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North China Getaway

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highlights
  • Start with a bang in Beijing, hike the heights of Huangshan, explore the Great Wall, soak up the glow of Shanghai’s city lights and step back in time in the idyllic rural villages of Huizhou
  • Spend two night at the base of the Great Wall, and follow in the footsteps of soldiers hundreds of years ago when you trek the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section
  • Forget seeing the sights from the window of a packed tour bus, this tour offers plenty of opportunity to get active among the wonders of China. Explore cities laneways on walking tours, climb the steps of Yellow Mountain, trek the Great Wall and cycle countryside lanes in Hongcun
  • Two overnight trains means you'll maximise your time in each destination, get to know your fellow travellers, and get a real sense of the vast size of the country
The North China Getaway tour starts in Beijing and ends in Shanghai. The North China Getaway is an Explorer tour that takes 12 days taking you from Beijing to Shanghai and through other destinations in Asia.

Discover the breathtaking countryside of China's north on this 12-day journey bookended by bright city lights. From the dizzying heights of Huangshan and the Great Wall, to the underground pits that hold thousands of Terracotta Soldiers and the waterfront Shanghai, this trip reveals myriad sides of China. Go beyond the tourist trail and immerse yourself in local life with stays in small guesthouses and travel on public transport.
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Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing is a food-centric city with both ancient and modern architectural charm. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We’ll be collecting your insurance and next of kin details at this meeting, so it’s important you attend. Make sure you book a flight that will deliver you with enough time to transfer to the hotel, or perhaps arrive with a few days to spare to make the most of Beijing. We can assist with booking any extra accommodation, and there are plenty of suggested optional activities listed below to give you an idea of how to spend your time. Following the meeting, settle into your hotel and then perhaps strike out with new friends or alone and watch an acrobatic performance at the famous Chaoyang Theatre.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Beijing - Acrobat show - CNY 250
  • Beijing - Tian'anmen Square & Forbidden City - CNY 60
  • Beijing - Beijing by Bike Urban Adventure - CNY 530
  • Beijing - Kungfu Show - CNY 180
  • Beijing - Lama Temple - CNY 25
  • Beijing - Summer Palace - CNY 40
  • Beijing - Temple of Heaven - CNY 40
Enjoy a few hours of free time in the morning to explore Beijing before taking a three-hour private bus to a section of the Great Wall unmarred by reconstruction – Gubeikou. Built as a northern defensive line for Beijing (then called Youzhou), this section of the Great Wall was first constructed between AD550 and AD557 and then fortified during the early years of the Ming Dynasty. Spend the night in a family-run guesthouse. While the facilities are more basic than some of the other accommodation on this trip, the homegrown hospitality more than makes up for it. Most of our travellers choose to eat at the guesthouse for dinner as it's a great chance to sample local produce and delicious home cooking.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Embrace an early start and make the trek from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section. Hike over steep, remote terrain for around 5—6 hours, taking in incredible views along this comparitively quiet trail. Some parts of the wall are unrestored, so you'll need to concentrate hard to keep your footing, while other stretches will take you off the wall to walk alongside it through the countryside. The trek will be challenging, but the sight of the wall snaking through the hills as far as the eye can see and the feeling of being immersed in ancient history will be ample reward for your efforts. After the hike, check-in to a guesthouse by the foot of the Great Wall and put your feet up, have a few beers or maybe learn how to play Mahjong in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Make the three-hour drive back to Beijing before midday and make use of your last free afternoon in the capital. Consider checking out the Temple of Heaven while you're in the city, or making the most of your last chance to eat Peking duck in it's place of origin. Speaking of food, the train journey to Xi'an will take around 13 hours so even if you plan on sleeping for most of it, stocking up on snacks and having a good book on hand is a great idea. Board the train in the evening and get your first taste of high-speed rail travel in China. Train travel here is far from luxurious, but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people, as it's the main form of transport for locals.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Hard Sleeper Train
Good morning and welcome to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the largest city in northwest China. Head to the hotel to freshen up and then join your leader on a short walking tour to uncover what was once the start of the ancient trading route known as the Silk Road. Visit the Bell Tower, which according to legend was built to restrain dragons that were causing earthquakes, and then the Drum Tower, which is full of instruments once used to mark time and warn the population in emergencies. Your leader will also introduce you to the Muslim Quarter, which features narrow streets of quaint shops, lively markets, and the largest mosque in China. FInally, explore the 13-kilometre-long City Walls and attached Gates. Xi’an’s Silk Road history means it has an exciting mixture of cultures, especially found in its food options, with everything from Halal fare to great little dumplings in Chinese restaurants. In the eveining, perhaps visit the night markets and try local specialties such as pao mo (lamb broth that you break flat bread into), hand pulled noodles, hot pot or barbecue.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Xi'an - Great Mosque - CNY 25
