The Very Best of China

17 DAY TOUR FROM £4,395 PER PERSON

Your luxury escorted tour of China will allow you to contrast rich history and culture with the amazing change in this fascinating land. Beijing offers a glimpse into a momentous past in The Forbidden City, with its elaborate palaces, pavilions and fine imperial gardens and of course there is The Great Wall.

There are the lesser-known hutongs of Beijing. This old quintessential Chinese district is a maze of picturesque old winding streets alleyways and courtyards preserved against further development. Modern history has been made at Tiananmen Square, with its imposing Great Hall of the People and Chairman Mao’s mausoleum. Then there is the more recent legacy of the Games, which has created the Olympic Park and the innovative Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Like Beijing, Shanghai is a city very much on the move.  Its skyline overwhelms in its audacious reflection of growing wealth, status and ambition. Yet, Shanghai’s retains the charm of its riverside Bund and Art Deco legacy. Your luxury tour will delve in China’s imperial past again and the marvel of Xian’s 8,000 Terracotta Warriors.  All the figures were crafted individually in minute detail, including the horses, so much so that the breed has been identified. 

Your luxury escorted tour will take you along the Yangtze River, combining natural beauty and modern ingenuity at the impressive Three Gorges Dam. Your trip on the Yangtze will take you through a trio of stunning gorges: the Xiling, Wu Gorge and Qutang. Guilin, with its limestone karst peaks magically rising from the valley floor will astound in a land that has much to impress the visitor. Your tour of the very best of China has the power to amaze, thrill and fascinate in equal measure.

Group Touring

This holiday is part of our range of Group Tours. Travel on a group touring holiday and enjoy a tour with like-minded people, local guides, tour managers and much more...

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Itinerary

  • Day 1 Depart London

    Your Tour Manager will be waiting for you in the executive lounge, where you can relax before your flight.

  • Day 2 Arrive Shanghai

    You’ll stay 3 nights in this vibrant city. Your hotel is perfectly located, just a short stroll from the central shopping area of Nanjing Road, and the Bund; Shanghai’s spectacular riverfront. In the evening, join your Tour Manager and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner at the start of your amazing journey.

    Meals: Dinner.
    Hotel: Marriott City Centre.

  • Day 3 Shanghai

    On a sightseeing tour of this dynamic city, you’ll visit the Yu Yuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple and the famous riverside Bund, with its wealth of historic buildings, which form a striking contrast with the 21st century skyscrapers. The afternoon is free, before meeting up with your group in the evening for the utterly thrilling Shanghai Acrobatics show.

    Meals: Breakfast.
    Hotel: Marriott City Centre.

  • Day 4 Shanghai

    You’re free to do as you please today. Your Tour Manager can point you towards the shopping district, the renovated mansions and cafés of the French Concession area, or the ancient town of Zhujiajiao, with its cobbled streets, canals and old arched bridges.

    Meals: Breakfast.
    Hotel: Marriott City Centre.

  • Day 5 Shanghai to Xian

    You’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Xian. A thousand years ago, Xian was one of the world’s great trading centres and it has been the seat of power for some of the most important dynasties in China. You’ll enjoy an exclusive welcome ceremony at the imposing North Gate and this evening, there’s an optional excursion to dine on local specialities while watching a traditional Tang Dynasty music and dance show.

    Meals: Breakfast.
    Hotel: Hilton Xian.

  • Day 6 Xian

    Delving deep into the rich history of this fascinating city, you’ll visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 707-709 in the Tang Dynasty, before moving on to the famous Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974, the warriors, horses and chariots date back to 211 BC. Over 8,000 individually crafted figures have been uncovered, and more wait to be excavated.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Hotel: Hilton Xian.

  • Day 7 Xian to Chongqing

    Today you’ll fly to Chongqing to board the 5* Century Paragon cruise ship, on the mighty Yangtze. Once you’ve settled into your cabin, you’ll set sail in the evening, heading downstream to explore this famous river on a 3 night cruise.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
    Hotel: Century Paragon.

  • Day 8 Yangtze

    After breakfast you’ll disembark for an excursion to Shibaozhai. Set against the hillside, the red pavilion rises 9 storeys high and is protected from the rising water of the Yangtze by its own little dam. Due to local conditions, this excursion may be replaced by a trip to the Ghost City of Fengdu.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    Hotel: Century Paragon.

