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HomeFar East Holidays & ToursChinaA touch of China
11 days/9 nights:

A touch of China

Highlights of this tour:
Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Coal Hill, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, Nanjing Road, the Bund and Shanghai World Financial Center.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Flight from the UK to Beijing and home from Shanghai
  • Transfer to and from airports with a Chinese-speaking driver
  • High-speed train ride from Beijing to Xi’an and from Xi’an to Shanghai
  • 9 nights at 4-star hotels
  • 9 x breakfast (days 3-12)
  • Local English-speaking guide on tours and excursions with a Chinese-speaking driver
  • Excursions are by public transport and by car or minibus with air conditioning
  • ATOL certificate
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants

Wide-ranging excursion packages are included:

  • Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Coal Hill
  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Terracotta Army
  • Nanjing Road, The Bund and Shanghai World Financial Tower
  • Admission fees to the sights and attractions mentioned
Single room supplement £359
Discounts are available for groups
Choose this tour because…

Do you have limited time available, but dream of experiencing China’s classic sights? Then this tour is perfect for you.

You start in the historic power centre, Beijing, where you walk in the Emperor’s footsteps. You visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the highest point of Beijing, Coal Hill.

A couple of hours’ drive from the capital awaits China’s landmark, the Great Wall, which stretches many thousands of kilometres through northern China. You can certainly look forward to this impressive line of defence!

You then head 1,000 km south-west to the charming city of Xi’an, where you will see the Terracotta Army, the largest find of underground sculptures the world has ever seen. There are more than 7,000 human-size terracotta warriors, all with different faces and hairstyles. So impressive!

The tour rounds off in China’s financial centre, Shanghai, where things are developing at lightning speed. Shanghai is also the city of contrasts – you get the feeling of being back in the early 1900s along the waterfront, the Bund, and the rush from the 97th floor of a futuristic skyscraper.

China is a fascinating country in every way!

Detailed Itinerary
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Day 1: Departure from selected airport
Day 1: Departure from selected airport

Today, you will fly from the selected airport to China’s capital, Beijing, with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Beijing
Day 2: Arrival in Beijing

You arrive at Beijing’s International Airport, go through immigration and then pick up your luggage. Your driver is waiting for you out in the arrivals hall, holding up a sign with your name on it. The driver drives you to your hotel in central Beijing.

After check-in, there is plenty of time for a rest, a shower and to get unpacked. You can also go out and explore the Chinese capital, which is home to some 22 million inhabitants.

At 6.30 pm, there is an information meeting in the hotel lobby, when our agent will tell you about China, what to respect and what to be aware of. At the same time, he will answer any questions you may have, and will run through the tour itinerary. A short walk then awaits you so that you can become acquainted with the area around the hotel.

China’s history is closely linked to Beijing, and nowhere else in China will you find quite the cultural treasures and sights found here. So you have good reason to look forward to the coming days.

Overnight stay Dong Fang Hotel 

Day 3: Guided tour of Beijing
Day 3: Guided tour of Beijing

Today, a fascinating guided tour of Beijing awaits you. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

After a hearty breakfast, you will meet the guide in the lobby, where the day’s excursion to Beijing’s most popular sights starts.

You walk from the hotel to the 840-metre-long shopping street, Dashilan, south of Tiananmen Square. Dashilan is one of the oldest shopping areas in Beijing, where you will find clothes stores, restaurants, cafés and shops selling Chinese specialities and souvenirs.

You continue to Tiananmen Square. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the offices of the Imperial Ministries were located here. These were damaged during the Boxer Rebellion and the area was cleared, paving the way for the construction of Tiananmen Square. In 1949, the square was expanded to its current size (880 metres from south to north and 500 metres from east to west), making it the largest open square in the world. The square was named after the Gate of Heavenly Peace or the Tiananmen, which separates the square from the Forbidden City to the north.

On the west side of the square, you will find the Great Hall of the People, where the National People’s Congress meets, to the south, you will find Mao’s mausoleum, and to the east, the Museum of Chinese History and the Chinese Revolution. In addition to housing many important and historic buildings, the square also has a somewhat dismal past. It was here that the terrible student demonstration, which was forcibly suppressed by the Chinese government, took place in 1989.

