Welcome to China

Journey to Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient and megacity like no other. We’ll discover the charming fishing villages, temples and unique markets peppered around hidden bays before taking to the spectacular skylines of Hong Kong and Kowloon that decorate Victoria Harbour. As intense as it is diverse, we’ll enjoy two days touring these islands and also enjoy a day exploring Hong Kong’s little Portuguese sister, Macau – China’s answer to Las Vegas which is just a short ferry ride away.

Our adventure continues onto the Chinese mainland with a train ride north to Guilin. Located in Guangxi, Guilin is home to the Longji rice terraces of Longsheng and the instantly recognisable Li River. We’ll also visit Yangshuo, where lush pillars of rock rise of out serene waters forming what can be considered the most quintessentially Chinese scenery.

Finally, we fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Known as the ‘Heavenly State’, Sichuan is covered in lush bamboo forests, crystal clear waters and best of all, a healthy population of giant pandas. We’ll spend a day at a panda centre to learn about these beloved creatures and have the opportunity to get close and personal to China’s most prized national treasure during their ‘falling in love period’!

Tour Highlights

  • Spend the day with pandas with the chance to hug a bear
  • Experience life in the fast lane of Hong Kong
  • Cruise past rice terraces and lush scenery in peaceful Guangxi
  • Meet minority Yao Ladies with the longest hair in the world
  • Eat tasty Cantonese sauces, crispy dim sum and spicy Sichuan currys
  • Dates & Prices

    The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .

    May 16 - May 29, 2017 (14 days)

    Standard Blind Price: £3299 Contact us for availability

    Discounted Sighted Price: £899 Contact us for availability

    The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .

    Standard Blind Price: 3299 3299 Contact us for availability

    Discounted Sighted Price: 899 899 Contact us for availability

    Need flights? Click here

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    A red fenicula locomotive climbing Victoria Peak overlooking the Hong Kong skyline
  • Tribal Yao women with buskets of vegetables on their back and their long hair tied up ontop of their heads

    What's Included

    • Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
    • 4 and 5-star accommodation
    • All breakfasts and one lunch
    • Specified excursions
    • Services of local guides
    • Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
  • Excursions

    • Hong Kong Island Tour
    • Lantau Island Tour
    • Macau City Tour
    • Longji & Yao Tribe Tour
    • Li River Bamboo Cruise
    • Rural Guilin Tour
    • Chengdu City Tour
    • Panda Conservation Centre
    • Leshan Tour
    • Hug a Panda Bear (optional)
    • Yangshuo Impressions Show (optional)
    A Chinese fisherman using two birds to catch the fish in Guilin

Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.

Tuesday 16th May

Depart the UK and journey east to Hong Kong.

Wednesday 17th May

Our flight arrives early in the afternoon where we’ll transfer to our city centre hotel. The afternoon can be spent acclimatising to life in this city of skyscrapers, green hills and glittering harbours. A British colony until 1997, Hong Kong is a marvellous concoction of east meets west where colonial heritage has fused with Chinese roots creating a world unique destination. A top culinary capital, Hong Kong is renowned for its hole in the wall eateries known as the ‘World’s cheapest’ Michelin-Starred restaurants, proving that mouth-watering food doesn’t necessitate eye-watering prices! On top of mixed culture and enviable cuisine, Hong Kong boasts unique shopping experiences and a never-ending colourful nightlife – it truly has it all.

Overnight in Hong Kong.

Thursday 18th May

This morning we shall enjoy a guided tour of Hong Kong island. We’ll visit Man Mo Temple, a shrine where locals worship with incense and prayer for their profession and prosperity in the heart of Central. We shall then journey along the coast of the island towards the quaint fishing villages on the other side of Hong Kong. Local people spend their entire life on board their fishing boats along the harbour, although many are now equipped with modern amenities such as fridges and satellite TV!

We’ll continue our journey to the top of Victoria Peak, this green mountain stands at 552m, towering above Hong Kong’s skyline. From the viewpoint we’ll share descriptions of our surroundings before descending the mountain to Repulse Bay. A sun-drenched stretch of sand and upmarket residential area to see and be seen. From here the next destination along the coast is Stanley Market, a popular daytime market selling cloths, jewellery and various local products of typical Chinese design that can be bought at bargain prices. Our tour shall then conclude back in the city where we’ll have time in the afternoon to further explore the many sights and delights on offer.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Hong Kong.

