Charming China


Experience the history of imperial Beijing to the bright lights of modern Shanghai, enjoy the very best China has to offer with time at leisure to further explore this fascinating country with your new-found friends.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Beijing (3N) - Xian (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Shanghai (3N) - New Zealand

DAYs 1-2: FLY TO BEIJING
Fly to China's historical capital, Beijing. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
DAY 3: THE GREAT WALL
Meet the group in the hotel lobby and together begin your first day of exploring China! We start with the iconic Great Wall, where we will take a walk on this incredible structure to truly appreciate its sheer magnificence and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it. This afternoon, stroll through the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace, discovering traditional Chinese gardens and exquisite architecture. Tonight, the group will dine on a local delicacy Peking Duck, (B,L,D)
DAY 4: FORBIDDEN CITY
Begin the day soaking up the harmonious ambience of the glorious Temple of Heaven, where we can mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they practise Tai Chi, dance or play cards. Together, we will take a ride through a traditional hutong neighbourhood on rickshaws, popping in to visit a family at home, to learn about living in the hutongs. We then head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square, before entering the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City to explore this complex full of imperial riches. (B,L)
DAY 5: BULLET TRAIN TO XIAN
Board the bullet train to the ancient city of Xian. On arrival, we will check into the hotel and freshen up before heading out for a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling dinner and a lively Tang Dynasty dance show. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: TERRACOTTA WARRIORS
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970's, the Terracotta Army of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. We spend the morning admiring the enigmatic ranks of warriors and horses, before stopping by the workshop of the craftsman who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Later the group will stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian's old town. (B,L)
DAY 7: TRAVEL TO GUILIN
Fly to the city of Guilin. Stroll around Ronghu Lake and see the Sun and Moon pagodas - two towering examples of traditional Chinese-Buddhist architecture. We will also take a walk down Guilin's pedestrian street that is lined with shops and restaurants. (B,L)
DAY 8: LI RIVER CRUISE
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River. Around every river bend is a view to take our breath away, as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fisherman. Arriving in the charming town of Yangshuo, we will have a look around the local markets and stroll along West Street together to get out bearings. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: EXPLORE YANGSHUO
The day begins with a shared Tai Chi experience before heading out into Yangshuo's breathtaking surroundings, exploring the landscapes of emerald-green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. The afternoon is at leisure to relax or enjoy an optional acitivity such as cycling, walking or bamboo rafting. (B)
DAY 10: CORMORANT FISHERMEN
Head back to Guilin by road, stopping en route on the banks of the Li River for a photo opportunity with a cormorant fisherman. Also visit the South China Pearl Factory which covers the fascinating 1,700 year old history of pearling and see the many displays and demonstrations on offer. (B,L)
DAY 11: FLY TO SHANGHAI
Take a short flight to the exuberant and cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, also known as the 'Paris of the East'. This evening, we will get an alternative view of Shanghai with a panoramic cruise on the Huangpu River that flows through the heart of the city. (B,D)
DAY 12: EXPLORE SHANGHAI
This morning, the group will visit the peaceful Yu Garden, pass through the charming old town and visit the Silk Factory. After lunch together, the afternoon is at leisure to relax or further explore this bustling city. This evening, we will all head to Shanghai Circus World to see the spectacular ERA Show, a mesmerising display of martial arts and acrobatics. (B,L)
DAY 13: SHANGHAI AT LEISURE
Today is a free day to spend in Shanghai as you wish. Choose to further explore this city with your new-found friends or choose from optional tours including a ride on the super speedy Maglev train or ascend Jin Mao Tower. This evening, the group will meet for a final dinner together, where we can reflect on the adventure we've shared. (B,D)
DAYS 13-14: FLY SHANGHAI TO NEW ZEALAND
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day. (B)

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 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai), 13 days From $4,280 per person twin share
Customary tipping paid locally RMB450
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 0800 936 3998. 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 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.


Why Book This Tour?

Designed exclusively for customers travelling solo, these tours provide a ready-made group of like-minded travellers to enjoy your holiday with. You will be looked after all the way by an expert guide who will involve you in the group activities, discovering the sights and experiencing cultural activities. A room of your own is guaranteed with no supplement to pay.

Share