China Rail Discovery

Duration: 13 nights escorted tour

Price from: £2748pp

Beijing 3 nights
Xi'an 2 nights
Chengdu  2 nights
Yangtze River cruise 3 nights
Shanghai 3 nights

Day 1: Fly to Beijing.

Day 2 Beijing: On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. You will have the chance to relax before you meet your fellow travellers over dinner.

Day 3 Beijing: The touring gets underway with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests. This is followed by a stroll through world-famous Tiananmen Square and continues to the Forbidden City, which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. The final stop is the hutongs, which offers the chance to glimpse everyday life of local citizens..

Day 4 Beijing: Today, one of the tour’s many highlights as you head out to visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This post along the wall has breathtaking views and a less crowded atmosphere. Later, there are photo opportunities at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, both venues at the 2008 Olympic Games. This evening, tuck into a sumptuous Peking Duck Dinner, a traditional delicacy.

Day 5 Beijing/Xi’an: This morning, visit the Summer Palace which has an impressive collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching the bullet train to Xi’an.

Day 6 Xi’an: The day starts with a visit to view the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors. This amazing collection of 10,000 life size statues dates back over 2,000 years and is quite incredible. Travel onwards to the ancient city wall in Xi’an, one of the largest military defensive systems in the world and best experienced on foot or by bike. This evening, you’re entertained by a Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance, whilst feasting on a delicious dumpling dinner.

Day 7 Xi’an/Chengdu: Begin with a visit to the Shaanxi Museum which houses over 250,000 artefacts, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop is the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and then you continue to the Muslim Quarter for a peek of everyday life. Finally, you will be transferred to the station for the journey by bullet train to Chengdu.

Day 8 Chengdu: A full day at leisure to explore independently. Take a stroll through the old town or head to People’s Park where you may get the opportunity to watch the locals play mahjong or practising Tai Chi.

Day 9 Chengdu/Yangtze River Cruise:  At the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre see the natural habitats created for rearing and breeding pandas. Afterwards, transfer to the station for a bullet train
to Chongqing and on arrival enjoy dinner at a local restaurant  before transferring to the Victoria Cruise ship.

Days 10-11 Yangtze River Cruise: Sit back and admire the scenery before an excursion to Shibaozhai. Famed for its impressive wooden pagoda, it is aptly named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”. On day two travel by small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream while marvelling at the soaring limestone cliffs rising from the tranquil water.

Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise/Shanghai: This morning, visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Disembark at Yichang then travel by bullet train to Shanghai where you will arrive later this evening.

Day 13 Shanghai: The day’s first attraction is the centuries old Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple which houses intricate Buddha sculptures. After viewing the Shanghai Museum, head to the waterfront Bund and finally take in the breathtaking views from atop the World Financial Centre.

Day 14 Zhujiajiao: Begin with a visit to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town, with a 1,700 year history. Continue to see Ming and Qing Dynasty bridges, along with the Ma Family garden before returning to Shanghai for an afternoon to relax or sightsee independently.

Day 15 Shanghai: Transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Departures: Tour departs on fixed dates and is operated by Links Travel & Tours.

Accommodation: 4* hotels throughout the tour. Yangtze River Cruise is aboard 5* Victoria Cruise.

Meals: All meals (excluding beverages) except days 5, 7, 12 & 14 when dinner is not included or day 8 when lunch and dinner not included.

Group size: Links Travel & Tours offer small group tours (guaranteed departures) up to a maximum of 20 people. Tour still departs even if only two passengers are travelling.

Tour prices: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes return international flights from the UK,  onward internal flights, bullet train travel, transfers and sightseeing by coach, services of an English speaking guide, entrance fees and accommodation. Private tours and upgraded accommodation available at a supplement.

Guides & tipping: Groups of 10 people or more will be provided with the services of a Tour Manager who will accompany the tour throughout in combination with local city guides. For your convenience, a compulsory amount to cover tips for guides, drivers and porterage will be collected from you by your guide at the start of the tour (generally around GBP4 per person per day).

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