Friday 19th May

Our tour today takes us to neighbouring Lantau Island. Sitting in the mouth of the pearl river, Lantau faces both Kowloon and Hong Kong. With large swathes of the island occupied by parks, Lantau is a refreshing oasis of rural tranquility. Upon arrival, we’ll visit Cheung Sha Beach, Hong Kong’s longest stretch of sand before continuing to Tai O Fishing Village. The community of fisher folk who call this home live in dwellings constructed upon stilts above the tidal flats. All the houses are interconnected by bridges and walkways creating a tightly knit community whose favourite dishes include seafood and snakes! Time will be provided to sample some of these local delicacies if you wish.

Leaving the fishing village behind, we’ll continue to Ngon Ping. Located on a commanding plateau, the village is reached by a 5km cable car journey which leads to a large piazza. Once here, we’ll  find Po Lin Monastery, and Tian Tan Buddha. This colossal bronze statue is of a Buddha seated on a lotus and is 34 metres tall, weighing over 250 tons. Symbolising the harmonious relationship between man and nature, Tian Tan Buddha is now one of Hong Kong’s most beloved religious sites and can be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Hong Kong.

Saturday 20th May

This morning we discover Macau, which is just a short ferry ride away. Macau is located on the tip of a peninsula 70 kilometres southwest of Hong Kong and is also a ‘Special Administrative Region’ of China. The Portuguese presence in Macau stretches back to 1513 when the first Portuguese began to land in China seeking to directly trade with the East. Macau only came under full Chinese sovereignty in 1999, two years after Hong Kong and has since boomed as the “Vegas of China” to some, and the “Monte Carlo of the Orient” to others. The only place in China where gambling is legal, it came as no surprise that in 2007 Macau overtook Las Vegas in gaming revenues. Glitzy names like the Grand Lisboa, Sands Macau, the City of Dreams and the Venetian Macau occupy some of the largest and most luxurious buildings in the world.

Our tour will begin in the humbler old town of Macau on Portuguese tiled streets that still bear their original European street names. We’ll visit the Macau Museum to learn the story of this fascinating city and continue to St Paul’s Church. Constructed in the 16th century this Catholic church was one of the largest of its kind and stands testament to the long history of Portuguese traders in China. Unfortunately, just the façade is left as a typhoon destroyed much of the building in 1835 but in 2005 it was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. Our tour will continue to Largo de Senado, the centre of the Portuguese colony full of colonial architecture and heritage. Our final visit will be Lou Lim Lok Garden, constructed in traditional Suzhou style and now over 100 years old.

Following our day trip to Macau we’ll return to Hong Kong by ferry.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Hong Kong.

Sunday 21st May

Having explored Hong Kong island, Lantau and Macau we’ll be fully orientated with our surroundings. With this in mind, today will be free for you to pursue activities at your own leisure.

A popular destination is Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and Flower Market. Here, old men merrily stroll with their caged songbirds feeding them caterpillars. Ornately carved bird cages that make excellent souvenirs are sold, as well as shops overflowing with orchid flowers.

Another must-do activity in Hong Kong is to go out for dim sum. Ranging from gilded dining rooms to frantic street stalls, dim sum is loved by all and typically served in steamer baskets for brunch. Varieties include different flavoured beef, chicken, pork, fish and vegetables and are enjoyed family style to share. If time is limited, then find a tea house that offers “Yum Cha”, which literally means “drinking tea”, in one of these establishments your tea pot will be accompanied by a couple of mouth-sized dim sum.

In addition to this, Hong Kong is a mecca for shopping, ranging from the most exclusive boutiques to fast-paced markets that are open for business both day and night. You’ll also find plenty of museums around Central where shimmering sky scrapers are interspersed between British colonial buildings and traditional Chinese temples – all ripe for exploration.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Hong Kong.

Monday 22nd May

Today we shall say farewell to Hong Kong and head onto the Chinese Mainland north to Guilin. We’ll board a train and pass through the busy city of Guangzou before entering open Chinese countryside on our journey to Guangxi province. Guilin is regarded at China’s star city with the best “landscape under heaven”. Famous for its fantastic natural karst limestone, lush shrubbery and watery scenery, Guilin is considered China’s most beautiful region. The city was named after the fragrance of the osmanthus tree over 2000 years ago. Upon arrival we’ll meet our guide and transfer to our hotel by the Li River.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Guilin.

Tuesday 23rd May

Waking up for the first time in Guilin, our tour takes us to Longsheng. We’ll discover the Longji Rice Terrace which means the Dragon’s Backbone because the terraces of rice fields that descend the mountain sides resemble the scales of a dragon and the summit of the mountain range looks like the curves of a dragon’s back.