  • Xi'an - Big Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY 80
  • Xi'an - Cycling on City Wall - CNY 80
  • Xi'an - Small Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY 50
  • Xi'an - Bell & Drum Towers - CNY 50
Make the two-hour journey by public transport to an iconic monument to ego and human endavour – the Terracotta Warriors. Spend a few hours at this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well after being buried for 2000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots were commissioned by the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as part of his mausoleum after he ascended to the throne in 264 BC. Three main pits are open for viewing, where just under 2000 of the total 6000 warriors – each an individual with a different costume, height, and even facial expression – are on display. Later, return to Xi'an and board your second overnight train bound for Shanghai (approximately 16 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Hard Sleeper Train
Blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai pulses with the beat of contemporary China. Arrive and take the subway to your accommodation. Enjoy a full day of guided and unguided exploration, but don't worry if you can't see everything you want to –  you'll be back at the end of the trip. First up is a leader-led walking tour that will take you to historical Shanghai. Get a taste of the city during the roaring 1920s with a tour of the Bund, a strip of spectacular art deco-style buildings. Wander the narrow winding lanes (nongtangs) of Old Shanghai, where you can get a glimpse of local life. Explore the European-influenced French Concession, then pound the pavement along Luwan's Huaihai Road, a busy shopping street. The area's tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions earned it the nickname 'Paris of the East'. When night falls, perhaps get a taste of Shanghai’s eclectic food scene.
Accommodation
  • Hostel
Optional Activities
  • Shanghai - Propaganda Museum - CNY 20
  • Shanghai - Shanghai Museum - Free - CNY 20
  • Shanghai - Yuyuan Gardens - CNY 40
  • Shanghai - Urban Planning Exhibition Centre - CNY 30
  • Shanghai - Acrobat Show - CNY 180
  • Shanghai - Oriental Pearl Tower Viewing Deck - CNY 150
Travel into the stunning countryside on a six-hour public bus journey to Huangshan, otherwise known as Yellow Mountain. The 72 sharp peaks of Huangshan provide some of China's most breathtaking scenery, as well as a respite from the bustle of the city. Spend the next two days in a guesthouse with free time to explore the area as you wish. Two beloved trails are the Eastern Steps (7.5 kilometre, approximately 3-4 hours) and the Western Steps (15 kilometre). We recommend taking the cable car to the summit, exploring the area and then descending via the Western Steps. Whatever you choose, the dramatic limestone peaks populating this beautiful area make for some breathtaking vistas. After taking in the iconic beauty of Huangshan during the day, return to the guesthouse for a well-earned rest in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Hit the road again on public transport and travel through Anhui province to the picturesque villages of the Huizhou region (approximately 2 hours). A number of these villages are now World Heritage-listed, and you may recognise the ramshackle, ornate buildings from the film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. Arrive in Hongcun, check in to your village guesthouse and then set out on a guided tour of cobbled alleys and Ming Dynasty architecture. Following this short tour, you have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to spend as you wish. Maybe clamber up into the hillsides for panoramic views over the traditional settlements. Or maybe you'd prefer to explore the surrounding villages on two wheels? Ask you leader for information on bicycle hire and other optional activities. 
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Bid farewell to the glorious countryside and make the six-hour journey back to the big smoke of Shanghai by public transport. Perhaps celebrate the end of your adventure with the group at a traditional tea ceremony, or grab a couple of travel buddies and sit down for a final Chinese meal in one of Shanghai's great restaurants. Hairy crab is the city's most notable delicacy, though it’s only available in winter between the months of September and November. If you haven't already, tonight is the perfect chance to try the city's famous xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings). 
Accommodation
  • Hostel
Your tour finishes after breakfast today and you are free to depart at any time following check-out. If you're planning to stay on in Shanghai for a little longer, take a look at the Urban Adventures on offer in this groovy,graceful city here: urbanadventures.com/destination/Shanghai-tours.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse/Hostel (6 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (2 nights)
Transport
  • Overnight Hard Sleeper Train , Public Bus , Private vehicle , Subway
Included Activities
  • Beijing - Great Wall trekking
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter walking tour
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors
  • Shanghai - Walking tour
  • Huangshan - National Park Trek
  • Hongcun - Guided Village Tour
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Beijing and from Shanghai are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this North China Getaway tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 12 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Beijing/ Shanghai
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for North China Getaway
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 19 April 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The North China Getaway tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this North China Getaway tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this North China Getaway tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    19 Feb 2019

