Glories of China

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Combining the contrasting urban splendour of Shanghai, Beijing and Xian with the majestic sights of the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and extraordinary landscapes of the Li River, this tour showcases China’s most glorious highlights.

Places Visited

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

Days 1-2: Fly to Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai for a three night stay.
Days 1-2: Fly to Shanghai
Day 3: Explore Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10thcentury temples. Start with a visit to the peaceful Yu Garden, pass through the bustling old town. Visit a Silk Museum to see the process of silk creation from beginning to end. View the city at night from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise. This evening, enjoy a meal of Shanghai cuisine.
Day 3: Explore Shanghai
Day 4: Zhujiajiao
Take a visit to Zhujiajiao, one of Shanghai’s neighbouring sleepy water towns. Afterwards see the antiquities of the Shanghai Museum and unwind in the People's Square. Admire the magnificent architecture during a stroll along the Bund.
Day 4: Zhujiajiao
Day 5: Fly to Guilin
Fly to the scenic city of Guilin. Visit the Seven Star Park, which is not only home to two Giant Pandas but also has beautiful scenery to stroll through. You can also explore the spectacular formations of Seven Star Cave.
Day 5: Fly to Guilin
Day 6: Li River Cruise
Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming village of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen.
Day 6: Li River Cruise
Day 7: Yangshuo
Yangshuo sits in an exquisite rural location, surrounded by landscapes of jewel-green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the countryside before having an afternoon at leisure. There are many optional activities available including cycling and rafting (at your own expense), or take a relaxing walk through the town.
Day 7: Yangshuo
Day 8: Cormorant Fisherman
Return to Guilin by road. Stroll around Ronghu Lake and admire the Sun and Moon Pagodas – two towering examples of traditional Chinese-Buddhist architecture. The South China Pearl Museum covers the fascinating 1,700- year history of pearling in the South China Sea. There are also beautiful pieces available to buy. Later stop for a photo opportunity on the banks of the Li River and meet a cormorant fisherman.
Day 8: Cormorant Fisherman
Day 9: Tang Dynasty Dancing
Return to Guilin and fly to ancient Xian. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings before a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day 9: Tang Dynasty Dancing
Day 10: 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 sized warriors. Visit the workshop of the craftspeople who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Later stroll on the beautifully preserved 14thcentury city walls that enclose Xian’s old town.
Day 10: Terracotta Warriors
Day 11: Bullet train to Beijing
Board the bullet train to Beijing, the capital of China. Enjoy a fascinating rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs, and visit a local family to gain a deeper insight into Chinese culture and local customs.
Day 11: Bullet train to Beijing
Day 12: The Great Wall
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Visit a jade factory where you can understand the delicate process of carving this stone. In the afternoon wander amongst traditional Chinese gardens and view the exquisite architecture in the Summer Palace. Round off the day with an evening Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 12: The Great Wall
Day 13: Forbidden City
Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in, a dance class. Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. This evening, relish Beijing’s best known delicacy – Peking Duck.
Day 13: Forbidden City
Day 14: Depart Beijing
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Beijing airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Day 14: Depart Beijing
Day 15: 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 Supplement from $650
Land Only (Shanghai to Beijing) 13 days from $3,380 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - RMB450 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?

On this journey you'll discover the extraordinary landscapes of the Li River and Guilin as well as enjoying the highlights of China, including the urban splendour of Shanghai, Beijing and Xian on this popular tour.

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