Another Brick in the Wall
|Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Hoon from Shanghai across the Great Wall and on to the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. Have a gander at a panda in Chengdu, swing by chilled out Yangshuo and finish up in Honkers (Hong Kong for the uninitiated).
From Peking duck to fried pork dumplings, a Chinese feed is one of life’s pleasures. Please note: rooster blood, duck tongues and scorpions on sticks are optional.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Shanghai
For your obligatory Apple, Gucci and Nike knock-offs head to Shanghai's Fake Market. Hey, at least they're being honest. Phonetically the address sounds like: "Nan jing she loo woo by bah shih how." Handy if you're getting a cab.
Arrive as early as you can and explore Shanghai under your own steam. You'll need to do this today because we head off for Beijing tomorrow
Pre-departure briefing with your tour guide in the early evening (approx. 6 pm)
Shanghai Jinmao Tower - 120CNY
Shanghai Pearl Tower - 100CNY
Day 2-4: Beijing & Great Wall
To say Beijing is crowed might be the understatement of the century. You could squeeze the entire population of Australia into Beijing alone. That's around 20 million people for those playing at home.
Catch a high-speed train to Beijing
Explore the Forbidden City
Take a walk along the Great Wall
Survey the spectacular surrounding countryside from the wall - the surrounding views are amazing
Enjoy ample free time to explore the many other sights of Beijing, such as the Summer Palace or the Temple of Heaven
Catch six-berth hard-class sleeper train to Xian
Great Wall Mutianyu
Beijing Acrobats - 200CNY
Beijing Opera - 200CNY
Beijing - Shaolin Monks Kungfu Show - 200CNY
Day 5-6: Xian
Arrive in Xian, pop in and pick out your favourite Terracotta Warrior (there are about 1800 to choose from). Your dumpling tour of China begins when you hit the Muslim Quarter for some of the city's best.
Arrive in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi province
Explore the awesome army of Terracotta Warriors
Enjoy free time to wander around this historical city
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
Embark on a six-berth hard-class sleeper train to Chengdu
Xi'an Big Wild Goose Pagoda - 80CNY
Day 7-8: Chengdu
Get up close to the pandas at Chengdu's Giant Panda Breeding Reseach Base. It's impossible not to feel a bit of small man syndrome at Dafo, the world's largest Buddha statue.
Arrive in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, a province famous for its spicy food
For dinner, why not try the local delicacy - Sichuan hotpot
Visit Leshan on a day trip, situated on the shores of the Min River
View the Giant Buddha (Dafo), located at the convergence of the Dadu and Min rivers
Drive out to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and seize a rare chance to glimpse this cute and cuddly icon
Leshan Giant Buddha
Panda Breeding Centre
Chengdu Sichuan Opera - 200CNY
Day 9-11: Yangshuo
Google "chilled out cities in China" and Yangshuo will be at the top of the list. Unless you've spelled 'cities' with a 'k', in which case you're probably looking at pictures of cats wearing sunnies.
Fly to Guilin and travel by bus to Yangshuo
Explore the Yangshuo region on bicycle and by foot - a photographer's paradise
Hire bikes for half a day and ride past the limestone outcrops that jut up from the surrounding paddy fields
Stop in the villages and mingle with the locals
Hike up the famous Moon Hill and view the surrounding countryside
Plenty of free time to relax in the many cafes and restaurants that line Xi Jie (West Street), or shop for a bargain in the marketplace
Return to Guilin and catch an overnight train to Shenzhen
Yangshuo Cycling Tour
Yangshuo River Light Show - 250CNY
Yangshuo Cooking School - 150CNY
Day 12-13: Hong Kong
Poke around the night market, get lost in the backstreets (but not too lost) and eat at tiny hole-in-the-wall places. If you're down at Victoria Harbour about 8pm and miss the huge fireworks show then you're just not paying attention.
Take in the views whilst sailing along Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour on a Ferry.
Perhaps take in the spectacular Sound and Light Show on the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island
Why not wander through the Stanley Market
Perhaps head out to enjoy some of the many bars and nightclubs around town
The trip ends on Day 13 morning in Hong Kong. You can depart at any time
Nuts and Bolts
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking Chinese tour guide throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors in Xian, Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base, Leshan's Giant Buddha, Cycling in Yangshuo.
• Walk the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
• Free time to explore Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
• High-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing.
• Flight from Chengdu to Guilin.
• Overnight trains from Beijing to Xian, Xian to Chengdu and Guilin to Shenzhen. Accommodation in six-berth, air-conditioned cabins.
Summary of accommodation, transport & meals
- Public bus
- Sleeper train
- 9 nights Budget/tourist class hotels
- 3 nights Sleeper train
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328
Infrastructure and Itinerary Changes
China is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards differ from what you are used to at home. Please bear this in mind as you are travelling in this exciting country and respect the fact that you should not impose your standards and expectations on the culture there. The driving habits in China are something for which you ought to prepare yourself for!
Occasionally it may be necessary to amend this itinerary for reasons beyond our control, such as bad weather and poor road conditions. Changes to flight and train schedules can sometimes occur, which may also lead to changes to this itinerary.
Travelling During Holiday Periods
When travelling during local holiday periods, be prepared for some inconveniences. This is especially so during the Spring Festival holiday period (Chinese New Year) and the National Day Golden Week.
In 2014 Chinese New Year day is on Friday 31st January, ushering in the Year of the Horse. All days from 30th January to 5th February 2014 are designated as public holidays. In 2015 Chinese New Year will be on 19th February (Year of the Sheep) and in 2016 it will be on 8th February (Year of the Monkey). The greeting in Mandarin for ‘Happy New Year’ is ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, whilst the greeting in Cantonese is ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy’. China’s National Day is on 1st October and this ushers in a 7-day national holiday known as Golden Week. During these holiday periods, most businesses will be closed as the local people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during these holiday periods, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required.
Train Travel in China
Overnight train accommodation on this tour is in 6-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class, which are six bunk beds set out in an open cubicle compartment. Bedding is provided and wash basins and toilet facilities (usually one with a toilet seat and one squat-style in each compartment) are available on all trains, but there are no showers or baths. There are urns or thermos flasks for making hot beverages. It is quite possible that our group may be divided over a series of different compartments and we may also have to share our compartments with other passengers on the train. Train travel is an integral part of the China travel experience and offers some of the best chances of meeting and making friends with the locals.
Local Tour Guides
By employing and training local tour guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour guide’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Adventure in China
This is an ‘adventure’ trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
7 April 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Geckos