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Escorted Tours

Oriental Splendours of China


Route:
  • UK
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Chengdu
  • Guiyang
  • Kaili
  • Guilin
  • Shanghai
  • UK
Tour Pace:

15 DAYS from £1599pp

Tour Highlights
  • City Tour of Beijing
  • Marvel at the Great Wall of China
  • The incredible Terracotta Warriors
  • See the City Wall of Xi'an
  • Two bullet train rides
  • Scenic boat ride down the Lijiang River
  • Fantastic views of Longsheng's terraced Rice Fields

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Oriental Splendours of China

Embark on a leisurely exploration of China;s intriguing interior, delving into the country's rich cultural legacy as you explore ethnic settlements, bustling city markets and age-old temples by rail. Combining the iconic sights of Beijing and Xi'an with panda encounters in Chengdu, the ancient preserved towns of Zhenyuan and Qingyan and visits to three remote villages, this tour showcases the best of rural and urban China.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Beijing

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Beijing, via Shanghai.

2
Beijing

On arrival in Beijing, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of China's sprawling capital.

3
Beijing

After a morning at leisure, discover Beijing's rich, imperial history on an afternoon city tour. Explore Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square, under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao's large, central portrait. From here, enter the vast Forbidden Palace and wander its 9,999 rooms and chambers, brimming with age-old relics. After dinner later this evening, an optional excursion to the Legend of Kung Fu show allows you to marvel at the athleticism and precision of China's martial artists.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Beijing

After breakfast, today's tour starts with a visit to the Summer Palace. Walk around the royal grounds and peaceful lake then travel to one of China's most iconic and impressive landmarks, the Great Wall of China. Access the wall from Juyongguan, the site of some of the Ming Dynasty's biggest battles, and stroll through 5th-century watchtowers and winding stone paths. Continue on to Silk Street Market, a maze of over 1,700 stalls selling everything from designer dupes to fine silk shirts. Later tonight, feast on Beijing's greatest culinary contribution at a traditional Peking duck dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Beijing to Xi'an

Your morning tour visits the ancient sacrificial buildings of the Temple of Heaven. Built to allow prayers to reach heaven, the heavily adorned pillars and ceiling are a spectacular ode to Ming Dynasty architecture. In the afternoon, browse the longstanding, traditional calligraphy and bookshops of Liulichang Antique Culture Street and the historic stores of Qianmen Dashilan, where some of China's most notable silk stores are located. After dinner, transfer to the railway station for your overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Xi'an

On arrival in Xi'an and following breakfast, uncover the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Terracotta Warriors, an 8,000-strong army created so that no two warriors look alike. Explore these cavernous underground vaults then visit the UNESCO-listed Wild Goose Pagoda. Continue to the Muslim Quarter, a network of market stalls and shops, and the city's Great Mosque nestled in its centre. Enjoy an evening of culture at tonight's entertaining Tang Dynasty dance performance.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Xi'an to Chengdu

Travel to Xi'an's City Wall, a long stretch of fortifications which is the oldest in China and provides dramatic views of the city. Take in the defensive stronghold as you walk along its length then journey to the Tangbo Art Museum. Browse through an array of Shaanxi folk artwork and age-old masterpieces before trying your hand at the ancient art of calligraphy. In the late afternoon, transfer to the train station for your high-speed bullet train to Chengdu. Soak in China's picturesque rural landscapes before arriving in Chengdu for your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Chendgu to Guiyang

Meet Chengdu's most famous residents on today's trip to the Panda Breeding and Research Centre. Concerted efforts to save this beloved endangered animal have increased the centre's population to 120 giant and 76 red pandas. Watch the comical creatures napping, snacking and playing in natural enclosures before continuing on to People's Park, a green oasis in the city centre. Take a walk along nearby Jinli Ancient Street and admire the elegant architecture of its buildings, which house handicraft shops. Next, transfer to the train station and board your overnight sleeper train. Watch the night lights of passing towns and cities as you make your way to the city of Guiyang.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Guiyang to Kaili

Arrive into Guiyang in the early morning. After breakfast, set out for a morning of sightseeing, starting with a visit to the grand Jiaxiu Tower. Wander the ornate interior of this structure built in honour of the province's great intellectuals then continue on to Qingyan Ancient Town. Travel back to 14th century China as you explore this preserved town and its stone pavilions, ancestral halls and watchtowers. Delve deeper into the country's colourful culture as you journey to the city of Kaili, home to the Miao ethnic minority, for your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Kaili

China is home to 56 ethnic groups, each with their own distinctive culture, and the city of Kaili is the ideal base from which to explore the villages of some of its most fascinating ethnic minorities. After breakfast, drive to the Zhenyuan Ancient Town of the Miao people, founded in 202BC. Although it covers a mere 1.2 square miles, this amazing settlement boasts over 160 scenic spots, including palaces, caves, temples and a spectacular central river. After a walk around the town, visit the imposing temple complex of Black Dragon Cave before travelling onward to Langde Miao Village to witness the daily life, customs and dress of the Miao people. Return to Kaili for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Kaili to Guilin

