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Wonders of China (15 days) - June 2017 - NEW DEPARTURE

Price A$5,997


Destination

BeijingXi'anChengduGuilinShanghai


Category
Group Tours

Duration
15 days 14 nights
Tour Details

China: 6 - 20 June 2017 A$5,997 plus airfares

For many people, travelling to China is a once in a lifetime dream.

Whether it’s to uncover the fascinating Terracotta Warriors, to explore the Forbidden City or to walk the historic and awe inspiring Great Wall, there are sights and experiences to delight and amaze every traveller that makes the journey to this magical destination.

So if China is on your wish list, then join us in 2017 on our dedicated solo traveller tour to this intriguing country.

We start in Beijing and stay for 4 nights to savour the highlights of this ancient city. You’ll see Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the world famous Great Wall and step back in time with a rickshaw ride through the Hutong area.

From Beijing we head to Xi’an for 2 nights, home of the famous Terracotta Warriors and horses. Our journey then takes us to Chengdu where we’ll visit the National Park and see first hand the wonderful work being done to save the panda from extinction.

From here we head off to Guilin for 2 nights, where we’ll explore the breathtaking Li River as we meander to the charming village of Yansghuo, taking in the lush rural scenes as we go. From Guilin we fly to the bustling capital of Shanghai, for a series of city tours and free time during our final 3 nights in China.

That’s 15 days of incredible experiences on an adventure you’ll never forget.

Will you join us?

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

You’ll be met at Beijing International Airport and transferred to your hotel. The day is then free for you to explore, before this evening’s tour briefing and welcome dinner at your hotel.

Accommodation: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Meals : Dinner
Day 2: Beijing Full Day Tour

After breakfast we start the day by visiting Tian’anmen Square, the biggest square in the world and one of the most iconic landmarks in China. Next we enter the Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace of the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties and the seat of Chinese political power for almost 500 years. After lunch we visit the Temple of Heaven, built from 1406 to 1420 and known for being one of the largest monuments in the world dedicated to prayer. Where better to join some of the locals and learn some basic movements of Tai Chi? On our way back to the hotel, we’ll stop and enjoy the many wonders of the Wangfujing Night Market, where you’ll find a plethora of strange food to challenge your taste buds. Cockroach or scorpion supper anyone?

Accommodation: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Beijing Full Day Tour

Today we head off to one of the world’s most spectacular sights, the Great Wall of China. Enjoy amazing views of the surrounding landscape as you scale the iconic walls, spanning more than 6000km across China. We’ll visit the Mutianyu section of the wall, where you’ll get a chance to hike along the wall’s high ridges and explore its ancient watchtowers, dating back more than 2000 years. After your hike, settle down for a well earned lunch at a local restaurant, while savouring the superb views of the countryside. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not glide down the wall on a toboggan or take a ride on the incredibly scenic cable car. On our way back to Beijing in the afternoon, we’ll stop to relive the excitement of the 2008 Olympic Games with a trip to the famous stadiums, the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. Plenty of photo opportunities! 

Accommodation: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Beijing Half Day Tour

After breakfast, we set off on a tour of one of the largest and best preserved temples in Beijing, the Yonghe Gong Temple. Built in the seventeenth century as the residence of Emperor Yong Zheng, it became a lamasery in 1744, housing monks from Tibet and Inner Mongolia and remains a functioning Tibetan Buddhist centre to this day. 

Accommodation: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 5: Beijing - Xi'an

Prior to our flight to Xi’an, we hit the streets for a half day tour of the Hutong area, the older side of Beijing where people still live. We’ll take a fascinating rickshaw ride through the warren of traditional streets, stopping to meet a local family and visit a food market. Each rickshaw has a driver and seats for two people. Next we travel to Nanluoguxiang Road, a street where 16 original Hutongs dating back to the Yuan Dynasty still remain. We then stop at the famous Silk Market where you’ll get the opportunity to test your bargaining skills! Later we transfer to the airport for our flight to the intriguing Xi’an, one of China’s most famous cities and synonymous with the mysterious Terracotta Army. Upon arrival at Xi’an airport, we’ll be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel.

Accommodation: Xi’an Ramada Bell Tower (Superior Room) 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6: Xi'an Full Day Tour

In the morning we’ll visit the world famous Terracotta Warriors, one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Discovered by chance by a local peasant in 1974, the museum has an area of 20,000 square meters and holds over 8,000 terracotta soldiers and horses, each one with a distinct stance and face. After lunch we head off to the Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque, the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosque in China. We also take in the Wall of Xi’an, one of the largest and among the most ancient military defense systems in the world.

