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This amazing 16 day, 14 night tour journeys across one of the world's largest and most interesting countries, seeped in ancient history and brimming with world-renowned sights. Cruise down the Yangtze River, experience Shanghai and Beijing, visit the Pandas in Chengdu and absorb the wonders of the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army all in one fantastic tour.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Shanghai International Airport.
On arrival in Shanghai you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel before going out for dinner. Time permitting, after dinner you will experience your first taste of the city with a visit to the magnificent Bund, then a walk along Nanjing Road, the main shopping area in Shanghai.
Following breakfast, you will embark on a full day tour of the city, taking in the delights of the famous classical Yuyuan Garden, the French Concession and Tianzifang, the arts and crafts enclave in the French neighbourhood. After lunch you can saunter around Xintiandi - 'The City's Living Room', a multifunctional entertainment district with unique 1920's style stone gate buildings known as 'shikumen'.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Wuhan, where you will continue to Yichang to board your ship for the four night Yangtze River Cruise which will tour the Three Gorges Dam and breath-taking scenery along the way as you cruise upstream.
The cruise will set sail to reach your first shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam itself and the Five Stage Ship Lock - a giant ship elevator capable of lifting a 14,000 ton passenger liner! In the afternoon you'll sail past the Xiling Gorge the largest and most famous of the Three Gorges.
Following breakfast you will take a tour of the Shennong Stream, a zigzagging watercourse where local inhabitants line the shore. You will then sail to Wu Gorge, the prettiest of the Three Gorges followed by Qu Tang Gorge, the shortest. In the afternoon there is the option to take a tour of the White Emperor City, an ancient temple perched at the top of an island in the middle of the river.
On the final day of the cruise the ship will sail to the Fengdu Ghost City, thought to have been the place where souls must go to pass three tests to enter the afterlife.
Disembarking the ship at Chongqing you will travel to the capital of the Sichuan Province, Chengdu. Your guide will show you around the People's Park, where locals relax, mingle and exercise, then enjoy a stroll through the ancient streets of the Wide and Narrow Alleys which have been renovated to their former architectural glory.
Today takes you to Leshan, famous for its magnificent riverside cliff carving of a giant Buddha which is the largest stone-carved Buddhist statue in the world, viewed from a boat on the river. Continue in the afternoon to the old town of Huanglongxi, a 1700 year old settlement restored to retain its old-world charm. In the evening enjoy a delicious Sichuan meal.
Perhaps a highlight of the tour, today takes you to experience a once in a lifetime trip to the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, home to one of China's largest habitat of pandas. Strolling around a variety of enclosures, you can even pay an extra fee to be photographed next to one of these beautiful animals. The afternoon will be at leisure for you to relax before dinner.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Known to many as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World', a visit to the spectacular Terracotta Warriors is an unforgettable experience. Taking nearly four decades to complete and over 700,000 workers, this incredible tomb was built to protect China's first emperor in his afterlife. Continue to the Muslim Quarter- a labyrinth of market stalls and shops, then in the evening travel back in time whilst you watch the colourful Tang Dynasty dancing show.
A morning tour of Xi'an incorporates a visit to the historic City Wall, then the Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 to hold sacred Buddhist figurines. In the afternoon board the bullet train to Beijing where you will arrive in the early evening and spend the night at your hotel.
Begin your day with a visit to the unique Temple of Heaven, China's largest existing masterpiece of ancient sacrificial buildings. The afternoon is left at leisure to relax and explore the city in your own time.
Following a stroll around the impressive Summer Palace, China's largest and best-preserved royal park, the tour will continue to the iconic Great Wall. Winding across deserts, grasslands and mountains and stretching over 5,500 miles, it was constructed over 2,000 years ago to guard the Chinese Empire against the Mongol invaders from the North. We've included a cable car trip to a viewing point to avoid the arduous steps. In the evening enjoy a mesmerising Chinese acrobatics performance.
Following breakfast on your last full day you will visit one of China's most important political landmarks, Tiananmen Square. It is the world's largest city centre square and gateway to the Forbidden City, which houses the wondrous Imperial Palace. Conclude your trip with a traditional Peking duck dinner, a delicious way to end your tour.
Transfer to Beijing airport for your flight to the UK.
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.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp 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.
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.
Bullet Train Information
The bullet train leaves Xi'an at 13:10 and arrives in Beijing between 17:50 - 18:00. Please be advised that due to limited space your luggage will be transferred separately to Beijing on Day 11, therefore please keep your toiletries and a change of clothes in a hang luggage bag.
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.
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.
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 then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
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.
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 depart. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
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, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|26 Oct 2017||10 Nov 2017||€2653pp|
|02 Nov 2017||17 Nov 2017||€2520pp|
|16 Nov 2017||01 Dec 2017||€2387pp|
|30 Nov 2017||15 Dec 2017||€2260pp|
|11 Jan 2018||26 Jan 2018||€2566pp|
|25 Jan 2018||09 Feb 2018||€2472pp|
|08 Feb 2018||23 Feb 2018||€2526pp|
|22 Feb 2018||08 Mar 2018||€2526pp|
|01 Mar 2018||16 Mar 2018||€2605pp|
|08 Mar 2018||23 Mar 2018||€2738pp|
|05 Apr 2018||20 Apr 2018||€2845pp|
|19 Apr 2018||04 May 2018||€2925pp|
|26 Apr 2018||11 May 2018||€2911pp|
|03 May 2018||18 May 2018||€2911pp|
|10 May 2018||25 May 2018||€2871pp|
|17 May 2018||01 Jun 2018||€2885pp|
|24 May 2018||08 Jun 2018||€2965pp|
|31 May 2018||15 Jun 2018||€2792pp|
|07 Jun 2018||22 Jun 2018||€2965pp|
|21 Jun 2018||06 Jul 2018||€2991pp|
|05 Jul 2018||20 Jul 2018||€3231pp|
|09 Aug 2018||24 Aug 2018||€3324pp|
|30 Aug 2018||14 Sep 2018||€3231pp|
|06 Sep 2018||21 Sep 2018||€3364pp|
|13 Sep 2018||28 Sep 2018||€3417pp|
|20 Sep 2018||05 Oct 2018||€3324pp|
|27 Sep 2018||12 Oct 2018||€3191pp|
|04 Oct 2018||19 Oct 2018||€2925pp|
|11 Oct 2018||26 Oct 2018||€2858pp|
|18 Oct 2018||02 Nov 2018||€2792pp|
|25 Oct 2018||09 Nov 2018||€2792pp|
|08 Nov 2018||23 Nov 2018||€2659pp|
|15 Nov 2018||30 Nov 2018||€2712pp|
|29 Nov 2018||14 Dec 2018||€2393pp|
We have 2 rooms available on every tour date for single use where no single supplement will need to be paid. But hurry, these spaces are limited and subject to availability. If however once all the places are sold out and you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
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.
Please be advised at the present time the option to have your picture taken with a Panda in Chengdu is unavailable due to renovations.
Travel Advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information you can visit their website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Weather and Climate
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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