20 Day Go China Itinerary
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Last updated: 04/23/2009
This exciting and complete itinerary takes in many of China's highlights,including the spectacular Great Wall,the Terracotta Warriors,rare giant pandas, vast mountains, rice terraces and so much more!
Arrival in Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you will be met by one of our representatives who will take you to your hotel. In keeping with local style, you'll stay in a traditional courtyard hotel with fruit trees, magnolias and flowers. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish; to recuperate from your flight, to get used to the time difference and to explore the area surrounding your hotel.
Time to explore Beijing by car with a driver and an English speaking guide. You'll be picked up at 8:30 in the morning. Your first stop is Tian'anmen Square: Gate of Heavenly Peace. This famous square where buildings of parliament are found as well as the entrance to the Forbidden City and Mao Zhedong's mausoleum. After a rest stop you'll visit the Temple of Heavenly Peace and the colourful Lama Temple. In the afternoon you'll walk along with your guide into the Forbidden City where you'll have a look at the 18th century residence of the emperor. Once you've seen all you wish to see, your guide will help you find a taxi cab back to your hotel.
Beijing - Great Wall of China walking tour
You'll leave Beijing early in the morning and you'll head towards a quiet part of the wall, about three hours from Beijing. Here you'll walk over the wall for about 10km; it's quite a vigorous walk and not appropriate for people with fear of heights. It should take you about four hours to complete the entire course. First you'll walk over a long stretch of wall going upwards and later you'll descend for a quite a bit. At the end of the route you'll encounter the busy Beijing streets once again; arrival will be around 18:30.
If 10km is a bit much for you to walk during your holidays, we can make reservations for you to visit a part of the where it is a little less strenuous.
Beijing - Xi'an
Today you'll have another day off in Beijing. Take a taxi cab to Beihei City Park to visit the classical Chinese gardens or you can visit the Summer Palace. If you want spend your day more actively, go for a walk or ride a bike in Beijing's old neighbourhoods, the hutongs. Head back to your hotel around 15:00, where you'll be picked up at around 17:00 and taken to the train station. We'll make reservations for a hard sleeper in the night train to Xi'an for you. Once on board you'll find it difficult not to fall asleep to the rhythmic sound of the train rolling over the tracks.
Arrival in Xi'an
You'll be awakened from your slumber before arriving in Xi'an (if you prefer not to travel by train, there are several daily flights to Xi'an). You'll be greeted in the arrival hall and taken straight to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. You may want to have a look around the large boulevards and we would suggest visiting the charming Muslim neighbourhood. The heart of the city is the large Bell Tower in the middle of the traffic intersection. Nearby you'll also find the Drum Tower. If you climb the tower around 17:00 you'll have a wonderful view of the city, the Muslim neighbourhood and you'll catch a demonstration of Chinese kettle drums.
Xi'an - Terracotta Army excursion
This morning you'll be picked up at 9:00 and taken to the excavation site where you'll see more than 7000 amazing clay soldiers, clay horses and clay chariots. This is the world famous Terracotta Army.
After about two hours you'll have seen all there is to see and you'll be back in Xi'an around 13:00 in the afternoon.
Xi'an - Chengdu
This morning you'll head out to the airport using your own arranged transport, where you'll catch a plane to Chengdu. You'll be awaited by one of our representatives who will take you to a comfortable hotel in the centre of town. The rest of the day is free to spend as you choose
Chengdu - Panda Research Centre excursion
You'll be picked up at 7:30 in the morning so that you can arrive at the panda research centre when the pandas are fed. It's endearing to watch the pandas eating, playing and sleeping and if you visit the instructional panda museum you'll understand more clearly why the panda is an endangered species.
After an hour or two you'll have seen all there is to see at the panda research centre and the sight of these giant teddy bears forever engrained in your memory, you'll be back at your hotel around 11:30.
Chengdu - Lijiang Altitude 2400m
You'll arrange your own transport to Chengdu airport where you'll fly an hour to fairy tale town Lijiang. On arrival you'll be greeted by our representative and taken to our courtyard hotel in the historic part of town. The rest of the day is free to spend as you choose. The countless red lanterns in Lijiang are all beautifully lit up in the evenings. Stroll along paths, bridges, cobble stone streets, and soak up the atmosphere in this lovely old town.
On this morning you and a guide will go on a bike ride through the area surrounding Lijiang. You'll ride on a flat road with high mountains to the right and left of you and after about an hour you'll reach the authentic Naxi village Baisha, where the legendary herbal practitioner Dr. Ho lives.
In the beginning of the afternoon you'll be back in Lijiang and you'll say goodbye to your guide and your bike. After lunch you may want to visit the Black Dragon Pool Park (entrance fee 60 Yuan). The most photogenic spots in China can be found in this park. For instance you'll see a lake in which the sun creates reflections of a temple and the tops of the surrounding mountains.