Accommodation: Xi’an Ramada Bell Tower (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Xi'an - Chengdu

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to the bustling metropolis of Chengdu. Home to more than 250 of China’s Fortune 500 companies, this is also the birthplace of the ‘Nong Jia Le’ or ‘happy rural homes’ business model, whereby suburban and rural residents turn their homes into restaurants and entertainment spaces for city dwellers. After being met at the airport and transferred to our hotel, in the afternoon we take a trip to Qingyang Palace, the oldest and the largest in Chengdu. We stop off at one of the hundreds of traditional tea houses in the city and have a cuppa with the locals! 

Accommodation: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Chengdu (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Chengdu - Guilin

This morning we head off to the National Park Chengdu Panda Base and see first hand the work underway to save the adorable panda from extinction. The site is home to more than 80 pandas. You’ll get the chance to observe the animals eating, playing and enjoying a carefully maintained habitat that closely resembles their natural one. Then, learn how scientists and ecologists are working to protect what few pandas remain in the wild, while expanding the captive population. Following our visit to the National Park we transfer to Chengdu International Airport for our flight to the scenic city of Guilin.

Accommodation: Grand Link Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9: Guilin Full Day Tour

Today we visit Elephant Trunk Hill, located at the confluence of the Li River and Peach Blossom River in the south central area of Guilin City. Called so because it looks like a giant elephant stretching its trunk and drinking water from the river, the hill is the symbol of Guilin and its karst landscape. You’ll also see the fascinating Fubo Hill. Also known as the ‘Wave-Subduing Hill’ and situated on the western bank of the Li River, it towers 213 meters high, with 62 metres above the water and the rest below. Because the water is always blocked here and eddied, the hill is considered to have the power of subduing waves. We then head to the spectacular Reed Flute Cave. Taking its name from the reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes, this impressive grotto houses a world of stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations, lit magically by multicoloured lights. 

Accommodation: Grand Link Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Guilin River Cruise

A cruise on the Li River is the highlight of many people’s trips to China and today you’ll get to experience the delight for yourself as we take a relaxed journey to the charming village of Yangshuo. Around every bend of this stunning river is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. Make sure you keep your camera handy at all times!

Accommodation: Grand Link Hotel (Superior Room) 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Guilin - Shanghai

Today we make our way to Shanghai, the bustling business and financial capital of China. Upon arrival at Pudong Airport, we’ll be greeted by our local guide before boarding the Maglev, Shanghai’s flagship, high-speed train. Watch as the speed dial soars to 430km per hour as you hurtle towards the heart of China’s commercial centre. After a short subway trip, we’ll arrive in the Pudong district, home to some of Shanghai’s most impressive skyscrapers. Once an empty marsh inhabited by water buffalo, the area is now one of the most important business districts in Asia, with new skyscrapers sprouting along the Huangpu River every year.

Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast
Day 12: Shanghai

In the morning, we visit the Longhua Temple, the oldest temple in the city and the best example of Buddhist architecture, with a history of more than 1,000 years. Next we’ll enjoy a respite from bustling city life as we explore the tranquil Yuyuan Garden. This mandarin garden is located in the old part of Shanghai, with its many small shops carrying souvenirs and trinkets of all kinds. After lunch we stroll along the famous Bund and enjoy a wonderful view of the Huangpu River. Next it’s a trip to Xintiandi with its reconstituted traditional ‘shikumen’ (stone gate) houses and narrow alleys, home to book stores, cafes, restaurants and shopping malls. Our final visit for the day is to the Walixiang museum where you can discover exactly how the Shanghainese people used to live. 

Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: Shanghai Shopping Tour

Today’s all about shopping! And it’s up to you where you go and what you buy. You’ll be dropped off in the Putong area at 10am and picked up again at 3pm for the return trip to the hotel. 

Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast
Day 14: Shanghai

Your last day on tour is a free day for you to explore this fascinating city for yourself. Your Two’s a Crowd tour host and guide will have plenty of suggestions for what you can get up to!

Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15: Shanghai

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for your flight home or onto further adventures.

Meals : Breakfast

Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel: The Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel Beijing is ideally situated on East Chang An Street, in the heart of the golden area of the capital Beijing, surrounded by major business centers, tourist attractions, and the Embassy area. It was opened in 1997 and renovated in 2001. Only 40 minutes from the airport, the hotel features 280 elegant and comfortable rooms over 10 floors. Each room on the Homi Floor and Classical Floor features modern facilities including central air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini-bar, IDD telephone, in-room safe, and hair-dryer.

