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China Holidays

Ming Tour

14 Night Itinerary from £3,129

Private Individual Tour


China by Bullet Train, with no internal flights. Enjoy Imperial wonders, classic gardens, ancient canals and spectacular mountains

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Explore China by Bullet Train, without taking internal flights
  • Start in the futuristic city of Shanghai, enjoying an in-depth tour 
  • Tour the Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  • Visit an ancient water town
  • Relax in style in Hangzhou, staying close to the romantic West Lake
  • Marvel at the magnificent Yellow Mountain range
  • Journey through China's Imperial and Communist past in Beijing
  • Hike along a wild section of the Great Wall of China

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.

Tour Itinerary

5174 Shanghai

Shanghai - 3 Nights

Day 1 - Fly to Shanghai

Day 2 - Welcome to Shanghai

Day 3 - Highlights of Shanghai

Day 4 - At leisure in Shanghai

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 1

Fly to Shanghai 

Departs on a direct overnight flight from London to Shanghai, or via an alternative route at one of the major regional airports in the UK if you prefer.

Day 2

Welcome to Shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai in the morning and be welcomed on arrival for your transfer to your chosen hotel for a 3 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. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax. An optional afternoon tour is available.

Day 3

Highlights of Shanghai 

Shanghai is China's most developed mega city, a futuristic metropolis symbolised by its forest of towering skyscrapers. However, if you know which street to turn down, you can still find relics of a bygone era and the occasional oasis of calm.

Our special tour introduces you to Shanghai's rich history and local life, starting at the classic Yu Gardens. We admire the European buildings of the riverside Bund area, once known as the "Paris of the Orient" and enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Huangpu River. Take an included lunch in the French Concession before discovering the traditional houses of Xintiandi, now converted into upscale shops, restaurants and bars. 

Day 4

At leisure in Shanghai 

Enjoy time at leisure in Shanghai to relax, shop or pursue your own interests. 


Shanghai Central

Shanghai -

This popular 4 star hotel is situated close to the Bund and the People's Square in downtown Shanghai. 280 rooms are well-presented and equipped with good modern facilities. Should you wish to dine in, restuarants offer a choice between local Chinese and Cantonese dishes and western food. The hotel also boasts its own  sauna, gym, massage center, bowling alley, tennis court and billiards room.

Image for: 5728 Shanghai Central

Yangtze Hotel

Shanghai - Deluxe Hotel

The Yangtze ranks as one of Shanghai's most historic hotels, a former hangout for celebrities in its heyday. Originally built in the 1930s, today the Yangtze is among the city's best boutique hotels, with a great location on the expansive People's Square. Restaurants, pedestrianised shopping streets and the Grand Theatre are all within easy reach, as are the renowned museums and green spaces of the square and the shopping mall in Raffle's City. The Bund waterfront is a 10-15 minute walk away.

96 rooms are classically and thoughtfully decorated, with essences of Art Deco and classic Chinese decor. They feature a number of mod-cons and many have balconies or terraces offering expansive views across the city, some towards the towers of the Pudong district. There are a number of welcoming cocktail or casual bars in which to unwind and three restaurants serving both international and Cantonese cuisine.

Image for: 12365 Yangtze Hotel
3883 Suzhou

Suzhou's Classical Gardens - 1 Night

Day 5 - Suzhou's Classical Gardens

  • Full Description

Day 5

Suzhou's Classical Gardens 

One of the great attractions of a visit to Shanghai is the ease with which you can combine some of wonderful places nearby, each of which offers a very different insight into Chinese life and history and a different experience for the visitor. One such place is the small picturesque city of Suzhou, famed for its huge collection of classical Chinese gardens. Today we drive to Suzhou, visiting the traditional water town of Luzhi en-route. You will be shown around by your local guide, with highlights including the Humble Administrators Garden, Lotus Garden, Santang Street, Panmen Gate, a silk spinning factory and a short cruise on canal. Lunch is included today. Overnight in Suzhou.

