Water Wheels Drum Towers and Days Gone by 23 Day Itinerary
- Price from:
- 2185 GBP /person
- 01273 322048
- 01273 732 791
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
Last updated: 04/23/2009
An epic journey from Beijing to Shanghai taking in ancient landmarks, sprawling countryside and traditional Chinese villages; An active trip for those seeking an adventure
Arrival in Beijing One of our local representatives will be waiting for you in the arrival hall holding a sign with your name on it; our representative 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 small scale and architecture of these hotels is quite charming. 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.
Today you'll have a chance to discover Beijing by car with a driver and an English-speaking guide. You'll be picked up at your hotel around 8:30 in the morning. The first stop is Tian'anmen Square: the gateway to heavenly peace. This famous square is home to the buildings of parliament as well as the entrance to the Forbidden City and Mao Zhedong's Mausoleum and is most likely top of your list of must-see's in China. After a stop you'll visit the Temple of Heavenly Peace and the colourful Lama Temple. These are Beijing's most important temples.
During the afternoon you and a guide will visit the Forbidden City where you'll take a peak at the emperors residence during the 18th century. After you've seen all you want to see your guide will help you catch a taxi cab back to your hotel.
Beijing - Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China should be a part of every China trip. A hike over the wall from Jinshanling to Simatai, is the most enjoyable way to get a sense of the vastness of the Great Wall of China. The 10km hike is quite strenuous; you'll be climbing and descending for about 4 hours over restored and original wall segments. Another alternative would be an excursion to the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu. During this excursion you can walk over the wall for about 3km and simply return to the starting point at the end of the walk allowing you to make your walk as short or as long as you wish. This part of the wall is a bit more commercialized and crowded than the part visited during the 10km hike; there are more souvenir shops and such. The segment of the wall at Jinshanling is quiet and peaceful.
Beijing - Xi'an
Today you'll have one more day to spend as you please in Beijing. After yesterday's walk on the Great Wall of China your muscles may be a bit sore. If you'd like spend the day relaxing, take a taxi cab to Beihei City Park with its classical Chinese gardens or visit the Summer Palace. If you feel like spending your day more actively, go for a walk or bike ride through Beijing's old neighbourhoods, the hutongs.
Be sure to head back to your hotel around 15:00, you'll be picked up there around 17:00 and taken to the train station. We'll arrange a hard sleeper for you in the night train to Xi'an. Once on board, we fell asleep quite quickly to the rhythmic sound of the train on 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). We'll make reservations for you in a centrally located, comfortable hotel. 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. The heart of the city is the 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. The site is located about 40 minutes from Xi'an and was once created as the future royal tomb for the then 14 year old King Zheng. After about 2 hours you'll have seen all there is to see; however transport to and from the site will cause you to spend about half a day on this excursion. You'll be back in Xi'an around 13.00 in the afternoon.
If you're looking for more action in the afternoon, go for a bike ride across Xi'an's city wall. If you want to avoid the busy city of Xi'an, this is quite a treat.
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, within walking distance from several backpacker hostels. This offers you the chance to profit from the know how of the hostels English speaking staff as well as the affordable activities and excursions that they organize.
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 10:30.
Chengdu - Lijiang
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. This area known as the 'old town of 'Dayan' is listed on Unesco's world heritage list. Your hotel has a courtyard with sitting areas, plants and lanterns.
On this morning you'll go on a bicycle ride through the area surrounding Lijiang. You'll ride over a flat road with mountains to the right and left of you together along with your guide. You'll visit the traditional Naxi village Baisha, where you'll park your bike and visit the legendary herbal practitioner Dr. Ho. You'll return to Lijiang around noon where you'll say goodbye to your guide and your bike.
After lunch you can visit the Black Dragon Pool Park. This park is home to some of the most often photographed areas in China,as when the sun shines the lake reflects the temple and tops of the surrounding mountains beautifully.
Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge
From Lijiang you'll head out today for your two day trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge. You'll travel by bus to the starting point of the trek for about three hours. The first part of the trek will take 2 hours and will end at a Naxi guest house. All those with a reasonable level of physical fitness can participate in the trek. Along the way you'll see mountain-side terraces filled with vegetable and rice crops, you'll walk through pine and hardwood forests and you'll cross over pieces of land with significant altitude differences.
Once you arrive at the Naxi home, you'll be able to have lunch (not included in the price of this trip) and then you'll continue on to the Halfway Lodge. This is where you'll be able to take off your shoes and spend the night in a simple wooden building with a shared bathroom. There's a large veranda in front of the house with a view of the gorge. On a clear night you'll see a breathtaking sky filled with the moon and many stars.
