China Highlights

This immersive tour takes in two spectacular cities, Beijing and Shanghai, and allows you to experience the Great Wall of China, Forbidden Palace, the Terra Cotta Warriors, Li River (on a cruise) and Shanghai's intricate ancient neighbourhoods that stand along modern architecture. Consider extending your tour to include a visit to meet the pandas in Chengdu.

Touring style: private tour with driver and professional English speaking guide.

Best time for this tour:  April  to May / October to November

Prices are seasonal and start from:

GBP 1670 per person, twin sharing, Standard Class Hotels

GBP 1750 per person, twin sharing, Superior Class Hotels

GBP 2357 per person, twin sharing, Deluxe Class Hotels

Price includes accommodation, breakfast, transfers, tours, professional English guide, private basis.

Airfares are additional. 

China Highlights at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai
  • Day 2: Shanghai city tour
  • Day 3: Train or flight to Beijing
  • Day 4: A tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs
  • Day 5: A tour of The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven
  • Day 6: High speed rail or flight to Xian
  • Day 7: Visit the Terracotta warriors
  • Day 8: Fly to Guilin
  • Day 9: Li River cruise
  • Day 10: Departure
China Highlights Image 1

Day 1: Shanghai Arrival

You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Distance and journey time:

Shanghai airport – Shanghai city approx. 45km): 1h

China Highlights Image 2

Day 2: Shanghai tour

In the morning head for the French Concession, a symbol of a time when Western powers were accorded many privileges. You will start your trip with a stroll through Fuxing Park where you will have an opportunity to watch the Chinese practising their ritual of morning exercise.
Afterwards wander the surrounding roads, admiring the old colonial homes that have now been transformed into restaurants, bars and different boutiques. Continue on to Xintiandi, an entirely renovated area that is considered one of the liveliest parts of the city.

Proceed to the nearby neighbourhood of Lujiazui, the epicentre of some of the most famous buildings: the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the never-ending Shanghai World Financial Center (the tallest building in Shanghai), where you can admire the city from the highest panoramic terrace in the world.

Shortly after, you will take the famous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, a mini subway line, to cross the Huangpu River to reach Puxi in a couple of minutes.
Discover the Bund, the city’s famous walkway along some of Puxi’s historical buildings. The area dates back to the 1930s, Shanghai’s rich culture and European influence.
Explore the famous Nanjing Road with its colourful signs. Overnight in Shanghai

China Highlights Image 3

Day 3: Travel to Beijing

There is a choice to travel on the high-speed train to Shanghai or take a short flight to Beijing. 

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
In the afternoon, take a tour by a rickshaw to one of Beijing’s famous hutongs close to Houhai Lake. From here you will visit the Drum Tower, where the passing of the hours was signalled by a drum roll during the Ming era. The tower is opposite the Clock Tower and provides a pleasant insight into old Beijing.

Overnight in Beijing.

Distance and journey time:

Beijing airport – Beijing city (approx. 30km): 40 min

China Highlights Image 4

Day 4: A tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs

Visit the massive Great Wall, 90 km north of Beijing. After lunch at a local restaurant stop at the Ming Tombs, burial place for 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty, approached through the Sacred Way and Avenue of the Animals.

On your way back, visit the Summer Palace. At one time a simple imperial garden, the site was totally redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century becoming one of the capital’s major sites. The Imperial Court used to relocate to the Summer Palace during the summer months to escape the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. A mix of temples pavilions, lakes, pagodas and gardens make up this harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture. The Long Corridor, the Marble Boat, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill are the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.

Overnight in Beijing

Distance and journey time:

Beijing city– Mutianyu Great Wall (approx. 75km): approx 2 hours

Mutianyu Great Wall – Summer Palace (approx. 75 km): 1h45

Summer Palace – Beijing city (approx. 22 km): 40 min

China Highlights Image 5

Day 5: A tour of the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven

Visit the Temple of Heaven’s park to witness a uniquely Chinese morning ritual – public exercise. Beijingers, who believe that morning exercise is essential for their well-being. Discover the Temple itself, notable for its architectural simplicity and symbolism reflecting early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Here, emperors would forge the link between the round sky and the square earth through sacrificial rituals based on the founding principles of this ancient civilisation.

In the afternoon visit the Forbidden City. Most Chinese buildings face south, which according to ancient beliefs symbolised the barbarian threat and potential invasion from the north. This explains why the main entrance to the Forbidden City faces south towards Tiananmen Square, the third-largest city square in the world.

Overnight in Beijing

China Highlights Image 6

Day 6: Fly to Xian

Afternoon transfer to the airport for flight to Xian. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Leave with your guide to discover the impressive city walls that were constructed during the Ming Dynasty. Mostly destroyed and then restored, they are some of the only town walls still left in China. Take a bike ride or an electric car ride to explore the town walls and look down on the hustle and bustle of the city streets below.

Visit Xi’an’s main Mosque, which is built in a Chinese style, and the very lively Muslim quarter which surrounds it.

Overnight in Xi'an.

Distance and journey time:

Xi’an Airport – Xi'an city 57km): 1 hr


China Highlights Image 7

Day 7: Terracotta warriors

Visit the amazing terracotta warriors, horses and chariots guarding the entrance to the 2000-year-old Qin Mausoleum and the Banpo Museum built around the site of a 5000-year-old Neolithic village.

Overnight in Xian

China Highlights Image 8

Day 8: Fly to Guilin

Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon, leave with your guide for a tour of the Reed Flute Cave which takes its name from the number of reeds that grow at the entrance of the cave and which are used in the making of flutes. The day will finish with a pleasant stroll around Shan Lake, known for its two marvellous pagodas, one dedicated to the sun and the other to the moon.

Overnight in Guilin

Distance and journey time:

Xi’an city – Han Yangling tomb (approx. 27km): 40 min

Han Yangling tomb – Xi’an airport (approx. 30km): 25 min

Guilin airport - Guilin city (approx. 30km): approx 45 min

China Highlights Image 9

Day 9: Li River Cruise

Transfer to the pier for the Li River cruise. Take in the breathtaking landscape, limestone hills and picturesque villages scattered amongst the giant looming karst hills.

Overnight in Yangshuo.


China Highlights Image 10

Day 10: Departure

You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight or extend your China adventure to Yunnan or visit the pandas in Chengdu.

Distance and journey time:

Yangshuo – Guilin airport (approx. 85km): 1h30


Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email We welcome your questions. We're here to help!


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