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  • When?March 2015
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Highlights of China including the Yangtze River Cruise
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Highlights of China including the Yangtze River Cruise

  • 16 Night Holiday
  • Half board on land & Full board on cruise
View Dates & Prices

Combining ancient traditions, fascinating culture and centuries of history, this unique holiday will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

On your travels you will discover architecture from imperial dynasties, visit Buddhist temples and discover the unique history and culture of this oriental destination.

Starting in Beijing, you will discover the hidden secrets of this capital city such as Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the world-famous Great Wall of China. Moving further into the centre of this fascinating country, you will spend time in Xi'an visiting the famous Terracotta Warriors & Horses before travelling south to Guilin where you will be inspired by the Reed Flute Cave.

The next stop on this whirlwind tour is Chengdu where you will enjoy an exceptional visit to the Giant Panda Breeding centre which is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This holiday also includes an exciting 3 night cruise on the Yangtze River, China’s largest waterway. The cruise will take you through the notorious Three Gorges Dam en-route plus a whole host of entertainment on board including authentic Thai Chi lessons. 

To finish off this incredible adventure in spectacular style, visit the glittering city of Shanghai, where east meets west. This 16 night holiday is a true adventure and incorporates a huge variety of unique experiences ensuring you will have a lifetime of memories of this exceptional country.

* Please note this holiday includes 14 nights’ accommodation in China and 2 overnight flights.

**Please also note that all evening meals are included in the price of your holiday. These meals will be offered in your hotel or at a local restaurant. You will be advised on arrival of precise meal arrangements.

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Chinese Yuan (¥) – pronounced ‘wan’
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +8 hours
Passport
Irish/UK citizens are required to obtain a visa before travelling to China. Visas cannot be obtained on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the duration of the intended stay. Click here for more information on visas for China. 
Vaccinations & Health

Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau. Larger cities in China may at times experience poor air quality. If you have a respiratory condition it is advisable to discuss this with your medical practitioner prior to booking your holiday.

Airport
The airport in Beijing is located 28km northeast of the city. 
Climate

China’s spring is mostly dry. In July and August the weather turns hot and humid. Autumn is the nicest time of the year with many warm, clear days and usually little wind.

Food & Drink
Chinese food eaten in China is much fresher and more unusual than you would get in your local takeaway. Peking duck, Cantonese beef soup, fried rice, and pork noodles are just some of the specialities served here and this is a fantastic opportunity to try tasty regional dishes as you travel. If you prefer to stick to more familiar dishes, there is an abundance of western restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 27 ¥
  • Beer: 11 ¥
  • Glass of wine: 13 ¥
  • Meal: 28 ¥
  • Soft Drink: 4 ¥
  • Bottled Water: 4.50 ¥

 

€1 = approx 7.5 ¥

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

Holiday highlights

Beijing
The Great Wall of China

First developed as a series of smaller walls protecting various separate Chinese states, the Great Wall of China was connected more than 2000 years ago by the Emperor Qin to defend the first consolidated kingdom of China. Embark on a guided trek along a section of the Great Wall of China with your local expert guide. You will explore the ruins of this marvellous man-made structure from the Gubeikou Section to Jinshanling Section, covering a distance of 15kms by foot over the duration of approximately 6 hours. 

The Forbidden City

This is the best conserved collection of ancient buildings in China, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty and served as the home of emperors for almost 500 years. It is now under the charge of the Palace Museum and is home to an impressive collection of porcelain, paintings, jewels and sculptures as well as beautiful imperial gardens. The design of the Forbidden City was meticulously planned to reflect philosophical and religious principles of the Ming Dynasty and to symbolise the majesty of Imperial power.  

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is centered at the heart of Beijing. It is one of the largest squares in the world and has been the site of many historic rallies and protests. The square is also home to many important buildings and monuments such as the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.  

Xi'an
The Terracotta Army

These life-sized terracotta figures of warriors and horses were discovered in 1974 by farmers digging for a well near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and weapons have been unearthed from the pits where they were found, work on the site continues.

