Private Tour of China

21 DAYS (Includes flights ex BNE)

 

The following information is designed to help you understand how unique and special my itinerary is for this tour, and includes a day-by-day itinerary with a short description of the touring and accommodation on your journey. I have intentionally not included all meals in the tour to make sure you are able to experience some great local cuisine in small local restaurants (with some guidance by my exceptional guides) and this will be possible with such a small group. This also helps keep the price of the tour down, and from my experiences with travel and tours, the best way to enjoy your entire journey.

China is a country like no other – the scale, the grandeur, the history, the mystery, the people – all offer the most wonderful and challenging experience for the traveler. Chinese civilization, dating back over 5,000 years, has influenced Asian culture more than any other. From the contrasting cities of Beijing and Shanghai, to the ancient history of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian and from the desert landscapes of the Silk Road to the lush mountains of Yunnan Province, China is awesome. Scratch the surface of the “Middle Kingdom” and you will begin an unforgettable journey.


DAY 1 -  DEPART BRISBANE

You will be met by your tour Host Diana at check in for Departure from Brisbane on Singapore Airlines.
 


DAY 2 -  ARRIVE BEIJING


On arrival in Beijing you will be met after customs check and transferred to your hotel.
Beijing, which means Northern Capital, is undoubtedly one of the great cities of the world. From one thousand years of dramatic history to a dynamic modern metropolis, Beijing offers a magnificent insight into China’s (The Middle Kingdom’s) past and future.
Meals: Nil – Due to any changes in flight times no meals have been arranged however this hotel and surrounds offer easy meal options.
Accommodation: NOVOTEL XINQIAO BEIJING – Superior Room


DAY 3 - BEIJING

This morning, walk through Tiananmen Square which was built on the orders of Mao Zedong and is said to have the capacity to hold over a million people. The square has often been used as a forum for popular dissent, including the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. From Tiananmen Square continue on foot passing through the beautiful Gate of Heavenly Peace and under the portrait of Chairman Mao to enter the splendid Forbidden City.
This ancient city was the sacred heart of the empire for over 500 years and home to the Ming and Qing dynasty imperial courts. You will leave via the North Gate then head into one of Beijing’s few remaining ‘hutongs’ or traditional lanes in the backstreets of the city. Before hopping on rickshaws for more close-up glimpses of local life in these laneways.
Unique experience - Local: Stop by a hutong family home and enjoy a delicious local lunch before hopping on rickshaws for more close-up glimpses of local life in these laneways. This afternoon, return to your hotel and the rest of the day is free at leisure.
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: NOVOTEL XINQIAO BEIJING – Superior Room


DAY 4 - BEIJING

This morning, drive to the north-west part of the city and visit the magnificent Summer Palace. Filled with temples, pavilions, gardens and decorated corridors, the Summer Palace was particularly favoured by the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi in the late 19th century. Wander through the extensive grounds of this vast royal garden which includes a number of Beijing’s artistic gems: the 700 metre Long Corridor, the graceful
Seventeen Arch Bridge, and the temples and pavilions of Longevity Hill and then take a cruise on Kunming Lake. Enjoy a packed lunch on the banks of the Kunming Lake before returning to your hotel.
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: NOVOTEL XINQIAO BEIJING – Superior Room

 

DAY 5 - BEIJING

Travel today to Mutianyu (90 kilometres north-east of Beijing) to visit China’s most famous attraction – the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China was built over 2000 years ago and is rumored to be visible from the moon, extending 5000 kilometres from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west.
Take the cable car up to the Wall from where you can take time to walk or climb sections (as your energy allows), admiring the panoramic views and reflecting on the enormity of the material and labour required for its construction.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: NOVOTEL XINQIAO BEIJING – Superior Room


