Pandaw Cruise – The Mekong: From Laos to China

For the first time it is possible for Pandaw Cruise passengers to sail on the mighty Upper Mekong River from Laos to China. This will be an incredible, pioneering 14-night river expedition discovering charming villages, stunning scenery, pristine jungle, the Golden Triangle and the very different emerald green Mekong in China’s Yunnan province. Our journey also includes overnight stops in Luang Prabang, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.

The river recces sail aboard a Pandaw, specifically designed and built for sailing on the Upper Mekong with low draft and extra powerful engines.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Luang Prabang

Embark by noon for a lunch followed by an afternoon walking tour of this World Heritage Site with its delightful traditional Laos wooden houses and many gilded monasteries. Return to ship for drinks and dinner and a welcoming Lao baci ceremony.

Day 2: Luang Prabang

Further visits in Luang Prabang: The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the palace.

We will visit the Buddhist temples Wat Xienthong and Wat Mai, the latter being the biggest and most decorated temple.

Afternoon at leisure for individual exploration. In the evening visit Luang Prabang’s lively night market and savour the buzzing café life.

Day 3: Kuang Si Falls

05.30am walk to the town centre to watch the alms giving and ceremony. Visit the morning market before returning to the ship for breakfast.

Our bus will take you to the butterfly park, founded by a Dutch couple in 2014 as a research and preservation centre of Laotian butterflies. After a brief journey we reach our next stop, the stunning Khaung Si Waterfalls with stunning jungle pools and scenery. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

This afternoon we will sail upstream towards Pak Ou.

Day 4: Pak Ou Buddha Caves

Visit to Pak Ou, a Buddhist sanctuary and one of Laos’ most respected holy sites with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves which are a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha, are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River.

We continue upstream and visit a village by small boat known locally as the “Whisky Village”. Learn how they produce their alcohol.

Day 5: Sailing The Mekong

An exciting day spent sailing through dramatic scenery with lush jungle and forest punctuated by tiny villages clinging to the river bank.

Pause for a walk ashore at Ban Huay La village with wooden houses and women at work weaving. Later presentation by the guide on Laos language and culture.

Day 6: Pak Beng

The scenery becomes even more dramatic and the river faster and more treacherous. This passage can be very exciting and most passengers sit spellbound on deck. Morning cooking demonstration of favourite Laos dishes by our Pandaw chefs. Afternoon walk around the market town of Pak Beng. Jungle mooring.

Day 7: Sailing The Mekong

A long sailing day covering a considerable distance but punctuated by a morning walk around Ban Pak Sit village, a traditional riverside village full of charm and life, and an afternoon walk around Pak Tha village. Village mooring.

Day 8: Into Thailand

After an afternoon visit to the local pagoda, we proceed to Lao and Thai Immigration, joining the Pandaw ship again in Chiang Kong. Sail further into Thailand in the late afternoon and moor overnight in Chiang Kong.

Day 9: Chiang Saen

This morning we visit a Thai hill-tribe village to appreciate a very contrasting culture from Laos.

After lunch on board we explore Chiang Sean and the Wat Phangao Pagoda. In the evening traditional Thai dancers perform on deck. Overnight in Chiang Saen.

Day 10: Golden Triangle

In the morning transfer by bus to the smuggler city of Tachilek in Burma where we will visit the “extraordinary“ market (essentially one massive duty free area), Chinese temples and the Tachilek Shwedagon Pagoda.

After lunch a visit to the Hall of Opium. The Golden Triangle used to be infamous as one of the largest producers of opium. Various Thai organizations led by the Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project have spent decades battling this trade. As part of this campaign, the Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium’s history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction.

To end the day we will reunite at the Buddha Statue at the Golden Triangle to take in the view over the three bordering countries Thailand, Laos and Burma.

Overnight in Chiang Saen.

Day 11: Ban Dom Moon

Leaving behind the bustle of the Golden Triangle we return to a Mekong that is now narrower and faster than anything encountered so far on this journey. Afternoon walk around the Pok Lok village followed by a talk by our guide on the region’s ethnography.

Day 12: Sob Luoy Province

Visit Ban Pak Keo, its villagers and walk up a small hill adorned with a pagoda and enjoy the beautiful view over the Mekong.

Stop at Ban Na Kor (Sob Luoy Port) in the afternoon and sail on to a remote sand bank to moor for the night. Canapés and cocktails are served on the sundeck followed by local Laos folklore stories and traditional floating fire lanterns.

