Tour Highlights  • Examine Xian from its ancient city ramparts• Take a 4-night voyage on the vast Yangtze to see the glorious Three Gorges• Observe pandas at the world famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu • Wander amongst the eerie Stone Forest in Kunming• Marvel at Dali's sentinel Three Pagodas, standing guard at the bottom of Mt Cangshan• Cruise Suzhou’s Grand Canal, the longest of its kind


Fully Inclusive Group Tour

Duration : 26 DAYSCountry : CHINA
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Temple of Heaven
Dali Three Pagodas

Experience the innumerable surprises of China on this ultimate China tour. You will discover incredible points of interest that make China such an invigorating, lively, miraculous and fascinating destination. From the immense history of this remarkable country, to its culture, majestic natural treasures, wildlife, monuments, temples, artefacts and people, China is a destination unlike any other.

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.

Day 1: Fly to Beijing

Fly to Beijing for a three-night stay.

Days 2-3: Beijing and the Great Wall

Visit Tiananmen Square and explore the glorious Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is recognised as one of the most important 5 palaces in the world. It is arranged in two parts, the outer court and the inner palaces. The outer court comprises 3 main buildings; the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian), The Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghedian) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohedian). These momentous halls were where emperors frequented the grand ceremonies and conducted state affairs. The inner palaces comprise the three main structures at the rear of the Forbidden City, namely the Palace of Heavenly Peace (Qianqinggong), the Palace of Union and Peace (Jiaotaidian) and the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility (Kunninggong). Strolling further north you will find the Imperial Garden that offers a lush and colourful atmosphere. Next, explore Beijing’s old hutongs. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the warren-like hutongs and meet a local family in their own home to gain a greater insight into Chinese culture and local customs. Having worked up an appetite, it’s now time to replenish and refuel. For dinner, experience one of Beijing’s most popular delicacies, Peking Duck. The following morning walk along the Great Wall, one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Great Wall makes the most verbal of us speechless, as the magnitude of seeing, is simply stated, overwhelming. Like a gigantic dragon, it winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 21,196 kilometers from east to west of China. Walking along this unimaginable structure is the best way to fully experience both the grandeur and splendor of the wall itself and the breathtaking scenery that it crosses. Visit a jade factory to learn about this precious and soulful stone that is adored by Chinese people. Experts believe that despite diamonds and gold being more expensive, they cannot be compared to jade, as jade is animated with a soul. A jade factory will provide you with a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the delicate process of carving the stone. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a piece if you so desire. When buying jade the following are important considerations, the brightness of colour and luster, compactness of inner structure, and the delicacy of the craftwork. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the Summer Palace this afternoon, while relaxing in traditional Chinese gardens and exquisite architecture. Finish the day with an evening Chinese acrobatic show. Chinese acrobatics is rich in history and is one of the most well-known and beloved art forms among Chinese people. Performers have achieved worldwide success for their incredible skill and phenomenal acts.

Day 4: Temple of Heaven

Visit the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they begin their days with Tai Chi, dancing and cards in a bustle of sociable activity. Take the bullet train to Xian called Chang’an, (meaning the eternal city) which was the capital city of ancient dynasties for more than 1,100 years. The city boasts an incredible 3,000 years of historical heritage and travellers are awestruck by the multitude of historical sites and cultural relics in the city.

Days 5-6: Terracotta Warriors

Visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a world heritage site. This Buddhist pagoda is from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and bears witness to how Buddhism was introduced to China. Tonight feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings, followed by a Tang Dynasty dance performance. The Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) was regarded as the most prosperous and magnificent of all the dynasties. Tang was receptive to external influences and welcomed the best of various art forms of previous dynasties, as well as those originating from ethnic groups in China’s northwest and those from central and western Asia. Today’s Tang Dynasty dancing combines a wide variety of musical instruments, dance, singing and poetry. The next day, marvel at The Terracotta Army, also known as Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the most momentous archeological excavations of the 20th century. The Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang has fascinated visitors ever since their discovery in 1974. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is treasured by every visitor to China. Spend the morning marvelling at the life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses that are organised in battle formations. Visit the workshop and watch the incredible production process, where you will see the craftspeople recreating the terracotta figures in the same style as the ancient ones. You will even be able to purchase a souvenir warrior to take home with you. Later in the afternoon, stroll along the meticulously preserved 14th century city walls that wrap around Xian’s old town. Experience the Muslim Quarter, the heart of the Muslim community in Xian city. A feature of this area is the distinctive Muslim food, Islamic food stalls and souvenir market.

