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  • China
  • China Discovery Tour with Pandas of Chengdu

China Discovery Tour with Pandas of Chengdu

10 Day Escorted Tour With 4 Day Extension

China, East Asia
Intermediate Pace

Extend your stay in China by adding on this fantastic trip to visit the Pandas in Chengdu from just 399pp. This 3-night tour takes you to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre which is home to one of China's largest habitats of pandas.

2022 Dossier

2023 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre
  • Wide and Narrow Alleys
  • Peoples Park
  • Sichuan Hot Pot Dinner
  • Red Pandas
  • Enjoy a full day tour of Shanghai
  • Relax with a cruise on the Huangpu River
  • Visit the famed Terracotta Army at Xi'an
  • See the stunning Great Wall of China
  • Xi'an's Muslim Quarter and ancient city wall
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Number of nights

This map is for the main tour only


Day 1
UK to Shanghai

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Shanghai International Airport.

Day 2


On arrival in Shanghai you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel and taken out for dinner followed by an overnight stay.

Day 3

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

With a population surpassing 25 million, Shanghai is an incredible metropolis not to be missed with architecture like no other Chinese city. Our full day tour commences after breakfast and includes visits to the scenic Yu Gardens, the traditional Old Town, Shanghai Museum and shopping in a silk factory with a break for lunch. After dinner in the city, take a night cruise along the Huangpu River, giving you the chance to enjoy beautiful views whilst meandering through the streams of water traffic. Optional excursion (payable locally) - Jinmao Tower & ride the Airport Maglev Train.

Day 4
Shanghai to Wuzhen

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Following breakfast you will travel by coach to the water village of Wuzhen where lush gardens, calming waterways and authentic buildings will transport you back in time to a traditional China from centuries ago. Your boat trip will journey through the stone bridges and winding canals before you retire to your hotel for dinner and your evening's stay.

Day 5
Wuzhen to Shanghai

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After returning to Shanghai you will explore the former French Concession area as well as the nearby Tianzifang, a labyrinth of art studios and shops. Before enjoying an afternoon at your leisure your guide will take you to Xintiandi, a district known for arts, crafts and restaurants.

Day 6
Shanghai to Xi'an

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. On arrival in this ancient Sichuan city, lunch will be followed by a fascinating orientation tour showing you the highlights of Xi'an, including a visit to the ancient City Wall. Built in around 582 AD and stretching around a perimeter of 13.7km, it is China's most complete city fortification. In the evening enjoy an East meets West banquet dinner in a grand theatre followed by the colourful Tang Dynasty Show.

Day 7
Xi'an to Beijing

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Test your bargaining skills in the morning in the market stalls that zigzag through the Muslim Quarter along with a visit to the Xi'an Great Mosque. In the afternoon visit the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Taking nearly four decades to complete and over 700,000 workers, this incredible tomb was built to protect China's first emperor in his afterlife. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing.

Day 8

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Beijing is one of the world's truly ancient capitals and an extraordinary city. One of the tour highlights is a trip to the iconic Great Wall, built over 2,000 years ago to protect the Chinese Empire against marauding Mongol invaders from the North. We've included a cable car ride to the top to explore the wall's ancient battlements. After lunch take a stroll around the magnificent Summer Palace, followed by a traditional Peking Duck dinner in the evening.

Day 9

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Your final day includes a comprehensive city tour, first stopping at Tiananmen Square. This monumental landmark is not only the world's largest city centre square but also the gateway to the Forbidden City, which houses the wondrous Imperial Palace where dynasties ruled China for hundreds of years. After visiting the famous Temple of Heaven unwind and marvel at the talents of the accomplished performers in the Chinese Acrobatic Show.

Day 10
Beijing to the UK


Transfer to Beijing A

Day 11
Beijing to Chengdu


Depart Beijing in the morning and fly to Chengdu via Shanghai. You will be met by your local guide on arrival and transferred to your hotel, where you will stay for the duration of your tour.

