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China Explorer

  • Duration
    15 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
    Go Beyond
  • Price From
    $6,980pp

Pairing China's classic sights with a Yangtze cruise, this itinerary brings you closer to the authentic charms of China. Revel in atmospheric ancient towns and hike along the incredible, undulating Great Wall.

  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 12 , Lunches: 11 , Dinners: 8
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Cruise
    Yangtze River Cruise
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 18
  • Physical Rating 3Learn More
    X A good level of fitness is required as you need to be comfortable walking for 2-3 hours and covering longer distances. Other activities such as cycling will be at a gentle pace and will involve straightforward terrain. Download the detailed tour dossier for details of your chosen tour. Learn More
    Longer walking and gentle paced physical activities.
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Tour Highlights

Our China Explorer tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.

Authentic Experiences

Our China Encounters Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Tour Itinerary

This tour is designed for those who wish to further immerse themselves in the authentic charm of China and take part in more cultural and active experiences. This tour is also suitable for those who wish to take a Yangtze River Cruise.

  • Day 1
    Fly To Beijing
    DAY 1: Fly To Beijing

    Fly to Beijing, China's historic capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

  • Day 2
    Forbidden City
    DAY 2: Forbidden City

    Begin today in Beijing's symbolic heart with a stroll across Tiananmen Square into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial treasures which offers an unsurpassed insight into China's colourful past. Spend the afternoon strolling through the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace and admire the Chinese architecture, followed by a walk up Longevity Hill to enjoy the panoramic views. Stop for a photo at the Olympic Stadium.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 3
    Temple Of Heaven and Beijing's Hutongs
    DAY 3: Temple Of Heaven and Beijing's Hutongs

    Arrive early and soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Here, mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they start their day practising tai chi, dancing and playing cards. Next, visit Yandaixiejie, where you will have some free time to wander around the hutongs. These narrow alleys offer an authentic glimpse of the old Beijing before the emergence of high-rise buildings and modern commerce. Enjoy lunch at the hutongs before driving to the Simatai section of the Great Wall, staying overnight in Gubei Watertown. Ride up to the apex of the Wall by cable car to see the sunset.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4
    Hike The Great Wall
    DAY 4: Hike The Great Wall

    Travel to the Great Wall at Jinshanling, a section that is much less frequented by tourists than other parts. The stark yet magnificent surroundings allow you to put yourself in the shoes of those who walked this incredible structure hundreds of years ago. Your trek will last approximately four hours as the wall courses through dramatic landscapes and rugged terrain. Later, head back to Beijing and enjoy the evening at leisure.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 5
    Explore Xian
    DAY 5: Explore Xian

    Fly to Xian, the former ancient capital and enjoy a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the Muslim Quarter. Sample the delicious, freshly cooked snacks and gain an insight into the city's fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. Enjoy the evening at leisure or watch an optional fountain and light show and be dazzled by the city at night.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6
    Terracotta Warriors
    DAY 6: Terracotta Warriors

    Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China's first emperor in the afterlife. Spend the morning gazing over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Also visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate the Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Later, enjoy a gentle cycle ride on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town, then enjoy the evening at leisure.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 7
    Pingle Ancient Town
    DAY 7: Pingle Ancient Town

    Jump on the bullet train to Chengdu and drive to Pingle Ancient Town. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Tea Horse Road. Walk through its maze of tea-house-lined streets before walking through Jinji's dense bamboo forest, then see the forest and gorge from above by crossing Jinji Suspended Rope Bridge.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8
    Dujiangyan Panda Base
    DAY 8: Dujiangyan Panda Base

    Drive to Dujiangyan and visit one of the world's finest panda conservation centres. Here, the pandas are kept in conditions very close to their natural habitat. Later, ascend Mount Qingcheng, the most sacred Taoist mountain in China, by cable car. It is a truly beautiful area with numerous lush, green peaks and secluded temples. Take a stroll among the mystic scenery of Yuecheng Lake then return to Chengdu.

