China Rail Discovery

Duration: 13 nights rail journey 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.

Day 3 Beijing: This morning visit the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped, and whilst there observe the tradition of practising Tai Chi in the courtyard. Continue to Tiananmen Square for a stroll before visiting the Forbidden City, then finally stop at the Hutongs for a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens.

Day 4 Beijing: Begin with a visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved parts of the wall, which offers all round stunning views and a less crowded atmosphere. On your return to Beijing, stop at the Bird's Nest Stadium and Water Cube. This evening, enjoy a sumptuous Peking Duck dinner, a traditional delicacy and a culinary must in Beijing!

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

Day 6 Xi'an: Today you will visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of ten thousand life size statues of the Chinese army made over two thousand years ago, yet preserved almost perfectly. This will be followed by a visit to the ancient city wall in Xi'an, the most complete city wall surviving in China and can be enjoyed either on foot or by bike. This evening enjoy a Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

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 glimpse of local 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. Perhaps explore the old town, or relax in the People's Park watching 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. Transfer to the station for a bullet train to Chongqing (approx 2 hours). Transfer to the ship

Days 10-11 Yangtze River Cruise: Relax and admire the scenery before a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, famed for its impressive wooden pagoda, it is appropriately 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 sheer from the water.

Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise/Shanghai: Visit the Three Gorges Dam. Disembark at Yichang then travel by bullet train to Shanghai (approx 8 hours).

Day 13 Shanghai: Sights include Yu Yuan Gardens, the Jade Buddha Temple, the Shanghai Museum, the Bund and breathtaking views from atop the World Financial Centre.

Day 14 Zhujiajio: Begin with a visit to Zhujiajio, an ancient water town. Continue to see Ming and Qing Dynasty bridges, along with the Ma Family garden before returning to Shanghai.

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

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

Accommodation: 4* hotels throughout each tour. Please ask for details. 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 booked.

Tour prices: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes return international flights from the UK,  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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