Day 7: Fly to Wuhan

Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board your Yangtze River cruise vessel.

Days 8-10: Yangtze River cruise

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 people in the region.

Day 11: Old Ciqikou

Disembark in Chongqing and explore old Ciqikou, whose history spans more than 1,700 years. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911), it was famous for its production of porcelain, hence the name Ciqikou translates to Porcelain Village. Three noteworthy attractions of the village are the tea bars, the artists' studios and the Shu Embroidery workshops. There are more than one hundred tea bars, each with their own unique characteristics. The tea bars afford tourists with the wonderful opportunity to meet the locals and become acquainted with the unique folk opera. Ciqikou is known for its ateliers and you will have the privilege of seeing the work of local artists. Transfer to Chengdu where in the evening you will enjoy a traditional Sichuan dinner. There is also an option to attend a brilliant performance of the Sichuan Opera tonight (at your own expense).

Day 12: Giant Pandas

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. Next stop is the Chengdu Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum, also called Shu Brocade Institution. This is the only professional place in China that reveals all the processes of Shu brocade hand-weaving as well as the history and culture of Shu brocade and embroidery. The colours and styles of Chinese Costumes vary greatly depending on the dynasty of origin. The Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum displays the changes in detail. Various techniques were used such as spinning, weaving and sewing clothing with raw materials such as hemp, animal hair and silk. It was in the Neolithic Age that people began to create the diversity of costumes that we see today. Immerse yourself in a world of brocade and embroidery at this wonderful museum. It’s regarded as the best place to purchase souvenirs in Chengdu and many superb brocade and embroidery are for sale at reasonable prices. Fly to the city of Kunming.

Day 13: Stone Forest

Discover the fascinating formations of the charming Stone Forest. Being crowned as "the essence of karst landforms in the world" and "one of the eight natural wonders on earth", the Stone Forest evolved 270 million years ago. It is widely distributed over 1100 square kilometers with numerous stone peaks, stone stele and stalagmites. In particular, the Stone Forest displays a rare geological vestige that covers various kinds of karst landscapes worldwide. Taking photos of this natural wonder at sunset is truly spectacular. For dinner, feast on a local favourite called Crossing the bridge noodles; a rice noodle soup that is one of the most well-known dishes in Yunnan province.

Days 14-15: Enchanting Dali

Located northwest of the Yunnan Province, 300 kilometers northwest of Kunming, Dali City is the economic and cultural center. The area is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and has the Erhai Lake in its centre. Here you will find 25 ethnic minorities that have created a unique cultural heritage amongst picturesque surroundings. On the first day, visit the Three Pagodas, a symbol of the history of Dali City, and a testament to the development of Buddhism in the area. The following day, explore Xizhou village and peruse the local market. Visit the Yen family home and observe a tie-dying demonstration. Discover Dali's Ancient Quarter and enjoy a relaxing cruise on Erhai Lake Dali.

Day 16: Fly to Guilin

Transfer back to Kunming and fly to the picturesque city of Guilin that is considered to be the pearl of China’s robust tourist industry, due to the natural beauty and historic treasures. The spectacular landscape boasts a special kind of magic that is all its own.

Days 17-18: Li River cruise

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 83 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 breathtaking scenery along the river, this has become one of China's top tourist destinations. The following morning traverse the incredible paddy fields and karsts. Ray Beiersdorfer, a geologist at Youngstown State University in Ohio, offered the following description of the landscape surrounding Yangshuo. “Guilin’s most renowned feature is its dramatic karst terrain. Rising sharply at odd angles, limestone peaks look like giant teeth growing out of the green plain”. Beiersdorfer’s description is poetic, beautiful and accurate. Yangshuo’s iconic geography has attracted countless tourists and has been featured in many documentaries and films. It continues to pique the imagination of people from all parts of the world and is something not to be missed. After such a captivating experience in the morning, the afternoon is open for you to decide what you would like to do. Possibly further exploring Guilin, regarded as paradise for people who relish fresh, clean air and the ideal atmosphere to connect with nature. Bike riding is an extremely popular activity for those visiting Guilin and there are many routes from which to choose. These range from very relaxing to very adventurous. Another activity you might enjoy is rafting (at your own expense) or alternatively enjoy a relaxing afternoon, wandering through the town. In the evening, see the remarkable Cormorant Fishing. Cormorant fishermen are expert swimmers who pursue fish under water. When the evening approaches, a large number of bamboo rafts can be seen and the fishermen light lanterns to attract the fish. The many lanterns on the bamboo rafts is a truly amazing sight. Cormorant fishing takes place at approximately 7.30pm each night and lasts around 45 minutes.