After this comes the Forbidden City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The history of the Forbidden City starts in the south in the old capital, Nanjing. This was where the first Ming emperor formed a dynasty in 1368. Upon the Emperor’s death, one of his grandchildren was proclaimed heir, much to the disagreement of Commander Zhu Di, the fourth son of the late emperor, despite having no chance of winning the throne by succession. However, he had a mighty army behind him, and in 1402, he succeeded in sending the emperor into exile and taking the throne for himself. Zhu Di was not well-liked in Nanjing and he therefore decided to move the capital to the north. He named the area “Beijing”, which means “the Northern Capital”. Zhu Di not only wanted to create a new capital, but he also wanted to build a lavish palace that would reflect China’s view of itself as the centre of the world. In 1406, he began construction of his palace – a city within a city where he could live in safety as an all-powerful ruler. In 1420, the palace was completed. The entire complex comprised 999 buildings with some 9,999.5 rooms. The 9,999.5 rooms are said to be due to the fact that Heaven has 10,000 rooms, and the Emperor, who is entitled “Heaven’s Son”, must not surpass Heaven. The palace was named the Forbidden City, as only the Emperor, the Emperor’s officials, servants, guards and other nobles were allowed to come behind the thick red walls.

The palace was home to 24 emperors until China’s last emperor, Puyi, was deposed in 1924. The Forbidden City became a public museum the very next year and is now one of China’s biggest attractions.

From the Forbidden City, you head to Coal Hill, a man-made hill north of the Forbidden City. The hill is Beijing’s highest point, and on a clear day, you have a fantastic view of the Forbidden City and the bustling metropolis.

Late afternoon, you take the metro back to the hotel.

Overnight stay Dong Fang Hotel 

Day 4: Beijing
Day 4: Beijing

Today is yours to experience and explore the Chinese capital on your own. You also might like to choose one of our exciting optional tours.

You have the option to purchase the following excursions:

Overnight stay Dong Fang Hotel 

Day 5: The Great Wall of China
Day 5: The Great Wall of China

Today, you’ll be going to the Great Wall, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The wall is an incredibly impressive defence wall that snakes its way through northern China and through Chinese history.

The wall is not, as many believe, one long wall, but several walls, the first of which were built as a line of defensive in the 7th century BCE. In 221, Emperor Qin Shi Huang joined and extended the walls as a guard against the Mongolian nomads from the north who were interested in the arable land and the fields to the south. This is the foundation of the Chinese Wall, which has since been extended and reinforced several times, most recently in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty.

The wall extends from the shores of the Yellow Sea east of Beijing to the Gobi Desert in north-western China. There is a lot of uncertainty about exactly how long it is. It consists of both old and newer walls as well as ruins, making it difficult to measure. In Chinese, the wall is called “Wan-Li Qang-Qeng”, which means “The 10,000 li-long wall”. “Li” is an ancient Chinese unit of measurement, and 10,000 li corresponds to around 5,000 km. However, archaeological studies show the wall to be around 6,000 km long.

The wall is divided into different areas, and you will visit the wall at Mutianyu, one of the less touristy areas. You and the guide will be dropped off in the car park at Mutianyu, and from here you walk up a steep road to the cable car that takes you up to the wall. From the top of the wall, you are rewarded with a fantastic, breathtaking view, and you can see how the wall follows the mountain’s curves right up to the highest peaks.

You will see that both the width and the height of the wall vary a lot. In most places, it is 3–-6 metres wide and 7–8 metres high. Parts of the wall are also very steep, and the rise of the steps varies, particularly at the watchtowers, which were not only used as look-out posts, but also to warn of impending danger via smoke signals.

You have time on your own on the wall, and there is also time to enjoy your packed lunch.

After a couple of hours on the wall, you take the cable car back down and you are driven back to the hotel in Beijing.

