World Journeys | Essential China

The Essential China journey combines some of China’s most famous sights; the capital Beijing with the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall. Visit ancient fortified city walls, the Wild Goose Pagoda and Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an as well as the collision of old and new in Shanghai.

  • Summary


    8 Days / 7 Nights from NZD $4,780*



    Type of Journey



    • Beijing • Great Wall • Train to Xi’an • Terracotta Warriors • Shanghai

  • Departure Dates

    Daily, year round
  • What's Included

    Tour Includes

    • Tailor-made journey with local English-speaking guides
    • 7 nights in your selected category of accommodation
    • Train Beijing> Xi’an > Shanghai
    • Transfers and transport
    • Sightseeing and entrance fees
    • 7 breakfasts and 1 lunch

    Not Included

  • Pricing

    Description Twin

    4 Star
    Jan – Mar
    Apr – Jun
    Jul – Oct
    Nov – Dec
    5 Star
    Jan – Mar
    Apr – Jun
    Jul – Oct
    Nov – Dec





    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive Beijing
    You will be met upon your arrival in Beijing and escorted to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

    Day 2: Beijing
    First on your tour this morning will be a visit to the Temple of Heaven, where Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties used to attend annual ceremonies of prayer for a good harvest. You might also see some of the local people doing their morning exercises in the park outside the complex (weather permitting). Afterwards continue to Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and spiritual heart of China. Here, you’ll walk through the Tiananmen Gate into the Forbidden City, which houses the Imperial palace from the Ming and Qing dynasties and is one of the grandest palace complexes that remain today. Continue on to the enchanting Summer Palace, the imperial summer resort of the Qing dynasty, located on the northwestern outskirts of the City. Included in the tour will be a 15 minute boat ride on the lake set in the middle of the magnificent gardens. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

    Notes: The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. Depending on your day of arrival in Beijing the order of sightseeing may need to be changed. The Summer Palace boat ride is not available when the lake is frozen, normally from 1 November to 1 April.

    Day 3: Beijing
    Today’s full day tour starts with a 1.5 hour drive to the magnificent Great Wall, the longest wall in the world that stretches around 6,700 km and was built over 2,000 years ago. Travel by cable car to the Mutianyu section of the wall, where you can walk along the ramparts and enjoy the gorgeous views as well as be amazed by the incredible construction of the wall itself.

    Lunch will be provided at a restaurant nearby, before you continue to the Chang Tomb, the largest and best preserved of the 13 tombs near Beijing. The layout is identical to the tomb of the first Ming emperor in Nanjing and similar to a miniature version of the Forbidden City. Afterwards visit the Ding Tomb, the burial site of Emperor Wanli, the 13th emperor of the Ming Dynasty, who ruled for 48 years until his death in 1620.

    Day 4: Beijing > Xi’an
    You will be transferred to the rail station in the morning to board the high speed train to Xi’an. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel located inside the old city walls. In the afternoon you will be taken to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built to house the sutras brought back from India by Xuanzang, a Chinese Buddhist monk famous for his travels in the early Tang Dynasty. This is followed by a short walking tour of the Ancient City Walls, which are some of the oldest and best preserved walls in China, they are wide enough to carry a golf cart or rickshaw. Afterwards you will visit the Islamic Quarter, home to a sizeable community of Chinese Muslims, and stroll along Muslim Street, a narrow bazaar-style street lined with shops selling local delicacies, snacks and souvenirs. A number of small restaurants are also located on this street, serving typical Muslim food.

    Day 5: Xi’an
    One of the main highlights of the entire journey is perhaps today’s visit to the infamous underground Terracotta Army. Six thousand intricately carved, life size clay statues of terracotta warriors and their horses stand in battle formation, and have been protecting the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in Chinese history, over 2,200 years ago.

    Day 6: Xi’an > Shanghai
    Today you’ll board a high speed train for the seven-hour journey to Shanghai, passing through a variety of landscapes and scenery, including bustling cities and rural villages along the way. On arrival transfer to your hotel for the night.

    Day 7: Shanghai
    A full day of visits has been arranged for today, including the Shanghai Museum, often ranked as China’s best museum, with a fine collection of over 120,000 Chinese artifacts, followed by a stroll through the Yu Gardens to enjoy a beautiful landscape of pagodas, pavilions, rockeries, fountains, ancient trees and precious flowers. Outside the Yu Gardens, get a taste of Shanghai’s local life in the Yuyuan Market. You will also visit the Jade Buddha Temple, an active temple with 70 resident monks that is mostly known for its sitting Jade Buddha and a reclining Jade Buddha. In the late afternoon, walk down the Bund along the Huangpu River, where trading houses and banks were headquartered in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and then enjoy a bird’s eye view of modern Shanghai from the Shanghai World Financial Centre.

    Note: The Shanghai Museum is closed on Mondays. Depending on your day of arrival in Shanghai, the order of sightseeing may need to be changed.

    Day 8: Depart Shanghai
    The day is free to spend at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

    Note: This itinerary is also available in the reverse direction.

  • Booking Conditions

    • This tour is available in the reverse direction
    • You may extend the number of nights in any of the cities at additional cost


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