China Rail Discovery

15 Days

from £2,898

China’s train system has expanded dramatically over the past decade with the construction of an extensive high-speed rail network. Widespread investment into the rail system has produced an efficient, reliable, high-tech service with safe, comfortable trains covering vast distances in shorter journey times. There are now many bullet trains in operation in China, which provide an interesting way to see more of the countryside and scenery away from the big cities. This tour takes you to the well-known cities of Beijing and Shanghai, to Xian to see the incredible Terracotta Warriors, Chengdu to see pandas, and all this is combined with a relaxing Yangtze cruise. You are sure to enjoy exploring China using its vast and efficient rail network.

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Day 1 UK to Beijing

Take a scheduled flight from the UK to Beijing with British Airways.

Day 2 Arrive Beijing (D)

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. You will have a chance to relax before your guide will escort you to dinner where you will meet your fellow group members.

Day 3 Beijing City Tour (BLD)

In the morning, visit the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests, and where you can observe the tradition of Tai Chi practiced in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world, and continues to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs. Here, you can have a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens.

Day 4 Great Wall (BLD)

Today visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post along the wall offering breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its unique construction. This will be followed by an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous Peking Duck Dinner, a traditional delicacy and a culinary must.

Day 5 Bullet Train to Xian (BL)

In the morning visit the Summer Palace, home to an impressive collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching a bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes), for a two night stay.

Day 6 Terracotta Warriors (BLD)

Today, your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of 10,000 life size statues of the Chinese army made over 2,000 years ago. This will be followed by a visit to the ancient city wall in Xian, best experienced on foot or by bike. It is the most complete city wall surviving in China, and is one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. This evening you will have a delicious dumpling dinner while being entertained by the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

Day 7 Bullet Train to Chengdu (BL)

Visit the Shaanxi Museum which has over a quarter of a million artefacts on display, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, to discover China’s unique architectural style, ending with a visit to the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the station to take a bullet train to Chengdu for a two night stay.

Day 8 Chengdu (B)

Day at leisure to explore Chengdu independently. Perhaps explore the old town, or relax in the People’s Park watching the locals play mahjong or practising Tai Chi.

Day 9 Giant Pandas and Transfer to Cruise (BLD)

In the morning arrive at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, where naturalistic habitats have been created to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding pandas. Afterwards transfer to the train station for a bullet train to Chongqing (approx 2 hours). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the 5* Victoria Cruise.

Days 10-11 Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)

On the first day of the cruise, you can relax while the ship meanders along the Yangtze, allowing you to enjoy the scenic views. There’s an excursion to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”, and on the last day, enjoy a journey on a small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream while marvelling at the soaring limestone cliffs rising sheer from the water.

Day 12 Bullet Train to Shanghai (BL)

Before arriving at Yichang you will visit The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Disembark at Yichang at noon and our guide will escort you to the station for a train to Shanghai (approx 8 hours), and a three night stay.

Day 13 Shanghai City Tour (BLD)

The first attraction of the day will be the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The century’s old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, walkways, streams, courtyards and flowers, perfect for the horticulturist. At the Jade Buddha Temple, one can expect impressive temples, both historic and modern, housing large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. After viewing the Shanghai Museum, there will be an opportunity to visit the waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, from the top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.

Day 14 Zhujiajiao (BL)

Today will start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town with a 1,700 year history, known as the Pearl Stream. After, you will see the Ming and Qing Dynasty bridges, two ancient and historic buildings, and the Ma Family Garden before heading back to Shanghai for an afternoon at leisure.

Day 15 Shanghai to UK (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

This group tour will typically use 4 Star Hotels or properties of a similar standard if those listed are not available. All rooms are equipped with a double or twin beds, private bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, heating, TV’s, telephones and WiFi as standard.

Your 4★ Hotels

Beijing: Guangxi Hotel 4★

Conveniently located near the Panjiayuan Antique Market and 5 km from Hongqiao Market and Temple of Heaven. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool.

Xian: Grand Dynasty Culture 4★

Located near Great Mosque, Drum Tower and the Bell Tower. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool and a health club. There is also a restaurant and a nightclub.

Chengdu: Sichuan Hotel 4★

This hotel is located in the city centre. The guest rooms are all air-conditioned and elegant. There is a sauna, gym, beauty salon, an indoor swimming pool and an aerobic trainer, and the restaurant serves authentic Sichuan as well as international cuisine.

Yangtze River: Victoria Cruise 5★

Used on all our group tours, boasting the largest five-star fleet on the Yangtze River. All cabins have modern amenities featuring private bathrooms and balconies. You also have the option to upgrade to Executive Deck for only £99 (3 night cruise). Restaurants serve delicious onboard meals. Spectacular views of the scenery can be gain from every stateroom and public area.

Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong 4★

The hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with modern amenities and there is a restaurant serving both Chinese and Western cuisine.

Tour Name: China Rail Discovery

Tour Code: CRD15
 15 Days

Depart Return Price  from
21/03/19 04/04/19 £2,898
04/04/19 18/04/19 £2,998 NOW £2,923*
11/04/19 25/04/19 £2,998 NOW £2,923*
09/05/19 23/05/19 £2,998
16/05/19 30/05/19 £2,998
06/06/19 20/06/19 £2,898
25/07/19 08/08/19 £3,298
08/08/19 22/08/19 £3,298
05/09/19 19/09/19 £3,098
12/09/19 26/09/19 £3,098
19/09/19 03/10/19 £3,098
10/10/19 24/10/19 £3,198
17/10/19 31/10/19 £3,198
24/10/19 07/11/19 £3,198
19/03/20 02/04/20 £2,898
02/04/20 16/04/20 £2,998
09/04/20 23/04/20 £2,998
07/05/20 21/05/20 £2,998
14/05/20 28/05/20 £2,998
04/06/20 18/06/20 £2,898
Direct Flights From Manchester

Prices and products are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Single supplement from £558

Land only from £2,198 (no international flights or visa fees)

The deposit for these arrangements is £300 per person. Balance is due 10 weeks before departure.

Please call 020 8543 8133 for more information or to make a booking.


  • International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow with British Airways. Regional departures and flight upgrades are available on request.
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★ accommodation based on twin share
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Visa fees


  • Local tips: RMB480 (approx £56) per person
  • RMB150 (approx £18) per person tips aboard the Yangtze Cruise
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance

*Manchester Flight Offer Terms and Conditions. Offer subject to availability on selected dates, for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer. China Links Travel terms and conditions apply.