Dreams of Nature


Towering pinnacles swathed in mist, sky-skimming mountains and nature at its most verdant are just some of the wonders included on this scenic tour. Indulge your senses with China’s most spectacular, mysterious and dramatic natural highlights.

Places Visited

Australia - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Guilin (2N) - Zhangjiajie (3N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Nine Villages Valley (3N) - Chengdu (1N) - Ya'an (2N) - Chengdu (2N) - Australia

Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Guilin
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Guilin. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. Brisbane passengers may depart on Day 2.
Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Guilin
Day 3: Yangshuo’s Landscapes
Take a gentle cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. Lined with dramatic limestone cliffs, the serenity of life on the riverbanks is a wonderful sight. Later, take a walk through this idyllic wonderland and get an insight into life here. There’s an option to take a short and steep but rewarding hike to the top of Xianggong Hill for epic sunset views. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Yangshuo’s Landscapes
Day 4: Tai Chi & Country Cycling
Start the day with a relaxing and invigorating session of Tai Chi, taking time with a master to learn this ancient martial art. This afternoon there is the option of riding a bicycle through the countryside – another chance to explore every corner of this exquisite location (at your own expense). (B,L)
Day 4: Tai Chi & Country Cycling
Day 5: Yangshuo Rafting
This morning is at leisure, or you may wish to join an optional bamboo rafting trip along the Yu Long River (at your own expense). Drift past verdant riverbanks and under ancient bridges as you paddle on glasslike waters. Drive back to Guilin and visit the Reed Flute Cave and a Pearl Museum. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Yangshuo Rafting
Day 6: Longji Rice Terraces
Travel to the iconic Longji Rice Terraces and head out for a four hour walk through the traditional rural landscapes. There are several viewpoints boasting picture-postcard views of the extensive rice terraces that cover the hillside in intricate patterns. Drive back to Guilin, with the rest of the day at leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Longji Rice Terraces
Day 7: Travel to Zhangjiajie
Catch the bullet train to Changsha, then enjoy the breathtaking drive to Zhangjiajie. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Travel to Zhangjiajie
Days 8-9: Zhangjiajie
A scenic area of over 3,000 sandstone pillars, rising from misty folds of tropical forest and cloaked in vibrant green vegetation, Zhangjiajie’s striking beauty is unforgettable. Ravines and gorges, streams and waterfalls and a plethora of endangered plants and animal species complete this idyllic scene. During your time here you will enjoy some beautiful walks to Huanglong Cave and Huangshi Village, as well as a cruise on Lake Baofeng. (B,L,D)
Days 8-9: Zhangjiajie
Day 10: Travel to Yichang
Catch the train to Yichang, where you’ll board your Yangtze Cruise vessel, home for the next four nights. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Travel to Yichang
Days 11-13: 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 breathtaking panorama after another, and enjoy a chance to take some respite on board the ship. Take a side trip to the attractive Goddess or Shennong Stream and enjoy shore excursions to the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai. (B,L,D)
Days 11-13: Yangtze River Cruise
Day 14: Fly to Jiuzhaigou
Disembark your cruise vessel and enjoy an early lunch in the charming old town of Ciqikou (at your own expense). Fly to Jiuzhaigou. (B,D)
Day 14: Fly to Jiuzhaigou
Day 15: Nine Villages Valley
A national park of ragged peaks, sapphire lakes, abundant forests and rushing waterfalls, the Nine Villages Valley (Jiuzhaigou National Park) is considered one of China’s most beautiful areas. A trip up to the top of the valley to the Long Lake, the highest, deepest and largest in the area, offers spectacular alpine views whilst a short walk to the Five-Coloured Lake and Nuorilang Falls showcase some of the valley’s most beautiful sights. Visits to the local paper tree and a Tibetan temple are a relaxing finish to the day’s activities. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Nine Villages Valley
Day 16: Shuzheng Village
Visit Shuzheng village, the largest settlement in the park. Spend some time with a local Tibetan family who will give you an insight into daily life in Nine Villages Valley. A lovely afternoon walk takes you from Rhinoceros Lake, passing Tiger Lake ending at Reed Lake – an excellent way to really relish the local scenery. You’ll pass an old watermill and Tibetan prayer flags en route. (B,L,D)
Day 16: Shuzheng Village
Day 17: Huanglong Pools
Hundreds of vivid pools in striking colours, formed by thousands of years of mineral deposits, tumble gently down through the bright green forests of the Huanglong Valley. The whole area is studded with waterfalls and hot springs and is relatively undiscovered. There is an option to take the chair lift up to Huanglong Temple at the head of the valley for excellent panoramic views, before you catch a flight to Chengdu. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Huanglong Pools
Day 18: Pingle Ancient Town
Drive to Ya’an via Pingle Ancient Town. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Silk Road. Take time to walk through its mass of teahouse-lined streets before seeing the forest from above on Jinjigu Suspended Rope Bridge. Lastly, pay a visit to Lugou Bamboo Sea where you can get lost amongst creaking, swishing spears of green. (B,L,D)
Day 18: Pingle Ancient Town
Day 19: Bifengxia Panda Base
Visit the world's finest panda conservation centre where you'll gain a real insight into the hard work that goes into caring for and boosting the population of this endangered species. Bifengxia is located high in the mountains and up here the pandas are kept in conditions very close to their natural habitat. Later, walk through Bifeng Gorge, passing by fairytale-like waterfalls and forests. (B,L,D)
Day 19: Bifengxia Panda Base
Day 20: Mengdingshan
Travel through lush countryside to the tea plantations of Mengdingshan. Take a tour of a plantation with a local farmer to learn about the entire tea-making process and its fascinating history. Back in Chengdu this evening is at leisure - the restaurant lined streets of the Wide and Narrow Alleys are a great choice for dinner. (B,L)
Day 20: Mengdingshan
Day 21: Chengdu
Spend the morning absorbing the local culture at Peoples Park. People watching here is an endless pleasure, from the grizzled locals playing mah-jong to the lonely singles looking for love in matchmaking corner – there is always something going on. The afternoon is free, search out some last minute souvenirs. In the evening enjoy the remarkable ‘face changing’ show and tuck into a delicious farewell meal. (B,D)
Day 21: Chengdu
Day 22: Fly to Chengdu
The morning is at leisure before boarding the overnight flight to Australia. (B) Due to flight schedules, Brisbane and Perth passengers may arrive home on Day 22.
Day 22: Fly to Chengdu
Day 23: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Please note the Tour Dossier listed is applicable for 2015 departures.
Single Hotel Room Option from $795
Single Cruise Cabin Option from $490
Land Only (Guilin to Chengdu) 21 days from $6,158 per person (includes tipping)
Adelaide passengers may require stopovers in Hong Kong 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 Asia and you will find high quality coverage. Most countries have active roaming agreements with 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. 

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.

Also Available

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 have a reasonable amount of time and are looking to explore lesser known sections of China and take part in more active touring, with more walking and outdoor activity.

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