Adventures and Group Travel

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The Greatest China Adventure Ever!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Dates: May 5- 18 (Plus Optional Extensions)                                                                                                                                             

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT                                                                                                                                                              

We’ve been talking about this one for a while. It took a lot of work, but I’m now proud to announce the coolest trip to China ever!

 

As always, we have a unique itinerary that I put together with the help of people from China, people who have been to China, and people who have asked me for specific places to go in China. This is NOT your regular touristy China trip. We are doing some of the touristy things, but most importantly, we are doing those amazing, unique things that we see on the internet and say “I gotta do that one day”. Well, wait no more.
 

 Here are some of the highlights of our trip: 

- Beijing, the capital on China, where we will visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and do a hutong tour to ride on a rickshaw. 

- The Great Wall of China. One of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. Now, we won’t visit the touristy sections. Oh no, not us! We are getting shuttled 2.5 hours outside Beijing where we are going to visit AND HIKE around the most scenic section of the wall: Jinshanling.  

 - Zhangjiajie National Forest, where we will see the Heavenly Pillars also known as the Avatar Mountains.

 

 

- Cross the Glass Bridge at Zhiangjiajie, the world’s longest and highest glass bridge that just opened in August 2016.

 

- Walk the Tianmen Mountain glass walk in Zhiangjiajie.

 

- Hike Mt. Huashan, the scariest hike in the world.

 

(If that’s too much for you, you can take the cable car and just hang out at the summit area). 

- See the Terracotta Army in Xian. 

- See the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park. Also known as The Rainbow Mountains.

  

- Visit Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. We might actually get to take a picture holding a baby panda! More info below. 

- Visit Shanghai, where we will visit The Bund, Nanjing Road, Yuyuan Garden and take a cruise on the Huangpu River to see The Bund at night. 

- Visit Tibet (yes, Tibet!) and Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama (optional)

Unbelievable, right? Yup! We will do EVERYTHING you’ve been dreaming about doing in China!

 

HERE IS THE OFFICIAL ITINERARY:
 

DAY 1. FRIDAY, MAY 5:  ARRIVAL IN BEIJING 

Upon your arrival at the Beijing airport, your local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax and recover from jetlag. 

Transfer via: Flight, arranged on your own 

Accommodation: Jianguo Garden Hotel (4-star), Superior Room 

Meals: Not included


 

DAY 2. SATURDAY, MAY 6: BEIJING

 

On this day you will first visit Tiananmen Square followed by the magnificent Forbidden City. In the afternoon you will explore Beijing’s hutongs by pedicab and then visit the the breathtaking Summer Palace. 

Accommodation: Jianguo Garden Hotel, Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

DAY 3. SUNDAY, MAY 7: THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

  

Today you will visit the remarkable Great Wall of China. You will visit the Jinshanling Section, the most scenic and comparatively less tourist-trodden part of the 1,400-year-old fortification system. A large amount of time is given to you to enjoy the climbing and picturesque scenery in this world-famous architectural construction. 

Accommodation: Jianguo Garden Hotel, Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

DAY 4. MONDAY, MAY 8: TRANSFER TO ZHANGYE 

Taking a morning flight from Beijing to Lanzhou, where you need to check in another flight to Zhangye. Upon arrival, your tour guide and driver will you at the Zhangye airport and take you to hotel. 

Important: you are supposed collect your luggage and check in the onward flight again in Lanzhou airport by yourself. 

Transfer via: Flights, economy class. 

Accommodation: Ding He International Hotel (4-star), Standard Room 

Meals: Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 

DAY 5. TUESDAY, MAY 9: THE RAINBOW MOUNTAINS

 

Today will be a whole day tour in Zhangye Danxia Landform Park to appreciate the beautiful rainbow mountains. After the tour, drive you back to the hotel.

Accommodation:Ding He International Hotel (4-star), Standard Room

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 6. WEDNESDAY, MAY 10: MATI GROTTOES & TRANSFER TO CHENGDU

This morning, head out of city for visiting the intriguing Mati Grottoes: a complex of several Buddhist temples located inside a cliff.  Then in the afternoon, transfer to Zhangye airport this afternoon for a flight to Lanzhou, where you will need to check in another flight to Chengdu. Once arrival, your tour guide in Chengdu will meet you at the airport and take you to hotel. 

Important: you are supposed collect your luggage and check in the onward flight again in Lanzhou airport by yourself. 

