|China, Hong Kong (China)|
The eastern flank of China is of enormous historical and cultural interest. The Qin and Han Dynasties, which lasted for some 500 years, were founded in Xian. This city is considered the birthplace of a united China. Both the Ming and Qing Dynasties held sway in Beijing from the end of the 14th century until 1911, when the last emperor was deposed. European influences also seeped into the region, first to Guangzhou (Canton), then later to Shanghai and Hong Kong. As a result there are many fascinating historical sites to discover.
Starting in Beijing we explore all the major places of interest, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. We also visit a mostly unrestored and remote section of the Great Wall, allowing you to absorb the immenseness of this incredible structure without jostling for a position with thousands of other tourists. Xian is home to both a flourishing Muslim population and the world renowned 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors. We then fly to Yangshuo via Guilin for a couple of days of exploration before ending the tour in bustling Hong Kong.
Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you are transferred to your hotel. In the evening you meet your tour leader and the other group members for a pre-tour briefing. This is generally followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant - Peking Duck is often a popular choice.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts
Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing
Beijing offers endless opportunities for exploration. 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. The Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace are other fine examples of extraordinary workmanship. You will visit one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. There is also ample 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 in the afternoon on a flight to Xian. In the evening we will have time to explore beautiful Xian, before our day of discovery.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
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, 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. 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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Accommodation: Li River Hotel or similar, Yangshuo
After flying to Guilin we continue our journey by private bus to Yangshuo, a village a few hours’ drive away and nestled amongst the imposing limestone karst formations that have 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. After finishing our bike ride we enjoy a home cooked lunch in our friend’s family home. A boat trip on the Li River to the surrounding market town of Fuli is another option to consider in your free time. This is also one of the better places for souvenir shopping, so make the most of it!
Accommodation: The Salisbury - YMCA of Hong Kong (until 31st May 2013) Stanford Hotel Mongkok (from 1st June 2013), Hong Kong
In the afternoon we return to Guilin to board the overnight train for Guangzhou (Canton), the capital of Guangdong Province. Again travelling in soft sleeper class, this is our last night in mainland China. We then transfer to the port and board a boat for Hong Kong. After a 3 hour hydrofoil ride into Hong Kong's Victoria harbour you will then be transferred to our centrally located hotel in Kowloon, next to bustling Nathan Road. In the evening there are numerous restaurants in which to enjoy a farewell dinner, and it is only a short walk to the waterfront for the spectacular Sound and Light Show displayed on the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, 8:00 to 8:20pm every night.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Your tour ends after breakfast. If you are a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, it is recommended that you extend your stay to further explore this exciting city. A journey up to the top of Victoria Peak on the famous Peak Tram is a good introduction to Hong Kong. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, the hotel staff will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
• The services of Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour and local guides at some sites.
• Walk on the Great Wall at Jinshanling.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing and Xian, including the Terracotta Warriors.
• Bike ride with a local to Moon Hill.
• Overnight train from Guilin to Guangzhou in a ‘soft-class’, four-berth compartment.
• Local flights from Beijing to Xian and Xian to Guilin.
• Arrival transfer.
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.
Hong Kong (China)
Australians, New Zealanders, British, Canadians, Americans and all citizens of the European Union (EU) are permitted to enter Hong Kong and stay without a visa for a period of up to 3 months.
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.Hong Kong (China)
Hong Kong: Epilogue to an Empire - Jan Morris Culture Shock! Hong Kong: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette - Elizabeth Li Foreign Mud (on the Opium Wars) - Maurice Collis East and West: The Last Governor of Hong Kong - Chris Patten The World of Suzie Wong - Richard Mason Tai-Pan - James Clavell Noble House - James Clavell Dynasty - Robert Elegant The Honourable Schoolboy - John Le Carre
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. Please note that on your tour, you may link up with passengers booked on other tours in our Asia program.
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!
9 May 2013