Our tour includes a visit to the Yao Tribe, one of 55 minorities in China. Here, on top of the mountains of Longsheng, Yao Women grow their hair extremely long, only cutting it once in their life and wear colourful costumes. Tradition indicates that the longer the hair, the more fortunate one will be. Yao Women like to wash their hair in the open spring water and with fermented rice water whilst singing in order to grow it till it is well over 2 metres in length!

Breakfast included. Overnight in Guilin.

Wednesday 24th May

Today we shall set out towards Yangshuo. We’ll begin by driving to Yangti port where we’ll board bamboo rafts and float along the Li River. Taking in the fresh country air alongside local fishermen, we’ll pass gorgeous and dramatic landscapes. During our sail, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before arriving in Yangshuo.

Offering wonderful panoramic views, winding rivers and rolling countryside framed by a backdrop of craggy karst limestone mountains, Yangshuo has fortunately remained untouched by modernisation and is known as one of the cleanest areas of China. We’ll head to West Street which, at 1400 years old, is the oldest street in the county. The street is completely paved in marble in a courtyard style and contains craftwork, painting and calligraphy shops as well as many tempting food stalls.

We’ll then check into our hotel in Yangshuo. This evening, there will be the opportunity to attend an Impression show. This famous spectacle was created by the director who arranged the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and features over 600 locals, mostly from the Zhuang minority, who sing and perform simultaneously with the backdrop provided by the waters of the Li-river and lit up mountains.

Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Yangshuo.

Thursday 25th May

Today’s tour will take us back to Guilin by a different route. We’ll pass by Moon Hill, named because a large hole in the top makes it look like a moon on the hill which changes as you drive along. Beginning as a half-moon the shape transforms into a full moon. We’ll visit the Silver Cave, which is a vast cave formed out of karst limestone and consists of three sections. The Grand Hall section of the cave stretches for over 10 kilometres. Our tour continues by motor coach as we visit more remote areas and witness local villages and farmers. Here, we can interact with local families in the village before transferring back to Guilin.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Guilin.

Friday 26th May

Our journey of discovery continues to another region of South China today as we take a short flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Chengdu was founded over 2,000 years ago by the Qing Dynasty and is referred to as the City of Hibiscus and the Brocade City. Famous for a relaxing teahouse culture and spicy cuisine, Chengdu is a popular city attracting many students and expat populations with a growing population that is now well over 14 million inhabitants.

Upon arrival we’ll meet our local tour guide and head to Jinli Street, Chengdu’s famous old tour for a tour. Having been a commercial area famous for ornate cloths since the Qin dynasty of 200BC, Jinle Street is an ambient and fascinating destination to learn about ancient China. The street is now attracting fashionable tea houses and cafes, has a wooden stage where shadow puppetry is often performed and many shops specialising in local crafts.

We’ll then check into our hotel which will be our base for the next few days.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Chengdu.

Saturday 27th May

Today we’ll head to the Panda Conservation Centre, where pandas are raised to live in a natural way. The Centre was founded in 1987 in order to be a world-class research facility, conservation centre and international educational tourism destination. By rescuing 6 giant pandas from the wild in 1987, the base eventually increased the panda population and today is home to120 giant pandas and 76 red pandas. A visit to the centre is a guaranteed way to witness these animals in a non-zoo environment prioritising the panda’s wellbeing.

The giant panda is a black and white bear with black fur on the ears, eye patches, legs and shoulders whilst the rest of the body is white. Despite having the potential to be as dangerous as other bears, panda’s live on a diet of bamboo and their cute appearance have made them China’s star attraction.

Red pandas are living fossils much smaller than giant pandas and are more similar to skunks and racoons in size and lifestyle. Featuring white facial features and a red body, the red pandas have large bushy tails and are considered equally as cute as black and white giant pandas.

Please note, that to hold a panda at the conservation centre comes at an additional supplement.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Chengdu.

Sunday 28th May

Our destination today is Leshan, we shall journey by boat down a beautiful river to visit the famous Giant Buddha of Leshan. Standing at 71 metres, the giant statue’s fingernails are larger than a person and is the world’s largest ancient Buddha. the weathered Buddha is carved from pink stone directly into a mountain at a place where 3 rivers meet and is a UNESCO World Heritage monument.

Upon return to Chengdu the rest of the day will be at leisure. The city is brimming with cultural streets, ancient temples, museums and traditional shops.

Breakfast included. Overnight in Chengdu.

Monday 29th May

Having explored the beauty of South China’s countryside, met pandas, giant buddhas and discovered all that Hong Kong and Macau have to offer, it is finally time to return home.

Breakfast included.