Iconic China, Pandas & Exotic Cities
13 Night Itinerary from £3,094
Panda Family Tour
Travelling to China with kids? We've an unforgettable China family adventure - the Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Pandas & Hong Kong! Tour at a slow pace visiting the ancient history of Beijing, Xi'an mix of cultures at the end of the Silk Road, the pandas…
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- Beijing & Great Wall - 4 Nights
- Xi'an & Terracotta Army - 3 Nights
- Chengdu & Leshan Buddha - 3 Nights
- Hong Kong - 3 Nights
- Our specially designed family tour to China, visiting its most iconic sights
- Family-friendly guides and just 1 internal flight
- Start in the capital city of Beijing, exploring the historic Forbidden City
- Take a day trip to trek along the Great Wall of China
- Come face-to-face with the Terracotta Army and understand the history of the Silk Road
- Marvel at the towering Giant Buddha of Leshan, enjoying a panoramic boat tour
- Get up close to Chengdu's Pandas
- Finish in exotic Hong Kong, visiting local markets and tranquil island beaches
- Opt to learn mandarin and spend time with local Chinese families
This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.
Beijing & Great Wall - 4 Nights
Day 1 - Fly to Beijing
Day 2 - Welcome to Beijing
Day 3 - Temple of Heaven, Hutongs & Forbidden City Tour
Day 4 - Experience the Great Wall of China
Day 5 - At leisure - meet a local family
- Full Description
Friday, 01 December 2023
Fly to Beijing
Depart on a direct overnight flight from London to Beijing, or via an alternative route at one of the major regional airports in the UK if you prefer.
Saturday, 02 December 2023
Welcome to Beijing
Arrive in Beijing in the morning and be welcomed on arrival for transfer to your hotel for a 4 night stay. You will receive a walking orientation tour around your hotel with our guide, familiarising you with the surroundings and answering any questions you may have and ensure all your family needs are taken care of. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax.
Sunday, 03 December 2023
Temple of Heaven, Hutongs & Forbidden City Tour
We start early to visit the Temple of Heaven located in a delightful park. The Temple of Heaven, considered by UNESCO "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design", was created as a place of learning about Chinese philosophical beliefs, cosmogony, art, dynastic politics and sacrificial rituals. In the park, you will gain insights into local life, as groups of elderly Beijing residents gather to take communal exercises, sing, socialise and play musical instruments. We continue to the Hutong district, where we explore the ancient narrow streets by foot and rickshaw and enjoy an included lunch at a family hutong home. In the afternoon, we visit Tiananmen Square and explore the mythical and vast Forbidden City, home to 24 Chinese Emperors. Here you can learn about China's dynastic past.
Monday, 04 December 2023
Experience the Great Wall of China
Today we visit one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China. We travel for 2 hours out of Beijing to a remote section of the wall where in the footsteps of soldiers from the Ming Dynasty, we hike a wild section away from the crowds. It is a unique experience where you will truly appreciate the full majesty of the Great Wall and savour stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We also visit the restored part of the wall at Mutianyu, allowing you a look at the Wall in its original state. Lunch is included.
Tuesday, 05 December 2023
At leisure - meet a local family
Today is at leisure. For families, we can arrange a visit and meeting with a local family with children the same age ranges as your family. This cultural exchange is a wonderful experience to understand how young people live in China today.
Perhaps also visit a recommended shopping centre. We have a range of optional excursions you can book with your guide including a calligraphy or paper cutting class or perhaps attempt to cook the Chinese way by making some local dumplings.
Beijing & Great Wall - First Hotel
Described as a "neighbourhood lifestyle hotel", the Penta is a distinctive 4 star contemporary hotel, close to the Temple of Heaven and a short walk from the subway. The laid-back hotel offers 307 ensuite rooms in a minimalist style, including family rooms, as well as the use of bikes and maps to explore the local area. The heart of the hotel is the bustling Pentalounge; an all-encompassing café, deli, noodle bar, library and games area that provides a meeting place where guests and locals come and go.
Beijing & Great Wall - First Boutique
The Cote Cour is a renowned boutique hotel spread out around a traditional inner courtyard and nestled in one of the historic centuries-old Hutongs. Fully refurbished in 2016, the rooms and communal areas are decorated to a high standard with classic paintings, furnishings and details, evoking a deep connection with the long history of the structures. You will find all the modern amenities that you will need during your stay, as well as an attentive service, free internet access and bicycle hire.
Guests can relax on the rooftop space and perhaps choose to dine in the a la carte restaurant. For families, there is both a standard and deluxe family room on offer.
