Tour Highlights    Cruise serenely on the Li  Reconnect with nature amongst the pinnacles of Zhangjiajie  Four nights on the Yangtze  Discover Nine Villages Valley  Observe Pandas in Chengdu

NATURAL WONDERS

Fully Inclusive Group Tour

Duration : 23 DAYSCountry : CHINA
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Le Shan Giant Buddha
Zhangjiajie

Breathtaking scenery, towering pinnacles swathed in mist, sky-skimming mountains, colourful ponds, beaches, lakes, springs, waterfalls and caves are just some of the natural wonders you will experience on this scenic tour. You will see, marvel and engage with nature at its most verdant and spectacular. Indulge all of your senses with China's most dramatic natural highlights and be prepared to be spellbound by the unparalleled vista.

Included in the price

• International return flights (Economy class ex-Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane)
• Departure taxes and airlines fuel surcharges (approx. $380). 
• Chinese Visa fee and services fee (AUS and NZ passport holders only) $120.
• China domestic flights and taxes.
• 5-star hotel accommodation with daily breakfast.
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary. 
• Entrance fees for all sightseeing as scheduled.
• English-speaking local guides and air-conditioned vehicles. 
• Australian national guide for group tours of 16 or more.

Days 1-2: Fly to Guilin

Fly to Guilin. Depending on your time of arrival, you can begin immersing yourself in local culture.

Day 3: Yangshuo’s landscapes

Take a tranquil cruise along the Li River to the delightful village of Yangshuo. The Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is the centerpiece of any trip to the northeastern Guangxi Province. It is 43 kilometers long and is estimated to take four to five hours. Stunning Karst peaks provide you with welcomed surprises at each bend of the luminous river under the blue sky. Water buffalo guard the fields, peasants secure rice paddies while school children and local fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With the breathtaking scenery along the river, this has become one of China's top tourist destinations. Later, wander through this peaceful wonderland to gain an understanding of life here. For hiking enthusiasts, there is an option to take a short yet steep hike to the top of Moon Hill for spectacular sunset views (at own expense). (B,L,D)

Day 4: Tai Chi & bamboo rafting

Begin the day with a calming and revitalising session of Tai Chi. You will have the great privilege of learning this ancient martial art from a master of Tai Chi! This afternoon there is an option to go bamboo rafting on the Yulong River, known also as Li River (at your own expense). Float past lush green riverbanks and under ancient bridges as you paddle on the glass-like water. This evening you have the option of enjoying the magical Impression Sanjie Liu, night show (at your own expense). This performance is unlike any other you’ve experienced in your life. Here you will marvel at the world’s largest natural theater that utilises the waters of the Li River as its stage, with twelve mist covered hills as its backdrop. Mist, rain, moonlight, the hills and their inverted reflections in the river all become the ever-changing natural background. (B,L)

Day 5: Reed Flute Cave

Drive back to Guilin and spend the afternoon discovering the vibrant stalagmites and stalactites of Reed Flute Cave. This dazzling cave received its name because of the lush reeds growing on the outside that people make flutes from. Inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. Illuminated by coloured lighting, the incredible spectacle is found in many variations along this 240 metre long cave. Guilin's local products and handicrafts include China Sea pearls, so visit The South China Pearl Museum and learn about the fascinating 1,700 year history of pearling in the South China Sea. You might even be able to watch a fashion show that advertises all their different pearls. There are also gorgeous pieces available to buy. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Longji rice terraces

Travel to the iconic Longji Rice Terraces and commence a four hour walk through the traditional rural landscapes. Located approximately 27 kilometers southeast of Longsheng County, a vast region of rice terraces stretches layer upon layer, coiling around from the base of Longji (the dragon's backbone) Mountain to its summit. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the most incredible in all of China. There are many vantage points boasting picture-perfect, postcard views of the vast rice terraces that cover the hillside in intricate patterns. Drive back to Guilin, and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. (B,L)

Day 7: Travel to Zhangjiajie

Catch the bullet train to Changsha and then enjoy the stunning drive to Zhangjiajie. (B,L,D)

Days 8-9: Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie boasts mountainous regions, upland areas, plains, and Karst rock areas. Among these, the mountains cover 76 percent of the total area. A scenic area of over 3,000 sandstone pillars rising from misty folds of tropical forest and bathed in colourful green flora, Zhangjiajie’s arresting beauty is truly memorable. Ravines and gorges, streams and waterfalls and an abundance of endangered plants and animal species complete this picture-perfect scene. During your time in Zhangjiajie, you will enjoy some beautiful walks to Huanglong Cave and Huangshi Village, as well as a cruise on Lake Baofeng. You will also see Yuanjiajie Avatar Mountain and Emperor Mountain. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Travel to Yichang

