Beijing is known for Peking Duck, Xian is known for its dumpling feast of all shapes and sizes, Shanghai is where east meets west, Chengdu is home to the famous Sichuan style of cooking and Yangshuo is strong with Chinese minority cooking, Hong Kong is home to yum cha. This trip is the perfect mix as we intersperse the cooking and eating extravaganza with everything iconic about China. The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Terracotta Warriors, playful pandas and the limestone karsts of Yangshuo. It is truly a gastronomic and visual experience that gives us more than just a taste of China.
Meals included: 1 dinner
Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you are transferred to your hotel. In the early evening you meet your tour leader and other group members at a pre-tour briefing. After the briefing we are welcomed to the Gourmet China tour with a dinner of the Shanxi Noodle Speciality.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing
Beijing offers endless opportunities for exploration. The morning of Day 2 we travel to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. We return to Beijing and have a free afternoon to explore this amazing capital. In the evening we enjoy the dish named after this city, Peking Duck. The following day we stroll through Tiananmen Square to the enormous Forbidden City, built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all that time, is a truly amazing place. Its size might surprise you (it is huge!), but what makes it fascinating is that every square metre is interesting, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colourful, painted ceilings. After a morning spent here we venture to a Hutong where we will have an afternoon cooking class in traditional Chinese cuisine followed by a market tour with a local guide. The following morning we visit the Temple of Heaven which is a fine example of extraordinary workmanship and intricate Chinese architecture from the 1400s. There is also a small amount of free time in the itinerary, allowing you to make your own discoveries. Our hotel is located in the south of the city and a walk in any direction will unveil all sorts of wonderful surprises. There are good shopping opportunities at the various markets around the city, such as the centrally located Dashilan Market. In the evening, you have the chance to enjoy a performance of the unique Beijing Opera (optional). We leave Beijing on the overnight train, travelling in ‘soft-class’, four-berth compartments. The 12-hour trip is a great opportunity for our group to get to know each other.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Accommodation: City Hotel or similar, Xian
Xian is a wonderful place to explore. Food options are excellent here, ranging from delicious Muslim fare to great little dumplings in Chinese cafes. Widely regarded as the first capital of a united China in 221 BC, the city is rich in history. A half-day tour to the renowned Terracotta Warriors introduces us to these entombed statues, considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century. Over 6000 of them were individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expression. They are standing in battle formation, facing east in order to protect the tomb of China's first emperor, the great Qin Shihuang. Peasants digging a well only discovered the underground vault, which was home to this army for two millennia, in 1974. We also get to enjoy lunch of stir-fries with rice and noodles in a local family restaurant. Xian also has a wonderful Muslim Quarter. A free day can easily be spent wandering the narrow streets where we find quaint shops, lively markets, groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes, and the Great Mosque, one of the most important in China. A visit to Xian would not be complete without experiencing what it is famous for in Chinese cuisine. The Dumpling. It is here we enjoy a true Dumpling Banquet so please bring your appetite as you enjoy all types of dumplings in all shapes and sizes, some even molded into shapes of swans and other various animals.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Metropole Hotel or similar, Shanghai
Today we fly to Shanghai and transfer to our hotel located near the famous Bund or waterfront area, where dozens of imposing European colonial buildings, remnants of the concession era, line the promenade. This is an excellent place to rub shoulders with the locals. The shopping area on Nanjing Road is situated nearby. We enjoy free time in Shanghai, and your tour leader can show you how to get to the famous Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, a fascinating highlight of the city and worth exploring for its tranquil Chinese garden and wonderful food stalls. This is followed by a visit to the impressive Shanghai museum which showcases the rich Chinese history. There is also the option to see the impressive Shanghai acrobats perform or have a beer in the highest bar in the world. Shanghai certainly looks impressive form the 87th floor of Jinmao Tower. Shanghai is known for where east meets west and the cuisine of the area is one of Chinese fusion with French and other western cuisine. We enjoy a meal at restaurant Yin, which is a fine example of this fusion set in opulent décor.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Chengdu Garden City Hotel or similar, Chengdu
