Ancient China

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With thousands of years of fascinating and diverse history, China is one of the world's oldest and most monumental civilisations. Encounter millennia-old culture and religion with visits to some of China's greatest and most intriguing ancient sights.

Places Visited

Australia - Beijing (4N) - Datong (1N) - Wutaishan (1N) - Taiyuan (1N) - Pingyao (1N) - Xian (3N) - Luoyang (1N) - Zhengzhou (1N) - Shanghai (3N) - Australia

Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Fly with Cathay Pacific Airways to Beijing, China's fascinating capital, for a four-night stay.

Perth passengers may depart one day earlier.
Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Day 2: Imperial Beijing
Heading to Beijing's symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Take a rickshaw ride through the charming hutongs and visit with a local family to learn more about living in this traditional area. In the evening sit down to enjoy the local delicacy, Peking Duck, followed by a performance of the Beijing Opera.
Day 2: Imperial Beijing
Day 3: Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate its sheer magnificence. Jade has long been cherished by the Chinese – at a jade factory you can understand and appreciate the delicate process of carving the stone and buy a piece if you wish. Savour the serenity of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.
Day 3: Great Wall of China
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. Meander through Panjiayuan, Beijing's most extensive arts, crafts and antiques market.
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
Day 5: Travel to Datong
Travel by train to Datong, watching the rural splendour of China pass by your window. Arrive in time for a local dinner in this fascinating city.
Day 5: Travel to Datong
Day 6: The Hanging Temple
Grottoes carved from sandstone cliffs in the 5th and 6th centuries, Yungang Caves are replete with intricate Buddhist imagery. The 1,400-year-old, gravity-defying Hanging Temple seemingly floats 50 metres up the face of Jinxia Gorge. Travel on to Wutaishan.
Day 6: The Hanging Temple
Day 7: Wutaishan
One of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains, Wutaishan (Five Terraced Mountain), is a site of scenic magnificence. Visit Bodhisattva Summit and Xiang Tong Temples. Continue to Taiyuan and visit the Twin Pagoda Temple, which dates from the Ming Dynasty.
Day 7: Wutaishan
Day 8: Taiyuan and Pingyao
Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Jinci Temple before travelling to the old town of Pingyao.
Day 8: Taiyuan and Pingyao
Day 9: Pingyao
The characterful old town of Pingyao is considered the best ancient walled town in the country. Stroll along the cobbled streets to view the old city walls and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum. There will also be time to see the Yamen, a former government building from the Qing Dynasty before taking the bullet train to the former imperial capital of Xian.
Day 9: Pingyao
Day 10: Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of these lifesized warriors. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition, then stroll on the ancient City Walls. This evening enjoy a delicious feast of Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day 10: Terracotta Warriors
Day 11: Discover Xian
Admire the relics of the Xian Museum before visiting the Little Wild Goose Pagoda with a calligraphy demonstration. There will also be time to explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
Day 11: Discover Xian
Day 12: Luoyang
Board a bullet train from Xian to Luoyang, a city that was the capital for more than 13 dynasties. This afternoon visit the Longmen Grottoes which house tens of thousands of age-old statues and sculptures depicting Buddha and his disciples carved from the limestone cliffs of Xiangshan and Longmenshan.
Day 12: Luoyang
Day 13: Shaolin Temple
Travel to the famous Shaolin Temple, best known for its association with martial arts, and walk through the Pagoda Forest, a collection of 228 pagodas of various styles built from the Tang through to Qing dynasties. Witness a Kung Fu demonstration by the famous Shaolin Monks. Continue to Zhengzhou.
Day 13: Shaolin Temple
Day 14: Yellow River
Learn about the river basin called 'the birthplace of Chinese civilisation' at Zhengzhou's Yellow River Museum before heading to a lookout for panoramic views over the river itself. Fly to Shanghai.
Day 14: Yellow River
Day 15: Cosmopolitan Shanghai
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, east and west colliding on streets lined with skyscrapers and historic temples. Visit the classical Yu Gardens and the atmospheric old town before admiring the colonial architecture on the Bund. In the evening take your seats for a fascinating Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 15: Cosmopolitan Shanghai
Day 16: Shanghai river cruise
Wander through the Xintiandi area to admire the 1920s architectural styling, view the artifacts at the Shanghai Museum and visit a Silk Museum. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a scenic cruise. Taste the delicious, traditional Shanghai cuisine for dinner.
Day 16: Shanghai river cruise
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Shanghai airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.

Due to flight schedules, Perth and Brisbane passengers may arrive home on Day 17.
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
Day 18: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

2018

Additional Price Information:

Above prices include airline fuel surcharge and tipping. Subject to change
Single Hotel Room Option from $960
Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai) 17 days from $3,660 per person (includes tipping)
Adelaide passengers may require one night pre-tour accommodation in Beijing at an additional cost
Cairns passengers may require a stopover in Hong Kong at an additional cost
Darwin passengers may require a stopover in Singapore at an additional cost
25 Apr & 19 Sep 2017 departures coincide with Golden Week celebrations and sightseeing may be affected
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 1300 318 203. Limited seats denotes 5 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visa in the price of our tour for Australian passport holders. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call Australia – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 61, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. 
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers.  Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure. 
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
 
In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
 
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
 
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
 
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
 
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
 
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
 
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

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Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 1300 318 203 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those who are interested in gaining an understanding of China’s ancient and religious history and who have an interest in learning about a specific region of the country. We have designed this tour to take in key historical and religious areas of Shanxi Province, as well as visit the popular destinations of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai.

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