Transfer via: Flight, economy class 

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Gulou (3-star), Standard Room 

Meals: Breakfast


 

DAY 7. THURSDAY, MAY 11: CHENGDU RESEARCH BASE OF GIANT PANDA BREEDING & GIANT BUDDHA STATUE

Try to get up a bit early as you would need to visit the China's national treasure - the giant panda. After lunch, set for the Leshan City to see the famous Giant Buddha with a short cruise. Your visit to the Research Base is guaranteed and it will be an amazing experience. However, there is a possible bonus: The Research Base used to have a program in which, for a fee, you could take a picture holding a baby panda! That program has been discontinued right now because the base has been damaged by an earthquake and they had to rearrange the facilities. However, since the trip is several months away, the program MIGHT be offered again by the time of your trip. There are no premises, but if they do you will be in for the experience and picture of a lifetime! 

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Gulou, Standard Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 8. FRIDAY, MAY 12: TRANSFER TO XIAN + GREAT MOSQUE AND MUSLIM STREET TOUR 

 

Transfer to airport for a flight to Xian, where being met and taken to hotel. After a break, you will have a city tour to the Great Mosque and the Muslim Street in the city center. This will be a very interesting day when you will see a beautiful subculture of China and will have the chance to have a unique culinary experience. 

Transfer via: Flight, economy class 

Accommodation: Grand Noble Hotel Xian (4-star), Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast


 

DAY 9. SATURDAY, MAY 13: MT. HUASHAN AND THE SCARIEST HIKE IN THE WORLD

 

One day tour to Mt. Huashan with round way bus. You will be taken to the top of Mt. Huashan area by cable car. The area is breathtaking, surrounded by beautiful mountains. For those who choose to do it, Chang Kong Cliff Road, is known as “The Scariest Hike in the World”.  A hike along the cliffs of Mt. Huashan leading to the Southern Summit, where you will find a Taoist temple and tea-house. This will be an optional activity (15UDS) and your guide won’t go with you. 

Accommodation: Grand Noble Hotel Xian, Superior Room

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 10. SUNDAY, MAY 14: TERRACOTTA ARMY + TRANSFER TO ZHANGJIAJIE

 

Today you will have an excursion to the  incredible life-size Terracotta Warriors. In the late afternoon, transfer to airport for a flight to Zhangjiajie. 

Transfer via: Flight, economy class. 

Accommodation: Qinghe Jinjiang International Hotel (5-star), Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 11. MONDAY, MAY 15: ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL FOREST + THE AVATAR MOUNTAINS 

Today is one of the highlights of your tour. You will visit the breathtaking Zhangjiajie National Forest Park including Tianzi Mountain and  No.1 Bridge. Zhangjiajie unique formation of several pillar-like mountains was the inspiration for Hallelujah Mountains in the film Avatar. Tianzi Mountain offers one of the best views of the of the mountains. No. 1 Bridge, another unique formation, is  a 60 ft. long, 5-10 ft. wide naturally-formed slate stretching about 1000 ft. midair between the rocks.  

Accommodation: Qinghe Jinjiang International Hotel, Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 12. TUESDAY, MAY 16: TIANMEN MOUNTAIN GLASS WALK + GRAND CANYON GLASS BRIDGE + TRANSFER TO SHANGHAI

 

Today, as you continue your Zhangjiajie adventure, you will get up earlier than normal for a full, exciting day. You will visit the Glass Plank Roads on the Tianmen Mountain: a 4700 Feet high glass walkway on the side of the world famous Tianmen Mountain. You will also visit the Grand Canyon of Zhiangjiajie and the new Glass Bridge: the longest glass bridge in the world (1410 feet), suspended 1000 feet above the Grand Canyon. In the evening you will take a flight to Shanghai. Once arrival, transfer from airport to hotel. 

Transfer via: Flight, economy class 

Accommodation: The Bund Hotel (4-star), Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 13. WEDNESDAY, MAY 17: SHANGHAI

 

Today you will experience the biggest metropolis in China with a full tour which includes: the Bund, Yu Garden, Yuyuan Market, Jade Buddha Temple and Bu Gao Li. 

Accommodation: The Bund Hotel , Superior Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 14. THURSDAY, MAY 18: SHANGHAI + DEPARTURE 

You will be free on this day until your tour guide escorts you to the airport for your international flight. 

Transfer via: Flight, arranged on your own 

Meals: Breakfast

 

We realize that for some people, taking more than two weeks off work is challenging. For that reason, the following extensions are optional.


 

OPTIONAL TIBET EXTENSION:
 

DAY 14. THURSDAY, MAY 18: FLY TO TIBET 

Transfer to airport for a flight to Lhasa (Tibet). Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel in Lhasa city (2-hour drive). After checking in the hotel, rest in the afternoon to get adapted to the high altitude. 

