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Historic China by Rail

Tailor-made journey

Historic China by Rail

Ancient history and modern, first-class rail

Journey through China discovering its remarkable and ancient history. Magnificent locations including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historic towns and cities, the incredible 1,500 year old Hanging Monastery, and the fascinating old streets of Pingyao. Another one of the many highlights is an impressive Kung Fu performance at the Shaolin Temple at Songshan Mountain. The tour starts in Beijing, the distinguished capital, before moving on to the renowned Terracotta Warriors in Xian. All this and more, as travel in first-class comfort between destinations, on China's high-speed rail network.

Warrior Monks Of Shaolin Temple

Locations you will be visiting

  • Ancient City Wall xian china

    Xian, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Xian with this handy destination guide.

    2 Days

  • longmen grotto datong china

    Luoyang, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Luoyang with this handy destination guide.

    2 Days

  • Shaolin Temple datong china

    Dengfeng, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Dengfeng with this handy destination guide.

    1 Day

  • pingyao shanxi china

    Pingyao, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Pingyao with this handy destination guide.

    2 Day

  • Yungang Grottoes Datong Shanxi Province china

    Datong, China

    Discover the sights, traditions for Datong with this handy destination guide.

    2 Days

  • BeijingTemple of Heaven china

    Beijing, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Beijing with this handy destination guide.

    3 Days


Historic China by Rail

13 day Tour Itinerary

An overview of your trip

DAY 1 UK to Beijing

Take a scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Beijing. Departures from regional UK airports are also available, on request.

  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 2 Arrive Beijing

Upon arrival at the airport in Beijing, our Links Travel representative will meet and transfer you to your hotel, to check-in for a three night stay. The afternoon is free at leisure to relax, or perhaps explore the local area. Your guide will be able to give you tips on what to do, before hosting a welcome dinner in the evening, where you can meet your fellow travellers.

  • Meals included: Dinner
DAY 3 Beijing City Tour

Your Beijing City Tour starts after breakfast, with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped, and you may see locals practising Tai Chi in the courtyard. This is followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world, to the Forbidden City, on the north of the square. Also known as the Palace Museum, it served as China’s imperial palace for 24 emperors. Your final stop of the day will be the Hutongs, a twisting labyrinth of alleyways filled with traditional courtyard homes.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4 Great Wall

Following breakfast, the Great Wall at Mutianyu is your first stop of the day. This well-preserved section of the wall, just 40 km north of Beijing, is less busy than other places, and has breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside. On return to the city there will be an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics. In the evening, you will be treated to a delicious must-have Peking Duck dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 Beijing to Xian

Today’s first stop, after breakfast at the hotel, is the Summer Palace, the largest royal park in China. This oasis, is a picturesque collection of Imperial pavilions, majestic towers and ornate bridges, connected by charming walkways, set over verdant Longevity Hill and surrounding beautiful Kunming Lake, where you can enjoy a relaxing boat ride. The day ends with a high-speed bullet train, in first class, to Xian, where you will be met on arrival at the station, and transferred to your hotel for a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Train
DAY 6 Terracotta Warriors

The awe-inspiring Terracotta Warriors are today’s main attraction. Buried for centuries and only discovered in 1974, this 2,000 year old army of 10,000 soldiers, is a sight to behold. After lunch, there is time to explore Xian’s ancient city wall, best done by bike or on foot. It is one of the most complete defensive city walls surviving in China today. In the evening, a sumptuous dumpling dinner and accompanying Tang Dynasty Show are the ideal way to end the day.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 Xian to Luoyang

Enjoy a hotel breakfast before admiring some of the 250,000 artefacts on display at the Shaanxi Museum, and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated at the Jianfu Temple. Your final visit in Xian will be to the Muslim Quarter, for a different aspect of the city and a chance for souvenir shopping. Catch a bullet train, which will whisk you in comfort, through the countryside to to Luoyang, your next destination on this 13 day tour. On arrival, our representative will meet and transfer you to your hotel to check-in.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Train
DAY 8 Shaolin Temple

Today starts with a short drive to the UNESCO-listed Longmen Grottoes, one of the finest existing examples of Chinese Buddhist stone-carving. Then it is on to the Shaolin Temple on Songshan Mountain, for an impressive Kung Fu Performance from the monks. The journey continues to Denfeng for the night.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 9 Dengfeng to Pingyao

After breakfast, catch the bullet train from Zhengzhou to Taiyuan, watching the world pass by as you go. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Pingyao to check-in. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local area or relax.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Train
DAY 10 Explore Pingyao

Your day in Pingyao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers you the opportunity to discover the varying architectural styles of Imperial China. Highlights include the ancient City Wall and  the atmospheric Ancient Ming and Qing Street, which gives a hint to the city’s former grandeur. The Rishengchang Financial House Museum, one of the first exchange shops in China, dating back to 1823, and  the remarkable Zhengguo and Shuang Lin temples, are also worth visiting.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 11 Pingyao to Datong

Transfer to the train station, after breakfast, for the train to Datong. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel to check-in, and the rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Train
DAY 12 Yungang Caves, Hanging Monastery, and to Beijing

This morning, you will be taken to the UNESCO-listed Yungang Grottoes, ancient Buddhist temple caves, each painstakingly carved from the rock wall over many years, and the 1,500 year old Hanging Monastery. Clinging to the side of Hengshan Mountain, it is known for its combination of three traditional Chinese religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing, where you will be met and driven to your hotel to check-in.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 13 Fly to UK

Enjoy breakfast before taking the hotel shuttle bus to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Airplane
Optional Extras - Cultural Experiences

There is some free time in your itinerary for you to explore on your own, or treat yourself to an excursion. Use the links below to create a to-do list, or, if you’d prefer us to book you onto one of these or any other excursions, please let us know when booking your tour.

  • colourful Beijing opera china

    China: Beijing Opera

    Delight at a performance of traditional Beijing Opera

    View this package
  • tea performer china

    China: Tea Tasting

    Appreciate the varying blends of Chinese tea at a tasting

    View this package
  • caligraphy china

    China: Calligraphy Lesson

    Create your own piece with a class in Chinese caligraphy

    View this package
  • Tai Chi on the Bund shanghai china

    China: Tai Chi Lesson

    Practise this ancient martial art with a Tai Chi lesson

    View this package

Sample Accommodation

4★ Guangxi Hotel, Beijing

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4★ Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xian

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4★ Lee Royal Hotel Mudu, Luoyang

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4★ Jinpeng Eco Hotel, Dengfeng

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4★ Hong Shan Yi Hotel, Pingyao

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4★ Datong Grand Hotel, Datong

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4★ CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport

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Your holiday details
2023 and 2024 departure dates and price will be available soon
Depart Return Days Price from Availability Reservation
Depart Return Day DepartAvailable Soon AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation

China: Historic China by Rail
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What's included:
  • International Flights in economy class with British Airways
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Transfers
  • 4★ accommodation based on twin share
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as specified
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Local tips: RMB500 (approx. £58) per person,
  • Personal Spending
  • Travel Insurance
  • China visa and fees

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