Premium China
from $5650
Duration: 12 Days
Embark on a 12-day Premium journey that weaves together China’s layered history, famous icons, cultural heritage and celebrated cuisine. Be dazzled by modern China in Shanghai, then step back in time to the charming villages of Huizhou. See the magnificent karst hills of Yangshuo and come face to face with the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. Walk an original section of the Great Wall and revel in the big show of Beijing. Of all China’s assets, its greatest is its people – visit traditional family homes and travel with an expert local leader to uncover a lesser-known side of the country.
  • Experience authentic Chinese cuisine during a homecooked lunch with a local family in Huizhou, a tea plantation tour and cooking class in Yangshuo and a dinner of regional specialties in Xi’an.
  • With karst hills dotted along Li River, the scenery in Yangshuo is spectacular – here you’ll enjoy a feature stay in a splendid hotel offering old-fashioned charm, modern comforts and awe-inspiring mountain views.
  • Get a sense of the scale of China’s epic history when you come face to face with the Terracotta warriors and visit a lesser-known section of the Great Wall – the only section that winds along mountains and cuts through lakes.
  • Journey to the peaceful Huizhou villages, home to the quintessential image of white walled, black tiled traditional houses, and enjoy a night in a heritage hotel converted from the mansion home of a famous Ming Dynasty poet.
  • Discover the bright lights of modern China in Shanghai, and uncover a different side of Beijing as you follow an expert guide through the city’s hutongs, followed by a homecooked lunch in the hutong house of a retired chef.
  • Shanghai - Shanghai cuisine welcome dinner
  • Shanghai - City walking tour (French Concession, People's Park & Bund)
  • Huizhou - Bamboo weaving family visit
  • Huizhou - Stone tablet inscription printing demonstration
  • Huizhou - Home-cooked lunch
  • Huizhou - Tangmo village tour
  • Shanghai - rooftop bar (one drink included)
  • Yangshuo - walking tour
  • Yangshuo - Xianggong Hill & Tea Farm Visit
  • Yangshuo - Cooking class
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter walking tour
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter dumpling dinner
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors Tour (entrace fee, transport, local guide included)
  • Xi'an - Home-cooked lunch
  • Beijing - Jingshan Park
  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Beijing - Tiananmen Square
  • Beijing - Wood mortise and tenon demonstration
  • Beijing - Hutong home-cooked lunch
  • Beijing - Hutong walking tour with local expert
  • Day 1 Location: Shanghai
    Ni Hao! Welcome to China. Your adventure begins in Shanghai – blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, this city pulses with the beat of new China. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your fellow travellers and leader for a 6pm welcome. If you arrive with time to spare, head out to get a feel for this vibrant city and its bright lights, fevered trade and frenetic pace. Perhaps make a visit to the Yuyuan Gardens where you can explore gorgeous sculptures, gardens and pagodas from the Ming Dynasty. After your meeting, it’s time for a foray into Shanghai’s unbeatable food scene. Head with your group and leader to a delightful local restaurant converted from an old French Concession era mansion and sample some of the city’s regional favourites like fried dumplings, braised pork and crystal shrimp.
    Day 2 Location: Shanghai
    Start your day with a walking tour with your leader who will introduce you to the sights and sounds of this animated city. Explore old residential neighbourhoods, known as nongtang, then head to the tree lined Wukang Road in the former French Concession part of the city, home to 37 protected historic buildings. Stop by a market and watch the locals go about their daily life, then hop on the metro and head to the People’s Park. Here your leader will show you the ‘Blind Date Corner’ – this in person dating app sees parents of single children meet to discuss finding their children a suitable partner. Continue to the Bund, an iconic promenade along the Huangpu River which divided Shanghai into Puxi and Pudong. The spectacular art deco buildings that line the street will give you a glimpse into 1920s Shanghai against the modern backdrop of Pudong’s metropolitan skyline. Your tour ends here and the rest of the afternoon is yours – perhaps head to the Shanghai Museum or Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition centre to uncover stories of the city’s past, present and future.
    Day 3 Location: Huizhou villages
    Depart Shanghai this morning and board a high-speed train to Huizhou. The beautiful villages of Huizhou and their unique Hui-style architecture have inspired poets and painters for generations. On arrival, head to the home of a local family for a very special home cooked Hui lunch. Chat to your hosts about their way of life and find out what makes Hui cuisine so delicious. In the afternoon, take a tour of the ancient village of Tangmo – founded during the Tang dynasty, this lesser-known village offers a fascinating display of history and architecture. Visit some local families who have been weaving bamboo for decades and learn about the ancient art form, then head to the village ancestral temple to meet a local artisan famous for his stone inscription printing skills. Speak to him about his trade and gain insight into the world of Chinese calligraphy. This evening will be spent at your feature stay accommodation, a gorgeous hotel converted from the mansion of a famous Ming Dynasty poet. Traditional 17th-century Hui design is paired with 21st-century conveniences, and the hotel’s tranquil gardens will make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
    Day 4 Location: Shanghai
    Enjoy some free time in Huizhou – perhaps take some time to wander the village’s narrow lanes and admire the local gardens. In the afternoon, return to Shanghai by high-speed train. This evening, head to a fabulous rooftop bar and see the city’s cloud-piercing buildings and glittering neon lights from a different point of view.
    Day 5 Location: Yangshuo
    Enjoy a final morning to soak up the magic of Shanghai, then catch a midday flight to Guilin, followed by a transfer to Yangshuo, where lush karst mountains sprout like verdant domes around the meandering waters of the Li River. The countryside around Yangshuo is immortalized in many traditional Chinese paintings and it’s easy to see why. On arrival, check in to your feature stay accommodation for the next two evenings, a magnificent hotel tucked away among the karst hills and rivers of Yangshuo. Here you’ll experience a stunning fusion of modern design, old-fashioned charm and serene natural surroundings, complimented by an expansive turquoise swimming pool and remarkable mountain views. Enjoy a free evening to take in your spectacular setting – you may like to go for a walk in the surrounding area or spend some time relaxing by the pool.
    Day 6 Location: Yangshuo
