Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of China including Pandas

A great first holiday to China with the chance to see the iconic Giant Panda

12 days

from £2,150pp (excluding flights)
  • Explore Beijing, from the ancient Forbidden City to the modern Olympic Bird Nest complex
  • See the Terracotta Warriors and the lesser known Miniature Warriors in Xian
  • The chance to play with and bottle feed a young panda as part of their socialisation
  • Visit the Grand Buddha, the world’s largest Buddha statue

Highlights of China with Pandas Holiday Overview

This holiday idea includes many of the classic highlights of China as well as the chance to visit one of the country’s most iconic residents, the Giant Panda. The trip begins in Beijing with time to visit sites including the Temple of Heaven, a sacred place where locals gather in the early morning to exercise and socialise and of course the Great Wall of China where you can walk on this amazing structure and take in some of the surrounding rural scenery. Travel by high speed train to the ancient silk route city of Xian where you will explore the colourful Muslim quarter and visit the famed Terracotta Warriors. From here, fly to Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China, home to the Giant Panda. Here you will have the chance to get up close to these endangered bears at Bifeng Gorge Panda Sanctuary and also visit some of the fascinating Buddhist sites in this area. With direct flights now available in and out of Chengdu with British Airways it is a straight forward flight home from Chengdu, directly to London Heathrow, arriving later that same day.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2150 £ 510
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Beijing overnight

Day 2

Day at leisure in Beijing

Beijing is China's capital, and a city of epic proportions. It is a cauldron of history, culture and enterprise. Offering a feast of elaborate and ambitious architecture, world famous landmarks, and culinary delights.

You will be staying at Novotel Xinqiao Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Full Day Sightseeing Tour
The morning will start with a visit to the vast Tiananmen Square, which is home to China's Parliament - The Great Hall of the People. Walk through The Gate of Heavenly Peace from where Mao declared China as the People's Republic in 1949, then visit the Forbidden City, the former home to many of China's Emperors. After lunch the tour continues by visiting the White Dagoba at Miaoying Temple and there will also be the opportunity to visit Beihai Park, one of the oldest and most authentically preserved imperial gardens in China.

You will be staying at Novotel Xinqiao Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Full Day Sightseeing to The Great Wall at Mutianyu
A full day excursion to visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, Ming Tombs and a chance to see some of rural China at close hand.
The Ming Tombs are located in a valley and number 13 in all. The valley is approached by the Imperial Way that is lined by larger than life stone figures (animals, soldiers and mythical figures). Only one tomb, Ding Ling, has been excavated and now lies empty but you will visit Changling which houses the impressive treasures from Ding Ling. Return to Beijing in the late afternoon.

The Great Wall was begun in the Warring States period (475 - 221) as a series of earthworks erected by individual kingdoms as a defence against each other as well as from invasions from the north. These walls were reconstructed and linked together much later, during the Han, Sui and Ming empires. The familiar, stone clad, crenellated wall dates from the Ming empire. The Wall is actually not one complete wall, but in fact several, and although many of these sections have been linked, many still remain separate to the others. To this end, it is almost impossible to calculate the actual length, and you may well be told a figure anywhere in between 2,400km to 5,000km.
Return to Beijing in the late afternoon.

You will be staying at Novotel Xinqiao Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Visit Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, recognised by its circular blue glazed tiled roof, is a remarkable building that is the symbol of Beijing and is where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifices to heaven and prayed for good harvests. It is set in an expansive park and famed for its 'whispering wall’.

You will be staying at Novotel Xinqiao Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Visit Bird’s Nest Stadium
The National Stadium in Beijing, the main stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, is dubbed the ’bird’s nest’ because of its innovative grid formation. The twig-like structural elements and the bowl-shaped roof are the masterpiece of the project, yet they posed great challenges to technicians and workers.

