Don't Forget your Chopsticks
|China, Hong Kong (China)
|Hong Kong (China) (Country)
Bad chopstick etiquette:
· Don’t stand chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice. It’s considered bad luck because it’s how a bowl of rice is offered to the spirit of a dead person.
· Never suck on your chopsticks.
· Refrain from using them as a hair accessory (even though it looks cute).
· Don’t use them like a spear when eating.
(Was China Encompassed)
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Hong Kong
Each night there's a sound and light show
on the skyscrapers of the city. Mix with locals on a ferry to Guangzhou and an
overnight train to Guilin.
- A free day, but arrive early if possible - there's plenty to see in Hong Kong
Pre-departure briefing with your tour guide in the early
evening (approx. 6 pm)
- Perhaps take in the spectacular Sound and Light Show on
the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island
- Head to Guangzhou (Canton) on a three-hour hydrofoil
- Take in the views whilst sailing out of
Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour
- Board an overnight six-berth hard-sleeper class train bound for Guilin
Day 3-5: Yangshuo
Yangshuo is a really chilled out little
town, and people come from all over China to chat with travellers and practice
their English. Make new friends while you tuck into a plate of beer fish or a
Vegemite sandwich on West Street (yes, you read right).
- Explore the Yangshuo region on
bicycle and by foot - a photographer's
- 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
- 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
- Catch the overnight train to Wuhan
Day 6-9: Yangtze River Cruise
Your favourite bit of this cruise might be
the towering cliffs, spectacular sunsets or the famous Three Gorges. But let's
be honest, it'll probably be the Karaoke Room on your boat.
- Travel to Yichang - the gateway city to the
massive Three Gorges Dam
- Take a stroll along the banks of the Yangtze
River and watch the sunset with the locals
- Embark on a riverboat trip
- Be surrounded by sheer cliff faces one minute and passing a
thriving city or a deserted town the next
- Make the most of the boat's viewing platform, bar, shop and dining room
- Perhaps take one of the several on-shore excursions
- Disembark at Fengdu and drive to the bustling and hilly city of
Chongqing and enjoy free time to explore
Day 10-12: Chengdu - Giant Buddha
Get your stretchy pants out because this is
the home of Sichuan food. See the world's largest Buddha statue in Leshan and
meet China's most famous goths at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.
- Travel to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, a province famous for its spicy food
- For dinner, why not try the local
delicacy - Sichuan hotpot
- Visit Leshan, 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
- Board a sleeper train bound for Xian
Day 13-14: Xian - Terracotta Warriors
The 6000-strong Terracotta Army was built
to guard the emperor's mausoleum. When he died his concubines, scribes, cooks
and servants were all buried alive with him. The afterlife can be a
- Arrive in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi
- Explore the awesome army of Terracotta
- 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
- Embark on the sleeper train to Beijing
Day 15-16: Beijing - Great Wall
Eat up before you hit the Great Wall. You need something to walk off,
right? Start with baozi (steamed buns), chuan'r (lamb kebabs) and
jiucai bing (green onion pancake).
- Explore many of Beijing's main attractions
After entering through an archway
beyond Tiananmen Gate, spend the morning exploring The Forbidden City
- Take a walk along the Great
- Survey the spectacular
surrounding countryside from the Wall - the surrounding
views are amazing
- Enjoy ample free time to discover the many other
sights of Beijing, such as the Summer Palace or the Temple of Heaven
Day 17: Qufu
In your head, you're pronouncing it "Koo Foo", aren't you? Wrong. It's
Choo Foo. Confucius was born here, so try not to embarrass yourself by
saying it wrong.
- Catch train to the birthplace of Confucius, Qufu
- Visit Confucius Temple, Confucius Family Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius
Day 18-19: Shanghai
The Bund, Art Deco buildings Yuyuan Gardens
blah blah blah...dumplings!
- Train to in Shanghai, China’s
- 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
- Perhaps check out Shanghai's multitude of bars,
restaurants and nightclubs
Day 20-21: Hong Kong
Now that you're back in Hong Kong you can
buy all that knock-off designer gear you were eyeing up on the first day.
- Hong Kong is still the world's capital for shopping, so spend some time doing just that
- Get tips from your tour leader for
recommendations on how to best navigate Hong Kong
- The trip ends this morning in Beijing. 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.
• 2-night Yangtze River cruise through the Three Gorges. Accommodation in a twin-share cabin, with private facilities, on a tourist-class riverboat.
• Two days exploring Yangshuo on bicycle and by foot including Moon Hill and stops at local villages.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Giant Buddha (Dafo), Terracotta Warriors and Beijing.
• Visit to Chengdu’s Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.
• Walk on a remote section of the Great Wall.
• Free time to explore Hong Kong, Chongqing, Yangshuo, Xian and Beijing.