Day 13: Guan Lei

Crossing into China at Guan Lei Port in the morning, we are free to take a walk and explore before passing immigration. Sail the final stretch of the scenic and dramatic Mekong in China to Jinghong where we moor overnight.

Note: In the event that water levels are too low, too high or the flow too fast, we may not reach Jinghong. In this case you will be transferred for the final stretch by speed boat and lodged in the best available four or five star hotel.

Day 14: Jinghong

Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Tai King Phanya Coeng. Its turbulent history has been influenced by Thai, Burmese and Chinese occupations, which can be seen in its buildings and the local language.

In the morning we will visit the fascinating Tropical Plant Institute, a vast garden with over 13,000 plant species and 35 exhibits. We then continue to Manting Park, the oldest park in Xishuangbanna, dating back 1300 years. Previously a Dai Imperial Garden, the park’s attractions include the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Dai people. Manting Park is also called ‘Chunhuan Park’ which means the place where people can have relieve their mind and soul of all earthly worries.

On our final evening in Jinghong, experience an evening cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with acrobatics and fascinating story of China and its people. Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.

Day 15: Jinghong

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport or hotel

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers from Vientiane or Udon Thani to ship in Vientiane.
Transfers from Jinghong airport/hotel to ship in Jinghong.
Accommodation:14 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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RV Champa Pandaw

Built in 2016, the RV Champa Pandaw was constructed to withstand the upper extremes of the mighty Upper Mekong River. She therefore was able to deliver Southeast Asia’s first-ever “four countries” river expedition. She features a total of 2 upper decks and 12 main deck staterooms, each spanning 170sq ft and finished in brass and teak.

All cabins have ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, French windows, desks, safes, storage and have the option of twin or double beds Cabins. Broad promenade decks run around the outside of the accommodation to provide each guest with a fantastic vantage point. The RV Champa Pandaw offers Bistro style al fresco dining, observation deck, open-air lounge and bar, and WiFi (free/limited). The 10 night Laos Mekong Cruise allows travellers to explore parts of Laos that many few have travelled before.

Click here to view the RV Champa Pandaw’s photo album.

 

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RV Laos Pandaw

Built in 2015, the RV Laos Pandaw was constructed to withstand the upper extremes of the mighty Upper Mekong River and is traditionally styled to reflect the river’s rich colonial history. Featuring just 10 Main Deck staterooms, the vessel provides an intimate experience with personalised service to match. Each spanning 150sq ft and finished in brass and teak, the cabins are well appointed, spacious and comfortable. All cabins have ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, French windows, desks, safes, storage and have the option of twin or double beds Cabins.

Broad promenade decks run around the outside of the accommodation to provide each guest with a fantastic vantage point. The RV Laos Pandaw offers al fresco dining, observation deck, open-air lounge and bar, and WiFi (free/limited). Offering 2 cruises a year on the Upper Mekong – The cruise between Laos and Thailand (and vice-versa) takes 10 nights and the cruise between Laos and China (and vice-versa) takes 14 Nights.

Click here to view the RV Laos Pandaw’s photo album.

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A China Experience

On this 9 Day China Experience tour, you’ll explore some of China’s most famous sites and learn about its ancient and current culture. You’ll start with three nights in Shanghai, end with three nights in Beijing, and spend two nights also in Xi’an.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Shanghai

Welcome to Shanghai, China’s largest city and centre of trade. Hotel rooms are available for a mid-afternoon check-in.

Hotel: Golden Tulip New Bund Asia, 3 nights

Day 2: Shanghai – Wuzhen Excursion

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through the Old Town and the beautiful Yu Yuan Gardens, a place of peace and tranquility in this bustling city. Visit the Shanghai Museum, where superb antiquities and fine arts dating back 6,000 years are on display. Walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture, and explore the restored Xintiandi area with its unique 1920s-style Shikumen buildings. You will also visit a Silk Factory to learn about the silk-making process. Tonight, join your travelling companions for dinner at your hotel.

Day 3: Shanghai

Explore Shanghai at leisure. You may opt to join an optional excursion to the historic water town of Wuzhen, renowned for its Old World charm and picturesque setting.

Day 4: Shanghai – Xi’an

Today, fly to Xi’an, the former ancient capital. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Hotel: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, 2 nights

Day 5: Xi’an  

One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of Terracotta Warriors that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. Later, walk along the ancient City Wall of Xi’an. The balance of the day is at your leisure.