day 6 - BEIJING - XIAN

See one of China’s most iconic temples, the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven. Also known as Tiantan, this perfection of Ming architecture has come to symbolise Beijing. Once used for the worship of the heavens for good harvest, the structure stands at 38 metres in height and 30 metres in diameter. With neither nails nor concrete used in its construction, it is completely balanced by wooden pillars. The temple is located within a vast park and in the early mornings the area is alive with tai chi enthusiasts, elderly men practicing Chinese calligraphy, dancers and performers reciting Beijing opera.
This afternoon you will be transferred to the train station and take a high speed train to Xian.
Upon arrival into Xian, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Xian (which means Western Peace) is located close to the banks of the Yellow River and has a history dating back to 1000BC. The city served as the capital for China’s greatest emperor, Emperor Qin Shi Huang (221 BC) (the word ‘China’ is derived from his name) and was also the starting point for the world’s most famous trade route - the Silk Road.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: BELL TOWER HOTEL – Superior Room

day 7 -  XIAN

Today starts with a short drive east that will take you to the truly remarkable Army of Terracotta Warriors - one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Still under excavation, these thousands of life sized terracotta warriors and horses were only unearthed in 1974 after being buried for 2000 years. Each figure is completely unique both in facial features and expression.

The terracotta army was designed to defend Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb and ensure that he would have a standing army to protect him in the afterlife. Many archaeologists believe that the warriors discovered so far might only be part of an even larger terracotta army still buried in vaults around the Emperor’s tomb. After lunch you have an opportunity for an educational visit to a Terracotta Warrior Factory to learn more about the complex production process (unchanged from Qin dynasty times!) of these fascinating artworks.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: BELL TOWER HOTEL – Superior Room


day 8 - XIAN

This morning start with a city tour to visit the Old City Walls (which date back to the 14th century) before continuing on to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Built in 652 AD this beautiful pagoda was designed to house the Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by the travelling monk Xuan Zang. Xuan Zang, whose trek is creatively immortalised in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”, then set out to translate the Buddhist texts into Chinese script.
From this historic Buddhist site you will continue onto the heart of Xian’s Muslim Quarter to visit the Great Mosque. An interesting fusion of both Middle Eastern and traditional Chinese architectural styles, the Great Mosque is one of the largest in China and an important place of worship for the 30,000 strong Muslim populations living in Xian. Take some time to walk through the Muslim Quarter to enjoy its lively street markets and fascinating local foods.
After your city tour continue to the airport for your flight to Chengdu.
On arrival in Chengdu you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: TIANFU SUNSHINE HOTEL – Superior room

 

day 9 -CHENGDU

Rise early this morning to visit the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Base, just a short drive out of Chengdu and one of the highlights of this region. The base is a fascinating place to observe Giant Pandas and to learn about these endangered
animals and the conservation and breeding initiatives that have been implemented to protect them and their natural habitat.
You will have a chance to see and watch a growing number of Giant Pandas as well as the lesser known Red Panda. Take time to watch the younger ones at play which is always a source of much entertainment!
Back in Chengdu, have a break for lunch before continuing on with a visit to Dufu’s cottage. Dufu is a famed poet from the Tang Dynasty and the gardens are filled with his sculpted poems amidst bamboo groves and serene pagodas.
Then visit People's Park and relax in its teahouses before exploring Jinli Old Street and returning to your hotel.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: TIANFU SUNSHINE HOTEL – Superior Room


day 10 - CHENGDU - GUILIN

This morning check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin.
Upon arrival into Guilin transfer to your hotel.
Guilin is one of China’s most attractive small cities thanks to its dramatic limestone karsts, the slow flow of the Li River, and the many osmanthus trees that line its streets and paths.
Some free time here in the afternoon to either rest or to discover your own memories of this lovely place.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: GUILIN BRAVO HOTEL – Lake View room

