Cities of the Orient

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Embark on a comprehensive journey through the great cities of China – Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, and Hong Kong, interspersed with unmissable sights that encompass ancient treasures, natural wonders, and tranquil landscapes.

Places Visited

JNB - Shanghai (2N) - Beijing (3N) - Xian (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Hong Kong (3N) - JNB

tour duration 20 Days from
tour price On Request
tour grade Moderate
tour type Group Tour
tour style Classic
Fully inclusive
Days 1-2 Fly to Shanghai
Fly overnight to the exuberant city of Shanghai. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Days 1-2 Fly to Shanghai
Day 3 Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Visit the peaceful Yu Gardens and the atmospheric alleys of the old town before admiring magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the famous Bund. Follow the age-old silk production process at the Silk Museum, from the cultivation of silkworms up to creating the final piece. There are also many gorgeous items for sale. This evening sample some traditional Shanghai cuisine.
Day 3 Discover Shanghai
Day 4 Fly to Beijing
Spend the morning admiring the arts and antiquities of Shanghai Museum and walking around People’s Square before flying to Beijing. This evening sit down to a traditional dinner of Peking Duck.
Day 4 Fly to Beijing
Day 5 Forbidden City
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Soak up the harmonious ambiance of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape.
Day 5 Forbidden City
Day 6 Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. Savour an afternoon in the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional gardens. You will have an opportunity to visit a Jade Museum, where you will be able to buy a small handcrafted piece. A Chinese acrobatic show rounds off the day.
Day 6 Great Wall of China
Day 7 Fly to Xian
Fly to Xian, the ancient former capital. Admire the thousands of relics at the Shaanxi Museum before a delicious feast of Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.
Day 7 Fly to Xian
Day 8 Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks. Later stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town and explore the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
Day 8 Terracotta Warriors
Day 9 Fly to Wuhan
Fly to Wuhan and transfer to Yichang to board your Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Day 9 Fly to Wuhan
Days 10-12 Yangtze River Cruise
A man-made marvel, the Three Gorges Dam showcases this massive feat of engineering. But as we cruise upstream nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breath taking panorama after another. Take a side trip to the attractive Goddess or Shennong Stream and enjoy shore excursions to the Ghost City of Fengdu or Shibaozhai.
Days 10-12 Yangtze River Cruise
Day 13 Panda House, Chongqing Zoo
Disembark and visit the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo. Fly to the scenic city of Guilin and visit the colourful formations of Reed Flute Cave.
Day 13 Panda House, Chongqing Zoo
Days 14-15 Guilin & Li River
Cruise the stunning Li River to Yangshuo and enjoy the landscape of limestone hills, fishing scenes and picturesque villages. The following morning discover the beautiful rural countryside around Yangshuo. The afternoon is at leisure and there are many activities available (arranged locally at extra cost) including cycling, rafting and walking or you may choose to relax in the town. In the evening see the cormorant fishermen.
Days 14-15 Guilin & Li River
Day 16 Fly to Hong Kong
Fly to Hong Kong. Metropolis and wilderness collide – a futuristic cityscape backed by green-cloaked hills and the blue of the South China Sea. Full of colonial heritage, Chinese character, and a varied and distinguished gastronomy this is a wonderful city to explore. The day is yours to spend at leisure. (B)
Day 16 Fly to Hong Kong
Day 17 Victoria Peak
Visit Victoria Peak for mesmerizing views over skyscrapers, bays and islands; and bustling Stanley Market. Discover Aberdeen Fishing Village, home to rows of old-fashioned junks and houseboats. (B)
Day 17 Victoria Peak
Day 18 Giant Buddha and Lantau Island
Take a ferry through Victoria Harbour to spend the day on the lovely island of Lantau. Rediscover wilderness as you visit Cheung Sha Beach, Tai O fishing village and the Giant Buddha. A ride in the Ngong Ping 360° cable-car gives fantastic panoramas over the island’s coastline. Enjoy dinner a top Victoria Peak. (B,D)
Day 18 Giant Buddha and Lantau Island
Days 19-20 Fly to UK
Tour the New Territories paying visits to the Sam Mun Tsai Fishing Zone, the tranquil Yuen Yuen Institute, Luk Keng bird sanctuary and Tai Mo Shan Mountain to take in the wonderful views. The rest of the afternoon is free before your transfer to Hong Kong airport for your overnight flight to the UK. (B)
Days 19-20 Fly to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On most Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking driver and you will be met by local guides at each site.

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai
Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai - Shanghai (2 Nights)
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Holiday Inn Shanghai Downtown is located in central Shanghai, with easy reach of a large shopping centre, local resaturants and the metro. Each air conditioned, modern en-suite room includes satellite television, a minibar and tea making facilities. The onsite Chinese restaurant offers Dim Sum and seasonal Hairy Crab for those wishing to try the local flavours.



Super House International Hotel
Super House International Hotel - Beijing (3 Nights)
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The 4 star Super House International Hotel combines traditional Chinese culture with contemporary comforts. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a safety deposit box. Facilities include a restaurant serving authentic Chinese cuisine, a coffee shop, lobby bar and tea room. There is also a fitness centre with sauna and a small boutique.



YuLong International Hotel
YuLong International Hotel - Xi'an (2 Nights)
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Located 5 kilometers from the city downtown, Yulong International Hotel ,combines elegance and sophistication with first-class service. Facilities include three restaurants, a lobby bar, games room, beauty salon, fitness room and business centre. The 258 beautifully decorated and well-equipped rooms have air-conditioning, satellite LCD flatscreen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, mini-bar, hairdryer and a safe deposit box.



Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
Lijiang Waterfall Hotel - Guilin (1 Nights)
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Located in Guilin’s city center and opposite the attractive Sun and Moon pagodas, the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel offers luxury rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and a stunning en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.



Elite Garden Hotel
Elite Garden Hotel - Guilin (2 Nights)
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The Yangshuo Elite Garden Hotel is located in the West Street District area of Yangshuo, with easy reach to the main markets, pedestrianised streets and the picturesque Li River. All of its en-suite rooms contain a safety deposit box, flat screen satellite television, air conditioning, minibar and wired internet access. There is a bar and restaurant available onsite serving Chinese, Western and barbecue dishes.



Metropark Hotel Kowloon
Metropark Hotel Kowloon - Hong Kong (3 Nights)
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The Metropark Hotel Kowloon is situated at the heart of Kowloon, a quiet haven right in the bustling commercial and shopping areas of Hong Kong. The modern, stylish rooms come with free Wifi, a minibar and a flat screen satellite television. Complimentary toiletries are included in the bathroom. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves both Chinese and international dishes and is recognised for its quality. The rooftop swimming pool is a highlight.



A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call South Africa the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 27, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 27 10 001 9998. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 27 83 277 4502.

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave South Africa.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
 
In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
 
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
 
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
 
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
 
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
 
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
 
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

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Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suited for those who want to see the most famous cities and scenic spots in China and enjoy some time in cosmopolitan Hong Kong. This tour is also ideal for those looking for a Yangtze River cruise.

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