China: Cafés & Karst Mountains
Now’s the time to explore China on your terms with this tour that’s affordable for young travellers. Ancient villages or bustling metropolises? This 24-day tour of China includes both — and then some. Monumental sights like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and an army of Terracotta Warriors can make China seem intimidating — but with an expert CEO (Chief Experience Officer) leading the way, we’ll wipe away those worries and leave you free to enjoy the ride. And between the panda conservation centre, bamboo rafting, beaches, historic sites, tai chi, and lively nightlife, it’s not a ride you’ll want to miss.
Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Discover Moment: Yangshuo
Your Big Night Out Moment: Private Karaoke Session, Xi’an
Your Discover Moment: Beijing
Your Discover Moment: Shanghai
Your Local Living Moment: Hakka Tulou, Hongkeng Village
Your Big Night Out Moment: Zhongshan Road, Xiamen. Shaolin Temple Visit. Wuyishan entrance ticket, including hiking. Orientation walks in Xi’an, Shanghai, Hongkeng Village, and Xiamen. Tour of a traditional tulou. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore scenic Yangshuo, Taste the spicy food Chengdu is known for, Visit the Great Wall, Spend the night in a traditional Hakka roundhouse, Wander the mystical Shaolin Monastery and Temple, Explore the ancient city of Xi’an and sing your heart out during a private karaoke session
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
As we use (sometimes crowded) local transport please note backpacks are much more suitable than suitcases for this style of trip. Train travel means that bags have to be stowed either overhead or under beds, so travelling as light as possible is recommended.
2. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
3. Peak season notice: Golden Week falls between October 1st and 7th, 2019/2020/2021. Please note that Golden Week is a semi-annual 7-day or 8-day national holiday for the people of China. This is a very busy time of the year for domestic tourists, so expect some crowding at major attractions. We recommend booking these dates well in advance as accommodations and transportation availability is extremely limited.
Group Leader Description
All of our G Adventures group trips are accompanied by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) in China. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 12.
No meals included
Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice may be limited. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Train, bus, sleeper train (beds), private vehicle.
About our Transportation
Train travel is often used throughout our China trips as it’s an easily accessible and fast way to make the most of the time you have in China. While packing for your trip please note the following restrictions and remember that the local policies in place are for yours and everyone’s safety.
Prohibited items on China’s trains and metro:
1. Any knives or scissors
2. Items or food that have an unpleasant odour (ex. Durian)
3. Open liquor bottles (new bottles with the seal intact are okay)
4. Pressurized/flammable containers over 120ml in size (ex. sunscreen spray, mosquito repellent spray, hairspray, etc.)
Prohibited items on trains to/from Guangxi Province – Guilin/Yangshuo
1. Floria Water – a mosquito repellent water common in China
2. Self-heating food items (self-heating hot pot, rice, etc.)
3. As well as everything on the previous list above
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotel (15 nts), Hostel (standard twin/single) (4 nts), guesthouse (3 nts), sleeper trains (1 nts)
A variety of styles of hostels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in local guest houses in stunning locations – rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.
Multi-share Accommodation: Multi-share same-sex accommodation is used on this tour, as such, if you are travelling with someone of a different gender you will not be in the same room. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
There are a few ways to get to Hong Kong from the Airport. If you are taking a taxi, we always recommend printing out the address of the hotel (in the native language as well as English if available), to show to your taxi driver.
Follow signs to the taxi station. It’s by the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall. Cost is around HK$250 to the hotel.
If you are using public transit:
1. Directions to PENTAHOTEL:
Address: 19號, 15 Luk Hop St, San Po Kong, Hong Kong
By Train (Airport Express): Follow the signs to the Airport Express Station, take the train to Tsing Yi Station 青衣站, then follow signs to transfer to Lai King 荔景 (MTR Tung Chung Line, Direction to Hong Kong), then transfer to Prince Edward 太子站 (MTR Tsuen Wan Line 荃湾线, Direction to Central), then transfer to Diamond Hill 鑽石山站 (MTR Kwun Tong Line, Direction to Tiu Keng Leng). Get off at Diamond Hill 鑽石山站. Come out via EXIT A2, walk towards southeast and turn left to Lung Cheung Road for 25 meters, then turn left for around 200 meters, turn right onto Choi Hung Road, turn left to Tai Yau Street, turn left onto Luk Hop Street; Penta Hotel Kowloon would be on your left. The Cost is around HKD90.
By Public Airport Bus: The bus station is situated outside the Arrivals Hall on the right side. You need to leave the Arrivals Hall and turn right, following the direction signs to Ground Transportation Centre. Take Line A26 or A29P to Diamond Hill Station; Tai Hom Road 鑽石山站 (6th stop including Hong Kong International Airport). Once you get off the bus, walk forward (same direction as bus goes) and turn right to cross Lung Cheung Road, then turn left toward Choi Hung Road, turn right onto Choi Hung Rd, turn left toward Sze Mei Street, continue onto Sze Meiyou slightly right; at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Luk Hop St., at the cross turn right to stay on right side Luk Hop St., then you’ll see Penta Hotel Kowloon. The Cost is around HKD33.
2. Directions to HARBOUR PLAZA NORTH POINT:
Address: 665 King’s Rd, North Point, Hong Kong
By Train (Airport Express): Follow the signs to the Airport Express Station, take the train to Hong Kong Station 香港站, then follow signs to transfer to Central Station (MTR Island Line 港岛线). Get off at Quarry Bay Station 鲫鱼涌站. Come out via EXIT B, head north on King’s Road for 200 metres, turn right toward King’s Road then turn left toward King’s Road and slight left onto King’s Road. The hotel will be on the right. The cost for the train is about HK115.