• Hydrofoil from Hong Kong to Guangzhou (Canton).
• Overnight trains from Guangzhou to Guilin, Guilin to Wuhan, Chengdu to Xian and Xian to Beijing. Accommodation in six-berth, air-conditioned cabins.
Summary of accommodation, transport & meals
- Sleeper train
- 2 nights Cruise boat
- 2 nights Guesthouse
- 4 nights Sleeper train
- 12 nights Hotel
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.
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- Beijing - Acrobats
CNY 100 - 180 (USD $15- $25)
- Beijing - Bicycle Hutong Tour
100 CNY(USD $15)
- Beijing - Lama Temple
25 CNY (USD $4)
- Beijing - Opera
CNY 150 - 200 (USD $20- $28)
- Beijing - Shaolin Monks Kungfu Show
CNY 100 - 180 (USD $15 -$25)
- Beijing - Summer Palace Entrance Fee (and transport)
CNY 50 + 35 (USD $7 + $5 )
- Beijing - Underground City
25 CNY ( USD $3.50)
- Chengdu - Huang Long Xi Old Town (and transport)
CNY 13+ 30 (US$2 + $4)
- Chengdu - Shangli Old Town (and transport)
CNY 44 + 100(US$ 6.50 + 15)
- Chengdu - Sichuan Opera and Cultural Show
80 -150 (USD $11 - $22)
- Chengdu - Wuhou Shrine
CNY 60 (USD $8)
- Hong Kong - Light Show Hong Kong Harbour
- Hong Kong - Ocean Park
HKD 93-185 (USD $ 13 - 26)
- Hong Kong - Peak Tram (return journey)
HKD 35 (USD $ 5)
- Hong Kong - Star Ferry
HKD 3 (USD$ .50 )
- Shanghai - Acrobats
CNY 200 (USD $29.50)
- Shanghai - Jinmao Tower
CNY 70 (US$10)
- Shanghai - Oriental Pearl Tower
CNY 50 (US$7)
- Shanghai - Shanghai Museum
- Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple (and taxi)
CNY 30 + 30 (USD $4.50+ $4.50)
- Xian - Bell and Drum Tower combined ticket
CNY 45 (USD $6.50)
- Xian - Big Goose Pagoda (and entrance fee to climb to top)
CNY 50 (USD $7.50)
- Xian - Dumpling Banquet
CNY 80 (USD $12)
- Xian - Dumpling banquet & Tang Dynasty Show
CNy 220 (USD $32)
- Xian - Great Mosque
CNY 25 (USD $4)
- Xian - Shaanxi History Museum
- Yangshuo - 1 hour Chinese Cultural Classes: Calligraphy, Kungfu or Tai Chi
CNY 50 (USD $7.50)
- Yangshuo - Buddha Water Cave
CNY 120 (USD$ 17.50)
- Yangshuo - Cooking School
CNY 100 (USD $14.50)
- Yangshuo - Kayaking
CNY 130 (USD $19)
- Yangshuo - Li River Cruise (including transfers)
CNY 160 (USD $23.50)
- Yangshuo - Zhang Yimo River Light Show
CNY 188 (USD $27.50)
- Yangtze River Cruise - Baidi Ancient City
CNY 80 (USD $ 12)
- Yangtze River Cruise - Fengdu Ghost City
CNY 40 (USD $6)
- Yangtze River Cruise - Shennong Stream
CNY 60 (USD $9)
- Yangtze River Cruise - ShiBao Zai
CNY 15 (USD $2)
- Yangtze River Cruise - Three Lesser Gorges
CNY 200(USD $29.50)
- Yangtze River Cruise - Tour of Dam Site (time permitting)
CNY 200 (USD $29.50)
Please note that there was an error in the printed version of our brochure. There are no meals included on this tour.
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.
Yangtze River Boat Trip
The boat trip through the Three Gorges offers some incredible sightseeing and is a genuine way to experience the Yangtze River. Many travellers consider it a highlight of their adventure. However travelling on a Yangtze River boat is not a luxury cruise. While the tourist boats are sound from a safety perspective, the accommodation can be basic and the quality of service and food can at times not meet expectations (sometimes leaves a lot to be desired). We recommend you bring extra snacks along with you and share them with your fellow travellers - the cruise is also a great place to make new friends with some of the locals. Please note that all rooms on the cruise are on a shared room basis. If you are not already sharing a room with someone from your group, you may be required to share with someone (of the same gender) from outside your tour group. The Yangtze is an important industrial waterway and all boat travel along it is overseen by the government authorities, so at times itineraries can change without notice either due to nautical conditions or directives from the government. A wide range of river boats is used in our trips, mandated by availability and departure dates. Your tour leader will keep you at all times informed of any changes that may occur.
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!
27 March 2013
General Contact Details
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