, Garden of the Master of Nets and the famous Pan Gate. Following lunch at a local restaurant, head back to Shanghai where the rest of the day is free to spend at your own leisure. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, L. 

Day 5: Shanghai to Guilin It’s an early transfer to the airport today for your morning flight to Guilin. On arrival, you’ll head to your hotel where you’ll be able to refresh after your journey. This afternoon, you’ll visit Fubo Hill, one of Guilin’s most scenic limestone karsts and a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the city. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Guilin to Yangshuo This morning you’ll embark on a cruise along the River Li, which will take you through the stunning scenery of limestone karsts towards the quaint town of Yangshuo. Disembark from the boat and stroll to West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo renowned for its architecture, shops and tasty food stalls. The rest of the afternoon is free for some independent exploration. This evening, watch the incredible ‘Impression of Liu Sanjie’ performance which takes place on rafts on the river. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Yangshuo to Xi’an Early this morning, drive back to Guilin for your morning flight to Xi’an. On arrival, you’ll visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens, before you get creative with a traditional dumpling making class. This evening, you’ll have the opportunity to catch a Tang Dynasty Show – a dramatic performance of Changan music and dance which originated in China’s Tang Dynasty. Approx. journey time: 2¼ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Xi’an Today begins with an early morning visit to the iconic Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). You’ll arrive just as the door opens to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. In the mid-1970s a clay warrior was found buried under farmland on the outskirts of Xi’an and through further excavations thousands more warriors were discovered, all lined up in a battle formation. You can witness these incredible pottery figures at the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in a handful of excavated pits. If an archaeologist is in residence during your visit, then a meet and greet will be scheduled for you to chat about the work they’re doing. 

Following lunch at a local restaurant, this afternoon you’ll explore the busy Muslim Quarter, a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls, buzzing local atmosphere, and unusual culinary treasures like deep fried octopus and flatbread in mutton soup. There will also be a visit to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 9: Xi’an to Beijing After breakfast, transfer to the station for your high-speed train journey to Beijing. Travelling in first class, this is a great opportunity for you to catch your breath, and to take some time to enjoy the beautiful Chinese countryside. On arrival in Beijing, you’ll transfer to the hotel where you’ll be able to refresh before you head out for a classic Peking duck dinner. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: 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 a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, the tour will continue at the classical Summer Palace, which is home to a vast number of lakes, gardens and palaces. A boat ride on one of the lakes is included here (subject to weather conditions). The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Beijing to Mutianyu Today begins with an early morning visit to the beautiful Temple of Heaven; you’ll arrive at the temple just as the gates are opening, thus avoiding the crowds that head here later in the day. Though an early start, it will be a relaxing morning, finishing with the opportunity to take part in a t’ai chi lesson. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll have the chance to visit the Mutianyu section of the iconic Great Wall (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). You’ll take the cable car up on the wall, which is noted for its meandering chain of Ming Dynasty guard towers. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 12: Mutianyu After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Chengdu 2 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Chengdu
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Chengdu. On arrival, a local guide will accompany you to your hotel. This afternoon, explore the Wenshu Monastery and take a walk down the city's historic Jinli Street. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Chengdu
This morning, take a tour of the famous Chengdu Panda Base, a research centre that specialises in the breeding and conservation of baby pandas. The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 3: Chengdu
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Tibet 4 nights

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. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lhasa
After breakfast, spend the morning at the Sera Monastery; one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon with a local family where you'll learn all about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Start the day with a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the magnificent winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Following lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang Monastery – the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism – and take a stroll along historic Bakhor Street. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

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.