Xi’an City Wall

The city is enclosed by an ancient wall which was re-constructed in the 14th century, during the early Ming Dynasty and its design is based on the inner imperial palace of Tang Dynasty. The outer city is 13.7 km in circumference and occupies an area of 11.5 square km. You'll explore Xi’an’s Old City Walls by bicycle with your local guide. After a climb of approximately 70 steps you will reach the top of the wall, from here you will begin your bicycle ride which is the perfect way to take in beautiful views of the city. 

Chengdu

Another unique city on this tour is Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. Well known for its foodie culture and relaxing teahouses, you’ll enjoy some downtime and mingle with the locals as they go about their daily lives. Enjoy a guided tour of the centre, where we suggest spending some leisure time on Jinli Old Street, a pedestrianised area full of cafes, tea houses and stalls selling arts and crafts. You’ll also visit the People’s Park which was the city’s first public park, built in 1911. We suggest spending some time soaking up the atmosphere here and getting lost in the hustle and bustle around you.

Shanghai
Oriental Pearl Tower

This futuristic looking tower in Shanghai is one of the city’s most distinct landmarks. It was formally the tallest structure in China until 2007 and offers incredible panoramic views of this bustling metropolis.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Chinese Yuan (¥) – pronounced ‘wan’
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +8 hours
Passport
Irish/UK citizens are required to obtain a visa before travelling to China. Visas cannot be obtained on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the duration of the intended stay. Click here for more information on visas for China. 
Vaccinations & Health

Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau. Larger cities in China may at times experience poor air quality. If you have a respiratory condition it is advisable to discuss this with your medical practitioner prior to booking your holiday.

Airport
The airport in Beijing is located 28km northeast of the city. 
Climate

China’s spring is mostly dry. In July and August the weather turns hot and humid. Autumn is the nicest time of the year with many warm, clear days and usually little wind.

Food & Drink
Chinese food eaten in China is much fresher and more unusual than you would get in your local takeaway. Peking duck, Cantonese beef soup, fried rice, and pork noodles are just some of the specialities served here and this is a fantastic opportunity to try tasty regional dishes as you travel. If you prefer to stick to more familiar dishes, there is an abundance of western restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 27 ¥
  • Beer: 11 ¥
  • Glass of wine: 13 ¥
  • Meal: 28 ¥
  • Soft Drink: 4 ¥
  • Bottled Water: 4.50 ¥

 

€1 = approx 7.5 ¥

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 – Travel to China

Morning

Travel to China

Depart for Beijing and begin this trip of a lifetime.

Day 2 – Arrive in Beijing

Morning

Arrive in Beijing

Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met by our local representative before being transferred to your hotel.

Afternoon

At leisure

You will have the afternoon at leisure to settle down at your hotel.

Evening

Evening Meal

In the evening, there will be an opportunity to join your fellow travellers for a tasty evening meal at a local restaurant.

Day 3 – Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City & Qianmen Street

Full day

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Qianmen Street

Kick start your holiday with a full day excursion to Tiananmen Square and the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City. Though it was a gathering place in the imperial days, Tiananmen Square was Chairman Mao's creation, and major rallies took place here during the Cultural Revolution. This vast square is home to many important buildings and monuments, so don’t forget your camera! Off limits to most of the world for 500 years, the Forbidden City is the best preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China, and stepping into this magnificent palace is like stepping back in time. The old world of beautiful concubines and emperors, eunuchs and conspicuous wealth still hovers around the lush gardens, courtyards, pavilions and the great halls of the palace. Finish your day with a stroll down Qianmen Street, Beijing’s favourite shopping district.

Day 4 – The Great Wall, Jade Factory & Sacred Way

Full day

The Great Wall, Jade Factory & Sacred Way

Enjoy a full day excursion to the Great Wall of China, a Jade Factory and the Sacred Way leading to the Ming Tombs. The ‘pièce de résistance’ of this holiday, the Great Wall, dates back to the 7th century BC in certain sections, and is more than 20,000 miles long. Snaking along lush mountains, this wall was employed by Emperor Qin to protect the first unified kingdom of China. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to a Jade Factory, where you will see jewellery and sculptures with jade stones being carved, before finishing your day at the Sacred Way. Home to the Ming Dynasty Tombs, thirteen emperors are buried here, and you will begin this tour by walking through a magnificent gateway.

