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China Rail Discovery

Small Group Tour

China Rail Discovery

Create irreplaceable memories by experiencing China's most remarkable sights by rail

China’s train system has expanded dramatically over the past decade with the construction of an extensive high-speed rail network. Widespread investment into the rail system has produced an efficient, reliable, high-tech service with safe, comfortable trains covering vast distances in shorter journey times. There are now many bullet trains in operation in China, which provide an interesting way to see more of the countryside and scenery away from the big cities. This tour takes you to the well-known cities of Beijing and Shanghai, to Xian to see the incredible Terracotta Warriors, Chengdu to see pandas, and all this is combined with a relaxing Yangtze cruise. You are sure to enjoy exploring China using its vast and efficient rail network.

zhujiajiao waterways china
bamboo grove chengdu china
chinese dumpling food xian china

Locations you will be visiting

  • BeijingTemple of Heaven china

    Beijing, China

    Beijing is the capital city of China and is the nation’s political and cultural centre.

    3 Days

  • Ancient City Wall xian china

    Xian, China

    Xian, the eastern starting point of the Silk Road, capital of Shaanxi province and one of China’s ...

    1 Day

  • panda eating chengdu china

    Chengdu, China

    Chengdu, home to the Giant Panda, is the capital of Sichuan province

    2 Days

  • 3 Gorges yangtze china

    The Yangtze River, China

    Winding about 3,964 miles, the Yangtze River is the largest in China and the third largest in the wo...

    3 Days

  • pudong skyline shanghai china

    Shanghai, China

    A vibrant financial city where tradition meets innovation

    3 Days


China Rail Discovery

15 day Tour Itinerary

An overview of your trip

DAY 1 UK to Beijing

Take a scheduled flight from the UK to Beijing with British Airways.

  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 2 Arrive Beijing

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. You will have a chance to relax before your guide will escort you to dinner where you will meet your fellow group members.

  • Meals included: Dinner
DAY 3 Beijing City Tour

In the morning, visit the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests, and where you can observe the tradition of Tai Chi practiced in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world, and continues to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs. Here, you can have a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4 Great Wall

Today visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post along the wall offering breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its unique construction. This will be followed by an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous Peking Duck Dinner, a traditional delicacy and a culinary must.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 Bullet Train to Xian

In the morning visit the Summer Palace, home to an impressive collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching a bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes), for a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Train
DAY 6 Terracotta Warriors

Today, your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of 10,000 life size statues of the Chinese army made over 2,000 years ago. This will be followed by a visit to the ancient city wall in Xian, best experienced on foot or by bike. It is the most complete city wall surviving in China, and is one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. This evening you will have a delicious dumpling dinner while being entertained by the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 Bullet Train to Chengdu

Visit the Shaanxi Museum which has over a quarter of a million artefacts on display, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, to discover China’s unique architectural style, ending with a visit to the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the station to take a bullet train to Chengdu for a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Train
DAY 8 Chengdu

Day at leisure to explore Chengdu independently. Perhaps explore the old town, or relax in the People’s Park watching the locals play mahjong or practising Tai Chi.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 9 Giant Pandas and Transfer to Cruise

In the morning arrive at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, where naturalistic habitats have been created to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding pandas. Afterwards transfer to the train station for a bullet train to Chongqing (approx 2 hours). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the 5* Victoria Cruise.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 10 Yangtze River Cruise

On the first day of the cruise, you can relax while the ship meanders along the Yangtze, allowing you to enjoy the scenic views. There’s an excursion to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Cruise
DAY 11 Yangtze River Cruise

Enjoy a journey on a small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream while marveling at the soaring limestone cliffs rising sheer from the water.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 12 Bullet Train to Shanghai

Before arriving at Yichang you will visit The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Disembark at Yichang at noon and our guide will escort you to the station for a train to Shanghai (approx 8 hours), and a three night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Train
DAY 13 Shanghai City Tour

The first attraction of the day will be the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The century’s old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, walkways, streams, courtyards and flowers, perfect for the horticulturist. At the Jade Buddha Temple, one can expect impressive temples, both historic and modern, housing large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. After viewing the Shanghai Museum, there will be an opportunity to visit the waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, from the top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 14 Zhujiajiao

Today will start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town with a 1,700 year history, known as the Pearl Stream. After, you will see the Ming and Qing Dynasty bridges, two ancient and historic buildings, and the Ma Family Garden before heading back to Shanghai for an afternoon at leisure.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 15 Shanghai to UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
Optional Extras - Cultural Experiences

There is some free time in your itinerary for you to explore on your own, or treat yourself to an excursion. Use the links below to create a to-do list, or, if you’d prefer us to book you onto one of these or any other excursions, please let us know when booking your tour.

  • colourful Beijing opera china

    China: Beijing Opera

    Delight at a performance of traditional Beijing Opera

    View this package
  • Shanghai Spring Flowers acrobatic show china

    China: Acrobatic Show in Shanghai

    Watch a magical acrobatic show in Shanghai

    View this package
  • pandas playing chengdu china

    China: Volunteering at the Dujiangyan Panda Base

    Enjoy a morning helping the staff with the pandas, at their base in Chengdu

    View this package

Sample Accommodation

Guangxi Hotel, Beijing

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Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xian

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Sichuan Hotel, Chengdu

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Victoria Cruises, Yanngtze River

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Greenland Jiulong Hotel, Shanghai

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Your holiday details
Departures and Prices 2019
Depart Return Days Price from Availability Reservation
Depart05/09/2019 Return19/09/2019 Day15 Depart£2,947 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart12/09/2019 Return26/09/2019 Day15 Depart£2,947 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart19/09/2019 Return03/10/2019 Day15 Depart£2,947 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart10/10/2019 Return03/10/2019 Day15 Depart£3,047 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart17/10/2019 Return31/10/2019 Day15 Depart£3,047 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart24/10/2019 Return07/11/2019 Day15 Depart£3,047 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation

Single supplement from £558
Land only from £2,198
(without international flights)

Prices and products are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The deposit for these arrangements is £300 per person. Balance is due 10 weeks before departure.

China: China Rail Discovery
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What's included:
  • International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow with British Airways. Regional departures and flight upgrades are available on request.
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★ accommodation based on twin share
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Local tips: RMB480 (approx £56) per person
  • RMB150 (approx £18) per person tips aboard the Yangtze Cruise
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance
  • China visa

When making an enquiry or reservation we will request your contact details, however no payment will be required at this stage. We will contact you for payment details and to confirm your booking, your details and the details of those travelling with you along with any extras you’d like to add.


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