    After breakfast, head out to one of the largest tea plantations in Yangshuo, where you’ll learn about China’s most beloved beverage, from picking the leaves, to processing and brewing the perfect cup. Enjoy a cup of fragrant green tea to energise you for a short but steep climb up Xianggong Hill. From here you’ll see a amazing birds-eye view of the Li River and the otherworldly karst landscape. Take a wander through the local villages, where if you’re lucky, you may be invited into some old houses to get a glimpse at countryside life in China. Take some time out for lunch (optional) in a local village, then head into Yangshuo town where your leader will regale you with the history of the area as you explore. Wander up the busy West shopping street, then enjoy some time to browse the stores or relax in a cafe. Later in the afternoon, return to the countryside and visit a local cooking school where you’ll learn how to craft some wonderful traditional Chinese dishes using ingredients you’ll be able to pick up back home. Tonight’s dinner will be the tasty dishes you’ve whipped up during the class.
    Day 7 Location: Xi'an
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at your accommodation then catch a midday flight to Xi’an. Once the imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi'an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites to explore. Arrive in the late afternoon and settle into your hotel before setting off for a walking tour. Your leader will unpack the layers of Xi’an’s rich history as you walk past the Bell and Drum tower, continuing to the buzzing Muslim quarter. Wander the narrow streets and find quaint shops, lively markets and groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes. Xi’an is a food lovers paradise, and tonight you’ll get a chance to sample the flavoursome regional cuisine during an included dinner at a local restaurant. Specialities include Yang Rou Pao Mo (mutton and bread soup) Liangpi (cold noodles in sesame sauce) and plenty of delicious dumplings.
    Day 8 Location: Xi'an
    Today you’ll journey out into the countryside surrounding Xi’an and visit what is undoubtedly one of the man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors. Your local guide will share the unbelievable history of this incredible archaeological find, discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974 after being buried for 2,000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots were commissioned by the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as part of his mausoleum after he ascended to the throne in 264 BC. Three pits of warriors are open for viewing, where thousands of uniquely sculpted soldiers stand in battle formation. For lunch you’ll visit a local family restaurant, the owner of which has experienced firsthand of the changes brought about by the excavation of Terracotta Warriors. Listen to their stories while enjoying simple yet delicious home cooked food. Return to Xi’an and enjoy a free afternoon – you may like to cycle across the ancient city wall, or check out the Big Wild Goose pagoda and its incredible musical fountain.
    Day 9 Location: Beijing
    Say goodbye to Xi’an and board a high-speed train bound for Beijing. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing has mostly shed its historical face in favour of modernity. However, there are still plenty of places that give an insight into the nation's ancient past. Settle in to your hotel then head to Jingshan Park for a first glimpse of the forbidden city. Enjoy a free evening in Beijing – you may like to attend an exciting Chinese opera performance. Restaurants across the city span all styles and countless cuisines, so be sure to ask your leader for the perfect place to suit your tastes.
    Day 10 Location: Beijing
    Make your way to Tiananmen Square in the centre of the city that remains the symbolic centre of Chinese power. Framed by many imposing and iconic buildings such as the Gate of Heavenly Peace, Mao's Mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People and the National Museum, it's a place of pilgrimage for many Chinese tourists who consider it the heart of their nation. From here you will enter the enormous scarlet walls of the Forbidden City. Built more than 500 years ago, and until recently off-limits to commoners, explore the great halls and courtyards of this palace complex. Lunch today will be at the home of a retired chef from a prestigious restaurant in Beijing who will cook an authentic homemade meal for the group. After lunch, join a local expert for a walk around Beijing’s hutongs, residential alleyways that zigzag across the old Beijing. Learn about the history of hutongs, dating back 800 years and discover the significance of the architecture and variations in door design. Stop in to a hutong household where your expert guide will explain the ancient building technique of mortise and tenon. The rest of the afternoon is yours for further explorations.
    Day 11 Location: Beijing
    No trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall. Today you’ll visit one of the best-preserved areas, the Hanghuacheng section, also known as the Water Great Wall. It used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs, and features guard towers dating back to the Ming dynasty. Take your time strolling along the wall, which snakes through the hills and seemingly endlessly into the distance, as your leader fills you in on the its amazing history. From here you can see parts of the wall submerged beneath the lake water. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. A great idea is to bring a picnic lunch with you from Beijing to enjoy during one of the rest breaks. In the afternoon, head back to Beijing and take some time to relax before heading to a traditional courtyard restaurant where you’ll enjoy a marvellous Beijing duck feast for a final dinner with your group.
    Day 12 Location: Beijing
    The tour will come to an end today after breakfast. If you have time, there's plenty more to see in Beijing. Why not check out the Urban Adventure tours in Beijing? If you would like to extend your stay here, please consult your booking agent for additional nights in the hotel.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    09APR2022
    Return Date:
    20APR2022
    5650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    16APR2022
    Return Date:
    27APR2022
    5875NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07MAY2022
    Return Date:
    18MAY2022
    6100NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14MAY2022
    Return Date:
    25MAY2022
    6100NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18JUN2022
    Return Date:
    29JUN2022
    5875NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    09JUL2022
    Return Date:
    20JUL2022
    5650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    03SEP2022
    Return Date:
    14SEP2022
    5650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    10SEP2022
    Return Date:
    21SEP2022
    5875NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15SEP2022
    Return Date:
    26SEP2022
    6100NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    17SEP2022
    Return Date:
    28SEP2022
    6100NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Premium China