Day 5 – Transfer to Xi’an

Morning

Transfer to Xi’an

Following breakfast, you will transfer from Beijing to Xi’an on a high-speed train (approx. 4.5hrs), stopping at two places of interest en-route to your hotel upon arrival. First, you will visit the Old City Wall of the Ming Dynasty where you will see the towers and defensive fortifications, which protected Xi’an. Afterwards you will visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, which is an ancient 7th century Buddhist example of the iconic Chinese building.

Afternoon

At Leisure

After checking into your hotel in Xi'an, you will have the afternoon at leisure.

Day 6 – Terracotta Army

Full day

Terracotta Army

On this full day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site, you will see a remarkable collection of life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses, arranged in battle formations. These figures were buried with the emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210–209 BC, to protect him in his afterlife. They were hidden until 1974 when they were discovered by local farmers and are now a must-see attraction for many who visit China. There will be some free time in the afternoon to spend at your leisure.

Day 7 – Travel to Guilin

Morning

Travel to Guilin

This morning, transfer to Xi’an Airport for your internal flight to Guilin (approx. 2hrs). Upon arrival in Guilin, you will be met by your local guide and visit the Reed Flute Cave en-route to your hotel.

Afternoon

At Leisure

Check into your hotel and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore your new surroundings.

Day 8 – River Cruise to Yangshou

Morning

River Cruise to Yangshou

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Guilin port to board your cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. During this 4 hour cruise through picturesque hills you will be served complimentary Chinese tea and a set lunch. Upon arriving at Yangshou old town you will have some free time to explore this historic place. After your return to Guilin, you will join your fellow travellers for dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 9 – Travel to Chengdu

Morning

Travel to Chengdu

Today, you will continue your journey and board an internal flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Upon arrival you will transfer to Jinli Old Street, a pedestrianized area full of cafes, tea houses and stalls selling everything from arts and crafts, to confectionery. You will have a guided tour of this charming street as well as some free time for lunch at your leisure.

Afternoon

People’s Park & Sichuan Opera performance

In the afternoon, your guide will take you to People’s Park, which was built in 1911 and was the city’s first public park. It is a great spot for people watching and home to the “Matchmaking Corner” where Chinese grandparents and parents seek spouses for their unmarried family members. You will also have the chance to enjoy a cup of tea with some of the locals and learn how to play Mahjong, an ancient tile-based game which was developed in China during the Qing Dynasty, before transferring to your hotel in Chengdu. In the evening, enjoy a Hot Pot dinner followed by Sichuan Opera performance.

Day 10 – Giant Panda Breeding Centre & Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple

Morning

Giant Panda Breeding Centre

Today, you will spend the morning at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre to observing the giant pandas, a Chinese national treasure and one of the rarest animals in the world.

Afternoon

Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple

After some free time for lunch, you will visit the largest and oldest Taoist temple in Chengdu and Southeast China, the Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple, where you will be welcomed by a pair of bronze goat statues. Here you will discover the Eight Trigrams Pavilion which reflects the ancient Chinese philosophy that “the sky is round and the ground is square”.

Day 11 – Transfer to Chongqing & Commence River Cruise

Morning

Transfer to Chongqing

This morning, you will take the two hour train journey to Chongqing where you will be met by your local guide. Enjoy a half day city tour with some time at leisure to discover this city at your own pace.

Evening

Commence River Cruise

After dinner at a local restaurant, you will be transferred to Chongqing port to join your River Cruise. Settle in to your cabin and explore the range of facilities on board your ship as you embark on your 3-night cruise along the Yangtze River.

Day 12 – River Cruise

Morning

Optional excursion to Fengdu Ghost City

Today you will start the day with some Thai Chi classes. This will leave you with a sense of calm and peacefulness throughout the day. After breakfast there will be an optional excursion (subject to river conditions) to Fengdu Ghost City, home to temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of the underworld , or you could just relax and enjoy the facilities of your ship.

