This wide-ranging tour has China’s top destinations covered, with time to soak up the sights. Whether you are looking for history, character and culture, the modern and marvellous, or a straight-up combination of the two, then this is the itinerary for you.
SA (1N) - Beijing (3N) - Overnight Train (1N) - Xian (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (4N) - Chengdu (1N) Dali (2N) - Kunming (2N) - Guilin (1N) - Yangshuo (2N) - Hangzhou (2N) - Suzhou (2N) - Shanghai (2N) - SA (1N)
Survey Xian from its ancient city ramparts
Take a 4-night voyage on the mighty Yangtze to see the magnificent Three Gorges
Visit the world famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu
Meander amongst the eerie Stone Forest in Kunming
Visit Dali's sentinel Three Pagodas, standing guard at the bottom of Mt Cangshan
Cruise Suzhou’s Grand Canal, the longest of its kind
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.
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.
Located in the Fentai District, the Jiangxi Grand Hotel is close to many of Beijing’s sites and attractions. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant serving Chinese and Western cuisine, a coffee shop, a bar, a tea house and a fitness centre. The 322 rooms and suites are traditionally furnished with air conditioning, satellite television, tea making facilities, a minibar and a safety deposit box.
The Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel is centrally located in Xian. Classically decorated, the hotel’s en-suite rooms include free Wifi, satellite television, air conditioning, tea making facilities and a safety deposit box. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves both Chinese and Western cuisines, and the lobby bar serves hot and cold drinks. An indoor heated pool and fitness centre is also available.
Jin-Tong Hotel is a four-star hotel located in the core business area of Chengdu, close to CBD, Tianfu Square and Wide and Narrow Alleys.
Jin Jiang Hotel is located close to Kunming’s main sttractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. The hotel includes the Shanghai and the Lily restaurant, which serve local Huaiyan and Yunnan specialties. The onsite fitness centre and spa is a highlight.
Backed by the snow-capped Cangshan Mountain range and facing Erhai Lake, the four-star Asian Star Hotel offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the natural scenery of this area. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant, fitness room and currency exchange facilities. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, a telephone and a view of the mountain or lake.
Centrally located, the Universal Hotel is close to the Li River and local markets. The hotel combines a warm welcome and pleasant ambience with convenient facilities. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a safety deposit box. The Palace Restaurant serves delicious Chinese cuisine and the Pizzeria Cafe offers an international menu. Other facilities include a bar and a sauna room.
Centrally located, the New Century Hotel is near the beautiful Yangshuo Park. Facilities include a restaurant serving international cuisine, a bar, beauty salon and currency exchange. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a hairdryer.
The Best Western Richful Green Hotel is located in the heart of Hangzhou, steps away from the famous West Lake. It offers spacious and stylish air conditioned rooms with free Wifi, satellite television and a luxurious en-suite. The hotel also provides an onsite restaurant serving Cantonese cuisine, a health club and a beauty salon.
Holiday Inn Suzhou Youlian is located in the heart of ancient Suzhou, the Venice of the East. Each air conditioned, modern en-suite room includes satellite television, safety deposit boxes, a minibar and tea making facilities. The onsite Chinese restaurant offers Taihu Lake prawns and sweet and sour Mandarin fish for those wishing to try the local flavours. There is also a spa, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.
The Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel is within the shopping district of Xu Jia Hui and built into the fa?ade of Shanghai’s Olympic Stadium. Classically decorated, the hotel’s en-suite rooms include free Wifi, satellite television, air conditioning, tea making facilities and a safety deposit box. The hotel’s two onsite restaurants serve both Cantonese and Western cuisines. An indoor heated pool and fitness centre are also available.
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.
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 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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This tour is suited for customers who have an extensive amount of time to explore China and wish to take in the most famous and iconic sights in depth. This tour also incorporates a Yangtze River cruise and an overnight train journey in China.
South Africa's Asia Specialist
Over 17 years of experience
Friendly, knowledgeable regional specialists
Experienced English speaking tour guides
Everything's included in the price
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Carefully planned itineraries
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