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Escorted Tours

Grand Tour of China


Route:
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Hangzhou
  • Suzhou
  • Yangtze River
  • Chongqing
  • Chengdu
  • Lijiang
  • Dali
  • Kunming
  • Stone Forest
  • Guilin
  • Yangshuo
  • Xi'an
  • Beijing
  • London
Tour Pace:

25 DAYS from £2799pp

Tour Highlights
  • Xi'an and the Terracotta Army
  • Great Wall of China
  • Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre
  • Yangtze and Li River Cruises
  • Sail past the Three Gorges
  • Ancient cities of Dali & Lijang
  • Full Day Tours of Shanghai & Beijing
  • UNESCO Stone Forest
  • Jade and Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Ancient water village of Zhuijiajiao

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Grand Tour of China

From the cosmopolitan cities of Beijing and Shanghai to the remote ancient town of Lijiang and the stunning Li River in Guilin, explore China in depth as you visit the most iconic sights as well as discovering its hidden treasures on this incredible 25-day journey.

Encompassing the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Kunming Stone Forest and the city of Lijiang, experience the rich history of the great cities as well as the breathtaking landscapes of southern rural provinces.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Shanghai

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight.

2
Shanghai

On arrival in Shanghai, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Visit the impressive Bund, followed by a walk along Nanjing Road, the city's main shopping area.

  • Dinner
3
Shanghai

A full day tour of the city incorporates the Yuyuan Garden, the French Concession and the arts area of Tianzifang. Wander around the district of Xintiandi and take in the beautiful scenery on a night cruise along the Huangpu River.
Optional excursion (payable locally): Yangtze River Cruise to the Fengdu Ghost Town which has a 2000 year old history.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Shanghai to Hangzhou

Spend time at the Shanghai Museum and Pudong area before visiting the ancient water village of Zhujiajiao, with its arched stone bridges and quiet alleyways. Continue onto Hangzhou.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Hangzhou

Enjoy a relaxing boat trip on the scenic West Lake and marvel at the Six Harmonies Pagoda. Spend the afternoon in the atmospheric Qing Hefang ancient walking street - the only well-preserved part of the ancient city.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Hangzhou to Suzhou

After breakfast depart for Suzhou, the Garden City of China. On arrival, visit the Master of the Nets Garden, one of the finest oriental gardens, as well as the local silk mill. Take a stroll around Guanqian Street, one of the 'Four Most Famous Walking Streets'.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Suzhou to Yangtze River Cruise

Transfer to Shanghai and fly to Wuhan, then take coach or bullet train to Yichang. Following dinner in Yichang, you will board your ship for the Yangtze River cruise.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Yangtze River Cruise

Cruise upstream to reach your first shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam itself and the Five Stage Ship Lock. In the afternoon you'll sail past the Xiling Gorge the largest and most famous of the Three Gorges.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Yangtze River Cruise

Take a morning tour of the Shennong Stream before continuing on to the two other Gorges; the prettiest Wu Gorge, and the shortest, Qu Tang Gorge. An optional tour of the White Emperor City will be available in the afternoon.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Yangtze River Cruise

The final day of the cruise will pass through the Fengdu Ghost City. With nearly 2000 years history, this is believed to have been the place where souls go to pass three tests before entering the afterlife.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Chongqing to Chengdu

You will disembark your ship at Chongqing and travel, by bus or bullet train, to Chengdu. Stroll around the People's Park, the ancient streets of the Wide and Narrow Alleys, and Jinli Old Street.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Chengdu

Spend the morning experiencing a once in a lifetime trip to the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, home to one of China's largest habitat of pandas. Stroll around the enclosures, take photos and try to spot the lesser-known Red Pandas.
Optional excursion (payable locally): Sichuan Culture Evening Show - Special dance and culture show highlighting China from the 14th Century onwards.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Chengdu to Lijiang

Fly to Lijiang, a famous remote, ancient town with breath-taking scenery. Visit the Pool of the Black Dragon which, built in 1737, affords stunning views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
14
Lijiang to Dali