Accommodation: Lhasa Hotel (4*Building) (4-star), Standard Room 

Transfer via: Flight, economy class 

Meals: Not included


 

DAY 15. FRIDAY, MAY 19: POTALA PALACE, JOKHANG TEMPLE AND BAKHOR STREET

Set out early for the highlight in Lhasa, the imposing Potala Palace, the sacred, mysterious palace dating back to 7th century and the spiritual center of Tibetan people thereafter. Potala Palace is the former residence of the Dalai Lama. 

Then, move to the Jokhang Temple, the most divine and respected Buddhist temple among locals and pilgrims, with a history of over 1,300 years. After that you will visit Barkhor Street, the most bustling commercial area in downtown Lhasa and draws in hundreds of pilgrims to perform rituals on it every day. 

Accommodation: Lhasa Hotel (4*Building), Standard Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 16. SATURDAY, MAY 20: NORBULINGKA PARK, DREPUNG MONASTERY AND SERA MONASTERY

 

Start today with the overwhelming summer resort of Dalai Lama of several generations, the Norbulingka. 

Following we will visit Drepung Monastery, the largest of all Tibetan monasteries, formally the biggest monastery in the world, and the residence of the Dali Lama until the Potala Palace was built in the 7th century. 

In the afternoon, the notable Sera Monastery for monk debating is on the schedule. Debates provide an opportunity for monks to demonstrate their scholarship and rise through the ranks. Visitors usually are struck by the physicality of the debates, with clapping their hands, pushing their partners for an answer, etc. 

Accommodation: Lhasa Hotel (4*Building), Standard Room 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


 

DAY 17. SUNDAY, MAY 21: DEPARTURE (IF NOT DOING HONG KONG AND MACAU)

Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the airport for your onward international flight which booked by yourself. 

Transfer via: Flight, arranged on your own if flying back to the U.S. 

Meals: Breakfast.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

OPTIONAL HONG KONG EXTENSION                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

DAY 17. SUNDAY, MAY 21: FLY TO HONG KONG

Transfer to airport for a flight to Chengdu, you are supposed check in another flight in Chengdu airport for Hong Kong. Upon your arrival at Hong Kong, a vibrant metropolis, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.

Important: you are supposed collect your luggage and check in the onward flight again in Chengdu airport by yourself.

Transfer via: Flight, economy class

Accommodation: Metropark Hotel Kowloon (4-star), Superior Room

Meals: Not Included

 

DAY 18. MONDAY, MAY 22: HONG KONG CITY TOUR

Today you will have a full day city tour includes Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen Floating Village and Floating Seafood Market, Stanley Market, Bird Market and Jade Market.

Accommodation: Metropark Hotel Kowloon, Superior Room

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

DAY 19. TUESDAY, MAY 23: MACAU

Today, our local guide will escort you to Macau by Catamaran. After approximately 15-30 minutes immigration formality begins the city tour (lunch was included). Transfer back to HK by Catamaran after the tour. City tour in Macau includes: the Ruins of St. Paul, Leal Senado Square, Old Walled City, Fisherman Wharf, A-Ma Temple, Taipa Island, and Casino.

Transfer via: Boat

Accommodation: Metropark Hotel Kowloon, Superior Room

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

DAY 20. WEDNESDAY, MAY 24: DEPARTURE

Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the airport for your international flight which booked by yourself.

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer via: Flight, arranged on your own


 

PRICE and PAYMENT TERMS

- 3,395.00 ( I know, a steal for a two-week trip with most meals included, especially since we are flying and taking high-speed trains all over China. Our money still goes a long way in China). 

- A deposit of 500.00 (non-refundable) secures your reservation. Then you have until February 5 to finish making your payment. Once I receive your deposit, I will send you an invoice for the remaining amount.

 

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT

 

- If you make payments or pay in full before the due date your payments (minus the deposit) are refundable before the due date (February 5, 2017). After that, all payments are entirely non-refundable. We STRONGLY suggest that you get travel insurance to cover you in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason. 

 - Tibet Extension: 995.00. An additional 300.00 non-refundable deposit will be required and due upon RSVP. The remainder will be added to your invoice. 

- Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau Extensions: 2,195.00 (includes two-flight transfer to Hong Kong and boat to Macau). An additional 500.00 non-refundable deposit will be required and due upon RSVP. The remainder will be added to your invoice. 


 

INCLUDED

- All the hotel stays at double occupancy (please see ABOUT OCCUPANCY below). 

