Explore China including Tibet
Half Board (+2)
- Experience the captivating culture of China on this 17-night holiday including Tibet.
- Discover the highlights of Beijing & spend a full day trekking the Great Wall of China.
- Learn the ancient art of Kung Fu with an interactive Chinese martial arts lesson.
- Explore Xi’an’s Old City Walls by bicycle & visit the nearby Terracotta Army Museum.
- Cycle the countryside & spend the day with a local family to experience rural Tibet.
- Volunteer at a Panda Reserve & visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project in Chengdu.
- Enjoy two full days of independent exploration in the buzzing city of Shanghai.
Book Your Trip From €5578pp
Book Your Trip From €4999pp
Your Guided Adventure Holiday China
Explore unique culture and ancient traditions with us on this once-in-a-lifetime, adventure holiday China. We’ll discover architecture from imperial dynasties, ancient temples and beautiful landscapes, and get under the skin of iconic cities like Beijing, Xi’an and Lhasa. We’ll enjoy a selection of excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Beijing’s Summer Palace, the Terracotta Army, and Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama. Sightseeing will take on a whole new meaning on our adventure holiday to China as we take to the saddle; cycling along the old city walls of Xi’an and through the Tibetan countryside with a local guide. Our tour ends on a high in the vibrant city of Shanghai, where we’ll enjoy free time to explore the city’s many highlights. Join us on a holiday to China!
Holidays to China from Ireland
Our holidays to China from Ireland depart from Dublin airport; outbound and return flights will be via Abu Dhabi. Flights and transfers, accommodation and tours with a local guide are all included, so get ready for your next adventure.
- Visas are required for travel on this tour. Please visit our visa information page for more information.
- For departures from Dublin, outbound and return flights will be via Abu Dhabi.
Activity Level: Tough
Depart for China
Overnight flight to Beijing
Let’s begin our far east adventure with an overnight flight to China’s capital city Beijing.
Arrive in Beijing
Welcome to the captivating city of Beijing!! On arrival let’s meet our local expert guide and transferred to our hotel, where we will have some time at leisure to settle in to our new surroundings. Beijing is rich in cultural heritage, with its history stretching back over three thousand years. But Beijing is not just a city of the past; it has seamlessly embraced modernity, showcasing a stunning fusion of contemporary architecture amidst its historical sites in this bustling vibrant city.
This evening let’s join our fellow group members and our guide for a welcome meal at a local restaurant. Chinese cuisine is an integral part of the country's rich culture, so this authentic dining experience serves as the perfect introduction to the unique tastes and aromas that will accompany us on our unforgettable adventure in China.
Guided Tour of Summer Palace
This morning let’s enjoy a guided visit to the Summer Palace. This sprawling complex of lush gardens, serene lakes, and majestic palaces once served the Qing Dynasty as its imperial garden. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, the Summer Palace is an absolute must-see for anyone exploring Beijing. We will also have some free time to have the opportunity to climb up Longevity Hill, which is approximately 60 metres rewarding us with panoramic views of the palace's intricate waterways, charming pavilions, arched bridges, and ancient temples.
Kung fu lesson
This afternoon let’s prepare to fully immerse ourselves in ancient Chinese traditions during a visit to the Beijing Kung Fu School. Kung fu is a general term which is used to refer to the martial arts of China. Kung fu originated in the Shaolin Temple, where monks practiced it for health and self-defence during their quest for enlightenment. The Chinese people place great value in the practice of Kung fu because they feel it teaches respect, patience, humility, and morality. Let’s enjoy a guided tour of the school’s campus before partaking in a 40 minute Kung fu lesson where our Kung fu teacher will train us on some of the basic skills of Kung fu to experience this enlightenment ourselves.
Afterwards, we will travel from the Beijing to Miyun County, a district in northeast Beijing, which is close to the trekking paths of the Great Wall of China. Let’s enjoy a locally prepared dinner and then settle into our guest house accommodation for the night.
Great Wall of China & Beijing
Explore the Great Wall of China
Today is sure to be one of the highlights of our trip as we walk along the Great of China. A architectural marvel dating back to the 7th century BC and was built to protect the first unified Kingdom of China. Stretching for over 20,000 miles, this is a bucket list sight for most people and and no trip to China is complete without experiencing its grandeur.
Prepare to tread in the footsteps of emperors and explorers as we embark on a guided trek along a section of the Great Wall of China with our local expert guide. We will explore the ruins of this marvellous man-made structure from the Gubeikou Section to Jinshanling Section, covering a distance of 15kms by foot over the duration of approximately 6 hours.