Your cultural experience continues as you make your way to the Matang Gejia Village. Witness the colourful clothes of the Gejia people, created using a traditional dyeing method, and delve into their rich, unique customs and traditions. At the nearby village of Shiqiao Miao, learn more about the villagers' ancient paper-making traditions and wander amongst their simple but elegant log houses as they go about their daily activities. In the afternoon, board your bullet train to Guilin, arriving in time for dinner and your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Guilin

Take in some of China's most dazzling scenery on today's trip to the rice terraces of Longsheng. Known locally as 'dragon's backbone' for their shape, these stepped terraces of rippling, multi-coloured rice fields are set on dramatic mountain slopes. Journey to the Zhuang Minority Village for fascinating insight into the lives of the Zhuang people, renowned for their vibrant headdresses, hospitality and culture of singing and dancing. Explore the village with its stilted houses and multi-storey wooden buildings before returning to Guilin for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Guilin to Shanghai

See China from a new perspective as you embark on a boat trip down the Lijiang River. Sail between karsts and past riverside villages and verdant rice paddies on a breath-taking journey that showcases rural China at its best. After lunch on your boat, disembark in Yangshuo and walk along West Street, a shopping area with a fascinating mix of Eastern and international elements, where traditional jade stores lie next to Italian cafes. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai where you will be transferred to your hotel on arrival.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14
Shanghai

Enjoy the day at leisure, giving you the chance to explore Shanghai at your own pace. Why not stroll along the waterfront promenade of the Bund, dine in the eateries of the French Concession area or simply take the day to relax back at your hotel.

  • Breakfast
15
Shanghai to the UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or continue on to your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast

Your Meals

Breakfast is always western style and served in the hotel each morning. Lunch and dinner will be taken in local Chinese restaurants and served with either one beer or soft drink. A variety of restaurants are visited giving you the chance to experience a range of dishes and flavours.

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 £189.00 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 valid for unlimited trips to China for 2 years from the date of issue. Therefore we 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

Your initial flight is to Beijing Capital International Airport with China Eastern Airlines (MU) via Shanghai, departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4.
Baggage allowance (per person): Please note that the baggage allowance may vary. Please refer to the bottom right of your E-ticket receipt for the correct allowance. For example, if it shows '20k' this means your allowance is 20kg. If it shows '2PC' this means your allowance is two bags not exceeding 23kg each. Important note: For handling purposes the maximum weight of any single piece of baggage is 23kg. If the allowance shown on your ticket exceeds this, you will need to take an additional bag. You may also take hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

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, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing steep 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. Approximately £100-£200 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 these.
It is customary to tip your national guide, local guide and driver approximately £3.50 (CNY30.00) per person per day. Your national guide will collect this for your convenience on the first day of your tour in Shanghai, approximately £35.00 (CNY300.00) per person for the total duration. Tips are collected in Chinese Yuan.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
2018 Dates
21 Sep 201805 Oct 2018£2499SOLD OUT
19 Oct 201802 Nov 2018£2199SOLD OUT
02 Nov 201816 Nov 2018£1999Please call to book
0800 781 4893
16 Nov 201830 Nov 2018£1899Book Now
30 Nov 201814 Dec 2018£1599Book Now
2019 Dates
08 Feb 201922 Feb 2019£1949Book Now
22 Feb 201908 Mar 2019£1999Book Now
08 Mar 201922 Mar 2019£2099Book Now
12 Apr 201926 Apr 2019£2199Book Now
26 Apr 201910 May 2019£2249Book Now
10 May 201924 May 2019£2249Book Now
24 May 201907 Jun 2019£2299Book Now
21 Jun 201905 Jul 2019£2399Book Now
30 Aug 201913 Sep 2019£2549Book Now
13 Sep 201927 Sep 2019£2599Book Now
11 Oct 201925 Oct 2019£2199Book Now
25 Oct 201908 Nov 2019£2199Book Now
08 Nov 201922 Nov 2019£1999Book Now
22 Nov 201906 Dec 2019£1899Book Now
06 Dec 201920 Dec 2019£1599Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Meals included: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners
  • Fully escorted with local English-speaking guides throughout
  • Scheduled flight from London Heathrow to China with China Eastern
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation
  • Accommodation, 14 excursions and entry fees to all sights

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Itinerary changes

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. The schedules of the domestic airlines in China are subject to frequent changes. For this reason, we have indicated approximate times only. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction &/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Yuan

Average Flying time

11 hours

Min/Max temperature

-2 °C / 29 °C

Spoken languages

Mandarin, English

What to pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • Travel plug adaptor - The voltage in China is 220 Volts. It is advisable to bring a multi-adaptor
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Personal first aid kit
Tour Map
Oriental Splendours of China Route Map
Tour Dossiers
Extensions
  • China
    Shanghai

    2 nights from £159pp

    View
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong City Stay

    3 nights from £459pp

    View
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Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Shanghai
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Chengdu
  • Guiyang
  • Kaili
  • Guilin
  • B#Shanghai
  • UK

Contrasting skyscrapers and traditional Shikumen houses form the skyline of Shanghai, perfectly reflecting the blend of Western cultures and Chinese traditions.

2 nights
from £159pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Hong Kong City Stay
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Chengdu
  • Guiyang
  • Kaili
  • Guilin
  • Shanghai
  • B#Hong Kong
  • UK

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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