Afternoon

Excursion to Shibao Pagoda

After lunch, you will enjoy a shore excursion to Shibao Pagoda, which means “Stone Treasure Fortress”. This pagoda was built against the rocks, and from its 12 stories, only 3 are higher than the rock itself. The climb is not easy, but legends say that the higher one climbs in the temple, the more likely your wish or dreams will come true!

Evening

Captain’s welcome dinner

In the evening, you will participate in the Captain’s welcome party followed by a buffet dinner while cruising along the Yangtze River.

Day 13 – River Cruise

Morning

River Cruise to Qutang and Wu Gorges

Start another day with Thai Chi classes before breakfast on board your cruise. After that you will be able to join an optional excursion to the White Emperor City, which is located at the entrance of the Qutang Gorge on the north bank of the river. Marvel at the breath-taking scenery from the Qutang Gorge that extends only 8 km from White Emperor Town to Daxi Town, and it is flanked with the Mount ChiJia in the north and Mount Baiyan in the south. The cruise will continue to the Wu Gorge, which runs 45 km and it is known as the most enchanting of the three gorges. This gorge is surrounded by twelve peaks, is often shrouded in mist and has become the theme of many poems and paintings in Chinese history.

Afternoon

Shore excursion

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a shore excursion to the Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream (depending on the river conditions).

Evening

Farewell dinner

Once back on the cruise, you will participate in the Captain’s farewell dinner followed by an evening of music and entertainment.

Day 14 - Travel to Shanghai

Morning

Travel to Shanghai

After disembarking your cruise in Yichang, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai (flight duration approx 90min). On arrival, travel on the world's fastest train to Shanghai city centre. Here you will take a lift to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower or the Financial Centre Tower to enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding city.

Afternoon

Arrive in Shanghai

You will have the remainder of the day at leisure in Shanghai. Your local guide will be happy to recommend local restaurants, places to enjoy a drink or optional sightseeing to suit your taste.

Day 15 – Shanghai City Tour

Morning

Shanghai City Tour

This half-day excursion will introduce you to fascinating Old Shanghai, including the beautiful Yu Garden, the old town of Shanghai, the bustling Xintiandi Street and Shikumen Open House Museum.

Afternoon

At Leisure

The afternoon can be enjoyed at your own leisure. Why not shop for some last-minute souvenirs in one of the huge shopping malls dotted around the city or photograph some of the fantastic architecture in this modern metropolis. We also recommend a visit to the Shanghai Museum, which is often regarded as the best museum in China.

Day 16 – At Leisure & Return Home

Morning

At Leisure

Enjoy a final day at leisure in Shanghai. Your guide can advise on activities and further sightseeing in the city.

Afternoon

Return Home

Transfer with guide assistance to Shanghai Airport and check in for your flight home. Note: For flights with a night time departure from Shanghai, a late check out and evening meal will be provided on departure day.

Day 17 – Arrive Home

Morning

Arrive Home

Arrive home from your holiday of a lifetime.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Penta Hotel Beijing 4 Star

Located in the centre of Beijing’s business district, the Penta Hotel is the perfect location from which to explore the city. The hotel is decorated in a modern and comfortable style and you can enjoy the casual and laid back atmosphere in the bar and café located in the lobby. &... read more read more read more

Located in the centre of Beijing’s business district, the Penta Hotel is the perfect location from which to explore the city. The hotel is decorated in a modern and comfortable style and you can enjoy the casual and laid back atmosphere in the bar and café located in the lobby.  

Hotel address
Penta Hotel Beijing
3-18 Chong Wen Men Wai Street,
Dongcheng,
100062 Beijing,
View available dates for this hotel

Tianyu Gloria Hotel Xi'an 4

Tianyu Gloria Plaza Hotel Xian is conveniently located in the thriving commercial and shopping district. It is only a 15-minute walk from the hotel to the city centre and close to most attractive sites of Xian. All guest rooms are designed to give you maximum comfort, privacy and... read more read more read more

Tianyu Gloria Plaza Hotel Xian is conveniently located in the thriving commercial and shopping district. It is only a 15-minute walk from the hotel to the city centre and close to most attractive sites of Xian.