The trek will consist of walking along mostly flat terrain, with a series of ascents and descents up and down the famous steps of the Great Wall. You will receive a packed lunch for this full-day trek and a stop will be made along the way so you can have a picnic on the Great Wall of China. A backpack and strong, sturdy footwear are essential. This activity may not be suitable with those with a fear of heights.
(Distance: 15km / Duration: 6 hours / Difficulty: Moderately challenging)
Transfer to Beijing city
After our adventure on the Great Wall of China, we will travel back to Beijing city where you will have the evening free to explore at your leisure. Our local guide will be happy to suggest restaurants and activities to suit your taste.
Tian An Men Square & Forbidden City
Tian An Men Square
This morning let’s visit one of the world's most expansive squares, the legendary Tian An Men Square. This monumental space has witnessed the ebb and flow of historic rallies and protests, serving as the epicentre of Chinese governmental power. But it's not just about politics here; it's a living testament to China's storied past and enduring present, seen in such buildings such as the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
Afterwards let’s walk with our local guide through Beijing’s Hutongs. These ancient alleys and narrow laneways, forged by centuries of tradition, offer a glimpse into the life of historic Beihing. Let’s visit a local Hutong family during our tour to learn how to make “jiaozi”, which are a type of traditional Chinese dumplings. Jiaozi are one of the most popular foods that are eaten during the Chinese New Year, and typically consist of a ground meat or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together. Jiaozi are either boiled, steamed or pan fried before eating. Our creations from this afternoon’s interactive cooking experience will also be today’s lunch. After lunch let’s then experience a Chinese paper cutting lesson for under the guidance of a local folk art teacher.
The Forbidden City & Peking duck dinner
Later this afternoon let’s visit a highlight of any trip to Beijing, the Forbidden City. Housing the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty and served as the home of emperors for almost 500 years. Designed to symbolise the grandeur of Imperial power, it houses the impressive Palace Museum, showcasing a treasure trove of porcelain, paintings, jewels, and sculptures. as well as beautiful imperial gardens. Let’s explore this large palace complex by foot with our local guide before ending the day with a Peking Duck dinner at a nearby restaurant. Peking Duck, a gastronomic legend, has graced Beijing's tables since imperial times. Savouring this delicacy is not just a meal but an immersion into the heritage of Beijing's flavours.
Beijing to Xi’an
At leisure or optional excursion
Today you will have a full morning at leisure to enjoy in Beijing. the perfect opportunity to do some independent sightseeing. We recommend checking out Qianmen Street, which is one of the oldest pedestrian streets in China. This ornate shopping street has a mix of Chinese and Western shops and eateries, the most famous of which is Quanjude Chinese Restaurant, which sells over 2 million of its trademark Peking Roast Duck every year.
You can also take advantage of our optional Temple of Heaven, the Capital Museum and Xiushui Silk Market Excursion. Your local guide will bring you a guided visit to the Temple of Heaven, a sacred complex that embodies the profound connection between earth and heaven. Afterwards visit the Beijing Capital Museum, where you can learn more about Beijing & its fascinating history followed by a traditional Chinese lunch. You will have time to browse and bargain at the famous Xiushui Silk market before returning to your hotel in the mid-afternoon. Transfers and local guide included. (Please note: This excursion is subject to minimum numbers)
No visit to China is complete without experiencing the hustle and bustle of a Chinese railway station. In the afternoon, we will travel from our hotel to Beijing Railway Station. From here, we will board our overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an. The overnight train is a soft sleeper, with four sleeping berths per cabin, two upper and two lower. There is a dining car on board where you can purchase dinner, but as options are limited we recommend taking some snacks with you. Overnight trains are not for the faint hearted but are a great way to mingle with the locals and embrace the heart of Chinese life. (Estimated journey time by train: 13 hours and 40 minutes)
Transfer to hotel
We arrive into Xi’an this morning and travel from the train station to our hostel where we will be staying in private en suite rooms. After an included breakfast, you will have the morning at leisure to settle into your new surroundings. You can simply relax at your hostel accommodation or embark on some independent sightseeing. The choice is all yours. We recommend taking a visit to the Muslim Quarter, which is full of narrow alleys of shops and restaurants. Here, you can savour a coffee and immerse yourself in the rich atmosphere of Xi'an.
Cycle Xi’an old city walls
Xi’an is the ancient capital of China, and its city walls represent one of the oldest and best preserved city walls in the country. In the afternoon let’s discover more of this ancient city as we explore Xi’an’s Old City Wall by bicycle. This architectural marvel, started by the Ming Dynasty in 1370, is steeped in history. After a climb of approximately 70 steps you will reach the top of the wall and from here we will begin our bicycle ride. The wall is quite spacious in width, completely flat and is just under 14kms long. Cycling along the old city walls of Xi’an is the perfect way to take in beautiful views of the city while working up a bit of a sweat. After our cycle, you will have the remainder of the afternoon and evening free to continue exploring Xi’an independently. Our guide will be happy to suggest activities to suit your interest.
