September 8th-20th 2016
In 2015 we had and epic Japan group tour. The next logical adventure for 2016 has got to be…China! As always, we’ve researched the best experiences (known & off the path) until we could practically read Chinese! After countless hours working with a number of trusted partners on the ground, this itinerary is one of a kind. Our China group tours take us from Beijing to the less touristy parts of the Great Wall, to quaint off the path villages, amazing waterfalls, extravagant rice terraces, the mind blowing mountains around Yangshuo, and the rambling streets of Shanghai.
Check out all the excitement below and E-mail us at email@example.com for the daily itinerary!
* 12 nights/13 days throughout the real China
* Private local guides throughout
* Breakfast Everyday
* 3 lunches, 2 Dinners (Welcome and Farewell Dinner Celebrations)
Beijing (3 Nights)
Beijing, the capital of China, is separated from the Gobi Desert by a green chain of mountains, over which The Great Wall runs. The modern city, China’s second largest, lies on the site of countless human settlements that date back half a million years. Bicycles are still the main mode of transportation but taxis, cars, and buses jam the city streets in a frenzy of human civilization.
– Temple of Heaven: We’ll explore and photograph this magnificent and beautiful structure built in 1420. Emperors of the two last dynasties, Ming and Qing, prayed here over there 3 times a year for good harvest.
– Tiananmen Square: Walk through the largest square in the world, known as ‘The gate of the heavenly sky’. The square was made infamous by the iconic images and video of a pro-democracy protestor refusing to get out of they of a huge army tank!
– The Forbidden City: Visit the Chinese political center from 1420 AD- 1911 AD with 9,999 rooms! This place was the residence of the last two dynasties, Ming and the Qing.
– Huttong Alley Adventure by Rickshaw: A Huttong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing. We’ll be escorted on our very own rickshaws throughout the lanes, including a visit to a local’s home.
The Great Wall: Walk the stunningly beautiful, and much less visited, Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
45 miles from Beijing, Mutianyu Great Wall enjoys a long history and is an integral part of the rich culture of China.This section of wall was first begun in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 557) then built and rebuilt up until the 17th century. As one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall is a must on any visit to Beijing. Stand atop one of the ancient watchtowers and cast your eye towards the horizon, taking in the vast scale and sheer beauty of the Wall as it snakes its way across the tops of impossibly steep mountain ridges. Originally a series of smaller walls built to repel northern invaders, it was not until the unification of the empire under Qin Shi Huang Di in 221 BC that the various sections of the Wall were linked up. We’ll not only walk along this wonder of the world, but also be able see it from above during a breathtaking cable car ride to the top.
Guizhou Province: Guiyang & Huangguoshu (2 Nights) → Li Bo & Xi Jiang (2 nights)
– Huangguoshu Waterfalls: Amazing photographs to be taken of this iconic waterfall and many others, including above ground falls, underground falls, and water stone forests. Huangguoshu is the largest waterfall in Asia and stretches to a height of 243 feet. This dazzling spectacle is an unmissable stop in Guizhou province.
– Little & Big Seven Caves: Visit the Small Seven Hole Bridge; an overgrown ancient bridge ripe for a photo. Then we can get lost in the magic of the mystical and remote surroundings.
– Li Bo Town: This town is surrounded by the beautiful Karst mountains which have recently been added into the World Natural Heritage List. Plenty of wandering to be done here among the quaint streets and alleys, with the iconic monoliths in the backdrop.
– Encounter the Miao People: Known for their hospitality and etiquette, they like to pay respect to their guests which makes for a special experience. The Miao’s famous culture has influenced much of China for centuries. Interesting customs include food sharing rituals, a strong hospitality for strangers, and unique wedding ceremonies.
Guilin & Yangshuo (3 Nights)
Massive limestone formations rise up from meandering rivers. The sun sets over mountainous gurgling rice paddies. We’ll travel to Guilin and behold these magnificent sights with our own eyes (and cameras)! Yangshuo is China’s unofficial adventure tourism capital, boasting outdoor activities as diverse as rock climbing, kayaking, caving, bamboo rafting, and biking.
– Day Trip to Longsheng & the Longji Rice Terraces: Translated to Dragon’s Backbone, the Longji Rice Terraces received their name because they resemble a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon. They were carved by hand into the hillside over 600 years ago, making the best use of the scarce arable land and water resources in this mountainous area. The spectacular view changes with the seasons and we’ll have a blast taking pictures of this man made wonder!
– The Yao Tribe: Before heading back to Guilin we’ll visit the Yao Tribe of Longsheng, one of the 55 minorities in China. The long haired women of this minority live on top of the mountains and their existence can be traced to 207 BC! Most Yao people survive by farming and live in small groups scattered throughout the mountains. Yet another chance to experience the lives of Chinese living like they have for centuries!