Day 6: Xi’an – Beijing

This morning, take a Walking Tour through the lively Muslim Quarter to explore the Islamic food markets before flying to Beijing, the capital of China.

Hotel: Novotel Xin Qiao, 3 nights

Day 7: Beijing

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through Tian’anmen Square past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and to the treasure-filled Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was home to emperors as well as the centre of politics.

Day 8: Beijing

The Great Wall Of China once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. This evening your dinner features the local delicacy, Peking Duck.

Day 9: Beijing

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 16, 23$2,458.00$3,004.00
May: 21$2,458.00$3,004.00
July: 23$2,418.00$2,943.00
September: 03, 10, 17$2,458.00$3,004.00
October: 01, 15, 22$2,458.00$3,004.00
Inclusions 
Meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
Flights:Air Ticket: Shanghai - Xi'an - Beijing
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation
Guide:Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Spirit of China & the Yangtze River

Spend 13 spellbinding days on your affordable tour of China, including a picturesque 4-night Yangtze River cruise. Your holiday in China begins in the exciting city of Shanghai on the Yangtze River delta. You’ll marvel at the exquisite Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum—with works of art dating 6,000 years old. Then, fly to Yichang to embark on your 4-night cruise on the legendary Yangtze River.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Shanghai, China

Welcome to Shanghai, China’s largest city and centre of trade. Hotel rooms are available for a midafternoon check-in.

Hotel: Golden Tulip New Bud Asia, 2 nights

Day 2:  Shanghai

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through the Old Town and the beautiful Yu Yuan Gardens, a place of peace and tranquility in this bustling city. Visit the Shanghai Museum, where superb antiquities and fine arts dating back 6,000 years are on display. Walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture, and explore the restored Xintiandi area with its unique 1920s-style Shikumen buildings. You will also visit a Silk Factory to learn about the silk-making process. Tonight, join your travelling companions for dinner at your hotel.

Day 3:   Shanghai – Yichang (Embarkation) – Yangtze River Cruise

Enjoy your morning at leisure before a short flight brings you to Yichang. Upon arrival, board your 4-night Cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze.

Cruise: Victoria Lianna, 4 nights

Day 4: Cruising: Three Gorges Dam

Start your day with a visit to the Three Gorges Dam site. Afterward, watch endless dramatic vistas unfold before you as your ship passes through the serenely beautiful Xiling Gorge, the Yangtze’s longest.

Day 5: Cruising: Wu Gorge – Qutang Gorge

Today, disembark for a Boat Excursion down Shennong Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. Later, sail through two of the three gorges-Wu Gorge, known for its forest-covered mountains, and Qutang, the shortest but most dramatic gorge.

Please Note: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Goddess Stream.

Day 6: Cruising: Jade Emperor Scenic Area

Your Shore Excursion today takes you to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, featuring a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism. Return to your ship where the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activites.

Please Note:  Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be offered.

Day 7: Cruising: Chongqing (Disembarkation) – Chengdu

Disembark your cruise in Chongqing, and transfer to the train station to board your Bullet Train to Chengdu. On arrival, visit the Giant Panda Research Base and marvel at these beautiful animals.

Hotel: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel

Day 8: Chengdu – Xi’an

Today, fly to Xi’an, the former ancient capital. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Hotel: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, 2 nights

Day 9: Xi’an

Today, enjoy a visit to the first emperor’s funeral vault to see the amazing Terrcacotta Warriors. Nothing will prepare you for this incredible display of 8,000 life-sized model warriors, chariots, and horses. Later, visit the ancient City Wall, built in 1378 and surrounding the city. The balance of the day is at your leisure.

Day 10: Xi’an – Beijing

This morning, take a Walking Tour through the lively Muslim Quarter to explore the Islamic food markets before flying to Beijing, the capital of China.

Hotel: Novotel Xin Qiao, 3 nights

Day 11: Beijing

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through Tian’anmen Square past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and to the treasure-filled Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was home to emperors as well as the centre of politics.

Day 12: Beijing

The Great Wall Of China once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. This evening your dinner features the local delicacy, Peking Duck.

