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This fascinating tour not only explores some of China’s most famous cultural highlights, but also delves into the gastronomy of the country which varies greatly from region to region. Walk the Great Wall, see the Terracotta Warriors, join a cooking class, cruise along the Li River and explore some of China’s intriguing food streets. Sample some of China’s most famous dishes such as Peking Duck and Sichuan Hot Pot. For those who wish to explore the country and discover the Flavours of China, this tour is a must!
This is a private journey (minimum 2 passengers). Please contact us for a price for your preferred dates. The itinerary is subject to availability at the time of booking.
* Optional excursions, travel insurance, personal expenses
* Chinese visa
* Meals not specified, drinks
* Any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after brochure publication
You may wish to add an optional activity or performance in one or several of the locations. These are bookable locally, the following are guideline prices:
Beijing: Opera, Acrobatics, Kung Fu performance - all £33pp
Xian: Tang Dynasty show - £24pp (without dinner); £35pp (with dinner)
Guilin: Cormorant Fisherman - £20pp
Chengdu: Sichuan Opera performance - £32pp
13 days visiting Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo and Chengdu
Depart from London Heathrow by British Airways at around 1620 for Beijing.
Morning arrival and transfer to Beijing city centre for a visit first to the area of Tiananmen Square. You may wish to walk across from the square to the nearby unusual building, the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Continue to the characterful Red Wall Garden Hotel for a stay of three nights. Afternoon visit to the Summer Palace where the Emperors went to escape the heat of the city. Set around the beautiful Kunming Lake, the flowering arbours and delightful pavilions create a tranquil setting. You will walk along the ‘Long Corridor’ and see the famous marble boat. Dinner this evening is at a local dumpling restaurant. (D)
Enjoy a morning visit to a market in Beijing to see the huge selection of vegetables, legumes, spices and meats. Continue to the kitchen at Beijing Cooking School to learn how to cook different dishes – you will need to chop, marinate and prepare the sauces and stir-fry for your lunch. In the afternoon visit the magnificent Forbidden City, the most complete imperial complex remaining in China and a supreme example of Ming dynasty architecture. Before returning to the hotel you will be able to walk along Wang Fu Jing Street to see the fascinating food stalls. Enjoy a Peking Duck dinner at a specially selected restaurant. (BLD)
Leave the city behind and drive to the iconic Great Wall of China, visit the section at Juyougguan among the Shuiguan Mountains with a drive of around 90 minutes. Explore the ramparts and visit the Fort. On the journey back to the city visit the exterior of the Olympic Park. Continue to Lake Houhai, an area popular in the day and evening with visitors and residents alike for restaurants, cafes and the willow lined lake. Walk along to the pedestrian street of Nanluguoxing in the Qianguloyuan Hutong before taking dinner in the restaurant of the Courtyard 7 Hotel. (BD)
Transfer to the station to take the bullet train to Xian (seats in 1st class). En route to the hotel visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, originating from the 7th century. Stay for 2 nights at the Tang Dynasty Art & Garden Hotel. (BD)
Visit one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century - the Terracotta Warriors, individually crafted life-sized figures, complete with chariots and horses. Return to the city and visit the impressive City Walls. The day concludes with a stroll through the Grand Mosque, a mixture of Arabic and Chinese design and walk along Beiyuanmen, a flag stoned street lined with Muslim restaurants where you could try local dishes (payable locally). (BL)
Fly to Guilin and visit the local Tea Research Institute. Transfer to the Bravo Hotel for a stay of one night. (BL)
Take the world-renowned Li River cruise to Yangshuo and drift gently through magical landscapes. Browse through Yangshuo’s colourful shops and stay at the simple Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (river view rooms) for a stay of three nights. This evening attend the outstanding son et lumiere show performed on the river by a cast of 600. (BLD)
Morning visit to the extraordinary Silver Cave, these are a cavern of walkways between landscapes of stalagmites. A guide from the caves accompanies groups of visitors along the walkways, illuminating the particular rock formations as they go. Depart for Jiuxian Village. The village contains some original Ming and Qing Dynasty buildings which have been renovated to offer simple accommodation as part of the Secret Garden Hotel where lunch will be arranged. Return to the Mountain Retreat. (BL)
This morning join a cooking class at the Yangshuo Cookery School. You will visit a market with the teacher and then repair to the kitchen to create your dishes which you will eat for lunch. Afternoon at leisure. (B)
Morning at leisure. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant to try Beer Fish (Pijiu Yu), Yangshuo Baba and Guilin Rice Noodles. See Moon Hill before taking a flight to Chengdu. Stay for two nights at the M Hotel Chengdu. (BL)
This morning see the world's beloved Giant Pandas at the Panda Research Base. You can easily spend two hours here as the centre covers around 100 hectares. The pandas are kept in age groups in very natural enclosures with deep moats around them rather than fencing and the stands of fresh bamboo are placed near the viewing areas. Visit the People’s Park where the locals practise singing, Tai Chi and ball room dancing. Continue to either Jinli or Narrow and Wide Alley, both have pedestrian streets and lots of individual small snack kiosks – you can see all sorts of dishes being made here. This evening the dinner will be a traditional Sichuan flavour hotpot. (BD)
Transfer to the airport for the British Airways flight to London Heathrow around 1215, arriving later the same day. (B)
The Red Wall Garden boutique Hotel is an oasis of tranquillity in the very heart of the vibrant city of Beijing, in one of the city’s historic neighbourhoods, Shijia Hutong, a lovely tree-lined, low-rise lane. All rooms have a modern and comfortable yet traditional design, and possess all modern amenities. There is a cosy lounge bar, and the Red Wall Restaurant serves Chinese cuisine, as well as a varied western menu.
Over looking the Ronghu Lake, the Guilin Bravo Hotel has an intimate atmosphere and is close to night markets and shops. Spacious guest rooms and suites are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, safety deposit box, free internet access, IDD telephone, TV and mini bar. The Patio Café is open 24 hours and serves Western and Asian cuisine. Various provincial Chinese cuisines are available from the Lijiang Restaurant. Live entertainment is available from the lobby bar in the evening. The hotel also has a small outdoor pool.
The M Hotel Chengdu combines modern elegance with contemporary comforts. The guest rooms are modern, spacious and comfortable, all with flat screen TV, in-room safe, and a sofa. There is a fitness centre, and the M-Café – an all-day dining restaurant that serves traditional Southeast Asian cuisine such as Bak Kut Teh, Singapore Peranakan Laksa and other Peranakan dishes.
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