 

day 11 - GUILIN - LONGSHENG

Full day touring. Drive past some spectacular scenery of towering karst cliff landscapes and ascend the winding road that snakes up the mountainside to an area that is home to various ethnic minority groups. Wander through the maze of little stone pathways and traditional wooden houses on stilts of the White Yao village, and take a short hike further up the mountain to admire some of China’s most spectacular rice terrace scenery. 
Unique Experience: This area is known as the Dragon’s Backbone and features amazing rows upon rows of rice terraces clinging precariously to the slopes of neighbouring mountain peaks and valleys. One the most beautiful sceneries in China.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: GUILIN BRAVO HOTEL – Lake View room


day 12 -  LI RIVER CRUISE & YANGSHUO

This morning transfer to the pier to board your boat for a wonderful journey along the Li River. The boat journey takes you past tranquil farming and fishing scenes and picturesque villages. The main attraction, however, is the stunning limestone karsts that tower above the river creating a magical landscape of mountains and water.
The unique and natural beauty of this region has for centuries been an inspiration to Chinese artists and poets alike. The small town of Yangshuo - set in the lush green rice paddies of southern China, surrounded by meandering river ways and limestone peaks - provides an interesting contrast to the big Chinese cities you have just visited. Spend the afternoon walking the cobblestone streets, relax in a street side cafe, and enjoy the colourful atmosphere of this enchanting town.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: YANGSHUO NEW CENTURY HOTEL – Deluxe Room


day 13 - YANGSHUO

Yangshuo’s beautiful countryside on bicycles. Easy riding experience. Explore local villages, rice paddies, lotus fields and fish farms on local tracks and enjoy amazing images of rural life. Alternate : free time exploring the towns Antique Shops for those unable to participate in the bike ride
Back in town, there will be time for you to visit the local markets or indulge in some shopping in the assortment of shops and street side stalls.
Unique Experience: Today, don your cycling helmets, pack your spirit of adventure and head out into.
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: YANGSHUO NEW CENTURY HOTEL – Deluxe Room

 

day 14 -  - YANGSHUO – GUILIN - CHONGQING

Today you will transfer back to Guilin and fly to Chongqing.
Upon arrival in Chongqing enjoy a Chinese Hotpot dinner in a local restaurant before being transferred to Chongqing Pier, the departure point of your cruise.
Board your boat in the evening ready for your cruise through some of the Yangtze River’s most spectacular landscapes. Your cruise boat departs approximately 9pm for the journey downstream.
The Victoria Jenna has been voted Best Ship on the Yangtze by several cruise critics.
Meals: breakfast and dinner


day 15 - SHIBAOZHAI

Leave the industrial surrounds of Chongqing behind and pass small towns whose existence is tied to the waters of the Yangtze. Your first stop is Shibaozhai.
Meaning ‘precious stone fortress’ this impressive structure is built against a steep hill on the bank of the Yangtze River. Rising to a height of 56m over 12 stories, every floor of this architectural gem is dedicated to famous generals of the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-65), local scholars and renowned Chinese poets. This evening enjoy a buffet dinner on board. 
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: VICTORIA JENNA – Superior Cabin

 

day 16 -  QUTANG, WU GORGE AND SHENNV XI

Rise early today to admire the magnificent river landscapes as our boat passes through the towering cliffs and mountains of the first and second gorges, Qutang and Wu Gorge.
You will then take an excursion to 'Shennv Xi' (Goddess Stream)* which flows from the southern bank of the Yangtze opposite Goddess Peak.
Once just a brook, the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level to 70-100 metres in depth, making it navigable by small craft on which you will travel for about 15 km to view the beauty of its narrow gorges. Surrounded by beautiful peaks, many protected species live here, including monkeys, mountain goats, deer and boar; as well as varieties of Chinese medicinal herbs.
Later, return to the ship and enter the third of the main gorges, Xiling Gorge, and this evening join the Captain's Banquet for dinner. Tonight the cruise ship will sail through the mighty five level ship lock and moor downstream of the Yangtze Three Gorges Dam.
*Note: Due to variable sailing conditions, Shennv Xi may be substituted by Daning River or Shennong Stream.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: VICTORIA JENNA – Superior Cabin


day 17 - THREE GORGES DAM - YICHANG - SHANGHAI

Early this morning we take a shore excursion to the site of the Three Gorges Dam Project. The scale of this project is enormous and at any given time up to 30,000 labourers were involved in the dam’s construction. By the completion of the project in 2009, 20 towns were flooded and over 1.3 million people were relocated to new villages. We return to the boat and sail onto Yichang where we disembark late morning.
After disembarking, transfer to the airport for a flight to Shanghai.