Day 13: Depart Beijing

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 20$3,406.00$4,267.00
May: 04, 25$3,406.00$4,267.00
June: 08$3,406.00$4,267.00
July: 06$3,406.00$4,267.00
August: 10$3,406.00$4,267.00
August: 31$3,436.00$4,318.00
September: 07, 21$3,436.00$4,318.00
October: 05, 19$3,436.00$4,318.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport:Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
Flights:Air Ticket: Shanghai - Yichang / Chengdu - Xi'an - Beijing
Rail:Bullet Train Ticket: Chengdu - Chongqing
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation & 4 nights cruising
Guide:Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Treasures of China

On your 11 Day Treasures of China tour delve into the unique world of China during this magnificent tour as you explore Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, and Shanghai. As you’d expect from a holiday to China, a highlight is your visit to the Great Wall of China. Known as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it is the only man-made object that can be seen from space by the naked eye. As you walk along the wall, see how expansive it is and imagine what it was like to construct the wall—at a time without modern machinery to help! As if the Great Wall of China is not enough to astonish you, wait until you see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. Discovered accidentally in 1974, construction on the roughly 8,000 soldiers, chariots, and horses started in 210 BC—all to help China’s first emperor in the afterlife.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Beijing  

Welcome to China! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town, 3 nights

Day 2: Beijing  

Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to Tian’anmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Next, explore the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest palace complex. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by free time to explore on your own. This evening, savour a special Peking Duck Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall Excursion  

The Great Wall Of China once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Return to Beijing for some time at your leisure. Tonight, you may choose to attend a performance of the Peking Opera, a traditional form of Chinese theatre, or attend the Legend of Kung Fu Show, with a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics.

Day 4: Beijing – Xi’an

This morning, visit the Temple Of Heaven and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s Hutongs, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighbourhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home to learn more about their life. A short flight brings you to Xi’an.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Xi’an, 2 nights

Day 5: Xi’an

One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of Terracotta Warriors that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a Noodle-Making Demonstration by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the Dayan Pagoda, built in 652 AD. This evening, attend the “Tang Dynasty” Dinner Show, featuring a colourful assemblage of classical performances.

Day 6: Xi’an – Guilin

Today, fly to Guilin, one of China’s most beautiful areas. Tonight, you may choose to join our optional trip to see trained cormorants dive for fish, the traditional Lijiang fishing method.

Hotel: Sheraton Guilin Hotel, 2 nights

Day 7: Guilin  

Savour unique vistas during a leisurely Cruise on the Li River, where limestone mountains rise sharply from the surrounding plain. The scene conveys a sense of mystery that for centuries artists have tried to capture. Afterward, visit a local Tea Farm for a hands-on demonstration of the tea-making process, followed by a tea ceremony.

Day 8: Guilin – Shanghai

Fly to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and centre of trade and industry. This evening, consider an optional cruise on the Huangpu River for stunning views of the Bund.

Hotel: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, 3 nights

Day 9: Shanghai

This morning, your sightseeing starts with a stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Visit Yu Yuan Gardens, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a Silk Factory to learn about the silk-making process. Then, take a Walking Tour of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure-from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Stop at a local restaurant for lunch featuring Xiaolongbao, Shanghai’s most famous dumpling dish. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show.

Day 10: Shanghai

Today, travel to the ancient watertown of Suzhou. Start your sightseeing with a Boat Ride on the Old Canal, followed by a visit to the tranquil Garden Of The Master Of The Fishing Nets, designed during the Song Dynasty. Enjoy a bit of free time to explore on your own before returning to Shanghai. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.

Day 11: Depart Shanghai

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 18$4,187.00Price on Application
May: 02, 16$4,227.00Price on Application
May: 30$4,127.00Price on Application
June: 06$4,127.00Price on Application
July: 19$4,127.00Price on Application
August: 29$4,227.00Price on Application
September: 12, 19$4,227.00Price on Application
October: 03, 10$4,227.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport:Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
Flights:Air Ticket: Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Shanghai
Accommodation: 10 nights accommodation
Guide:Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Classic China & The Yangtze River

This tour through China, including a Yangtze River cruise, offers you opportunities to see some of China’s most historic sites, learn about the local culture, and witness spectacular scenery. You’ll stay three nights each in Beijing and Shanghai, two nights in Xi’an, and three nights aboard your Yangtze River cruise ship.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Welcome to China! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town, 3 nights

Day 2: Beijing

Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to Tian’anmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Next, explore the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest palace complex. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by free time to explore on your own. This evening, savour a special Peking Duck Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall Excursion

The Great Wall Of China once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Return to Beijing for some time at your leisure. Tonight, you may choose to attend a performance of the Peking Opera, a traditional form of Chinese theatre, or attend the Legend of Kung Fu Show, with a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics.