Overnight stay Dong Fang Hotel 

Day 6: High-speed train from Beijing to Xi'an
Day 6: High-speed train from Beijing to Xi'an

After breakfast you will be driven to the train station in Beijing, where you will take the high-speed train to the ancient capital of China, Xi’an. We recommend that you bring a little food, snacks and drinks with you on the train, though they can also be purchased from the stewardesses on board.

You sit in a seat much like a seat on an aeroplane from which you can enjoy the changing landscapes. The train ride takes you through mountains, over plains, through farming land and industrial areas. The train zips off at a speed of up to 350 km per hour, covering the 1,200 km journey in just under 6 hours!

On your arrival in Xi’an, you will be met by a guide and driver, who will drive you to your hotel. You will staying centrally, within walking distance of the city’s sights, which include: Xi’an City Wall, the Clock Tower, the Drum Tower, the Muslim Quarter and great shopping.

Around 8 million people live in Xi’an, making it a medium-sized Chinese city. You will soon discover that the atmosphere in Xi’an is totally different to Beijing, as it is much smaller.

In the evening, be sure to taste the famous dumplings, which are a speciality in Xi’an. Dumplings are small steamed dough parcels, similar to ravioli, with different fillings.

For an additional fee, you can fly from Beijing to Xi’an instead of taking the high-speed train.

You have the option to purchase the following excursion:

Overnight stay Skytel Hotel 

Day 7: The Terracotta Army
Day 7: The Terracotta Army

When the capital was moved from Xi’an in 906, the city fell into oblivion and pretty much remained a Sleeping Beauty until 1974, when one of China’s most significant cultural treasures emerged from the soil just outside the city. At one stroke, the archaeological find put Xi’an back on the world map, and today you will see why.

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the absolute highlight of the tour. 1974 was the year when Chinese farmers discovered fragments of a human-sized sculpture just outside Xi’an. Archaeologists were summoned and continued the excavations, unearthing the largest find of underground sculptures the world has ever seen. They discovered more than 7,000 terracotta warriors, horses and carts. The warriors are between 175 and 190 cm tall and all look different; different faces, different hairstyles and different costumes. They are all lined up ready for battle near the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. It is said that the warriors were built to protect their rulers in the afterlife.

Three halls were built over the important finds, which have been restored and put back where they were found. A museum was also built to house some of the beautiful, unique artefacts, including bronze, gold and silver treasures. The entire area is incredibly impressive, hence the Terracotta Army’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You have the option to purchase the following excursion:

Overnight stay Skytel Hotel 

Day 8: High-speed train from Xi’an to Shanghai
Day 8: High-speed train from Xi’an to Shanghai

Today, you will be driven to the train station in Xi’an, which is almost more like an airport. Here, you will board the high-speed train to Shanghai, a journey that takes just under 6 hours. On your arrival in Shanghai, you will be met by a guide and driver, who will drive you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

With just under 25 million inhabitants, Shanghai is China’s largest city. Huangpu River, a tributary of the mighty Yangtze, divides the city into two – Shanghai’s historic centre, Puxi, on the west side, and the new financial district, Pudong, on the east side.

Shanghai is deeply fascinating in every way! It is a city that is old, contemporary and almost futuristic, all in one! Old buildings, traditional temples and gardens from the Ming Dynasty stand side by side modern shopping centres and tall, neon-lit skyscrapers. It’s like visiting different worlds, and that’s precisely what makes Shanghai such a unique and exciting place to visit.

As Chinese cities go, Shanghai is most reminiscent of the West and so is not particularly Chinese. The European domination from 1842–1940 left its mark on the architecture of the old concession areas along the Bund and the French Concession, so you may sometimes wonder whether you’re in London or Paris instead.

The next few days are really something to look forward to – Shanghai is great!

For an additional fee, you can fly from to Xi’an to Shanghai instead of taking the high-speed train.

Overnight stay Heyi Hotel 

Day 9: Nanjing Road, The Bund and Shanghai World Financial Tower
Day 9: Nanjing Road, The Bund and Shanghai World Financial Tower

You have the morning to yourself. Places worth visiting include People’s Park, People’s Square and the French Concession.

