Combining the contrasting urban splendour of Shanghai, Beijing and Xian with the majestic sights of the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and extraordinary landscapes of the Li River, this tour showcases China’s most glorious highlights.
Ireland - Shanghai (3N) - Guilin (2N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Xian (2N) - Beijing (3N) - Ireland
This adventure is ideal for travellers with less time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of this incredibly diverse destination. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities of China.
Fly overnight to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the Paris of the East.
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens and wander the bustling streets of the Old Town and visit the Silk Museum. View the city at night from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.This evening, enjoy a meal of Shanghainese cuisine
Start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, one of Shanghai’s sleepy water towns. Afterwards see the antiquities of the Shanghai Museum before admiring magnificent architecture with a stroll along the Bund.
Fly to the scenic city of Guilin. Visit Seven Star Park and stroll through the beautiful scenery. You can also explore the spectacular formations of Seven Star Cave
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming town of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. This evening there is an option to watch the spectacular Impression Liu Sanjie music and light show.
Yangshuo sits in an exquisite rural location, surrounded by landscapes of jewel-green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the countryside before having an afternoon at leisure. There are many activities available including cycling, rafting, and walking though you may prefer to relax in the town.
Travel back to Guilin by road. En route, stop on the banks of the Li River for a photo opportunity with a cormorant fisherman. Stroll around Ronghu Lake and admire the Sun and Moon pagodas – two towering examples of traditional Chinese-Buddhist architecture. The South China Pearl Museum covers the fascinating 1,700-year old history of pearling in the South China Sea with displays and demonstrations. There are also beautiful pieces available to buy.
Fly to ancient Xian and visit the lovely Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings before a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life sized warrior. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Later stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian's old town
Board the bullet train to Beijing, the capital of China. On arrival take a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs, visiting a local family to learn about local traditions and culture. Spend your evening soaking up the atmosphere of this fascinating city.
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight - the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Visit a Jade Museum where you can understand the delicate process of carving this stone. In the afternoon savour the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander amongst traditional Chinese gardens and view the exquisite architecture.Round off the day with an evening watching a Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 13: Forbidden City
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. This evening, relish Beijing's best known delicacy - Peking Duck.
Fly back to Ireland, arriving home the same or following day.