China Explorer (20 days)

20 days from just £3,800 pp
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flag Beijing - Xi'an - Chengdu - Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Guilin - Yangshuo - Longsheng - Hong Kong
What's included?
+ included - not included
  • International Flight
  • Accommodation
  • Water
  • Meals
  • Escorted Tour
  • Domestic Flights
  • Airport Taxes Charges
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Tipping

With a bit more time on your hands the China Explorer itinerary with a leading specialist operator such as Emperor Tours allows you to venture a bit further afield than other trips and discover more of this fascinating country. 

Highlights include:

  • Beijing – a modern city with immense history and iconic sights such as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
  • A day exploring The Great Wall of China.
  • Xian and the legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
  • Chengdu – Giant Buddha Statue and Giant Pandas.
  • Kunming – the city of everlasting spring.
  • Dali – mountains, lakes, pagodas and traditional Bai culture.
  • Lijiang – tranquil and beautiful countryside snow-capped mountains.
  • First Bend in the Yangtze River and the breath-taking Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Guilin – one of the most picturesque cities in China surrounded by limestone mountains and paddy fields.
  • Yangshou – boat cruise along the scenic Li River and a trip to the local market.
  • Longsheng and its amazing rice terraces.
  • Hong Kong – time to enjoy the sights and sounds of this amazing city where east meets west.

 

Day 1 - UK to Beijing

Take international scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Beijing.

(We can also arrange flights from other UK airports without any additional cost; upgrade to premium economy class or business class available on request)

Package tours to China

Day 2 - Beijing

On arrival at Beijing Capital Airport we’ll be met by our guide and taken by private transfer to the 5* Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Hotel, located in the centre of this amazing city.

Once we have freshened up we begin with a visit to the Temple of Heaven – built in 1420, it was the place where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the God of Heaven and prayed for a good harvest for the year.

Time permitting, we will visit the Olympic VillageBirds Nest Stadium and Water Cube.

Finally, we end our first day with a welcome dinner in a traditional Chinese restaurant.

Meals Included

  • Lunch
  • Dinner
China holiday

Day 3 - Beijing

We start the day with a visit to Tiananmen Square – the largest public square in the world.

Walking through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (with the late Chairman Mao’s huge portrait hanging over the gate), we enter the magnificent Forbidden City, a massive palace compound (home to 24 Emperors since the 15th century) which never fails to impress.

In the afternoon the tour continues visiting the enchanting Summer Palace with its lakes, gardens, teahouses and pagodas.  The largest Imperial garden in the world is where Qing Emperors and Empresses stayed between May and October, to escape the pollution inside the city.  End your day with a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Great Wall of China tour

Day 4 - Beijing

Today we travel outside the city to the world famous Great Wall at Jinshanling – a remote and wild section of the wall relatively unspoiled by overflow of tourists. Spend the whole day exploring this unique wonder, taking in the breath taking, panoramic views and enjoy a picnic lunch on the Great Wall itself!

Return to hotel late afternoon for a refreshing shower.

This evening after a traditional Peking duck dinner, you’ll take a closer look into Beijing people’s night life by visiting the trendy bar street.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Package holidays to China

Day 5 - Beijing to Xi'an

We start our day with a rickshaw tour around old Beijing’s Hutong (alleyways) area where you can immerse yourself in local history and culture, including a visit to a typical Beijing family courtyard house.

In the afternoon we fly to Xi’an – the ancient capital of China. Upon arrival we transfer to the 5* Grand Noble Hotel in the city centre.

Later we visit the Ancient City Wall, originally built during the Tang Dynasty, it is the most complete, surviving city wall in China today.

We also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda – initially built in 589, it’s known as the best-preserved Buddhist temple complex.

In the evening relax and enjoy a spectacular Tang Dynasty Dinner Show.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Terracotta Warriors

Day 6 - Xi'an

Today begins another highlight of our tour – a visit to the amazing Terracotta Warriors and Horses.  Built over 2,000 years ago, to guard the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang, over 7,000 life-size soldiers, horses and chariots lay undiscovered until 1974 when they were uncovered by a farmer.  This is truly one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century and now a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the afternoon we return to the city and visit the landmark, stately Bell Tower – beautifully lit as night falls with enchanting red lanterns. 

There’s also time to browse around the colourful and vibrant local food market in the old Muslim Quarter.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 7 - Xi'an to Chengdu

This morning we take a short flight to Chengdu – the capital of Sichuan Province.

Upon arrival, take a trip to Leshan and visit the Grand Buddha Statue, the largest stone Buddha sculpture in the world.

