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10-day Pandas and palaces

Beijing - Xi'an - Chengdu

pandas at Chengdu

A short 10-day group tour that combines China's loveable giant pandas in Chengdu with the 'must-see' attractions in China, including the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terracotta Army. Guaranteed departure dates with minimum of 2 passengers.

Day 1  Depart London Heathrow or regional airports.

Day 2  Arrive Beijing. Met on arrival by your driver and transfer to the Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen, popular with westerners, or similar. Rest of the day free.

Day 3  Pick up from your hotel by your driver who will take you through Beijing's traffic to four iconic sights within the city: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Self-guided tour (entrance fees payable locally) (B)

Day 4  Free day to explore Beijing on your own. Alternatively, join an optional join-in coach tour to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs. Excursion to the Great Wall at Badaling, about one hour's drive from the city centre. Climb up to the wall and walk along this marvel of human construction. Then visit the tombs of the Ming Emperors, in particular Changling, the tomb of the emperor Zhongle. Also visit a jade carving workshop and silk shop. Lunch included. (price of tour £ 30pp) (B, L)

Day 5  Transfer by driver to railway station for high-speed train to Xi'an (about 5 hour journey). Met on arrival by driver and English-speaking assistant and transfer to 4-star Somerset Xindicheng Xi'an Hotel or Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel.

Day 6  Day excursion with your own English-speaking assistant and driver to to the life-size warriors of the world-famous Terracotta Army in the morning, created in the 3rd century BC to guard the tomb of China's first emperor. Also visit Xi'an's Grand Mosque and the streets of the Muslim Quarter. Lunch included. (B, L)

Day 7  Transfer to railway station for high-speed train to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province (journey time 3 hours). Met on arrival by your driver and transfer to 4-star Yinhe Dynasty Hotel or similar. (B, L)

Day 8  Pick up from hotel by your driver and self-guided tour of the world famous Panda Research Base on the outskirts of Chengdu, where many giant pandas are kept and which runs a breeding programme dedicated to preserving the species. See numerous pandas, including the chance to see the babies in the nursery. Then travel to view the imposing Giant Buddha at Leshan, one of the world's largest Buddha statues carved from a cliff overlooking the Min River in the 8th century AD, a feat that took 90 years to complete. (B, L)

Day 9  Free day in Chengdu. Perhaps visit the People's Park, Wenshu Temple or the traditional Jinli Street. (B)

Day 10  Own arrangement to Chengdu airport for flights back to UK, arriving later the same day (B)


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