In Beijing, join Kate Adie on a stroll through Tiananmen Square, where she will share fascinating insight into some of her biggest stories.
Travel just north of Beijing to walk on the iconic Great Wall of China.
From the old city of Xian, visit the tomb of Qin Shi Huang and come face to face with his famous Terracotta Army.
Sail from the charming city of Guilin to the vibrant village of Yangshuo, immersing yourself in the wonderful views of the Li River’s incredible karst scenery as you go, where you can choose to witness the age-old tradition of cormorant fishing.
Spend some time with the resident Giant pandas at Chongqing Zoo.
Enjoy a relaxed three-day cruise on the Yangtze River, marvelling at the imposing majesty of the Three Gorges as you go.
Tour the sights of China's most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai, with the Telegraph's China correspondent Neil Connor, who will help you gain an understanding of China and its development and outlooks.
Since 1993, Victoria Cruises has been the leader in luxury river cruising. Based in New York, it established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship cast off in 1994. Victoria Cruises has a fleet of seven five-star ultra-luxury vessels (as designated by the China National Tourism Administration) – on this occasion you will be aboard the excellent Victoria Lianna.
Structurally rebuilt in 2011, the Lianna boasts elegant public areas that have been delicately crafted with astonishing attention to detail. Well-appointed cabins are cosy and beautifully furnished with a private balcony from which to enjoy the incredible views, a private en suite bathroom with bathtub and international cable television. Exclusive Shanghaiese cotton sheets adorn the beds, adding to the luxurious ambience. Whilst Victoria Cruises as a whole is renowned for its hospitality, the Lianna in particular has received rave reviews for its personal onboard service and professional and enthusiastic staff. The onboard River Guide imparts his knowledge of the passing landscapes with great panache and the onboard entertainment programme offers a fantastic range of activities, including lectures, Tai Chi and Mandarin language classes. In the evenings, enjoy a delicious dinner that combines both Eastern and Western flavours before retiring to the elegant Yangtze Club where you can enjoy a drink and some colourful, cultural entertainment.
Why not considering upgrading to the Victoria’s Executive Deck Program during your cruise on the Victoria Lianna? Featuring “white glove” service you’ll enjoy an upper deck cabin, access to the exclusive Executive Lounge, complimentary beverages, enhanced dining privileges, exclusive happy hour, and complimentary internet access.
The Victoria Lianna offers one of the most sophisticated ways to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Yangtze River.
Beijing: Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel Business Room 3 nights
The Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel (Beijing Gongda Jianguo Fandian) is located inside the Beijing University of Technology within close proximity of the central business district and only a five-minute walk from the 2008 Beijing Olympic badminton and rhythmic gymnastics venue.
Xian: Ramanda Plaza Xian South Standard Room 2 nights
This family-friendly Xi'an hotel is located on a lake, just a 5 minute drive from the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. It offers a fitness centre, spa services and comfortable guest rooms with city views.
Shanghai: Mingde Grand Hotel Shanghai Luxury Room 35-38sqm 3nights
The Mingde Grand Hotel Shanghai (Mingde Dajiudian) is a five-star hotel located in Shanghai's Zhabei district. It's within walking distance of Shanghai and Zhong Xing Road Metro stations. All rooms in this Shanghai hotel are equipped with Internet access, LCD televisions and mini-bars.
Guilin Li River Waterfall Hotel 2 nights
Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Shan Hu and Elephant Trunk Hill. The hotel is well-known for its nightly artificial waterfall performances and has an indoor pool, fitness centre and views over Shanhu Lake or the city.
Mrs Christina Martin
I would like to say how much we enjoyed the tour- Discover China with the Telegragh. It was comprehensive and as a result quite tiring but no more than we expected or planned for. There is no doubt that our experience was greatly enhanced by our national tour guide Leo. He is the most delightful young man with a tremendous knowledge of his country of which he is so proud and for which he is a tremendous ambassador. He has a super sense of humour which fitted brilliantly with his British clientele. The local guides were all also excellent - Jennifer, Susan, Kevin, April, Alex and Melody.
We will happily recommend your company.
Mr & Mrs Mighall
We booked the Telegraph China tour because it covered all the sights we wanted to see – Beijing, the Great Wall, Shanghai, the Terracotta Warriors, Yangtze River and lovely Pandas. We had terrific time, and we had so many highlights! Our National Escort Linda, she was brilliant! On the Yangtze River Cruise (no one could help it) the weather was really terrible and for a while we could not see a thing! She just went to the crew and arranged special things for us including shows and games, and really looked after us well. All the other guides were good and we really enjoyed our exclusive experiences too. John Craven was in his element and we really had lovely time with him, Neil was also very, very good. If I felt anything was missing it was Guilin, the Li River and cormorant fishing, but we only had 14 days, and could not do everything. I would also suggest adding some markets - we really wanted to visit one and Linda took us, which was really good. We had a terrific holiday!
