Essential China 8 Days


Beijing, Shanghai

Tour Highlights:

  • Walk on the incredible Great Wall
  • Uncover the mystery of the Forbidden City
  • Visit Tiananmen Square – the second largest public square in the world!
  • Take the high speed bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai
  • Immerse yourself in the bustling metropolis Shanghai

Experience two of the most significant cities in contemporary China. Beijing is the political centre of the country, and is the location of the awe-inspiring Forbidden City, and close to the iconic Great Wall and charming Summer Palace. Shanghai is the financial nerve-centre of the mainland Chinese economy, and is diverse and cosmopolitan due to it's being the first Chinese city to open up to a foreign colonial presence. Feast your senses on the meeting of ancient and hyper-modern, in this classic taste of the world's newest superpower.

This package gives you the flexibility of enjoying more free time or tailoring your holiday with our optional excursions and activities.

For a limited time, you can add both the Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Tour (2 nights) and Yangtze River Cruise (4 nights) extensions from just $1890!

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Departure Dates

2018 Price Per Person Single Supplement
03 May 14 Jun 18 Oct $999!
Book Now
17 May 09 Aug* 25 Oct*
31 May 23 Aug* 01 Nov
07 Jun 06 Sep 08 Nov
* = Peak Season Surcharge: $200

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane flying a full-service Chinese carrier (subject to availability)
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double/triple share)
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Coach transportation
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Entrance fees to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide(s) service

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $70
  • High speed train fee from Beijing to Shanghai prepaid in Australia: $160
  • China visa application fees
  • Optional recommended excursions
  • Optional tour extensions
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated on the itinerary

Tour Extensions Optional Extension

Yangtze River Cruise 4/5 Days from $950

Yichang, Xiling Gorge, Three Gorges Dam Site, Shennong Stream, Wu Gorge, Qutang Gorge, Shibaozhai Pagoda, Chongqing

A Yangtze River cruise is the thrill of a lifetime. You will enjoy the stunning picturesque scenery and amazing natural beauty of the famed Three Gorges: Qutang , Wu, and Xiling, while exploring historical relics and ancient cultural sites along the mighty river.

For details, tap the image above or click here.


Xi’an 3 Day Mid-Tour Extension from $599

The tour will be either self-guided or a group tour depending on the size of group.

Xi’an was the capital of China for eleven dynasties, over a period of more than 2,000 years. Now the city is famed for the ‘Terracotta Army’ of Qin Shi Huang – the first ruler to unify the lands that became modern China. Take in one of the wonders of the ancient world with two nights in Xi’an.

For details, tap the image above or click here

Optional ProgramsOptional Extension

Get to know China better with our list of in-depth excursions recommended to add another dimension to your total experience! They can be prepaid in Australia more than 30 days prior to departure at the discounted AUD prices below, or paid directly in the local currency to your tour guide upon arrival in China. Prepay for all optional programs to receive a $15 discount off the total price. English speaking guide, admissions and round trip transfers are included in the price. Per person prices below.

Beijing Peking Duck Dinner $40
Beijing The Golden Mask Dynasty $75
Beijing Panda House & Hutong Life Tour w/Lunch $90
Beijing Chinese Kung-Fu Show $75
Shanghai ERA: The Intersection of Time or SPIRAL $75
Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise $55
Shanghai Shanghai Museum, Jin Mao Tower & Xintiandi Area $90

Hotel Accommodation Optional Extension

Beijing Changan Grand Hotel local rating or similar
Shanghai Holiday Inn Shanghai Nanxiang local rating or similar

Testimonials Optional Extension

Greetings… we just returned from your tour to Beijing and Shanghai.

We travelled as a family of four (two teenagers) and had a very enjoyable and memorable trip. The hotels in both Beijing and Shanghai were quality hotels and the rooms were spacious. Buffet breakfast was sumptuous and the meals.

Our guide in Beijing (King – local tour guide) and George (national tour guide in Beijing & Shanghai) were very knowledgeable, kind, funny and always willing to help. They provided us with in-depth information on the local history in both the cities. George entertained us with his Chinese and English songs and jokes on the bus. The weather was good, sunny and no rain.

Would recommend this tour to anyone and it is value for money and a great way of seeing China.

(Debra. October 31, 2017 at 12:30pm)

Depart Australia today on your flight to Beijing (please note, some flight may depart 1 day before). You will arrive at Beijing International Airport. Following customs and immigration formalities and baggage collection you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Beijing, China’s massive capital, has a history stretching back three millennia. Yet since the 2008 Olympic Games, it’s known for its modern architecture as well as ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Please note: Some flights may depart the night before.
After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square, the second-largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is named after the Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to the north of the square, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes and has great cultural significance, as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Next, continue on to the incredible Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace from the Ming to the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912). The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world!