    Trip code

    CBPY

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022

    Introduction

    Embark on a 12-day Premium journey that weaves together China’s layered history, famous icons, cultural heritage and celebrated cuisine. Be dazzled by modern China in Shanghai, then step back in time to the charming villages of Huizhou. See the magnificent karst hills of Yangshuo and come face to face with the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. Walk an original section of the Great Wall and revel in the big show of Beijing. Of all China’s assets, its greatest is its people – visit traditional family homes and travel with an expert local leader to uncover a lesser-known side of the country.

    Style

    Premium

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Plane,Private Vehicle,High Speed Train,Metro

    Physical Rating

    2

    Joining point

    Shanghai Merry Hotel

    396 Yan An Road West., Jing'an District, Shanghai

    Shanghai

    CHINA

    Joining point description

    Located in the heart of Jing’an District, Merry Hotel Shanghai is only a 5-minute stroll from Jing’an Temple Subway Station (Line 2 and 7). The property boasts a Japanese-style spa, fitness centre and 4 dining options. Merry Hotel Shanghai is a 6-minute drive the popular Middle Huaihai Road shopping area, a 10-minute drive from People’s Square and 15-minute drive from Shanghai Railway Station. Hongqiao International Airport is a 25-minute drive away, while Pudong International Airport is a 50-minute car journey away.