By Public Airport Bus & Metro: The bus station is situated outside the Arrivals Hall on the right side. You need to leave the Arrivals Hall and turn right, following the direction signs to Ground Transportation Centre. Take Line A22 to Chi Wo Street; Jordan Road (4th stop including Hong Kong International Airport). Once you get off the bus, head southwest on Jordan Rd toward Nathan Rd, take entrance Jordan Station Exit B2. Take Tsewn Wan Line 荃湾线 from Jordan Station 佐敦站 to Admiralty Station 金钟站. Follow the signs to transfer take Island Line 港岛线 from Admiralty Station to Quarry Bay Station 鲫鱼涌站. Come out via EXIT B, head north on King’s Road for 200 metres, turn right toward King’s Road then turn left toward King’s Road and slight left onto King’s Road. The hotel will be on the right. Cost is about HK21.
Taxi/train is recommended as they are the easiest ways to get to the hotel. Bus is the cheapest option.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer:
Please approach Vigor Tours airport counter upon arrival and advise your G Adventures confirmation number to Vigor Tours airport staff. Vigor Tours airport service counter location:
Counter B18, Arrival Hall B of Terminal 1.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
Arrival transfer provider, Vigor Tours:
24 Hours Emergency Contact: (852)-23011824
G Adventures Local Representative (China): +86 18700582383.
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Locks for bags
• Overnight bag
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Waterproof backpack cover
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
Train Travel (Optional):
• Slip-on shoes
• Small container with lid
• Travel cutlery
• Travel or camp cup
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
- Please be advised that if you have recently travelled to Turkey, or you are a Turkish citizen, it is possible that your Chinese visa will not be approved. Please contact your local embassy for further information. **
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the embassy of each country. Your travel agent can assist. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
CHINA: all nationalities require a visa to visit China
Most nationalities also need an official Letter Of Invitation (LOI) before they can apply for their Chinese visa.
You can obtain the LOI through our visa support agent in China. The visa support link you need to complete will be sent to you or your travel agent by email when you confirm your booking. You must read the instructions carefully and fill out all the details.
Please ensure that you list the same details as appear on your LOI when filling out your Chinese Visa Application form.
HOW TO FILL IN CHINA LOI FORM ONLINE:
As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates as per your flights entering and exiting China. Please remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy. You will need to provide additional documentation to the consulate (i.e. flights tickets, hotel reservations) if these dates fall outside the duration of the tour.
Please do not submit the below application until 3 months prior to your entry into China. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in China and you will be emailed your Chinese Invitation Letter (With day by day Itinerary) only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date.
Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the nearest Chinese embassy. Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.
As of April 3rd, 2018, all Chinese visa application forms must be typed. Handwritten forms will no longer be accepted.
Following the successful implementation of their 144 hour visa free program for the Shanghai district, The Ministry of Public Security of China have announced the extension of the 144 hour visa free program for provinces of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. As of the 29th of December 2017, over 50 foreign nationals can now enter or exit via one of the following ports:
- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Railway West Railway Station
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Tianjin International Cruise Homeport, or
- Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport in Hebei Province and Qinhuangdao Harbor.
HONG KONG: all Indian nationalities require a ‘pre-arrival registration’ to enter Hong Kong
Indian nationals must apply for and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the Hong Kong. Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area. An Indian national can make use of the online service to apply for pre-arrival registration free of charge if he/she:
- Holds an Indian passport valid for at least six months; and
- Intends to visit or transit (except in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area) in Hong Kong for a stay not exceeding 14 days.
Information accurate as of December, 2018.
Link to Indian pre-arrival registration: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/pre-arrival_registration_for_indian_nationals.html
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Traditionally in China tipping is not expected and thus there is no need to tip in restaurants and your general interaction with locals; however, tipping is customary – though not compulsory – in the tourism industry and not only shows an expression of satisfaction it may also be of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO may offer to collect the money and tip as a group.
Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from 1 to 3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person per day can be used.
- Jia Community Restaurant
- Yangshuo Tai Chi Lesson (80-150CNY per person)
- Chinese Language Lesson (80-150CNY per person)
- Kung Fu Lesson (80-150CNY per person)
- Yangshuo Guided Cycle Tour (300CNY per person)
- Moon Hill Entrance and Hike (20CNY per person)
- Impression Liu Sanjie Culture Show
- Central Chinese Cooking Class – Yangshuo
- Evening Foodie tour by Tuk-Tuk
- Wenshu Monastery (5CNY per person)
- Giant Panda Breeding Center (58CNY per person)
- Leshan’s Giant Buddha and Tea Terrace Visit
- Terracotta Warriors Guided Tour
- Cycling Xi’an City Walls (100-150CNY per person)
- Tai Chi Lesson
- Longmen Grottoes Visit (120CNY per person)
- Mount Song Cable Car (20USD per person)
- Forbidden City Tour (60CNY per person)
- Tiananmen Square
- Factory 798 Art & Galleries
- Beijing Acrobatics Performance
- Great Wall Cycling
- Great Wall Mutianyu Visit (60CNY per person)
- Old Town Shanghai Walk (Free)
- People’s Park Visit
- Bamboo Rafting – Wuyishan (180CNY per person)
- Gulangyu Island Visit (110CNY per person)
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer 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. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting small rural communities or visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites as this may restrict your entry.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
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Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
PRODUCT_LINE: ACGG, ID: 25221