The Terra Cotta Army
Guided Visit of the Terracotta Army Museum
Today let’s uncover one of the iconic sites of China with a guided visit to the Terracotta Army Museum. This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses an awe-inspiring collection of life-sized terracotta warriors and horses, meticulously arranged in battle formations. These silent sentinels were interred with Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210–209 BC, guarding him in the afterlife. Their existence remained concealed until 1974 when local farmers stumbled upon this archaeological treasure while digging a well. Today, the Terracotta Army stands as one of the 20th century's greatest discoveries and is a must-see for any traveller to China.
Our guide will unveil the full history behind this remarkable army, and you'll have the freedom to explore the museum at your own pace, soaking in the magnitude of this archaeological marvel.
You will have the remainder of the evening at leisure to spend as you wish in Xi’an. Our local expert guide is always on hand to suggest local restaurants to suit your taste so make sure you chat to them about places to eat and drink if you are in need of recommendations.
Travel to Tibet
Fly to Lhasa
This morning let’s get off the beaten path and travel to one of the world’s most undiscovered locations as we take an internal flight from Xi’an to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Tibet, perched on the lofty Tibetan Plateau, on the northern side of the Himalayas, is an autonomous region of China. Sharing the majestic Mt. Everest with neighbouring Nepal, Tibet has is often referred to as the “Roof of the World” for its towering scenic peaks. Here, you'll discover magnificent monasteries, embark on breathtaking high-altitude walks, witness awe-inspiring views of the world's highest mountains, and encountering one of the warmest cultures you will ever meet make it a must visit on your Chinese adventure.
Upon arrival in Lhasa, let’s continue to our guest house which will be our base for the next 3 nights. You will have some time at leisure to settle in. As Lhasa is situated at 3,656 metres above sea level it is advisable to take things at an easy pace this afternoon so you can adjust to the higher altitude. In the evening let’s sample some local cuisine as we go experience local life at a nearby restaurant to taste one of the specialities of Tibet, a yak steak dinner. The yak, a wild ox native to the Himalayan region, provides sustenance in the form of milk, meat, and hide to the Tibetan people, and sampling this delicacy is a testament to our journey into the heart of Tibet's culture.
Guest house in Lhasa (3 nights)
Potala & Jokhang Monastrey
This morning our adventure in Tibet continues with a visit to one of its most iconic treasures – the Potala Palace. This architectural marvel, constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, Tibet's first united king, served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Here let’s enjoy a guided visit of the Palace museum and World Heritage Site with our expert local guide. Afterwards we will visit the Jokhang Monastery. This sacred temple, the beating heart of Tibetan Buddhism, draws pilgrims from far and wide who come to pay their respects.
You will have the remainder of the day free to spend on your own as you wish. We suggest talking a walk through the Barkhor area of Lhasa. It is an area filled with narrow streets and bustling market places. It is the ideal place to independently explore if you would like to soak up the atmosphere as locals go about their daily lives.
Cycle the Tibetan countryside
Cycle the Tibetan countryside
Today, let’s venture deeper into the Tibetan countryside by bicycle with our local expert guide, cycling from our guesthouse towards the home of a local family, admiring the beautiful scenery along the way. Let’s experience the rural Tibetan lifestyle as we learn the art of generating fuel from yak dung, a skill that has sustained Tibetans for generations. We'll also delve into the craft of making yak butter tea, an integral part of Tibetan culture. This is a unique opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in the Tibetan way of life, as we will learn these techniques with the local family in their home. Let’s enjoy a cup of homemade butter tea with the family as well as a lunch of curry at a local restaurant before returning by bicycle to our guesthouse. (Total distance covered by bicycle: 20km on mostly flat terrain)
You will have the remainder of the day at leisure. Make sure you speak to your local expert guide if you need any recommendations on places to visit, eat or shop during your free time. Or simply relax at the guest house, the choice is all yours.
Fly to Chengdu
This morning it will be time to say goodbye to Tibet as we board an internal flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Our first stop on arrival to Chengdu is the captivating Jinli Old Street, a charming pedestrianized area where history and modernity seamlessly. Here we will have a guided tour of this charming street full of cafes, tea houses and stalls selling everything from arts and crafts to confectionary as well as some free time for lunch at your leisure.
In the afternoon our guide will take us to People’s Park in Chengdu to discover more of this historic town. Built in 1911, this was the city’s first public park. It is a great spot for people watching and will give you the opportunity to mingle with the locals as they go about their daily lives. Our guide will take you to the section of the park where the Marriage Market takes place. Also often referred to as the “Corner of Looking for a Partner”, this is where Chinese grandparents and parents seek spouses for their unmarried family members. In China marriage is not only a symbolic rite of passage into independent adulthood, but it is also a social requirement, so if a young Chinese person has trouble meeting the right person, their family will intervene and help them.
