Chinese New Year 2017

Chinese New Year is the world's biggest festival and there is no better place to experience it than the great cities of China. Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and celebrate this special time of year like the locals do; with fireworks, family and temple fairs.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Hong Kong (3N) - Xian (2N) - Beijing (3N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2 Fly to Hong Kong
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Hong Kong. After an early morning arrival, visit the famous flower markets and enjoy a New Year's Eve celebratory dinner. (D)
Days 1-2 Fly to Hong Kong
Day 3 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Parade
Hong Kong vibrates with anticipation for the upcoming celebrations as you explore the colourful temples and streets of the city. In the evening take your reserved seats for the Tsim Sha Tsui Night Parade, to witness the truly astonishing variety of colourful floats, live music and dance performances as they pass. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Parade
Day 4 Victoria Harbour Fireworks
Aberdeen Fishing Village, home to rows of old-fashioned junks and house boats, before finishing at Victoria Peak for mesmerising views over skyscrapers, bays and islands. The afternoon is free to enjoy the New Year ambience, then gather on the harbour front to see one of the world’s greatest fireworks displays whilst cruising on Victoria Harbour. (B,L)
Day 4 Victoria Harbour Fireworks
Day 5 Lantern Festival
Fly to Xian, terminus of the Silk Road and the greatest of China’s ancient capitals. Dumpling making is considered an art form in China and you will learn the secret to making these intricate parcels as a master chef prepares them before your eyes. Xian is surrounded by an imposing and enormously wide wall which would have once been patrolled by Ming Dynasty soldiers and is now used as a city thoroughfare. Head to the walls in the evening and discover that they have been decorated in a riot of colours and lights for the dazzling Lantern Festival. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Lantern Festival
Day 6 Terracotta Warriors
Housed in three immense hangers, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis. Gaze over the ranks of crossbowmen, infantry, horses and chariots, all drawn up in traditional battle order, as your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers’ unique stories. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition where replicas of the statues are created. Take a walking tour of the narrow twisting streets of the Muslim Quarter; and sample the delicious, freshly cooked snacks whilst gaining an insight into the city’s fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. Later in the day visit a local family to learn about the ancient traditions of the Spring Festival – a time when millions of people travel thousands of miles to see their loved ones. This is a unique opportunity to discover how local people celebrate China’s most important event of the year. (B,L)
Day 6 Terracotta Warriors
Day 7 Ditan Temple Fair
Fly to Beijing, a city drenched in history and at the heart of China’s future. Join the locals with a stroll around the Ditan Temple Fair, sampling traditional lucky snacks and enjoying the entertainment. Later, enjoy a sumptuous Peking Duck dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Ditan Temple Fair
Day 8 Champagne on the Great Wall
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. The stark, yet magnificent landscape puts you in the shoes of those who guarded this incredible edifice hundreds of years ago. Stop for a glass of champagne and appreciate this magical moment. Head to the valleys of Longqing for the Ice and Snow Festival, a colourful display of ice lanterns, ice carvings and snow sculptures. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Champagne on the Great Wall
Day 9 Family Festivities
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City for an unsurpassed insight into China’s colourful past. In the evening meet up with a local family to learn more of what makes the Spring Festival so special as you create intricate paper decorations and paint elegant, traditional Chinese calligraphy. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Family Festivities
Day 10 Depart Beijing
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Beijing airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Day 10 Depart Beijing
Day 11 Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.

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 Hotel Room Option from $930
Land Only (Hong Kong to Beijing) 9 days from $6,107 per person
Additional charges: Tipping - US$47 and HKD280 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. 

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?

This tour is suitable for those who have a short period of time available to travel and who are interested in visiting three of China's main cities. This tour is also suitable for those who are interested in witnessing how the Chinese celebrate the New Year; with their traditions and activities.