Grand Tour of China

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Experience the many wonders of China on this grand tour that captures not only the historical and cultural aspects of China, but also allows you to discover its many other, less known treasures.

Places Visited

Australia - Beijing (3N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Chengdu (1N) - Kunming (2N) - Dali (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Hangzhou (2N) - Suzhou (2N) - Shanghai (2N) - Australia

Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Fly with Cathay Pacific Airways to Beijing for a two night stay. Darwin passengers may depart one day earlier.
Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Days 2-3: Beijing and the Great Wall
Visit Tiannamen Square and explore the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck. The next 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 been long cherished by the Chinese – at the Jade factory you can understand and appreciate the delicate process of carving the stone and buy a piece if you wish. Finally savour the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace. In the evening enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.
Days 2-3: Beijing and the Great Wall
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
Browse the bustling markets and soak up the harmonious ambiance of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in, a dance class. Board an overnight train to Xian.
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
Days 5-6: Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Arrive in Xian and enjoy a delightful visit to the Little Wild Goose Pagoda before wandering around the narrow alleys of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings before a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing. The next day, view the enigmatic ranks of warriors that make up the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. 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. Later stroll on Xian’s beautifully preserved 14th century city walls.
Days 5-6: Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Day 7: Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board your Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Day 7: Fly to Wuhan
Days 8-10: Yangtze River Cruise
The Three Gorges Dam may be an impressive feat of engineering but as you cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves.Over the next three days prepare for one breathtaking 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 8-10: Yangtze River Cruise
Day 11: Drive to Chengdu
Disembark in Chongqing then explore old Ciqikou, whose narrow streets are perfect for a stroll to admire the traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu and visit the Shu Brocade Museum. Enjoy a traditional Sichuan dinner.
Day 11: Drive to Chengdu
Day 12: Pandas
Visit Chengdu’s famous Panda Conservation Centre to see these celebrated bears in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Fly to the pleasant city of Kunming and tuck in to the local Across the Bridge noodles for dinner.
Day 12: Pandas
Day 13: Stone Forest
Explore the fascinating formations of the picturesque Stone Forest.
Day 13: Stone Forest
Days 14-15: Enchanting Dali
Dali offers a peek of the China of times-gone-by. On your first day visit the Three Pagodas, and the next day explore the old quarter, the Yen Family House and pop over to Xizhou village and watch a tie-dying demonstration. There will also be a cruise on Erhai Lake.
Days 14-15: Enchanting Dali
Day 16: Fly to Guilin
Transfer back to Kunming and fly to the attractive city of Guilin.
Day 16: Fly to Guilin
Days 17-18: Li River Cruise
Cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. Around every river bend, jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. The next day, spend the morning exploring paddy fields and dramatic karsts. This afternoon is at leisure. There are many activities available including cycling, rafting and walking if you wish (at your own expense). In the evening see the famous cormorant fishermen.
Days 17-18: Li River Cruise
Day 19: Fly to Hangzhou
Drive back to Guilin, visit the Pearl Museum and the Reed Flute Cave where you can admire colourful stalactites and stalagmites. Fly to Hangzhou.
Day 19: Fly to Hangzhou
Day 20-21: Imperial Hangzhou
Spend a morning wandering around the Temple of Inspired Seclusion and visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda before cruising on West Lake, admiring the gardens, pagodas and old bridges on its shores. The next day wander around a local market and visit a tea plantation before transferring to Suzhou.
Day 20-21: Imperial Hangzhou
Day 22: Suzhou’s Gardens
Suzhou’s centre has managed to retain a sense of quaint charm. Renowned for its gardens, visit two of the finest, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a typical example of the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. Cruise on the thousand-year-old Grand Canal and visit a local silk mill.
Day 22: Suzhou’s Gardens
Day 23: Travel to Shanghai
Travel to Shanghai. Visit Matchmaker's Corner where parents search for worth suitors for their children. This evening dine on a delicious meal of Shanghai cuisine.
Day 23: Travel to Shanghai
Day 24: 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 traditional Yu Gardens and the atmospheric alleys of the old town. Next enjoy a visit to the Shanghai Museum and a wander on People's Square. Admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.
Day 24: Explore Shanghai
Day 25: 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, Brisbane and Perth passengers may arrive home on Day 25.
Day 25: Depart Shanghai
Day 26: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option from $1,330
Single Cruise Cabin Option from $490
Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai) 25 days from $5,524 per person (includes tipping)
Adelaide passengers may require a stopover in Hong Kong at an additional cost
Darwin passengers may require a stopover in Singpaore at an additional cost
7, 24 Apr, 8, 15 & 22 Sep departures coincide with Golden Week celebrations and sightseeing may be affected.
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 have an extensive amount of time to explore China and wish to take in the most famous and iconic sights in depth. This tour also incorporates a Yangtze River cruise and an overnight train journey in China.

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