8 days

China Highlights

China Highlights

The Forbidden City

Terracotta Warriors of Xian


Kite flying in Tiananmen Square

Trip rating
  • The eastern flank of China is of enormous historical and cultural interest. The Qin and Han Dynasties, which lasted for some 500 years, were founded in Xian. This city is considered the birthplace of a united China. Both the Ming and Qing Dynasties held sway in Beijing from the end of the 14th century until 1911, when the last emperor was deposed. European influences also seeped into the region, first to Guangzhou (Canton), then later to Shanghai and Hong Kong. As a result there are many fascinating historical sites to discover.

    Starting in Beijing we explore all the major places of interest, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. We also visit a mostly unrestored and remote section of the Great Wall, allowing you to absorb the immenseness of this incredible structure without jostling for a position with thousands of other tourists. Xian is home to both a flourishing Muslim population and the world renowned 2000-year-old Terracotta Warriors. We then fly to Shanghai, the largest city in China, once known as the Paris of the East.

    Why we love it

    • China is of enormous historical and cultural interest.
    • Starting in Beijing you will explore major places of interest, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace.
    • You will also visit a section of the Great Wall easily accessible from Beijing and spend some time walking the masterpiece of architectural engineering.
    • Xi'an is home to both a flourishing Hui Muslim population and the world renowned 2000-year-old Terracotta Warriors.
    • Visiting Shanghai, one of the largest and most modern cities in China, once known as the Paris of the East, is a highlight of the trip.


    Day 1 - Beijing

    • On arrival in Beijing you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening you will meet your tour leader and the other group members for a pre-tour briefing. This is generally followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant - Peking Duck is often a popular choice.

    Dong Fang Hotel or similar

    Day 2-4 - Beijing - Xian

    • Beijing offers endless opportunities for exploration. The enormous Forbidden City, built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all of that time, is a truly amazing place. Its size might surprise you (it is huge!), but what makes it truly fascinating is that every square metre is detailed, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colourful, painted ceilings. The Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace are other fine examples of extraordinary workmanship which are also included in our time here. On Day 3 you will visit one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall at Mutianyu which used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. There is also ample free time built in to the itinerary, allowing you to make your own discoveries. In the evening, you might have the chance to enjoy a performance of the unique Beijing Opera or Acrobats (optional). You will leave Beijing in the afternoon of Day 4 on a high-speed train to Xian (journey time approx 5.5 hours), where on arrival you will enjoy a free evening.

    Dong Fang Hotel or similar

    Day 5 - Xian

    • Xian is a wonderful place to explore. The food options are excellent here, ranging from delicious Muslim fare to great dumplings and street food. Widely regarded as the first capital of a united China in 221 BC, the city is rich in history. A tour to the renowned Terracotta Warriors with a local guide introduces you to these entombed statues and is considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Over 6000 of them were individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, even facial expression. They are standing in battle formation, facing east in order to protect the tomb of China's first emperor, the great Qin Shihuang. In 1974, farmers digging a well discovered the underground vault, which was home to this army for two millennium. Xian also has a wonderful Muslim Quarter. A free afternoon can be spent wandering the narrow streets where you will find quaint shops, lively markets, groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes, and the Great Mosque, one of the most important and unique in China.

    Union Alliance Hotel or similar

    Day 6-7 - Shanghai

    • Today you will fly to Shanghai and transfer to your hotel located near the famous Bund or waterfront area, where dozens of imposing European colonial buildings, remnants of the concession era, line the promenade. This is an excellent place for people watching as domestic tourists also flock here for photo opportunities. The shopping area on Nanjing Road is situated nearby our hotel too. You will enjoy free time in Shanghai, and your tour leader can show you how to get to the famous Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, a fascinating highlight of the city and worth exploring for its tranquil Chinese garden and wonderful food stalls. On your last evening you will enjoy a farewell drink at one of in the highest bars in the world - Cloud 9 Bar in the Jin Mao Tower (87 floors up!). Shanghai certainly looks impressive from the top of a skyscraper!

    Bund Riverside Hotel or similar

    Day 8 - Shanghai

    • The tour will come to an end today after breakfast. You should arrange an evening flight out, or stay an extra day, if you wish to have time to explore more of Shanghai. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.

  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • An experienced, English-speaking local Peregrine leader and specialist local guides at some sites
    • Authentic Accommodation: 7 nights comfortable hotel
    • Meals: 7 breakfasts
    • Arrival transfer
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing - Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace, Xian - Terracotta Warriors, Shanghai - Walking tour
    • Visit an impressive section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu
    • High-speed train from Beijing to Xi'an
    • Domestic flight from Xi'an to Shanghai
    • Chinese visa support

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip

    Safety Information

    China is a safe country to travel in and very few travellers will experience any safetly concerns. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare, but incidents do occur. Foreigners can be targeted for passports, laptops, mobile phones, purses and handbags. Major tourist sites and areas frequented by foreigners attract thieves and pickpockets. Take extra care at major tourist sites, street markets, Beijing International Airport, major international events and conferences and popular bar areas after dark.

    There are occasional incidents with taxi and pedicab drivers who insist the passenger misunderstood the fare. Avoid travelling in unmarked or unmetered ‘taxis’ and insist on paying only the meter fare. Ask the driver for a receipt (fapiao), on which the taxi number should be printed. You can take this to the police to lodge a complaint.

    Counterfeit bank notes (especially RMB100) are increasingly common. They are generally crumpled to avoid detection. Unscrupulous traders may try to switch your genuine bank notes for counterfeits. Check carefully before accepting notes. It is quite normal to do so.

    Beware of scams particularly in popular tourist areas. A regular example is the ‘tea tasting’ scam. Scams usually involve a foreign national being invited to visit a bar, shop or cafe – for example to practice English or meet a girl - but results in demands for an exorbitant fee, often payable by credit card. This can result in threats of violence or credit card fraud.

    Fire protection standards in Chinese accommodation are not always the same as at home. Check fire precautions including access to fire exits.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    China Highlights

    Petroula - Australia, 29 Mar, 2013
    Overall Rating

    We had an enjoyable holiday. It was comprehensive and we felt we were provided with a valuable insight into the culture, particularly while travelling on public transport and eating at local restaurants. The food our tour leader selected was delicious. We enjoyed the atmosphere of a small group tour and would travel with Peregrine again.

    China Highlights

    Marchaine - Australia, 29 Mar, 2013
    Overall Rating

    This was my first tour and I could not have asked for a beter well organised, personalised trip and it all goes down to the amazing tour leaders experiance. He helped arrange trips on our days where we had our own time and worked with the group to make sure we were all getting what we wanted out of the time we had.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PCHC
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Beijing, China
End City: Shanghai, China
Style: Small Group

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