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Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Lijiang, Ringha. Shanghai / Ancient, Rural & Modern China

This intriguing journey captures the spirit of China’s ancient and imperial sights, captivating countryside and traditional villages along with the mystical splendour of Shangri-La. Relax into the enchanting landscapes whilst staying in exclusive hotels and serene retreats. Begin in Beijing with visits including The Forbidden City and the awe-inspiring Great Wall. The experience continues onto the enchanting Old City of Xian and the incredible Army of Terracotta Warriors before heading to the stunning landscape of Guilin and the unsurpassed beauty of the Li River. Discover the natural charm of Lijiang, the essence of Tibetan culture captured with a visit to Shangri-La’s Old Town and the tour closes in the vibrant city of Shanghai.

from £8845pp

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Price includes flights, domestic flights in China, accommodation, sightseeing with admissions and English speaking guide, private transfers and meals as specified. International flights are with British Airways. Meal basis: B Breakfast, L Lunch. This itinerary is only a suggestion - our experienced sales team will be happy to put together alternative, bespoke itineraries.

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Nights 16

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Lijiang, Ringha. Shanghai /Itinerary

Ancient, Rural & Modern China


Day /1

Fly to Beijing

Fly to from London Heathrow to Beijing.

Day /2



On arrival in Beijing be met on arrival and transferred to The Peninsula Beijing Hotel for a three night stay . The remainder of the day is at leisure.

The Peninsula, Beijing

Day /3

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Imperial Palace

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Imperial Palace

Full day of sightseeing including visits to Beijing’s main imperial-era attractions. The morning will start with a visit to the vast Tiananmen Square, which is home to China’s Parliament – The Great Hall of the People. Walking through The Gate of Heavenly Peace from where Mao declared China as the People’s Republic in 1949, then visit The Forbidden City, the former home to many of China’s Emperors. After Lunch your visit to this magnificent city continues by visiting the Imperial Summer Palace where once again you can marvel at the opulence in which the Emperors once lived.(B,L)

Day /4

The Great Wall of China, Tombs of The Ming Dynasty Emperors

The Great Wall of China, Tombs of The Ming Dynasty Emperors

Enjoy a full day visit to The Great Wall of China. The visit to the Great Wall is suggested at Jinshanling and although further from the City it offers a much more natural Wall experience as it is much less visited and here there will be ample opportunity to explore this section of the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. A picnic lunch box is offered for enjoying at the Wall and if you are fitter and more adventurous a trek can be offered and which offers an incredible Wall experience. The trek needs pre-booking.(B,L)

Day /5

Beijing - Xian

Beijing - Xian

This morning visit the magnificent Temple of Heaven, where the Emperors came to pray for good harvests and today it’s where local residents come for morning exercises such as Tai Chi and Ballroom dancing! It’s a fascinating visit. From here visit the Hutongs, the small lanes and former courtyard houses of an Old Beijing and although getting commercialized, it remains an interesting visit. After a simple lunch, transfer to the Airport for the short onward flight to Xian and on arrival you will met and transferred to the Sofitel on Remin Square for two nights.

Sofitel Renmin Square

Day /6

Xian - The Army of Terracotta Warriors

Xian - The Army of Terracotta Warriors

Without a doubt the highlight of any visit to Xian and possibly even China is to explore the legacy of The Army of Terracotta Warriors and visit the incredible burial site, where they were discovered only recently. A full day is organized that passes by the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang and visits the Warriors themselves who stand guard over Emperor Qin’s tomb. A simple lunch is offered whilst visits are also planned to the impressive Shaanxi Museum and to the Wild Goose Pagoda.(B,L)

Day /7

Xian - Guilin

Xian - Guilin

This morning a visit is arranged to the Old City of Xian and where your guide will bring alive Xian’s association with the mighty Silk Road. Here, we visit the old City Walls, where a short bike or buggy ride is enjoyed, The Islamic Quarter and also the Great Mosque, which is a beautiful spot in the midst of peaceful gardens. Lunch is offered. Before arriving at Xian’s Airport a visit to the fascinating Terracotta Warriors of the Han Dynasty is arranged and which date from about 80 years later than the better known ones visited yesterday. Fly onwards to Shangri-La Hotel Guilin for a two night stay.(B,L)