Day 4: Beijing – Xi’an

This morning, visit the Temple Of Heaven and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s Hutongs, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighbourhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home to learn more about their life. A short flight brings you to Xi’an.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Xi’an, 2 nights

Day 5: Xi’an

One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of Terracotta Warriors that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a Noodle-Making Demonstration by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the Dayan Pagoda, built in 652 AD. Enjoy your evening at leisure. Perhaps attend the “Tang Dynasty” dinner show, featuring a colourful assemblage of classical performances.

Day 6: Xi’an – Chongqing (Embarkation) – Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and attend a traditional Chinese Calligraphy Class. You may also see some local residents practicing morning tai chi. Next, fly to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Here, board your ship for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze.

Cruise: Victoria Anna, 3 nights

Day 7: Cruising: Jade Emperor Scenic Area

Your shore excursion today takes you to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, featuring a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism. Return to your ship where the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activites. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Fengdu, known by many Chinese as the “Ghost City,” to visit the mountaintop shrines. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew.

Please Note: Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.

Day 8: Cruising: Qutang Gorge – Wu Gorge – Goddess Stream

Early this morning, you may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Later, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges-Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forest-covered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a boat excursion down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emeraldgreen waters surrounded by densely forested hills.

Please Note: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream.

Day 9: Cruising: (Disembarkation) Three Gorges Dam Site – Yichang Shanghai

This morning, make a brief visit to the Three Gorges Dam Site, the largest dam of its kind in the world. Then, transfer to the airport in Yichang for your flight to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and centre of trade and industry. The balance of the day is at your leisure.

Hotel: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, 3 nights

Day 10: Shanghai

Start your day with a stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Then, visit Yu Yuan Gardens, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a Silk Factory to learn about the silk-making process. For lunch, stop at a local restaurant featuring Xiaolongbao, Shanghai’s most famous dish. These tasty soup dumplings are handmade with at least 18 intricate folds to close the top. The broth is the star so, to avoid wasting a single drop, gently pick up the dumpling, dip in sauce, and transfer to a Chinese soup spoon. Next, make a small hole to release the steam and allow the broth to cool. After it cools, sip up the broth and then swallow the dumpling. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show.

Day 11: Shanghai

This morning, take a Walking Tour of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure-from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.

Day 12: Depart Shanghai

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 16, 30$4,413.00$5,526.00
May: 14$4,413.00$5,526.00
June: 25$4,353.00$5,522.00
August: 20$4,353.00$5,522.00
September: 03, 10, 17$4,413.00$5,526.00
October: 08, 15$4,413.00$5,526.00
Inclusions 
Meals: 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport:Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
Flights:Air Ticket: Beijing - Xi'an - Chongqing / Yichang / Shanghai
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation & 3 nights cruising
Guide:Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Three Gorges Discovery

On this Three Gorges Discovery, experience the awe-inspiring beauty and history of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Wander through the narrow laneways of Beijing‘s ancient ”hutongs“ where its people have lived and traditions have evolved for centuries. Visit the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Base to learn about these endangered animals, and the conservation and breeding initiatives that have been implemented. Marvel at the beautiful scenery along the Yangtze River whilst you relax and unwind. Travel by high-speed train to marvel at the splendour of the World Heritage Listed Classical Chinese Gardens of Suzhou. The Humble Administrator‘s Garden is the largest in Suzhou and the Master of Nets Garden is one of the finest in China.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Beijing

On arrival in Beijing, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing.

Hotel: Novotel Xinqiao or similar, 3 nights

Day 2: Beijing

Spend a full day exploring Beijing’s impressive sites. Walk through Tiananmen Square before continuing to the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park. At a local restaurant, try zha jiang mian, a noodle dish of pork or beef topped with soybean paste. Gain a glimpse into the lives of the local people as you go off the beaten path and wander through the traditional residential alleyways known as ‘hutongs’, where you will get to see some of the lesser known yet spectacular sights.

Day 3: Beijing

Travel to Mutianyu, a less crowded section of the Great Wall of China. Take the cable car up to the wall and enjoy exploring independently. This evening, savour Beijing’s world famous Peking duck with your fellow travellers.

Day 4: Beijing to Xian

Visit the Summer Palace to discover the temples and pavilions. As you wander through the grounds, see local people exercising and practising Tai Chi. In the afternoon, take the high-speed train to Xian. Visit the 14th century city walls which stand 12 metres above the city.

Hotel: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel or similar, 2 nights

Day 5: Xian

Discover Xian’s highlights on a full day tour. Drive to the Army of Terracotta Warriors and see the life-sized warriors which are unique both in facial features and expression. Return to Xian and see the Small Wild Goose Pagoda before visiting the Xian Museum. Gain insights at the Great Mosque with its fusion of Islamic and Chinese architecture before wandering through the Muslim Quarter to enjoy its lively street markets and fascinating local foods.

