Legends of China


Discover China's finest wonders on this lavish cross-country adventure. Experience natural grandeur and imperial treasures, witness man-made marvels and ultra-modern miracles, as you wind your way from Beijing to Shanghai in style.

Places Visited

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

Days 1-2: Fly to Beijing
Fly to the imperial capital of Beijing. On arrival you will be accompanied by one of our experienced National Escorts to the hotel.
Days 1-2: Fly to Beijing
Day 3: Explore Imperial Beijing
Begin the day like many locals with gentle exercise, with a private Tai Chi lesson in the Temple of Heaven park. Cross vast Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City. A monument to a dynastic past, the palace served as the home of emperors for 500 years. Your visit includes entrance to the intimate Treasure Hall, a glittering showcase of dynastic royal life. Dine on Peking Duck and enjoy an optional Chinese kung fu show (at your own expense). (B,L,D)
Day 3: Explore Imperial Beijing
Day 4: Champagne on the Great Wall
From the Gobi Desert to the Bohai Sea the Great Wall stretches thousands of miles. Visit the beautiful Mutianyu section, stopping at the ideal spot to enjoy a glass of champagne whilst admiring the views of the Wall as it snakes over craggy peaks. Return to Beijing via a jade factory, then take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs where you’ll stop for a lesson in calligraphy with a learned scholar. Later, enjoy a free evening at lively Houhai Lake. (B,L)
Day 4: Champagne on the Great Wall
Day 5: Ancient City Walls
Fly to Xian. Walk on the 14thcentury walls for an excellent overview of the city. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the facilities of your hotel. This evening watch a Tang Dynasty dance performance. (B,L)
Day 5: Ancient City Walls
Day 6: The Terracotta Warriors
View the enigmatic ranks of the Terracotta Warriors in the company of an expert who works at the site and who will put their story into context. Next, we have exclusively arranged for you to meet the man who discovered the Warriors – learn about the moment they were uncovered by talking to one of the farmers who stumbled upon them in 1974. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition before returning to the city. Later study with local dumpling chefs to learn the art of creating these cultural delicacies. (B,L,D)
Day 6: The Terracotta Warriors
Day 7: Beautiful Guilin
Explore Hanyangling Mausoleum. The artefacts recovered here, viewable from the glass walkways above, give a fascinating insight into daily life during the Western Han Dynasty. Fly to Guilin, a city set in dramatic limestone karst landscapes. (B,L)
Day 7: Beautiful Guilin
Day 8: Cruise the Li River
Cruise the Li River to Yangshuo. The magnificence of the limestone karsts and serenity of life on the riverbanks is a wonderful sight. On arrival, enjoy dinner at a vegetarian restaurant before ‘Impression Sanjie Liu’, a light spectacular that perfectly utilises the karst landscape as a theatre and the Li River as a stage. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Cruise the Li River
Day 9: At leisure in Yangshuo
Take a walking tour of Yangshuo's idyllic, karst studded countryside before taking the afternoon at leisure. (B)
Day 9: At leisure in Yangshuo
Day 10: Cormorant Fishermen
Return to Guilin by road. Stop for a photo opportunity on the banks of the Li River and meet a cormorant fisherman. Take a walking tour of the twin Sun and Moon Pagodas – set on a calm lake these towers are picturesque and elegant examples of Chinese Buddhist architecture. Enjoy a stroll around Guilin’s vibrant West Lake area before visiting the South China Pearl Museum to discover the fascinating 1,700-year history of pearling in the South China Sea. As well as displays and demonstrations there are also beautiful pieces to buy. (B)
Day 10: Cormorant Fishermen
Day 11: Embark Yangtze River Cruise
Fly to Chongqing, where you’ll visit China’s celebrated bear at Chongqing Zoo’s dedicated Panda House. Later, transfer to the wharf to board your Century cruise ship for the next three nights. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Captain's Welcome
The Yangtze has long played a pivotal role in the history, culture and economy of China – this voyage is the perfect way to gain an insight into its importance. The first excursion will be to Shibaozhai, a hilltop pagoda beside the river. This evening the captain will host a welcome reception followed by a lavish dinner at the à la carte restaurant.
Day 12: Captain's Welcome
Day 13: Dramatic Yangtze Gorges
Prepare for breathtaking vistas as you sail through the Wu and Qutang Gorges before cruising along the scenic Shennong Stream on a sampan to further explore. Back on board; expand your knowledge on the dam project with a presentation by the ship’s river guide.
Day 13: Dramatic Yangtze Gorges
Day 14: Three Gorges Dam Project
This massive feat of engineering saw the century-old dreams of Chinese luminaries come to fruition. Created to harness the power of the Yangtze, it is difficult not to be awestruck as you stand on the viewing platform. Also, visit the Three Gorges Dam exhibition centre. Disembark and transfer to Wuhan and fly to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. (B,L)
Day 14: Three Gorges Dam Project
Day 15: Zhujiajiao water town
The 1,700 year old Zhujiajiao water town is a typical example of rustic Chinese charm, boasting old stone bridges, woodpanelled houses and numerous atmospheric waterways. Return to Shanghai where the afternoon is free, or watch an acrobatics show (at your own expense). (B,L)
Day 15: Zhujiajiao water town
Day 16: Stylish Shanghai
Walk in the Yu Gardens, a classic example of traditional Chinese horticulture. Visit the colonial Bund, the Silk Museum and the Old Town, before admiring the collections of the Shanghai Museum. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening before toasting the end of the tour with a cocktail at Cloud 9 in Jin Mao Tower with views of the Pudong skyline. (B,L,D)
Day 16: Stylish Shanghai
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
This morning is at leisure before you are transferred to Shanghai airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand. (B)
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
Day 18: 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 $3,670
Land Only (Beijing - Shanghai) 16 days from $8,780 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - RMB1190 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
18 Sep 2019 and 16 Sep 2020 departures coincides with golden Week celcbrations 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. 

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?

Experience natural grandeur and imperial treasures, witness miracles, as you make your way from Beijing to Shanghai in style. Also included is a deluxe cruise on the Yangtze River.

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