A Grand Tour of China

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Since the days of Marco Polo, China has fascinated our western minds in the most compelling way. The country’s immense size, almost unimaginable wealth and other-worldly culture have together woven an intoxicating and quite irresistible spell.

The Chinese today are living through an astonishing transformation. As well as being justly proud of their long history and unique cultural legacy, they’re keen to show you their huge achievements as a rapidly growing world superpower. China has always been a nation of superlatives. The most populous on earth, it’s also the fourth largest. Silk, tea, paper money, porcelain and gunpowder all originated here. Effectively closed to outsiders for most of itshistory, China has developed its own unique character, language and society.

At the heart of Beijing lies the Imperial Palace. Collectively called the ‘Forbidden City’, it contains a staggering 9,999 rooms. Adorned with paintings of dragons and phoenixes, carvings and inscriptions, it’s crowned by typically Chinese turned-up roofs with gold-hued tiles. Tiananmen Square, thefinal resting place of Chairman Mao, holds a staggering 600,000 people. The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are stunning in their simplicity and laden with symbolism. And beyond the city lies the stupendous Great Wall, the largest structure ever built by man and one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Two centuries before the founding of ancient Rome, Xian was already a world-class city and gateway to the Silk Road. Home to over a dozen dynasties, it houses the extraordinaryTerracotta Army. First discovered by farmers digging a well, the life-size and remarkably preserved warriors all have their own individual features. They’ve guarded the tomb of the first Qin Emperor for more than two millennia.

Guilin has some of China’s most breathtaking scenery. Beautifully set around four lakes and two rivers, it’s surrounded by thekarst limestone scenery of lush forest-covered peaks and pinnacles. You’ll also visit the extraordinary Longshen Rice Terraces, carved into the hills in their thousands over centuries by the hands of Yao tribesmen.

In Chengdu, you’ll see some of the world’s most endangered and enchanting animals – Panda bears. This is the leading Panda research and breeding centre in China. We’ll visit them in the morning while they’re still active, and before they sleep for the rest of the day after eating their fill of bamboo.

Ourthree-day cruise on the Yangtze is a welcome change of pace as our five-star ship, theRV Century Sun, navigates through the spectacular Three Gorges. Shanghai, China’s wealthiest city, is an intoxicating mix of colonial tradition and modern economic dynamism. The riverside Bund became one of the greatest trading centres of the world. Today this lovingly restored waterfront contrasts with the forest of skyscrapers that cover the skyline.

China is also home to one of the world’s great cuisines – with the ubiquitous Peking Duck from the north, chillies from the west and fruit and carp from the sub-tropical climate of the south. Real Chinese food is both a revelation and a gourmet paradise. In Britain our standard greeting is ‘How are you?’ In China, it’s ‘Have you eaten today?’

This tour is a remarkable journey of discovery of one of the world’s most ancient cultures, aspects of which are almost beyond our comprehension, blended with a remarkably stunning topography and a staggering pace of modernisation.

Holiday Highlights

  • A comprehensive tour of China visiting its greatest cultural legacies, iconic monuments, astounding palaces and astonishing scenery
  • Visit the astonishing Great Wall of China, the only man-made monument visible from space
  • See the world-famous Terracotta Army and the less-visited underground museum
  • Enjoy a tour of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
  • Marvel at the Temple of Heaven and the imperial gardens at the Summer Palace in Beijing
  • See the Longshen Rice Terraces, a man-made wonder
  • Enjoy a five-star Yangtze River Cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges, with full board
  • Travel through the world’s largest ship locks of the Three Gorges Dam
  • Tour Shanghai and take in the Jade Buddha temple, Yuyuan Gardens and the old British Consulate
  • Take a guided tour of Tiananmen Square and the amazing Forbidden City, the world’s largest concentration of preserved ancient wooden buildings
  • Travel from Shanghai to Beijing on one of China's high-speed trains
  • Cruise the world-famous Li River and visit the picturesque riverside town of Yangshuo
  • Return direct scheduled flights from the UK
  • Stay in hand-picked five-star and four-star hotels, with breakfast daily and 14 meals, which includes a Peking duck banquet
  • The services of our experienced tour manager throughout
  • Selected departures from March to October 2019

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room with single rooms available at the relevant supplement. Price includes flights to and from Shanghai; 14 nights’ accommodation in four-star hotels including 3 nights on board a five-star Yangtze cruise ship; daily breakfast and 14 meals; all tours and entrance fees as described; all transfers; all touring as mentioned; all local accommodation taxes and airport/flight taxes; four domestic flights and two rail journeys; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.
  • Not included: Chinese visa - see visa and health information.
  • Things to note:
  • Itinerary may be subject to change depending on domestic flight timings and Yangtze & Li river water levels.
  • All included lunches and dinners are Chinese meals and are set menus of several courses and dishes shared around tables of 6-10 persons, one local beer or soft drink is normally included as is unlimited Chinese tea. Breakfasts are buffet style with western food options.
  • Hotel beds can be ‘firm’ in China and rooms are normally twin-bedded. Requests for double beds can be made but not guaranteed in advance.

Holiday Provided By

Please click here to view the Terms and Conditions of travel (this link opens in a new window).

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£2,599
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