In a philosophy that Confucius himself would surely have agreed with, at Explore we don’t wait until our next brochure is out before we launch new tours; we launch them as soon as they are ready. We are pleased to announce that the next Family Adventure to be added to our exciting portfolio is our one-week China Express tour.
With the first departure in August (and the next during October half-term and then Christmas), this is a tour for families who are big on adventure but short of time. Travelling across China by train and plane, the tour takes in the most famous highlights but also includes a few more unusual activities to really make the most of your time away.
In and around Beijing, different parts of China’s rich and varied history will be laid before you with the grandeur of the Forbidden City, the enormity of the Great Wall and the tragedy of Tiananmen Square. To fully embrace local culture, there will be the opportunity to fly kites, shop in the busy night market, make traditional dumplings and try your hand at the art of decorative paper cutting.
Travelling on, the tour includes visiting the impressive Terracotta Army where ranks of life-size silent soldiers have stood patiently guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China for over 2,000 years. Hopefully inspired by the exquisite craftsmanship, there will be the opportunity for you to make your own statue afterwards (perhaps not life-size!)
In Chengdu, it is China’s symbol of peace – the giant panda – which steals the show. The Panda Breeding and Research Centre is one of the few giant panda sanctuaries in the world. The centre aims to breed these critically endangered animals and carry out research which will help the long-term survival of the species. The centre is home to both adult and young pandas; we challenge you not to say ‘ahhh’ at least once when you visit!
As if all this wasn’t enough, you’ll have the chance to learn the ancient art of calligraphy, cycling along a 14th century city wall in Xi’an, spend the night on a sleeper train and have lunch with a local family. As you’d expect in China, food is fast, tasty and plentiful and is definitely a highlight of the trip.
So board the China Express for a whistle-stop tour of some of the best bits of China and see what you can pack into one week away!