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The summer Palace, Beijing

Best of China

18-day tailor-made holiday from £4,515 pp


Short description

A tailor-made tour of China's cultural highlights


  • Wonder at Beijing's cultural masterpieces including The Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City
  • Take a leisurely cruise along the Li River through a Chinese landscape unchanged over millennia
  • Visit Chengdu and pitch in at the city's famous panda sanctuary
  • Contrast the ancient halls of the Terracotta Warriors with the vibrant, modern glamour of Shanghai

In Brief

  • 4 Nights Beijing
  • 2 Nights Xian
  • 3 Nights Chengdu
  • 3 Nights Guilin
  • 3 Nights Shanghai


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | Wildlife

Ask most first time visitors to China where they want to go, and they will probably list: Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. This captivating tour takes in all of these, encompassing many of the country's major highlights and making it the perfect introductory trip. China’s capital, Beijing, is packed with iconic historical and modern landmarks; visit the Forbidden City and the Great Wall and Temple of Heaven, amongst others. Xian is home to the impressive Terracotta Warriors, whilst Guilin’s striking limestone cliffs of the Li River are simply stunning. In Chengdu, you'll visit the country’s largest giant panda sanctuary, and no trip would be complete without a few days in Shanghai – a unique fusion of old and new.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Begin your trip in relaxed style with included airport lounge access before your overnight to Beijing.

Days 2-5

Arrive in Beijing where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The following morning you'll begin with a trip to Tiananmen Square, a vast space which can hold one million people. Opposite are the gates to the Forbidden City, which took 15 years and 100,000 artisans and labourers to build. In the afternoon you'll visit the Summer Palace, the summer resort of China’s ancient monarchs. Then, the next day, you'll travel north to see one of the greatest wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China, and climb its steep undulating paths. That afternoon visit the Sacred Way and Ming Tombs before enjoying a typical Peking duck dinner. On your last morning in the capital there's a visit to the Temple of Heaven, now the symbol of the city and a Hutong tour which shows how the locals live, as well as visits to Prince Gong’s Palace and the Drum Tower. In the afternoon, you'll have the privileged opportunity to visit a local person's home where you'll try your hand at traditional paper cutting and learn about the intricacies of Beijing Opera make-up.

Stay: Capital Hotel (Standard) or Park Plaza (Superior)

Meals: B L

Days 6-7

Fly to Xian where a tour of the city's Provincial Museum will introduce you to the history of the Silk Road. You'll also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda before a Tang Dynasty dinner and show brings your day to a spectacular conclusion. The next morning, you'll head out to explore Xian's headline attraction – the world-renowned Terracotta Warriors. Begin with a documentary film before heading into the three exhibition halls to take in what is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century. You'll then visit Xian’s old city wall, the best preserved of its kind in China and the Great Mosque, hidden amidst the winding lanes of the city's Muslim Quarter. 

Stay: Holiday Inn Big Goose Pagoda (Standard) or Grand Mercure (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 8

Depart Xian on a train ride to Chengdu where, after checking into your chosen hotel, you'll embark on a tour of the Marquis Wu Shrine whose relics date back to the Three Kingdoms period which ran from 220AD to 280AD. Then, after a leisurely walk down atmospheric Jinli Street, home to historic houses and bustling street stalls, you'll enjoy a local dinner and a traditional mask-changing show. 

Stay: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel (Standard) or Sofitel (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10

After breakfast at hotel, you'll travel by road to the Giant Buddha of Leshan, which stands at over 71 metres tall and dates 713 AD. Carved into the cliff face of Mount Lingyun, it's reputed to be the largest stone Buddha in the world. The following morning sees you embark on a real trip highlight as you visit the Dujiangyan Panda Base to be a panda volunteer. During your half-day visit, you'll help clean out the panda house, watch breeding pandas and even have the chance to cook for and feed them. For something a little different, in the afternoon, you'll head to the Sichuan Cuisine Museum to explore the region's culinary heritage before joining a local chef to prepare and eat some traditional local dishes.

Stay: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel (Standard) or Sofitel (Superior)

Meals: B L

Days 11-13

Leaving Chengdu for a morning flight to Guilin. Upon arrival embark on a city tour, taking in the pretty riverside landscapes of Fubo Hill, the stalagmites and stalactites in Reed Flute Cave and city-wide views from Elephant Trunk Hill. On your second day in the city, you'll embark on a leisurely cruise on the Li River. Curving through the limestone karsts this river cruise brings the China of old to life before your eyes. The verdant green of the bamboo as water buffalo graze on the shoreline and the cormorant fisherman trying their luck as they float gently downstream on bamboo rafts. Your final day in Guilin sees you travel to the spectacular Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces at Longsheng, a region home to several minority tribes.

Stay: Bravo Hotel (Standard) or Grand Bravo (Superior)

Meals: B L

Days 14-16

Head to the airport for a morning flight to Shanghai where you'll transfer to your hotel. Spend the afternoon exploring at your own pace, perhaps taking in the Jade Buddha Temple and the 400-year-old Yu Gardens & Bazaar, pausing for coffee along the way. The next day, an in-depth walking tour of the Bund will bring you back to the golden age of the 1920s – an era of luxury and elegance. In the company of your guide, you'll take in some of the city's grandest buildings, see where a certain Albert Einstein stayed during his lecture tour of Asia and pause for drinks along a route seldom explored by tourists. In the afternoon visit the must-see Shanghai Museum and delight in an acrobatic show. Then, in the evening, you'll enjoy a spectacular acrobatics show. The next day sees you leave the city behind as you head out to Suzhou, an ancient town of silk gardens and winding canals, which you'll explore in the company of an expert guide. 

Stay: Sunrise on the Bund (Standard) or Howard Johnson (Superior)

Meals: B L

Days 17-18
Depart Shanghai

The next morning is for you to explore the city at your leisure before being transferred to the Shanghai Pudong Airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving the following morning.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior

18-day tailor-made holiday from £4,515 pp

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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