Day 6: Xian to Chengdu

Travel by high-speed train from Xian to Chengdu. On arrival, visit People’s Park to observe the relaxed local Chengdu tea house lifestyle before spending the evening at leisure.

Hotel: Dorsett Hotel or similar, 2 nights

Day 7: Chengdu

Visit the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Base to see Giant pandas and learn about these incredible animals. For lunch, sample a Wenshuyuan Buddhist meal before visiting Wenshu Temple, the best preserved Tang Dynasty Buddhist Temple in Chengdu. Enjoy free time to walk around the surrounding colourful market streets and in the evening, you have the option to see a Sichuan opera face-changing performance.

Day 8: Chengdu to Yangtze River

Enjoy a leisurely morning before taking the high-speed train to Chongqing located on the Yangtze River and the embarkation point for your cruise.

Cruise: Victoria Sabrina or similar, 3 nights

Day 9: Yangtze River Cruise

Leave Chongqing behind as you cruise pass small towns whose existence is tied to the waters of the Yangtze. Stop at Shibaozhai, an impressive structure built against a steep hill with a name which means ‘precious stone fortress’. This evening, enjoy a buffet dinner on board.

Day 10: Yangtze River Cruise

Rise early and be rewarded with magnificent river landscapes as the ship passes through towering cliffs and mountains of the first and second gorges, Qutang and Wu Gorge. Later in the day, the ship enters the third of the main gorges called Xiling Gorge. This evening, join the Captain’s Banquet for dinner as the ship makes its way through the impressive five level shiplock and moors downstream of the Three Gorges Dam.

Day 11: Yangtze River to Yichang

Take an early morning excursion to the site of the Three Gorges Dam Project before returning to the ship and continue cruising to Yichang, where the cruise ends. After an included lunch spend a free afternoon in Yichang.

Hotel: Gezhouba Hotel or similar

Day 12: Yichang to Shanghai

Take a morning flight to Shanghai before embarking on a full day tour discovering the secrets of Shanghai, from the modern buildings of Pudong and the China Art Palace to the colonial French Concession. Venture through the backstreets to experience the local Shanghai lifestyle before meandering through Yu Yuan in the Old Town area. In the evening, enjoy a performance by world famous Chinese acrobats.

Hotel: Penta Hotel or similar, 2 nights

Day 13: Shanghai

Take the high-speed train to the World Heritage Listed Classical Gardens of Suzhou where you will visit two outstanding gardens. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is the largest in Suzhou and the Master of Nets Garden is known as one of the finest in China. Stop at the Suzhou Museum before returning to Shanghai to enjoy a farewell group dinner.

Day 14: Depart Shanghai

Enjoy breakfast before transferring to the airport for your onward journey.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 23$4,365.00$5,675.00
April: 06$4,575.00$6,049.00
May: 11$4,575.00$6,049.00
June: 01$4,365.00$5,675.00
July: 06$4,415.00$5,775.00
August: 10$4,415.00$5,775.00
September: 07$4,589.00$6,085.00
October: 12$4,589.00$6,085.00
2021 Dates & Prices
March: 22$4,365.00$5,675.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
Flights:Flight Ticket: Yichang - Shanghai
Rail:Rail Ticket: Beijing - Xi'an - Chengdu - Chongqing
Accommodation: 10 nights in hotels & 3 night cruise
Guide:English-speaking Tour Leader
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Highlights of China

Discover the Highlights of China and Wander through the narrow laneways of Beijing’s ancient ‘hutongs’ where its people have lived and traditions have evolved for centuries. Visit the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Base to learn about these endangered animals, and the conservation and breeding initiatives that have been implemented to protect them. Gain a glimpse into local life as you explore the fascinating backstreets on a walking tour in the older parts of Shanghai. Travel by high-speed train to marvel at the splendour of the World Heritage Listed lassical Chinese Gardens of Suzhou.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Shanghai

On arrival in Shanghai, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing.

Hotel: Penta Hotel or similar, 3 nights

Day 2: Shanghai

Shanghai has emerged as one of Asia’s most important cities and is a buzzing contemporary metropolis. Visit the China Art Palace and discover the modern buildings of the Pudong area. Enjoy lunch before exploring the French Concession area and take a backstreets walking tour to find Shanghai’s hidden gems. Discover the historical riverfront area known as the Bund, home to an impressive collection of 1920s neoclassical buildings. Wander through Yu Yuan, an extensive garden nestled in the centre of Shanghai’s old city. In the evening, enjoy an acrobatic performance.

