China Delights

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From international Shanghai and the pandas of Chengdu to the imperial highlights of Beijing and all the dramatic landscapes in between, relish the historical, cultural and natural delights of China on this comprehensive trip.

Places Visited

Australia - Shanghai (3N) - Suzhou (1N) - Hangzhou (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Chengdu (2N) - Xian (2N) - Beijing (3N) - Australia

Days 1-2: Fly to Shanghai
Fly overnight with China Southern Airlines to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, called 'the Paris of the East'. Perth and Darwin passengers may depart one day earlier.
Days 3-4: Explore Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens and atmospheric old town before admiring the colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. Round off the day with a delicious meal of traditional Shanghai cuisine. The next day explore ultramodern Pudong and the arts and antiquities of the Shanghai Museum. Later, visit Matchmakers Corner in People's Square where parents search for worthy suitors for their children. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Days 3-4: Explore Shanghai
Day 5: Historic Suzhou
Suzhou’s centre has managed to retain a sense of quaint charm even as the city has grown up around it. Renowned for its gardens, visit one of the finest, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a typical example of the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. There will also be a visit to a local silk mill.
Day 5: Historic Suzhou
Day 6: Grand Canal & Wuzhen
Cruise on the thousand-year-old Grand Canal. Transfer to the water town of Wuzhen – a charming place of old-world timber buildings, cobbled streets and narrow waterways; it is an easy place to while away the day. Transfer to the city of Hangzhou.
Day 6: Grand Canal & Wuzhen
Day 7: Spiritual Hangzhou
A restful morning is spent wandering around the Temple of Inspired Seclusion, one of China’s most renowned Buddhist temples. Visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda before cruising on Hangzhou’s West Lake and admiring the gardens, pagodas and old bridges on its shores.
Day 7: Spiritual Hangzhou
Day 8: Fly to Guilin
Browse the bustling local markets and visit the plantations of Meijiawu to learn the tea-making process, from bush to brew. Enjoy a cup of organic green tea and decide which of the locally produced teas you might like to purchase. Fly to the attractive city of Guilin where the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 8: Fly to Guilin
Day 9: Li River Cruise
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming village of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen.
Day 9: Li River Cruise
Day 10: Yangshuo
Yangshuo sits in an exquisite rural location, surrounded by landscapes of paddy fields and limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the countryside before an afternoon at leisure. There are many activities available (at your own expense) including cycling, rafting and walking. In the evening see the famous cormorant fishermen.
Day 10: Yangshuo
Day 11: Fly to Chengdu
Return to Guilin visiting Reed Flute Cave to admire the colourful stalagmites and stalactites. Visit the Pearl Museum, then fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.
Day 11: Fly to Chengdu
Day 12: Grand Buddha of Leshan
Travel to Leshan to visit the Grand Buddha which, at 71m, is the world’s largest stone-carved Buddhist monument. Get a bird's eye view of the Buddha from the adjacent park, then a short boat trip will give excellent views from the river. Sample a delicious Sichuan meal this evening.
Day 12: Grand Buddha of Leshan
Days 13: Giant Pandas
Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see and learn about China’s celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Visit the Shu Brocade Factory then fly to Xian, the ancient former capital. This evening sit down to a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Days 13: Giant Pandas
Day 14: Terracotta Warriors
Visit the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The warriors have intrigued visitors ever since their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s – spend the morning viewing their enigmatic ranks. Next visit the Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition and a local kindergarten to see the differences between western and Chinese primary education systems and later stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town.
Day 14: Terracotta Warriors
Day 15: Train to Beijing
Take a fascinating morning visit to the Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Board a bullet train to Beijing, the capital of China.
Day 15: Train to Beijing
Day 16: Imperial Beijing
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in, a dance class. Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, cross Tiananmen Square and head into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City – a complex full of imperial treasures. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
Day 16: Imperial Beijing
Day 17: Great Wall
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 both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Later on you’ll visit a jade factory. Take some time in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace before dining on Beijing’s best known delicacy – Peking Duck.
Day 17: Great Wall
Day 18: Depart Beijing
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Beijing airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
Day 19: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option from $825
Land Only (Shanghai to Beijing) 17 days from $4,296 per person (includes tipping)
Brisbane passengers may require a stopover in Guangzhou at an additional cost
Perth passengers may require a stopover in Guangzhou at an additional cost
Darwin passengers may require a stopover in Singapore at an additional cost
Above prices include airline fuel surcharge and tipping. Subject to change
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 4 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 suited for customers who are looking for a very comprehensive tour of China, visiting the country’s main cities and scenic areas. This tour is best suited for customers who perhaps do not want to take a Yangtze River Cruise but are interested in experiencing the bullet train in China.

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