January 21, 2019

Join my tour to China!

Highlights of China Tour

Beijing • Xi’an • Chengdu • Yangtze River • Shanghai

13 – 26 October 2019

** SOLD OUT! **
(But we may go again in 2020, so drop me a line if you’re interested)


I’ve just returned from my second visit to China and this time I was having a look at what I might put together to take a small group there in 2019, and I just can’t wait!

China is an unbelievably fascinating country. It’s so vast, so so old filled with centuries of history and culture, it serves exceptionally tasty food and offers some of the best shopping experiences on the planet – so we’re going.

Here is our itinerary for a two-week China tour seeing all the highlights that you might have on your bucket list! Plus I’ve priced it on a single person having their own room. If you bring a mate and room share, you’ll get a discount.

China tour map 2019

Our two week journey from Beijing to Shanghai

Day 1 Auckland/Beijing

Fly from Auckland to Beijing, the dynamic capital of the People’s Republic of China. Once the imperial city of Mongol, Ming and Manchu emperors, Beijing is still extraordinarily rich in historical sites and cultural relics.

Day 2 Beijing (B/L/D included)

Tour Tian’anmen Square, the biggest public square in the world. We will also have a photo stop at The National Centre for the Performing Arts, formerly known as the National Grand Theatre, and colloquially described as The Egg. We’ll visit the Forbidden City, the vast complex of palaces which was home to successive Emperors for more than 500 years.

We’ll see the Temple of Heaven, the 500-year old Temple has altars on which sacrifices and offerings were laid to the gods in a glorious setting of gardens, tress and sculptures. Tonight we will experience the famous Beijing Duck banquet for our welcome dinner.

Visit the Great Wall of China

We’ll visit the Great Wall of China

Day 3 Beijing (B/L/D included)

Today we’ll tour to the Great Wall at the Juyongguan section. This remarkable wall stretches over 21,000 km from the Pacific Ocean to the sands of Central Asia and is befittingly crowned one of the ten wonders of the world. Along the way we will stop at a jade carving factory where we can watch artisans at work. After lunch we’ll have a pedi-cab tour of Hutong – the ‘old city’ neighbourhoods of narrow alleyways and courtyard gardens and experience local life.

Day 4

Beijing/Xi’an (B/D included)

This morning we’ll take the high speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival we’ll visit the Ancient City Walls, the largest and best-kept city walls on earth. Tonight we will sample the famous Xi’an dumpling dinner.

Standing in front of the terracotta warriors

We’ll see the amazing Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an

Day 5  Xi’an (B/L/D included)

Today we take a tour to the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, the more than 2,000 year-old Terracotta Warriors interred with the emperor Qin Shi Huang. Then we’ll visit the Xi’an Art Ceramic and Lacquer Ware Factory which focuses on reproductions of terracotta warriors and horses and lacquer ware products to pick up a little memento.

In the afternoon we will have free time in the lively Muslim Quarter bursting with delicious street food, handicrafts and fun market for shopping.

Day 6 Xi’an/Chengdu (B/D included)

This morning we’ll visit the Shaanxi History Museum for some breathtaking ancient relics before our high speed train ride to Chengdu where it’s all about the pandas!

Day 7  Chengdu (B/L/D included)

The highlight today is the renowned Panda Breeding and Research Centre in Chengdu. The giant pandas are not only a Chinese national treasure but also beloved by people the world over and we will see them for ourselves. We’ll also visit a tea house in People’s Park and join the locals sitting together drinking tea, playing cards or mah-jong. Then we’ll will visit the ancient Jinli Street in Chengdu, which was one of the busiest commercial boulevards of the Kingdom of Shu in ancient times, followed by one of the hottest tourist destinations in Chengdu: Broad and Narrow Alley.

Pandas in Chengdu

We’ll take endless photos of cute pandas at the Panda sanctuary

Day 8 Chengdu/Chongqing/Cruise (B/D included)

Today we take a fast train to Chongqing, a port city with the largest municipal area and population in China. Chongqing is situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers in southwest China. We will visit the old town area of Ciqikou before we board our 5-star Victoria Cruise and start our spectacular voyage along the mighty Yangtze River in the evening. (Itineraries and times are subject to change according to river conditions).

Day 9 Yangtze River Cruise (B/L/D included)

Relax on deck or in the lounge enjoying the beautiful scenery of the magnificent Three Gorges. Sailing downstream, we’ll view the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges and enjoy a side trip up Shennong Stream. Shore excursions include Fengdu, the “Ghost City”.

