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India & China; Past, Present & Future

21 days from £9,800 per person

India and China; two of earth’s largest countries and home to the oldest living civilisations. Often seen as polar opposites, we believe that there are a surprising number of similarities between these great nations; both home to examples of the world’s finest temples, largest historical empires, exciting cuisines, greatest cities, spectacular landscapes, oldest religions, diversity of experience and from the Western perspective, the personification of the exotic, the unfamiliar, the enchanting and the beguiling. Combined, they immerse travellers with an unparalleled richness of experience.

This itinerary traces both countries’ histories; their ancient capitals, holiest sites and modern metropolises. Although just scratching the surface, this epic journey will give an insight into the past, present and future of these two important nations. Shanghai and Mumbai possess rich heritages, including British and Jewish, but are also pioneers in global finance, international art markets and Michelin-starred restaurants. Delhi and Beijing both combine the ancient and the contemporary; home to multiple bygone empires and a collection of simply incredible historic sites. In China visit the former capitals of Hangzhou and Xi’an; Xi’an renowned for the world-famous Terracotta Army, and the beautiful lake city of Hangzhou celebrated in Marco Polo’s travelogues. India and China are also home to the birthplaces of major religions. This itinerary will take you to a range of sacred centres and to where the countries’ most beautiful religious art is preserved. Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges River is considered the holiest place on earth by Hindus, and nearby Sarnath is a major art centre where Buddha preached his first sermon. In Mumbai the exquisite Elephanta Caves, and the spectacular Ellora and Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad, are known for their Buddhist murals and Hindu carvings. China’s Dunhuang Caves display their own examples of ancient Buddhist murals, and provide a fascinating glimpse into archaic Chinese art and history.

As with all our itineraries, this is purely a suggestion and can be amended in any way.

The hotels we have suggested provide a culturally relevant and luxurious base to this incredible tour. All are either the most charming, or the best in their location; and often both. Your first stop will give you the opportunity to stay at Mumbai’s ‘Grand Dame’, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, built in 1911 to welcome King George and Queen Mary. Part of the family-run Tata brand, the Palace was supposedly built after Jamsetji Tata was refused entry to Watson’s Hotel in 1903. Delhi’s first luxury hotel The Imperial, built in 1931 by an associate of Edward Lutyens, provides the perfect setting for a taste of Raj-era opulence. Patiala Peg, the hotel’s bar, was also the location of the historical meeting between Nehru, Gandhi, Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten to discuss partition. The Aman Summer Palace in Beijing is the only hotel in China built within a historical palace complex, making any stay here a memorable experience. Atmospheric rooms are located within traditional Ming Dynasty inspired courtyards and a secret passage way leads directly into the Summer Palace complex.  The Sofitel Legend in Xi’an opened as a state-run guesthouse in 1953, but now is the city’s best luxury hotel. Located within Xi’an’s historical walls, both the modern city and historic sites, such as the Bell and Drum Towers and the Muslim Street, are within walking distance. The world-famous Peninsula Hotels Group presents the Peninsula Shanghai, located on the historic ‘Bund’ with jaw-dropping views over Shanghai’s iconic Pudong financial district.


Itinerary details

21 days from £9,800 per person

India To China 7 India To China 7
India To China 2 India To China 2
India To China 16 India To China 16
India To China 6 India To China 6
NORTH INDIA - Ganges, Varanasi NORTH INDIA - Ganges, Varanasi
India To China 14 India To China 14
India To China 1 India To China 1
India To China 11 India To China 11
NORTH INDIA - The Imperial Delhi North India The Swimming Pool NORTH INDIA - The Imperial Delhi North India The Swimming Pool
India To China 10 India To China 10
NORTH INDIA - Old Delhi NORTH INDIA - Old Delhi
India To China 12 India To China 12
CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing 2 CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing 2
CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing
CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing 2 (1) CHINA - Aman Summer Palace, Beijing 2 (1)
Beijing 19 Beijing 19
CHINA - Aman at Summer Palace - Cultural Room CHINA - Aman at Summer Palace - Cultural Room
CHINA - Tiananmen square, Beijing CHINA - Tiananmen square, Beijing
India To China 8 India To China 8
India To China 17 India To China 17
CHINA - The Forbidden City, Beijing 2 CHINA - The Forbidden City, Beijing 2
India To China 3 India To China 3
CHINA - The Great Wall, warriors CHINA - The Great Wall, warriors
China Case Study The Great Wall Of China 2 China Case Study The Great Wall Of China 2
India To China 13 India To China 13
India To China 18 India To China 18
CHINA - Xian, terracotta army CHINA - Xian, terracotta army
CHINA Small Recontructions Of The Teracotta Army In Xian China CHINA Small Recontructions Of The Teracotta Army In Xian China
CHINA Terracotta Warriors Xian Clay Statue Of Chinese Qin Dynasty Soldier CHINA Terracotta Warriors Xian Clay Statue Of Chinese Qin Dynasty Soldier
India To China 4 India To China 4
CHINA - Hangzhou, monks CHINA - Hangzhou, monks
CHINA Shanghai Skyline CHINA Shanghai Skyline
CHINA Peninsula Shanghai Sir Elly Terrace CHINA Peninsula Shanghai Sir Elly Terrace
CHINA - Park Hyatt, Shanghai CHINA - Park Hyatt, Shanghai
India To China 15 India To China 15

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20.593684,78.96288000000004,4
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson