China vacation and Yangtze river cruise

“An epic trip across the length and breadth of the country by road, rail, river and flight, this is a brilliantly organised and varied journey of China's most iconic sights and sounds.”

Highlights

Beijing | The Great Wall of China | Forbidden City | Temple of Heaven Park | Mutianyu | Xi'an | Drum Plaza and Great Mosque | Terracotta Warriors | Chengdu | Leshan Giant Buddha | Chengdu Giant Panda Research Centre | Yangtze River cruise | Liuzhou | Yangshuo | Guilin | Shanghai | Suzhou

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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19 Mar 2021
US $4279
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26 Mar 2021
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02 Apr 2021
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06 Apr 2021
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23 Apr 2021
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07 May 2021
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21 May 2021
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09 Jul 2021
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06 Aug 2021
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17 Aug 2021
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27 Aug 2021
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07 Sep 2021
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10 Sep 2021
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17 Sep 2021
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08 Oct 2021
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15 Oct 2021
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22 Oct 2021
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25 Mar 2022
US $4349
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01 Apr 2022
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12 Apr 2022
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22 Apr 2022
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13 May 2022
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27 May 2022
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05 Jul 2022
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05 Aug 2022
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16 Aug 2022
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26 Aug 2022
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02 Sep 2022
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09 Sep 2022
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13 Sep 2022
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Our top tip:
Pack light - it'll help with getting on and off trains.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
12 nights good hotel, 3 nights 4* cruise boat, 3 nights first class sleeper train.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge.
Meals:
18 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 2 dinners.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, transfers, listed activities, guide.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip we spend 12 nights in hotels, 3 nights on a cruise boat and 3 nights on a first class sleeper train. All of the hotels and the cruise company we use are locally owned and locally staffed, which is way of boosting employment levels in the areas we visit. We also try to select accommodation for environmental awareness, which is still in its infancy in China. For example, the hotel in Beijing encourages clients switch off lights with signs, has optional daily linen changing and air-con is only turned on when temperatures hit 26 degrees outside. Where meals are not supplied, tour leaders will take clients to locally owned restaurants where food is authentic and either locally grown or sourced.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Community:
Often people can experience quite a culture shock when traveling in China, so our local guides are always keen to help clients understand the culture better and to connect more genuinely with local communities. Part of this cultural exchange and support of community is made by visiting small businesses throughout the trip. There are several occasions where guests are encouraged to do this- for example, in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, there are bazaars and food markets where it is possible to support local producers and even see crafts and food made (dumplings, pancakes, fruit drinks etc.).

Local Craft and Culture:
There is so much on offer in terms of culture on this trip. Just to name a few activities, we see the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, the Great Mosque and Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an and the Leshan Buddha. We even offer optional activities where you can see the opera, an acrobat show or take a kung fu lesson! Crafts are available throughout the trip and there are some wonderful, traditionally made souvenirs available- especially in Yangshuo. Leaders will be able to advise where the best places to shop are and what should be avoided e.g. traditional medicine made from endangered animals.

Climate

5 Reviews of China vacation and Yangtze river cruise

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 03 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The food! The Terra Cotta warriors, the pandas

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was not good for the other 2 participants, one of whom didn't eat fish and the other was a vegetarian. Even the broths were made with pork stock. ( I just enjoyed it all!)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The hotels were locally owned and not part of Western chains, we made a point of using local restaurants and not KFC, McDonald's, Starbucks etc. And we mainly used public transport when it was needed

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Much better than I expected and very good value for money

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Walking the Great Wall of China.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Not too big a suitcase as a lot of moving plus steps at train stations.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Very slight.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good but not a leisurely vacation. Should be graded higher. Would like to have spent more time in countryside.

Read the operator's response here:

We would like to thank Heather for her feedback, whilst we were pleased that she had a good vacation overall, we are sorry that she was left feeling that her trip had only a slight benefit to the local communities and environment. On this trip, for example, all of the hotels and cruise company we use are locally owned and staffed which is a way of boosting employment levels in the areas we visit. We also try to select accommodation for environmental awareness, which is still in its infancy in China. Whenever food is provided, ingredients are locally sourced and we try to eat at local restaurants or visit bazaars and food markets.

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The time in Yangshuo was the best part of the vacation. That landscape is amazing.



2. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes.

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Walk on the Great Wall in near perfect weather and early in the morning before it was too crowded or too warm.
Terracotta Warriors exceeded expectations despite seeing hundreds of photographs and reading articles. Its still mind blowing in scale and detail.
Seeing six baby pandas being fed, burped and put outside to play in Chengdu. Again early morning before the park was too crowded.
Water show in Yangshou - world class and unique setting.


2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take Yuan with you. Almost impossible to use credit cards except in Western style shops (which I avoided like the plague).
Optional trips are really good.
Be prepared to push and shove. Culturally it's what they do. Nothing will prepare you for the number of people at the tourist attractions and in the cities. If
you can't cope with crowds and noise don't go.
Food is great

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


In as much as possible. There was good use of local hotels, transport, guides and restaurants. Trains were used whenever possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was excellent. We were particularly impressed with the local guide- his organisation local knowledge etc was tremendous and really made the vacation. We were recommended to use you to select a vacation and I have already fed back that this really worked for us.

Reviewed on 14 May 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The walk along part of the Great Wall of China

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you are fit enough to carry your own bags as some railways don't have lifts or escalator . Wheels on your luggage is a must!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we helped and bought from local traders

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


9 out of ten

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