Catch the train to Yichang, where you’ll board your Yangtze Cruise vessel. (B,L,D)

Days 11-13: Yangtze River cruise

Today, the much anticipated Yangtze River cruise begins. The Three Gorges Dam on the river is the largest dam project and hydropower station in the world. It’s a man-made wonder that is quite simply put, an extraordinary accomplishment in engineering. Technological triumphs aside, gliding upstream reveals the natural fauna that now takes centre stage. Some of the world’s most startling scenery is uncovered, including the Three Gorges themselves. The upcoming three days will be spent watching and gasping at one truly spectacular vista after another. Take a side trip to the beautiful Goddess or Shennong Stream and revel in shore excursions to the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai. The shore excursions include all the natural highlights of the Three Gorges, as well as the fascinating lesser-known sights providing opportunities to experience the real life of Chinese in the region. (B,L,D)

Day 14: Fly to Jiuzhaigou

Disembark your cruise vessel and fly to Nine Villages Valley (Jiuzhaigou). (B,D)

Day 15: Nine Villages Valley

Nine Villages Valley, also known as Jiuzhaigou National Park is regarded as one of China’s most beautiful areas. It is located in Nanping County, 450 kilometers to the north of Chengdu City. The name Nine Villages Valley reflects the nine enclosed villages that are of Tibetan origin. The Tibetan people have always seen this as a holy mountain and waterfall. This masterpiece of nature boasts dreamlike scenery, combining sapphire blue lakes, waterfalls, lush green forests, snow-covered mountains and the folk customs of the Tibetan and Qiang people. There are numerous flora and fauna in this beautiful area. The natural forest covers an area of nearly 30,000 hectares and includes 2,576 higher plant species (24 species of national protected plants) and over 400 lower plant species (212 species of algae). The mixture of various plant life has provided an ideal environment for wild animals. There are 170 species of vertebrates, 141 species of birds and 17 species of rare animals, including the giant pandas. Journey to the top of the valley to Long Lake, which is the highest and largest in the area where you will be captivated by the spectacular alpine views. A short walk to the Five-Coloured Lake and Nuorilang Falls offers some of the valley’s most stunning sights. (B,L,D)

Day 16: Shuzheng village

Visit Shuzheng village, the largest settlement in the park. Learn about daily life in Nine Villages Valley by spending quality time with a local Tibetan family. A pleasant afternoon walk will provide you with even more magnificent local scenery. Begin at Rhinoceros Lake, passing Tiger Lake and finishing at Red Lake. On your walk, you will pass an old watermill, many prayer wheels and Tibetan prayer flags. (B,L,D)

Day 17: Huanglong Pools

The Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is often referred to as the 'World Wonder' and 'Fairy Land on Earth' and for good reason. It is renowned for its colorful lakes, snow clad mountains, valleys and virgin forest and was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1992. The Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is famous for its outstanding travertine (calcium carbonate) formations. The travertine formations scenery is No.1 in China and you will be spellbound by the vista. The virgin forest is the backdrop for the travertine scenery that holds colorful ponds, beaches, lakes, springs, waterfalls and caves. Upon entering, you will immediately be captivated by a group of exquisite, crystal clear ponds. These are the Yingbin (welcoming guests) Colored Ponds. In spring, the luxuriant trees, blooming flowers, butterflies and birdsong make this experience even more remarkable. From the ponds, you can see the interwoven reflection of trees, mountains, clouds and sky. Along the valley, you will see many attractions including Feipuliuhui (glowing waterfall), Xishen (washing body) Cave, Penjing (miniascape) Ponds, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Temple, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Cave, Shitazhenhai and Zhuanhua (whirling flower) Pond, etc. The entire area is peppered with waterfalls and hot springs and due to the fact that it is relatively undiscovered, is an absolute pleasure to explore. You will have the opportunity to ride a cable car up to Huanglong Temple at the head of the valley to marvel at the unparalleled panoramic views (at your own expense) before catching a flight to Chengdu. (B,L)

Day 18: Leshan Giant Buddha

Travel to Leshan to see the incredible Leshan Giant Buddha, which is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world. It is an astounding 71 metres high and has 8.3 metre long fingers! Beginning in the year 713 during the Tang Dynasty, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve it, finally being completed in the year 803. In 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of World heritage sites. The Buddha’s symmetrical posture and looks have been expertly captured in its solemn stillness and has been featured in many poems, stories and songs. View the Grand Buddha from the Leshan Buddha Park. To gain an even better perspective, take a short boat trip. Continue to Mt Emei. (B,L,D)