Xi’an Ramada Bell Tower Hotel: Centrally located, the Xi'an Ramada Bell Tower Hotel sits in a unique location, adjacent to Xi'an's well known clock tower. This modern, stylish, four star hotel has all the facilities you would expect of a hotel in this class. Spanning 15 floors, the hotel is home to a stylish recreation centre, featuring massage rooms, fitness facilities, a high end spa and relaxing lounge area. You'll also find the Korea House Cafe serving a range of Western, Chinese and Japanese dishes and a Lobby Bar to relax in.

Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Chengdu: This four-star hotel with oriental charm is located in the Chunxi Road Commercial Circle, the downtown area of Chengdu. With three restaurants to take your pick from, you'll be spoilt for choice. As well as wifi and a range of business facitities, there's also a fitness centre, pool, bar and traditional tea house, with a variety of rooms all furnished in a different style.

Grand Link Hotel: The Grand Link Hotel is located on the bank of Li River in the beautiful city of Guilin, famous for having the 'best scenery in China'. With views of Elephant Trunk Hill across the river it features 581 deluxe guestrooms and suites as well as free wifi, a shop, tourist centre, swimming pool and fitness centre. You'll also find an array of restaurants, including the Royal Orchid Café, Hexi Chinese Restaurant and Balmy Restaurant, serving dishes inspired by food from Europe, the United States, Thailand and Japan.

Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel: This luxurious Shanghai hotel features 333 rooms, 5 restaurants and bars, a stunning health spa and gym and an indoor heated swimming pool. Relax, unwind and pamper yourself with a soothing massage, an invigorating spa treatment or simply sit back and relax in the sauna. The guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, brimming with the amenities you'd expect from a four star establishment.

Weather

Normally, the most comfortable season of the year is early autumn (September to early October). During that period, temperatures are reasonable throughout China (about 10 - 22 degrees) with a limited amount of rain.

Money

Mainland China uses Renminbi, which translates to "the People’s Money". Other, common, terms for the Renminbi, RMB in shortened form, are yuan, pronounced "you-on", or kuai, pronounced "kwhy". 

In larger cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, there are many ATMs accepting foreign bank cards in major shopping centers and international hotels.

These ATMs will have signage that states only foreign cards can be used. Some Chinese bank branded ATMs will also accept foreign cards but it can be hit or miss. The ATM will have signage illustrating what cards are accepted.

All ATMs will remit RMB (Chinese currency) notes. Remember that if you want to exchange your RMB back to your home currency on the way out (e.g. at the airport), you’ll need to keep the ATM or bank receipt or the exchange won’t be accepted.

Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in China but you can't always depend on being able to pay with them. Certainly at international-standard hotels, upscale restaurants and shops and tourist agents you will be able to use them. However, ask before you purchase to ensure no commission is added on to your purchase.

Electricity

The electricity in China is generally 220V, 50HZ, AC. A transformer, which can be bought in China for CNY100-200, is necessary. Most of the hotels in China have both 110V and 220V electrical outlets in the bathrooms, though in guest rooms usually only 220V sockets are available.

Visas

A visa is required for all travellers to China whether for tourism, business, employment or study purposes. You should ensure that you obtain the appropriate visa for the purpose of your visit. It is very difficult to obtain a visa at Chinese border entry points.

The website of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Australia has detailed visa information for Australians planning travel to China.

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Remember we are a full service travel company. We can provide a competitive quote and book  your airfare no matter where you are from. Just leave it to us.

Tour inclusions:

  • Transport as described in the itinerary (fully insured vehicle with heating and air conditioning and professional driver).

  • 14 nights quality hotel accommodation in your own room — always!

  • English speaking tour guides as per itinerary.

  • Entrance fees to the attractions as per itinerary. We include general admission tickets (there might be some optional paying zones inside some of the attractions, not included).

  • All the transfers hotel/airport are with tour guide assistance.

  • Air tickets, economy class: 4 tickets, Beijing - Xi’an/Xi’an - Chengdu/ Chengdu - Guilin/Guilin - Shanghai.

  • Maglev train: for airport transfers in or out of the city of Shanghai, if the flight schedule permits, first-class seat.

  • Meals as per itinerary: 13 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners. Dinners are held in hand-picked authentic restaurants.

  • Unlimited bottles of water in the coach.

  • Local insurance and all permits.

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia.

  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy. Additional premium may be payable if over 59 years, have

Tour exclusions:

  • Meals not specifed in the itinerary.

  • Items of a personal nature.

  • International airfares (we can arrange flights on your behalf).

  • Entry visa for China (we can advise and assist with obtaining a visa)

  • Tips for guides, drivers and porters (suggested tips are US$8 for guide and US$4 for driver per day). Tips can be offered to guides/ drivers at your discretion, but they are not compulsory.

Pricing correct as at 1/1/2017 and is subject to change until paid in full.

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