    Joining point instructions

    An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details no later than 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer with us, our local operator will have sent a driver to the airport who will be holding a sign with the Intrepid logo and your name on it. If there's any issue with meeting your transfer driver, then you can call Mr. Ma Hong Yu at +86 13806208148 from the information center in the airport. Pudong Airport: If you choose to travel to the joining point by public transport, you can either take the subway to our hotel by Line2 to Shijidadao Station then transfer to Line 4, and get off at Hailun Lu station. Kingtown Hongkou Hotel is about 15 min walk from Hailun Lu station on Line 4 (Exit 3). The hotel is 45km from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, approx 200CNY by taxi. Hongqiao Airport: If you are landing at Hongqiao international airport, you can take the metro to our hotel which is about 1km to Hailun Lu Station on Line 10 (Exit 3). It is 25km from Hongqiao international Airport to hotel, a taxi would cost around CNY 90.

    Finish point

    Beijing Jingshan Hotel (former Red Wall Hotel)

    No.31 Shatan North Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing

    Beijing

    CHINA

    Finish point instructions

    There are two International Airport in Beijing - Beijing Capital International Airport (about 25 km from city center) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (about 52 km from city center) A departure transfer to either airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your departure flight details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through us. If you plan to make your own way to the airport: Your tour leader can advise you when is the best time to leave for your flight depending on local traffic condition. It is suggested to leave from your hotel at least 3 hours before your flight time. Taxi is the easiest way to go to the airport. To Beijing Capital International Airport, it should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour at about CNY120 under normal condition. Alternatively, you can take metro or taxi to Dongzhimen airport express station, which should cost around CNY30 (taxi). Then take the airport express from Dongzhimen (CNY25, service time: 06:00 – 22:30) to Beijing Capital Airport. To Beijing Daxing International Airport, it should take around 1 to 1.5 hours at about CNY200 under normal condition. Alternatively, metro line 10 also can reach Daxing Airport.

    Important information

    1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 3. Please provide a scanned copy of your passport bio page at time of booking to secure flight and train tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket if an amendment occurs. 4. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 20kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on. 5. This trip includes travel on fast trains. There are size restrictions for luggage on fast trains. Your main piece of luggage must not exceed 160cm (sum of height, length and width).

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Premium leaders are Intrepid’s most experienced, with in-depth knowledge and extensive local networks to make it a trip of a lifetime. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. When not already included in your trip, your leader will be able to recommend a local guide service who can share more detailed or specialised information at specific sites should you be interested in delving deeper.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    CHINA China is a safe country to travel in and very few travellers will experience any safety concerns. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare, but incidents do occur. Foreigners can be targeted for passports, electronic devices, mobile phones, purses, and handbags. Major tourist sites and areas frequented by foreigners attract thieves and pickpockets. Take extra care at major tourist sites, street markets, airports, train stations, major international events and conferences, and popular bar areas after dark. There are occasional incidents with taxi and pedicab drivers who insist the passenger misunderstood the fare. Avoid travelling in unmarked or unmetered ‘taxis’ and insist on paying only the meter fare. Ask the driver for a receipt (fapiao), on which the taxi number should be printed. You can take this to the police to lodge a complaint. Counterfeit banknotes (especially RMB100) are increasingly common. They are generally crumpled to avoid detection. Unscrupulous traders may try to switch your genuine banknotes for counterfeits. A common scam when paying a taxi fare with an RMB100 note occurs when the taxi driver swaps the note for a fake note, and returns the fake note to the passenger, refusing to accept it for payment as it’s counterfeit. Check carefully before accepting notes. It is quite normal to do so. Beware of scams particularly in popular tourist areas. A regular example is the ‘tea tasting’ scam. Scams usually involve a foreign national being invited to visit a bar, shop, or cafe – for example to practice English or meet a girl - but results in demands for an exorbitant fee, often payable by credit card. This can result in threats of violence or credit card fraud.