- All the flights within China. 

- All transportation to our scheduled activities as well as to and from terminals to hotels while with the group (if you do your own activity, arrive or leave at a different day, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation. That should not be a problem, though). 

- Entrance fee Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary. 

- Breakfast at all hotels and most lunches as outlined in the itinerary. 

- Sightseeing:  As outlined in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide.


 

NOT INCLUDED 

- Flights to and from China (see FLIGHT below). 

- Meals not specifically stated in the itinerary. 

- Travel insurance (highly recommended). We do offer Travel Guard travel insurance and can send you a quote once you pay your deposit. You can also get insurance with any company you would like. 

- Tips to guides, drivers, staff, etc.  

- Rentals .

- Souvenirs or anything extra you would like to get. 

- Any activity not described in the itinerary. 

- Airport VIP assistance 

- Visa Fees:  Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. 

- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, etc. 

- Excess Baggage Charges.


 

ABOUT OCCUPANCY 

- Double occupancy: you will be paired up with someone of the same gender as a roommate. Unless you have someone that you are already coming with, of course.  

- Single supplement for the main trip: (if you want a room for yourself): 700.00. 

- Single supplement for Tibe and Hong Kongt: 300.00 for each.

- The last people to RSVP and pay the deposit MAY have to be put in triple occupancy rooms (if we end up with an odd number of men or women).


 

FLIGHT 

Flights to and from China are NOT included. At the time I’m writing this, the flights are around 700.00! Very inexpensive! Flights are very easy to book on your own and some people want to do different itineraries, so it gets really unpractical to include flight. Besides many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or saving money if you book it by yourself.  So instead of including air, I will suggest the flights so you can go to Kayak.com, Cheapoaire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, or any booking website and book your own. The best time to book a flight is usually 3-4 months before (the best day is Tuesday and the best time is between 12:00 and 3:00 PM EST).  When I book my flight I will e mail the group telling you what I got.  If you do book the same flight, we’ll meet at LAX. If not, I’ll just meet you in China. Shuttle to the hotel is included regardless so long as you arrive at the same day as the group.  


 

FLIGHT GUIDELINES 

- Arrives in Beijing on May 5. You room at the hotel will be available after 3:00 PM. 

- Leaves Shanghai on May 18 if you are doing the two-week trip. Check out time at the hotel is 11:00 AM. 

- Leaves Lhasa Gonggar airport on May 21 if you are doing the Tibet extension. Checkout time at the hotel is 11:00 AM.

- Leaves Hong Kong on May 24 if you are doing the Tibet and Hong Kong extension. Checkout time at the hotel is 11:00 AM.

RSVP DEADLINE

Because our tour operator will have to get several plane tickets, high speed train tickets and park entrances, the deadline for RSVP is February 5. 

We are also limiting the number of people to 20. So if all the spots get sold out before the deadline, we'll close the trip before. 

I believe the trip will sell out. You can RSVP without a deposit, but your reservation is not guaranteed until we receive your deposit and you have signed your contract (which we'll send you once we receive your deposit). So if you are interested, send your deposit in ASAP so you don't get left out!


 

SOME OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW 

- Passport is required, of course. If you don't have a valid passport, make sure to get started on it ASAP. Here's the link for the Department of State Passport section: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html 

- Visa will be required. Tibet requires a separate visa. Those of us visiting Tibet will then need TWO SEPARATE VISAS. Here's the Chinese Consulate page so you can look into that: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/ 

Again, get on it ASAP so you don't get held up because of some unexpected delay. 

- In order to get the visa you will need a letter from our tour operator and will to have your passport with you. That passport needs to be the same you will use while in China and needs to be valid for 6 month beyond the end of our trip. That means your passport has to be valid until November 18, 21 or 24 depending on whether you will be doing Tibet and Hong Kong.

- While dealing with different tour operators I got the strong feeling that in China things can change at a minute’s notice. Things like access to certain locations. For example, I had initially planned on hiking from one location of  the Great Wall to another, and learned that that stretch of the mountains is now closed, even though it’s still advertised everywhere in the Internet.  I double checked with our operator to make sure everything we’re schedule to do is likely to be open, but there are chances we will have to make changes or adjustments. I think and hope if those happen at all, they will be few and small, but be aware that those things can happen.   

- Being a communist country, we are likely to encounter taxes, entrance fees, etc., that are not mentioned in the itinerary. I did my best to cover as much as possible so we don’t have a lot of “little out-of-pocked expenses” while over there. But from my experience in more socialistic countries, we might find a few taxes that we didn’t know existed.


 

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