Embrace your inner Grandmaster. If you were ever going to go full kung fu or learn how to run on bamboo leaves, then China will probably be your best bet. Your time is now, young one.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
This trip wil be discontinued from 1st January 2016. For another great trip in China, check out our Essential China (GCTS) trip.
Day 1-3 - Beijing - Great Wall
Arrive at any time today and get acquainted with Beijing on your own before joining your group and leader for a meeting at the hotel at 6pm. Then head out for an optional first night dinner. Go nuts and order your Peking duck for your first meal in the country. First the skin is carved and served in pancakes, next the carcass is chopped and cooked up into a soup. Don't forget to grab your doggy bag (ducky bag?) of leftovers.
On Day 2 we take a walk along the Great Wall and survey the spectacular surrounding countryside from the wall - the surrounding views are amazing.
China holds the record for the world's longest man-made structure (the Great Wall, obviously). It also holds the record for most needles inserted into the head and largest bottle of cooking oil.
Included ActivitiesForbidden CityGreat Wall MutianyuOptional Activities
- After entering through an archway beyond Tiananmen Gate, we spend the morning exploring The Forbidden City on Day 3.
- Enjoy free time to explore the many other sights of Beijing, such as the Summer Palace or the Temple of Heaven.
- Board an overnight train Beijing to Xi'an in a six-berth, air-conditioned cabins (hard sleeper class).
Kung fu show - CNY200
Acrobatic show - CNY180
Beijing Foodie Walk Urban Adventures - CNY202
Day 4-5 - Xi'an
Xi'an's great for markets and you can ride a bike along the ancient wall. Then see the Terracotta Warriors, discovered in 1974 by a bunch of farmers digging a well. Not a bad day’s work. Arrive in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Explore the awesome army of Terracotta Warriors, travel here by public transport and enjoy free time to wander around this historical city.
Included ActivitiesOrientation Walking Tour
- Perhaps swing by the Muslim Quarter - a fascinating place to visit.
- Why not cycle along the top of the ancient city walls or climb the Bell Tower!
Terracotta Warriors Entry & Guide
Optional ActivitiesBell & Drum Towers - CNY50Cycling on City Wall - CNY80Big Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY80Great Mosque - CNY25Small Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY50
Day 6-8 - Luoyang - Shaolin Temple
Live out your martial arts fantasies at Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of kung fu. Then check out the Longmen Grottoes - 2100 caves filled with more than 100,000 statues of Buddha.
- Catch a day train to Luoyang (2 hours).
- Stroll down to the Luoyang people square and watch the Chinese practice kung fu, ballroom dancing or tai chi.
- Travel up to the famous Shaolin Temple and witness a Shaolin show by some of the more gifted students.
- Perhaps enrol in a kung fu lesson!
- Seize the opportunity to visit one of the most famous treasure houses of stone Buddha images in China - the Longman Grottoes.
- Board an overnight train to Suzhou.
Longmen Grattos Entry - CNY120
Day 9-10 - Suzhou - Zhouzhuang
Get your Parents something nice in Suzhou, famous for its silk. Jump on a bike to explore backstreets, gardens and pagodas. See why Zhouzhuang is known as ‘The Venice of the Orient’ (hint: it’s something to do with water).
- Perhaps hire bikes and explore the backstreets, gardens and pagodas.
- Why not of attend the master of the nets performance - a great snapshot of tradtional Chinese culture.
- Visit Zhouzhuang - 'The Venice of the East' - and wander the streets where Marco Polo once roamed.
Suzhou Museum - Free
The Humble Administrator’s Garden entry - CNY90
Day 11-12 - Shanghai
Shanghai’s got the world’s largest bus system. Why not hop on one and see if you can get to Nanjing Road for some last-minute shopping. Hit the French Concession area for great cafes and restaurants.
- Board a train bound for the Paris of the East', Shanghai and take a stroll along the famous river waterfront known as The Bund.
- Enjoy plenty of free time to visit any of the fascinating museums or the many shopping arcades.
- Perhaps check out Shanghai's multitude of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
The trip ends on the morning of Day 12 in Shanghai. You can depart the hotel at any time. Please speak to your leader or the hotel about storing luggage.Included Activities:
Orientation Walking TourYuyuan GardensOptional Activities:Propaganda Museum - CNY20Shanghai - Shanghai Museum - FreeUrban Planning Exhibition Centre - CNY30Ask your leader about our Shanghai Urban Adventure day tours!
What to Know
- Gecko’s expert English-speaking Chinese tour guide throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
- Authentic Accommodation: 8 nights Hotel, 2 nights Overnight Sleeper train, 1 night Hostel
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing, Luoyang, Zhouzhuang and Shanghai.
- Overnight trains from Beijing to Xian and Luoyang to Suzhou. Accommodation in six-berth, air-conditioned cabins.
- Kung fu display at the famous Shaolin Temple.
- Walk on a remote section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
- Visit the Terracotta Warriors
- Free time to explore Beijing, Xian, Suzhou and Shanghai.
- Train from Xian to Luoyang and Suzhou to Shanghai.
- International flights
- Airport departure taxes
- Arrival and Departure transfer
- Meals unless specified in the itinerary
- Optional tours or activities during free time
- Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip
Safety InformationMany national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Geckos itinerary, and Geckos makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Gecko's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field.FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!Pay attention on all roads, even small streets and alleyways. Vehicles find their ways into impossibly small passages leaving no room for both you and the traffic. Traffic can be very noisy and horns are used to signal turning, overtaking and to announce going through intersections.PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.LIFE JACKETS:
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.LIFE JACKETS:
Geckos will provide life jackets for private boats, but cannot guarantee that all public ferries will have enough life jackets or life rings for all clients.BIKE HELMETS:
Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Christina - Malaysia, 9 Jun, 2013
China blew us away, were were very impressed with the country and our overall experience was excellent. The food, culture, scenery, and people were beyond our expectations and we've been inspired to go back and explore more. In terms of the value, we found the cost slightly expensive, but in the end it was worth it as the trip went off with very little problems or hassles.
Luca - Australia, 26 May, 2013
More days in shanghai would have made the tour better.
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