We will also have the chance to enjoy a cup of tea with some of the locals and learn how to play Mahjong, a centuries-old tile-based game with its origins dating back to the Qing Dynasty, before transferring to our guesthouse in the county area of Dujiangya.
A Sichuan Hot Pot will be served for dinner and you will have the remainder of the evening at leisure to settle in to your new surroundings.
Dujiangyan Panda Reserve
Volunteer at Dujiangyan Panda Reserve
Today is sure to be another highlight of our time in China as we step into the world of giant pandas at the enchanting Dujiangyan Panda Reserve. The Giant Panda, a Chinese national treasure, is one of the rarest animals in the world. The total number is estimated to be 1,500, including those living in the wild, 80 percent of which are in Sichuan Province. The Dujiangyan Panda Reserve takes care of sick or injured pandas so they can be rehabilitated back in to the wild. There is also a section that serves as a panda nursing home for elderly or disabled pandas that need special care. After an introduction to the reserve, let’s help care for some of the pandas under the guidance of a panda keeper. We will have the chance to assist with the feeding of the pandas as well as gathering fresh bamboos. There are more than 40 pandas living in the reserve and you will have some free time to walk around the different sections at your leisure. Lunch will be included today and will be served in the Reserve Staff Dining Room.
(Please note that customers below the age of 12 or over the age of 65 cannot participate in volunteering activities at the Dujiangyan Panda Reserve. This is due to local regulations in China. In these cases, no alternative excursion will be arranged).
You will have the remainder of the evening at leisure in Dujiangyan. Your local guide will be happy to recommend local restaurants, places to enjoy a drink or optional sightseeing to suit your taste.
Dujiangyan & Jiezi
Dujiangyan Irrigation Project
Today let’s visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, a UNESCO heritage site which was built in 256 BC as an irrigation and flood control project. This ancient irrigation system still works today and plays a crucial role in draining off floodwater, irrigating farms and providing water resources for more than 50 cities in the province. Nestled on the banks of the Minjiang River, it stands as the world's oldest surviving no-dam irrigation system, an enduring symbol of Chinese scientific prowess.
Jiezi Old Town
In the afternoon let’s say goodbye to the Dujiangyan and head towards the city centre of Chengdu, making a stop en route at Jiezi Old Town. Located at the foot of Fengqi Mountain, this charming town offers a step back in time. Here, you'll have leisure time to meander through its winding streets and soak up the authentic atmosphere before we continue to our hotel in Chengdu. You will have the remainder of the day at leisure in Chengdu to spend as you wish. Chengdu’s history dates back to the 4th century BC so it is rich in cultural heritage. Your local guide will be happy to suggest activities to suit your taste.
Fly to Shanghai
This morning you will have a transfer to Chengdu airport for your internal flight to Shanghai. Located in western China, Shanghai is a vibrantly buzzing city with a densely populated urban centre and a skyscraper-studded skyline.
Upon arrival let’s meet our guide and take the world’s fastest maglev train whisking us effortlessly to the heart of this sprawling city. Let’s visit the Bund by the the Huangpu River which divides the city into two parts - Pudong and Puxi. Let’s enjoy the different styles architecture of 1930's in Puxi and spectacular high rise new buildings in the Pudong New development area known as Lujiazui. We will then take the fast lift up to the top observation deck of Shanghai Center offering unbeatable panoramic views of this bustling city.
The rest of the afternoon is free to relax, soak up the atmosphere and discover more of this electrifying destination. Our guide will be happy to tell us about the best places and attractions to see and experience.
4 star hotel in Shanghai (2 nights)
Fengjin Water Village
Learn about Chinese Water Painting
Let’s explore more of Shanghai with a visit to the charming Fengjin Water Village. This picturesque village is renowned not only for its natural beauty but also for its association with Chinese Farmer Paintings, a unique art form that has captured the essence of rural life for generations. Here we will learn more about these painting after which let’s practice packing rice dumplings with lotus leaves. We will then have lunch cooked from a local farmer's clay oven before returning to Shanghai.
The rest of the afternoon will at be leisure so make sure you speak to our guide today for any tips on the best places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee in the city.
At leisure & return home
You will have one final day at leisure to spend as you wish in Shanghai. This is the perfect time to do any last minute shopping or sightseeing before your evening transfer to Shanghai airport for your overnight flight home.
Arrive home to Dublin following your once in a lifetime adventure to China.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your TD active guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each countries entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.