– Li River Cruise to Yangshuo: Take in the fresh air and watch the amazing landscape among the Karst mountains on a peaceful river cruise. Many of the Karst formations are, with a littleimagination, reminiscent of animals or objects and bear names like Elephant Trunk Hill, Sword Cut Cliff, Reclining Flower Hill, and many more. Along the way, we will also see graceful groves of bamboo, farmers tending to their rice paddies, fisherman working off their small boats, and lumbering water buffalos pulling carts or cooling off in the river; all worthy of more great pictures.
Explore West Street: Yangshuo’s oldest street, with a history dating back over 1400 years, has also been this region’s confluence of eastern and western cultures since the 1980s. Today, it is the heart of Yangshuo, and has excellent cafes and restaurants lining either side serving food from all over the globe. We’ll will pass by quirky boutique shops, hotels in renovated courtyard homes, and curious Chinese tourists who have come to see US and eat Western food!
– Bike Tour to Moon Hill: The best way to see the breathtaking scenery of Yangshuo is by bike. Rice paddies, centuries-old farmhouses, limestonekarst formations, orchards, and of course the stunning mountains serve as your backdrop as we ride along narrow country roads and the banks of the beautiful Li River. The big hole when we get to the top looks like a moon on the hill which changes as we ride along from a half-moon shape to a full moon. *For those who do not wish to take the bikes, we’ll have an alternate adventure to quaint villages en route to a drive to the top!
Shanghai (2 Nights)
China’s commercial and financial hub pulses with its own unique energy. Its futuristic skyline alone is enough to merit a visit to this thrilling city, but its fascinating museums, spectacular gardens, world-class restaurants, and stunning hotels will make it hard to leave!
– Stroll Through Yu Garden & Old Town Bazaar : With its beautiful Tea House on a small bridge, this historic garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of bustling Shanghai. Outside the garden gates, the Old Bazaar is the perfect place to strike a bargain or chat with locals selling a variety of wares and souvenirs.
– “The Bund” and Nanjing Road: The Bund is the famous waterfront regarded for hundreds of years as the symbol of Shanghai. On the side of the river, magnificent colonial architecture represents the splendor of old Shanghai and across the water, enormous skyscrapers rise up to create a futuristic skyline that has to be seen to be believed. After we get our fill of pictures, the Bund leads into Nanjing Road, one of the world’s busiest shopping streets. Up market shopping malls, prestigious historical hotels, restaurants and shops all line this mile long shopper’s paradise. It also serves as the venue for festivals and fireworks for various holidays such as Chinese New Year and New Year’s Eve.
– Tianzifang: Once an unassuming laneway in a factory area, this street has been transformed into the art district of Shanghai. Here you will find many art galleries, private studios, craft shops, and some of the most charming bars and cafes in Shanghai.
– Optional Day Trip to Suzhou & Tong Li Water Town :
* Tiger Hill: Nicknamed the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” of China, this tall structure was built for the emperor Helu by his son along with 300 swords, and according to the legend 3 days after a white tiger appeared to guard the tomb.
* Humble Administrator’s Garden: This is the largest and most renown of Suzhou’s famous gardens, covering about 52,000 square meters (nearly 13 acres) of land. Its unique design, ethereal beauty, and enduring cultural significance have seen it proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
* Tong Li Water Town: Originally named Futu (meaning a rich land), Tongli is an age-old but very well preserved water town with a history of more than 1,000 years. Lots of narrow lanes and canals lend to its charm making it a perfect spot where we’ll enjoy a boat cruise. Awesome cultural photographs to be taken here!
* Tour Leader and photographer to help those who want to learn more about using their camera’s, taking better pictures, etc throughout these China group tours. (PhotoFly Travel Club adventures are laid back when it comes to photography. They are not workshop style based tours and you do not need to be an avid photographer to join. All are welcome!)
* International Airfare is not included. We are happy to help you find a good flight as always! (Flying into Beijing (PEK) & flying out of Shanghai (PVG) )
* All Taxes, Fees, & Transfers Included
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the daily itinerary!
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*For our solo travelers, we will pair you up with someone of the same sex unless single occupancy is requested.
Price: $ 2695.00
Single Supplement: $495.00
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Local Planet Travel Services
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Cancellation Policy & Refunds
There is a $100.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 90 days or more prior to trip departure date are fully refundable except for the $100 fee. Cancellations less than 90 days prior to trip departure date will receive no refund of monies paid. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price. Travel insurance strongly encouraged (ask us about policy options).
*Hotels subject to change based on availability
CST # 2101181-40