Note:You will be very happy to know that we have taken Mr and Mrs Mighall's suggestion and added Guilin, a Li River Cruise and markets (Muslim Quarter in Xian and the Old Town in Shanghai) into the tour to make it the best Telegraph China tour to date.
David & Penny Ceaton
It was a wonderful experience in which we discovered some of the treasures of China, with the inside knowledge of the Telegraph's Neil Connor (Beijing) and the pandas at Dujiangyan in the company of John Craven. We were accompanied all the way by our wonderful National Guide Jason.
Andy & Jenny Vanderhook
What a holiday! We are still enjoying it, thinking and talking about the sights we saw, the people that we met and the apparent contradictions that make China what it is.
We had so many highlights but top were photographing my wife sitting next to a baby panda at the Dujianyan Panda Reserve and having the privilege of being accompanied by Neil Connor & John Craven who each brought their special knowledge and experience of China and put it at our disposal.
We feel that the whole tour was made very special by our National Tour Guide, Jason, for whom nothing was too much trouble.
It is very hard to pick a highlight of the tour, as we commented during it, as every new event eclipsed the previous one! If I am forced to make a decision I would say meeting the old gentleman who discovered the Xi'an Warriors in his home, meeting his family and talking to him about his life.
It was amazing how much was packed into just two weeks - all the main locations that I hoped to see plus many more interesting visits to places where various traditional items are made, such as the silk factory. Perhaps one improvement could have been a free night for us to eat where we chose, as I did find the food a bit 'sanitised' (as it had to keep every taste happy) and I love Chinese food, especially in Sichuan with all its gorgeous spices. All in all however I cannot fault the tour.
With so many tour operators offering escorted tours to China it might seem impossible to distinguish one from the other. My recent experience of travelling with Wendy Wu on the ‘Discover China with the Telegraph’ tour demonstrates the difference which careful planning and unique local knowledge can make.
We met the Telegraph’s China correspondent, Neil Carter, for a fascinating walking tour which provided us with a unique, informed and objective insight into the history and importance of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in the political and cultural life of China. There are also local guides, and the difference they can make was clear the following day when, after being encouraged to make an early start, we visited a section of the Great Wall before the rest of the world had arrived – a unique experience.
Chengdu and a visit to a panda sanctuary accompanied by John Craven was another highlight. What made the difference here was not John’s public profile – rather his 30 year knowledge and experience of China’s work in saving the panda from extinction. Back to the original question. What sets a Wendy Wu tour of China apart from the rest ? The answer is focussed commitment to see the things which typify China and which, in concentrating on the showpiece locations, others miss.
October is an ideal time to visit China. Like the UK China experiences seasons four seasons, although temperatures tend to be more extreme. October is early autumn with pleasantly warm days and cooler evenings. Rainfall is relatively low.
You will arrive into Beijing, where average daytime temperatures are around 20°C during the day and 10°C at night. The weather in Xian is likely to be similar. Along the Yangtze River, which winds its way through central China, expect temperatures of around 20-25°C but be aware that cooling breezes on the water may make the temperature feel significantly lower. The final destination on the itinerary, Shanghai, will be a return to average temperatures of about 20°C during the day and 10°C at night.
Whilst air quality can be an issue in China’s northern industrial cities, huge improvements have been made in recent years and levels have been successfully reduced. Whereas if you suffer from any respiratory conditions you may wish to consult your doctor before travel, we do not foresee any issues in terms of visibility and air quality during the autumn season.
Here is a suggested list of clothing to pack for the trip:
- Sun protection such as a hat, sunscreen and lip balm
Several pairs of comfortable trousers for days spent sightseeing
Shirts or long-sleeved tops of light cotton material
Light jumpers that can be easily carried with you for cooler moments
A waterproof and windproof jacket in case of adverse weather when sightseeing
Comfortable, sturdy footwear for days when you are out exploring
Kate Adie, OBE
One of the most remarkable reporters of her generation, Kate started her career at BBC Radio Durham before going on to work for TV news in London. She was the BBC’s chief news correspondent from 1989 until 2003, when she travelled widely, reporting from China, the Balkans, Russia, the USA, Africa, Northern Ireland and Kuwait. She now presents Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent.
Neil Connor, Telegraph's China Correspondent
Neil Connor is the Telegraph’s China correspondent. He has lived in the country since 2008, during which time he has been based in both Shanghai and Beijing. He now lives in the capital city with his wife and two children. He previously reported from China for the AFP news agency.
Wendy Wu - Owner
Wendy Wu ran her first tour to Asia 20 years ago from a desire to share her passion for the region by taking people on unforgettable journeys encompassing the best sights, cultural experiences and culinary treats. Wendy Wu Tours continues to seek out places that reveal the unique cultures of China, Japan and beyond.
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