Tailormade: China - Shanghai & Pandas

8 days
Tailor Made
Activity level:
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Private Group Adventures

Explore Shanghai and meet the Pandas of Chengdu

Treat this sample itinerary as inspiration, your trip can be created specifically for you by one of our Tailormade experts and we will help you choose how you wish to travel through this destination. Maybe add in an extra day’s sightseeing, take time out to relax or we can change accommodation to your budget. It will be your adventure, your way!

Explore Shanghai, on China’s central coast, the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Chengdu is the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Chengdu's history dates back to at least the 4th century B.C., when it served as capital for the Shu Kingdom. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat.


  • Explore the vibrant city of Shanghai
  • Meet the pandas in Chengdu

What's included

  • Accommodation in selected hotel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • English speaking guide without shopping
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Daily water
  • Domestic flights
  • International flights (if booked FI)


What's not included

  • Drinks and other meals not mentioned
  • Any early Check-in or Late Check-out throughout the tours in China
  • Visa of China
  • Optional activities and other services than mentioned
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips for local guide/driver/porters, Travel insurance
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Arrive in Shanghai

    Welcome to Shanghai!

    Upon arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel.


    Accommodation: The Bund Riverside

  • Day 2

    Shanghai Culture Tour

    Kick off a full day of this Shanghai culture tour with a visit to the French Concession, a symbol of the past privileges given to Westerners. Begin the stroll at Fuxing Park for a view of China’s morning exercise/wellness routines. Follow the streets through the French Concession, where colonial residences now stand transformed into restaurants, bars, and diverse boutiques. A former global capital of vice, this Shanghai quarter once stood exempt from Chinese law!

    The morning continues on through Xintiandi, a revitalized neighborhood that now stands as one of the most animated centres of the city. Conclude the Concession walk by traversing Tianzifang, a maze of alleyways and lanes boasting restaurants, boutiques, and small galleries full of authentic, modern art.

    Transporting from colonial to traditional, head onwards to Shanghai’s old town. Though mostly restored today, visitors can explore the remaining lilongs (equivalent to Beijing’s hutongs), where local Shanghai life goes on as normal. The old town also houses the Yu Garden, a great place to get acquainted with the Chinese art of gardenscaping. An extremely popular visit on the weekends, it’s best to explore the grounds just before closing hours.

    Feeling brave? Why not end the Shanghai city tour with a visit to the bazaar? From produce to souvenirs, locals and visitors alike haggle for the best prices on unique finds; the ideal place to pick up a Shanghai keepsake!


    Accommodation: The Bund Riverside

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Shanghai to Chengdu

    Start your day with a visit to the Bund: the city’s famous promenade. Running alongside some of Puxi’s most historical buildings, this area dates back to the 1930’s and displays Shanghai’s rich culture and European influence. In stark contrast to this atmospheric visit, head underground to the famous Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, a mini subway line crossing the Huangpu River into Pudong district. One of the most important and iconic business centres in Shanghai, it was not long ago that Pudong was nothing more than an agricultural marsh!

    Continuing the day with a visit of Shanghai Tower. Shanghai Tower is 632 meters tall with 121 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, it becomes the tallest and largest building in China. You can take its super high speed elevator to its 118th floor observation terrace and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

    Later you will head to the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai’s most well-known temple. Its famous jade statue was one of 5 such relics brought back from Burma by a monk from the island of Putuoshan.

    Enjoy a cultural art visit to M50 (50 Moganshan Road). Between M50 and Beijing’s 798 District, China has become quite the global leader in contemporary arts. Enjoy plenty of free time to explore this industrial art complex.

    Transfer to airport for a flight to Chengdu.

    Upon your arrival, you’ll be welcomed by your local guide and be transferred to your hotel.

    Welcome to Chengdu! The capital of China’s Sichuan province and ancient capital of the powerful Shu Kingdom, this city has held the same name for over two millennia, reflecting both its longevity as well as its major role within the region.


    Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Chengdu Panda Tour

    Kick off the Chengdu panda tour with a visit to the Panda Breeding Centre (about 15km from Chengdu city centre.) Boasting just under 100 pandas, it’s the largest centre for captive pandas in the world. The panda, or “xiongmao” in Chinese (literally meaning “bear-cat”), is an endangered species that the Chinese Government and NGO specialists have been consciously protecting since the 1980s. Their efforts have been greatly rewarded and the latest population counts have shown an increase of nearly 50%!

