Pandas, Temples and Terraces

Southern China in Classic Style

Hong Kong & Macau, Southern China, Xi'an, Sichuan & Central China, Yunnan

Duration: 13 nights

Price: From £5,250 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, boat transportation, private transfers and taxes

China’s rich heritage and culture is what makes it the 'Gem of the Orient' and in the south you’ll find a wealth of iconic sites waiting to be explored. From ancient towns and villages to natural wonders like the karst-filled landscapes of Guilin and Yangshuo, you’ll have the opportunity to soak up the different cultures of each region while staying at some gorgeous hotels, such as Temple House in Chengdu and the historic Pottinger, located on the famous street of the same name in Hong Kong. If that’s not enough, we can also arrange for you to meet China’s most notable resident: the giant panda.
Perfect forHistory buffs and nature lovers looking to immerse themselves in Chinese culture.
In the knowThe Star ferry is Hong Kong’s pride – catch a ride from Victoria Harbour to Kowloon and the surrounding islands.

Best for

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • History & Heritage

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Itinerary details

Chengdu, China

3 nightsChengdu

Sichuan’s capital is the best place to go to see China’s favourite animal: the giant panda. We recommend going to the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where you can see these playful bears up close. However, they are not the only attraction of the area: this bustling city along the Jin River is dotted with quaint little teahouses serving the best locally-grown brews, with delicious food available in this region too. You’ll be staying at the Temple House – a charming and quintessentially-Chinese hotel named after the Daci temple nearby.
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Lijiang, China

2 nightsLijiang

It is like time has stood still in Lijiang, which is located in the northwest part of the Yunnan province. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has 800-year-old bridges and waterways, as well as traditional Naxi houses along cobblestone streets that give you a feel of what ancient China would have been like. You’ll be staying right at the heart of the Old Town at the LUX* Tea Horse Road, where you can sample delicious local Naxi cuisine.

Overlooking this historic setting from a hilltop is the Mufu Mansion, where the Mu Clan of the Ming dynasty ruled for over 400 years. Stop by the famous Black Dragon Pool, where you’ll find artefacts of the Naxi people at the Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture and trails to Elephant Hill. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is one of the world’s deepest river canyons.
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Longsheng, China

2 nightsLongsheng

The spiral of uninterrupted rice terraces in Longsheng is a sight you have to see when you’re in China. Built approximately 700 years ago, you could spend hours admiring these impressive ridges, which wind from the river all the way to the misty mountaintops. There are a number of ethnic villages in the area, home to the Zhuang people and other tribes, where you can learn about local customs. Staying at Li-An Lodge in the rural Longsheng County, you will have a perfect vantage point over the picturesque rice fields and you’ll be able to experience the local arts and crafts that have inspired the hotel’s décor.
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Guilin, China

1 nightGuilin

Making a pit stop in Guilin, you’ll spend a night at the Shangri-La Hotel. With the region’s iconic limestone karsts for a view, you’ll enjoy exceptional hospitality in a luxurious setting, with distinctive Chinese architecture and artwork. Shop for souvenirs, including jade and silk scrolls, in quaint boutiques, and see the beautiful waterfalls along the Li River. For a healthy dose of history and culture, head to the 14th-century Jingjiang Princes’ City for a quick visit, which is reminiscent of Beijing’s Forbidden City. Today it is part of a university complex, but during the Ming dynasty it was home to 14 princes for almost three centuries. 
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Yangshuo, China

2 nightsYangshuo

Travelling south to Yangshuo, you'll reach a region of utmost natural beauty. Similar to Guilin, Yangshuo is renowned for its soaring limestone karsts, which are best admired by cycling along the banks or better yet, from a bamboo raft along the Yulong River (the largest tributary of the Li River). Swathes of greenery can be seen all around, from picturesque farmlands to verdant hills. The food here is exquisite and you can learn to make local delicacies like egg dumplings at the Yangshuo Cooking School. The Alila Yangshuo, where you’ll be staying, offers a plethora of activities too, including rock climbing on site and traditional sugar spinning, as the hotel is built in a reformed sugar mill.
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Hong Kong

3 nightsHong Kong

Colourful and chaotic, Hong Kong is the perfect place to end your trip. The buzzing neighbourhoods and islands are alive and thrumming and offer a complete sensory indulgence. Cruise through the highlights of the city centre onboard a double-decker tram, and sample some wonton noodles and dim sum – or gingerly pick at some fermented ‘stinky tofu’ (a local delicacy) if you’re feeling brave. Meander along Pottinger Street, which is renowned for its historic stone slabs, where vendors sell all manner of silly get-ups and costumes, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from Victoria Peak. You’ll stay at The Pottinger, a boutique retreat with an old-world charm that offers a snapshot of historic Hong Kong.  
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
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