Optional Activity: Peking Duck Dinner – Tonight, head out for one of the most famous Chinese dishes and a Beijing speciality, Peking Duck.

Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass. This is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. 60 km from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was the northern route to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the wall’s construction and you’ll have the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000 km marvel.
On the way back to Beijing, we stop at one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a cloisonné factory. Cloisonne is a famous traditional enamel ware, known as the ‘Blue of Jingtai’ in China, with a history of over 500 years. It was so called because blue was the colour typically used for enamelling, and Jingtai was the reign title of the 7th Ming Emperor.

Optional Show: The Golden Mask Dynasty. This show incorporates dancing, acrobatics, magnificent costumes and lot of surprises. Seen by an estimated of 1.1 million people, it is one of Beijing’s must see shows.

Enjoy a tour to the Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for Emperors followed by a visit to the Chinese Herbal Institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage which has existed for thousands of years. Tonight, cap off the day by attending a superb and thrilling Chinese Kung-Fu Show (at your own expense).

Optional Tour: Panda House & Hutong Life Tour w/Lunch – A rickshaw will take you around the intricate winding hutongs to admire the old courtyards. They are maze-like and deep and exactly as they were a long time ago. Even today, there are many residents reluctant to move from their beloved hutongs. You are invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic Beijing life. Visit the Panda House in Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the Giant Panda.

Optional Tour: Chinese Kung-Fu Show – This show is an energetic mix of traditional Chinese martial arts, dance and high-flying acrobatics set in a modern theatre. Combined with an excellent storyline, exceptional stage design and professional actors this show is not to be missed for Chinese Kung-Fu enthusiasts or those seeking a thrilling performance.

This morning, experience the high-speed train to Shanghai! Travelling at up to 300km/h, the new high-speed train network is the world’s largest, and a testament to China’s desire to be a technological power house. Shanghai has a long history as a gateway to China, and sits on the Yangtze River delta. It is the financial centre of modern China, and also one of China’s cultural centres. On arrival to Shanghai we visit a silk spinning mill and learn how silk is created by mulberry-munching silkworms. Then we walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined by colonial architecture of European design, this area is the best place to capture the western influences of the city’s old days. Continue to the Old Town which is a perfect combination of gardens, temples, traditional architecture, local culture, business souvenirs and food. Afterwards, you may join an optional Huangpu River Cruise (at your own expense).

Enjoy a free day to explore Shanghai at your own pace.

Optional Tour: Shanghai Museum, Jin Mao Tower & Xintiandi Area – Visit the Shanghai Museum to see ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade, followed by the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck (88th floor) for a panoramic view of the Huangpu River and the Bund. Then we explore the Xintiandi Area, which holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city.

Optional Show: ERA: Intersection of Time or SPIRAL: See a captivating combination of Chinese history, mesmerising martial arts, and incredible special effects throughout the unique spectacle. Watch China’s evolution from humble beginnings to the global superpower it is today, and enjoy entertaining live music and elaborate costumes as you experience show.

Shanghai Museum
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight home. We hope you will have enjoyed an unforgettable journey!
Arrive home today.

Tour Extension Package

Xi’an Terracotta Warriors 2 Nights

From $940

Xi’an was the first Chinese city to open its doors to the world, during the Tang dynasty, and was the capital for eleven dynasties over a period of more than 2,000 years. Together with Athens, Cairo and Rome, Xi’an is among the four major ancient civilisation capitals of the world.


  • Terracotta Warriors & Horses
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Great Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
  • Tang Dynasty Singing & Dancing Show
  • Imperial Dumpling Banquet


  • Return economy class airfares to Xi’an
  • All transfers
  • Coach transportation
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, S=Special Banquet)
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double/triple share)
  • Entrance fees to scenic attractions
  • English-speaking guide service


  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $30
  • Personal expenditure

Price Guide:

  • Single Supplement: $120
  • Note: Flights to and from Xi’an replace the high speed train between Beijing and Shanghai
  • All airline or flight-related upgrades defined in the Price Guide of the core tour incur an additional $200
  • This extension can be combined with other optional tour extensions


  • Kempinski Hotel 5 star local rating or similar
Arrive in Xi’an, the first Chinese city to open its doors to the world, during the Tang dynasty, and the capital for eleven dynasties over a period of more than 2,000 years. Visit the fascinating Shaanxi Provincial Museum. Enjoy lunch, featuring a special noodle-making demonstration, before a visit to the Ancient City Wall, the most complete ancient city wall surviving in China. Later, visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the city. This pagoda was built (beginning in the 7th century) to house Buddhist manuscripts and associated treasures that were brought back to China by the legendary pilgrim monk and scholar, Xuanzang.
The highlight today is a visit to the Terracotta Army to see the life-sized defending army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. This site is among the top archaeological excavations of the 20th century. This will be followed by a visit to a ceramic art factory. In the evening, enjoy a special Imperial Dumpling Banquet and traditional Tang Dynasty Singing & Dancing Show.
Tour in Xian concludes today.