People’s Park is like an oasis in the heart of Shanghai. The park is a lovely, green and peaceful breath of fresh air in the heart of the otherwise bustling city. Here, in the park, you can gain an insight into how life is lived on weekdays and at the weekend. You will see people reading and practising Tai-chi while others practise English at English Corner. The most striking thing is probably the Marriage Market at Blind Date Corner, where you will see parents putting up umbrellas with dating ads stuck on them in an attempt to find the right spouse for their son or their daughter. A very unusual and fun experience!

From People’s Park, you can walk 100 metres south to People’s Square. The square is a popular gathering place in Shanghai and home to the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theatre and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, where you can see how the city has evolved over the past hundred years. Find a bench and soak in the atmosphere, see if you can spot the Radisson Blu Hotel’s Sky Dome Bar on the 47th floor, or explore the large, nearby underground shopping mall.

Another area worth visiting is the French Concession, one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Shanghai. There are no modern shopping malls or skyscrapers here, just soul and charm. Go for a stroll in the warren of small streets lined with shops, cosy restaurants and cafés. You will also discover leafy avenues with French-style villas and mansions.

In the afternoon, you will be picked up from the hotel by your guide. You are going to the popular Nanjing Road, one of the world’s busiest shopping streets, which receives around 1 million visitors every day. The street is 5.5 km long, making it the longest shopping street in the world. It runs from the Bund in the east to the Jing’an Temple in the west. You will find branded stores, traditional shops, western fast food restaurants and shops selling silk and souvenirs.

From Nanjing Road, you head to the Bund, Shanghai’s famous waterfront. The Bund is one of the most popular areas in Shanghai, where you find yourself between two worlds. On one side of the river, you can admire the Bund’s beautiful, well-maintained buildings, which testify to the English Concession, while on the other side of the river you will see Pudong’s modern skyscrapers, which are lit up when darkness falls.

Go for a walk along the 1.5 km-long promenade, which is teeming with tourists, locals and bridal couples eager to take a photo with all the skyscrapers in the background.

The tour ends at the Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai WFC) skyscraper. The building is 492 meters high and has 101 floors. From the 97th and 100th floors, you have a phenomenal view of the whole city, guaranteed to take anyone’s breath away.

You can choose to go back to the hotel with the guide or stay in the area and have a good look around.

Overnight stay Heyi Hotel 

Day 10: Shanghai
Day 10: Shanghai

The day is yours to explore even more of Shanghai.

If you would like to experience the more traditional China, visit the Chinese Quarter where you will find Shanghai Old Street and the popular Yuyuan Garden.

While walking in Shanghai Old Street, it’s worth noting the buildings and the architectural development from the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty to the 20th century. The buildings house a wealth of speciality shops selling everything from jewellery to handicrafts and calligraphy. You might like to visit Chung Feng De Yi Teahouse, which is located near Xiaochang crossing. Enjoy a cup of traditional tea made the right way.

From Shanghai Old Street, you can head to the Nine-turn Bridge, also known as Jiuqu Qiao, which winds its way across a small carp lake. This is where Shanghai’s oldest tea house, Huxinting, from 1855, is located. The Nine-turn Bridge takes you to the entrance to Shanghai’s most prestigious garden, Yuyuan.

The Yuyuan Garden was built in 1559 by an official of the Ming Dynasty, Pan Yunduan. Yu means peace and well-being in Chinese, and the garden was built as a sanctuary for Pan’s parents. The garden covers an area of two hectares and is one of the most beautiful examples of Chinese landscaping. The garden is like a peaceful oasis with small carp ponds, pavilions, gates, bridges and streams. The protective dragon wall surrounding the garden keeps Shanghai’s bustling Old Town at bay.

You have the option to purchase the following excursion:

Overnight stay Heyi Hotel 

Day 11: Homeward bound
Day 11: Homeward bound

Today, it’s time to say goodbye to China. You will be picked up from your hotel by a driver who will drive you to the airport. From here, you fly home to the UK, with connecting flights on the way.

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Additional Information
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01279 704 137
info@asiatours.co.uk

Hours of opening:
Mon, Wed & Fri: 8 - 16 Tue&Thu: 8-21 Sat: 9-17

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