Essential China

Day 1: Arrive Beijing

Arrive Beijing, private transfer to hotel and check in. An evening group meeting is planned followed by dinner.

·   Group Meeting and included Beijing Duck dinner

Day 2: Beijing

Spend the day exploring the impressive Great Wall.

·   Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion

Day 3: Beijing

Spend the morning visiting central Beijing's sites with free time in the afternoon explore the local Hutong alleyways.

·   Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beijing Hutong

Day 4: Beijing/Shanghai

Full day tour to the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Board an overnight soft sleeper train to Shanghai.

·   Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace visit

Day 5: Shanghai

Arrive Shanghai. Spend the afternoon wandering among the shops in the famed Nanjing Road, walking along the famous Bund riverside.

·   Walk along the Bund riverfront

Day 6: Shanghai

Walking tour of the old city area including a visit to Shanghai's most famous garden.

·   Walking tour of Shanghai including Yu Yuan Garden

Day 7: Hangzhou

A short morning bullet train to Hangzhou. Walk along the famous West Lake and local tea plantation before catching overnight train to Xian.

·   Walking tour around West Lake

Day 8: Xi'an

Arrive in Xi'an and discover the Silk Road history of this ancient city with a visit to the Terra-cotta Warriors, Muslim quarter and Grand Mosque.

·   Terracotta Warriors, Muslim quarter visit, Grand Mosque

Day 9: Xi'an/Chengdu

Spend the morning visiting the city wall. Fast train to Chengdu in the afternoon before an orientation walk.

·   Cycle tour on City wall, Orientation walk in Chengdu 

Day 10: Chengdu/Leshan

Travel to Leshan to visit the largest Buddha statue carved out of rock in the world.

·   Leshan Giant Buddha

Day 11: Chongqing/Chongqing

Morning visit to Panda Breeding Center. Afternoon take high speed train to Chongqing and board a Yangtze River cruise in the evening.

·   Panda Breeding Center, Yangtze Cruise

Day 12: Yangtze River

Cruise down the Yangtze River stopping at either Fengdu Ghost City or the Shibaozhai Temple.

·   Fengdu Ghost City or Shibaozhai Temple

Day 13: Yangtze River

Travel through the Qutang and Wu Gorges before stopping for a shore excursion to Shennong Stream or Daning River and continue to the Three Gorges Dam Ship Locks.

·   Shore excursion to the Shennu Stream or Daning River

Day 14: Yichang/Guilin

After arriving in Yichang travel to Wuhan to catch the overnight soft sleeper train to Guilin.

·   Three Gorges Dam Tour

Day 15: Guilin/Yangshuo

Arrive into Guilin in the morning and stop to visit the famous Guilin Pagodas before continuing onto the picturesque town of Yangshuo.

·   Guilin Pagodas, Li River

Day 16: Yangshuo

Enjoy the day on bicycles exploring the surrounding villages stopping at local farmers houses for lunch.

·   Cycling Tour of Yangshuo countryside with lunch 

Day 17: Yangshuo/Hong Kong

Morning transfer to station for bullet train to Shenzhen. Then cross over to Hong Kong. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this spectacular metropolis.

·   Temple Street Night market

Day 18: Depart

You are free to depart anytime during the day.


Day 1 Arrive Beijing (D)
Nihao! Welcome to Beijing, the Capital of China. Upon arrival at the airport, you will meet for your private transfer to your hotel located in the city center. You will have a 6 pm group meeting at your hotel, and there will be more information about the meeting when you arrive at the hotel. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask at reception. Your group meeting will include details about your trip, followed by an orientation walk and included dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• Private airport transfer
• Group meeting
Meals Included:
• Peking Duck dinner

Day 2 Beijing (B)
This morning we'll take a private bus to visit Great Wall - Mutianyu Section (approx. 2hrs), one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall with 22 towers winding along the mountain ridges. Spend quality time exploring and learning the history of Great Wall of China as well as enjoy the view at Huairou county the suburban area of Beijing. The great idea is to bring a picnic lunch with you to enjoy at the top the wall during a rest break. We will back to downtown Beijing in the late afternoon.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 3 Beijing (B)
Today we'll explore famous sights in Beijing. There will be a lot of walking today as well as using public the subway to get around. After breakfast, we will take the metro to Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest public squares, home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and the Great hall of the People. Then enter the Forbidden City, built from 1406 to 1420, a ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for more than 500 years. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. After the Forbidden City, we will stroll in the alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyards known by Hutong and experience the local lifestyle of Old Beijing.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities:
• Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City
• Walking tour of Hutong area
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 4 Beijing-Shanghai (B)
This morning we will visit the 267-hectare Temple of Heaven Park. It originally served as a vast stage for solemn rites performed by the emperor of the time (known as the Son of Heaven), who prayed here for good harvests and sought divine clearance and atonement. Strictly speaking, it's an altar rather than a temple – so don’t expect burning incense or worshippers. Afterwards, enjoy a Tai Chi class with a renowned local Tai Chi master. After lunch, we will visit the Summer Palace, an imperial garden in Qing dynasty, covering an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers and highlighted by Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill. The Summer Palace was included on World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1998. In the evening, we will board an overnight train to Shanghai.

