Lines of terracotta warriors stood in tomb trenches.

Luxury Hosted Holiday to China



12 Days

Prices Start from

$23,368pp (ex. flights)

Explore the classic sites of China plus the oasis Silk Road city of Dunhuang, accompanied throughout by a private host who will bridge the gap between cultures.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Craftsmanship, Amanyangyun, Shanghai, China 1

Private Travel Concierge

Travel with a China Host, your own private travel concierge.

X'ian City Wall, X'ian, China 2

Xian by Bike

Cycle along the city walls of Xian for a unique perspective of the city.

Dunhuang Crescent Moon Spring, Gansu, China 3


Explore the Buddhist artwork of the Mogao Caves and the silence of the Taklamakan Desert.

Ancient Pavillion, West Lake, Hangzhou, China 4


Glide across Hangzhou’s picturesque West Lake in a private gondola.

Why we like it

What makes this holiday to China different is the inclusion of a China Host. A connoisseur of all things Chinese who will accompany you throughout, bridging the cultural gap and helping you to truly understand the country. Add to this some fabulous accommodation occupying historical buildings and superb locations for a unique and unforgettable holiday to China.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2 - 4


  • Day 5

    Beijing - Dunhuang

  • Day 6


  • Day 7

    Dunhuang - Xian

  • Day 8


  • Day 9

    Xian - Hangzhou

  • Day 10


  • Day 11

    Hangzhou - Shanghai

  • Day 12


Day 1


Day 2 - 4


Craftsmanship, Amanyangyun, Shanghai, China

Get under the skin of Beijing in the company of your China host.

Day 5

Beijing - Dunhuang

Day 6


Dunhuang Crescent Moon Spring, Gansu, China

Explore the Buddhist artwork of the Mogao Caves and the silence of the Taklamakan Desert.

Day 7

Dunhuang - Xian

Day 8


X'ian City Wall, X'ian, China

Cycle along the city walls of Xian for a unique perspective of the city.

Day 9

Xian - Hangzhou

Day 10


Pavillion Bridge at West Lake, Hangzhou, China

Glide across Hangzhou’s picturesque West Lake in a private gondola.

Day 11

Hangzhou - Shanghai

Bund, Shanghai, China

Take the train from Hangzhou to Shanghai – walk the Bund and explore the fascinating museum.

Day 12


Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Great Wall of China, China
Great Wall of China

Lunch on the Great Wall Of China

Leave Beijing for the day to explore a beautiful section of the Great Wall of China and take lunch on the wall itself. Located around two and a half hours from the city is Jinshanling, generally considered one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall. Built to protect China from the incursions of predatory nomads, the utility and meaning of this fortification has been contested for centuries. Take a private banquet on the Wall itself before a stroll along this magnificent site.

Stone Lion Sculptures, Beijing, China
Stone lion sculptures, Beijing

Travelling With A Private China Host

Travelling in China can be a daunting experience with culture, politics, cuisine and language so far removed from our own. During this holiday you will be accompanied by a China Host throughout. A fluent Chinese speaking westerner who knows and loves China, they know the nuances of Chinese culture and will be on hand to unravel the mysteries, contradictions and sometimes odd beliefs of the Chinese traditions and ways.

Able to assist with anything from simple everyday queries such as where to buy the best silk to coordinating a spur of the moment interaction with locals or arranging a special evening in a little known restaurant one would never normally dare to enter. They will also ensure the best restaurants, rooms, views and seats possible are secured for you. With the everyday logistics of the trip covered and any language barriers removed you will be left free to focus on enjoying the holiday to the maximum.

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Corner of a traditional Chinese rooftop against blue sky.
Mogao grottoes, Dunhuang

Mogao Caves

The oasis town of Dunhuang, located on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert was once a major stopping point for caravan traders on the Silk Road and a centre of both commercial and cultural exchange. The history of these times is clear to see in the temples, watchtowers and cave art that now dot the area. The Mogao Caves are the site of one of the most important Buddhist art collections in the world. Spend time exploring some of the 492 caves and their Buddhist statues, carvings and wall paintings.

