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ABTA and ATOL Protected
Escorted Tours

In Pursuit of Pandas


Route:
  • UK
  • Chengdu
  • Xi'an
  • Beijing
  • UK
Tour Pace:

9 DAYS from £1494pp

Tour Highlights
  • Enjoy two memorable encounters with the giant pandas of Chengdu
  • Experience the grandeur of the Great Wall of China
  • Marvel at over 8,0000 ancient Terracotta Warriors, buried beneath the city of Xi'an
  • Sample China's fragrant teas on a visit to a traditional tea house
  • Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace and the Temple of Heaven on a full day city tour of Beijing

or call us on 0800 408 0506

In Pursuit of Pandas

Facing extinction in the 1980s as large sections of its habitat were destroyed, the giant panda population of China has grown in leaps and bounds due to sustained efforts to save this lovable creature.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Chengdu

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Chengdu, via Shanghai.

2
Chengdu

On arrival in Chengdu, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel.'

3
Chengdu

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with Chengdu's giant pandas on one of the highlights of this tour - a trip to the Panda Conservation Centre, where you'll be rewarded with a close-up viewing of baby and adult pandas lounging in enclosures built to imitate their natural habitat. Enjoy a morning to observe them at play before continuing on to the Shu Brocade Museum where you can marvel at this intricate method of embroidery. See parents playing Cupid at Matchmaker's Corner in the People's Park then sample fragrant, local teas at a traditional tea house before returning to your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Chengdu

Your second memorable panda experience takes you to the Dujiangyan Panda Base. Watch these lovable animals playing, napping and eating as you stroll around multiple enclosures. Look out for the 'overseas returnees' - all pandas born abroad have to be returned to China by the age of 2. Next, take in centuries-old pagodas and buildings on a visit to picturesque Jiezi Ancient Town. Return to Chengdu for a flavourful Sichuan dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Chengdu to Xi'an

Experience China's high-speed rail network as a bullet train carries you to Xi'an. After check-in and lunch at your hotel, delve into the sights of Xi'an as you stroll along the ancient city walls, built as fortifications in the 14th century. This evening, enjoy a taste of tradition as you feast on traditional Shui jiao dumplings and watch a riveting Tang Dynasty dance performance.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Xi'an to Beijing

After breakfast, uncover the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Terracotta Warriors, an 8,000-strong army created so that no two warriors look alike. Explore these cavernous underground vaults then witness how replicas of these figures are skilfully crafted at the Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition Centre. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing, with the remainder of the day to relax after checking into your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Beijing

Marvel at one of mankind's greatest feats as you stroll the Great Wall of China, taking in a mere portion of this formidable structure which took over 1,800 years to construct. Access the wall at the Juyongguan Pass, which also boasts beautiful waterside temples and towers. After lunch, explore the intricate pieces on display at the Jade Museum then take in the ancient royal residence of the Summer Palace. This evening, an entertaining Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Beijing

Discover Beijing's long, imperial history on today's full day city tour. Explore Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square, under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao's large, central portrait. From here, enter the vast Forbidden Palace and wander its 9,999 rooms and chambers before travelling onward to the tranquil Temple of Heaven. Later this evening, dine on fragrant Peking duck and enjoy an outdoor dance performance.
Optional excursion (payable locally): Visit the Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Museum with a tour of the museum. See how the food is made and finally, you get a chance to enjoy the food as well.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Beijing to the UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, via Shanghai, or continue on to your chosen extension.

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into China. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is approximately £189.00 when calling the Travel Visa Company, they will advise you of the most up to date fees. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are valid for unlimited trips to China for 2 years from the date of issue. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Your flight is to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai with China Eastern (MU) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 5kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and able mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in China is the Renminbi, known as RMB or CNY. It is often referred to as the yuan.
We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you want alternative currency.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approx. £500 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. There are some optional tours available to purchase locally and these generally need to be paid in cash. Therefore, please allow an additional £100 if you wish to book any of these. For an additional CNY3000 cash you are able to be photographed next to one of the pandas at the Chengdu breeding centre - please note 3 days notice must be given to your guide if you wish to do this. It is customary to tip your national guide, local guide and driver. Please allow approximately £45 per person for the duration of your tour. For your convenience, this will be collected by your National Guide on the first day of your tour in Shanghai. Tips are collected in Chinese Yuan.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2018 Dates
17 Oct 201825 Oct 2018£1669
21 Nov 201829 Nov 2018£1499
2019 Dates
23 Jan 201931 Jan 2019£1299
13 Feb 201921 Feb 2019£1399
06 Mar 201914 Mar 2019£1499
27 Mar 201904 Apr 2019£1599
24 Apr 201902 May 2019£1699
15 May 201923 May 2019£1769
12 Jun 201920 Jun 2019£1899
11 Sep 201919 Sep 2019£1799
09 Oct 201917 Oct 2019£1649
13 Nov 201921 Nov 2019£1599
Itinerary changes:

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

Please note:

Lighters are not allowed on planes, trains or sights of special interest, such as Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, Three Gorges Dam, Wild Goose Pagoda.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Yuan

Average Flying time

11 hours

Min/Max temperature

10 °C / 6 °C

Spoken languages

Mandarin, English

When to go

Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Shanghai

Dujiangyan County

Chengdu

What to pack
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Sunglasses and Hat
  • Rucksack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Long sleeve shirt and trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Personal toiletries
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Travel Plug Adapter
Tour Map
In Pursuit of Pandas Route Map
Tour Dossiers
Extensions
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong City Stay

    3 nights from £528pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Hong Kong City Stay
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Shanghai
  • Dujiangyan County
  • Chengdu
  • Shanghai
  • Hong Kong
  • UK

Towering skyscrapers form the backdrop to Hong Kong's busy harbour whilst the street markets that fill the teeming alleys remain untouched by western influences. Explore Hong Kong and Kowloon at your own pace during this extension which includes a half day city tour.

This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

3 nights
from £528pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension

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