Land of the Dragon


Take a relaxed journey through the great sights of China, walking on the Great Wall, admiring the Terracotta Warriors and visiting with the Giant Pandas, while also having plenty of free time and optional excursions to make the holiday your very own.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Beijing (4N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Guilin (2N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Chengdu (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (3N) - Shanghai (3N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: Fly to Beijing
Fly to Beijing, China's historic capital.
Days 1-2: Fly to Beijing
Day 3: Imperial Beijing
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Visit Yandaixiejie, where you’ll have some free time to wander the hutongs. These narrow alleys offer an authentic glimpse of the old Beijing. Sit down for lunch with one of the families who call the hutongs home. This evening enjoy some free time in the vibrant Houhai district. (B,L)
Day 3: Imperial Beijing
Day 4: Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Wangfujing
This particularly scenic section of the wall is reached by boat, and boasts spectacular views from the top. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring colourful Wangfujing market, or enjoy an optional Peking Duck dinner (at own expense). (B,L)
Day 4: Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Wangfujing
Day 5: Summer Palace
Explore the beautifully designed grounds of the Summer Palace including the Long Corridor and the Marble Boat. Spend time strolling around pretty Kunming Lake and walk up wooded Longevity Hill. Enjoy a photo stop at the Olympic Park. (B)
Day 5: Summer Palace
Day 6: Temple of Heaven
Visit the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with Tai Chi, dancing and cards in a flurry of sociable activity. Take the overnight train to Xian. (B,L)
Day 6: Temple of Heaven
Day 7: Terracotta Warriors
Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China’s first Emperor. Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, while you are introduced to these lifelike soldiers’ fascinating story. Take a walking tour of the Muslim Quarter and maybe sample some of the freshly cooked snacks. With the evening free, why not enjoy a cold beer in Defu Lane or take an optional tour of the city by night (at own expense). (B,L)
Day 7: Terracotta Warriors
Day 8: Xian at leisure
Today is a day at leisure to explore Xian. There is the option to take a gentle cycle ride that will take you the 14km around Xian’s beautifully preserved city wall, past many smiling locals (at own expense). (B)
Day 8: Xian at leisure
Day 9: Fly to Guilin
Fly to Guilin. On arrival explore the magnificent formations of the Reed Flute Cave and browse the displays of the South China Pearl Museum. Later, take a late afternoon stroll around the picturesque Ronghu and Shanhu lakes, mingling with the local people as you go, then head to the vibrant Zhengyang Pedestrian Street where you are free to enjoy dinner and drinks. (B)
Day 9: Fly to Guilin
Day 10: Guilin at leisure
Today there is an option to take a four-hour hike in the stunning rice terraces of Longji (at own expense). Walk past small hamlets and picture-postcard views of the terraces which cover the landscape in intricate patterns. Otherwise, spend more time in Guilin. (B)
Day 11: Li River cruise
Today there is an option to take a four-hour hike in the stunning rice terraces of Longji (at own expense). Walk past small hamlets and picture-postcard views of the terraces which cover the landscape in intricate patterns. Otherwise, spend more time in Guilin. (B)
Day 11: Li River cruise
Day 12: Yangshuo Tai Chi
Start the day with a relaxing yet invigorating session of Tai Chi, taking time with a master to learn this ancient martial art. You may wish to join an optional bamboo-rafting trip along the Yulong River or cycle through the countryside for one last, tranquil jaunt in Yangshuo (at own expense). (B)
Day 12: Yangshuo Tai Chi
Day 13: Chengdu like a local
Return to Guilin and fly to Chengdu. Walk around People’s Park, a hive of activity. See beautiful golden koi, locals dancing and practicing Tai Chi. Visit a teahouse and Matchmaker’s Corner. The rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy an optional hot pot dinner and 'face changing' show (at own expense). (B,L)
Day 13: Chengdu like a local
Day 14: Chengdu at leisure
Today is a day at leisure in Chengdu, with the option of visiting the old town of Pingle (at own expense). Take time to walk through its maze of teahouse-lined streets before viewing the bamboo forest from above on the Jinji Suspended Rope Bridge. (B)
Day 14: Chengdu at leisure
Day 15: Giant Pandas
Spend the morning visiting with the Giant Pandas of Chengdu Research Base. Here you can observe these gorgeous creatures lounging, playing and chomping through piles of bamboo in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Drive to Chongqing and board your Yangtze cruise vessel (B,D).
Day 15: Giant Pandas
Days 16-17: Yangtze cruise
As you cruise downstream the Yangtze nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. A two-day voyage along China’s riverine treasure is a chance to relax and enjoy a slower pace, whilst absorbing one breathtaking panorama after another. (B,L,D)
Days 16-17: Yangtze cruise
Day 18: Fly to Shanghai
Visit Three Gorges Dam. Disembark, transfer to Wuhan and fly to Shanghai. (B,L)
Day 18: Fly to Shanghai
Day 19: Shanghainese Shanghai
Wake up to the buzz of Shanghai, and take a breakfast walking tour between coruscating skyscrapers and traditional streets. Walk through the city’s most fascinating districts, marvelling at monuments and rickety buildings before enjoying breakfast as the locals do – sample pancakes, fried bread sticks and tofu. Visit Yu Garden, the old town and the Silk Museum before a cruise down the Huangpu River, as you are serenaded by the neon lights of Pudong. (B)
Day 19: Shanghainese Shanghai
Day 20: Shanghai at leisure
Enjoy a day at leisure in Shanghai. Alternatively, take an optional tour to Zhujiajiao (at your own expense), one of Shanghai’s sleepy water towns, built on an old canal system once used to transport goods all over China. The town’s narrow alleyways exude old-world charm, whilst the waterways are lined with ancient buildings and crossed by stone bridges. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner of authentic Shanghainese cuisine. (B,D)
Day 20: Shanghai at leisure
Day 21: Depart Shanghai
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Shanghai airport to board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home to same or following day. (B)
Day 21: Depart Shanghai
Day 22: 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 $1,400
Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai) 20 days from $5,280 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - RMB1070 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
05 Oct 2020 departure coincides with Golden Week and sightseeing may be affected.
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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