Day 12

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today is the highlight of this extension tour, the once in a lifetime chance to see one of the world's most endangered species - the Giant Pandas. You will visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre which is China's largest panda breeding centre, founded in 1987 to encourage the healthy growth and nurturing of these beautiful creatures. Stroll around the many panda enclosures, watch an educational film in their cinema, visit the museum and discover the lesser known red pandas with their racoon-like features. In the afternoon you can stroll through the stalls that line the Wide and Narrow Alleys, a smart area of the city where old-style pagoda buildings have been renovated and rebuilt to incorporate a network of three pedestrian alleys. Continue on to the People's Park, where hundreds of locals go to practice traditional forms of martial arts exercise. Dinner is a delicious traditional Sichuan Hot Pot meal, where guests are invited to create their own dipping sauce then cook a variety of meats at their table in their individually flavoured hot pot broths.

Day 13


After breakfast, you have the remainder of the day at your own leisure. Alternatively, the following full day tour can be taken at a supplement of 99 GBP per person: Travel through China's scenic countryside to Leshan, where you will visit the mesmerising Giant Buddha. It was built over 2,000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty and is an impressive 71 metres tall. See a different perspective of the Buddha by taking a boat ride along the adjacent river, allowing you to see the numerous carvings hidden from view when on the ground. During the afternoon you will stop by the 1,730-year-old riverside Huanglong Xi Old Village, an ancient Chinese town with cobbled streets and an array of arts and crafts. In the evening you have the option to attend a Sichuan Opera Changing Faces Show or relax at your own leisure. The show will also be at a supplement.

Day 14
Chengdu to the UK

Depart Chengdu on a morning flight for your return flight back to London Heathrow via Shanghai. Whilst breakfast at the hotel is not provided, a light snack will be included on your flight.

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Dates & Prices

Price (per person)
Dates available
December 2022
from £1,738
2 Dates
2nd Dec - 14th Dec
9th Dec - 21st Dec


The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
3 nights
Chengdu, China
More details
Ocean Hotel
3 nights
Shanghai, China
More details
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Tour Reviews

Iain Proud

16 Dec 19

Hotels in some cases were so nice that for one night we couldn't really appreciate them.

Angela Clarke

04 Dec 19

All hotels were excellent ,clean short of nothing . Beds comfy . Beautiful . Loved all of them.

Irene Marwood

02 Dec 19

All 4 * and excellent

David Webster

02 Dec 19

excellent hotel,excellent food,accommodation very good

Sue Davis

22 Nov 19

Couldn't fault any of them

Gary Brown

19 Nov 19

Hotels were of a good standard including the breakfasts offering a wide range of dishes from European to chinese.

M Jones

08 Nov 19

A great trip we couldn't fault anything! Special thanks to Richard our tour manager who made sure i never went hungry (vegetarian).

George Paynter

29 Oct 19

Problems around breakfast . Would benefit from allocated seating (all), the use of trays (all) and a wider selection of food that appeals more to the western diet (particularly true of hotels in Shanghai). Hotel in Wuzhen was brilliant. Hotels in Beijing and Xiang excellent

Peter Rhodes

28 Oct 19

All the hotels were accommodating. One or two could do with a refreshing makeover to bathrooms. All breakfasts had a good array and wide mix of foods and beverages.

Susan Thelton

18 Oct 19

Cannot praise the national guide Jason enough.

Jeanette Preston

14 Oct 19

The hotels were excellent, providing lovely large beds, soft pillows and good quality bed linen. My bedroom at Wuzen was a little too small, but as we were only there for one night this was acceptable. The best hotel was at X'ian which also provided the best breakfast.

Maggie And Peter Chambers

30 Sep 19

The hotels were all excellent but the Passage d'Eau in Wuzhen was outstanding. We would have preferred to have two nights there and only two in Shanghai.

Carolyn Lawson

16 Sep 19

All the hotels were great and provided everything we could wish for.

Karen Doyle

25 Jun 19

The first hotel in Shanghai was amazing. The others were good but not as good as Shanghai.

A Hill

24 Jun 19

Your reps especially Zlang Chen was exceptionally good and helpful.

Tracey Watkins

17 Jun 19

The hotels were excellent in location and the standard was more than I expected. Especially in wujhen. I had a fantastic holiday. The memories will stay with me forever

Lesley Lee

14 Jun 19

All the hotels were clean with helpful staff. There was a great choice at breakfast accommodating different diets. Great to have some bottled water provided every day.