Tiger Leaping Gorge - Zhongdian
Luckily the second day of the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek is less strenuous. You'll hike for about 2 hours, at first the path will remaion flat and later on the path will descend into the gorge. Eventually you'll reach the road at the bottom that runs along the Yangtze River. At this point a car with driver will be waiting for you. You'll say goodbye to your guide and you'll travel for about 6 hours by car to a village near Zhongdian. You'll be dropped off in the picturesque Tibetan countryside where you'll spend the night at the home of a local Tibetan family. As you can imagine, you shouldn't expect a luxurious accommodation. You'll have your own bedroom; however there's usually only cold water in the home and you'll have dinner with the family.
The following morning you'll have breakfast with the family and then you'll have time to go on a walk through the village or around the lake. Around noon the time will come to say goodbye to your host family and the village and you'll drive on another 30 minutes to Zhongdian.
You'll be dropped off at a charming Tibetan style hotel in the historic part of the city. If you like, you can take a taxi cab to the three hundred year old Tibetan Ganden Sumtseling Gompa Monastery. The monastery is home to more than 300 monks and lies on the outskirts of Zhongdian in a magnificent natural environment. After visiting the monastery you can go into the old town for a meal.
Zhongdian - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo
This morning you'll be able to sleep in and take your time having breakfast. Then you'll head off to Zhongdian airport and your long day of travelling will begin. You'll fly via Kunming to the city of Guilin. You'll arrive in Guilin around 19.00 in the evening, where a transfer will take you on a two hour drive to Yangshuo.
Once you arrive in Yangshuo you'll have three days to relax, unwind and enjoy the wonderland of the magical karst mountains. The area exudes a very relaxed, laid-back traveller's mentality and you'll find it easy to make new friends here.
Yangshuo - bike, bamboo boat excursion Yulong River
You'll start off the day with a bike ride along the Yulong River. The scenery here is every bit as beautiful as it is at the Li River 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 your day is free to explore your surroundings.
Ping'an - hike with a guide
At 9:00 you'll take off with your guide on a walk through the world's largest rice paddies, The Dragon's Bone or Long Ji. Your walk will be anything but ordinary. You'll climb and descend through marvellous scenic areas, past rivers, through wooded areas and through rice paddies where the Zhuang push their oxen through the blubber. Around lunch time you'll have a bite to eat and you'll rest up for a bit in the village before continuing on another two hour walk. At around 15.00 a van will take you back towards Ping'an village limits and you'll walk back the last part.
In the evening, the Zhuang will show you their singing and dancing traditions at your request. Afterwards travellers usually gather on the veranda to sit, talk, drink or play a game until late in the evening.
Ping'an - Guilin - Shanghai - Tongli
After you've checked out, a transfer will be waiting to take you to the Guilin airport. Then you'll fly off to an entirely different type of China; the harbour city Shanghai. On arrival a private transfer will be ready to take you to the quiet aquatic town of Luzhi (a 1 hour drive). Luzhi has more bridges per square kilometre than Venice and you'll have plenty of time to explore this city by foot or by boat.
Eventually your mini van will take you to your hotel in Tongli, only 30 minutes further down the road, before sun sets. This aquatic town is also quite idyllic and charming. The red Chinese lanterns in the entrance gates and in the courtyard of your hotel will be lit and you'll probably want to go out to one of the restaurants nearby for dinner. If you feel up to it after dinner, walk around the canals near your hotel for a little while and soak up the atmosphere.
Tongli - TGV train to Shanghai
We suggest waking up early this morning. Around 11:00 the Chinese tourists start to flock the city, but until this time you'll have the time to explore the city in peace and quiet and you'll see Tongli awaken. The best way to see Tongli is by water. You can rent a boat early in the morning for 70 Yuan, the boat resembles the Venetian gondolas and comes complete with a helmsman to steer you through the canals of Tongli. You'll see bumpy cobble stone streets and old trees on the banks of the canals.
At 15:00 (you'll have already checked out in the morning) you'll head out on a scheduled line bus to Suzhou and then you'll take a taxi cab to the train station. From here you'll travel on by high-speed train to Shanghai at 17:30. On arrival at the Shanghai train station a transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel. You can either rest out after you find your hotel room or you can go out to a bar/restaurant terrace near your hotel to see the spectacular view of the illuminated Bund and Pudong skyline until 23:00.
Shanghai Today you have the day free to spend in this great city. 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. If you just feel like relaxing and unwinding, you may want to visit the famous Yu-garden, not far from the Bund. Try to visit the garden close to closing time, the quietest time of the day. The calming atmosphere will not calm down your feet, but also your head.
