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China Essential

Small Group Tour

China Essential

The Essential China tour is the perfect tour for the first time traveller to China

Visit the illustrious capital, Beijing, vibrant Shanghai and historic Xian, for a wonderful introduction to the China Essential. There is also an opportunity to visit the charming canal town of Zhujiajiao, offering an insight into traditional China, ensuring your trip is completed with picturesque views of China’s scenic countryside. This tour is ideal for those looking for a taste of China.

terracotta warriors 2 xian china
Great Wall 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 ...

    2 Days

  • pudong skyline shanghai china

    Shanghai, China

    A vibrant financial city where tradition meets innovation

    3 Days


China Essential

10 day Tour Itinerary

An overview of your trip

DAY 1 UK to Beijing

Take your scheduled flight from London to Beijing. Alternatively, we can arrange departures from your local airport.

  • 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. In the afternoon you will have time to relax, or explore the surrounding area. Your guide will be pleased to advise you on what to do. In the early evening your guide will escort you for dinner where you will meet your fellow group members.

  • Meals included: Dinner
DAY 3 Beijing City Tour

Your tour begins after breakfast, with a visit to the Temple of Heaven – where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the year. Here you can witness the tradition of Tai Chi being practised in the courtyard, which is followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, 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 will gain a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens.

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

Enjoy a good breakfast at the hotel before your visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post on the wall with 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. Back to the city and 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 fabulous Peking Duck Dinner, in the city that gave it its name!

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

This morning visit the Summer Palace, which includes a grand collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views, followed by a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching your bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes) and checking into your hotel.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
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, yet preserved almost perfectly. This will be followed, in the afternoon, with a visit to Xian’s ancient city wall, best enjoyed as a peaceful stroll or leisurely bike ride. This evening you will sample a delicious dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 Xian City Tour and to Shanghai

Following breakfast, visit the Shaanxi Museum, home to over a quarter of a million artefacts, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop, offers you the opportunity to discover China’s unique architectural style at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, before your last stop in Xian in the Muslim Quarter, and your chance to witness local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. On arrival check into your hotel for a three night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 8 Shanghai City Tour

The first attraction of the day, after breakfast, will be the Yu Yuan Gardens, first constructed in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan. The gardens occupy an area of 5 acres and are home to beautiful pavilions, walkways, rockeries, streams, ponds, courtyards and flowers. A horticulturist’s heaven. Next stop, the Jade Buddha Temple, where you can marvel at impressive temples, both ancient and modern, housing large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. Afterwards you will spend time at the Shanghai Museum, followed by the opportunity to visit the impressive waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, on 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 9 Zhujiajiao

Today will start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town dating back over 1,700 years, known as the Pearl Stream. You can expect to see 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 10 Shanghai to UK

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

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Airplane
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.

  • Shanghai Spring Flowers acrobatic show china

    China: Acrobatic Show in Shanghai

    Watch a magical acrobatic show in Shanghai

    View this package
  • colourful Beijing opera china

    China: Beijing Opera

    Delight at a performance of traditional Beijing Opera

    View this package
  • Shaolin china

    China: Kung Fu Show in Beijing

    A dynamic kung-fu show in Beijing

    View this package
  • Huangpu River Cruise Shanghai china

    China: Night Cruise on the Huangpu River in Shanghai

    Marvel at Shanghai's twinkling lights on a night cruise

    View this package

Sample Accommodation

Guangxi Hotel, Beijing

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Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xian

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Greenland Jiulong Hotel, Shanghai

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Your holiday details
Departures and Prices 2019/20
Depart Return Days Price from Availability Reservation
Depart09/05/2019 Return18/05/2019 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilityFully booked
Depart16/05/2019 Return25/05/2019 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilityFully booked
Depart06/06/2019 Return15/06/2019 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilityFully booked
Depart25/07/2019 Return03/08/2019 Day10 Depart£2,397 AvailabilityFully booked
Depart08/08/2019 Return17/08/2019 Day10 Depart£2,397 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart05/09/2019 Return14/09/2019 Day10 Depart£2,197 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart12/09/2019 Return21/09/2019 Day10 Depart£2,197 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart19/09/2019 Return28/09/2019 Day10 Depart£2,197 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart10/10/2019 Return19/10/2019 Day10 Depart£2,247 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart17/10/2019 Return26/10/2019 Day10 Depart£2,247 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart24/10/2019 Return02/11/2019 Day10 Depart£2,247 AvailabilityLimited spaces Reservation
Depart19/03/2020 Return28/03/2020 Day10 Depart£1,997 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart02/04/2020 Return11/04/2020 Day10 Depart£2,097 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart09/04/2020 Return18/04/2020 Day10 Depart£2,097 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart07/05/2020 Return16/05/2020 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart14/05/2020 Return30/05/2020 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart04/06/2020 Return13/06/2020 Day10 Depart£2,047 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation

Single supplement from £268
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.

This tour itinerary is also available as a Private Tour. Please ask for more details.

China: China Essential
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What's included:
  • International flights from London Heathrow with British Airways, in economy class. Regional departures and flight upgrades available on request
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★ accommodation on twin share basis
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Local tips
  • 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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