An Educational Adventure: The Perfect Family Holiday to China
14 days from £7,810 for 2023 per person
Take your family on an authentic holiday of a lifetime to experience China’s classic sights in immersive and interactive ways. Hike along Beijing’s Great Wall; see the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors; in Guilin, bike through breathtaking scenery straight out of a classical Chinese painting; and be awed by acrobats in China’s most modern city, Shanghai. You’ll witness some of China’s most historic sites and beautiful landscapes: the UNESCO-protected Longmen Grottoes, the Ancient Tea & Horse Caravan Trail and Yunnan’s rustic towns, ethnic minority villages, low-lying valleys and snow-capped mountains, which have long inspired poets and travellers.
Adding an educational dimension to a trip to China makes it more culturally enriching and exhilarating: make hand-pulled noodles from the experts and learn the martial art of gongfu (kung fu) from the monks at Shaolin Temples. Visit local homes and a countryside elementary school to get under the skin of the real China. This itinerary includes a mixture of hotel types: from family-friendly accommodations to exquisite luxury hotels like the The Peninsula Shanghai, which Ampersand’s MD, James Jayasundera feels is the best city hotel in Asia.
This trip is merely a suggested itinerary and can be altered to suit your individual requirements. The price of this tour includes all meals.
If you'd like to see similar itineraries, take a look at our family holiday and culinary tour collections.
14 days from £7,810 for 2023 per person
- Day 1 - The Peninsula Beijing - Beijing
Arrive in Beijing where you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Spend the evening at your leisure.
- Day 2 - The Peninsula Beijing - Beijing
Have a guided tour of the Forbidden City before lunch by Houlai Lake and a tour of Beijing’s hutong neighbourhoods. Try your hand at making dumplings in a local’s home and eat dinner in a Beijing roast duck restaurant.
- Day 3 - The Peninsula Beijing - Beijing
Enjoy a privately guided tour of the Great Wall of China and an exhilarating toboggan ride downhill at the end of your hike. Back in the city, have a noodle-making lesson and lunch. In the evening enjoy a Legend of Kung Fu Show.
- Day 4 - The Lee Royal Hotel - Luoyang
Have a private kung fu lesson with a master at the Temple of Heaven, followed by a tour of the Olympic Green to play badminton or ping pong. This evening take the overnight train to Luoyang in First Class.
- Day 5 - The Lee Royal Hotel - Luoyang
You will be met off the train by your guide. Enjoy a tour of the Longmen Grottoes and the Baima Temple, reputedly the first Buddhist temple in China.
- Day 6 - The Lee Royal Hotel - Luoyang
This morning take an hour-long transfer to Dengfeng to visit Shaolin Temple and take a kung fu martial arts class with Shaolin monks.
- Day 7 - Hilton Xi'an - Xi'an
This morning catch the train to Xi’an. Have a privately guided tour of Xi’An to see the Ancient City Wall, the food stalls of the Xi’An Muslim Quarter – from Halal skewers, roast mutton and persimmon cakes – and enjoy a delicious dumpling dinner.
- Day 8 - Banyan Tree Lijiang - Lijiang
Today you will visit Xi’an’s famous Terracotta Warriors Army. Have a lunch of hand-pulled noodles and traditional Shaanxi-style pork “hamburgers”. Afternoon flight to to Lijiang via Kunmin.
- Day 9 - Banyan Tree Lijiang - Lijiang
Explore the antiquated lattice of paths and canals in Lijiang's Old Town before being doing an “Eye-Spy” treasure hunt game. After lunch, set out on foot or bike to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or see the “Impression Lijiang” show. Have dinner in a local Naxi courtyard home.
- Day 10 - The Linden Centre - Dali
This morning take a 5-6 hour transfer to Dali with a stop at Shaxi Old town. This afternoon tour Dali Old Town and then have dinner.
- Day 11 - The Linden Centre - Dali
Have a guided shopping tour of a local food market, have a private cooking class and enjoy lunch. Take a bike-ride around Erhai Lake and the minority villages dotting the lakeside.
- Day 12 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai and transfer to The Peninsula Shanghai. Day at leisure. After dinner see the ERA Acrobatics show, which fuses traditional Chinese arts and modern technologies.
- Day 13 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
Tour the pavilions and arched bridges of Yu Garden, and the Cheng Hung Miao Bazaar. After a lunch of xiao long bao (soup dumplings) see the panoramic Shanghai skyline from the top of a Pudong building, then take a walk through the French Concession area packed with old world charm. Enjoy a special Shanghainese farewell dinner.
- Day 14 - In transit.
Take the 400km/h Maglev (the fastest train in China) to the airport for your departure flight home.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
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