Day 3: Shanghai to Fengjing

Drive from Shanghai to Fengjing, a traditional water canal town. Enjoy a short cruise along the narrow canals to see the daily life of the people living along the river. Known for peasant painting, meet local artists who take inspiration from folk art including indigo prints, embroidery and murals to create unique art depicting traditional life. Return to Shanghai for an evening at leisure.

Day 4: Shanghai to Xian

Fly from Shanghai to Xian, the start of the world’s most famous trade route – the Silk Road. Visit the 14th century city walls and continue to the Great Mosque, an interesting fusion of Middle Eastern and traditional architectural styles. Walk through the Muslim Quarter to Yongxingfang as you take in the lively street markets and exotic local foods which range from Muslim cuisine to traditional Shaanxi dishes.

Hotel: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel or similar, 2 nights

Day 5: Xian

Drive a short distance to the Army of Terracotta Warriors – one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Still under excavation, the life-sized terracotta warriors and horses were only unearthed in 1974 after being buried for 2,000 years. Each figure is completely unique both in facial features and expression. Return to Xian for an afternoon at leisure. In the evening, choose to join an optional dumpling cooking class andsample your creations for dinner or discover your own eatery to try some local delicacies.

Day 6: Xian to Beijing

Travel by high-speed train from Xian to Beijing and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Summer Palace and discover the temples, pavilions and decorated corridors of the extensive grounds.

Hotel: Novotel Xinqiao or similar, 4 nights

Day 7: Beijing

Spend a full day exploring Beijing’s impressive sites. Walk through vast Tiananmen Squarewhich is said to hold over a million people. Continue to the Forbidden City and discover the massive collection of imperial buildings which make up one of the largest palace complexes in the world. At a local restaurant, try zha jiang mian, a noodle dish with pork or beef topped with soybean paste. Venture off the tourist path into traditional residential alleyways known as ‘hutongs’ which have not changed significantly for centuries and gain a glimpse into the lives ofthe locals. Continue to rarely visited Miaoying Temple and tranquil Beihai Park before returning to your hotel.

Day 8: Beijing

Visit the iconic Temple of Heaven, a perfect example of Ming architecture and a symbol of Beijing. With neither nails nor concrete used in its construction, the temple stands 38 metres high, 30 metres in diameter and is completely balanced by wooden pillars. Continue to Beijing’s largest market, Panjiayuan Antique Market which is known for its arts, crafts and antiques. Spend time wandering through the market before reurning to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

Day 9: Beijing – Great Wall of China

Considered one of the world’s most famous man-made sites, the Great Wall of China is not to be missed. Travel to Mutianyu, a less crowded section of the wall with numerous guard towers. Take the cable car up to the wall and spend time exploring this incredible creation. This evening, enjoy a farewell Peking duck group dinner.

Day 10: Depart Beijing

Transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 23$2,979.00$3,815.00
April: 06, 20$3,019.00$3,915.00
May: 11, 25$3,019.00$3,915.00
June: 15$2,979.00$3,815.00
July: 13$3,019.00$3,895.00
August: 10$3,019.00$3,895.00
September: 07, 21$3,019.00$3,915.00
October: 12, 26$3,019.00$3,915.00
2021 Dates & Prices
March: 22$2,979.00$3,815.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport:Airport Transfers & Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
Flights:Air Ticket: Shanghai - Xi'an
Rail:Rail Ticket: Xi'an - Beijing
Accommodation: 10 nights accommodation
Guide:English-speaking Tour Leader
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Classic China

This all-embracing trip of China visits Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Follow in the footsteps of the ancients – up the ornate steps of the Forbidden City and to the ramparts of the Great Wall, snaking its way across the rolling countryside, and through the winding ancient alleys of Beijing’s hutongs to learn about Chinese traditions over a home-cooked lunch

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Beijing

Launch your discovery of China in its cultural heart. Transfer to your Beijing hotel where you’ll meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers this evening.

Hotel: Novotel Peace, 4 nights

Day 2: Beijing

Delve into Beijing’s rich imperial heritage, beginning your encounter with the remnants of centuries-old dynasties in the world’s largest public space, Tiananmen Square. Tread in the footsteps of emperors, passing through the south gate to the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, the imperial palace for emperors and their households for over five centuries. Immerse yourself in the ancient rituals, traditions and history of this palace complex before lunch. Continue to the tranquil Temple of Heaven, another UNESCO Heritage Site, once visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to pray for good harvests and divine guidance. This evening, the salty, sweet flavours of succulent Peking Duck take centre stage during a Regional Dinner.