Later we return to Chengdu and check in to the 4* Buddha Zen Hotel adjacent to famous thousands-year Wenshuyuan Buddhist Temple, where you can listen to Buddhist sermons, smell incense, and experience ancient charms everyday.

This evening, after a Sichuan style dinner, enjoy a traditional Chuan Opera performance.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 8 - Chengdu

This morning you visit the world famous Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, a natural habitat for the rearing and breeding of Giant Pandas. Experience a close encounter with the rare and cute panda bears.

In the afternoon we continue with a visit to Du Fu Thatched Cottage, a 24-acre park and museum in honour of the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu, and Wuhou Temple, the most famous and influential temple dedicated to one of China’s most famous historic figures Zhuge Liang.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 9 - Chengdu to Kunming

This morning we take a flight to Kunming – the city of everlasting spring.

Upon arrival we visit the Stone Forest – a massive collection of spectacular grey limestone pillars found around 120 km south-east of Kunming and covering an area of 300 square kilometers.

Afterwards we check in to the 4* Jinjiang Hotel located in the centre of Kunming for the evening.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 10 - Kunming to Dali

After breakfast we take a short flight (approx. 45 mins) to Dali – the autonomous region of the Bai ethnic group.

We will be met on arrival and then drive to Cangshan Mountain. Take a cable car ride up the mighty Cangshan Mountain for a stunning view over Erhai Lake.

Also visit Dali’s famous landmark – the Three Pagodas, a must see in your Dali tour, occupying a scenic location at the foot of Mt. Cangshan facing Erhai Lake.

Later in the afternoon we visit Xizhou Village, with local Bai’s bazaar, where you can enjoy local song and dance performed by the Bai people.

Enjoy a scrumptious dinner in Dali Old Town, surrounded by the beauty of this ancient town.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 11 - Dali to Lijiang

In the morning we have some free time to stroll around the old town.

This afternoon we drive through the tranquil and beautiful countryside to Lijiang – home of the Naxi minority people. Lijiang is a beautiful shining jewel at the northwest Yunnan Plateau connecting the southeast side of the Tibetan Plateau.

Upon arrival you will be transferred to the 4* Wang Fu Hotel located in the Nanmen Square area of the ancient town. The hotel is close to many local attractions. 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 12 - Lijiang

This morning we start our tour with a stroll around the Lijiang Old Town and visit the Mufu Mansion, a large reconstructed palace and castle on a hill overlooking Lijiang ancient town.

Later we drive outside the town to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Enjoy the fabulous Impression Lijiang Show  directed by the famous Chinese film-maker Zhang YiMou (also director of Opening Ceremony of Beijing Olympic Games).

After the show we take the chairlift up the snow-capped Jade Dragon Mountain and also experience the authentic life and culture of the Naxi people with a visit to Baisha Village.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 13 - Lijiang

Today you will travel outside Lijiang to visit what is known as the First Bend of Yangtze River. This extraordinary turn, nearly 180 degrees, creates beautiful and marvellous views that startle the imagination.

We then trek along the mountain edge and view the Tiger Leaping Gorge, with a drop of 3,000 metres. The torrential Jinsha River, roaring and crashing over grotesque shaped rocks, produce a thrilling and stirring sight here!

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Holiday to China from UK

Day 14 - Lijiang to Guilin

Today we transfer to the airport for a flight to Guilin via Kunming.

Described as one of the most picturesque cities in China, Guilin is surrounded by the sheer-sided Karst Mountains, as well as two rivers and four lakes, providing stunning watery landscapes. On arrival we visit the Reed Flute Cave. Inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition.

In the evening, after dinner, Emperor Tours treat every customer with a refreshing, traditional Chinese foot massage – perfect after a day sightseeing!

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Tour to China from UK

Day 15 - Guilin / Yangshuo

Today we take a scenic boat cruise along the Li River, sailing through bamboo plains and limestone karst towers, to Yangshuo (a small town near Guilin) with its breathtaking natural landscapes.

After lunch on board, we have plenty of time to browse around Yangshuo’s lively local market and bustling West Street.

Return to Guilin in the evening.

Optional evening tour: See cormorant fishing – can be organised if enough interest

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 16 - Guilin to Longsheng to Hong Kong

This morning we drive to Longsheng (north of Guilin). Upon arrival we can enjoy the amazing scenery of Longsheng Rice terraces (‘Dragon’s Backbone’). Stretching layer upon layer, coiling around from the base of  Longji Mountain to its summit, this is the most amazing terrace in China and a wonderful photo opportunity. 

