Starting in Shanghai and ending in Beijing, this all-encompassing tour offers days filled with ancient monuments, natural landscapes and scenic cruising. Visit the pandas of Chengdu, cruise the Yangtze River, marvel at the magnificence of the Terracotta Army and spend time in the Lijiang region. This is the tour for those wanting to really get to the heart of China.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Yangtze Cruise: 4 nights

• Chengdu: 1 night

• Lijiang: 2 nights

• Yangshuo: 2 nights

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 3 nights

18nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Starting in Shanghai and ending in Beijing, this all-encompassing tour offers days filled with ancient monuments, natural landscapes and scenic cruising. Visit the pandas of Chengdu, cruise the Yangtze River, marvel at the magnificence of the Terracotta Army and spend time in the Lijiang region. This is the tour for those wanting to really get to the heart of China.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Yangtze Cruise: 4 nights

• Chengdu: 1 night

• Lijiang: 2 nights

• Yangshuo: 2 nights

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 3 nights

18nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

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 get 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, meet the rest of your group at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai This morning begins with a guided tour around the city. You’ll start 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 before embarking on a private cruise along the Huangpu 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 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 Yichang Spend a morning exploring the city before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Yichang. On arrival, transfer to Maoping Pier to board the luxurious Century Sun for your four-night Yangtze River cruise. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Century Sun. B.

Days 6-8: Yangtze Cruise Set sail and over the next three days enjoy a selection of excursions (for more information see our Gorges of the Yangtze tour). Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 9: Chongqing to Chengdu Disembark in Chongqing and transfer to the station for your morning first-class high-speed train journey to Chengdu. This afternoon, spend time at the Panda Research Breeding Centre, before sitting down for dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Chengdu to Lijiang This morning visit the Wenshu Monastery and take a walk down the city’s ancient Jinli Street, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Lijiang. On arrival, join a walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, exploring the charming Black Dragon Pool and the largest culture relic museum of Dongba. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, D.

Day 11: Lijiang Begin the day with a visit to the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain National Park, and admire the scenery as you take the cable car up to Yak Meadow. Continue with a tour of the temples in the nearby village of Baisha, and visit the former residence of explorer Dr Joseph Rock. Following an afternoon at leisure, you are free to enjoy dinner in the town before taking in a traditional Naxi orchestra performance this evening. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, L.

Day 12: Lijiang to Yangshuo This morning explore the city at leisure, before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Guilin. On arrival, you’ll drive directly to the charming town of Yangshuo, where following dinner at a local restaurant, you’ll have the chance to watch the incredible ‘Impression of Liu Sanjie’ performance. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, D.

Day 13: Yangshuo Begin the day with a charming cruise along the River Li, towards the ancient town of Fuli. Join a tour exploring this quaint riverside town full of traditional houses, pagodas, temples and beautiful scenery. Later this afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a local hillside cooking class. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, D.

Day 14: Yangshuo to Xi’an Early this morning, drive back to Guilin for your flight to Xi’an. On arrival, spend some time wandering the busy Muslim Quarter, a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls, buzzing local atmosphere, and unusual culinary treasures. Afterwards continue with a visit to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. This evening enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner, before catching a dramatic Tang Dynasty Show. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D. 

Day 15: Xi’an An entire day of sightseeing awaits, beginning with an early morning visit to the Iconic 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, then a meet and greet will be scheduled for you to chat about the work they’re doing. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll continue to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens. The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 16: Xi’an to Beijing After breakfast, transfer to the station for your first-class high-speed rail journey to Beijing. On arrival, you’ll transfer to the hotel where you’ll be able to refresh before heading out for a classic Peking duck dinner. Approx. journey time: 5½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, D. 

Day 17: 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 will continue at the Summer Palace, 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 18: Beijing 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. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to take part in a t’ai chi lesson. Following lunch, 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 19: Beijing Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Hong Kong (pre tour) 3 nights

Extend your holiday with a few extra days exploring vibrant Hong Kong.

Tibet 4 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, you'll be met by your local guide who will transfer you to your 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, you'll spend the morning at the Sera Monastery, one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you'll spend the afternoon with a local Tibetan family to discover more about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Today begins 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
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free to for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

Day 5: Beijing to UK
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 for a three-night stay. An early check-in is guaranteed so you’ll be able to get 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, meet the rest of your group at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai This morning begins with a guided tour around the city. You’ll start 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 before embarking on a private cruise along the Huangpu 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 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 Yichang Spend a morning exploring the city before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Yichang. On arrival, transfer to Maoping Pier to board the luxurious Century Sun for your four-night Yangtze River cruise. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Century Sun. B.