    In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll through People’s Park and watch along as the locals perfect the arts of Tai-Chi, Kung-fu, sword dance, meditation, dance, gymnastics, and other practices of “well-being.” For a truly sensational and otherworldly encounter, look for the “ear cleaners”! Enjoy a cup of tea in the park.

    Then you will visit the Wenshu Temple (Manjushri Temple), the best preserved (fully-functioning) temple the Chengdu area. Back to hotel.


    Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Chengdu to Shanghai

    Free morning at leisure for your own arrangement.

    Transfer back to airport for a flight to Shanghai.


    Accommodation: The Bund Riverside

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6


    Departure from Shanghai for Tongli in Suzhou. This little town whose foundation dates back to the 9th century is without a doubt one of the oldest in the region. Take a walk along the paved roads of whitewashed houses with black tile roofs so typical of the “Venices of China”. Some superb Ming Dynasty residences are proof of the prosperity and vitality of the town, such as the Gengle Tang, the former residence of a dignitary arranged around three courtyards and comprising of around 40 bedrooms (there used to be many more). It is said that he was so happy in his little paradise that the villagers thought he was a hermit!

    Boat trip on the Tonlgi canals, a town crossed by fifteen rivers and that is known above all else for its 49 curved bridges.

    You will continue with a visit to Tuisiyuan which literally translates as “garden where one retires to reflect”, which in a slightly longwinded way explains the role of this wonderful garden built in the 19th century and which was used as a retreat for Qing dynasty mandarins.

    Traditionally Chinese gardens should be a small-scale representation of nature, where the almost systematic presence of rocks represents the mountains, planes of water symbolize the lakes, and running water represents streams. This quest for harmony takes precedence over the tendency for geometric precision seen in western gardens. The routes through them are therefore never straight, making visitors walk randomly though, alone with your thoughts and without aim or a set itinerary. One tends one gardens as one tends one soul, a way of life practised by retired educated men and rich merchants of the region.


    Accommodation: The Bund Riverside

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7


    Enjoy a free day to explore Shanghai at your own leisure.


    Accommodation: The Bund Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Depart Shanghai

    For land only travellers, the trip ends here today. Those who are flight inclusive will be taken to Shanghai airport to catch the overnight international flight home.


    Accommodation: None

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info



Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter China, which must be obtained prior to departure. The Chinese authorities now require a letter from Exodus, confirming all your accommodation details. Along with this, you need to supply a copy of your flight details, which are on your invoice if you have booked directly through Exodus. For further information see here. It is also essential that we have a clear copy of the details page of your passport. This is required to book certain ground services in China and we cannot confirm your details with our local partners until it has been received. This must be emailed as an electronic scan to [email protected] a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your trip.

IMPORTANT: Please note that all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 will need to visit one of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centres in person (appointment required) where biometric data will be taken as part of the visa application process.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

If your trip visits Hong Kong, dengue fever is a known risk - this is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten: apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

Eating and Drinking


  • 7 breakfasts


Shanghai: The south of China is sub-tropical with hot (30ºC), wet summers (May to September), and warm, relatively dry (November to March) winters, though rain is possible at almost any time of year. The winter months in China are cold (+3ºC), so if travelling in November/March be prepared for temperatures to drop to below freezing at night in the North, but with almost guaranteed dry sightseeing. The weather is milder in the south.

Chengdu: The central region of China has very warm humid summers and cold winters. Rainfall should be expected during the summer months.


Is this trip for you?

There’s a world of life-changing experiences out there, and all our trips are hand-crafted to showcase the best, wherever you’re headed. But what happens if you want to take a detour? Linger a while longer? Or want something completely unique to you? With Exodus’ Tailormade Adventures we can tailor almost any holiday to suit you, creating a bespoke adventure. Every element can be tailored to suit your requirements: we can sort flights and hotel upgrades, extra nights, regional departures, beach extensions, stop overs and more. 

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874


Tailormade Accommodation

Whether the destination is more important than the accommodation, or you would like to overnight in comfort, our Tailormade team can offer a wide variety of accommodation options from camping and village houses, to some of the finest hotels around. We do this so we can offer accommodation to suit every budget. The team will listen to your requirements to insure we find the right accommodation to suit you.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

Your Tailormade adventure starts here!

Send us your requirements and we will create your bespoke itinerary just for you. To speak to one of our dedicated tailormade team, simply enter your details below and tell us when it’s convenient for you.  

Your Tailormade adventure starts here!

Send us your requirements and we will create your bespoke itinerary just for you. To speak to one of our dedicated tailormade team, simply enter your details below and tell us when it’s convenient for you.  

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]