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

Day 2: Shanghai Transfer to your hotel where a guaranteed early check-in means you’ll be able to head to your room as soon as you arrive. Freshen up and spend the rest of the day relaxing or sightseeing at your own pace. This evening, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the rest of 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 into the city for a guided tour. You’ll start in the Old Town, which sits inside the ancient city walls, before continuing to the beautiful 16th-Century Yu Garden and the leafy tree-lined streets of the French Concession – an area of Shanghai once administered by the French government. This afternoon take a stroll along the Bund, the famous waterfront on the west bank of the Huangpu River, before embarking on a private cruise along the river. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Shanghai Today you’ll drive to the charming waterside city of Suzhou (approx. 1½ hours west of Shanghai). Known for its culture, canals and elegant gardens, a full 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. Have lunch at a local restaurant before heading 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 Guilin This morning, it’s an early transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin. On arrival, transfer to your hotel where you’ll have the chance to freshen up. This afternoon, head out to visit Fubo Hill – one of Guilin’s most scenic limestone karsts and a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the city. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Guilin to Yangshuo Begin with a cruise along the River Li, passing through the stunning scenery of limestone karsts as you head towards the quaint town of Yangshuo. Disembark from the boat and stroll to West Street, the town’s oldest street which is loved for its architecture, shops and tasty food stalls. The rest of the afternoon is free for some independent exploration. This evening, watch an ‘Impression of Liu Sanjie’ performance which takes place on rafts on the river. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Yangshuo to Xi’an It’s an early morning transfer back to Guilin for your morning flight to Xi’an. On arrival, head to 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. Tonight, you’ll have the chance to catch a Tang Dynasty Show; a dramatic performance of Changan music and dance which originated in China’s Tang Dynasty. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Xi’an Today begins with an early morning visit to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). You’ll arrive just as the door opens to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. In the mid-1970s a clay warrior was found buried under farmland on the outskirts of Xi’an and through further excavations thousands more warriors were discovered, all lined up in a battle formation. You can see these incredible pottery figures at the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in a handful of excavated pits. If an archaeologist is in residence during your visit, then a meet and greet session will give you the chance to chat about their current work. After lunch at a local restaurant, spend some time this afternoon exploring the busy Muslim Quarter; this historic neighbourhood is a foodie heaven famed for its market stalls, buzzing atmosphere, and unusual culinary treasures like deep fried octopus and flatbread in mutton soup. You’ll also visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 9: Xi’an to Beijing After breakfast, transfer to the station for your high-speed train journey to Beijing. Travelling in first class, this is a great opportunity for you to relax and catch your breath while enjoying the beautiful Chinese countryside passing by. On arrival in Beijing, transfer to the hotel where you’ll be able to refresh before you head out for a classic Peking duck dinner. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: 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 at a local restaurant, the tour continues at the classical 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). The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Beijing Begin your final day with an early morning visit to the Temple of Heaven; arriving just as the temple opens means that you’ll avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. While an early start, it’s a relaxing morning, finishing with the chance to join a guided t’ai chi lesson. After lunch, continue to the iconic Great Wall (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). Take the cable car up onto the Mutianyu section, which is noted for its meandering chain of Ming Dynasty guard towers. 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 12: Beijing After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Chengdu 2 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Chengdu
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Chengdu. On arrival, a local guide will accompany you to your hotel. This afternoon, explore the Wenshu Monastery and take a walk down the city's historic Jinli Street. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Chengdu
This morning, take a tour of the famous Chengdu Panda Base, a research centre that specialises in the breeding and conservation of baby pandas. The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 3: Chengdu
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Tibet 4 nights

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. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lhasa
After breakfast, spend the morning at the Sera Monastery; one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon with a local family where you'll learn all about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Start the day with a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the magnificent winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Following lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang Monastery – the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism – and take a stroll along historic Bakhor Street. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

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.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Perfect if you’re looking to delve deeper into China, stepping slightly off the beaten track to discover lesser-known cities and cultural treasures.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)

• Average group size of 10 guests

• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

• Special diets, including vegetarianism, cannot be adequately provided for in China

• Many stairs and steep slopes at the Great Wall of China

•  A busy itinerary packed full of experiences allowing you to see a lot in a short space of time. There are also a few early mornings and late evenings

• Crowds at the main sights

• 20kg baggage allowance on internal flights.

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality city hotels that are perfectly located for local and independent sightseeing, as well as offering a comfortable base for post-excursion relaxation. In Guilin, the Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel is an intimate retreat set opposite the iconic Elephant Trunk Hill, while in Yangshou, the Green Lotus sits on the bank of the River Li, and we have opted to feature river view rooms which have a small balcony.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £651

Is this for you?

Perfect if you’re looking to delve deeper into China, combining some of the country’s main sights with a stay in scenic Guilin.

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

• A maximum of 16 guests

• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• Special diets, including vegetarianism and gluten free, are not widely understood and cannot be adequately provided for in China

• With many steps 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 opportunities and experiences

• Expect crowds at the main sights

• Baggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg; excess luggage fees will apply locally.

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality city hotels that are perfectly located for local and independent sightseeing, as well as offering a comfortable base for post-excursion relaxation. In Guilin, the Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel is an intimate retreat set opposite the iconic Elephant Trunk Hill, while in Mutianyu Village, you’ll stay at the stylish Brickyard Retreat; a converted tile factory where all rooms look out to views of the Great Wall.

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £3983

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Mar 29; Apr 12; May 10, 31; Sep 06; Oct 04

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups and a relaxed approach

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice for a supplement from £1319 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Mar 27; Apr 24; May 29; Sep 04; Oct 09

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 the date of your choice from £4611 per person.

Kuoni highlights

This tour offers a great insight into China, combining the main iconic sights of Beijing and Shanghai, with lesser-visited cities like Guilin and Yangshuo. What really sets this tour apart is our exclusive experiences, like the first class train travel and the possibility of an archaeologist meet and greet at the Terracotta Warriors. Other highlights include our dumpling making class, and the private river cruise along the Huangpu River.

Kuoni highlights

This superb tour is packed full of experiences like a private cruise along the Huangpu River and a meet and greet session with an archaeologist at the Terracotta Warriors. Foodies will experience some delicious local dishes; from a classic Peking duck dinner to mastering the art behind a traditional Chinese dumpling. Other highlights include spending the night in a boutique hotel that overlooks views of the Great Wall.