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The ultimate GH tour of China
Home to iconic sights like the Forbidden City, the imposing Great Wall and the mysterious Terracotta Army, plus the Yangtze River and modern metropolis of Shanghai, China is a fascinating destination.
A country of infinite diversity in both culture and landscape, it's on many Good Housekeeping readers' must-see lists. So, we've partnered with the UK's leading Asia specialist, Wendy Wu Tours, to devise a wonderful itinerary that includes as many of its iconic sights as possible.
We've also added some magical experiences that will make this 15-day holiday extra-special, including the chance to try traditional fan painting at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian and take a tai chi class at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
You'll be escorted by a National Guard throughout and travel with Wendy Wu Tours' local expert guides, as well as enjoy invaluable Visa assistance, so you can make the most of this unforgettable trip.
Reasons to book
Delightful river cruises
- Return flights and airport taxes
- 14 nights in four-star accommodation
- Daily sightseeing with a National Escort and local guides
- All domestic transportation, including the bullet train to Chongqing and internal flights
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- Visa fees for UK passport holders
Day1Fly to ShanghaiShanghai, China
Fly overnight to Shanghai, a glittering testament to China's astonishing economic development.
Day2Arrive in ShanghaiShanghai, China
Upon arrival in Shanghai, transfer to your hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner in the evening.
Day3Explore ShanghaiShanghai, China
Today you visit the charming Yu Gardens, the Old Town, the Silk Factory and take a stroll along the Bund to admire Old Shanghai's colonial architecture. This afternoon, you'll view the impressive city skyline from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Day4Fly Shanghai to GuilinGuilin, China
Today you depart Shanghai and fly to the lovely city of Guilin. Get a flavour of China's elegant traditional culture with a stroll around the picturesque Ronghu Lake and by stopping to admire the Sun and Moon pagodas.
Day5Li river cruiseYangshuo, China
Today you enjoy a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming town of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view that will take your breath away, as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. Arriving in Yangshuo, have a look around the local markets before enjoying some time at leisure.
Day6Enjoy the Yangshuo countrysideYangshuo, China
Spend the morning exploring Yangshuo's countryside, visiting the Reed Flute Cave, a stunning natural limestone cave, and the South China Pearl Factory. On your drive back to Guilin, stop for a photo opportunity on the banks of the Li River and meet a genuine cormorant fisherman.
Day7Bullet train to ChongqingChongqing, China
Take the bullet train to Chongqing for a visit to the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo, where you'll see China's celebrated bear - the giant panda. After time watching these adorable and iconic animals eating and playing, you'll head to Ciqikou, to explore its narrow streets and admire the traditional Chinese architecture all around. In the evening, board yourYangtze River Cruise vessel.
Day8Yangtze river cruiseFengdu, China
On the first day of your river cruise, take a shore excursion to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, which has the largest image of the Jade Emperor in the world. Return to your boat to continue cruising down the Yangtze, and soaking up the stunning scenery all around.
Day9Wu and Qutang gorgesWushan, China
Continuing downstream today, prepare for breathtaking vistas, as the ship passes through the Wu and Qutang gorges. You'll also take a relaxing diversion down the Goddess Stream. Also known as the "Beauty Stream", this offshoot of the Yangtze passes through a deep, barely populated valley, with unspoilt mountaineous landscapes on either side.
Day10Fly to XianXian, China
Disembark your cruise vessel in the morning for a visit to the impressive Three Gorges Dam site. Later on, you'll catch a flight to the ancient city of Xian. On arrival, explore the narrow and winding streets of the atmospheric Muslim Quarter, which are lined with Islamic food stalls.
Day11See the Terracotta WarriorsXian, China
Re-discovered by chance in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Today you'll spend the morning viewing these mysterious ranks of life-sized warriors and horses, before a visit to the workshop, where you can watch the production process of the skilled craftsmen who re-create the Terracotta Warriors. Mimicking the style of their ancient counterparts, these replicas make a great souvenir (or two!) to take home.
Back in the city, stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town and, in the evening, enjoy a dumpling dinner and a performance of traditional Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day12Fly to BeijingBeijing, China
This morning, visit the lovely Little Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian and then try 'Guohua', a traditional form of Chinese painting, to decorate a beautiful fan. Later on you'll fly to China's capital city, Beijing, and upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Day13Imperial BeijingBeijing, China
Today you'll be transported back to China's mighty imperial past with a stroll around some of its most impressive historical sights. Stroll through Tiananmen Square, passing Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, into the treasure-filled Forbidden City.
Continue to the Hutong area and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the traditional streets of this district. Here, you'll stop for a lesson in calligraphy from a learned scholar and also visit the home of a local family.
Later on, soak up the harmonious ambiance of the 15th-century Temple of Heaven, where you will participate in a private Tai Chi class with a master of the practice.
Day14The Great Wall of ChinaChangping, China
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight - the Great Wall. It is often said in Beijing that you "have not been to China until you have climbed the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall". A short trip south of the capital, the Juyongguan Pass is the perfect place from which to take in the ingenuity of this incredible piece of architecture.
Toast your trip with a glass of champagne and appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. In the afternoon, visit the Jade Factory before enjoying the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace. For your farewell dinner this evening, you'll enjoy a delicious feast of the local delicacy, Peking Duck.
Day15Depart Beijing for the UKBeijing, China
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, arriving home later the same day.