Accommodation:
• Overnight Soft sleeper (First classic)train
Included activities:  
• Temple of Heaven & the Summer Palace
• Taichi Class
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 5 Shanghai (B)
Upon arrival, private transfer to our hotel. Join your tour leader for a historical Shanghai walking tour: we will explore the narrow streets(Nongtang) of Shanghai and experience local's daily life. At the Bund, you can get a taste of 1920s Shanghai, walk along Huangpu River; you will get a feeling of the urban city with long history.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• Walking tour - The Bund
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 6 Shanghai (B, L)
Today we will visit the City God's Temple area, a folk temple neighboring Yuyuan Garden. The City God Temple in Shanghai originated as the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan, or "Gold Mountain," an island off the coast of Shanghai. It was converted into a City God Temple in 1403, during the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty. Its popularity turns the surrounding area into a large pedestrian area that hosts an array of shops, restaurants, teahouses, as well as annual temple fair events. Yuyuan Garden, also called Yu Garden, was originally built in 1559, opened to the public in 1961 and a declared monument in 1982. It is the most extensive ancient garden with Ming and Qing architectural styles.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
•City God's Temple area and Yu Yuan Gardens
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and local lunch

Day 7 Shanghai/Hangzhou/Xi'an (B, L)
This morning, we will board the express train to Hangzhou. Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province located in east China and the southern terminus of the Grand Canal. Today we will explore West Lake by bike. It is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou, China. It divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history for its natural beauty and historical relics. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. Then we will visit Longjing Tea plantations in Hangzhou to appreciate the beautiful verdant sightseeing and know more about the culture of tea and Chinese nation. In the evening, we will back to train station, and board on an overnight train to Xi'an.

Accommodation:
• Overnight Soft sleeper(First Class)train
Included activities:
• Walking tour around West Lake
• Longjing Tea plantations
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 Xi'an (B, L)
Upon arrival, private bus to the hotel before we head out to Terracotta Warriors. This morning you’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. Three main pits are open for you to view, where just under 2,000 of the total 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expressions – stand in battle formation. The scale is incredibly impressive. After the tour, we will enjoy a lunch in a local village. This afternoon, we will visit the Great Mosque in Muslim quarter. The Great Mosque of Xi'an is the most significant mosque in China. It was constructed during the Hongwu reign of the Ming dynasty, with further additions during the Qing dynasty. Previous religious complexes are known to have stood on the same site, dating to as early as the Tang dynasty. Then we will take a walk around Muslim quarter, lively markets, and Bell & Drum Tower.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• Terracotta Warriors
• Walking tour - Bell and Drum Tower and Muslim quarter
• The Grand Mosque
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and lunch

Day 9 Xi'an/Chengdu (B)
We will visit the ancient City Wall this morning, the most significant and best-preserved wall extant in China now, running over 13 kilometers around Xian. Then private transfer to airport to take the flight to Chengdu. Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan province and one of three most populous cities in western China. Upon arrival, take a city walking tour around and get a real insider’s experience of local people's life and city culture.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Bike around the Xian City Wall
• Orientation walk of Chengdu
• Flight Xi'an to Chengdu
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 10 Chengdu-Leshan-Chengdu (B)
Upon arrival, private bus to the hotel. Today we will visit Leshan Giant Buddha. The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-meter (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang Dynasty), depicting Maitreya. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. The area has listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The afternoon private bus to Chengdu.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Leshan Giant Buddha
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 11 Chengdu-Chongqing (B, L)
TVisit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you're able to witness the conservation efforts being made to save this endearing endangered species. There are only around 1,000 pandas left in the world, and 80% of them found in the mountains in Sichuan. The pandas have over 600 acres of parkland to live in, and you can get up close and learn more about these majestic creatures. Watch them play, eat bamboo, napping, and munching bamboo. Then transfer to Chengdu train station and take the bullet train to Chongqing. Upon arrival, private bus to the pier and board a deluxe Yangtze Cruise.

Accommodation:
• On Yangtze deluxe Cruise
Included activities:  
•Giant Panda Breeding Research Base
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and lunch

Day 12 Yangtze River (B, L, D)
Early in the morning, stretch your body from a Tai Chi class and get prepared for another day full of energy and excitement. After breakfast, take an excursion to Fengdu Ghost City. It is a large complex of shrines, temples, and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife located on the Ming mountain in Fengdu County. The Ghost City focuses on the afterlife and combines of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. After lunch, visit Shibaozhai, a rocky and craggy hill about 200 meters high with really steep sides and a red pavilion on the riverside. The red pavilion with nine floors, standing on top of the hill, is one of the largest wooden temples in China. In the evening, enjoy a dynasties culture show by Chinese minorities.