Xi'an & Terracotta Army - 3 Nights
Day 6 - Bullet Train to Xi'an
Day 7 - The Terracotta Army
Day 8 - At leisure in Xi'an or optional tours
- Full Description
Wednesday, 06 December 2023
Bullet Train to Xi'an
Today you will be transported to Beijing West station for high speed Bullet Train to the ancient city of Xi'an, a journey of around four and a half hours. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay. Time at leisure in the afternoon. Once the starting point of the legendary Silk Road and a capital for eleven dynasties, Xi'an has retained a great deal of its mystique and boasts an impressive array of sights, which we will explore over the next two days.
Thursday, 07 December 2023
The Terracotta Army
We begin today with a visit to the famous Terracotta Army, just outside Xi'an. 8,000 individually sculptured clay warriors, horses and archers proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder in three large excavated pits, protecting the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang. At first it is the sheer number that overwhelms, but on closer inspection you begin to notice the extraordinary level of detail, with each figure seemingly sporting a different expression and hairstyle. It's not hard to imagine this as a real army in waiting, awakening at the slightest hint of danger. Afterwards we can visit the home of the farmer who accidentally discovered the Terracotta Army.
After an included lunch, we will visit the home of the farmer who accidentally discovered the Terracotta Army and also attend a clay workshop, where you will have the opportunity to create your very own Terracotta Warrior figures! From here we return to the city to enjoy a cycle ride around the ancient city walls and have a walk around the vibrant Muslim Quarter. There will be time to visit a mosque and perhaps sample some of the delicacies of the street food market.
Friday, 08 December 2023
At leisure in Xi'an or optional tours
Today you will have time at leisure to explore Xi'an and pursue your own interests. Alternatively, you may wish to undertake additional tours, including: Big Goose Pagoda, built to house precious Buddhist scripts; Shaanxi Historical Museum - one of China's most renowned museums; Han Yangling Museum and archaeological sites; Venture into Huxian County to see the colourful folk art of the Huxian painters. Learn about calligraphy and painting and experience the farmers' way of life in China; a mandarin speaking class with a local teacher.
Xian & Terracotta Army - First Hotel
The Mercure hotel has become a fixture of Renmin Square, alongside landscaped gardens and historic buildings. With over 100 well-equipped and tastefully decorated rooms and suites and a wonderful location right in the heart of ancient Xi'an, this 4 star hotel is a popular choice amongst visitors. It is a 15 minute walk from the bustling markets of the Muslim Quarter and the Drum and Bell Towers.
The hotels own restaurant, serving Western, Chinese, Japanese and Moroccan dishes, as well as a café and bar is perfect for relaxing after a long day exploring the city.
Chengdu & Leshan Buddha - 3 Nights
Day 9 - Bullet Train to Chengdu
Day 10 - Pandas and Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Day 11 - Leshan Giant Buddha
- Full Description
Saturday, 09 December 2023
Bullet Train to Chengdu
Today take the high speed Bullet Train to Chengdu, where you will be met upon arrival by your guide for the next few days and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. You'll have today at leisure, perhaps to relax in the large People's Square, taking tea at one of the large outside teahouses and observing local life here. South of the river is the lively Jinli Street, lined with traditional buildings and shops and stalls selling locally created artwork, handicrafts, paper cuts and calligraphy. This is a great place to spend the afternoon shopping for gifts and souvenirs. Further optional opportunity for the children (and adults) to have an optional mandarin speaking class with a local teacher.
Sunday, 10 December 2023
Pandas and Dujiangyan Irrigation System
No visit to Chengdu would be complete without going to the nearby Panda Research Base - simply the best place to see these charming and highly endangered animals up close. Designed to replicate the natural bamboo habitat of the panda to encourage breeding, the centre is respected the world over for its ongoing research and conservation efforts, not just for the giant pandas, but also for red pandas and black swans. We visit early in the morning to see the baby pandas at their most active, returning to the city for midday.
After an included lunch, we continue on to the Dujiangyan Irrigation System. This extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site was originally constructed back in 256BC, during the Qin Dynasty. It is the oldest irrigation system in the world and is thought to be the only major system of its kind not to feature a dam. Another major feat of engineering is the magnificent Anlan Suspension Bridge which crosses the river. Surrounding the irrigation system are a number of impressive temples, halls, towers, statues and gardens.
Monday, 11 December 2023
Leshan Giant Buddha
Today we will drive around 2 hours south of Chengdu to visit the magnificent Leshan Giant Buddha. Measuring in at 71 metres high, the 1,200 year old Buddha watches over the confluence of three rivers and looks out onto the sacred Mount Emei. We will take a boat ride to enjoy panoramic views of the Buddha and then climb up the steps to come face-to-face with it, for a close up view. We will then return to Chengdu by road. Lunch is included today.