    Communications

    Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites. It’s important to let your family and friends know that you might not be able to stay in touch over your usual methods, be it – social media or email. The Chinese Government restrict certain websites such as Google, Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress. It may be possible to still access some of these websites using a VPN. If you wish to stay in touch with your friends and family through the above blocked sites, we suggest you research installing a suitable VPN on your device prior to travel.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. CHINA: Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong if you have time there before joining your trip. You will need a Single Entry Tourist for this trip valid for 30 days. Please make sure if you have a transit anywhere in China before arriving at your destination that you check with your airline to see if the transit will require using your visa. INFORMATION & DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR CHINESE VISA APPLICATION: You will be provided with a Hotel List and Letter of Invitation to assist you in applying for your visa. These are the primary documents you should use to apply for your visa as they are issued by our local office in China. Name of Host/Inviting Organisation: Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd. 606 InterChina Commercial Building 33 Dengshikou Street Dongcheng District Beijing 100006 +86 10 6406 8022 * Hotel List - this will be sent to you by Intrepid or your travel agent at the time of booking. If you do not receive this, email us with your booking number and trip details. * Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided from us together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the consulate or not and will assist with your application. * Itinerary – print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website www.intrepidtravel.com and include it with your application, marking the dates you will visit each destination if required (exception - Tibet tours) * Photocopy of your passport * Passport size photos (up to 4 may be required) * Check with the consulate for any other specific requirements * Please note that if you are not applying for a Chinese visa from your passport country, you may be required to submit further documents, ie. employment letter, immigration card, etc. Please check with your local embassy or consulate for specific requirements. TIBET: You will be given a specific itinerary to use if booking a Tibet trip. A permit to enter into Tibet must be applied prior to arrival through authorized agencies in Tibet. Please check out trip specific China visa and Tibet permit processes. Tibetan area outside Tibet visited on trips will not require a permit, but this could change without notice and we'll endeavor to advise and make alternative plans as soon as possible if this changes. HONG KONG: Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements for Hong Kong. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR CHINESE TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS: Intrepid requires you send the following at the time of booking or at least 40 days prior to travel: *Clear, colour scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport. Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip in case it is also requested.

    Why we love it

    Experience authentic Chinese cuisine during a homecooked lunch with a local family in Huizhou, a tea plantation tour and cooking class in Yangshuo and a dinner of regional specialties in Xi’an.

    With karst hills dotted along Li River, the scenery in Yangshuo is spectacular – here you’ll enjoy a feature stay in a splendid hotel offering old-fashioned charm, modern comforts and awe-inspiring mountain views.

    Get a sense of the scale of China’s epic history when you come face to face with the Terracotta warriors and visit a lesser-known section of the Great Wall – the only section that winds along mountains and cuts through lakes.

    Journey to the peaceful Huizhou villages, home to the quintessential image of white walled, black tiled traditional houses, and enjoy a night in a heritage hotel converted from the mansion home of a famous Ming Dynasty poet.

    Discover the bright lights of modern China in Shanghai, and uncover a different side of Beijing as you follow an expert guide through the city’s hutongs, followed by a homecooked lunch in the hutong house of a retired chef.

    Is this trip right for you

    The trip covers a fair amount of ground with experiencing a variety of transports, so be prepared for some long journeys. And we suggest packing relatively lightly for this trip, as you’ll need to be able to comfortably carry your own luggage onto and off the trains.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 AIR POLLUTION: Air pollution is a recognized issue for travelers in China, particularly in Beijing where the geographical location of the city exacerbates its effects. We provide travellers with certified PM (particulate matter) face masks as an option to be worn as protection during times of high levels of pollution. On days when outdoor activities are not recommended due to high pollution levels, your leader may alter some activities for the health and safety of our travellers and leaders. The high levels of air pollution in major urban and industrialised areas in China may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. Please ensure you bring the required medication with you if you have any of these types of medical conditions. You can check the pollution index levels for many cities in China on the following website: http://aqicn.org/city/beijing/

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure. FOOD IN CHINA: What IS authentic Chinese food like? Check out these articles to get a taste: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/china-food-trip-blog/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/china-food-stereotypes/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/a-guide-to-traditional-chinese-street-food/ VEGETARIANS & VEGANS: Vegetarians in China certainly won't go hungry as there are always plenty of meat-free options on menus including vegetable, tofu, and egg dishes. Your leader can advise on some local favourites. Dairy is uncommon in Chinese cooking, although in some regions like Tibet, Xinjiang, and Yunnan you will find milk products as part of the local cuisine. Vegans should also have few problems finding tasty meals in most locations. Nearly all cities will have vegetarian restaurants, often near to temples or monasteries that specialise in Buddhist cuisine. Check out this blog for a guide to eating vegetarian in Beijing: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/a-vegetarians-guide-to-beijing/ DIETARY NEEDS: Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets. Please note that some dietary requirements, such as Gluten-Free, will be uncommon in China and you may need to explain to your leader what you can and can't eat as well as research common dishes before you travel. ALLERGIES: For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic and research suitable local foods before travelling.