Later in the afternoon we transfer to Guilin airport for our flight to Hong Kong. Upon arrival we will be met and take a private transfer to the 4+* Harbour Plaza Metropolis Hotel. Rest of day at leisure.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 17 - Hong Kong

In the morning we take you on a half day tour including Victoria Peak – at 554m above sea level the highest point in Hong Kong and the perfect birds eye viewpoint of this spectacular city.  We also visit shopping heaven at Stanley Market as well as the intriguing, Aberdeen Fishing Village – famous for its community living on traditional junks and a fabulous destination for seafood dining.   

The rest of the day is free. 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 18 - Hong Kong

The day time is free for you to indulge in shopping and savour the culinary delicacies that Hong Kong has to offer. Open your senses to Hong Kong’s amazing skyline, bustling harbour and peaceful countryside.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 19 - Hong Kong to UK

You’ll have the whole day to explore further and take in more of the sights and sounds of Hong Kong.

We’ll then organise a late evening transfer to Hong Kong airport for your overnight flight home.

Optional extra nights in Hong Kong are available – please ask a member of our team for further details.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 20 - UK arrival

Arrive back in the UK in the morning. Your taxi will be waiting upon your arrival to transfer you back home.

Beijing - 5* Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Hotel

5* Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Hotel

Feel the pulse of the city from your central location on Wangfujing Steet, a short walk from Beijing’s international banking and shopping districts. Stroll 15 minutes to the mighty Forbidden City, Beijing’s vast, imperial network of wooden temples and palaces, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For more information click here

Xi'an - 5* Grand Noble Hotel

5* Grand Noble Hotel

Grand Noble Hotel Xi’an is a luxurious property, managed by Grand Noble Hotels & Resorts. The hotel offering comprehensive facilities and services for leisure and business stays. It is conveniently located in the commercial center, shopping and entertainment area of downtown Xi’an, neighboring several popular tourist attractions. Bell Tower and Forest of Stone Steles Museum is 10 minutes-walk away.

For more information click here

Chengdu - 4* Buddha Zen Hotel or Tianfu Sunshine hotel

4* Buddha Zen Hotel

Buddha Zen Hotel, a territory for Buddha-worshippers, is located at Wenshufang folk and custom street and adjacent to famous thousands-year Wenshuyuan Buddhist Temple, where you can listen to Buddhist sermons, smell incense, and experience ancient charms everyday.

For more information click here

 

Kunming - 4* JinJiang Hotel

4* Jinjiang Hotel

Kunming Jinjiang Hotel is located in the center of the trade and business area of Kunming, which is known as the City of Spring. Featuring 320 rooms and suites,the hotel also provides multiple services.

For more information click here

 

Dali - 4* Lan Ling Ge Hotel

4* Lan Ling Ge Hotel

Lan Ling Ge Hotel is located at Yu Er road, the Ancient Town of Dali with fine transport link. East to Er Sea, West to Cangshan Mountian, is the unique hotel which shows the different style courtyard architecture of the nationality of Bai.

For more information click here

 

Lijiang - 4* Wang Fu Hotel

4* Wang Fu Hotel

Situated amid the guesthouses of Lijiang, the Wangfu Hotel (Lijiang Wangfu Fandian), with its simple and uncomplicated architecture, is located in the Nanmen Square area of the ancient town. The hotel is close to many local attractions such as Price Mu’s Palace, Square Street, Black Dragon Pool Park, and Jane Dragon Snow Mountain.

For more information click here

Guilin - 5* Guilin Grand Bravo Hotel

5* Guilin Grand Bravo Hotel

Tranquilly set amongst the mountains and Peach blooming River, 20-minutes-drive from the international airport, the Grand Bravo Guilin greets you with the most breathtaking scenery in Guilin.

For more information click here

 

Hong Kong - 4+* Harbour Plaza Metropolis

4+* Harbour Plaza Metropolis

Harbour Plaza Metropolis is situated in the heart of Kowloon, overlooking the spectacular world-famous Victoria Harbour. Conveniently located near the MTR Hung Hom Station, it is just minutes away from Kowloon’s renowned Tsim Sha Tsui shopping districts.

For more information click here

Tour Price includes:

  • International economy flights;
  • UK airport transfers (up to the value of £100 each way);
  • Hotel accommodation as shown (based on twin occupancy);
  • Meals as described (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner);
  • Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures;
  • Sightseeing excursions with English speaking guides;
  • All transfers and road transportation in air-conditioned vehicles;
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in program;
  • Train/Boat journeys where mentioned in program;
  • Domestic flights where mentioned in program;
  • Daily supply of bottled water;
  • All currently applicable taxes.

Tour Price excludes:

  • Chinese visa;
  • Drinks during meals;
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, souvenirs etc;
  • Travel insurance (can be arranged, please ask for details);
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Optional tours;
  • Early check-in or late check-out;
  • Flight and accommodation upgrades.