All guest rooms are designed to give you maximum comfort, privacy and relaxation throughout your stay.

Hotel address
Tianyu Gloria Hotel Xi'an
15 Yanta North Road, Xi’an 710054
Shaanxi Province, P.R. China

Xian
View available dates for this hotel

Sheraton Guilin Hotel 5

Sheraton Guilin Hotel is situated on the Li River. Only a short distance by foot, you can reach shops and main attractions. Sheraton Guilin Hotel, with its newly renovated 408 guest rooms, offers a comfortable and airy accommodation, with a large atrium as well as an outdoor swim... read more read more read more

Sheraton Guilin Hotel is situated on the Li River. Only a short distance by foot, you can reach shops and main attractions.

Sheraton Guilin Hotel, with its newly renovated 408 guest rooms, offers a comfortable and airy accommodation, with a large atrium as well as an outdoor swimming pool (seasonal).

This hotel also offers a relaxing time in its coffee shop with its 60 foot roof with skylight, in the restaurants with river view or in its cosy lobby lounge with garden view.

Hotel address
Sheraton Guilin Hotel
15 Bin Jiang Road,
Guilin, Guangxi,
PRC Guilin
Guilin
View available dates for this hotel

Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel 4

This 4 star Hotel is situated in the heart of the heart of the downtown area of Chengdu. It has Oriental charm and all rooms are well furnished with warm colours. The historic tourist site of WenShuFang and plenty of shops can be reached within a short walking distance. All rooms... read more read more read more

This 4 star Hotel is situated in the heart of the heart of the downtown area of Chengdu. It has Oriental charm and all rooms are well furnished with warm colours. The historic tourist site of WenShuFang and plenty of shops can be reached within a short walking distance.

All rooms are bright and comfortable providing a pleasant stay.

The hotel boasts a café, 2 restaurants and a lovely bar. If the sky is clear at night, you can have a seat in this wonderful bar, decorated with tropical palm trees and enjoy the stars through their glass roof.

Hotel address
Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
2 Taisheng Bei Lu,
Chengdu

Chengdu
View available dates for this hotel

MS Century Sun Cruise 5

The 5 star MS Century Sun Cruise offers a pleasant, entertaining and comfortable stay with its Panoramic Restaurant, Sundeck Bar, 360º View Sun Deck, library as well as the Observation lounge with a variety of entertainment and music performances. All cabins have their own balcon... read more read more read more

The 5 star MS Century Sun Cruise offers a pleasant, entertaining and comfortable stay with its Panoramic Restaurant, Sundeck Bar, 360º View Sun Deck, library as well as the Observation lounge with a variety of entertainment and music performances.

All cabins have their own balcony and are designed to provide a relaxing and unique stay.

Hotel address
MS Century Sun Cruise



View available dates for this hotel

Metropolo Hotel Classiq Shanghai Bund Circle 5

Jianjian Metropolo Hotel Classiq Changhai Bund Circle is conventionally located in the Huangpu district of Shanghai, near to shops, sightseeing and fascinating architecture. The airport is situated about 15km from the Hotel and the local ferry station is about 600m from the prope... read more read more read more

Jianjian Metropolo Hotel Classiq Changhai Bund Circle is conventionally located in the Huangpu district of Shanghai, near to shops, sightseeing and fascinating architecture. The airport is situated about 15km from the Hotel and the local ferry station is about 600m from the property.

The hotel has been recently redecorated. All rooms offer comfort and all the facilities required to provide a pleasant stay.

The hotel also features its own Chinese restaurant and bar on site.

Hotel address
Metropolo Hotel Classiq Shanghai Bund Circle
No.180 Middle Jiangxi Road
Huangpu District
200002, Shanghai
Shanghai
View available dates for this hotel

* Some hotel facilities may be seasonally operated or under maintenance and therefore unavailable at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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