Essential Plus Panda

12 Days

from £2,448

The perfect 12 day tour for the first time traveller to China, wanting to observe and spend time with China’s most recognised and adorable animal, the Giant Panda, as well as travelling to China’s most significant cities. These include the illustrious capital, Beijing, the modern and vibrant city of Shanghai and the historic city of Xian. There is also an opportunity to visit the ancient canal town of Zhujiajiao.

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Your 4★ Hotels

Day 1 UK to Beijing
Take your scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Beijing. If you prefer, we can arrange departures from your local airport.

Day 2 Arrive Beijing (D)
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. The afternoon is at your leisure, to relax or explore the area. Your guide will be pleased to advise you on what to do. In the early evening you will meet your fellow travellers for dinner.

Day 3 Beijing City Tour (BLD)
Your day starts with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the year. This is followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, and continues on to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs, for 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. This evening is your opportunity to sample a tasty Peking Duck Dinner.

Day 5 Bullet Train to Xian (BL)
This morning visit the Summer Palace, which encompasses a marvellous collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views, followed by a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake. You will be transferred to the station for your bullet train to Xian, which will take approx. 5 hours 30 minutes. On arrival check into your hotel for a two night stay.

Day 6 Terracotta Warriors (BLD)
Today your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a mesmerising collection of 10,000, almost perfectly preserved, life size statues of Chinese warriors, made over 2,000 years ago. This will be followed, in the afternoon, by a visit to Xian’s ancient city wall, which is best explored on foot or by bike. It is the most complete city wall surviving in China today, and is one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. For this evening’s meal, you will be offered an array of delicious dumplings to eat whilst being entertained by the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful
performance of traditional music and dance.

Day 7 Bullet Train to Chengdu (BL)
The Shaanxi Museum is today’s first stop, with over a quarter of a million artefacts on display. This will be followed by a trip to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, to discover China’s unique architectural style, and 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. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel 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 to Shanghai (BL)
After breakfast, the first stop will be the renowned Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre. Here natural habitats have been created to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding the once endangered pandas. Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to the buzzing metropolis of Shanghai, where you will check into your hotel for a three night stay.

Day 10 Shanghai City Tour (BLD)
The first attraction of the day will be the Yu Yuan Gardens, a century’s old area filled with beautiful pavilions, walkways, streams, courtyards and flowers. This will be followed by the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Shanghai Museum. There will be an opportunity to visit the Bund, Shanghai’s modern waterfront area, and you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city from the top of the Shanghai world financial centre.

Day 11 Zhujiajiao (BL)
Today will start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, known as the Pearl Stream, an ancient water town dating back over 1,700 years. Here you can expect to 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 and a chance to pick up those last minute souvenirs.

Day 12 Shanghai to UK (B)
Following breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK.


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.

Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel 4★

Located around a mile from the Oriental Pearl Tower and 1.2 miles from Superbrand Shopping Mall.  The hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with modern amenities including flat-screen TV and kettle.  There is a restaurant serving both Chinese and Western cuisine.

Tour Name: Essential Plus Panda

Tour Code: EPP12

Duration: 12 Days

Depart Return Price from
18/10/18 29/10/18 £2,698
25/10/18 05/11/18 £2,598
21/03/19 01/04/19 £2,448
04/04/19 15/04/19 £2,548
11/04/19 22/04/19 £2,548
09/05/19 20/05/19 £2,498
16/05/19 27/05/19 £2,498
06/06/19 17/06/19 £2,448
25/07/19 05/08/19 £2,848
08/08/19 19/08/19 £2,848
05/09/19 16/09/19 £2,598
12/09/19 23/09/19 £2,598
19/09/19 30/09/19 £2,598
10/10/19 21/10/19 £2,748
17/10/19 28/10/19 £2,748
24/10/19 04/11/19 £2,698
19/03/20 30/03/20 £2,498
02/04/20 13/04/20 £2,598
09/04/20 20/04/20 £2,598
07/05/20 18/05/20 £2,498
14/05/20 25/05/20 £2,498
04/06/20 15/06/20 £2,498
Manchester Flights Available

Single supplement from £348

Land only from £1,698 (no international flights or visa fees)

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

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 departing from London Heathrow with British Airways in economy class. 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: RMB450 (approx. £52) per person
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance