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Classic China

18 days from £4590 per person

A vast land stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the plateau of Tibet, China is one of the world’s great nations and home to an incredible range of historic treasures. Covering the country’s classic sites, this itinerary begins in China’s capital Beijing with visits to the Forbidden City and spectacular Great Wall. From Xi’an, home to the enigmatic Terracotta Warriors, fly to Chongqing and cruise the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges Dam. From modern Shanghai travel by air to south–east China to experience the beautiful scenery of Guilin ending in Hong Kong — where east meets west.

Route: Beijing – Xi’an – Chongqing – Yangtze Cruise – Yichang – Shanghai – Longsheng – Guilin – Hong Kong

Itinerary Highlights

Xi’an, the eternal city, marks the eastern end of the Silk Road. In the surrounding countryside are the Teracotta Warriors, buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

The Three Gorges are the most scenic section of the Yangtze River. Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges are the main attractions with narrower tributaries offering interesting exploration opportunities.

Guilin in southern China is renowned for its landscape of dramatic limestone karsts rising out of the plains. Boats enable visitors to visit the central lakes and connecting rivers.

Itinerary: Classic China

Fly with British Airways non-stop to Beijing. (N)
Arrive Beijing and proceed by car to your accommodation. (N)
Accommodation in Beijing: Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Grand Hyatt Hotel (or similar)
This morning visit the beautiful Temple of Heaven before continuing onto Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Walk through the square to enter the Forbidden City, the seat of supreme power for the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, where you can spend the remainder of the day exploring the courtyards and buildings of this extensive complex. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Grand Hyatt Hotel (or similar)
Travel through the countryside to Mutianyu from where you can take a cable car up to the Great Wall. As you stand on the Wall and look at it snaking its way across the top of the mountains, it is easy to imagine ancient armies locked in battle on the misty slopes. Continue across the mountains, after lunch to visit the fascinating tombs of the Ming Emperors before returning to Beijing later in the afternoon. (B/L)
Accommodation in Beijing: Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Grand Hyatt Hotel (or similar)
Today visit the Summer Palace with its landscaped gardens, lakes and pavilions. Explore the ancient alleyways of old Beijing by rickshaw and end the day with a relaxing cruise on the tranquil Hou Hai Lake. In the evening we can arrange an optional visit to the Beijing Opera or an acrobatic show. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Grand Hyatt Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave your hotel and transfer to Beijing Airport in good time to catch your flight to Xi’an. On your arrival visit the ancient city walls before proceeding to your accommodation. (B)
Accommodation in Xi’an: Bell Tower Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Sofitel on Renmin Square Hotel (or similar)
Today visit the remarkable Qin Shi Hunanngdi Tomb, better known as the site of the world famous Terracotta Warriors, which was unearthed in 1974 and is the burial ground of the first Qin Emperor. Afterwards visit the Huaqing hot springs and the nearby Neolithic village at Ban Po. (B/L)
Accommodation in Xi’an: Bell Tower Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Sofitel on Renmin Square Hotel (or similar)
Before you leave Xi’an visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Provincial Museum and the Great Mosque before flying to Chongqing where you will board the Victoria Cruise Ship. The Victoria Cruiser is amongst the most luxurious vessels operating on the Yangtze. It offers an extensive range of onboard facilities and all cabins have en-suite bathrooms. (B)
Accommodation: onboard cruise
The Yangtze is China’s longest river. Its source is in the snow-covered Tanggulashan Mountains of Tibet and it flows over 6,300kms to the East China Sea just north of Shanghai. Today you will travel between the towns of Fengjie, in Sichuan Province, and Yichang, in Hubei Province, and over the next through days will pass through three spectacular gorges – the Qutang, Wu and Xiling. Overnight is spent onboard. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: onboard cruise
Early this morning enter the gorges of Qutang and Wu before arriving in the late morning at Badong to explore Shennong Stream where boatmen operate ‘pea’ boats in the small gorges. In the afternoon continue downstream through Xiling Gorge to anchor at Sandouping, the site of the new Three Gorges Dam. Overnight is spent onboard. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: onboard cruise
This morning visit the dam complex before disembarking at Yichang from where you will fly onto Shanghai, China’s commercial and financial centre. (B)
Accommodation in Shanghai: Equatorial Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Hyatt on the Bund Hotel (or similar)
Today enjoy a full day sightseeing of this vibrant city which will include the Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, Chinatown and the Yu Yuan Garden. Stroll along the Bund by the Huangpa River where the old European style buildings are still evocative of the ‘Paris of the East’. (B)
Accommodation in Shanghai: Equatorial Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Hyatt on the Bund Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast leave your hotel and catch your flight onto Guilin. On arrival you will be met and driven north to Longsheng. Longsheng is the location of the famous Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces and is home to minority tribes that live in the region. (B/D)
Accommodation in Longsheng: Li-An Lodge (or similar)
Today explore this beautiful region. Around 700 years ago the local Zhuang farmers hit on the ingenious idea of creating valuable space for their crops on the mountainous land and they constructed terraces in the hillsides that coil up from the valley floor to the tops of the surrounding mountains. The resulting shimmering green ribbons of rice paddies have become scenic highlights of the region. (B/D)
Accommodation in Longsheng: Li-An Lodge (or similar)
Today return to Guilin. Situated in the heart of south west China, and noted for its scenic beauty, numerous limestone hills surround Guilin creating superb views into the surrounding countryside. Later visit the famous Reed Flute Cave which is full of stalactites and stalagmites in various shapes and sizes. (B)
Accommodation in Guilin: Shangri-La Hotel (or similar)
Fly to Hong Kong and transfer by car to your accommodation. Dynamic Hong Kong is where the Orient truly meets the West. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are compact and ideal for exploring on foot, notwithstanding the fact that the transport system is incredibly efficient and inexpensive. To sense Hong Kong’s vitality ride an antique tram along the north shore of Hong Kong Island and then cross the harbour on the famous Star Ferry to Kowloon. Almost anywhere you are likely to see ancient Chinese temples and graceful colonial buildings, colourful street markets and sophisticated shopping centres. (B)
Accommodation in Hong Kong: Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Harbour Grand Hong Kong Hotel (or similar)
Today you are at leisure to enjoy this vibrant and cosmopolitan city before an evening transfer by car to the airport in good time to catch the British Airways non-stop flight back to London Heathrow. (B)
Early morning arrival in London. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

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For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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