China Splendour

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Combine the wonders of the superb cities of stylish Shanghai, Beijing and ancient Xian, with the beauty of the Black Mountain Valley, a magnificent and delightfully undiscovered example of China's nature.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Shanghai (2N) - Beijing (3N) - Xian (2N) - Wulong (2N) - Chengdu (3N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: Fly to Shanghai
Fly to the exuberant city of Shanghai, called ‘the Paris of the East’, for a two-night stay.
Days 1-2: Fly to Shanghai
Day 3: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th Century temples. Visit the Yu Garden, stop in the old town and admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. Later, learn about the age-old silk production process at the Silk Factory, from the cultivation of silkworms up to creating the final piece. This evening, view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise and enjoy a delicious meal of traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
Day 3: Discover Shanghai
Day 4: Fly to Beijing
Fly to Beijing, China’s fascinating capital. Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape. This evening savour Beijing’s best known delicacy – Peking Duck.
Day 4: Fly to Beijing
Day 5: Imperial Beijing
Heading to Beijing's symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City – a monument to China's dynastic past. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. An evening of Chinese acrobatics rounds off the day.
Day 5: Imperial Beijing
Day 6: Great Wall
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. An astounding feat of construction, there is no better way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall and the dramatic scenery that it crosses than a fascinating walk along it. Visit a jade factory then relax in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you explore traditional Chinese gardens and view exquisite architecture.
Day 6: Great Wall
Day 7: Ancient Xian
Fly to Xian, historic former capital. Visit the lovely Little Wild Goose Pagoda and admire the priceless treasures of the Shaanxi Museum. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings before a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day 7: Ancient Xian
Day 8: Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-like warriors. Visit the workshop of the craftspeople who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and choose to purchase your own little warrior to take home. Later visit the lovely Little Wild Goose Pagoda, then soak up the atmosphere in the narrow alleyways of the Muslim Quarter.
Day 8: Terracotta Warriors
Days 9: Xian via Chongqing to Wulong
Transfer to the airport for your 1-and-a-half-hour flight to Chongqing. On arrival, you will be transferred by coach on a 3-hour journey to Wulong Karst National Geology Park – an area of stunning natural scenery with towering limestone karsts, deep gorges, caves and natural bridges. The rest of the day is at leisure
Days 9: Xian via Chongqing to Wulong
Day 10: Three Natural Bridges & Longshuixia Fissure
This morning you will visit Three Natural Bridges National Park, a rare geological wonder consisting of three natural karst bridges: Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Bridge and Heilong Bridge. Continue to Longshuixia Fissure, a narrow fault line that has been carved out by the river. The gorge is 5km long and 500m deep. You will climb down several hundred steps, then travel further down by elevator before walking several hundred steps to the bottom of the gorge.
Day 10: Three Natural Bridges & Longshuixia Fissure
Day 11: Wulong via Chongqing to Chengdu
This morning, transfer by coach back to Chongqing. Have a simple lunch near the railway station before jumping on the bullet train for a 2-3-hour journey to Chengdu. On arrival, the remainder of the day will be at leisure.
Day 11: Wulong via Chongqing to Chengdu
Day 12: Giant Pandas
Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where you can get up close to China’s celebrated bears, as they chomp through piles of bamboo, in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Walk around People's Park, a hive of activity where locals dance and practice Tai Chi and most interesting of all, spend time in Matchmaker's Corner. Browse the Shu Brocade Museum and dine on delicious Sichuan cuisine this evening. Later, there is an optional performance of Sichuan Opera (at your own expense).
Day 12: Giant Pandas
Day 13: Grand Buddha of Leshan
Travel to Leshan to the Grand Buddha which, at 71 metres-tall, is the world’s largest stonecarved Buddhist monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the Buddha up close from the adjoining park, then take a short boat trip on the river for even better views of the statue.
Day 13: Grand Buddha of Leshan
Day 14:Depart Chengdu
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Chengdu airport to board your flight to Australia, arriving home to same or following day.
Day 14:Depart Chengdu

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:


Single Supplement from $900
Land Only (Shanghai to Chengdu) 13 days from $3,680 pp
Additional charges: Customary tipping RMB480 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
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. 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 New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, 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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Why Book This Tour?

This exciting itinerary combines the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and ancient Xian, with the beauty of Wulong National Park, a magnificent and undiscovered example of China's nature. A good level of fitness is required in Wulong National Park

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