Day 19: Explore Mt Emei

Mt. Emei is located in Leshan City, in the Sichuan Province. It is soaring, striking, old and mysterious and is the highest sight-seeing mountain in all of China. There are four scenic regions on the mountain: Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Golden Summit. People are in awe when they are witness to the striking natural beauty of the mountain and its picturesque setting. Mt. Emei is truly a phenomenal world. The trees are lush and green almost all year round, the waterfalls are superb and the entire scenery reflects a feeling of brilliance, serenity and peace. Spend the day traversing this magical landscape and immerse yourself in its unique ambience. (B,L,D)

Day 20: Pingle Ancient Town

Pingle Ancient Town is a historical and cultural town with a history spanning more than 2,000 years. It is located in Qionglai City, 65 kilometers southwest of Chengdu. You will see traditional stilt houses by the Baimo River, streets paved with blue stones, one thousand year old banyan trees and lively, boundless bamboo woods. Everything in this acient town is said to relax and refresh tourists. In the time of the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Tea Horse Road. Discover the maze of teahouse-lined streets on foot, before seeing the forest from a higher vantage point, on the Jinji Suspended Rope Bridge. Drive back to Chengdu. (B,L)

Day 21: Chengdu Panda Base

A morning visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a day you will fondly remember for a long time. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was created to imitate the natural habitat of giant pandas. The objective was to provide pandas with the optimal breeding and rearing environment. Here you will be afforded the opportunity to see China’s most celebrated bears up close and personal. The museum is highly informative and you will learn about the very successful breeding program. In the afternoon, wander through the engrossing People’s Park. We are all familiar with ‘people watching’ but here you will be captivated by the diversity of activities all occurring simultaneously. From locals playing mah-jong to lonely singles looking for love in Matchmaker’s Corner. Experience a local teahouse and stroll through the historical Wide and Narrow Alleys. In the evening you will be treated to wonderful Sichuan hot pot dinner and an optional ‘face changing’ show (at your own expense). (B,D)

Day 22: Depart Chengdu

Spend this morning savouring the last day of your China Tour, before boarding your overnight flight to Australia. Revisit your favourite temple, architectural wonder, garden, street or monument and fondly remember all the incredible sites you’ve seen in this splendid country. Allow yourself enough time for your transfer to Beijing airport where you will. (B)

Day 23: Arrive Australia

Arrive home today and begin planning your next wonderful adventure. We’re eager to help you make your next tour just as memorable as your Natural Wonders China tour.

LaCityTravel  - Traveller Tips for China

Visa: 
Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the length of stay, Visas are required for Australian travellers, the cost of which is already included in the fully inclusive price of all our goups of Australian passport holders. Extra copies of passport photos should be taken.

Money / Currency: 
Chinese currency is Renmimbi (RMB), and the basic unit is Yuan or Kwai. Notes are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Yuan. International travellers can exchange Australian Banknotes, Travellers Cheques or US Dollars at any Bank of China or Hotels. Major foreign Credit Cards can be used at ATM’s, Shopping Centres etc.

Clothing and Climate:
 China has contrasting seasonal and regional weather conditions. MARCH to MAY, and SEPTEMBER to NOVEMBER are generally the ideal months to tour in China. Casual clothes, for respective seasonal conditions, are acceptable, but clothes that are too revealing are frowned upon. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for sightseeing.

Shopping and Bargaining: 
Although Government Department store have fixed prices, privately operated local markets and stalls expect bargaining when purchasing – start from less than half the asking price and work your way up. Quality and/or authenticity for any such purchases cannot be guaranteed.
 
Tipping: Tipping is now expected in all quarters of China and travellers should budget Aus $5 to 6 per person per day to be divided between Guide and Driver. Hotel porterage costs are approx. $1 per bag. Giveaways are useful in spreading goodwill.

Water:
 It is recommended that you DO NOT drink local tap water. Bottled water is widely available and should be carried. Most hotels provide some complimentary water. Tea/coffee making facilities can be expected in hotel rooms. Do not accept water in bottles with broken seals.

Time Difference:
 Despite the size, China has ONE time Zone and is 3 hours behind EST in Australia.

Electricity: 
Electrical supply is 220 volts and Australian appliances will operate. Power points will vary in configuration, but universal power adaptors can be purchases to accommodate these variation s and solve the problem of recharging batteries etc.

Health:
 It is recommended that travellers should speak with their personal medicos well in advance of departure dates regarding vaccinations. Personal medication needs to be carried with you along with copies of prescriptions.

Luggage:
 Check in luggage should not exceed 20 Kg.- an airline surcharge can be made with overweight luggage. Restrictions for weight, volume and number of carry on luggage can be gained from specific airlines.

Travel Insurance: 
Travel Insurance is essential for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal baggage, money and public liability BEFORE your commencement of tour. La City Travel can provide insurance options for you. If you are using your credit card company to cover travel insurance you need to be fully aware of inclusions and exclusions. You should obtain a receipt number to contact them in an emergency and a copy of full conditions BEFORE departure.