Upon arrival in Shanghai you will be transferred to your hotel. Once known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Shanghai today has emerged again as one of Asia’s most important cities. Before the communists arrived in 1949, Shanghai was a city of European-style mansions and the most important trading port in Asia. Communism brought about radical reconstruction of society, silencing all western and outside influences in its path. During the height of the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai became a city of hatred and spite as families and friends turned on each other - famously recounted in Nien Chang’s ‘Life and Death in Shanghai’. These days it is a buzzing contemporary metropolis.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: SOFITEL HYLAND SHANGHAI – Superior Room

 

day 18 - SHANGHAI

This morning your city tour will take you to some of Shanghai’s highlights. Take a stroll along the historic Bund riverfront, a stretch of grand colonial buildings that contribute greatly to Shanghai's reputation as the "Paris of the East. Walk along the bustling Nanjing Road, also known as Shanghai's "Golden Mile", which has once again been restored to reflect Shanghai's status as a booming and truly international city.
Visit the well-known Yu Garden in the Old Quarter. Originally founded in 1577 by the Pan family, this is the finest example of Ming garden design in Shanghai.
Take some time to explore the area surrounding the garden which is a bustling bazaar with numerous food stalls, antique and souvenir shops, before returning to your hotel for a break for lunch.

Unique experience: This afternoon you will drive to the enchanting water town of Zhujiajiao, a traditional water canal town dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The town retains an old world charm rarely found in modern China. Browse through quaint stores selling local produce and souvenirs along Great North Street.
Zhujiajiao's network of waterways, old wooden waterside houses, arch stone bridges (36 of them!), and narrow paved laneways are the perfect setting for our peaceful canal cruise and stroll to absorb the century old Chinese town atmosphere.
Also visit a traditional Chinese garden and a couple of beautiful historic buildings that have been preserved.
Transfer back to your hotel late this afternoon.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: SOFITEL HYLAND SHANGHAI – Superior Room


day 19 - SHANGHAI

Today is yours to spend at leisure. You may like to visit the Shanghai Museum which holds a collection of cultural items including ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy or take a stroll along Nanjing Road and do some last minute shopping.


This evening you are off to the theatre to view the world famous Chinese acrobats in a mind-bending performance of skill and agility. This show is the best in town (and arguably, the country!) and must be seen to be believed!

Following the show, enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: SOFITEL HYLAND SHANGHAI – Superior Room

 

day 20 - SHANGHAI

Today your tour ends with a transfer to the airport for your flight home with Singapore Airlines.
SQ 833 DEPARTS SHANGHAI AT 4.50PM ARRIVES SINGAPORE AT 10.10PM
Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

 

day 21 -  ARRIVE BRISBANE

SQ 255 DEPARTS SINGAPORE AT 00.45AM
ARRIVES BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL AT 10.35AM

End of services.


TOUR PRICE:
$6,480.00 - PER PERSON/Twin Share
Additional $1,424.00 Per Person for Single Supplement

*This was the price of this trip in May 2016 and may be used as a guide for future trips. The cost is dependent on the time of the year.


PLACES ARE LIMITED: MAXIMUM 15 PASSENGERS

TO BOOK :
NON-REFUNDABLE

DEPOSIT DUE: $500.00 per person
SINGAPORE AIRLINES AIRFARE DUE:
$1,500.00 per person NON-REFUNDABLE
(required by airline for ticketing however date may change)

 

PLEASE CONTACT US TODAY WITH EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR THE 2018 TOUR OF CHINA!

 

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • The quoted prices may be subject to change upon the hotel availability at the time of booking however every effort will be made to book similar level of accommodation and price.
  • Fitness form: A signed fitness form is required for all passengers who are 70+ years old. This is very important.
  • Most services in China such as transport and hotels are transacted in RMB. The pricing given is affected by movements in the Australian Dollar. Please be advised that Go Tours reserve the right to apply a surcharge to pricing without notice.