Encounter all of the magnificent sights that make China a truly spectacular destination. Journey from the iconic Wall and enigmatic Warriors to the off-the-beaten-track vistas of Yunnan province on this epic cross-country adventure.
Our China Encounters tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Discover the former summer resort of the Manchu emperors
Come face to face with the amazing spectacle that is the Terracotta Warriors
Cruise the dramatic Three Gorges along one of China's most famous rivers
Admire the spectacular scenery of this awe inspiring mountain
Our China Encounters Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Learn about the history of Yunnan Province and its many minority peoples in a spectacular show of traditional music, dancing and performance, called Dynamic Yunnan.
Walk on the magnificent Great Wall, discovering the lesser-visited Jinshanling, a section restored to its Ming Dynasty glory and which passes through magnificent surroundings.
Sit down to a delicious meal of home-cooked food, prepared for you by members of the Tibetan community in a charming, rural Yunnan village.
This tour is suited for those interested in gaining a further insight into some of China's lesser known destinations and at the same time visiting the country's most famous sights. This tour is also ideal for those who wish to take a Yangtze River Cruise, a day train and an overnight train journey in China.
Fly to Beijing, China’s historic capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
This morning, head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and stroll into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial riches. Later, soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Here, mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they practise tai chi, dance or play cards. This evening, sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking duck and enjoy an acrobatics show.
In the morning, enjoy the idyllic gardens of the Summer Palace before visiting a jade factory, then travel to Chengde by road.
The summer retreat of Manchu emperors, Chengde is home to a wealth of imperial architecture. Visit the magnificent Mountain Resort and sacred temples, including Puning and Puyuo.
Make the return journey back to Beijing. This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall, namely the Jinshanling section. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it.
Take a bullet train to Xian and enjoy some time at leisure. Tonight, feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings followed by a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-sized warriors and horses. Also visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Workshop to see where the warriors are intricately recreated. Later this afternoon, take a stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town. Also explore the narrow and winding streets of the atmospheric Muslim Quarter, which are lined with Islamic food stalls. Here, you will gain an insight into the city’s fascinating culture.
Board the bullet train to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.
Visit Chengdu's famous Panda Conservation Centre to see and learn about China's celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. A look around the information museum gives an overview of the reserve's breeding programme. Next, stroll through the bustling People's Park to Matchmaker's Corner, where parents search for worthy suitors for their children, and wander through the Wide and Narrow Alleys.
Take the bullet train to Yichang and board your Yangtze River cruise vessel, where you will stay for the next four nights.
Visit The Three Gorges Dam which showcases a massive feat of engineering. As you cruise upstream, nature takes over revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next few days prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Enjoy a side trip to the attractive Shennong or Goddess Stream, as well as various shore excursions.
Disembark in Chongqing and then fly to the monastery town of Zhongdian, also known as Shangri-La. This afternoon is at leisure to acclimatise to the altitude.
Spend the morning exploring the spectacular Songzanlin Monastery. Afterwards, make your way to a rural Tibetan-style village where you will learn about the villagers' way of life and taste home-cooked dishes. End the day with a tour of the old town and Dafo Temple.
Journey to the 3,000-metre-deep Tiger Leaping Gorge. With its stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains, it is one of China's most extraordinary sights. The whole area is spectacular, with breathtaking views. Travel to Lijiang and discover the old quarter; the quintessential Chinese 'old town' and wander the jumble of cobbled streets, traditional wooden buildings and rustic stone bridges.
A magnificent mountain, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain comprises several peaks, the tallest of which soars 5,500 metres. Taking a cable car, explore one of the stunning high meadows and enjoy the amazing vistas. Visit Baisha Old Town to view the fascinating frescoes painted during the early Ming Dynasty and take a tour of the embroidery school.
This morning, visit Black Dragon Pool Park where there are wonderful views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Later, travel to Dali and explore the lively Foreigners' Street.
The area surrounding Dali is extremely scenic. Explore the village of Xizhou to browse its local market. See the Yan family home and watch a tie-dying demonstration. Wander through Dali's ancient quarter and relax with a cruise on Erhai Lake. The next day, visit the Three Pagodas and take the bullet train to Kunming. This evening, dine on local dish Across the Bridge Noodles.
Explore the magnificent formations of the picturesque Stone Forest, where towering limestone pillars stand tree-like in a fascinating illusion of woodland, before taking your seats to see the impressive 'Dynamic Yunnan' show.
Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
The 4-star Mercure Beijing Downtown is very well connected across the city, with easy access to the city centre and multiple transport links. The elegant and spacious guests rooms offer free internet access and satelite TV.
The Chengde Mountain Villa Hotel is located directly opposite the entrance to the Mountain Resort and the Imperial Palace Garden. Built around a verdant courtyard, this hotel offers large rooms with modern facilities including satellite television and en-suite bathrooms. The six onsite restaurants serve excellent Chinese and Western cuisine, and the hotel also offers a gym.
A short distance from Xian's historic old town, the 4-star Lanxi International hotel features a terrace for you to enjoy, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. The modern guest rooms offer a private bathroom, desk and flat screen TV.
The 4-star Xinliang Hotel is located in the heart of Chengdu, just a short distance from some of the cities key attractions. The hotel's interior was inspired by Bashu culture and blended with a modern charm. Enjoy the recreational facilities available to you, including a sauna and steamroom designed for escapism and relaxation.
Situated 1.0 Km away from the city centre, The Shangri-la Zhaxidele Hotel offers comfortable en-suite rooms with modern amenities, including air conditioning and satellite television. Other amenities include a salon, shops and Wi-Fi in public areas. The hotel also features a superb restaurant and bar.
Located in the city centre of Lijiang, the Adange 4 star hotel offers 283 elegantly furnished en-suite rooms equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, safety deposit box and refrigerator. The onsite restaurant offers local Chinese and Western dishes. A swimming pool and gym are also available.
Backed by the snow-capped Cangshan Mountain range and facing Erhai Lake, the four-star Asian Star Hotel offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the natural scenery of this area. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant, fitness room and currency exchange facilities. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, a telephone and a view of the mountain or lake.
JinJiang Hotel is located close to Kunming's main attractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. The hotel is home to one revolving restaurant as well as 6 dining options and a bar. The onsite fitness centre and spa is a highlight.
Places Visited: Australia - Beijing (3N) - Chengde (2N) - Xian (2N) - Chengdu (2N) - Yangtze Cruise (4N) - Chongqing (2N) - Zhongdian (2N) - Lijiang (2N) - Dali (2N) - Kunming (2N) - Australia
All of our tour departures (Excluding Antarctica and Australia tours) include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.