  • Day 9 Yangtze

    Today we sail through the Three Gorges and enjoy the stunning scenery of Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Travel in a small craft up the Daning River or Shennong Stream tributaries, to enjoy the quiet valley. This is an area rich in history, said to have been inhabited since at least the Han Dynasty and was the location of many battles. Back on board, we sail through the massive Three Gorges Dam ship locks, passing the western side of the Xiling Gorge.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    Hotel: Century Paragon.

  • Day 10 Yichang to Beijing

    After breakfast you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Three Gorges Dam, one of the world’s largest ever construction projects, before passing through the eastern part of the Xiling Gorge. Lunch is taken on board before we transfer to Yichang for a flight to Beijing. When your flight arrives into the capital, Beijing, you’ll be taken straight to the impressive hotel, situated close to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the pedestrianised Wangfujing Street.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Hotel: Raffles Hotel.

  • Day 11 Beijing

    Beijing is regarded as one of the world’s greatest cities and, today, you’ll find out why on a tour of China’s political, educational and cultural centre. You’ll visit Tiananmen Square, which sits at the centre of the city, surrounded by imposing seats of power – the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. You’ll then enter the Forbidden City, the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For centuries, it was closed off from the outside world, and remains a place of intrigue. After lunch, you’ll continue on to the Summer Palace. The former retreat of China’s Emperors, the palace is set on Kunming Lake, surrounded by landscaped gardens.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Hotel: Raffles Hotel.

  • Day 12 Beijing

    Nothing can prepare you for the experience of visiting the Great Wall of China. At the quieter Mutianyu section, the views of the wall climbing over craggy peaks into the distance are quite spectacular. Originally built to protect the Empire’s northern borders, the wall eventually extended thousands of miles from Shanhaiguan on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Hotel: Raffles Hotel.

  • Day 13 Beijing to Guilin

    Today you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight southwards to Guilin. You’ll enjoy a group dinner this evening.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
    Hotel: Riverside Sheraton.

  • Day 14 Guilin

    On a cruise down the Li River, our travellers usually find the tranquillity and mystical beauty of this incredible landscape deeply moving. The vivid reflections take your breath away, and the limestone karst peaks are simply astounding. You’ll explore the laid back township of Yangshou, before returning through the hills.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Hotel: Riverside Sheraton.

    China
  • Day 15 Guilin to Chengdu

    This morning you visit the intriguing limestone Reed Flute Caves, before your flight to Chengdu arriving for 2 nights in the city.

    Meals: Breakfast.
    Hotel: Shangri-La Chengdu.

  • Day 16 Chengdu

    An early start today as we visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre. The centre dedicates itself to the education, research and conservation of the giant panda, the symbolic bear of China. Experience the sheer joy and delight of seeing these rare animals up close and learning all about these beautiful creatures. The rest of the day is free to explore the city and we recommend a visit to the attractive old town area. Tonight you have a farewell dinner with your group to mark the end of a wonderful trip.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
    Hotel: Shangri-La Chengdu.

  • Day 17 Chengdu to London

    Your flight home departs today, arriving later the same day.

    Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation

What’s In Store

  • Maximum group size: 25
  • JOD Tour Manager throughout
  • Local expert guides in resort
  • All flights specified
  • Welcome drinks party
  • Inspirational sightseeing programme
  • Hotel luggage porterage service
  • 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners

Average Temperatures (℃)

Beijing
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 ° 4 ° 11 ° 20 ° 26 ° 30 ° 31 ° 30 ° 26 ° 19 ° 10 ° 3 °
Shanghai
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
5 ° 5 ° 9 ° 15 ° 20 ° 23 ° 28 ° 27 ° 24 ° 19 ° 13 ° 7 °
Hong Kong
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
17 ° 16 ° 19 ° 23 ° 26 ° 28 ° 28 ° 28 ° 27 ° 26 ° 22 ° 18 °

Dates & Prices

Departure Dates Prices
6 May 2015 for 17 days £4395
9 Sep 2015 for 17 days £4495
4 May 2016 for 17 days £4835
7 Sep 2016 for 17 days £4945

*2014 departures vary from the itinerary listed above; you can view the full 2014 itinerary by following the link below.

View details

Prices per person, based on twin share. Single Supplement: From £1,150

Ian Smith

“All credit to JOD, Claire and the local guides for bringing to life China and all the sights. What did we enjoy most? Just the fun and interaction with the Chinese people and within our group... We can relive pictures of the Great Wall and the pandas at our leisure!”

Ian Smith, November 2013
JOD Customer