Day 19: Fly to Hangzhou

Drive back to Guilin and visit The South China Pearl Museum. Guilin's local products and handicrafts include China Sea pearls and the museum uncovers 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 purchase. Next, discover 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. Fly to Hangzhou.

Days 20-21: Discover Hangzhou

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and the local political, economic and cultural center. Spend the morning exploring the Temple of Soul’s Retreat (Lingyin Temple), which is located in a long, narrow valley between Peak Flown From Afar (Fei Lai Feng) and North Peak to the northwest of the West Lake at Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. It is considered to be one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples in China. Visit the former residence of Hu Xueyang, regarded as the number 1 Mansion in China. Visit West Lake, Hangzhou’s most renowned landmark, famous for its scenic beauty that fuses seamlessly together with the many famous historical and cultural sites. West Lake was created in response to the Chinese love for garden-style parks used for recreation. It was even selected as one of the "12 superb sunset spots around the world" by CNN. Marvel at the pagodas, gardens and old bridges that line the shores. The following day transfer to Suzhou.

Day 22: Suzhou’s gardens

Suzhou is located in the southern Jiangsu Province in the center of the Yangtze Delta. Built in 514 BC, this is an ancient city, spanning more than 2,500 years of history. Suzhou is referred to as the 'Venice of the Orient' due to the fact that 42% of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams. Explore the incredible ancient water towns in the vicinity and the superb classical gardens in the downtown area. A popular proverb states that, 'Gardens to the south of the Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them'. These gardens are revered not only due to their vast numbers, but also because of their alluring natural beauty and harmonious construction. Presently, there are more than 60 pristine gardens in the city, some of which have been included on the World Heritage List. Visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden, considered one of best in the region and then cruise the 1,000 year old Grand Canal.

Day 23: Travel to Shanghai

Travel to Shanghai, the largest economic and trade centre in China and one of China’s cultural centres. This city is China’s most prosperous and combines Eastern and Western cultures, where tradition and modernity converge. From the Gothic and Baroque style buildings of The Bund to the incredible sky scrapers that frame the skyline of modern Shanghai, this city is truly remarkable and dynamic. Visit Matchmaker’s Corner, located in People’s Square in the heart of Shangahi (weekends between midday and 5pm) and you will find a large gathering of people who are present for the lively marriage market. You will see anxious mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts and even grandparents searching for a desirable match for their sons and daughters. It is a unique and fascinating experience walking through rows of pamphlets and seeing biographies affixed to umbrellas, all in an attempt to secure a partner. There are pathways filled with animated parents and grandparents involved in heated discussions and 'brokering' marriage deals. After experiencing such an animated morning, head to the Shanghai Museum for something more relaxed. Savour the fine arts and antiquities found at the Shanghai Museum, which is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. Here you will see all the major categories of Chinese art, including Ancient Bronze, Ancient Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming and Qing Furniture, Seals, and Minority Nationalities. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Shanghainese dinner. Maintaining the original flavours of the ingredients is of the utmost importance in Shanghainese cuisine.

Day 24: Explore Shanghai

A jam-packed day awaits you. Begin by exploring the traditional Yuyuan Garden, a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie that boasts an area of 20,000 sqm. The superb layout, gorgeous scenery and artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai. Yu Garden is composed of six scenic areas: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden. Next, discover the maze of streets in the old town (Nanshi) followed by the Silk Museum. Take an evening stroll along The Bund that is approximately 1.5km in length and revere the striking cityscape. The Bund faces the Huangpu River and has been a symbol of the city for more than 100 years. In order to fully appreciate the majestic vista, enjoy a fabulous panoramic cruise down the Huangpu River tonight.

Day 25: Depart Shanghai

Spend this morning savouring the last day of your China Tour. 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 Shanghai airport where you will board your overnight flight to Australia.

Day 26: 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 Ultimate China tour.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. 
Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

The magnificent Temple of Heaven, situated in central Beijing, was visited by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies, where sacrifices were offered and prayers were said for good harvests. Built between 1406 and 1420, it is regarded as a Taoist temple. In 1998, the Temple of Heaven was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall was continuously built from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD on the northern border of the country as the great military defence project of successive Chinese Empires, with a total length of more than 20,000 kilometers.  The Great wall is one of the wonders of the world due to its longevity, length and the role it played as the largest defensive military construction project.
LaCityTravel  - Traveller Tips for China

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.

 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.

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.

 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.

 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.