    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9
    Ancient Ciqikou
    DAY 9: Ancient Ciqikou

    Drive to Chongqing and visit the charming old town of Ciqikou – there's time to wander the cobbled alleyways and learn about its colourful history. Later, board your Yangtze Cruise vessel.

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
  • Days 10-11
    Yangtze River Cruise
    DAYS 10-11: Yangtze River Cruise

    As you cruise downstream, nature takes over, revealing some of the world's most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next two days, prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Enjoy various shore excursions as well as a side trip to Goddess or Shennong Stream. This is a chance to get a glimpse of life on the river banks.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12
    Three Gorges Dam
    DAY 12: Three Gorges Dam

    Disembark your cruise vessel and visit the Three Gorges Dam. Next, travel to Yichang then fly to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the 'Paris of the East'.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 13
    Shanghainese Shanghai
    DAY 13: Shanghainese Shanghai

    Wake to the buzz of Shanghai, and take a breakfast walking tour between modern skyscrapers and traditional streets. Walk through the city's most fascinating districts, marvelling at monuments and rickety buildings before enjoying breakfast as the locals do – sample pancakes, fried bread sticks and tofu. Visit Yu Garden, the old town and a silk factory before taking a stroll along the Bund and enjoying a farewell dinner of authentic Shanghainese cuisine. In the evening, enjoy a cruise along the Huangpu River, serenaded by the neon lights of Pudong.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Days 14-15
    Fly Shanghai To New Zealand
    DAYS 14-15: Fly Shanghai To New Zealand

    Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day.

    • Breakfast

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

  • Nights 3
    Mercure Beijing Downtown
    Mercure Beijing Downtown
    The 4-star Mercure Beijing Downtown is very well connected across the city, with easy access to the city centre and multiple transport links. The elegant and spacious guests rooms offer free internet access and satelite TV.
  • Nights 2
    Lanxi International Hotel
    Lanxi International Hotel
    A short distance from Xian's historic old town, the 4-star Lanxi International hotel features a terrace for you to enjoy, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. The modern guest rooms offer a private bathroom, desk and flat screen TV.
  • Nights 2
    Xinliang Hotel
    Xinliang Hotel
    The 4-star Xinliang Hotel is located in the heart of Chengdu, just a short distance from some of the cities key attractions. The hotel's interior was inspired by Bashu culture and blended with a modern charm. Enjoy the recreational facilities available to you, including a sauna and steamroom designed for escapism and relaxation.
  • Nights 2
    Jinjiang Huating Hotel
    Jinjiang Huating Hotel
    A short distance from Shanghai's major tourist attractions, the 5-star Jinjiang Huating hotel offers elegant guest rooms with large windows providing views of Shanghai. This beautiful hotel is home to the rooftop Moon View Restaurant, offering breathtaking city views and exquisite Chinese dishes.
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -3°c
  • 3mm
  • Chengdu
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 0°c
  • 5mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 12mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Chengdu
  • 12°c
  • 20mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 21mm
  • Chengdu
  • 17°c
  • 44mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 34mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 78mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 24°c
  • 78mm
  • Chengdu
  • 24°c
  • 107mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 26°c
  • 185mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 224mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 25°c
  • 160mm
  • Chengdu
  • 26°c
  • 201mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 46mm
  • Chengdu
  • 22°c
  • 119mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 22mm
  • Chengdu
  • 18°c
  • 35mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 5°c
  • 7mm
  • Chengdu
  • 13°c
  • 16mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -1°c
  • 3mm
  • Chengdu
  • 8°c
  • 5mm
+ -
China Explorer map

Places Visited: Beijing (2N +1N) - Gubei Water Town (1N) - Xian (2N) - Chengdu (1N) - Pingle (1N) - Yangtze Cruise (3N) – Shanghai (2N)

Download Detailed Itinerary

Tour Dates & Prices

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.

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Depart NZ
Return Date
Price
Per Person, Twin Share
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Booking Options

There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.

Group Tour includes

Additional Price Information

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