Our China Explorer tour is designed for the traveller looking to discover the highlights of the country in a short time. With vast distances to cover, our tour takes on a combination of air, rail and road travel to ensure you see the best the country has to offer as well as it’s incredible Islamic heritage.
With history dating back over 2000 years, China has so much to see that it’s almost impossible to see it all in one trip. Our tour can begin in either Shanghai or Beijing, and takes in two of China’s most famous cities. Beijing, home to the Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace is a walk through a different era amongst the fast paced local life. No trip to China is complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China, before you continue to Xian, Hangzhou and Suzhou
For more information on this tour, please select the ‘Itinerary’ tab. There you will find a detailed day to day agenda on what the China Explorer Tour has in store for you. Contact us for a bespoke quotation with our selection of complementary air connections from Europe, the US and Canada.
Valid for travel from February to November (supplements may apply during Easter and in July and August).
Alternative dates are available throughout the year at a supplement. Prices subject to change and availability at the time of booking.
Day 01: Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel by your tour guide. Today you will get to relax and enjoy the comforts of your hotel as you recover from possible jet lag. Unwind and prepare for you the days of activity ahead.
Day 02: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Salat at Niujie Mosque, Temple of Heaven
Salat: Niujie Mosque
Kick day two off exploring Beijing from the largest city square in the world; the impressive Tiananmen Square. From there you will enter the imperial palace known as the Forbidden City to explore its many fascinating halls and pavilions. After prayers at the Niujie Mosque, you and your group will visit the Temple of Heaven, the place where the Emperors worshipped the Heaven for good harvests. Later on in the day you will enjoy getting to know the local taste of various kinds of Chinese tea at a local tea house. After a relaxing day out exploring, retreat to your hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Day 03: Great Wall of China, Jade Museum, Sacred Way of Ming Tombs
Probably the highlight of the tour, day 3 will take you to the famous Great Wall of China. It was in 220 B.C. under Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China, when sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction of the great wall continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), when the Great Wall became the world’s largest military structure. On the way to the Great Wall, a quick stop will be made at Jade Museum, here you will have the chance to learn of the ancient art of jade carving skills. Towards the afternoon, your guide will take you to the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs where you will enjoy learning about the ancient Chinese Fengshui Theory.
Day 04: Summer Palace, Freshwater Pearl Shop, High-Speed Train to Xian
Start your day off being fascinated by visiting the largest garden in the world, the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was first built in 1750 and was largely destroyed in the war of 1860. Later on in 1886, it was restored to its original foundations in. The Summer Palace is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden designs with natural landscapes of hills and open water combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges. After your visit to the Summer Palace, you can enjoy shopping at Fresh Water Pearl. A bullet train ride to Xian (approximately five hours), will take you to the ancient capital city of China as well as the starting point of the famous Silk Road.
Day 05: City Wall of Xian, Terra Cotta Warriors
Wake up and enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading off to visit one of the world’s heritage sites, Xian City Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty between 1370-1387, the 12km long Xian City Wall is the best-preserved city wall now in the world. It is the representative of the Chinese rampart architecture at the later stage of the Middle Ages and is the witness of the civilization of the Ming and Qing period. After enjoying your tour, you will then proceed to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors reproduction factory and the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Emperor Qin Shihuang. The Terra Cotta Army is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world with three exhibition halls, the largest of which is 180 meters by 60 meters.
Day 06: Shaanxi History Museum, North Square of Big Wild Pagoda, Bell & Drum Tower Square, Great Mosque, Muslim Bazaar, Flight to Hangzhou
Salat: Xian Great Mosque
Day 6 of your tour in China takes you to the famous Shaanxi History Museum and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Designed in China’s grand and elegant ancient Tang Dynasty style, Shaanxi History Museum is a tribute to Shaanxi’s glamorous imperial past. The Tang Dynasty also constructed the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in 652 with the help of Monk Xuanzhuang who went to India looking for the truth of Buddhism. And as a result, brought back over 600 volumes of Buddhist scriptures from India. Both activities will take place in the morning. Later in the afternoon you and your group will take a trip to visit the Bell & Drum Tower Square. From here you will walk to one of the oldest mosques in China, Xian Great Mosque. This Mosque was built in 742 and underwent several reconstructions in the following dynasties. The existing buildings of this Mosque were mainly built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and expanded in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). You will also have the chance to test your bargaining skills at The Muslim Bazaar outside the Great Mosque. Here you’ll be able to find almost anything you can think of and may need before flying to Hangzhou during the night.
Day 07: West Lake Cruise, Dragon Well Tea Plantation, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Qinghefang Ancient Street
Salat: Hangzhou Phoenix Mosque
Probably the perfect start to any morning is a beautiful lake cruise. Enjoy the West Lake Cruise on day 7 of your tour. An attraction for centuries and a favourite imperial retreat in the ancient times, the natural setting of strangely shaped peaks, serene forests and springs, dense foliage and a myriad of blossoms truly create a heartwarming and relaxing journey. After enjoying your cruise, prepare to visit the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. This plantation lies on Fenghuang Hill with a wide area of rich spring water. Known for its greenness, fragrance, mellow taste, and beauty of tea leaves, Dragon Well Tea tops the ten renowned teas in China. After lunch and prayer at the Yuan Dynasty built Phoenix Mosque, you will then go on to visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda and Qinghefang Ancient Street.
Day 8: Drive to Suzhou, Garden of Master of Nets, Guanqian Street
Salat: Suzhou Taipingfang Mosque
Day 8 of your tour will take you on a relaxing drive to Suzhou in the morning. Praised by Marco Polo as the Venice of the Orient, Suzhou has always been the silk capital of China as well as the whole world for centuries. Upon arrival in Suzhou you will visit a specially selected garden, the Garden of the Master of Nets. This garden is the most exquisite and the best-preserved garden in all old residential gardens in Suzhou. The most striking feature of this garden is its use of space. Small as its size is, the scale of the building is large, but nothing appears cramped. Later you will enjoy a walk along the ancient Guanqian Street before heading back to your hotel to rest.
Day 9: Grand Canal Cruise, Silk Factory, Panmen Gate, Drive to Shanghai
Salat: Suzhou Taipingfang Mosque
Another cruise to start your morning off. The ancient Grand Canal Cruise was constructed in the Sui Dynasty (AD581-AD618) and was used as a waterway to ship the produce of Southeast China to the capital of China located in north China. On this cruise you will see how residents once lived and travelled. Next on your agenda is a visit to the Silk Factory. Here you will see mulberry plants growing, the silkworms eating, and the whole process of making silk before they are weaved in with the fabric to make silk quilts. After lunch and Salat prayer we will visit Panmen Gate which is part of the ancient city wall (built in 514 B.C.) and received restoration in 1351 (during the Yuan Dynasty). Drive to Shanghai in the afternoon.
Day 10: Yuyuan Garden, Chenghuanmiao Market, Silk Store, The Bund, Nanjing Road, People’s Square, Shanghai Museum
Salat: Xiaotaoyuan Mosque
In the morning of day 10, your last full day tour, enjoy a trip to the beautiful Yuyuan Garden and its nearby Chenghuangmiao Market. The Yuyuan Garden is an attractive labyrinth of over 30 Ming-dynasty pavilions built in 1577. Linking the pavilions are elaborate rockeries, arched bridges and carp-laden ponds. You will also have the chance to visit the People’s Square and one of the best museums in China, the Shanghai Museum in the afternoon.
Day 11: Departure from Shanghai
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at your hotel before being transferred to the airport for your departure flight.