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China

In Pursuit of Pandas Tour

From €2,490pp all-inclusive
Depart From
Fly from Cork, Dublin or Shannon
Departure Date
Departures March to November 2020
Duration
9 Days
Destination
China
Price
From €2,490pp all-inclusive
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Fly from Cork, Dublin or Shannon to China and embark on a luxury tour of this incredible country, including a visit to the world-famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu.

Journey from the imperial treasures of Beijing through atmospheric Xian with its enigmatic legions of Terracotta Warriors to reach the charming city of Chengdu, where you will meet its most famous residents – the captivating Giant Pandas.

Tour Highlights:

  •  Wander along the incredible Great Wall of China
  •  Step back into China's dynastic past at the Imperial Forbidden City
  •  Come face to face with the Terracotta Warriors
  •  Visit the world famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu
  •  Gaze awestruck at magnificent Grand Buddha of Leshan
  •  Wander colourful Jinli Street and sample a smorgasbord of street snacks

This adventure is ideal for travellers with less time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of this incredibly diverse destination. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities of China.

This group tour is also available as a private tour. Please ask our Travel Designers for pricing and further information.

Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing

Fly overnight to Beijing, China’s historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

Day 3 Imperial Beijing

We begin in Beijing’s symbolic heart with a stroll across Tiananmen Square, flanked by imposing government buildings and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. At the head of the square the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City is a monument to dynasties past. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex of a thousand rooms and many imperial treasures.

Later soak up the harmonious ambiance of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in, a dance class. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck.

Day 4 Great Wall of China

This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Stretching thousands of miles from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert, over all sorts of dramatic landscapes, it is one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the wall itself and the magnificent scenery that it crosses.

Jade is revered throughout China, it is said to bring fortune and prosperity to those who wear it. You will have an opportunity to visit a Jade museum, where you will be able to buy a small handcrafted piece.

Savour a relaxed afternoon in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional gardens and admire exquisite architecture. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.

Day 5 Fly to Xian

Fly to Xian. An illustrious and age-old city, Xian is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. It is also the capital of Shaanxi province, and the starting point of the fabled Silk Road with a history spanning 3,100 years.

Take a leisurely stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town to get your bearings, before a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.

Day 6 Terracotta Warriors

After their fortuitous discovery by local farmers in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-like warriors who stand in their original formations at the exact location they were excavated.

Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home.Take bullet train to Chengdu.

Day 7 Grand Buddha of Leshan

This morning visit one of the world’s finest panda conservation centres where you’ll gain a real insight into the hard work that goes into caring for and boosting the population of this endangered species. The pandas here are kept in conditions very close to their natural habitat.

Later, enjoy the atmosphere of Jinli Street – a lively street lined with antique shops and restaurants before sampling a delicious Sichuanese meal.

Day 8 Giant Pandas

A visit to Chengdu’s famous Panda Conservation Centre allows you to see and learn about China’s celebrated bears. See them up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat as they chomp through piles of bamboo. A look around the informative museum gives an overview of the Reserve’s breeding programme.

Also, visit the Shu Brocade Embroidery Museum, then enjoy a hot beverage in a traditional tea house before visiting Matchmakers Corner where parents search for worthy suitors for their children.

Day 9 Fly Chengdu to Ireland

Return flight to Ireland, arriving home the same or following day.

Jiangxi Grand Hotel, Beijing

Located in the Fentai District, the Jiangxi Grand Hotel is close to many of Beijing’s sites and attractions. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant serving Chinese and Western cuisine, a coffee shop, a bar, a tea house and a fitness centre. The 322 rooms and suites are traditionally furnished with air conditioning, satellite television, tea making facilities, a minibar and a safety deposit box.

YuLong International Hotel, Xi'an

Located 5 kilometers from the city downtown, Yulong International Hotel ,combines elegance and sophistication with first-class service. Facilities include three restaurants, a lobby bar, games room, beauty salon, fitness room and business centre. The 258 beautifully decorated and well-equipped rooms have air-conditioning, satellite LCD flatscreen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, mini-bar, hairdryer and a safe deposit box.

Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel, Chengdu

The Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel is located a ten minute walk from the centre of Chengdu. All of its air conditioned, en-suite rooms have a safety deposit box, tea making facilities and a flat screen satellite television. There are also complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, a fitness centre and an onsite restaurant featuring Chinese and Korean cuisine.

This group tour is also available as a private tour. Please ask our Travel Designers for pricing and further information.

Visa

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process. Please ask us for more information.

Tipping

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country.

If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
 
In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

Food

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
 
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
 
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
 
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
 
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
 
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
 
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

Price is per adult, based on 2 sharing and includes:

  • Return flights and charges from Cork, Dublin or Shannon 
  • Accommodation as outlined at 4 star hotels
  • All transportation
  • All meals 
  • Guides and daily tours
  • All entrance fees
  • Cost of visa for EU passport holders

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Upgrade your flights to first or business class
  • This group tour is also available as a private tour. Please ask our Travel Designers for pricing and further information
  • Travel insurance
  • Guided tours, day trips, activities and excursions
  • Extra special luxury upgrades like going through private airport security
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

 For more information on this luxury holiday, please get in touch:

  • Call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135
  • Email info@shandontravel.ie
  • Request a call-back using the red button
  • Or submit an enquiry through the form below

 Honeymooners can call our specialist on 0818 22 44 55 or email info@myhoneymoon.ie.

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