Essential Plus Panda Private Tour (4★ & 5★ option)

12 Days

4★ from £3,490     5★ from £4,180

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 the historical cities of China.  These include the illustrious capital, Beijing, the modern and vibrant of Shanghai and the historical city of Xian. There is also an opportunity to visit Suzhou, known as “Venice of the East”.


  • International Flights with economy class
  • Transfers and Transport in China
  • Hotel accommodation based on twin share
  • English Speaking Guides
  • Meals as Specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Entrance Fees to the sites listed
  • Visa fees
  • Airport Taxes


  • Tips
  • Personal Spending
  • Travel Insurance
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2018 – 19

Day 1  UK to  Beijing
You will take a scheduled flight from the UK to Beijing. Alternatively, we can arrange departures from your local airport.

Day 2  Arrive Beijing (D)
Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. In the afternoon you will have time to relax or take a walk in the surrounding area. Your guide will be pleased to advise on what you can do at your leisure. In the early evening your guide will escort you for dinner where you will meet your fellow group members.

Day 3  Beijing city tour (BLD)
In the morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven – this was the place where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the God of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the year, where you can observe the tradition of practicing Tai Chi in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world. Continue 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, which hosted 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, which includes a grand collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake. You will then catch a bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes).

Day 6  Terracotta Warriors (BLD)
Today your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of ten thousand life size statues of the Chinese army made over two thousand years ago, yet preserved almost perfectly. This will be followed by a visit to the ancient city wall in Xian in the afternoon, which can be enjoyed through a peaceful stroll or a bike ride. It is the most complete city wall that has survived in China, it is one of the largest military defensive systems in the world. This evening you will try a dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

Day 7  To Chengdu (BLD)
Today, you will visit the Shaanxi Museum which houses over a quarter of a million artifacts on display, including treasures from many periods of China’s history. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, will explore China’s unique architecture style, then you will visit the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community.  Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chengdu.

Day 8  Chengdu (B)
Day at leisure to explore Chengdu independently. Alternatively, you can take an optional day tour with lunch to the Leshan Giant Buddha, a 233-foot tall stone statue, built during the Tang Dynasty. The Buddha is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers near the city of Leshan, and it is the largest stone Buddha in the world. (You will return to your hotel in Chengdu at around 6.30pm – 7pm.  Tour cost £99 per person, minimum 4 passengers required to operate).

Day 9 Giant Pandas and to Shanghai (BLD)
After breakfast, the first stop will be at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, just 6 miles from downtown Chengdu. Here naturalistic habitats have been created to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding the adorable pandas. Afterwards transfer to the airport for a flight to the buzzing metropolis of Shanghai.

Day 10  Shanghai city tour (BLD)
The first attraction of the day will be the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The centuries old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards and flowers, perfect for the horticulturist. At the Jade Buddha Temple, one can expect impressive temples, both historical and modern, sporting large,intricate sculptures of Buddha. After viewing the Shanghai Museum, there will be anopportunity to visit the waterfront attraction of the Bund to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis. Later, on top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.

Day 11  Zhujiajiao (BL)
Today will start with a visit to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town with a history of over 1,700 years known as the Pearl Stream.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.

Day 12  Shanghai to UK (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

4★ Private Tour Hotels
Beijing Guangxi Hotel 4 ★
Xian Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel 4 ★
Chengdu Yinhe Dynasty Hotel 4 ★
Shanghai Greenland Jiulong 4 ★

Beijing: Guangxi Hotel

Xian: Grand Dynasty Culture

Chengdu: Yinhe Dynasty Hotel

Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel

5★ Private Hotels
Beijing Hilton Wangfujing 5★
Sofitel on renmin square Xian 5★
Shangri La Hotel Chengdu 5★
Grand Central Shanghai 5 ★

Beijing: Hilton Wangfujing Hotel

Xian: Sofitel on Renmin Square

Chengdu: Shangri la Hotel Chengdu

Shanghai: Grand Central