Cut off from the rest of Asia by the Russian steppes to the north and the Himalayas to the south, China has spent literally thousands of years refining and innovating its ancient cultures. Today’s rush for modernity may seem to replicate the style of the west, but it is being conducted in a manner that is unmistakably Chinese – all of which makes travelling in this vast country a uniquely compelling experience.

Undiminished by the economic revolution taking place around them, China’s Big Five sights – the Great Wall, Forbidden City in Beijing, Terracotta Army, Yangtze Gorges and limestone mountains around Guilin and Yangshuo – all retain their timeless allure. For the most vivid taste of old China, however, we recommend visiting smaller, less frequented destinations between the headline locations or, time permitting, venturing to the country’s far southern and western provinces, whose rural heartlands preserve architecture and ways of life little altered since the Ming and Qing eras.

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Suggested tours to China

China Experience

China Experience

13 days from £2095 per person

Beijing, the enthralling capital city of China, is your first stop on our China Experience tour. Visit Tian An Men Square and the Great Wall…

Classic China

Classic China

13 days from £1949 per person

Journey to the capital city of Beijing on our Classic China tour. See the iconic Tian An Men Square, catch a glimpse of life in…

Discover China

Discover China

17 days from £2925 per person

This once-in-a-lifetime trip will leave you awe-struck at the refinement of ancient Chinese culture, and splendour of the country’s landscape. In seventeen days you’ll complete…

Shanghai and the Garden Cities

Shanghai and the Garden Cities

12 days from £2935 per person

If you’ve been seduced by the aesthetics of medieval China showcased in Ang Lee’s movie, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, you’ll love this leisurely tour of…

China’s Ancient Heartland

China’s Ancient Heartland

15 days from £3745 per person

Trace the evolution of Chinese religious culture from the rock-cut caves of the Wei Dynasty (mid-5th century AD) to the warrior monks of Shaolin’s Kung…

China Grand Tour

China Grand Tour

20 days from £4685 per person

This once-in-a-lifetime tailor-made tour or trip will leave you awe-struck at the refinement of ancient Chinese culture, and splendour of the country’s landscape. Three weeks…

China’s Forgotten Himalaya

China’s Forgotten Himalaya

13 days from £4830 per person

A chain of five beautifully sited lodges in the mountains of northwest Yunnan Province provide the backbone of this 12-day trip to the edges of…

Iconic Landscapes of China

Iconic Landscapes of China

17 days from £6090 per person

Antique scroll paintings spring to life on this 17-day tour, which blends together the crème de la crème of the country’s most distinctive landscapes. In…

China's Ancient Silk Road

China's Ancient Silk Road

19 days from £6195 per person

Retrace the route followed by the Buddhist monks and caravan traders of the Tang Dynasty on this wonderful odyssey from the country’s heartland to the…

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China Places and Experiences

Beijing

Beijing

With its horizons of tower cranes and smog-shrouded skyscrapers, Beijing is a city which has totally reinvented itself in less than a generation, and not without growing pains. At the same time, the hi-octane Chinese capital has managed to…

Forbidden City (Beijing)

Forbidden City (Beijing)

Comprising over 800 buildings ranged around a series of vast paved courtyards, Beijing’s Gugong, or ‘Imperial Palace’, formed the nerve centre of the Ming and Qing empires. For the five centuries during which it was in use, this magnificent…

Xi'an

Xi'an

Xi'an, capital of populous Shanxi Province, is one of China’s fastest expanding industrial centres, and at first glance seems to hold little promise for visitors. For over two-thousand years, however, this well-watered area at the heart of…

The Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army

In 1974, a couple of farm workers digging a well in the fields outside Xi'an uncovered the limb of a terracotta figure. What they didn’t know then, and which only became apparent after years of careful excavation, was that the statue formed…

Chengdu

Chengdu

On the western edge of Sichuan’s Red Basin, Chengdu is the largest city in Western China, with an ultra-modern, high-rise centre that belies its role as a regional capital for over 4,000 years. Brocaded silk from here found its way to the b…

The Great Wall

The Great Wall

China’s Great Wall undulates for over 5,500 miles (8,880km) across the north of the country – an astounding engineering feat and a vivid testament to both the might of the emperors who built it, and the fear inspired by the Mongol hordes wh…

Guilin & the Li River

Guilin & the Li River

Featured on ancient scroll paintings, Ming porcelain vases and the modern 20-Yuan note, the karst mountains of Guangxi province rise at surreal gradients from the limpid green waters of the Li River – a landscape that has for centuries epit…

Yunnan

Yunnan

For Chinese people, ‘Yunnan’ represents everything that’s most exotic about their own country. Bordered by Tibet, Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Vietnam, the province encompasses extraordinary geographic extremes: ice peaks, rice terraces, jaw-d…

Giant Panda Base

Giant Panda Base

The bamboo forests of southern Sichuan are the last stronghold of China’s national treasure, the Giant Panda. Around 1,500 of these adorable black-and-white bears survive in the wild, but they’re notoriously reclusive. For a guaranteed sigh…

Longji & the 'Dragon's Backbone' Rice Terraces

Longji & the 'Dragon's Backbone' Rice Terraces

Around 95 miles (150km) north of Guilin city in Longsheng county, the slopes below Longji Titian (‘Dragon’s Backbone’) mountain have been molded across the centuries into narrow rice terraces that hug the folds and contours of the hillsides…

Yangtze River Cruising

Yangtze River Cruising

Flowing for 3,915 miles (6,300km) from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea, the Yangtze is the country’s most scenic waterway. A series of dramatic gorges line the great river, which since the completion of the Three Gorges Dam in 200…

Lijiang

Lijiang

The vision of the Jade Dragon Mountain’s eternal snowfields shining above the elegantly upcurved, pantiled rooftops of Lijiang is one of the most evocative in China. An important way stage on the old Tea Horse Road, the town emerged a thous…

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Start thinking about your next holiday

Whilst we stay at home, there is no better time to start thinking about your next holiday. Our Travel Specialists are ready to start planning your dream trip whether that is for some winter sun or a 2021 holiday. We don't need to confirm dates or lock-in deposits, let's just get the conversation going.

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