Days 6-8: Yangtze Cruise Set sail and over the next three days enjoy a selection of excursions (for more information see our Gorges of the Yangtze tour). Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 9: Chongqing to Chengdu Disembark in Chongqing and transfer to the station for your morning first-class high-speed train journey to Chengdu. This afternoon, spend time at the Panda Research Breeding Centre, before sitting down for dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Chengdu to Lijiang This morning visit the Wenshu Monastery and take a walk down the city’s ancient Jinli Street, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Lijiang. On arrival, join a walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, exploring the charming Black Dragon Pool and the largest culture relic museum of Dongba. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, D.

Day 11: Lijiang Begin the day with a visit to the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain National Park, and admire the scenery as you take the cable car up to Yak Meadow. Continue with a tour of the temples in the nearby village of Baisha, and visit the former residence of explorer Dr Joseph Rock. Following an afternoon at leisure, you are free to enjoy dinner in the town before taking in a traditional Naxi orchestra performance this evening. Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang (or similar). B, L.

Day 12: Lijiang to Yangshuo This morning explore the city at leisure, before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Guilin. On arrival, you’ll drive directly to the charming town of Yangshuo, where following dinner at a local restaurant, you’ll have the chance to watch the incredible ‘Impression of Liu Sanjie’ performance. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, D.

Day 13: Yangshuo Begin the day with a charming cruise along the River Li, towards the ancient town of Fuli. Join a tour exploring this quaint riverside town full of traditional houses, pagodas, temples and beautiful scenery. Later this afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a local hillside cooking class. Stay: Green Lotus (or similar). B, D.

Day 14: Yangshuo to Xi’an Early this morning, drive back to Guilin for your flight to Xi’an. On arrival, spend some time wandering the busy Muslim Quarter, a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls, buzzing local atmosphere, and unusual culinary treasures. Afterwards continue with a visit to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. This evening enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner, before catching a dramatic Tang Dynasty Show. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D. 

Day 15: Xi’an An entire day of sightseeing awaits, beginning with an early morning visit to the Iconic 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, then a meet and greet will be scheduled for you to chat about the work they’re doing. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll continue to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens. The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 16: Xi’an to Beijing After breakfast, transfer to the station for your first-class high-speed rail journey to Beijing. On arrival, you’ll transfer to the hotel where you’ll be able to refresh before heading out for a classic Peking duck dinner. Approx. journey time: 5½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, D. 

Day 17: 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 will continue at the Summer Palace, 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 18: Beijing 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. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to take part in a t’ai chi lesson. Following lunch, 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 19: Beijing Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Hong Kong (pre tour) 3 nights

Extend your holiday with a few extra days exploring vibrant Hong Kong.

Tibet 4 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, you'll be met by your local guide who will transfer you to your 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, you'll spend the morning at the Sera Monastery, one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you'll spend the afternoon with a local Tibetan family to discover more about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Today begins 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
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free to for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

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

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

The perfect tour if you want to explore all that China has to offer; although there are full days of sightseeing throughout, there's also free time set aside to explore independently.

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

• A compulsory cruise tipping fee of RMB150 per person, paid locally

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality city hotels that are perfectly located for local exploration. On the Century Sun ship, your home for four nights as you cruise along the Yangtze River, each cabin features floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony. In Yangshou, our hand-picked hotel – 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 £1145

Is this for you?

The perfect tour if you want to explore all that China has to offer; although there are full days of sightseeing throughout, there's also free time set aside to explore independently.

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

• A compulsory cruise tipping fee of RMB150 per person, paid locally

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality city hotels that are perfectly located for local exploration. On the Century Sun ship, your home for four nights as you cruise along the Yangtze River, each cabin features floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony. In Yangshou, our hand-picked hotel – 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 £1145

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Mar 28; Apr 18; May 23; Sep 05; Oct 10

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 from £1735 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Mar 19; Apr 16; May 21; Sep 03; Oct 08

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 from £1735 per person.

Kuoni highlights

This is an in-depth tour that certainly makes the most of your time in China. The main sights of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, the natural beauty of the Yangtze River and the Lijiang region, and the giant pandas of Chengdu are all covered in a duration of just under three weeks. We’ve really packed this itinerary full of cultural, historical and natural experiences.

Kuoni highlights

This is an in-depth tour that certainly makes the most of your time in China. The main sights of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, the natural beauty of the Yangtze River and the Lijiang region, and the giant pandas of Chengdu are all covered in a duration of just under three weeks. We’ve really packed this itinerary full of cultural, historical and natural experiences.