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Discover China


The vast land of China is yours to explore on this comprehensive adventure, which includes China’s most impressive landmarks and a grand introduction to the nation’s culture.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
14 days From $3,295 per person

2021 Tour code: GR-CYGA-21

About the tour

From the Great Wall of China to the Yangtze River, China is brimming with amazing sites to behold. This 14-day voyage begins the vibrant city of Beijing, and from here, we embark on excursions to places like Tiananmen City, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and the Temple of Heaven. The tour continues to Xi'an by train, and here we enjoy a look at the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and savor a traditional dumpling dinner. As the trip moves to Chengdu, the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute offers a rare glimpse at Asia's most majestic animal. We travel the Yangtze River and make stops in Yichang and Wuhan before arriving in the bustling city of Shanghai. The culture of this city is simply unbelievable, and we soak it in through a guided tour and visits to famed landmarks. Unforgettable experiences await at every turn on this tour.


What’s included


Day 1 - Beijing

Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Novotel Peace Hotel in Bejing, the rest of your day is free to begin your investigations of this captivating city.

Day 2 - Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City

Today we discover the sights and sounds of China's vibrant capital. This morning, we visit the infamous Tiananmen Square, which, at over 4 million square feet, is the largest city square in the world. Stretched out across this space are several vivid reminders of China's political history, including an imposing portrait of Chairman Mao. We also take in the neighboring Forbidden City, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Boasting almost 1,000 buildings, this magnificently restored complex - with its historic pagodas and traditional Chinese palace buildings - makes a dynamic contrast with the contemporary square. our final visit of the day is to the breathtaking Summer Palace.

Day 3 - The Great Wall of China

Today we visit the world-famous Great Wall of China. Listed as one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World, this masterpiece of Chinese workmanship stretches thousands of miles from the Gobi Desert to the Korean border - and is truly an awesome sight to behold. We visit the Mutianyu section, a beautifully preserved stretch that offers incredible views over the seemingly endless mountain scenery. After ascending by chair lift, we have the opportunity to walk along the wall before returning to Beijing. Here we see the 'Water Cube' and the 'Bird's Nest', the main arenas used in the 2008 Olympic Games. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner together.

Days 4 & 5 - To Xi’an & the Terracotta Warriors

We begin our day with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, a beautiful edifice in central Beijing. In the afternoon we leave Beijing behind and join the rail service to Xi'an. Our journey on the high-speed service takes us through the beautiful landscapes of rural China. In Xi'an we transfer to our hotel, the Grand Mercure Remnin Square, for two nights. 

On Day 5 we discover the famous Terracotta Warriors - one of the world's greatest archaeological finds. The 6,000 figures - some with horses or chariots, but all with unique features - were buried in 210 BC, yet only discovered 40 years ago. The life-sized statues were built as part of an elaborate tomb of the Qin Emperor, believed to protect him in death just as his real army had in life. Built on an incredible scale, the soldiers - all grouped in rank order - are a breathtaking sight. Later we discover more of the walled city of Xi'an, taking in the Great Mosque, the city's lively bazaar, and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Dating back to the 8th century, the towering structure is a leading example of Tang Dynasty architecture. Tonight, there is a delicious and traditional dumpling banquet.

Days 6 & 7 - Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute & Wenshu Monastery

Today, we travel on the new high-speed rail service from Xi'an to Chengdu, where we spend two nights at the Tibet Hotel. 

On Day 7 we visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute, which is spread out over 200 acres and is now home to more than 100 of these magnificent creatures. The project allows us to see the giant panda, an enchanting and rare creature, at close quarters in a near-natural habitat setting. We then return to Chengdu. Here we see the Wenshu Monastery, one of China's finest Buddhist structures, as well as the historic teak buildings on Jinli Street.

Day 8 - Chengdu & the Yangtze River

Head to Remnin Park this morning. Known in English as People's Park, the site is known as a Major Historical and Cultural Site of China. After, we enjoy a traditional aspect of China with a tasting in a local tea house. Later we transfer to the station for the high-speed bullet train service to Chongqing, situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Here we board a local luxury 5-Star Century river ship for our three-night cruise along the Yangtze River and through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges.

Days 9 & 10 - The Yangtze

This morning enjoy the scenery as you cruise onwards. This afternoon we visit the stunning Shibaozhai Pagoda, rising 12 stories up a sheer cliff face. This evening, we sit down to enjoy the Captain's Banquet on board. Our cruise continues on Day 10 with a shore excursion to Shennong Stream, a stunning natural beauty where the cliff sides soar steeply away from the nearly emerald waters of this beautiful stream.

Days 11 & 12 - To Wuhan & Shanghai

We disembark at Yichang today before we visit the colossal Three Gorges Dam, which is now the world's largest hydropower project. After, we travel by highspeed train to Wuhan, for a night at the Marco Polo Hotel. 

On Day 12 we visit Wuhan's distinctive Yellow Crane Tower, a stunning example of traditional Chinese architecture and the subject of many local legends, before transferring to the railroad station for our eastward journey to Shanghai. We spend two nights at the Pullman Jing'an Hotel.

Days 13 & 14 - To Shanghai

Today, we begin our explorations of Shanghai. We see the Yu Garden in Shanghai's historic core, where we enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, as well as the bazaar and the Jade Buddha Temple, ahead of visiting the beautiful French Concession and the Bund in the afternoon. This evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner at Xianqiangfang Restaurant, a restaurant renowned for its traditional cuisine. 

On Day 14, your tour concludes.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that throughout your tour you will need to be able to transfer your own luggage on and off each train we travel on as porterage is not included.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

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Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

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Pullman Shanghai Jing'an, Shanghai

Pullman Shanghai Jing'an, Shanghai

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Marco Polo Hotel, Wuhan

Marco Polo Hotel, Wuhan

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Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

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Chinese Railways


Century river cruise ship

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Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2021/22 Global Rail Adventures

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