We catch a flight to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. Sichuan is known for its hot, spicy dishes, considered by the Chinese as the best cuisine within China. In such a food-loving country, that is no mean achievement. A history of trade built on ‘cottage industry’ handicrafts has had a major influence on the development of Chengdu. Recent changes in the regulations in China have seen a revival of this tradition of private industry, and, at almost every turn, you see signs of a thriving market. There is free time to explore the city. There is a large statue of Chairman Mao in the middle of the city and the tranquil Renmin Park is well worth a visit, with its beautiful gardens and interesting teahouses. We visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base situated near the city. The giant panda is one of the world’s most endangered species and has become an icon for conservation movements everywhere. It is still found in parts of the Sichuan province, but is very difficult to spot in the wild. After our visit to the pandas we attend a Sichuan cooking class where you are shown how to use the hot spices of Sichuan wisely. This is followed by a Sichuan hot pot dinner. The following morning is free to explore Chengdu or even travel out to Leshan, where we see the world’s largest Buddha, carved into the hillside near the confluence of the Dadu and Min Rivers. A seated figure (as opposed to the ‘standing’ or ‘reclining’ Buddha images found elsewhere), it is a staggering 71 metres high. It is over 1000 years old and took almost 100 years to build. It is not only impressive at close quarters, but can be viewed on a boat from a distance in order to gain a different perspective. In the afternoon we board a flight to Guilin and are transferred to Yangshuo.
Meals included: 1 dinner
Accommodation: Li River Hotel or similar, Yangshuo
Nestled amongst imposing limestone karst formations, this is a place that has inspired poets and painters for centuries. This small town is a haven for backpackers and here, we stay in a pleasant local hotel. Yangshuo offers a relaxed and intimate atmosphere and is an excellent place to explore by bicycle. We join one of our local friends and spend a few hours riding amongst the wonderful scenery in the surrounding countryside, including Moon Hill, and meeting some of the inhabitants of the nearby villages. We then have a final cooking class at the Yangshuo cooking school were we learn the arts of the local cuisine that dominate this area. But first we visit a local market and haggle for our produce we are going to use in the class. The following morning is free for you to explore Yangshuo or partake in the many optional activities on offer. It is probably the best place for souvenir shopping so make the most of it! In the evening of Day 13 we board an overnight train to Guangzhou en route to Hong Kong.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Accommodation: The Salisbury - YMCA of Hong Kong (until 31st May 2013) Stanford Hotel Mongkok (from 1st June 2013), Hong Kong
On Day 14 we arrive in Guangzhou and transfer Hong Kong. There is time to enjoy a final gastronomic experience of a dim sum (yum cha) lunch. If you are a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, it is recommended that you book a few days at the end of the tour in order to allow yourself enough time to explore this exciting city. From our hotel, situated on the Kowloon side near Nathan Road, you can go down to the waterfront and enjoy the spectacular Sound and Light Show displayed on the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, 8:00 pm to 8:20 pm every night. Our culinary journey ends after breakfast on Day 15.
• Three cooking classes.
• Special dinners in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Chengdu.
• Walk on the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
• Visit to Chengdu’s Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.
• Bike ride with a local to Moon Hill.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing and Xian, including the Terracotta Warriors.
• Overnight trains from Beijing to Xian and Guilin to Guangzhou in a ‘soft-class’, four-berth compartment.
• Local flights from Xian to Shanghai, Shanghai to Chengdu and Chengdu to Guilin.
• Arrival transfer.
Nestled amongst imposing limestone karst formations, Yangshuo is a place that has inspired poets and painters for centuries. It is an excellent place to explore by bicycle. We'll join one of our local friends riding in the surrounding countryside, including to Moon Hill, meeting some of the inhabitants of the nearby villages and enjoying lunch in our friend’s family home.
International flights, international and domestic departure taxes, departure transfer, visas, insurance, other meals, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
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. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.CHINA:
Itinerary: Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.
Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
+86 10 6406 8022
Geckos and Peregrine require you to send the following at the time of booking, at least 30 days prior to travel:
*Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.
Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local tour leaders to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Adventure in China
This is an ‘adventure’ trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
10 May 2013