  • Trip title

    North China Getaway

  • Trip code

    CBRF

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Discover the breathtaking countryside of China's north on this 12-day journey bookended by bright city lights. From the dizzying heights of Huangshan and the Great Wall, to the underground pits that hold thousands of Terracotta Soldiers and the waterfront Shanghai, this trip reveals myriad sides of China. Go beyond the tourist trail and immerse yourself in local life with stays in small guesthouses and travel on public transport.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Overnight Hard Sleeper Train,Public Bus,Private vehicle,Subway

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Physical preparation

    You will be expected to carry your own luggage, including moving about busy public transport hubs, up stairs and escalators and on and off buses and trains. Although you won't be required to walk long distances, you are expected to be able to walk and handle your own luggage for up to 30 minutes. Good general fitness and mobility plays a big part in making your trip more enjoyable. In some locations it may be possible to hire porters at extra expense paid locally. Please ask your trip leader for help to arrange this if possible but be prepared to manage your own luggage.

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Is this trip right for you

    As this is a Basix trip our days aren’t packed full of inclusions and compulsory sightseeing. Instead, your leader will take you on city walks in each destination and give you plenty of options and ideas of how to spend the rest of your free time.

    This trip pack packs a lot into a short amount of time, so we highly recommend spending extra time in Beijing and Shanghai before and after your trip if you are able.

    This trip has some overnight stays at family-run guesthouses and hostels, which tend to have more basic facilities than hotels (but often a lot more character). You’ll encounter some cold water showers, might need to rug up inside in the colder months and need to use a few squat toilets. The local experience is worth it, trust us!

    With treks on the Great Wall and Huangshan, both of which can be tough going with many steps, uneven surfaces and steep terrain, you'll need a good level of fitness to get the most out of this trip. Walking shoes with good support and grip are essential as is being prepared to sweat it out a bit.

    The overnight train travel included on this trip is in 'hard sleeper' class – carriages sectioned off into 3 tier/6 berth compartments. It’s not luxury, but it’s efficient and a great local experience. If you would prefer more comfort, upgrades to 'soft sleeper' (2 tier/4 berth compartments with lockable doors) can be requested, subject to availability, through your booking agent. If you would prefer a trip without overnight train travel, check out our Explore China (CBKS – 2019 only), China: Great Wall Hike, Bike & Kung Fu (CBXG – 2019 only) or South China: Hike, Bike & Kayak (CBXA – 2019 only) trips.

  • Money matters

    SPENDING MONEY:
    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

    CHINA
    The official currency in China is the Yuan or Renminbi (CNY). 1 renminbi (yuan) = 10 jiao (mao).

    ATMs are widespread, so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit/debit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart and look for ATMs with your card logo. You may find that your card does not work in certain ATMs, so we recommend purchasing some CNY in your home country so you have some cash for your first day.

    Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange and carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt.

    Please note that due to restrictions on currency conversion for foreigners in China it may not be possible to change left over CNY back into foreign currency, so please plan your budget and spending money well by withdrawing/exchanging what you need as you go.



    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    TIPPING IN CHINA:
    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

    In China tipping is not compulsory, but has become expected in the travel industry and is considered a way of showing appreciation for great service.

    The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

    - Restaurants, markets, and taxi drivers - tipping is not customary and is not expected by the locals.
    - Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$5 per day for local guides depending on their service and their involvement with the group.
    - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$2-US$4 per day for drivers.
    - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$4-US$6 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

    Depending on the type of trip you are doing and the number of local staff involved, your tour leader may discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent. The record can then be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Guesthouse/Hostel (6 nights),Hotel (3 nights),Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (2 nights)

  • Finish point instructions

    There are 2 airports in Shanghai - Hongqiao Airport and Pudong Airport. Most international flights now are at Pudong International airport. It is relatively easy to navigate and many signs are written in English.

    A departure transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your departure flight details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through your booking agent.

    If you plan to make your own way to the airport, your tour leader can advise you when is the best time to leave for your flight depending on local traffic condition. It is suggested to leave from your hotel at least 3 hours before your flight time. Taxi is the easiest way to go to the airport. It should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour to Hongqiao Airport or Pudong Airport.
    Alternatively, you can take metro/light rail to either airport. Your tour leader can advise you about the exchange of lines and time frames.

