China tours for discerning travellers! Our all-inclusive China tours feature personalized service, small group size, quality local cuisine, premium accommodations and outstanding guides hand-picked by the owners of Laurus Travel. A China tour with Laurus Travel is an active cultural experience filled with fun and learning, delivered by a team of caring, competent and knowledgeable professionals. Rated A+ by the BBB, we have been recommended in every edition of Frommer’s China. If the customers testimonials and reviews on Tripadvisor are not enough to convince you, please feel free to ask for references. [read more or check out the complete China tours list]
Featured China Tours
Explore ancient sites in Beijing and Xian. Admire nature’s beauty in Guilin. Sail through the majestic Three Gorges of the Yangtze. Wander around classical gardens in Suzhou. Marvel at China’s economic boom best showcased in Shanghai. This popular China tour package allows you to do all that and more! Beijing – Xi’an – Chongqing – Yangtze Cruise – Yichang – Wuhan – Guilin – Shanghai
One of our most popular China tours packages, this is a perfect choice for the time-pressed looking for a well-rounded introduction to both the old and modern China. Trip itinerary covers all the highlights in each city and yet still leaves you time to explore on your own. Indeed a China vacation package at its best. Our tours do not have any forced shopping stops! Beijing – Xian – Shanghai – Wuhan – Guilin – Shanghai
Combining China’s most popular cities with exotic Yunnan Province and a luxury Yangtze cruise, the tour package gives you as complete an introduction to China as possible all in 26 days. This meticulously planned itinerary has been one of our top sellers since 2003! Beijing – Xian – Chengdu – Lijiang – Zhongdian (Shangri-La) – Kunming – Chongqing – Yangtze Cruise – Yichang – Wuhan – Guilin – Shanghai
This all-inclusive luxury tour presents a sharp contrast between the old and new China, from the historic sites in Beijing and Xi’an to the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. In between, you’ll cruise the picturesque Li River and hike terraced rice fields in Guilin. The itinerary takes in all the highlights in the 4 cities. Beijing – – Xi’an – Guilin – Shanghai
This vacation package features China’s top three tourist cities and a three-day cruise on the Yangtze River. Trip highlights include the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Terracotta Army and Shanghai Museum. From Beijing to Shanghai, the sensual overload is simply overwhelming! Beijing – Xian – Yangtze River Cruise – Shanghai
Travel China by high speed train! This leisurely paced vacation package combines China’s largest metropolises with UNESCO World Heritage sites in locations less known to Western travellers. Highlights include sacred Mt Tai, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army. Shanghai – Suzhou – Tongli – Qufu – Beijing – Xian – Chongqing – Yangtze Cruise – Wuhan – Guilin – Hong Kong
The masterfully planned itinerary taking in China’s most popular cities has stood the test of time. Conducted by China’s top English-speaking guides, this is a journey of a life-time! From the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong to historic sites in Beijing and Xian, you’ll never have a dull moment. Shanghai – Beijing – Xi’an – Yangtze Cruise – Wuhan – Guilin – Hong Kong
On this escorted small-group trip you’ll spend 5 days in Tibet and 3 days on the Yangtze cruise. Highlights include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army, Chengdu Giant Panda breeding Center, and a day cruise on picturesque Li River. Beijing – Xi’an – Chengdu – Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse – Lhasa – Chongqing – Yangtze Cruise – Wuhan – Guilin – Shanghai
On this grand China tour, you’ll visit a multitude of UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Sites and the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Centre, hike the Great Wall, cruise the mighty Yangtze River, and savour authentic and quality Chinese cuisine. Shanghai – Suzhou – Tongli (water town) – Wuhan – Yangtze Cruise – Chengdu – Xian – Beijing
|Complete China Tours List|
Choosing Your Best China Tour
With so many China tours available, it can be overwhelming for people contemplating their first trip to China. Travellers looking for a well-rounded but quick introduction to China may find our 12-day China Golden Triangle and 15-day Best of China tours ideal. Those wishing to add Yangtze cruise to their China vacation would love our 19-day China Odyssey package. These three China tour packages have been among our top sellers for many years.
