Savour the natural grandeur of the Three Gorges on a relaxing Yangtze River Cruise – just one part of a wonderful tour that also includes China’s enthralling cities of Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, and of course the unforgettable Giant Pandas of Chengdu.
- International flights and current taxes
- 4 star accommodation
- NEW, hassle-free China Visa
- Visa fees for UK passport holders
- Domestic transportation
- All meals
- Maximum group size 28 passengers
- Touring with guides and entrance fees
Days 1 - 2: London to Shanghai
Fly overnight to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the ‘Paris of the East’. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 3: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th Century temples. Today's explorations include the classical Yu Garden, a stop in the old town and learning about the age-old silk production process at the Silk Factory. Later admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund and view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise. Tonight, sample some traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
Day 4: Modern Pudong
Take the morning to see the sights of the ultramodern Pudong area of the city with its sci-fi skyscrapers. Later, fly to Wuhan and continue by coach to Yichang where you will board the Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Days 5 - 7: Yangtze River Cruise
A man-made marvel, the Three Gorges Dam showcases a massive feat of engineering. But as you cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of the world's most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days, take a side trip to the attractive Shennong or Goddess Stream and enjoy a shore excursion to Jade Emperor Scenic Area or Shibaozhai.
Day 8: Historical Ciqikou
Disembarking the cruise vessel in Chongqing, explore old Ciqikou, a district known for its porcelain production during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Ciqikou's narrow streets are perfect for a morning stroll to admire the historical, traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu and enjoy a delicious Sichuanese meal for dinner with the option of a performance of Sichuan Opera, famous for its 'face-changing'.
Day 9: Panda Conservation Centre
Begin this morning with a visit to Chengdu's famous Panda Conservation Centre, which allows you to see and learn about China's celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. A look around the informative museum gives an overview of the reserve's breeding programme. Later, take a bullet train to the former imperial capital of Xian. This evening a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing awaits.
Day 10: Terracotta Warriors, Xian
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-sized warriors and horses. Also visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Later, take a stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th Century city walls that enclose Xian's old town, then join the optional tour to see Xian lit up at night.
Day 11: Little Wild Goose Pagoda
Today, visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and walk through the lively atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter which are lined with Islamic food stalls. Later, fly to Beijing, China's capital city.
Day 12: Imperial Beijing
Head to Tiananmen Square, Beijing's symbolic heart, and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. Also soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven and end the day watching a Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 13: Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. In the afternoon, visit the Jade Factory then enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and view the exquisite architecture. This evening, savour Beijing's best-known delicacy – Peking duck.
Day 14: Beijing - UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
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