FLIGHT TIMES: 9.5 hours direct from London Heathrow to Beijing.

 

TIME DIFFERENCE: +7 hours in summer time / +8 hours in winter time (BST).

 

CURRENCY: Chinese Yuan (official name Ren Min Bi) £1 = approx. 9 CYN.

 

MONEY: You can take Sterling cash with you and exchange in China – hotels and banks all provide a currency exchange service. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATM machines for withdrawing cash in local currency. 

 

TIPPING: Tipping is at your own discretion. We recommended £5 (approx. 45 CYN) per day for your tour guide but it’s entirely up to you based on how good you think your guide and driver are.

 

VISA: All visitors to China are required to apply for a Chinese visa in advance of travel. Upon booking Emperor Tours will provide visa forms and detailed instructions explaining the application process.

 

LANGUAGE: The official language spoken in China is standard Mandarin (Pu Tong Hua).

 

BEST TIMES TO VISIT: Generally Spring and Autumn months – end of March to early June and September to early November.

 

FESTIVALS:  Here are the main Chinese festivals and what you will expect to see and experience during these festivities…

Chinese New Year –   1st-15th of the first lunar month 

Scrolls and paper-cut pictures, firecrackers and fireworks, New Year visits to family and friends, eating celebratory dishes.

Lantern Festival – 15th day of the first lunar month

Lanterns and fireworks, guessing lantern riddles, folk dances and eating celebratory dishes.

Qingming Festival – April 4th or 5th of the solar calendar

Tomb sweeping, Spring outings and kite flying.

Dragon Boat Festival – 5th day of the 5th lunar month

Dragon boat racing, eating celebratory dishes and tying five-colour silk thread.

Double Seventh Festival – 7th day of seventh lunar month

Praying for skillful hands, appreciating the stars, and eating noodles, and wontons.

Mid-autumn Festival – 15th day of the 8th lunar month 

Appreciating and offering sacrifice to the moonlight and eating moon cakes.

Chongyang Festival – 9th day of the 9th lunar month   

Eating Chongyang cake, drinking chrysanthemum wine, climbing mountains and appreciating beautiful chrysanthemums.

Winter Solstice – Dec. 21st, 22nd or 23rd in solar calendar   

Eating dumplings in Northern areas and sticky puddings in Southern areas.

Laba Festival – 8th day of the 12th lunar month     

Eating laba rice porridge.

NOTE: A lunar month is the time between two successive syzygies (new moons or full moons).

 

FOOD & DRINK: Our China Group Tours include most meals however if you are venturing out to eat on your own all our hotels are in city centres so it’s very easy to find local restaurants. Your guides will be more than happy to recommend restaurants of various cuisines to you. It’s not expensive to eat out in China – a simple meal in a local restaurant costs around £10 per person.

It’s advisable not to use the minibar in your hotel room as it can be very expensive, and you can find cheap soft drinks, beer and wine in supermarkets. Emperor Tours provide bottled water for guests and your hotel will also provide free bottled water in your room.

 

SOCIAL ETIQUETTE: China is a fairly relaxed country regarding etiquette, but there are a few things to be aware of: 

Greetings and goodbyes – shake hands but never kiss someone’s cheek. 

Religion – dress sensitively when visiting Buddhist (especially in Tibet) and Taoist temples, churches and mosques.? You should avoid touching monks, especially women.

Eating and drinking – its polite to help fill your neighbour’s plate at the dinner table and toast the host and others at the table.  At the start of dinner, wait until toasting starts before drinking from your glass.

Gestures – don’t use too many hand movements or excessive body language.

 

HEALTH ADVICE: Before you travel, please make sure that you have obtained appropriate medical / travel insurance. There is no compulsory requirement for vaccination – the common recommendations are Hepatitis A and Typhoid and Malaria tablets are required if you travel to Yunnan Province or Hainan Island.

If travelling in Summer months, please bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent etc.

It is not safe to drink tap water in China – please drink boiled water or bottled water only.

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Book now...
19 nights
03/06/2018
22/06/2018
£3,800(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
06/07/2018
25/07/2018
£3,850(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
27/07/2018
15/08/2018
£3,850(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
03/08/2018
22/08/2018
£3,850(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
09/09/2018
28/09/2018
£3,850(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
07/10/2018
26/10/2018
£3,850(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
24/03/2019
12/04/2019
£3,860(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
07/04/2019
26/04/2019
£3,910(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
05/05/2019
24/05/2019
£3,910(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
19 nights
02/06/2019
21/06/2019
£3,910(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
All of our available tour extensions and prices (including additional surcharges for single supplement) are shown in the table below. Please select which extension(s) you wish to include with your tour.
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