8807 Hangzhou & West Lake

Hangzhou & West Lake - 3 Nights

Day 6 - Bullet Train to Hangzhou

Day 7 - Hangzhou and West Lake tour

Day 8 - At leisure in Hangzhou 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 6

Bullet Train to Hangzhou 

We will conclude our sightseeing in Suzhou and then you will be transferred to the train station at Suzhou for the Bullet Train to Hangzhou. Here you will be met on arrival and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay. Enjoy a relaxed evening stroll in this delightful city. 

Day 7

Hangzhou and West Lake tour

Described by noted explorer Marco Polo as "the City of Heaven - the most beautiful and magnificent in the world", Hangzhou has managed to retain its charm and beauty, in the face of widespread urban development in China. Situated at the end of the Grand Canal, Hangzhou offers a number of interesting sites, but is most famed for the beguiling West Lake, surrounded by mountains on three sides and dotted with tiny islands. The views here are stunning, not least at sunset.

You will enjoy a guided tour around the area on the first day, including seeing the gold fish of Flower Harbour, enjoying a short cruise on the West Lake, visits to the Dragon Well tea farm and Guozhuang Garden plus a walk down Guanqian historical street. Lunch is included today.

Day 8

At leisure in Hangzhou

Today is at leisure for you to relax or pursue your own interests. 

Lake View

Hangzhou & West Lake - First Hotel

Just as the name suggests, the Lake View hotel in Hangzhou is located on the banks of the West Lake, affording easy access to places of interest and great views across the water. This recently renovated 4 star hotel provides a convenient and comfortable base from which to explore Hangzhou, either on a relaxing evening stroll or on one of the bicycles which can be easily rented from here. The 353 rooms are tastefully decorated and adorned with traditional finishing touches, such as intricate murals and oriental soft furnishings.

The Lake View hotel offers excellent on-site dining, as well as a cafe, fitness centre and family room.

Image for: 6453 Lake View

Hyatt Regency

Hangzhou & West Lake - Deluxe Hotel

The Hyatt Regency is a luxury 5 star hotel located in downtown Hangzhou, affording views across the city or to the serene waters of West Lake. 390 spacious and stylish rooms and suites are well-equipped, with large beds, elegant marble baths and a separate shower. Garden rooms offer patios which allow exclusive access to the private landscaped garden, creating a harmony with nature within this busy city. 

The hotel provides guests with an excellent spa, sauna and fitness centre, including the 25 metre indoor swimming pool with skylight. Also on offer are the high tea experience, cooking classes and Hyatt Hotels Regency Club services. Two restaurants provide a choice between local and western-style cuisine, whilst next-door are the luxury boutiques and renowned restaurants of the Hubin International Boutique Centre.

Image for: 6441 Hyatt Regency
8813 Huangshan

Huangshan - 2 Nights

Day 9 - Transfer to Huangshan and ancient village

Day 10 - Spectacular mountain landscapes

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 9

Transfer to Huangshan and ancient village 

Take the morning bullet train for three hours between Hangzhou and Huangshan. You will be met by your guide on arrival and driven to Tangmo for a tour of this picturesque Tang era ancient water village and its treasured gardens. You will then have some free time on the old street ot Tunxi and will later be transferred to your hotel for a 1 night stay. Lunch is included today.


Day 10

Spectacular mountain landscapes 

Today we will start early, taking the cable car to the top of Huangshan, in China's famed Yellow Mountain range. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been an inspiration for painters and poets for centuries. Upon arrival at the top, we will spend the day walking between some of the most panoramic lookout points, seeing powerful granite peaks and ancient bamboo forests towering above the clouds. Specific highlights include the vividly named Brightness Summit, the Rock Flying from Afar and the Cloud-dispelling Pavilion. Enjoy an included lunch.

In the evening you will stay at a hotel on the top of the mountain. Enjoy the spectacular sunset and views of the peak after the majority of the crowds have left for the day. 

Huangshan International Hotel

Huangshan - First Hotel

This classically decorated 4* hotel provides a good base for those visiting Huangshan Mountain. Situated on the banks of the Hengjiang River, it is well located for the airport and train station. It is a 15 walk to the pedestrian shopping street and a 50 minute drive to the mountain. The hotel provides good in-room facilities and a choice of Chinese or western dining.

