For departures after 8 January 2014 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.
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.
(Was China Adventurer)
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.
Arrive at any time and explore Beijing under your own steam
Pre-departure briefing with your tour guide in the early evening (approx. 6 pm)
After a short flight to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 13The trip ends this morning in Hong Kong. You can depart at any time
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing, Terracotta Warriors, Chengdu Panda Conservatory, Leshan Buddha and Shanghai, Yangshou and Hong Kong.
• Walk on a remote section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
• Free time to explore Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
• Flights from Beijing to Xian and Chengdu to Shanghai.
• Flights from Shanghai to Guilin.
• Overnight trains from Xian to Chengdu. Accommodation in six-berth, air-conditioned cabins.
• Overnight trains from to Guilin to Guangzhao. Accommodation in six-berth, air-conditioned cabins.
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.
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.
The actual Chinese New Year day in 2013 is on Sunday 10th February, ushering in the Year of the Snake. All days from 9th to 15th February 2013 are designated as public holidays. In 2014, Chinese New Year will be on 31st January (Year of the Horse) and in 2015 it will be on 19th February (Year of the Sheep). 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.
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!
19 November 2013