Belinda Bevan

13 Jun 19

Beautiful Hotels. Comfortable, clean and well equipped

John Collins

04 Jun 19

very good and comfortable

Eileen Edwards

29 May 19

1st hotel -excellent
2nd hotel - very good 3rd hotel - very good 4th hotel - looking a bit tired

Sharon Jolly

20 May 19

Some hotels better than others. But all very good.

Catherine Haverson

17 May 19

Hotels were all good. Staff efficient and helpful. All rooms clean but a couple were a little tired.Nothing worth reporting to tour guide.

H Rakic

09 May 19

Exceptional tour guide Dan very knowledgeable, enthusiastic about China, very helpful, attentive and caring. We are very grateful for the excellent service we had received from Mercury.

Helen Rakic

07 May 19

Not a lot of gluten free food choice, but plenty of fresh fruit and veg available so no big problem. Our guide wad excellent in finding out what I could and could not eat

K Savage

24 Apr 19

Lee and Ging were fabulous guides very knowledgeable, humorous and attended to our varied needs as a group. Probably the best holiday we have ever had.

Susan Gordge

05 Mar 19

Guides Jing and especially Ann were brilliant. Informative, knowledgeable, nothing too much trouble.

Wendy Rogalski

05 Mar 19

All the hotels were lovely. I really enjoyed the holiday, especially having the best tour guide Ann, and also Jing, who we had as well in Shanghai. Ann was very knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with, very good at her job. Will definitely use Mercury again have started saving already!! Holiday of a lifetime thankyou.

John Birks

23 Feb 19

All the hotels were excellent, without exception

Susan Turner

12 Feb 19

All the hotels were above and beyond my expectations.Beijing could perhaps do with A little freshen up but still excellent value. I travelled on my own but never felt alone with the cameraderi of the others in the group. I was well looked after by our excellent tour guide Alen.,

G Ace

12 Feb 19

Excellent trip, covered so much sightseeing.

L Hale

12 Dec 18

The whole experience was excellent due to Alan our tour guide, He was marvelous nothing was too much trouble for him and the driver.

A Merryweather

23 Nov 18

Ann Lee was an excellent guide very informative. Very good value, meals, accommodation, and entrance to historic sites. Good service will use Mercury again.

Malcolm Shill

22 Oct 18

all 3 hotels on the tour were very good.

Keith Razzell

18 Oct 18

Must mention our guide for the tour, Grace. She really was exceptional. We have been on many tours and she was far and away the best guide we have come across in her professionalism and friendliness. She deserves high praise.

Simon Bowman

26 Sep 18

Hotels in general were very good. No complaints

Linda Healy

22 Sep 18

All hotels were top class

Penny Paley

19 Sep 18

The quality and the service at the hotels were good, rooms were clean, spacious and had everything you needed.

Belinda Yarwood

01 Sep 18

The Tibet Hotel Chengdu and hotel in Wuzhen were my favourites. Staff in Tibet Hotel could not do enough for you!

Mark Trotman

29 Aug 18

Clean and in the main well maintained. Service good. Food good.

Linda Hoadley

21 Jun 18

All hotels provided good service and excellent breakfast

Ann Judith Smith

11 Jun 18

You have changed to hotel in Shanghai from the Ocean to the Northern, due to complaints about noise at the Ocean - good decision, Northern was possibly the best hotel we stayed in. Xi'an Jianguo Hotel - the room stank of stale smoke, despite being in a non smoking floor. Hotel in Wuzhen was lovely. Breakfasts in all hotels was excellent, some better than others but couldn't be faulted.

Lorraine Foggoa

02 Jun 18

Good hotels great breakfast selection in them all.

Maxine Spencer

30 May 18

In Shanghai our hotel was changed from the Ocean Hotel to the Northern this hotel was gorgeous it was changed as the guide said that previous guests had said the Ocean hotel was too noisy due to the karrioki there ,also the hotel in whuezen the water village was beautiful. Xian we didn’t have long there but again the hotel was gorgeous the last hotel in Beijing wasn’t as good as the others but it was still a great hotel but this hotel for me had the best breakfasts.. The staff at all were very friendly and check in was quick free water in all the rooms with tea and coffee facilities also all the toiletries you will need along with slippers and also dressing gowns for you to use.

