Tailor-Made Holidays | Pope&Sons

Ride the Dragon’s Back on a tour of China

See the pandas in Chengdu

If you are looking for a unique first time tour of China then this 12 day experience by high-speed train will fulfil all your needs.

Highlights of this amazing Tour of China

  • Enjoy the comfort of high speed train travel in China 
  • Morning visit to the iconic Great Wall at the Mutianyu site 
  • Enjoy a home visit in a historic Beijing hutong neighbourhood 
  • Appreciate the beauty of the best preserved ancient city in China – Pingyao 
  • Be amazed at the life-size warrior and horse figures in the Terracotta Warriors Museum 
  • Experience the fertile countryside – one of the rice bowls of China – when you travel from Xi’an to Chengdu 
  • Create fond memories with a close encounter with the Giant Panda in Chengdu’s Dujiangyan Panda Base 
  • Consider taking an optional extension to the vibrant city of Shanghai

China by high-speed train – there is no better way to see, experience, and immerse yourself in China’s exciting transformation. Ride the “dragon’s back” on our 10-day journey through China’s heartland cities: Beijing, Pingyao, Xi’an, and Chengdu. Scale Beijing’s most iconic site, the Great Wall in the morning, and then return to the city and step back in time when you explore the maze of alleys and lanes in a historic hutong neighbourhood. Then board your high-speed train and be whisked away to the ancient city walls of Pingyao , UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient city that transports you to another time and place. Travelling south and west you visit Xian cradle of Chinese civilization where you will be amazed at the life-sized warriors and horses that once protected China’s first emperor more than 2,000 years ago. Your journey pushes further south across one of the great rice bowls of China, the fertile Sichuan Basin ending up in dynamic Chengdu, China’s “it” city where past, present, and future merge. Enjoy a close encounter of the “panda kind” at Chengdu’s Panda Base before ending this journey into the heart of the dragon. You can also extend your experience by flying to vibrant Shanghai for a two-day extension before returning home.

Here is the itinerary for your Tour of China

Day 1 – Arrive Beijing

Today, you will arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport off your international flight (with tickets booked under your own arrangement). Upon arrival, after clearing immigration and custom formalities, you are met by a representative who is waiting for you. You are then transferred to
Rosewood Beijing to check-in.

Overnight: Rosewood Beijing

Day 2 – Beijing

At 09:00, your local guide will collect you from the lobby of your hotel and commence sightseeing.Today’s journey will begin with a visit to Tiananmen Square (literally known as Gate of Heavenly Peace). Lying in the center of Beijing, Tiananmen Square is thought of as the very heart of the city. The square, in spite of its past events, remains one of the most popular venues in Beijing. Here, on any given day, thousands of visitors gather to walk, fly kites, or enjoy the view of the monuments that surround the square. Next, proceed to visit the extraordinary Forbidden City (closed on every Monday). Constructed over a 14-year period, the Forbidden City was China’s imperial epicenter, serving 24 emperors over two dynasties until it was seized by revolutionaries in 1911. Now the National Palace Museum, it houses the largest collection of Chinese artworks and artifacts in the world. Lunch reservation at the Xiao Wang Fu Restaurant (payable locally). After lunch, trace the history of old Beijing as you ride through its winding alleyways, or hutongs, in a traditional pedicab. Meaning “water well” in Mongolian, these networks of narrow lanes, linking various neighborhoods, were once vital to commuting in the capital. Despite their dwindling numbers in the face of modernization, there
remains pockets of surviving hutong neighbourhoods, wherein you visit the home of a local family for a rare glimpse into bygone Beijing.  After sightseeing, return to the hotel.

At 19:00 meet your guide again in the hotel lobby and transfer to Da Dong for Pecking Duck dinner(payable locally). You will be transferred back to your hotel after dinner at around 21:30.

Overnight: Rosewood Beijing

Day 3 – Beijing

At 08:30, your local guide will collect you from the lobby of your hotel and commence sightseeing to the GreatWall at the Mutianyu, the highlight of your Beijing visit. The Wall has been built up in myth and legend, but despite the many inaccuracies written, it remains one of the great man-made wonders of the world. The Great Wall rides some of the highest peaks of the Yan Mountains affording some stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Originally built to guard strategic passes to the plains on which Beijing is located, the magnificent vistas and solitary setting here evoke the grandeur and dazzling achievement of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. Lunch reservation at the Xiao Long Pu Restaurant (payable locally). After lunch, enjoy a leisurely tour of the majestic Summer Palace situated in Haidian District, some 12 kilometres northwest of downtown Beijing. Commissioned in 1750 by Emperor Qinglong as a birthday gift for his mother, this vast sanctuary exemplifies the seamless marriage of natural and architectural beauty, offering respite and residency to various royal families before it was destroyed by foreign troops in 1860. After sightseeing, return to the hotel.

