Magnificent China

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China is home to a great number of magnificent and world-renowned sights. This tour incorporates them all – visit the adorable Giant Pandas and admire the astonishing Great Wall and Terracotta Army, then cruise along the mighty Yangtze and serene Li Rivers. With thousands of years of fascinatingly 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) - Xian (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Chengdu (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Shanghai (4N) - Australia

Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Fly with Cathay Pacific Airways to Beijing, China's historical capital, for a four night stay. Darwin 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 to discover a complex full of imperial riches. Later, enjoy a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs and meet a local family where you will learn about local culture and customs. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck.
Day 2: Imperial Beijing
Day 3: The Great Wall
Visit China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. There is no better way to appreciate the magnificence of this incredible structure than a walk along it. Visit the Jade factory then savour an afternoon in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace.
Day 3: The Great Wall
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
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. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
Day 4: Temple of Heaven
Day 5: Fly to Xian
Fly to Xian, the ancient former capital. See the delicate Little Wild Goose Pagoda before a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a Tang Dynasty dance show.
Day 5: Fly to Xian
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shihuang has long intrigued visitors. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of lifelike warriors. Take an afternoon stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town. Also explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter and the many Islamic food stalls.
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors
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 showcases a massive feat of engineering but as we 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 breath-taking panorama after another, and take a side trip to the attractive Shennong Stream or Goddess Stream and the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai.
Days 8-10: Yangtze River Cruise
Day 11: Ciqikou
After disembarking in Chongqing, explore old Ciqikou, whose narrow streets are perfect for a morning stroll to admire the traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu.
Day 11: Ciqikou
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. A short boat trip will give excellent views from the river. Return to Chengdu and sample a delicious Sichuan meal this evening.
Day 12: Grand Buddha of Leshan
Day 13: Giant Pandas
Visit Chengdu’s famous Panda Conservation Centre to see and learn about China’s celebrated bears in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. A look around the informative museum gives an overview of the Reserve’s breeding programme. Visit Matchmaker's Corner where parents search for worthy suitors for their children. Continue to the Shu Brocade Museum, then fly to the attractive city of Guilin.
Day 13: Giant Pandas
Day 14: 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 14: Li River Cruise
Day 15: Yangshuo
Yangshuo sits in a beautiful rural location, surrounded by green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the countryside before an afternoon at leisure. There are many optional activities available (at your own expense), including cycling, rafting and walking. In the evening see the famous cormorant fishermen.
Day 15: Yangshuo
Day 16: Reed Flute Cave
Drive back to Guilin to discover the colourful stalagmites and stalactites of the Reed Flute Cave. The South China Pearl Museum covers the fascinating 1,700 year history of pearling in the South China Sea with displays and demonstrations. There are also beautiful pieces available to buy. Fly to Shanghai for a four night stay.
Day 16: Reed Flute Cave
Day 17: Historic Suzhou
Travel to Suzhou. Suzhou is renowned for its gardens – visit one of its finest, the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Cruise the Grand Canal and visit a traditional silk mill before returning to Shanghai to dine on local cuisine.
Day 17: Historic Suzhou
Days 18-19: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens and atmospheric old town before admiring the architecture on the Bund. You will also visit the Shanghai Museum. The next day explore futuristic Pudong and view the city from the Huangpu River during an evening river cruise.
Days 18-19: Discover Shanghai
Day 20: Depart Shanghai
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Shanghai airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
Day 20: Depart Shanghai
Day 21: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option from $1,050
Single Cruise Cabin Option from $490
Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai) 20 days from $4,744 per person (includes tipping)
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 suitable for those with an extensive amount of time who wish to visit the comprehensive sights of China’s major cities and scenic areas. Touring is relaxed which allows time to appreciate the touring at each destination. This tour is suitable for those who wish to cruise on the Yangtze River.

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