Day 3: Beijing and the Great Wall

We leave the city behind, bound for the iconic Great Wall of China at Juyongguan. Standing on its ramparts, we look down on the Chinese countryside which its walls successfully defended against marauding nomadic invaders. Watch it snake thousands of miles into the distance as you imagine how these man-made fortifications were built and rebuilt from the 5th century B.C. to the 16th century. Then, walk the Sacred Way past the imposing stone statues that guard the Ming Tombs and remains of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty.

Day 4: Beijing

A leisurely start to our morning sees us embark on a rickshaw tour around the ancient narrow alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences. We ‘Connect With Locals’, joining a family for a delicious meal of traditional Chinese cuisine at a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch, followed by a visit to a tea house, where a ‘Local Specialist’ prepares and serves tea, explaining the historic tea-making ritual. This afternoon, we’ll indulge in a relaxing foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre.

Day 5: Beijing – Xi’an

A leisurely start to our morning sees us embark on a rickshaw tour around the ancient narrow alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences. We ‘Connect With Locals’, joining a family for a delicious meal of traditional Chinese cuisine at a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch, followed by a visit to a tea house, where a ‘Local Specialist’ prepares and serves tea, explaining the historic tea-making ritual. This afternoon, we’ll indulge in a relaxing foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre.

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xi’an South, 2 nights

Day 6: Xi’an

‘Make A Difference’ during a visit to a local primary school (during school-term) to exchange a few Chinese and English words with the children and teachers. Trafalgar will donate some much-needed supplies as part of your school visit. Next, descend into Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s subterranean tomb to see his terracotta army for the afterlife, another UNESCO-listed site. For lunch, enjoy a traditional meal of Chinese noodles, then continue with a visit to a Jade factory, the favoured stone of emperors and more precious to the Chinese people than gold.

Day 7: Xi’an – Shanghai

This morning, your choice of activities gives you an opportunity to mimic the graceful movements of a skilled T’ai Chi ‘Local Specialist’, or consider joining a cycle tour around part of the ancient City Wall of Xi’an. We ‘Dive Into Culture’ at a local restaurant, watching a demonstration in the art of making dumplings, with an opportunity to sample these for lunch. Savour the juicy flavours of these boiled, steamed and fried treats, transporting you back to ancient China, before transferring to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. Ascend to the 88-storey Jinmao Tower for panoramic views of the skyscrapers that loom over the most populous city on earth.

Hotel: The Kunlun JingAn, 3 nights

Day 8: Shanghai Sightseeing

Stroll down Shanghai’s famous ‘Bund’ with a ‘Local Specialist’, admiring the neoclassical colonial buildings that have lined this city’s renowned waterfront since the early 1900s. Learn how this marshland was transformed into one of the world’s most important trading hubs. Then, continue to the winding streets and vibrant markets of Old Shanghai to discover the how the customs and traditional lifestyle of this area have remained relatively unaltered. Enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in the Old Town before we ‘Dive Into Culture’ during a visit to a silk museum. This evening, indulge in a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

Day 9: Shanghai

Spend a day exploring the Paris of the East on your terms – shop for delicate Chinese ceramics, or consider joining an Optional Experience to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town founded more than 1,700 years ago. In its heyday, Zhujiajiao was a bustling market town. Today, old historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty post office can still be found as you stroll down its ancient streets and wander across the many stone bridges that crisscross its canals. This afternoon, you’ll have some free time at leisure before joining your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner.

Day 10: Depart Shanghai

Our mystical encounter with China at its end, take a transfer to Shanghai Airport for your onward flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 20$5,295.00$6,945.00
April: 10, 24$5,325.00$6,975.00
May: 08, 22$5,325.00$6,975.00
June: 05, 19$5,295.00$6,945.00
Jul: 03, 17, 31$5,295.00$6,945.00
August: 14$5,325.00$6,975.00
September: 04, 11, 18$5,325.00$6,975.00
October: 09, 16, 30$5,325.00$6,975.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport:Luxury air-conditioned coach
Flights:Flight Ticket: Beijing - Xi'An - Shanghai
Accommodation: 9 nights accommodation
Guide:Experienced Travel Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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