Fly overnight to Beijing - Days 1 & 2
Fly overnight to Beijing, China's historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Imperial Beijing - Day 3
Begin in Beijing's symbolic heart with a stroll across Tiananmen Square, towards the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. A monument to dynasties past, enter through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, into a complex of a thousand rooms and many imperial treasures. Later, soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in a dance class and mingle with the locals. This evening, sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking duck before deciding on an option to enjoy a kung fu show.
The Great Wall - Day 4
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Stretching thousands of miles from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert, over all sorts of dramatic landscapes, it is one of the world's most impressive feats of engineering. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the wall itself and the magnificent scenery that it crosses. Drive back to Beijing and enjoy a relaxed afternoon in the idyllic gardens of the Summer Palace. Also included is a visit to a jade factory. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
Xian City Walls - Day 5
Fly to Xian. An illustrious and age-old city, Xian is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. It is also the capital of Shaanxi province and the starting point of the fabled Silk Road with a history spanning 3,100 years. Take a leisurely stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town. Tonight, enjoy a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Terracotta Warriors - Day 6
After their fortuitous discovery by local farmers in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-like warriors and horses who stand in their original formations at the exact location they were excavated. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate terracotta warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and perhaps buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Later, take a bullet train to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.
Dujiangyuan Panda Base - Day 7
This morning visit Dujiangyan Panda Base for your first panda encounter! Located 1.5 hours outside of Chengdu, this centre is dedicated to the study of disease control and the rescue of wild pandas – the perfect place to gain insight into the hard work that goes into caring for and boosting the population of this endangered species. Later, enjoy the atmosphere of Jinli Street – a lively street lined with antique shops and restaurants before sampling a delicious Sichuanese meal.
Chengdu Panda Reserve - Day 8
Your second panda experience will take place at Chengdu's famous Panda Conservation Centre, located right in the city. An education centre and breeding facility, here you'll see both pandas and red pandas up close as they chomp through piles of bamboo, sleep and play, and learn all about their physiology and conservation. Back in Chengdu, enjoy a hot beverage in a traditional teahouse before visiting Matchmaker's Corner where parents search for worthy suitors for their children.
Fly Chengdu to UK - Day 9
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.