Day 11: Lijiang - Dali
Today you'll visit a part of the Chinese countryside and a bus will take you from Lijiang to Dali, which will take approximately 4 hours. The last part of the drive will take you past Lake Erhai. Historic Dali, the part of town that you'll stay in, is the most fun part of Dali to stay in. Take a stroll through the illuminated southern gate in the evening, into the historic heart of town. There are small wooden homes, stores and restaurants on both sides of the streets. 'Foreigner Street' is the place where western tourists get together and share stories and experiences.
This day can be spent however you please. Your hotel offers a variety of interesting excursions to choose from. Naturally you don't have to book an excursion to have a great time; you can also choose to go out on your own. For 10 Yuan you can rent a bike and explore the area surrounding Dali independently. There are also horseback rides through the forests and mountains. There are plenty of options.
Dali - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo
Today you'll travel by comfortable public transport bus to Kunming. This will be another ride with hills and mountains surrounding you and through farmland and villages. On arrival at the Kunming bus station a transfer will be waiting to take you to the airport for a 2 hour flight to Guilin. You'll be greeted by our local representative in the arrival hall and we'll take you to Yangshuo, which is about two hours away. All in all you'll be travelling for quite some time, however it will be well worth it. We'll arrange accommodation for you in a charming retreat located between the karst mountains. Only 20 minutes away from Yangshuo, you'll be surrounded by farmland and rice paddies. The room you'll stay in is basic, yet well maintained and the staff is very friendly. There are mountain bikes, kayaks, bamboo rafts and tubes for rent and naturally this area is great for walking.
You'll start off the day with a bike ride along the Yulong River. The scenery here is beautiful and it features a dramatic array of karst mountains on the banks of the river. During your bike ride you'll leave the main roads and peddle over paths along the river, through farmland and rice paddies and you'll have the karst mountains as constant companions during your ride. After biking for a while, the bamboo raft will be waiting to take you down the river. After a few kilometres you'll get back on your bike and peddle towards the 'highlight' of this trek, Moon Hill. You can choose to climb the hill if you wish. Eventually when you return to your hotel you can unwind with a beer or glass of wine on the terrace.
Today you'll have the entire day to spend as you please; there is plenty to do in this area. You can rent a kayak from the hotel, spend another day on a bicycle to explore the area on your own or you can even take Kung Fu lesson for an hour. We'll gladly give you more options.
Yangshuo - Ping'an
At around 9:00 you'll be picked up and a transfer will take you north through Guilin to the Longji rice terraces. The village Ping'an is located in the middle of this area and is only accessible by foot. You'll be awaited at the end of the drive and someone will join you on the 20 minute walk to the village. You'll stay in a basic, well maintained guest house in the village. The guest house has a large veranda where you can enjoy the view of the rice fields and mountains in the crisp clean air. The rest of the day is free to explore your surroundings.
At around 9:00 you and a guide will head out for a day of hiking through the world's highest altitude, most vast area of rice terraces. This area is called Dragon's Bone or Longji. You'll mostly be walking through the rice terraces; however you'll also walk through forest or marshes. You'll see the Zhuang hard at work in their paddy-fields bushing their oxen through the mud. Around lunchtime you'll have a bite to eat in a small town and then you'll continue hiking for another two hours. Then you'll catch a bus back to the end of the road leading to Ping'an where you'll walk back to your guest house in the village with your guide. In the evening you'll be able to enjoy a stunning sunset from the veranda.
Ping'an - Guilin - Shanghai
After you've checked out of the guest house, a transfer will be waiting to take you to Guilin airport (1.5 hour drive), where you'll catch a plane to an entirely different part of China.... harbour city Shanghai! We will make arrangements for a transfer to take you to your centrally located hotel on arrival. The hotel is truly located at the best possible spot; in the evening you can simply exit the hotel and walk onto the Shanghai river boulevard, The Bund.
While strolling along the Bund past the large classic colonial buildings you'll feel like you're walking through ancient 18th and 19th century China. Much like during the golden days, business is still booming here. International fashion boutiques, yuppie bars and beautifully renovated buildings such as the infamous Peace Hotel all stand side by side. On the other side of the Bund you'll see Pudong's skyscrapers shooting into the heavens like a brand new Shanghai.
Shanghai - UK
You will arrange your own transfer back to the airport at your hotel reception area for a small cost. Since you'll be travelling 'along with time', you'll usually arrive back in the UK on Day 20 as well.
- Inclusions -
- Transport, accommodation, 4 domestic flights, transfers and excursions as described below
- Exclusions -
- International flight, (airport) taxes, meals and drinks, entrance fees
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Email the tour operator - 20 Day Go China Itinerary
Important Notice : Avoiding Fraud
It's rare, but some helpful hints to watch out for with regards to fraud:
- It is important to NEVER wire funds or use/employ other fund transfer mechanisms such as western union: Always use a credit card to protect yourself against fraud. If owners pressure you into providing a deposit or refuse to accept credit cards, there is a high probability that this is a scam.
- If at all suspicious of fraud, ask to see their website, or any other literature they can provide or send to you. Ask them for contact details for guests who have previously stayed on their property insisting on telephone numbers. Be suspicious of emails that originate from free email services (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc)
- Research the property thoroughly on the internet to see if there is any history or mention of scams associated with the property.