Overnight: Rosewood Beijing

Day 4 – Beijing / Pingyao

At 08:30, your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer to the Beijing West Train Station for your high speed train G#605 departing 10:28 to Pingyao. Please take note no representative to travel with youon this train journey. You will arrive at the Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station at 14:28. Upon arrival, you are met by a representative, holding a green Akorn sign. You are then transferred to the Jing’s Residence for check-in. Jing’s Residence is a reconverted courtyard compound that melds the design ambiance of both East and West – with just 15 rooms and suites and an attentive and friendly staff, the inn is a wonderful reflection of Pingyao’s charms. After settling into the hotel, your local guide will lead you on a preliminary walk through part of the old city. The Old Town of Pingyao was constructed during the reign of King Xuan of the Western Zhou Dynasty (C.1100 771B.C.) and has been the county seat ever since the establishment of the prefecture-and-county system in ancient China. Enjoy a walk along the city’s bustling commercial market street – Ming Qing Jie – taking in the
myriad of shops, food stalls, and craftsmen workshop that recall another time and place in China. Pingyao is famous for such crafts as paper cutting and exquisite embroidery. Return to the hotel at night, and enjoy a dinner at the Jing’s Residence (payable locally).

Overnight: Jing’s Residence

Day 5 – Pingyao

At 09:30, your local guide will collect you from the hotel lobby to commence sightseeing (on foot).
You will first visit the Risheng Chang, China’s first private bank. Pingyao built its early prosperity upon the success of its businessmen among those is Risheng Chang. Next proceed to visit the ancient City Wall, which was built during the Ming period (15th century) wall and walk along its ramparts.
Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant (payable locally). Your afternoon sightseeing begins with a visit to The Yamen’s Office – during the Qing dynasty this was the office and official residence of the city magistrate/civil representative. Next proceed to The Confucius Temple, a national protected unit, exhibiting sculptures of Confucius and his disciples at the site, and a fine regular exhibition of the history of the ancient Imperial Examination system. Learn even more of the Chinese religion by
visiting the Daoist Temple – one of the many temples that dot the city landscape, the temple is beautifully maintained. Stroll along the Ming Qing Street – this is the main commercial street in Pingyao and features a number of shops that sell many traditional crafts. One of them is the Pingyao papercut art, and you will learn the masterpiece of Madam Wen Hao in her workshop. Return to the hotel at night, and enjoy a dinner at the Jing’s Residence (payable locally).

Overnight: Jing’s Residence

Day 6 – Pingyao / Xian

At 08:45, your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer to the Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station for your high speed train D#2561 departing 10:08 to Xian. Please take note no representative to travel with you on this train journey. Enjoy a lunch box prepared by Jing’s Residence for you train journey. You will arrive at the Xian North Train station at 13:01. Upon arrival, you are met by an Akorn representative who is waiting for you, holding a green Akorn sign. You will commence a visit to the Han Yangling Excavation, one of the most important archeological excavations in all of China. Han Yangling, first excavated in 1990, represents the burial area of the fourth emperor of the Western Han dynasty, Han Jing Di (died 141 BCE), and is one of the most important and exciting
archeological finds of the late 20th century. Insider Access (option): private visit of Restoration Lab.
After your first sightseeing in Xian, you will be transferred to the hotel for check-in. At 19:00 meet your guide again in the hotel lobby and transfer to Haishi for dinner (payable locally). You will be transferred back to your hotel after dinner at around 21:30.

Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel, Xian

Day 7 – Xian

At 07:30, your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and commence sightseeing to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Excavation. Pay a visit to the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Excavation located in Lingtong County. The terracotta site, a small part of the Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, is made up of three distinct dig “pits”, the bronze chariot hall, and a newly opened theatre in the round which shows a short film on the history of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 B.C.). Theories abound, but it is thought the Terracotta Warriors, made from mineral rich loess soil, were meant to safeguard the emperor’s passage to the afterlife and additionally protect his kingdom from attack. Each pit serves a different military purpose including the vanguard and side flanks, military encampment, and strategic headquarters. After sightseeing at around 12:00, transfer back to your hotel. Lunch is served in a local restaurant in the old city quarter (payable locally). After lunch, take a walk through Xian’s Muslim Quarter en route to the mosque. The Great Mosque, one of the most interesting sites in a city known for its rich history. While the Buddhist traditions of Chinese culture are well known to most visitors, the influence exerted by Islam is not. Yet, of the religious beliefs within China today, no
one can claim the strength of belief that Islam does. After a day’s sightseeing, return to your hotel to relax and enjoy a dinner at the hotel or as recommended by our local guide (payable locally).

Overnight: Shangri-la Hotel, Xian

Day 8 – Xian / Chengdu

At 07:45, your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer to the Xian North Train station for your high speed train G#89 departing 11:28 to Chengdu. Please take note no  representative to travel with you on this train journey. Enjoy a lunch box prepared by Shangri-La Hotel, Xian for your train journey.You will arrive at the Chengdu East Train station at 14:41. Upon arrival, you are met by a representative. Commence your tour by visiting to the People’s Park. You can see locals relaxing and families spending time with each other. Observe the local artist painting Chinese characters along with locals playing chess and mahjong in traditional bamboo chairs. You are then transferred to The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu for check-in. At 19:00 meet your guide again in the hotel lobby and transfer for a hotpot dinner (payable locally). You will be transferred back to your hotel after dinner at around 21:30.

