Traveller Readers Tour - China


As Featured In
The Sydney Morning Herald & The Melbourne Age

Be part of the inaugural Traveller Readers Tour, in association with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, as we celebrate the first China-Australia Year of Tourism. This remarkable trip includes China's most spectacular destinations, along with guest appearances from Wendy Wu herself, Kirsty Needham, China Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and Dr Geoff Raby, former Australian ambassador to China.

From Beijing to Shanghai, this tour will be lead by China experts from a range of backgrounds and includes visits to the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Yangtze River and more.

Each participant will be offered the choice of one of these exclusive experiences as a complimentary inclusion. Bookings made prior to February 20, 2017,will receive a second bonus exclusive experience.

Special Guests

Join Kirsty Needham and Wendy Wu for dinner in Beijing
Enjoy a Shanghai Huangpu River cruise with Dr Geoff Raby and Wendy Wu
Discover the beauty of the Li River with Anthony Dennis and Wendy Wu

Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Fly to Beijing, China's capital city. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. This evening, there will be a welcome briefing at the hotel with your National Escort.
Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Day 2: Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven
Stroll through Tiananmen Square, past Chairman Mao's Mausoleum and into the imperial magnificence of the Forbidden City. Here you will explore the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China.

Continue to the Temple of Heaven, a tranquil space in the heart of the city that perfectly illustrates the harmony of Confucian design. Admire the symmetrical beauty of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and discover more about the ritual worship performed here. Join Kirsty and Wendy for dinner where Kirsty will share her insights into this magnificent city.
Day 2: Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven
Day 3: Great Wall of China at Mutianyu
Walk on the Great Wall to appreciate 2,000 years of historical significance whilst admiring the panoramic views. The Great Wall is China’s most iconic attraction, which stretches over 4,000 miles from the Yellow Sea on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west.

You will visit Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections of the wall, providing a glimpse of how the structure would have looked when it was first built to keep out the Mongol hordes. Reached by a short cable car ride, the views from the top over the surrounding mountains are awe-inspiring. Our evening meal includes the delicious local delicacy, Peking Duck.
Day 3: Great Wall of China at Mutianyu
Day 4: Silk Markets & 798 Art District
Spend today exploring two of Dr Geoff Raby's favourite places in Beijing; the Silk Markets, a shopper's paradise where you will find everything from fashion, to jewellery, electronics and of course silk items! Continue onto the 798 Art District, otherwise known as Dashanzi. This unique district has been transformed from an industrial area into an urban and edgy hotspot filled with galleries, museums and art exhibitions. Later, you will have a photo opportunity at some of the sites of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Day 5: Fly to Xian
Fly to Xian, the former ancient capital and visit the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian's old town.
Day 5: Fly to Xian
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors with Archaeologist
Visit one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century – the Terracotta Warriors. The figures were created over 2,000 years ago to accompany Emperor Qin Shi Huang into the afterlife. For a deeper understanding of the on-going work at this site, we will meet with one of the archaeologists who will share their historical insights.

Return to Xian and walk through the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling meal followed by a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors with Archaeologist
Day 7: Fly to Guilin
Spend your morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight to Guilin, a city at the heart of spectacular karst formations of the Li River valley.
Day 7: Fly to Guilin
Day 8: Li River Cruise
Join Anthony and Wendy as you embark on a leisurely cruise through the poetic landscapes of the Li River, winding between towering limestone karst peaks and sleepy countryside. Look out for weathered farmers tending their fields, fishermen angling for their daily catch and water buffalo wallowing in the shallows, all watched over by the dramatic geology for which Yangshuo is famed. On arrival in Yangshuo, take some time to explore before driving through the countryside back to Guilin.
Day 8: Li River Cruise
Day 9: Panda House & embark your Yangtze River cruise
Transfer to Guilin airport for your flight to Chongqing. You will have the opportunity to visit two of Anthony's favourite places: the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo to see China's celebrated icon up close – you may even be lucky enough to see the twin pandas who recently made their debut. Afterwards explore the vibrant streets of the Old Town of Ciqikou before enjoying dinner. Board your Yangtze River Cruise ship.
Day 9: Panda House & embark your Yangtze River cruise
Day 10: Fengdu Ghost City & Captain's Reception
Visit the impressivewooden Pagoda of Shibaozhai or the Ghost City of Fengdu. In the afternoon enjoy a reception with the captain and the cruise director and learn about life on the river.
Day 10: Fengdu Ghost City & Captain's Reception
Day 11: Three Gorges & Goddess Stream
Enter the dramatic Three Gorges, passing through Qutang,Wu and Xiling Gorges. Later transfer to a smaller vessel for a side trip along the Goddess or Shennong Stream, both narrow, cliff-lined tributaries of the Yangtze. In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks.
Day 11: Three Gorges & Goddess Stream
Day 12: Three Gorges Dam
Visit the Three Gorges Dam, one of the largest engineering projects in the world. Disembark the cruise ship, drive to Wuhan and fly to Shanghai.
Day 12: Three Gorges Dam
Day 13: Shanghai & French Concession
Spend the daywandering through the tree-lined streets of Shanghai's French Concession, and the antiquities of the Shanghai Museum.
Day 13: Shanghai & French Concession
Day 14: Explore Shanghai
Visit theYu Garden, a classical example of Chinese horticulture, before strolling through Shanghai's old town. Walk along the Bund, learn about the fascinating history of the area and admire the Art Deco buildings.

This evening, join Geoff and Wendy on a panoramic Huangpu River cruise viewing the spectacular lights of Shanghai.
Day 14: Explore Shanghai
Day 15-16: Shanghai to Australia
Fly overnight to Sydney/Melbourne, arriving home the following day.
Day 15-16: Shanghai to Australia

Tour prices are per person, twin share

Additional Price Information:

Additional terms and conditions
Tour is subject to availability. Departs Sydney and Melbourne. Prices from other departure cities available on application.
Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or special.
Airline fuel surcharge and tipping included (subject to change)
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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 visas in the price of our tour. 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. Calls may cost £1 per minute to the UK, plus a 10% service charge, but will vary by location. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
 
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.

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?

Experience China with not one, but four experts.


Anthony Dennis
National Travel Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.


Dr Geoff Raby
Australia's ambassador to China between 2007 and 2011.


Kirsty Needham
China Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age


Wendy Wu
Founder and chairperson of Wendy Wu Tours.

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