Travel from Beijing to Xian (Rail Journey)

Having existed for more than three millennia and been the capital city of 13 dynasties, Xian, formerly Chang'an, is often considered as being at the heart of Chinese civilisation. Also an ancient trade hub of huge economic importance, it was the eastern terminus of the legendary Silk Road.

Xian remains an important city, packed with sites worth visiting and laid out in a neat arrangement. Among these sites, the world famous Terracotta Army is the highlight, but numerous other historic locations litter the city.

You will be staying at Grand Mercure Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Half Day Tour of the Terracotta Warriors
Visit the Terracotta Warriors, discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well. Displaying 2,000 realistic soldiers, over 100 chariots, and 30,000 weapons, this incredible on-site museum houses one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century. Consisting of three excavation pits thus far, it is thought that there could be up to 8,000 figures in total.

Built by the first emperor to unify China's kingdoms, Qin Shi Huang, the Terracotta Army was created to be buried alongside him. It is said that he originally wanted his entire army and entourage of servants to be entombed with him, and had to be persuaded to use terracotta figures instead.

Afterwards, visit the Large Wild Goose Pagoda, built in the seventh century. Dedicated to the memory of his mother, it was commissioned by Emperor Gao Zong of the Tang Dynasty.

You will be staying at Grand Mercure Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Sightseeing of Xian Old City
Exploring the Old City will bring to life Xian’s association with the mighty Silk Road. Visit the old City Walls and the Islamic Quarter as well as the Great Mosque, which is a beautiful spot in the midst of peaceful gardens. In addition visit the Large Goose Pagoda as well as Gao Family house, a traditional courtyard style home. A Dim Sum lunch is included at De Fa Chang traditional restaurant.

You will be staying at Grand Mercure Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Han Jing Tombs and Museum.
Discovered in the early 1990s by road workers this tomb is still under excavation. The terracotta figurines uncovered here are much less imposing (but no less grand) than those of the Army of Terracotta Warriors. The museum houses most of the artefacts excavated from the tomb which include examples of male and female warriors, eunuchs, dancers and various farm animals. Walk above the actual burial chambers (which are glassed in to protect the relics) and observe the excavations of the Miniature Warriors taking place.

Fly Xian to Chengdu

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province, an area renowned for its spicy regional cuisine making dining out here a wonderful experience.

This thriving yet laid back city is probably best known for one of the country's most iconic residents, the Giant Panda and a visit to one of the reserves is the easiest way to catch a glimpse or engage in a more hands on experience. Combine this with ancient temples and tombs and the giant Buddha in nearby Leshan.

You will be staying at Yinhe Dynasty Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Bifeng Gorge Panda Sanctuary
Two hours drive from Chengdu, Bifeng Gorge Panda Sanctuary at Ya’an is home to about 80 pandas and offers some wonderful experiences with the possibility of playing with young pandas as part of their socialisation (subject to availability and payable at the time).

You will be staying at Yinhe Dynasty Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Visit the Leshan Statue of Buddha
The Leshan Statue of Buddha is the biggest stone carving in the world. Cut in the Tang dynasty (618-907), the project was so huge that construction lasted 90 years. Situated at the confluence of three rivers – the Min, Qingyi and Dadu – the project was initiated by a monk called Hai Tong who was concerned for the safety of the people who lived around the confluence of the three river and their tempestuous waters. Walk to the temples behind the Buddha where you will see the Wuyou temple, Oriental Buddha park and the Mahao Cliff Tombs Museum.

1,000 Buddha cliffs
The 1,000 Buddha cliffs (Jiajiang Qianfoyan) are cliff-side statues chiseled during the Tang Dynasty when Buddism was flourishing in China. Daguan mountain stands facing Yifeng hill with the Qingyi River winding between them. On the left bank of the Qingyi River, the stone cliff face is lined with more than 2,400 carved stone Buddhist statues in more than 200 caves.

You will be staying at Yinhe Dynasty Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Fly Chengdu to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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