Bespoke your own trip to China!
Treat this sample itinerary as inspiration, your trip can be created specifically for you by one of our Tailormade experts and we will help you choose how you wish to travel through this destination. Maybe add in an extra day s sightseeing, take time out to relax or we can change accommodation to your budget. It will be your adventure, your way! Explore Shanghai, on China s central coast, the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Chengdu is the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Chengdu's history dates back to at least the 4th century B.C., when it served as capital for the Shu Kingdom. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat.
- Explore the vibrant city of Shanghai
- Meet the pandas in Chengdu
Activity grade: Leisurely
- Accommodation in selected hotel
- 7 breakfasts
- English speaking guide without shopping
- Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
- Entrance fees for mentioned visits
- Daily water
- Domestic flights
- International flights (if booked FI)
➕ Day 1
Overnight flights to Shanghai depart this afternoon.
➕ Day 2
Welcome to Shanghai! Upon arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. *Accommodation: The Bund Riverside*
➕ Day 3
Kick off a full day of this Shanghai culture tour with a visit to the French Concession, a symbol of the past privileges given to Westerners. Begin the stroll at Fuxing Park for a view of China s morning exercise/wellness routines. Follow the streets through the French Concession, where colonial residences now stand transformed into restaurants, bars, and diverse boutiques. A former global capital of vice, this Shanghai quarter once stood exempt from Chinese law! The morning continues on through Xintiandi, a revitalized neighborhood that now stands as one of the most animated centres of the city. Conclude the Concession walk by traversing Tianzifang, a maze of alleyways and lanes boasting restaurants, boutiques, and small galleries full of authentic, modern art. Transporting from colonial to traditional, head onwards to Shanghai s old town. Though mostly restored today, visitors can explore the remaining lilongs (equivalent to Beijing s hutongs), where local Shanghai life goes on as normal. The old town also houses the Yu Garden, a great place to get acquainted with the Chinese art of gardenscaping. An extremely popular visit on the weekends, it s best to explore the grounds just before closing hours. Feeling brave? Why not end the Shanghai city tour with a visit to the bazaar? From produce to souvenirs, locals and visitors alike haggle for the best prices on unique finds; the ideal place to pick up a Shanghai keepsake! *Accommodation: The Bund Riverside*
➕ Day 4
Start your day with a visit to the Bund: the city s famous promenade. Running alongside some of Puxi s most historical buildings, this area dates back to the 1930 s and displays Shanghai s rich culture and European influence. In stark contrast to this atmospheric visit, head underground to the famous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, a mini subway line crossing the Huangpu River into Pudong district. One of the most important and iconic business centres in Shanghai, it was not long ago that Pudong was nothing more than an agricultural marsh! Continuing the day with a visit of Shanghai Tower. Shanghai Tower is 632 meters tall with 121 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, it becomes the tallest and largest building in China. You can take its super high speed elevator to its 118th floor observation terrace and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Later you will head to the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai s most well-known temple. Its famous jade statue was one of 5 such relics brought back from Burma by a monk from the island of Putuoshan. Enjoy a cultural art visit to M50 (50 Moganshan Road). Between M50 and Beijing s 798 District, China has become quite the global leader in contemporary arts. Enjoy plenty of free time to explore this industrial art complex. Transfer to airport for a flight to Chengdu. Upon your arrival, you ll be welcomed by your local guide and be transferred to your hotel. Welcome to Chengdu! The capital of China s Sichuan province and ancient capital of the powerful Shu Kingdom, this city has held the same name for over two millennia, reflecting both its longevity as well as its major role within the region. *Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel*
➕ Day 5
Kick off the Chengdu panda tour with a visit to the Panda Breeding Centre (about 15km from Chengdu city centre.) Boasting just under 100 pandas, it s the largest centre for captive pandas in the world. The panda, or xiongmao in Chinese (literally meaning bear-cat ), is an endangered species that the Chinese Government and NGO specialists have been consciously protecting since the 1980s. Their efforts have been greatly rewarded and the latest population counts have shown an increase of nearly 50%! In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll through People s Park and watch along as the locals perfect the arts of Tai-Chi, Kung-fu, sword dance, meditation, dance, gymnastics, and other practices of well-being. For a truly sensational and otherworldly encounter, look for the ear cleaners ! Enjoy a cup of tea in the park. Then you will visit the Wenshu Temple (Manjushri Temple), the best preserved (fully-functioning) temple the Chengdu area. Back to hotel. *Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel*
➕ Day 6
Free morning at leisure for your own arrangement. Transfer back to airport for a flight to Shanghai. *Accommodation: The Bund Riverside*
➕ Day 7
Departure from Shanghai for Tongli in Suzhou. This little town whose foundation dates back to the 9th century is without a doubt one of the oldest in the region. Take a walk along the paved roads of whitewashed houses with black tile roofs so typical of the Venices of China . Some superb Ming Dynasty residences are proof of the prosperity and vitality of the town, such as the Gengle Tang, the former residence of a dignitary arranged around three courtyards and comprising of around 40 bedrooms (there used to be many more). It is said that he was so happy in his little paradise that the villagers thought he was a hermit! Boat trip on the Tonlgi canals, a town crossed by fifteen rivers and that is known above all else for its 49 curved bridges. You will continue with a visit to Tuisiyuan which literally translates as garden where one retires to reflect , which in a slightly longwinded way explains the role of this wonderful garden built in the 19th century and which was used as a retreat for Qing dynasty mandarins. Traditionally Chinese gardens should be a small-scale representation of nature, where the almost systematic presence of rocks represents the mountains, planes of water symbolize the lakes, and running water represents streams. This quest for harmony takes precedence over the tendency for geometric precision seen in western gardens. The routes through them are therefore never straight, making visitors walk randomly though, alone with your thoughts and without aim or a set itinerary. One tends one gardens as one tends one soul, a way of life practised by retired educated men and rich merchants of the region. *Accommodation: The Bund Riverside*
➕ Day 8
Enjoy a free day to explore Shanghai at your own leisure. *Accommodation: The Bund Hotel*
➕ Day 9
For land only travellers, the trip ends here today. Those who are flight inclusive will be taken to Shanghai airport to catch the overnight international flight home. *Accommodation: None*
➕ Day 10
Overnight flights arrive back into the UK today.