This morning takes you on a cable car ride to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the region's tallest mountain and the most southern glacier in the northern hemisphere. You will also visit Yufeng Temple and Baisha village before driving to Dali.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
15
Dali to Kunming

Visit a family of the Bai minority group before heading on to the Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng. Following some time walking around the Old Town, you will take a drive to Kunming.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
16
Kunming to Guilin

Today's excursion is to Stone Forest a UNESCO listed area with incredible limestone formations. You will be transferred to the airport in the afternoon in time for your evening flight to Guilin.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
17
Guilin

Arguably China's most picturesque region, Guilin is home to the stunning Karst Mountains and Li River. Visit the Reed Flute Caves with their rock formations and inscriptions, as well as Elephant Hill before walking around the beautiful lakes.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
18
Guilin to Yangshuo

Sail for around 5 hours along the Li River, through unforgettable scenery, to Yangshuo. Spend the afternoon exploring West Street with the option to see a theatrical performance of The Impression of Liu Sanjie - a show portraying life and culture of the local Yangshuo people using a stunning natural backdrop.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
19
Yangshuo to Xi'an

Take a leisurely 1.5 hour bicycle tour to a village in Yangshuo, stopping at an old farming house before returning to Guilin and then flying on to Xi'an.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
20
Xi'an

Considered by many to be the 'Eighth Wonder of the World', the magnificent Terracotta Warriors is a highlight of the tour. After admiring the awe-inspiring tomb, continue to the Old City Wall and Muslim Quarter before travelling back in time at a Tang Dynasty dancing show.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
21
Xi'an to Beijing

A full day tour of Xi'an includes a visit to the Wild Goose Pagoda, Jade factory and Shanxi History Museum. You will then take the overnight train* to Beijing.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
22
Beijing

This morning you will arrive in Beijing and be taken to one of China's most important political landmarks, Tiananmen Square. You will also visit the Forbidden City and Wang Fujing area before sampling a traditional Peking Duck dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
23
Beijing

Another full day in Beijing allows you time to stroll around the magnificent Summer Palace, shop at Pearl Store as well as visit the Temple of Heaven and enjoy a traditional Tea House and ceremony.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
24
Beijing

Start the day with a cable car ride up the iconic Great Wall of China. Spend time at the Cloisonne factory before heading back to your hotel via a photo stop at the impressive Olympic Stadium. Following dinner, be mesmerised by a fantastic Chinese acrobatic performance.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
25
Beijing to the UK

Transfer to Beijing airport for your flight to the UK via Shanghai.

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into China. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is approximately £186.00, when calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of the most up to date fees. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. We therefore recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

All flights are operated by China Eastern Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm in size. A return Business Class upgrade for international legs of the tour is available from £899pp, please speak to our reservations department for further details.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in China is the Renminbi, known as RMB or CNY. It is often referred to as the Yuan. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approx. £500-£600 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. There are some optional tours available to purchase locally and these generally need to be paid in cash. Therefore please allow an additional £100 if you wish to book any of these. For an additional CNY3000 cash you are able to be photographed next to one of the pandas at the Chengdu breeding centre - please note 3 days notice must be given to your guide if you wish to do this. It is customary to tip your national guide, local guide and driver approximately £3.00 (CNY30.00) per person per day. During your Yangtze Rivercruise it is customary to tip the cruise staff approximately £15 per person for the total duration. For your convenience, this will be collected by your National Guide on the first day of your tour in Shanghai, approximately £90.00 (CNY900.00) for the total duration per person. Tips are collected in Chinese Yuan.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
2019 Dates
12 Feb 201908 Mar 2019£2899.00Book Now
12 Mar 201905 Apr 2019£3099.00Book Now
02 Apr 201926 Apr 2019£3199.00Book Now
30 Apr 201924 May 2019£3219.00Book Now
14 May 201907 Jun 2019£3219.00Book Now
11 Jun 201905 Jul 2019£3369.00Book Now
27 Aug 201920 Sep 2019£3599.00Book Now
10 Sep 201904 Oct 2019£3499.00Book Now
08 Oct 201901 Nov 2019£3279.00Book Now
12 Nov 201906 Dec 2019£2799.00Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Overnight Train

The Overnight train is based on 4 people sharing a soft sleeper/compartment. Pay a supplement of just £89 per person to have the sleeper/compartment to yourself (minimum two people).