Day 10 Yangtze River Cruise (B/L/D included)

Cruise day sailing through Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Shore excursion to Shengnong Stream or Lesser Three Gorges. 

Cruising the Yangtze

We’ll have 3 nights on a cruise on the Yangtze River

Day 11 Maoping/Shanghai (B/L included)

Today we disembark at Maoping port and fly to Shanghai where we will join a bespoke shopping tour which will include a visit to the Fabric Market to get clothes tailored, the Silk Market, a wander through Tianzi Fang filled with local designers. We’ll have lunch at an award-winning Shanghainese restaurant and visit the Pearl Market and get glasses made (bring your prescription or some glasses they can use to measure what you need). FYI, I had multifocal glasses made on my last trip to Shanghai in half an hour and they cost $85 and I’m thrilled with them!

Visit Shanghai

3 days to explore Shanghai

Best dumplings in China

My favourite dumplings EVER: Xiaolongbao. They are filled with meat and soup. It’s magic!


Prescription glasses made Shanghai

Getting my multifocal glasses made in Shanghai

Multifocal glasses made in Shanghai

$85 for my new multifocal glasses in Shanghai!

Day 12 Shanghai (B/L included)

This morning we’ll go on a little walking tour with an English speaking guide to the former French Concession of shops, cafes and restaurants, along the Bund to see the amazing waterfront skyscrapers, and free time.

Day 13 Shanghai (B/L/D included)

Today we’ll pick up our goodies from the Fabric Market, finish our last minute shopping (or buy more!) We can also visit some high end copy manufacturers and a factory that sells over runs of commercial clothes. We’ll enjoy a fabulous lunch and head to a tech market to shop for gadgets and electronics and if there’s time, we’ll visit a Ceramic market. Free afternoon.

Tonight we’ll have our farewell dinner at one of Shanghai’s most popular restaurants and for those with stamina we’ll end the evening with a night cap at a rooftop bar overlooking the famous Bund.

Day 14 Shanghai/Auckland (B included)

Today we are free for some last minute shopping or exploring before being transferred to the airport for our flight back home.


Price : $6,995 per person in own room

Discount for twin room share : $1,000

B/L/D = Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Secure your place with a deposit of $1,000 before January 25 and lock in this great price. Balance due 1 July 2019. The airline will raise the fares from January 28.

Email me at megan @ bloggeratlarge.com (copy and paste my email address into your email and remove the spaces around the @)

Price includes:

  • Return economy class airfares from Auckland to Beijing and Shanghai to Auckland
  • 4+-star hotel accommodation
  • Victoria Cruise and excursions
  • Beijing/Xi’an/Chengdu/Chongqing high speed train ticket 2nd class seat
  • Airfare Yichang to Shanghai in economy class
  • Private air conditioned coach transfers
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees with English-speaking guide as per itinerary
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Tips for guides and drivers
  • Chinese visa fee

Exclusions: travel insurance (compulsory), some meals, shopping and incidentals.

Note: Price is valid until 31 Mar 2019. Price is subject to change and final confirmation is at time of actual booking.

This tour will include daily walking and sightseeing so a moderate level of fitness (and good shoes) is advised. But don’t fret, we are NOT hiking!


What’s the weather like in China in October?

Weather in Shanghai

Pic from Shanghai Shopping Tours who we will be spending 2 days with

Pretty much gorgeous!

In Beijing October is lovely and mild with only two days of rain on average. Top temps are 19˚C and overnight lows of 8˚.

In Xi’an the weather in October is about the same with an average of six days of rain for the month.

Moving to Chengdu the weather in October is a little warmer with day time temps reaching 25˚C and lows of 15˚. They get about seven days of rain in October.

The Yangtze River can have varied weather and in summer it gets very hot, but we’ll be there in late spring which is the best time for a cruise. Expect weather to be pleasant and cooler. Maybe a little foggy. T-shirts and a jacket are a good idea.

In Shanghai October is a lovely time to visit. Temperatures can be as high as 23˚ with over night lows of 16˚. They typically get five days of rain during the month.

About Megan Singleton

Megan Singleton

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday and I write for a few newspapers and mags from time to time. I set off on this travel writing journey 19 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

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  1. Barbara on

    I am so disappointed I have missed out on your china trip. With other things going on in my life left it to late. Boo Hoo. Do you have a waiting list if so may I be added. Cheers Barbara


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