Classic China

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Cruise along the Yangtze and Li Rivers and let the spectacular landscapes of Yunnan province take your breath away. Saunter around the cobbled streets of old Lijiang, gaze on the magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge and explore the mysterious Stone Forest on this diverse adventure.

Places Visited

Australia - Shanghai (2N) - Beijing (2N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Guilin (2N) - Lijiang (2N) - Kunming (3N) - Australia

Day 1: Fly to Shanghai
Fly with Cathay Pacific Airways to the exuberant city of Shanghai, called the 'Paris of the East', for a two night stay. Adelaide, Perth and Darwin passengers may depart one day earlier.
Day 1: Fly to Shanghai
Day 2: Explore Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Today’s explorations include the peaceful Yu Gardens, the Silk Museum and the atmospheric alleys of the old town before admiring the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise before enjoying traditional Shanghai cuisine.
Day 2: Explore Shanghai
Day 3: Fly to Beijing
This morning visit Matchmaker's Corner in People's Square where parents search for worthy suitors for their children. Fly to Beijing, China’s capital city. This evening, savour Beijing’s best known delicacy – Peking Duck.
Day 3: Fly to Beijing
Day 4: Imperial Beijing
Walk across the lengths of Tiananmen Square and into the magnificent Forbidden City. Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven where you can watch, or take part in, an outdoor dance class.
Day 4: Imperial Beijing
Day 5: Great Wall
Take a walk on the Great Wall of China, appreciating the wall itself and the dramatic scenery. Later, visit the jade factory and this afternoon visit the Summer Palace. This evening enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show. Afterwards, transfer to the Beijing train station to catch your overnight train to Xian.
Day 5: Great Wall
Day 6: Explore Xian
Arrive in Xian. Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda. There will be time to explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter, which are lined with Islamic food stalls, before a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing in the evening.
Day 6: Explore Xian
Day 7: 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 life-like warriors. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Take an afternoon stroll on Xian’s beautifully preserved 14th century city walls.
Day 7: Terracotta Warriors
Day 8: Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board the Yangtze River cruise vessel.
Day 8: Fly to Wuhan
Days 9-11: Yangtze River Cruise
A man-made marvel, the Three Gorges Dam showcases this massive feat of engineering. But as we cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breath-taking panorama after another. Take a side trip to the attractive Goddess or Shennong Stream and enjoy shore excursions to the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai.
Days 9-11: Yangtze River Cruise
Day 12: Fly to Guilin
Disembark from the cruise vessel and visit the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo before flying to the scenic city of Guilin.
Day 12: Fly to Guilin
Day 13: Li River Cruise
Take a relaxed cruise along Li River. 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. Return to Guilin.
Day 13: Li River Cruise
Days 14-15: The Stone Forest
Visit Reed Flute Cave to admire the colourful stalagmites and stalactites. The South China Pearl Museum covers the fascinating 1700 year history of pearling in the South China Sea with displays and demonstrations. There are also beautiful pieces available to buy. Fly to Kunming, one of China’s most pleasant cities and dine on the famous Across the Bridge Noodles. The next day, explore the fascinating formations of the picturesque Stone Forest.
Days 14-15: The Stone Forest
Day 16: Fly to Lijiang
Fly to Lijiang in Yunnan province. The quintessential Chinese ‘old town’, Lijiang’s old quarter is a jumble of cobbled streets, precarious wooden buildings and rustic stone bridges – in short, a delightful place to aimlessly wander. There will also be a visit to Black Dragon Pool where there are wonderful views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain massif.
Day 16: Fly to Lijiang
Days 17: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Over 3,000-metres deep, Tiger Leaping Gorge with its backdrop of snow-capped mountains is one of China’s most dramatic sights. The whole area is spectacular –prepare for breath-taking views. You will also visit a local embroidery school where young tribes-people learn vital skills and create handcrafts.
Days 17: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 18: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
A magnificent mountain massif, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain incorporates several peaks, the tallest of which is 5,500 metres. Taking a chairlift, explore one of the beautiful high meadows and enjoy the amazing vistas. Fly back to Kunming.
Day 18: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Day 19: Depart Kunming
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Kunming airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
Day 19: Depart Kunming
Day 20: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option from $1,290
Single Cruise Cabin Option from $490
Land Only (Shanghai to Kunming) 19 days from $5,388 per person (includes tipping)
Brisbane passengers may require stopovers in Hong Kong at an additional cost.
Perth passengers may require stopovers in Hong Kong at an additional cost.
Adelaide passengers may require one night pre-tour accommodation in Shanghai and a stopover in Hong Kong at an additional cost.
Darwin passengers may require one night post-tour accommodation in Kunming and 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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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.


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Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those looking for a comprehensive visit to the main sights in China and visits to some of China’s lesser known areas. This tour is also ideal for those who wish to go on a Yangtze River Cruise and an overnight train journey in China.

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