Overnight: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu

Day 9 – Chengdu

At 07:15, your local guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and commence sightseeing to the Dujiangyan Panda Base. The Dujiangyan Panda Base is part of an effort to reintroduce pandas into the wild. This Base contains three parts: the breeding area, semi-wild reintroduction area and reintroduction area. Insider Access (option): Participate in volunteer work at the center, such as washing bamboo leaves, feeding pandas and cleaning their houses. Insider Access (option): During your visit, you have an opportunity to participate in the “Close Encounters of the Panda Kind”; where you can stroke the panda as well as picture taking under the guidance of the base staff. (Duration is around 30 seconds).
Lunch is served at a local restaurant (payable locally). Visit Mount Qingcheng, one of the most sacred Daoist mountains where the earliest disciples developed China’s true indigenous belief systems. The mountain is scenically beautiful (access up and down by cable car) forested in a mantle of ancient trees.
After sightseeing, transfer back to your hotel.

Overnight: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu

Day 10 – Depart Chengdu or Join Extension to Shanghai

This morning, your local guide will collect you from the lobby of your hotel for your departure transfer to the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. Your guide will escort you to the counter, and assist you with the check-in process. Or Join our Shanghai Extension You will then fly to your next destination with flight booked under your own arrangement, or to join our Shanghai extension. At 08:00, your local guide will collect you from the lobby of your hotel for your departure transfer to the Chengdu
Shuangliu International Airport for your flight CA4513 departing 10:15 to Shanghai. Your guide will escort you to the counter, and assist you with the check-in process. You will arrive at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 13:15. Upon arrival, you are met by a representative. You will then commence a half-day tour in Shanghai. Shanghai Tower is a 632 meters (2,074 feet), 127-story mega tall skyscraper and ranking as China’s tallest building and second only to the world at large. The foot print takes up 30,368 square meters with floor space of about 576,000 square meters, with 5 basement levels, 127 floors above ground and 5 podium floors. Visitorscan take the express elevator to the sightseeing deck on the 119th floor directly and a whole ride only takes 55 seconds. Visit the Tai Kang Road, the main art street in Shanghai, for a walk amongst the art companies and workshops. After sightseeing, you will be transferred to the Peninsula Shanghai for check-in.

Overnight: Shanghai Extension only: Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Puxi

Day 11 – Shanghai

At 08:30, your local guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and commence sightseeing. The Old Town and Yu Garden – the original “Chinese” city of Shanghai (i.e., the city as it existed prior to the
settlement of the First Opium War in 1842 and the establishment of the International Settlement and the French Concession) – this district retains its original charms, a warren of alleys and lanes fronted by local shops and restaurants – the center of the original Old Town is set around the exquisite Yu Garden, a traditional scholar’s garden built by a wealthy Ming dynasty official to honor his parents (the garden was constructed between the years, 1559 – 1577). Tea appreciation – Learn about the importance of this Chinese tradition and see how a ceremony is performed. A promenade along Shanghai’s west bank has become as essential as the landmarks that line the Huangpu River. The Bund, an Anglo-Indian term for “muddy embankment,” comprises distinctively European-influenced architecture and colonial-style banks, hotels and consulates that sprang up during the turn of the 20th century. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (payable locally). Glimpse into the Jewish Quarter, a small yet significant sliver of this sprawling city. During World War II, Shanghai was China’s sole safe harbor to over 32,000 paperless Jewish refugees, known amongst themselves as “Shanghailanders,” forced to flee the terrors and mass executions of their home countries. While synagogues are a rare sight in this fully-fledged metropolis, the Ohel Moishe Synagogue, now the Jewish Refugee Museum, remains a memorial to this momentous time in history. See Shanghai in a brand new light as you cruise through its streets the old-fashion way: seated in the side-car of a classic motorbike for a one-hour journey (two persons share one sidecar). Let the vintage charm of old Shanghai slowly unfold as you’re driven around in this rather eccentric 1930’s-style vehicle by a personal guide and expert rider. Savour the city’s sights and sounds in open-air, weave through traffic and discover new paths otherwise inaccessible by regular cars. After sightseeing, return to your hotel.  At 19:00 meet your guide again in the hotel lobby and transfer to Ye Shanghai for a dinner (payable locally). You will be transferred back to your hotel after dinner at around 21:30.

Overnight: Shanghai Extension only: Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Puxi

Day 12 – Depart Shanghai

This morning, your local guide will collect you from the lobby of your hotel for your departure transfer to the Shanghai airport. Your guide will escort you to the counter, and assist you with the check-in process.
You will then fly to your next destination with flight booked under your own arrangement.

To find put more and to make your reservation on this wonderful tour of China by high speed train please contact us on 01926 658797 or email escape@popeandsons.co.uk