One of the caves known as the ‘library cave’ contains rare scrolls and manuscripts dating as far back as 405 AD. The nearby sand dunes of Singing Sands Mountain offer wonderful views across the undulating desert and Crescent Moon Lake below.

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Chinese Tea Ceremony, China
Chinese tea ceremony

Tea, Trains and Acrobats

Hangzhou is probably best known for the large man-made lake at the centre of the city – West Lake. During your stay here visit a classical Chinese garden to learn the Five Chinese Disciplines of calligraphy, music, incense, flower arranging and tea. Try your hand at some of these ancient crafts. After a private tai chi lesson, take to the lake for a private gondola tour before boarding a high speed train for the short journey to Shanghai.

Join the locals for an evening stroll along the Bund, Shanghai’s famous waterfront promenade or maybe take in a world class acrobatic show.

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Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Peninsula Hotel Shanghai £££££

  • China
  • City

The Peninsula Shanghai occupies a splendid location, with direct frontage on the historic Bund. The interior design combines contemporary and Art Deco styles and some of the 235 rooms offer wonderful city views. Faultless service is combined with fine dining, an indoor swimming pool and spa for an extremely comfortable stay.

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Sofitel Legend Hotel £££££

  • China

Once a government guesthouse, Sofitel Legend Hotel has 71 stylish and elegant guestrooms. The decor blends local styles with French and Art Deco features and most of the rooms overlook the hotels landscaped gardens and fountains. After a day spent exploring the ancient silk road city of Xian return to the hotel for a dip in the pool or a relaxing spa treatment.

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Waldorf Astoria Hotel £££££

  • China
  • City

The striking, contemporary exterior of The Waldorf Astoria stands in contrast to the soft and elegant interior where sleek modern art combines with oriental charm. The 176 rooms are spacious and stylish with most located in the main, modern building and a few in a separate wing, in the style of a hutong courtyard. Butler service and access to a private terrace or courtyard garden are all an option. With a wonderfully central location, guests at the Waldorf can easily explore the highlights of the city or relax in the spa or by the heated pool.

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A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From $23,368 Per person

When to travel

China in January

Around Beijing and the mountainous areas such as Tibet, winter can get very cold, with some snow. However, there are also many crisp days with clear skies across the country.

China in February

Chinese New Year takes place in late January or Early February, and is the biggest event in the calendar. Fireworks and lanterns light up the night sky, but be aware that public transport and accommodation may be hard to come by.

China in March

The start of spring see temperatures rise across the country and fruit trees start to blossom. Although not as widespread as Japan, the blossoms in rural China can still be stunning.

China in April

The spring blossoms are in full swing, and the countryside is lush. The north and mountainous areas may still be chilly, but generally, spring is a good time to visit most places.

China in May

A very good time to visit many places in China. Southern regions are getting very warm, but there is an increased chance of rain. The northern and mountainous regions are pleasantly warm but lack the humidity of the summer.

China in June

A very good time to visit many places in China. Southern regions are getting very warm, but there is an increased chance of rain. The northern and mountainous regions are pleasantly warm but lack the humidity of the summer.

China in July

The ideal time to get out into the mountains of Tibet and Yunnan province. The alpine landscape is verdant and enjoys long hours of sunshine. Temperatures can be sweltering, especially in the south.

China in August

The hot weather prevails throughout the country as it is the peak of summer. Many places, especially in the south are unpleasantly hot and humid to travel. The mountains are the perfect place to escape the heat.

China in September

Temperatures decline gradually, but it is less humid and wet than summer in many regions. The mountains are still a good place to hike in, especially as snow has receded as far as possible. This makes it an excellent time for journeying along the Silk Road.

China in October

The majority of October is perfect for travelling, with widespread mild temperatures and little rain. However, it is worth avoiding the first week of October, as it is a national holiday.

China in November

This is the time to take in the beautiful autumn colours, especially in the northern and central regions. Snow may begin to fall in the north, but the tourist hotspots are much less busy as locals don’t tend to travel at this time.

China in December

It is cold in most of China at this time, but it is a great time to visit Beijing and surrounding areas. There are many cold and crisp days, and the tourist hotspots will be much quieter. Western China is bitterly cold though and Southern China is milder but damp.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

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