Our 26-day China Panorama and 26-day Imperial China with Tibet & Yangtze Cruise became instant hits when we launched them many years ago. While most China tour operators were touting cheap China tours for $999 or $1999, we were convinced that there’s enough demand for these in-depth, higher-quality tours among sophisticated consumers looking for best value, not necessarily lowest price. In 2004, we went one step further by launching a 29-day China tour incorporating Tibet, Silk Road & Southwest China. Even though this itinerary is less popular than China Panorama and Imperial China due to higher cost and physical challenge, the level of satisfaction among the travellers who have taken it is exceedingly high.
People planning their first trip to China often ask what China tour is the best for them. The answer mainly depends on one’s budget and time available. No matter which China tour package you choose from our list, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Our trip itineraries have stood the test of time and they are fined tuned every year based on customer feedback and availability of logistics.
Cheap China Tours?
Travellers looking for cheap China tours often ask why our China tour packages cost so much more. This is no different than asking a fine dining restaurant why they charge more than MacDonald’s. Tour companies offering budget China travel packages have their market, so do we. It is never our intention to compete against operators peddling cheap China tours. Viewed by many customers as a hidden gem in the travel industry, we are a boutique operator offering mid-level to luxury tours. We compete on value, not primarily on price.
China Tours by High Speed Train
Our China tour packages featuring high-speed train have become increasingly popular. We have been at the forefront in developing such trips and it took us quite a while to get things right. Designing a great itinerary requires special expertise, never as easy as many perceive. Before we launched our China train travel programs, our product developers and tour leaders travelled almost everywhere the Chinese high-speed rail network goes and in all fare classes (second, first, executive). We spent hours and hours talking to railway personnel, inspecting rail cars, train stations and analyzing the government controlled ticket reservation system. We also regularly update our local guides on the latest developments of China’s high-speed train system. Because of all the hard work, we have gained significant advantages over other China tour companies in arranging China travel by bullet train. For example, when others are complaining about the lack of luggage storage space (isn’t that the same in Japan or Europe?), we know which seats and in which cars to book on any specific route for maximum luggage storage space… [read more]
Our tours are marketed as Active Cultural Journeys. By that definition, our trips are designed for active travellers who can handle lots of strenuous walking at a brisk pace. Travellers with mobility difficulty due to obesity or ailments would not be able to keep up with the pace of our tours, but they are always welcome to book a private tour with us.
Small Group Travel
Small group travel holds special appeal to certain travellers but the definition of small group varies wildly from company to company. Some think 6 to 12 is the right size but to achieve a decent scale of economy we set our group size at 20 maximum. We have noticed from consumer complaints that some China tour companies claiming to promote small-group travel as well frequently have 30 to 35 participants in a group! [read more]
One of the owners of Laurus Travel used to be a tour guide, one reason that we attach more importance to the role played by the guides. Most of the local guides we use are hand-picked by the owners of Laurus Travel. Our guides are well paid and respected. They are proud to be associated with Laurus Travel [read more].
Our group meals are arranged at quality restaurants catering to local middle class, not fast food joints or restaurants full of tourists. We understand that, for our guests, experiencing authentic and quality local cuisine is a key element of their travel and we are willing to invest our time and money to ensure the guests are satisfied with the food [read more]
Frequently Asked China Travel Questions
How to Obtain Chinese Visa
With our assistance, getting your Chinese visa is easy. [more]
Best Time to Visit China
Climatic patterns in China are extremely diverse, ranging from tropical in the south to sub-Arctic in the north, from some of the wettest spots on Earth to arid deserts. The question of when is the best of time to visit China depends on where you want to go. For example, when northern cities are cold and sometimes shrouded in smog in the winter, many areas in the south including the popular tropical island of Hainan attract hordes of vacationers with blissful weather. In July and August, most Chinese cities experience high heat and humidity, but summer is the best season to visit Tibet, the Silk Road region, Inner Mongolia and the Northeast (Manchuria).
