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Eastern China by Rail

14-day rail journey from £2,540 pp incl. flights


Short description

Between Beijing and Shanghai, take in the mountain wonders, rural villages and ancient cities of China’s heartlands

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  • Travel on bullet trains, with private transfers throughout
  • See the megacity sleek and Great-Wall icons of Beijing and Shanghai
  • Showcase the rural splendour of mountain villages and tea plantations
  • Enjoy everything from canal cruises to rickshaw rides
  • Bring it all to life with private tours (and lunches) included throughout

In Brief

  • 4 Nights Beijing
  • 1 Night Huangshan
  • 1 Night Huangshan Mountain
  • 1 Night Tangmo village
  • 2 Nights Hangzhou
  • 3 Nights Shanghai


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | Rail journey

Travelling first class on hi-speed trains and with private transfers included throughout, this curated itinerary will see you sweep between two city greats, taking in both eastern China’s storied highlights and lesser-known gems. Indeed, in Beijing and Shanghai, you’ll enjoy the likes of Tiananmen Square alongside hidden gardens and rickshaw rides through old-town laneways. Then, plunging into rural China, you’ll take in everything from ancient villages and tea plantations to the great mist-clad peaks of Huangshan mountain. It’s all brought to life by the services of private guides throughout, bringing you on canal cruises, cable-car rides and cultural workshops. The included lunches each day don’t hurt, either.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Make the most of your complimentary airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to China.

Days 2-5

On arrival, a private driver will see you to your central accommodation; our Deluxe spa offering features club-lounge city views. Then, over the next three days, you’ll begin your programme of private, expert-led tours, beginning with the imposing gates of Tiananmen Square and the world’s largest palace complex – the Forbidden City. And, alongside the imperial Summer Palace, the royal family’s 15th-century Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall itself, you’ll also discover the city’s lesser-known jewels. Indeed, after visiting the Sacred Way’s imperious Ming Tombs, you’ll be treated to a rickshaw ride through the old town’s hutong alleyway maze, admiring the centuries-old timber architecture and pausing to try your hand at traditional Beijing paper art and opera makeup.

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

Meals: B L

Day 6
Beijing to Huangshan

After a private station transfer, you’ll board the first of your first-class train rides, sweeping through the Chinese heartlands to Huangshan – the Yellow Mountain. Here, you’ll get your introductions with a private tour of its historic centre, where cobbled streets and timber architecture date to the 13th-century Song Dynasty. You’ll end the day in the contemporary sleek of your chosen accommodation.

Stay: Parkview Hotel (Superior) or Crowne Plaza (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 7
Huangshan Mountain

Today you’ll start to explore the great “Yellow Mountain” range proper, where dramatic rock formations are shrouded in mist and dense vegetation. You’ll begin with UNESCO-listed Hongcun village, perhaps admiring its thousand-year-old charm on a lake-side bike ride before a visit to a local family brings it all to life. Your private tour will then see you up into the mountains with a private transfer and a cable-car ride, admiring such stunning (and whimsically named) viewpoints as “Fairy Maiden Peak” and “A Monkey Gaping at the Sea of Cloud”. It all concludes with a night in your welcoming, lodge-style accommodation, making the most of the gorgeous mountain views.

Stay: Shilin Hotel (Superior) or West Sea (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 8
Huangshan Mountain to Tangmo

This morning, you’ll be perfectly placed for a spectacular sunrise of Huangshan, before your private guide brings you on to secret pavilions and viewpoints over great canyons. It’s then time to descend on the cable car, before your private tour continues with the village of Lingshan, famous for its bamboo houses, canal-side beauty and its “Ancient Water Street” – three miles of gorgeous blue flagstone. You’ll end the day with the drive to Tangmo, an idyllic stone village of historic gates, where you’ll stay in its finest accommodation – a charming 100-year-old residence with all its dark-wood intrigue intact.

Stay: Gites de France (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 9
Tangmo to Hangzhou

You’ll centre on Tangmo village today, wandering its thousand-year-old lanes to uncover hidden pavilions and pretty water-side houses. It all culminates with the chance to learn some traditional papercraft and make your own stone-tablet rubbings. Private transfers will then bookend your first-class trip to Hangzhou, where you’ll check into your central accommodation; our marbled Deluxe option is a particular highlight. 

Stay: Sunny Hotel (Superior) or Sofitel West Lake (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 10

Today, you’ll see just why historic Hangzhou has long been an artist’s favourite, taking in its spectacular, willow-lined lake with a serene cruise before pausing at its hidden pagodas and temples – ranked among the country’s most sacred. As always, it’s all brought to life by your expert private guide.

Stay: Sunny Hotel (Superior) or Sofitel West Lake (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 11
Hangzhou to Shanghai

You’ll have some further time around Hangzhou, your expert guide bringing you to the rolling Dragon Well Tea Plantation before heading on a walk through the green countryside to Yellow Dragon Cave’s twisting rock formations. A stop at a traditional Chinese medicine shop will then see you on to your last train sprint to Shanghai. Here, you’ll be met at the station by a private driver and brought to your central accommodation.

Stay: Sunrise on the Bund (Superior) or Guxiang Hotel (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Days 12-13

With two full days in Shanghai, your private tour will showcase both its megacity skyscrapers and hidden charms. It all begins with the world-class Shanghai Museum and its historic art collection before you take in the exotic Yu Garden and the ornate Jade Buddha Temple. The next day, your private driver will bring you out to Suzhou – an ancient town famed for its pretty waterways and for being the home of one of China’s four major gardens. You’ll also enjoy a cruise along its Grand Canal, admiring the pagoda-dotted banks and hump-back bridges.

Stay: Sunrise on the Bund (Superior) or Guxiang Hotel (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 14
Depart for UK

After a final breakfast, a private transfer will see you to the airport for your day flight home.

Meals: B



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

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

14-day rail journey from £2,540 pp incl. flights


Low Season

from £2,540 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £2,615 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights between London, Beijing and Shanghai
  • 12 nights accommodation in typically 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • First class train tickets between Beijing-Huangshan, Huangshan - Hangzhou & Hangzhou- Shanghai
  • Private round trip transfers to/from railway stations and city hotels
  • Private sightseeing including lunch, highlights include: The forbidden city & Summer Palace in Beijing, Rickshaw rides, visit a traditional village and local family, take in the mountain peaks of the Huangshan scenic areas, temples and Tea plantations..

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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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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