Magnificent China

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China is home to a great number of magnificent and world-renowned sights. This tour incorporates them all – visit the pandas and admire the Great Wall and Terracotta Army, then cruise along the Yangtze and Li Rivers.

Places Visited

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

Days 1-2: Fly to Beijing
Fly s to Beijing, China's historical capital, for a four night stay.
Day 3: Imperial Beijing
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City to discover a complex full of imperial riches. Later, enjoy a rickshaw ride through the warren like hutongs and visit a local family to gain a deeper insight into Chinese culture and local customs. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck.
Day 3: Imperial Beijing
Day 4: The Great Wall
Visit China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. There is no better way to appreciate this incredible structure than a walk along it. Visit a jade factory then savour an afternoon in the idyllic Summer Palace. This evening there is an option to see Kung Fu masters in action (at your own expense).
Day 4: The Great Wall
Day 5: Temple of Heaven
Spend the morning soaking up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape and mingle with the locals as they practise Tai Chi, dance or play cards.
Day 5: Temple of Heaven
Day 6: Fly to Xian
Fly to Xian, the ancient former capital. See the delicate Little Wild Goose Pagoda, before a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a Tang Dynasty dance show.
Day 6: Fly to Xian
Day 7: Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has long intrigued visitors. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-like warriors and the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition where replicas of the statues are created. Next, take an afternoon stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town. Also, explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter and the many Islamic food stalls.
Day 7: Terracotta Warriors
Day 8: Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board your Yangtze River cruise vessel.
Day 8: Fly to Wuhan
Days 9-11: Yangtze River Cruise
The Three Gorges Dam showcases a massive feat of engineering but as we cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another, and take side trips such as the attractive Shennong Stream and Shibaozhai.
Days 9-11: Yangtze River Cruise
Day 12: Old Ciqikou to Chengdu
Disembark in Chongqing and explore old Ciqikou, where the narrow streets are perfect for a stroll to admire the traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu.
Day 12:  Old Ciqikou to Chengdu
Day 13: Giant Pandas
Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see and learn about China’s celebrated icons in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Stroll through the vibrant People’s Park with a stop at Matchmaker’s Corner, where parents search for worthy suitors for their children, and a hot tea at a traditional tea house. Dine on delicious Sichuan food for dinner.
Day 13: Giant Pandas
Day 14: Chengdu - Guilin
Enjoy a day at leisure until transferring to the airport for your evening flight to Guilin.
Day 14: Chengdu - Guilin
Day 15: 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 15: Li River Cruise
Day 16: Yangshuo
Yangshuo sits in a beautiful rural location, surrounded by green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts. Spend the morning exploring the countryside and stop for a photo opportunity on the banks of the Li River to meet a cormorant fisherman. This afternoon is 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 16: Yangshuo
Day 17: Discover Guilin
Travel back to Guilin by road and visit the Reed Flute Caves to admire the stunning colours of the stalagmites and stalactites. It usually takes 1 hour to complete the route and it is very cool inside. The South China Pearl Museum covers the fascinating 1,700-year history of pearling in the South China Sea with displays and demonstrations. There are also beautiful pieces available to buy. Enjoy a leisurely walk around Ronghu Lake and visit Sun & Moon Pagodas for a great view over downtown Guilin.
Day 17: Discover Guilin
Day 18: Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai for a four-night stay. Later, spend some time in the city’s Xintiandi area, a vibrant entertainment district made up of traditional 19thcentury shikumen architecture.
Day 18: Shanghai
Days 19: Historic Suzhou
Travel to Suzhou. Suzhou is renowned for its gardens – visit one of its finest, the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Cruise the Grand Canal before returning to Shanghai to dine on local cuisine.
Days 19:  Historic Suzhou
Day 20: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis. Visit the Shanghai Museum, People's Square and admire the architecture on the Bund. Later view the city from the Huangpu River during a cruise.
Day 20: Discover Shanghai
Day 21: Yu Garden
Visit the Silk Factory, the classical Yu Garden and stop in the Old Town before exploring futuristic Pudong. Tonight, enjoy the ERA acrobatic show.
Day 21: Yu Garden
Day 22: 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.
Day 22:  Depart Shanghai

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 $1,475
Land Only (Beijing to Shanghai) 21 days from $5,280 er person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - RMB930 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
12 Apr, 03 May, 13 Sep, 20 Sep, 04 Oct, 06 Oct 2019 and 10 Apr, 24 Apr, 01 May, 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 02 Oct, 04 Oct departures coincides with Golden Week celebrations 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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Why Book This Tour?

From the Great Wall and Warriors, to cruising on the mighty Yangtze and the breathtaking Li River, this tour encompasses China's most magnificent sights as well as spending a little extra time in china's most exciting cities


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