Beijing, Xi’an and the Yangtse River | 15 days
Stretching 5,200km from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli rivers in the east to the Pamir mountains in the west, China is so vast and varied that it is virtually impossible to see everything in one visit. This itinerary is perfect for any first-time visitor. Starting in Beijing, you visit the 15th Century Forbidden City, which served as the residence of the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, then on to The Great Wall, an hour’s drive from Beijing. In Xi’an you will see the world-famous army of Terracotta Warriors, silently guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di. The last stage of your journey is a cruise of the Yangtse River, ending at Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Water Town, the Venice of the East.
Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Days 2&3:Visit the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven
Day 4: The Great Wall
Day 5: Take the bullet train to Xi’an, see the Great Mosque
Day 6: See the Terracotta Warriors
Day 7: Fly to Guilin
Day 8: Li River cruise
Day 9: Fly to Chongqing and board the boat
Days 10-12: Yangtse River cruise, fly to Shanghai
Day 13: Shanghai, explore Zhujiajiao water town
Day 14: Shanghai, tour the city before flying home
Day 15: Arrive London
guide price £2,995 per person
Fiona’s travel tips
TOP TIP: For those looking for something akin to the Trans Siberian train but without time for the long journey, take the 31 hour journey from Beijing into Mongolia.
TAKE WITH YOU: Patience. Travelling in China can be frustrating due to the language barrier.
DID YOU KNOW: The Great Wall has a total length of around 8,852km (5,500 miles) and comprises sections of actual wall, trenches and natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. The Terracotta Army of warriors and horses dates from 210 BC and was discovered in 1974 by local farmers near Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
BEST TIME TO GO: The best times to visit are spring and autumn.
JOURNEY TIME: 10 hours (direct)
“All in all China was very interesting with beautiful sites and lovely people. I always felt extremely safe. Angkor Wat is of course amazing, I’m so glad I went.”
Mr and Mrs Gene Howard, China and Cambodia, June 2018
Roger and Fiona Hennah, China and Vietnam, May 2016
“We had an amazing and fascinating time, life-changing really! I have nearly 1,000 photos to edit!"
“Everything was extremely well-organised both pre-departure – with helpful visa advice – and at the China end. All our guides were excellent at their jobs, very friendly and welcoming and made the whole experience very enjoyable and really interesting. The wide area of China we visited gave us a good insight into the country.
Ashok and Carole Jethwa, China
“We had a very enjoyable and interesting time thanks, good guide, good services, very interesting things to see. The ethnic side (food, music etc.) was great and the sights were wonderful. The only very minor downside was that the beds at our otherwise fine hotel were harder than any I have ever experienced anywhere else, I think, but we more or less cured that by asking for extra duvets and sleeping on top of some and under others. Also, the agents in Kashgar/Urumqi/Beijing were very helpful in getting us back to Beijing in the face of bad weather, flight delays and cancellations”.
Mr and Mrs George Goulding, Long weekend in Kashgar, China