Accommodation:
• On Yangtze deluxe Cruise
Included activities:
• Yangtze River cruise, Ghost city, Shibaozhai, and culture show
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 13 Yangtze River (B, L, D)
Today the cruise will sail through the Qutang Gorge and the Wu Gorge, two of the Three Gorges on Yangtze River, which are well-known for their scenery classified the highest level by Chinese National Tourism Administration. Take an excursion to the Shennv valley (the Goddess Stream) where you will have a breathtaking view of thousands of cliffs hanging in the sky; hundreds of meters blue peaks and a slight line opened among groups of rocks blocking the sky. You will understand why it is named this. In the evening, enjoy the captain's farewell banquet.

Accommodation:
• On Yangtze deluxe Cruise
Included activities:
• Yangtze River cruise, the Goddess Stream excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 14 Yangtze River-Liuzhou (B)
Early in the morning, arrive at Huang Ling Miao and then visit the Three Gorges Dam, the most significant hydro-electric project in the world completed in 2009. The Three Gorges Project brings benefits in all aspects of flood control, power generation, tourism, ecological protection, South-North water transfer -and irrigation. It also had a world record in 2014 for an enormous amount of power generated. Our Yangtze river journey will end at Yichang Pier where we will be picked up and transferred to Yichang train station and take an overnight train to Liuzhou.

Accommodation:
• Overnight Soft sleeper(First class) train
Included activities:  
• Three Gorges Dam
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 15 Liuzhou/Guilin/Yangshuo (B)
Arrive Liuzhou in the morning and private bus transfer to Yangshuo.  On the way to Yangshuo, we will visit the Sun and Moon Pagodas at the Fir Lake and Banyan Lake, the famous scenic spots in Guilin city center. Sun and Moon Pagoda were completed in 2002, rebuilt from a Buddhist pagoda of Tang dynasty. Sun Pagoda is the tallest bronze pagoda in the world, connected with Moon Pagoda by an 18-meter aquarium with Moon Pagoda. Yangshuo, a county and resort town in southern China’s Guangxi region, is known for its dramatic karst mountain landscape and outdoor recreation.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Sun and Moon Pagodas
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 16 Yangshuo (B, D)
Today we will head out of town on bikes to cycle through the surrounding countryside, and gain an insight into Chinese rural life on a ride where each turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard location. Tonight we will enjoy a local dinner.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Bicycle ride at Yangshuo countryside (Bicycle rental)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and dinner

Day 17 Yangshuo/Hong Kong (B)
Upon arrival, we will cross the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border, The China-Hong Kong border is busy, so there can often be a bit of a wait to get through, and a lot of patience is required. Then take KCR train to central Hong Kong. Hong Kong features the most skyscrapers in the world, surrounding Victoria Harbour. In the evening, we will enjoy a light show at Victoria Harbour.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Victoria Harbour light show
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 18 Hong Kong-Depart (B)
There are no activities planned for today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.

Meals Included:
• Breakfast

 

 

 



Visas

A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

Booking a Single Room

On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

Vaccinations and Your Health

We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years. 

Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 18 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.

Luggage

One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

 

What to Expect on Tour

Itinerary Disclaimer

The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is selected for convenient.




Tour Code Dates Closing date State Price Book
CA-ECBH180328 2018-03-28 2018-04-15 2018-03-14 Over US$4006.00
CA-ECBH180414 2018-04-11 2018-04-29 2018-03-28 Over US$4006.00
CA-ECBH180519 2018-05-16 2018-06-03 2018-04-29 Over US$4006.00
CA-ECBH180616 2018-06-13 2018-07-01 2018-05-30 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH180714 2018-07-11 2018-07-29 2018-06-29 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH180818 2018-08-15 2018-09-02 2018-08-01 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH180915 2018-09-12 2018-09-30 2018-08-29 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH181013 2018-10-10 2018-10-28 2018-09-26 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH1811107 2018-11-07 2018-11-25 2018-10-24 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190327 2019-03-27 2019-04-14 2019-03-13 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190410 2019-04-10 2019-04-28 2019-03-28 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190515 2019-05-15 2019-06-02 2019-04-29 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH1906012 2019-06-12 2019-06-30 2019-05-29 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190710 2019-07-10 2019-07-28 2019-06-28 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190814 2019-08-14 2019-09-01 2019-07-31 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH190911 2019-09-11 2019-09-29 2019-08-28 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH191009 2019-10-09 2019-10-27 2019-09-25 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
CA-ECBH191106 2019-11-06 2019-11-24 2019-10-23 Available US$4006.00 BOOK
18 days