Optional Post-Tour Extension Package

Majestic Yangtze River Cruise 5 Days 4 Nights

From $1200

Relax as you cruise along the majestic Yangtze River and discover the dramatic gorges, mountain villages and breathtaking scenery. A Yangtze River cruise is the thrill of a life time. You will enjoy the stunning picturesque scenery and amazing natural beauties of the famed Three Gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge, while exploring the historic relics and ancient cultural sites along the mighty river.

Enjoy shore excursions to explore the fascinating history and tranquil landscapes including the spectacle of Fengdu Ghost City, a peculiar site that contains statues of demons and ghosts that roam the after-world; the fun of drifting through Shennong Stream, which offers clear running waters, picturesque rock formations, and monkeys and goats along its banks; and the wonder of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest.

A Yangtze River cruise is a visual delight, full of pleasant surprises and many treasures waiting to be discovered. The images will stay with you long after you have returned home.

Ship: Luxury 5 Star – President 7, Yangtze 2, Victoria Jenna, or similar

The luxurious President 7 is a newly-constructed ship of modern design and construction technique. It first sailed on the Yangtze River in April of 2013. With a length of 146.8m and width of 20.2m, the ship possesses 215 deluxe cabins, 13 executive cabins and 2 presidential cabins, which all together can accommodate up to 580 passengers. There are about 200 staff on board offering superior and comprehensive service to guests whenever needed. Besides the high-quality service, the ship is also equipped with the most advanced facilities, like satellite television, satellite phone, and air-conditioning. You will be impressed by the considerate design of providing a large swimming pool, deluxe cinema, golf driving range, children’s park and barrier-free facilities, which make this quite different from traditional cruise ships.


  • 4 nights standard cabin with private balcony (twin share)
  • 3 shore excursions (subject to change and favourable weather conditions)
  • Economy class domestic flights (operated by a local carrier)
  • All transfers
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • English-speaking guide service (on board)


  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $50
  • Optional shore excursions (payable on board)
  • Personal expenditure

Price Guide:

  • Single Supplement: $750
  • Rooms are twin occupancy only. Double and triple share are not available on the cruise
  • Cruise ship used is dependent on availability and is subject to change
  • This extension can be combined with other optional tour extensions
This morning fly to the port city of Yichang, the starting point of our Yangtze River Cruise for the next four nights. After dinner, we board the cruise and receive an introduction on cruise events and onboard activities.
Arr/Dept Events
19:00-20:00 Board the ship at Yichang Dock
24:00 Departs Yichang
Today, your cruise enters the Xiling Gorge. Named for Mount Xiling, this is the longest of the Three Gorges. In fact, Xiling Gorge comprises four smaller gorges with rather poetic names; Precious Sword, Horse Lung & Ox Liver, Soundless Bell, and Shadow Play.
Arr/Dept Events
08:00 Briefing on the cruise
08:00-09:00 Passing the Xiling Gorge (East Part)
09:00-11:00 Shore excursion: Three Gorges Dam Site
11:00-13:00 Shore excursion: Visit Ba and Tujia ethnic minorities of the Three Gorges. Experience a charming reenactment of traditional life ways in a peaceful hillside village setting (optional)
13:30-15:30 Passing the Three Gorges Dam
16:00 Sail through the 5-stage shiplock or take the ship lift
18:00 Captain’s Welcome Dinner
20:00 Evening entertainment
Arr/Dept Events
06:30 Breakfast
08:00-12:00 Shore excursion: Shennong Stream
13:30-17:00 Sail through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge
17:30 Shore excursion: White Emperor City (optional, river conditions permitting)
Arr/Dept Events
07:00 Breakfast
08:30-10:30 Shore excursion: Shibaozhai Pagoda
10:30-12:30 Shore excursion: Fengdu Ghost City (optional)
14:00-16:00 Lectures
18:00 Farewell Dinner
After breakfast, disembark from our cruise in the port city of Chongqing at 9am. Transfer to the airport for a connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia.
Arrive in Australia.