This Flexible, slower-paced tour has time set aside for independent exploration. as well as vibrant cities, discover the charms of beautiful Yangshuo, delightful Dali and quaint Lijang. Please note - there is some altitude on this tour.
Our China: The Big One tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Visit the imperial treasures as well as the hutongs of China's capital city
Come face to face with the enigmatic Terracotta Warriors
Climb the heights of this magnificent mountain enjoying high meadows and amazing vistas
Sample delicious cuisine during an exciting breakfast tour incorporating local delicacies
Our China: The Big One 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.
Shaxi ancient town is not only a charming place to explore but, as the heart of an area that is home to a number of China's minority people, is the perfect place to delve into a timeless, rich culture and meet the friendly communities for yourself.
At Weibaoshan, meet with a Taoist priest to learn about the principles of this native philosophy and take part in a guided meditation session amongst these peaceful surroundings.
Surrounded by tranquil lakes and most picturesquely reached by boat, explore the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall and marvel at the spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
This tour is designed for those who wish to further immerse themselves in the authentic charm of China and take part in more cultural and active experiences. This tour is also suitable for those who wish to take a Yangtze River Cruise. This tour has many optional activities available, giving you the choice of free time or taking part in activities.
Fly to Beijing, China's historic capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure.
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Next, visit Yandaixiejie Street where there's time to wander the hutongs. These narrow alleys offer a glimpse of old Beijing.
Visit Huanghuacheng, a particularly scenic section of the Great Wall. Reached by boat it boasts particularly spectacular views from the top. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring colourful Wangfujing Street. In the evening, enjoy an optional Peking duck dinner.
Explore the beautifully designed grounds of the Summer Palace, including the Long Corridor and the Marble Boat. Spend time strolling along pretty Kunming Lake and walk up wooded Longevity Hill. Make a photo stop at the Olympic Park.
Visit the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with tai chi, dancing and cards in a flurry of sociable activity. Take the overnight train to Xian.
Start your day with a gentle cycle ride that will take you nine miles around the city wall that enclose Xian’s old town. Also visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum.
Spend the morning gazing over the ranks of warriors and horses, while you are introduced to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Take a walking tour of the Muslim Quarter and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Fly to Guilin. This afternoon is at leisure – you may wish to stroll around Zhengyang Street.
Today, there is an option to take a four-hour hike in the stunning rice terraces of Longji. Otherwise, spend more time in Guilin.
Take a gentle cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. Lined with dramatic limestone cliffs, the serenity of life on the riverbanks is a wonderful sight. Take a walk through this idyllic wonderland and get an insight into life here. There's an option to hike to the top of Moon Hill for epic views.
Start the day with an invigorating session of tai chi, taking a class with a master to learn this ancient martial art. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or take part in an optional activity.
Transfer to Guilin and visit Reed Flute Cave before flying to Kunming.
Meander through the formations of the UNESCO-listed Stone Forest. Return to Kunming to visit Green Lake Park and have an evening at leisure, perhaps enjoying the vibrant Wenhua Alley district.
Drive to Dali and visit the Three Pagodas and the Old Town. Also stroll along Foreigner's Street and enjoy time at leisure.
Enjoy the day at leisure or take an optional visit to Weibaoshan, one of the fourteen sacred Taoist mountains. Steeped in legend, the mountain features 20 Taoist temples nestled on its forested slopes. Walk up the hillside to see a handful of intricately decorated temples and meet a Taoist priest for a meditation session.
Drive to the ancient town of Shaxi, nestled deep in the Himalayan foothills. Learn about the fascinating minority people that reside in the area and enjoy a local lunch. In the afternoon, continue to Lijiang and spend the evening in the historic old town.
Take a cable car to one of the high meadows and enjoy the vistas. Visit the minority Naxi village and admire the fascinating Baisha frescoes painted during the Ming Dynasty.
Enjoy the day at leisure or trek to Tiger Leaping Gorge, through dramatic cliffs and down into the gorge itself.
Fly to Chengdu and walk around People's Park. Visit a local tea-house and most interesting of all, Matchmaker's Corner.
Visit the Chengdu Panda Conservation Centre and see these adorably charming bears up close. The rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy an optional hot pot dinner and a 'face-changing' show.
Take the bullet train to Chongqing. Enjoy free time in the charming old town of Ciqikou then board your Yangtze cruise vessel.
A cruise down the Yangtze reveals some of the world's most dramatic scenery. Over the next few days, visit the Three Gorges Dam and enjoy various side trips and shore excursions. Disembark your cruise vessel, travel to Yichang and then fly to Shanghai.
Wake up to the buzz of Shanghai and take a breakfast walking tour between shimmering skyscrapers and traditional streets. Visit Yu Garden, the old town, a silk factory, stroll along the Bund and cruise along Huangpu River.
Join the optional day tour to delightful Zhujiajiao, or spend time at leisure in Shanghai. This evening, enjoy the ERA show and a delicious farewell dinner.
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.
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.
Located in Guilin’s city center and opposite the attractive Sun and Moon pagodas, the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel offers luxury rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and a stunning en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.
In the centre of Yangshuo, the 4-star Elite Garden Hotel offers spacious guest rooms designed and decorated to make you feel at home, all equipped with free internet access, complimentary bottled water and a coffee machine. The private bathrooms include both bath and shower facilities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A short distance from Shanghai's major tourist attractions, the 5-star Jinjiang Huating hotel offers elegant guest rooms with large windows providing views of Shanghai. This beautiful hotel is home to the rooftop Moon View Restaurant, offering breathtaking city views and exquisite Chinese dishes.
Places Visited: Australia - Beijing (4N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Guilin (2N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Kunming (2N) - Dali (2N) - Lijiang (3N) - Chengdu (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (3N) - Shanghai (3N) - Australia
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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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.