Chengdu & Pandas - First Hotel
Located close to the Wenshu Yuan Monastery, this spiritually themed 4 star hotel aims to give visitors an insight into traditional Buddhist life. It offers 35 tranquil rooms and well-equipped rooms, all thoughtfully decorated in an elegant style true to the spirit of the hotel. The courtyard-style building is filled with ancient paintings and statues each with small details that are full of hidden meaning.
The Buddha Zen also invites guests to take a traditional 'Zen' afternoon tea in the Jian Cha Teahouse and unwind in the harmonious Zi Zai spa, havens of peace and tranquillity in one of China's biggest cities.
Hong Kong - 3 Nights
Day 12 - Fly to Hong Kong
Day 13 - Special 'local life' Hong Kong tour
Day 14 - At leisure in Hong Kong or optional excursions
Day 15 - Time at leisure & return flight to UK
- Full Description
Tuesday, 12 December 2023
Fly to Hong Kong
Fly from Chengdu to Hong Kong, where you will be met on arrival for a private transfer into the city to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay. Hong Kong offers a great mix of exoticism and familiarity. It is easy for western travellers to get around it, travelling on the efficient MTR underground system, which reaches as far as some of the outlying islands. You will enjoy a day at leisure to perhaps take the iconic Star Ferry across the water to Hong Kong Island. Here you can ride the tram to Victoria Peak, for one of the world's great urban vistas, especially as the sun goes down and the light's begin to twinkle at dusk.
Wednesday, 13 December 2023
Special 'local life' Hong Kong tour
We start in the thriving markets of Mong Kok; the bird market, where locals often gather to socialise with their birds sat next to them in cages, then the goldfish market to admire the amazing colour and detail of the tropical fish on sale here, often at extremely high prices. Next is the Chinese Jade Market and the fruit market, followed by a visit to the Tin Hau Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea, revered by fishermen and those who spend their working lives at sea.
We then drive to the south of Hong Kong Island to the Aberdeen fishermen community, where fishing junks are juxtaposed against the skyscrapers. We take a short sampan boat ride to learn more about their ways of life and enjoy an included dim sum lunch aboard the famous Aberdeen Jumbo Kingdom. Next up is the Central business district and the world's longest continuous escalator system. Hollywood Road in westernised district of Soho is next, known for its antique shops. Finally, we finish at the Man Mo Temple, one of Hong Kong's oldest and most important and where giant incense coils hang from the ceiling, imparting a fragrant, smoky haze. The temple is dedicated to the God of Literature and the God of War.
Thursday, 14 December 2023
At leisure in Hong Kong or optional excursions
Today is free to explore Hong Kong at your own pace. Or take an optional excursion, perhaps taking the ferry across the water to Macau, a bastion of Portuguese heritage, is an excellent day trip, as is a visit to the tropical and tranquil Lamma Island, reached by boat from Aberdeen fishing harbour in the south. Closer yet is Lantau Island, famed for its large seated Buddha and temple, reached by a panoramic cable car. At the far end of the island, Tai O is an immensely charming and timeless fishing village, whilst one of the region's best beaches can be enjoyed a short bus ride away at Cheung Sha.
Friday, 15 December 2023
Return flight to UK
You will most likely be flying back in the evening and so will have ample time for last minute shopping, relaxing or sightseeing. You will be transferred to the airport for your overnight return flight.
Saturday, 16 December 2023
Arrive in the UK
Hong Kong & Macau - Deluxe Hotel
Perfect for families and couples alike, the Royal Plaza is centrally located in Kowloon, close to markets and MTR stations. 599 spacious modern rooms come with separate bathtubs and rain showers as well as a range of modern facilities, in addition to a 40 metre outdoor swimming pool, a sauna and jacuzzi. There are over 100 connecting rooms for groups travelling together and several family rooms. A range of dining options are available serving international and contemporary Chinese cuisine.
|Season||Low Season||High Season|
|Travel Dates||03/10 - 15/06||16/06 - 02/10|
|Multiple Travellers - Twin Room||£3,094||£3,499|
Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.
- 16 days / 13 nights
- International return flights (2 overnight)
- 1 internal flight as shown
- 2nd class Bullet Train tickets as described on itinerary
- 13 nights accommodation as shown on the itinerary
- Meals as described on the itinerary
- Transfers to and from airports
- Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides and private vehicle
- Prices are per person based on four people sharing two rooms
- Guideline price only - please request a bespoke itinerary for an accurate quote
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