    Money matters

    TIPPING Tips are included on all Intrepid Premium trips, covering hotel staff, local guides and the people who will take care of you during your travels. This amount does not include a tip for your leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your leader for outstanding service provided during your trip. You are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length and involvement of your leader on your trip. Tips are greatly appreciated as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline, US$3-6 per person (in a currency relevant for your destination), per day can be used. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. CHINA The official currency in China is the Yuan or Renminbi (CNY). 1 renminbi (yuan) = 10 jiao (mao). ATMs are widespread, so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit/debit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart and look for ATMs with your card logo. You may find that your card does not work in certain ATMs, so we recommend purchasing some CNY in your home country so you have some cash for your first day. Credit cards are mostly acceptable in bigger cities and establishments while in small towns, they may not work. You can check with your leader about access to cash or paying with credit cards when moving onto new destinations to be prepared. Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however, please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange and carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt. Please note that due to restrictions on currency conversion for foreigners in China it may not be possible to change leftover CNY back into foreign currency, so please plan your budget and spending money well by withdrawing/exchanging what you need as you go. COMMISSIONS Unfortunately, commissions in exchange for recommending particular shops or restaurants are an ingrained part of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye, we’ve tried to legitimise the practise with a centralised fund. Moneys are collected from recommended and fully vetted suppliers and funnelled back into our business. This keeps the trip cost low (for us and for you) and makes sure you only get the best experiences. If you’re unhappy with any places your leader recommends, or feel the quality of the trip is being compromised in any way, please let us know in your feedback.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations. A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    Climate and seasonal

    CHINESE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: Please note that China's national holidays are the peak travel season for Chinese nationals. During this time, literally the whole country is on the move - that's over a billion people. Although these are fascinating and exciting times to travel in China, please be aware your group will almost definitely experience transport delays and massive crowds at tourist attractions and train stations. It's common for there to be difficulties in securing train or flight tickets at our preferred times, hotels become overbooked, traffic chaotic and changes to the itinerary are often necessary as a result. If clockwork organisation is important to you we advise you book outside of the weeks of the extended Chinese New Year in January/February, in the first week of May and the first week of October. If you decide to travel during this period please come with an open mind and be prepared for changes on the ground. Here are the major holiday periods in China: Chinese New Year: Feb 11-17 2021, Jan 31- Feb 6 2022 Qingming Festival: Apr 3-5 2021, Apr 3-5 2022 Labour Day Holiday: Apr 30- May 2 2021/2022 Dragon Boat Festival: Jun 12-14 2021, Jun 3-5 2022 Mid-Autumn Day: Sep 19-21 2021, Sep 9-11 2022 National Day: Oct 1-7 2021, Oct 1-8 2022

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid’s Local Operator: +861064067328

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel LOCAL CUSTOMS: It's always a good idea to learn something about local customs before you travel, and visiting China is no exception. Your leader will be on hand to guide you through cultural differences during your trip, but here are some tips to get you started: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/china-etiquette-guide/ LOCAL DRESS: As with everywhere we travel, we strongly recommend wearing modest clothing in China (ie. covering shoulders and wearing shorts or skirts to the knee) both for your own comfort, and to respect that standards may be more conservative than in your home country, especially outside of major cities.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation. Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available. HOTEL ROOMS: Some travellers have reported that hotels/accommodation in this region tend to have harder bed mattresses than those they are used to at home. You may like to request an extra quilt or bedding from the hotels if you find this an issue. SMOKING ROOMS: Smoking is prevalent in China and hotels generally do not offer specific non-smoking rooms. Larger hotels with central air conditioning will sometimes transport the smell of smoke between rooms. While we ask our hotels to ensure our rooms are well cleaned and ventilated well before occupation in some cases this is not possible, and the smell of smoke may linger. Please speak to your leader about the possibility of changing rooms if you encounter this. WIFI: WiFi is often available in hotel reception areas and sometimes in rooms. Your leader will be able to advise on the best places to get connected.

    Transport notes

    CHINA TRAIN TRAVEL SECURITY When travelling by train in China you will need to pass through security checkpoints similar to those at airports. Please be aware that items that may be classified as ‘weapons’ might be confiscated (even from your suitcase), as all luggage travels in the compartment with you. We recommend leaving items that fall into this category (eg. pocket knives or scissors) at home.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (8 nights),Huizhou Feature Stay (1 night),Yangshuo Feature Stay (2 nights)

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