Best of China

Overview

Best of China

Palaces, pandas and tea plantations are just some of the impressive highlights of this deluxe adventure. Relax in five-star hotels and savour one-of-a-kind experiences as you travel from Beijing through Xian to visit Chengdu's resident bears.

China’s most famous landmark, the Great Wall, winds like a dragon across the landscape. Stretching over 6,000km it maps out most things Chinese, taking in Imperial tombs, quiet rural villages and mountainous highlands before reaching Beijing itself.

In 1974, a group of peasants unearthed one of the biggest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Imagine their surprise when instead of finding an underground lake they uncovered over 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors. Beautifully crafted with astonishing attention to detail, the soldiers had been lying there for over 2,000 years guarding the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor in the ancient city of Xi’an.

The frantic pace of life in the cities is complemented by markets in Xi'an, and sitting down for a cup of tea with the locals, whilst rural Yangshuo offers a tranquil change of pace before your trip ends with a visit to the remarkable pandas of Chengdu.

Palaces, pandas and tea plantations are just some of the impressive highlights of this deluxe adventure. Relax in five-star hotels and savour one-of-a-kind experiences as you travel from Beijing through Xian to visit Chengdu's resident bears.

What's Included:

  • Return flights
  • 8 nights in 5* hotels, 2 nights in flight
  • Mixed meal plan basis
  • All excursions, touring and transfers
  • Services of an experienced tour leader
  • Touring with guides and entrance fees
  • Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
  • UK airport chauffeur transfers

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - 2: London - Beijing

Arrive at the airport by chauffeured transfer and fly overnight to Beijing. On arrival you will be accompanied by one of our experienced escorts to the hotel. Overnight - 5* Beijing Meals - Dinner

Day 3: Beijing

Begin the day like many locals with gentle exercise, as you partake in a private Tai Chi lesson with a master in the Temple of Heaven park. Cross the vast Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City - a monument to a dynastic past, the palace served as the home of emperors for 500 years. Your visit includes entrance to the intimate Treasure Hall, a glittering fallery showcasing the everyday trappings of royal life. Visit a cloissoné workshop to witness the elaborate process of creating beautiful, enamelled objects with pieces available to buy. Dine on Peking Duck at the excellent Quanjude restaurant and enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show. Overnight - 5* Beijing Meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Champagne on the Great Wall

From the Gobi Desert to the Bohai Sea the Great Wall stretches thousands of miles. Visit the lesser-known Huanghuacheng section, stopping at the ideal spot to enjoy a glass of champagne whilst admiring the views of lakes and craggy peaks. Back in Beijing take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs where you'll stop for a lesson in calligraphy with a learned scholar. Enjoy a free evening at lively Houhai Lake. Overnight - 5* Beijing Meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Traditional Shaanxi Dumplings

Fly to Xian. Walk on the 14th century walls for an excellent overview of the city before studying with local dumpling chefs to learn the art of creating these cultural delicacies. In Xian the preparation of these bite-size morsels has been perfected into an art form with their delicate wrappers crafter to represent their filling. Dine on the results before watching a Tang Dynasty dance performance. Overnight - 5* Xian Meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Terracotta Warriors

Fortuitously found by local farmers digging a well, the Terracotta Warriors are one of the worlds most famous archaeological discoveries. View the enigmatic ranks in the company of an archaeologist who works at the site and who will put their story into context. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process before having the opportunity to purchase your own little warrior to take home. The atmospheric lanes of Xians Muslim Quarter lead to the Grand Mosque founded after the introduction of Islam to China by Arabic traders arriving in the city from the Silk Road. Escape the bustle of the city and admire the blend of Chinese-Islamic architecture. Tonight there is an option to take a city night tour which includes the dazzling fountain display in front of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Overnight - 5* Xian Meals - Breakfast & Lunch

Day 7: Hanyangling Mausoleum

Explore Hanyangling Mausoleum, burial place of Emperor Jing and Empress Wang. The artefacts recovered here give a fascinating insight into daily life during the Western Han Dynasty and there are intricately-made half-sized warriors, women and animals to admire in this subterranean tomb. Fly to Chengdu where the rest of the evening is free for your to spend at leisure. Overnight - 5* Chengdu Meals - Breakfast & Lunch

Day 8: Mengdingshan

Travel out to the lush tea plantations of Mengdingshan. Tea has been drunk in China for millenia and has become ever more ingrained in the culture, influenced by Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian views of its consumption. Quality tea is also considered to be a gift fit for a king - it was once the tribute of choice for an emperor. Take a private tour of a plantation with a local farmer to learn about the entire tea-making process and its fascinating history. Return to Chengdu via the riverside village of Huanglongxi, where cobbled streets and rickety wooden buildings retain the charms of the Qing Dynasty. This evening explore the dining options of the historic Wide and Narrow Alleys. Overnight - 5* Chengdu Meals - Breakfast & Lunch

Day 9: Pandas with an Expert

VVisit Chengdus Panda Centre where an expert will talk to you about the Centres work and the pandas themselves as you observe these peaceful bears. Spend the afternoon exploring Chengdu, visiting Wuhou Temple, dedicated to Zhuge Liang, and Jinli Street, a bustling road in the old city lined with antique shops, bars and restaurants. Take a tour of the Shu Brocade amd Embroidery Museum for a close up view of the skills necessary to create these traditional items - there will be an opportunity to buy a handmade piece if you wish. Enjoy the quintessential Sichuan dining experience at Shujiu Xiang Hot Pot before puzzling over a national secret at the Sichuan Opera - the face-changing art of Bian Lian. Overnight - 5* Chengdu Meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Chengdu - London

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving the same or following day. On arrival you will be transported home by chauffeured transfer. Meals - Breakfast

Hand Picked By

Clare Hughes

I have been very lucky to travel recently with Wendy Wu and there are so many highlights packed into their tours, not forgetting the local guides who bring everything to vibrant life. So much is included, even the visas, making these tours excellent value for money – just don’t forget your camera!

Clare Hughes

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates
  • Star Rating: 5
  • Board Basis: Mixed meal plan
  • Duration: 10 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: Please call for latest price
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