Shanghai Today you have another day in the City to spend as you choose
Shanghai - UK
All good things must come to an end. Today, with a sigh, you'll return to the airport (Arrange a transfer at your hotel reception for just a few pounds) and catch your flight back to the UK
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation, transport and all transfers and excursions as mentioned below
- Exclusions -
- International flight, (airport) taxes, meals and drinks, entrance fees
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Beijing
- Beijing City Tour - from 40 USD
- Cooking Class Beijing Wine Pairing Cooking Demo - from 250 CNY
- Beijing Cooking Class Chinese Regional Flavours - from 300 CNY
- Beijing Food Tour Tea Tasting Safari - from 550 CNY
- Beijing Food Tour Beijing Night Market Tour - from 450 CNY
- Beijing Food Tour Sihuan Market - from 450 CNY
- Beijing Home Style Chinese Cooking Class - from 210 CNY
- Beijing The Great Wall Less Traveled - from 990 CNY
- Great Wall - from 1600 CNY
- Forbiden City & Tian An Men & Beihai Park &Temple of Heaven - from 1400 CNY
- A Great Wall Tour - from 1500 CNY
- River Rafting in Beijing - from 220 USD
- BikeBeijing com Rentals & Tours - from 15 USD
- Beijing Target Shooting & Great Wall Day Tour - from 70 USD
- Beijing Countryside Life Half Day Trip - from 70 USD
- Beijing Cooking Learning Day Tour - from 100 USD
- Beijing Great Wall Hiking & Spa Day Tour - from 80 USD
- Beijing Simatai Great Wall One Day Tour - from 40 USD
- Beijing Opera Show in the evening - from 30 USD
- Chinese Kung Fu Show in the evening - from 30 USD
- Beijing Badaling Great Wall,Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square... - from 40 USD
- Beijing Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven... - from 30 USD
- Beijing Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs One Day Tour - from 20 USD
- Beijing Tour - 3 days from 1200 CNY
- Bei Jing City Tour - 10 days from 200 USD
- 3 Days Beijing Sightseeing - 3 days from 800 CNY
- Beijing Weekends Tour - 2 days from 280 CNY
- The Land of the Great Wall 17 Day Itinerary - 17 days from 1298 GBP
- Beijing Nights Southern China and Topical Beaches - 14 days from 1298 GBP
- 10 Days Tibet Impression - 10 days from 1503 USD
- Once in a Lifetime Journey From Tibet Railway to Yangtze Cruise - 14 days from 1931 USD
- Splendors of the Yangtze - 11 days from 1388 USD
- Golden Route of China - 8 days from 928 USD
- 8 Days Essence of China Post Olympic Tour - 8 days from 1130 USD
- 10 Days Splendid China Post Olympic Tour - 10 days from 1565 USD
- People of China From City to Countryside 23 Day Itinerary - 23 days from 1885 GBP
- 20 Day Go China Itinerary - 20 days from 1585 GBP
- Raise the Red Lantern - 4 days from 135 GBP
- Easy Going Beijing - 4 days from 298 GBP
- Great Silk Road - 26 days from 1910 EUR
- Beijing to Kathmandu - 28 days from 1050 GBP
- Trans Tibetan Express - 8 days from 1370 USD
- Unrestored Great Wall Hiking - 3 days from 1300 CNY
- Beijing 3 Day Highlights Vacation Package - 3 days from 295 CNY
- Purification On The Soul and Mind ¨C Exploring The Sacred... - 12 days from 2640 USD
- A Family Adventure Into China - 12 days from 2220 USD
- Capture The Spirit of Classical Chinese Gardens - 8 days from 1590 USD
- China Beijing Private Personal Travel Tour with Licensed... - 3 days from 30 USD
- 8 days Essence of China Tour CHT1 - 8 days from 1350 USD
- China Golden Tour 10 Days - 10 days from 1246 USD
- Guided Photography and Videography on the Wild Great Wall - 2 days from 220 USD
- Mountain Biking by the Wild Great Wall - 2 days from 220 USD
- China Experience - 11 days from 1615 GBP
- Trout Fishing in Beijing & Fly fishing in Beijing - 2 days from 220 USD
- China Upstream Tour - 14 days from 1023 GBP
- Explore Yangtze River 13 Days Downstream Cruise with Beijing,... - 13 days from 1388 USD
- China Silk Road 13 days Tour - 13 days from 2428 USD
- Grand China with Scenic Yangtze Cruise - 19 days from 2219 GBP
- Vintage China Plan A Beijing, Xian & Shanghai - 11 days from 951 USD
- Magical China tour - 14 days from 1599 GBP
- China & Yangtze River Cruises - 9 days from 1423 USD
- Wild Great Wall Travel | Great wall guide | Great wall trip... - 2 days from 150 USD
- The China Train Experience - 9 days from 925 GBP
- China Highlights - 11 days from 1735 USD
- Beijing Top Selling 4 day Tour Package - 4 days from 195 USD
- Beijing Xian Shanghai 8 Day Join in Train Travel - 8 days from 650 USD
- China Classic Tour - 11 days from 899 CNY
- Golf Playing Tour - 7 days from 1000 USD
- Yangtze River Cruise - 4 days from 400 USD
Email the tour operator - Water Wheels Drum Towers and Days Gone by 23 Day 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.