Shangri La Guilin

Day /8

Discover Guilin

Discover Guilin

An early start for what will be the highlight of your visit to Guilin – a cruise down the Li River. Immediately as you set sail the scenery is imposing and over the next few hours you will be stunned by what nature can produce. Many of the hills and cliffs have names supposedly evocative of what they resemble though at times you may need some imagination! A simple lunch is served on-board. On arrival in Yangshuo, spend time looking around the town and also enjoy a gentle float down a tributary of the Li River on a traditional bamboo raft. This evening, tickets are offered for the spectacular show Impression: Sanjie Liu directed by the acclaimed Zhang Yimou before returning to the city.(B,L)

Day /9

Guilin - Lijiang

Guilin - Lijiang

The transfer to airport for the onward flight to Lijiang via Kunming, on arrival you are met by your local guide and transferred to the stunning Banyan Tree Lijiang Resort for a four night stay. This is a much more natural part of China and the scenery and village life are fascinating.(B)

Day /10



This morning visit Lijiang’s fascinating Old Town, Dayan, where your guide brings alive the area’s history and its indigenous Dongba culture,visit the Black Dragon Pool. Afternoon at leisure.(B)

Day /11

Explore Lijiang Countryside

Explore Lijiang Countryside

Discover the countryside outside of Lijiang on a full day tour . A journey is offered by road, on foot or even on horse-back over the mountains to Wenhai Lake, which is rarely visited. The small villages in this area are reminiscent of a China from many years ago and is a perfect way of seeing a more rural China. A late but simple lunch is offered in Baisha Village and this afternoon visit Yu Hu Village the former home of renowned naturalist, Dr Joseph Rock and where the more traditional Naxi way of life continues.(B,L)

Day /12

Lijiang - Day at Leisure

Lijiang - Day at Leisure

Today is at leisure for independent exploration. (B)

Day /13

Lijiang  -  Shangri-La

Lijiang - Shangri-La

Explore the countryside north of Lijiang where the scenery is stunning, with your guide, pass by small villages as they introduce you to this beautiful part of the country and its simpler way of life. Continue to The Tiger Leaping Gorge where The Yangtze River, still in its infancy here, passes through the Gorge with cliffs of almost 4,000 meters on either side.On arrival in Shangri-La transfer to the Banyan Tree Ringha for two nights.(B,L)

Day /14

Discover Shangri-La

Discover Shangri-La

This morning enjoy a visit the imposing Sumtsenling Monastery and be introduced to the Tibetan way of life here as well as in Shangri-La’s Old Town. Lunch is offered at the Gyalthang Dzong Hotel, a sister property of the Banyan Tree. In the afternoon visit to the small village of Tanwei and here one can see the real Tibetan life. A visit to one of the pottery making families is available where products are made for local daily life.(B,L)

Day /15

Shangri-La - Shanghai

Shangri-La - Shanghai

Transfer to Shangri-La’s Airport for the onward flight to Shanghai, on arrival you will met and transferred to the Peninsula Hotel for a three night stay.(B)

The Peninsula Shanghai

Day /16

Explore Shanghai City

Explore Shanghai City

This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the city’s famous Bund, flanked by the magnificent buildings previously owned by the great trading houses and banks of the early 1900’s. Visit the Yu Gardens before an afternoon visit to the excellent Shanghai Museum and the fascinating, if unimaginatively named, Urban Planning Centre.(B,L)

Day /17



With your guide, travel to the traditional water village of Zhouzhuang where you can visit one of the town’s old merchant’s houses before continuing to Suzhou. After lunch, explore Suzhou’s remarkable classical Chinese style gardens, which are on the United Nations’ World Heritage List and visits are planned to The Humble Administrator’s Garden and The Garden of the Master of the Nets before returning to Shanghai.(B,L)

Day /18

Return to London Heathrow

Transfer for Shanghai's Pudong Airport for your flight to London Heathrow.(B)

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