Garry Lloyd

24 May 18

All the Hotels wear first class and spot on .

Jan Tucker

28 Mar 18

All three hotels were excellent. Rooms spacious and clean. Staff polite and helpful. Breakfasts very good and catering for all tastes.

Barbara Christie

29 Nov 17

Some hotels better of good to excellent standard - However excellent breakfast and service in all.

Natalie Beech

02 Nov 17

All of the hotels in the tour were excellent. The rooms were very clean, modern and outstanding.

Elizabeth Matthews

04 Oct 17

Enjoyed all the hotels. Good breakfasts and comfortable rooms

Howard Fisher

01 Jul 17

All the Hotels had excellent facilities and staff always curtious and helpfull.

C Hatton

18 Jun 17

All good hotels used.

Ian Hibbert

17 May 17

All the hotel rooms were excellent.

Roger Buddle

25 Feb 17

Liked Passage D'Eau 8 Degrees out of town but Shuttle bus good

Susan Philip

03 Dec 16

Hotels were very good standard and we could not have asked for anything else.

William Pitt

02 Nov 16

All very good standard and very comfortable.

James Fletcher

02 Nov 16

Hotel choices were good.

Robert Skilton

06 Oct 16

We were very pleased with the hotels. Top marks!

Mervyn Harris

24 Aug 16

Really enjoyed the visit, the tour manager and guides were very knowledgeable.

Juliet Millard

13 Jun 16

The hotels was very nice clean and tidy

Sarah Jones

09 Jun 16

An amazing tour with exceptional guides. Perfect service from quote to completion of trip.

John Kid

09 Jun 16

Had a fantastic holiday, many thanks.

Alan Wightman

07 Jun 16

Having just returned from the China Discovery Tour, I thought I would share my views with you. For me it was the best tour of the four on offer. The two tour guides were very good and knowledgeable, especially Andy who had the whole group on the last two days. Western style breakfasts in the hotels and a lot of us found they were cooked ok but they were only warm to cold. Hopefully this is something you can address to the hotel management with regard for future travellers. The two tour guides Jimmy and Andy were fantastic. They were informative without giving out too much information all at once. Especially Andy for him to be able to give all that information without a crib sheet was amazing. Finally I am pleased that I decided to go to see China and its wonders and I have many happy memories. I would certainly recommend the tour to other people.

Patricia And David Brown

27 Apr 16

The hotels were clean and comfortable. Breakfast was excellent with choice of Chinese or Western style breakfast. The hotel in Wuzhen in particular was excellent and certainly exceeded expectations. Raddison Blu hotel in Beijing could have benefited from some new carpets but it was clean and comfortable so no complaints.

Sun Yee

09 Mar 16

Excellent, choice of Hotels

Nicola Ratcliffe

21 Jan 15

Stayed in 5 hotels, the standard of them all was excellent.

Patricia Hoal

13 Nov 14

All the hotels on the tour were great

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Important Information

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'. All applicants who wish to apply for a China Tourist Visa must do so in person at the Chinese Visa Application Centre in London, Manchester, Belfast or Edinburgh where fingerprint information will be collected. Fingerprints are not required for children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 70. 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. We therefore 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.

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices: <br /><br /> <table class="basic" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr><th><b>Age in Years</b></th><th><b>Up to 64</b></th><th><b>65 - 74</b></th><th><b>75 - 85</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Up to 10 days cover</td><td>£25</td><td>£69</td><td>£99</td></tr></tbody></table> For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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 Direct 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.

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.

All flights are operated by China Eastern Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm in size.

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.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This extension tour to Chengdu is semi-escorted. Your guide will meet you on arrival at Chengdu airport and take to your hotel. Day 2 will be fully accompanied, whilst day 3 is at your leisure so you will not be met by your guide at all. You will be met by your guide on day 4 to take you to the airport for your return flight to London Heathrow.

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 depart. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!