Most travellers going to China for the first time are primarily interested in Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai. Some may also add Hong Kong and a Yangtze cruise to their itinerary. For them, the best months to visit China would be April, May, September and October. In the above cities and most other popular destinations in China, high season for tourism begins in mid-March and ends in mid-November.
Our China tours are mostly land packages without international airfares. However, travellers from Canada and the United States can count on us for best airfare deals, especially for business class. We offer unbeatable air deals from a host of gateway cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston. Guests from many other cities such as Edmonton, Ottawa, Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, Portland, Honolulu can also benefit from our expertise in tracking down the best air deals. Airlines we use the most include Air Canada, Delta, United, American, Japan Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
Public Holidays and Which to Avoid
New Year’s Day is a one-day statutory holiday that holds no special meaning for the Chinese.
The most important holiday in China is the Lunar New Year holiday commonly known as Spring Festival. It’s the Chinese equivalent to Christmas holiday in the West. This is a time almost every Chinese is on the move. Airports and trains are jam-packed with passengers travelling for family reunion. This holiday is based on Chinese lunar calendar and can fall in January or February on Gregorian calendar.
The Qingming Festival (tomb sweeping holiday, a time to pay tribute to ancestors) in April is combined with a weekend. Air tickets and train tickets are either very expensive or hard to come by during this time.
May Day holiday used to be a week-long holiday. Overcrowding at major tourist sites generally last for two days.
Duanwu became a statutory holiday in China in 2008, but as a traditional holiday it has been around for well over two millennia. Duanwu Festival, which is celebrated according to Chinese lunar calendar, can fall in May or June. Although nowadays the festival is often associated with dragon boat racing, which traces its roots to the commemoration of a Chinese poet and mandarin named Qu Yuan (340BC ? – 278BC ?), the origin of the holiday has nothing to do with him.
The Mid-autumn Festival (usually falling in middle or late September) is another public holiday that may cause inconvenience for our groups. Mid-autumn festival is similar to Thanksgiving in North America in spirit, but instead of thanking the Almighty the Chinese would sit together outdoor and enjoy the beautiful full moon (at least, that’s the tradition) over a nice pot of tea and a serving of seasonal fruits and the all-important moon cakes.
The National Day Holiday (Oct 1-5) is the one you should avoid if you can. This is the holiday that causes significant overcrowding anywhere you want to go. The holiday is supposed to be week-long but by Oct 6 most tourist attractions would appear deserted as Chinese travellers of working age need to return home early to get ready for work.
No public holiday exists between the National Day holiday and New Year’s Day.
Chinese Currency & Exchange
Should you get Chinese money before arrival? That’s a good question. Our answer is no unless you arrive ahead of tour schedule and have to get to the hotel by taxi. You can easily get local currency on arrival at competitive rates. [more]
Health & Vaccination
Travellers from Western countries are not required of any inoculation certificate to enter China. The places our tours take you to are safe from a health point of view. Our top concern is hepatitis A & B. We do not recommend shots for tetanus and rabies. However, you are advised to visit a travel clinic or your family doctor before going … [more]
China Reading List
Every tour company recommends popular titles like Wild Swans and River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. But our list is far more comprehensive than the other companies’ and we have read every single one on our list. Once you sign up with us, you’ll receive the reading list as part of your trip preparation.
Our tour prices includes tips for the local guides and drivers. The recommended amount for the tour leader is US$5 to US$10 per day per guest. Tipping housemaids and restaurant staff is not customary in China. If you need bell service to move your bag to or from your room, you’d be expected to tip $1 per piece. We recommend that you move your bag yourself to save time and hassle. [more]