Private Tours

If the group tour departure dates and not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience than you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.

Pandas of Chengdu

Please be advised at the present time the option to have your picture taken with a Panda in Chengdu is unavailable due to renovations.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Yuan

Average Flying time

11 hours

Min/Max temperature

-4 °C / 27 °C

Spoken languages

Mandarin, English

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Shanghai

Xi'an

Beijing

What to pack
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Warm clothing and thermals in winter
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • An electric plug converter
  • Toilet paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
Customer Rating:
10/10
Lynne Mansley
5th Nov 2018

Better than what I anticipated.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Joyce Withpetersen
5th Nov 2018

An amazing tour.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
M Heys
12th Jul 2018

Best information in the Mercury Holidays brochure.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Wendy Huckerby
17th Jun 2018

Fantastic trip,super guide Max,was brilliant the only problem for us was the cruise it does not sail for a day.We upgraded our cabin you could not use the balcony because when it docked you have other boats docked 2 feet from you diesel fumes are horrendous you can't sleep at night for engine noise.We were very disappointed with that perhaps you should advise people of this.PS we had a bag stolen on the last day at the Forbidden City would you be able to send an insurance claim form,many thanks

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Brian Royston
29th May 2018

Many hotels were excellent. Generally, meals served in hotels were better than those in restaurants.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Kang Yeong
9th Dec 2017

Almost all hotels stayed were excellent. The services were very efficient.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
J High
10th Nov 2017

Good value for money.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Stephen Tett
6th Nov 2017

Hotels were all very good

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Barry Coombs
4th Nov 2017

The sales team were extremely helpful and very knowledgeable but after sales were constantly engaged despite my call being 'very important' to them. When I chose the email option, the four emails were never answered. That is only a very minor and informal quibble. The tour was superb value for money. The hotels, meals and sightseeing were of a very high standard and Alan, the tour manager was the best I have ever come across

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Basil Zienko
25th Oct 2017

I was happy with all the hotels.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Kenneth Swift
18th Sep 2017

Good quality hotels and clean.

Beijing hotel in good place as near Olympic stadium - so can walk out at night.

Either tour guide or hotel should provide a list - map of location for those people wanting to walk out at night. Much free time just left stranded - especially Yangshou

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Rodger William Doughty
20th Jun 2017

The majority of hotels were very good, just a couple were a bit basic.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Valerie Torode
10th Apr 2017

All hotels good.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
John Watson
15th Mar 2017

Very good range of high standard four star hotels.
Some beds a bit hard for western tastes,
CNCC in Beijing was first class and better located than Landmark.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Janine Holder
10th Oct 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It was a very comprehensive tour which encompassed many different interests and all the hotels were of a high standard.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
9.6/10
Alan Speed
17th Oct 2014

Very impressed with all hotels on this trip

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
  • Room
  • Service
  • Facilities
  • Cleanliness
Tour Map
Grand Tour of China Route Map
Tour Dossiers
Extensions
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong City Stay

    3 nights from £459pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Hong Kong City Stay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Hangzhou
  • Suzhou
  • Yangtze River
  • Chongqing
  • Chengdu
  • Lijiang
  • Dali
  • Kunming
  • Stone Forest
  • Guilin
  • Yangshuo
  • Xi'an
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • London

Towering skyscrapers form the backdrop to Hong Kong's busy harbour whilst the street markets that fill the teeming alleys remain untouched by western influences. Explore Hong Kong and Kowloon at your own pace during this extension which includes a half day city tour.

This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

3 nights
from £459pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension

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