  • Climate and seasonal

    CHINESE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS:
    Please note that China's national holidays are the peak travel season for Chinese nationals. During this time, literally the whole country is on the move - that's over a billion people. Although these are fascinating and exciting times to travel in China, please be aware your group will almost definitely experience transport delays and massive crowds at tourist attractions and train stations. It's common for there to be difficulties in securing train or flight tickets at our preferred times, hotels become overbooked, traffic chaotic and changes to the itinerary are often necessary as a result. If clockwork organisation is important to you we advise you book outside of the weeks of the extended Chinese New Year in January/February, in the first week of May and the first week of October. If you decide to travel during this period please come with an open mind and be prepared for changes on the ground.

    Here are the major holiday periods in China:
    Chinese New Year: Feb 15-21 2018, Feb 4-10 2019, Jan 24-30 2020
    Qingming Festival: Apr 5-7 2018, Apr 5-7 2019, Apr 4-6 2020
    May Day: Apr 29-May 1 2018, May 1 2019, May 1-3 2020
    Dragon Boat Festival: Jun 16-18 2018, Jun 7-9 2019, Jun 25-27 2020
    Mid Autumn Day: Sep 22-24 2018, Sep 13-15 2019, falls within National Day holidays 2020
    National Day: Oct 1-7 2018, Oct 1-7 2019, Oct 1-8 2020

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own.

    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    CHINA
    HOTEL ROOMS:
    Some travellers have reported that hotels/accommodation in this region tend to have harder bed mattresses than those they are used to at home. You may like to request an extra quilt or bedding from the hotels if you find this an issue.

    SMOKING ROOMS:
    Smoking is prevalent in China and hotels generally do not offer specific non smoking rooms. Larger hotels with central air conditioning will sometimes transport the smell of smoke between rooms. While we ask our hotels to ensure our rooms are well cleaned and ventilated well before occupation in some cases this is not possible, and the smell of smoke may linger. Please speak to your leader about the possibility of changing rooms if you encounter this.

    WIFI:
    WiFi is often available in hotel reception areas and sometimes in rooms. Your leader will be able to advise on the best places to get connected.


    HARD SLEEPER TRAINS CHINA:
    We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys in China. These are not as rough as they sound - compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded berths (6 to a compartment) and sheets, a blanket/quilt & pillow provided. We recommend bringing your own sleeping sheet if you are concerned about the quality/cleanliness of sheets being not what you are used to. Most trains have a dining carriage where meals or snacks are available and all have hot water in each carriage for tea and instant noodles. While we aim to have our groups staying together there may be times where due to ticket availability the group will be staying in different compartments and carriages. Those travellers opting for a Soft Sleeper Upgrade (where available) may need to board the train from a separate waiting area and be in another carriage from the rest of the group. While railway services are rapidly being modernised in China, some train journeys on less frequented routes may use older rolling stock and the carriages of a more basic standard.

    GUESTHOUSES
    In smaller, rural locations in China we often stay in guesthouses, which are mostly small family run establishments. Facilities are basic compared to hotels and towels may not be provided. Please note that on occasion the group may be accommodated in separate guest houses or home stays within walking distance of each other.

  • Communications

    Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites. It’s important to let your family and friends know that you might not be able to stay in touch over your usual methods, be it – social media or email. The Chinese Government control and restrict certain websites. Here are some of the most popular websites around the world that are blocked in China: Google, Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, WordPress. It may be possible to still access some of these websites using a VPN. If you wish to stay in touch with your friends and family through the above blocked sites, we suggest you research using a VPN on your device prior to travel.

  • Joining point description

    Located almost right in the heart of Beijing, King’s joy hotel offers great convenience for your stay in Beijing. Hotel is closed to Qianmen Hutong Area with 2 min walk, only 1km away from Tian’anmen Square & Forbidden City, 2km to Temple of Heaven.
    Metro is also nearby, Qianmen Station (前门站) for Line 2 is only 5 minute walk which gives you easy access to the all the major sites in Beijing.

    Free WIFI and no-smoking room are available. 24 hours front desk service is provided. Rooms are equipped with en-suite bathroom, A/C, and other basic facilities. In the private bathroom basic show facilities are available. Other services like bike hire, internet, and laundry are also available. A fine selection of Chinese food and local Beijing cuisine can be enjoyed at the restaurant on site.

  • Important information

    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, excluding overnight trains and guesthouses
    2. A scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport is required at time of booking in order for us to purchase your train tickets.
    3. Overnight train accommodation on this tour is in 6-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class. Bedding is provided and wash basins and toilets (squat/western) are available in each carriage, but there are no shower facilities.
    4. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites.
    5. In winter months (Nov-Feb), we may stay in alternative guesthouses near the Great Wall due to the cold weather. This may also alter our trekking route along the Great Wall.

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The Advantages of Bookmundi
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  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
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