Image for: 8939 Huangshan International Hotel

Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng

Huangshan - Deluxe Hotel

The Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng is located along the river, around an hour drive from Huangshan mountain. This large and modern hotel provides excellent facilities and spacious and attractive en-suite rooms. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, a fitness and wellness centre with spa facilities, a riverside cafe and both a Chinese and western-style restaurant.

A great location, friendly and helpful service, top-notch dining and a range of facilities make this a very popular hotel for visitors to Huangshan.

Image for: 8925 Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng
8808 Beijing

Beijing - 5 Nights

Day 11 - Bullet Train to Beijing

Day 12 - Beijing past and present tour

Day 13 - Temple of Heaven and Hutongs

Day 14 - Hike the Great Wall

Day 15 - Return flight to UK

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 11

Bullet Train to Beijing 

Around midday, travel from Huangshan North station to Beijing South on the high speed Bullet Train. The journey takes five and a half hours, meaning you will arrive in time to have dinner in Beijing. You will be met at the station and taken to your hotel in the city centre for a 4 night stay.


Day 12

Beijing past and present tour

Our special tour gives you an in-depth view of the the city's history, culture and modern life. We start amid the Communist-style buildings of Tiananmen Square and walk into the mythical Forbidden City, home to 24 Chinese Emperors. Here you can learn about China's dynastic past, before climbing Coal Hill for an overview of the central Beijing landscape. After an included lunch in a traditional hutong, we visit the Confucius and Buddhist temples to understand China's two most important belief systems and their role in daily life. 

Day 13

Temple of Heaven Park and Hutongs 

We start at the Temple of Heaven, considered by UNESCO "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design", to learn about Chinese philosophical beliefs, cosmogony, art, dynastic politics and sacrificial rituals. We visit early to gain wonderful insights into local life, as large groups of elderly Beijingers gather to take communal exercises, sing, socialise and play musical instruments. We take an included lunch at a family hutong home and then survey the traditional streets from the back of a rickshaw and on foot. Enjoy some cultural activities like calligraphy or paper cutting or perhaps attempt to cook the Chinese way by making some local dumplings. 

Day 14

Hike the Great Wall 

We drive two hours north of Beijing to access the iconic Great Wall of China to hike a wild section away from the crowds. Here we truly appreciate its full majesty and savour stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We also visit the restored part of the wall at Mutianyu, allowing you to experience the wall in its original state. Lunch is included today.

Day 15

Return flight to UK 

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.


Penta Hotel

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.

Image for: 5888 Penta Hotel

Hotel Cote Cour

Beijing & Great Wall - First Boutique

The Cote Cour is a renowned boutique hotel spread out around a traditional inner courtyard and nestled in an historic centuries-old hutong. Fully refurbished in 2016, the rooms and communal areas are decorated to a high standard with classic paintings, furnishings and details, evoking a timelessness and 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 and 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.


Image for: 11924 Hotel Cote Cour

Regent Hotel

Beijing & Great Wall - Deluxe Hotel

A multi-award winning luxury hotel close to Tiananmen Square and shopping streets, providing guests with outstanding service in opulent surrounds. 500 spacious rooms and suites are elegantly finished in traditional Chinese style, whilst floor-to-ceiling windows fill the rooms with natural light and afford panoramic views, including of the Forbidden City from some. Connecting rooms are available for groups and there is a choice of renowned restaurants, as well as an indoor pool and wellness centre.

Image for: 5889 Regent Hotel

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates 03/10 - 15/06 16/06 - 02/10
Room Arrangement First Deluxe First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £3,129 £3,402 £3,480 £3,817
Multiple Travellers - Own Room £3,469 £3,753 £3,916 £4,283
Single Traveller - Own Room £4,390 £5,113 £5,008 £5,688

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

What's Included

  • 15 days / 13 nights
  • International return flights (1 overnight)
  • 2nd class Bullet Train tickets as described in itinerary
  • 13 nights accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airport
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides and private vehicle
  • Prices are per person based on two sharing a room
  • Guideline price only - please request a bespoke itinerary for an accurate quote

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