Chengdu Panda Sanctuary

Essential China Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
China
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
ACD
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

12 Days Flight Inclusive
11 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

Visit China's iconic sites and bring its fascinating history and culture to life! Beijing's history stretches back three millennia and the scale of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City never fail to amaze. Leaving the grandeur behind, explore the old town's narrow 'hutongs', and have a class in the traditional Chinese craft of papercutting inside one of the homes. Head out of the city and step foot on one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall; here you'll begin to comprehend the magnitude of this construction as it snakes across the mountains to the horizon and beyond. Juxtaposed to this is Xi'an's vibrant Muslim Quarter, where we catch a shadow puppetry show at Gao's Family Mansion. Xi'an is most famed for the nearby Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin, where excavations have revealed thousands of hand-crafted life-size and lifelike army figures. A China holiday would not be complete without a trip to Chengdu to see the endangered Giant pandas - these black and white furry animals are a national emblem and a rare sight. End in cosmopolitan Shanghai, with its unmistakable skyline illuminated at night.

At a Glance

  • 11 days land only/12 flight inclusive

  • Travel by bullet train, sleeper train, domestic flight, metro/public bus and private coach
  • 9 nights hotels and 1 night sleeper train
  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch included
  • Optional single supplement, available on request (excludes sleeper train)
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

Trip Highlights

  • Beijing's Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Jingshan Park 
  • Giant pandas at Chengdu's Breeding & Research Centre
  • One of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu
  • The famous Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin, near Xi'an
  • Shanghai's Bund waterfront area and French Concession

Is This Trip for You?

This is an ideal introduction to China for anyone visiting for the first time who wants to experience the best of the country's many iconic sites: Beijing and the Great Wall, Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors, Chengdu and the Giant Panda's, and the bright lights of Shanghai. 

This holiday is graded Level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate). Despite the grading, this is still an adventure holiday and you should come armed for an experience: China can be hard work and the summer heat and the bustle of some of the cities can be a little overwhelming. That said, there are places where you can find peace and quiet and we try to fit these into the itinerary at regular intervals. You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be prepared to be on your feet sightseeing for a few hours at a time. For the Great Wall visit, the walk up and down from the wall is quite steep but for anyone not wanting to do this, there is the option to pay to take a cable car. 

Some of the activities are weather dependent (such as water calligraphy in Chengdu's People Park) or are subject to local schedules. 

Although the distances in China are massive, this tour has been carefully designed to keep travelling time to a minimum by utilising an overnight train, a bullet train and a domestic flight. With two-night stays in every location and a free day in Xi'an, the pace should not be too tiring but there will be some early starts and long days. On days 8 and 9 in particular, early starts are required to view the pandas and to catch our morning flight to Shanghai. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

ACD Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Beijing
End City:
Shanghai

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive Beijing

    The group flights are scheduled to arrive into Beijing this afternoon. Free transfers are included for any flight as long as you have provided Exodus with your arrival details in advance (please specify if you arrive into PEK airport of the new airport, PKX – Daxing). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel. There will be a welcome briefing at approximately 6pm where you will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group (please see the noticeboard in the hotel reception for further details).

    Dong Fang Hotel / Traditional View Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Sightseeing including the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park and a walking tour of the hutongs including a class in traditional paper cutting

    We’ll head straight to Tiananmen Square (approx. 30 minutes by public bus/metro), one of the largest squares in the world, able to hold over a million people. The square is named after the 'Tiananmen' meaning 'Gate of Heavenly Peace' located at its north, which leads to the Forbidden City.  Continuing on foot, we spend a few hours exploring the innumerable courtyards and temples the Forbidden City. Exiting via the north gate of the complex, we walk directly to Jingshan Park and climb up to the top of the hill for a different vantage point.

    After lunch, we go on a walking tour of some of Beijing’s traditional 'hutongs' (narrow alleys of the old town) where we'll visit a local's house and try and master the art of paper-cutting, a traditional Chinese craft. Afterwards, we’ll meander our way through the hutongs and back to the hotel.

    Dong Fang Hotel / Traditional View Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Visit the Great Wall of China; return to Beijing and take an overnight train to Xi’an

    We leave the capital and head into the countryside to visit one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, at Mutianyu (approx. 2 hours’ drive). It is an impressive sight, snaking across mountains and valleys into the distance. We take the shuttle bus to the ticket office and from there it’s about a 40-minute uphill walk to the top of the Great Wall (anyone not wanting to walk can pay to take the cable car, which takes about 8 minutes). We spend the next couple of hours or so walking along the top of the wall. There are some steep steps to navigate and anyone who suffers from vertigo may find it difficult. This section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The wall here stands up to 8.5 metres high and 5 metres wide, and there are 22 watchtowers along its 2,250m stretch.

    We’ll leave the wall behind and drive a short way to our lunch stop in a local village and then drive directly to the train station in Beijing, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening in time to catch our overnight train to Xi’an (approx. 12 hours) which is scheduled to depart at 20:40 (the schedule may be subject to change throughout the year) - please see the 'Accommodation' section for more details. We recommend purchasing food beforehand as there is a limited selection on board. 

    Overnight train

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Arrive Xi’an; afternoon walking tour of the Muslim Quarter with a shadow puppetry show at Gao’s family mansion

    The train is scheduled to arrive into Xi’an at about 8:30am (again, this may be subject to change). We take a short transfer to the hotel, drop off the luggage, and freshen up in the lobby bathroom (the rooms won’t be available for check-in until later). Xi'an is one of China's former capitals and one of the few cities in China to have retained its city walls, probably because they are so massive that no revolutionary was willing to tackle the huge task of removing them. Today, after an opportunity to try some local Chinese breakfast, we will embark on a walking tour, passing the Bell and Drum Plaza and exploring the spice markets of the vibrant Muslim quarter where we visit Gao’s family mansion and enjoy a shadow puppetry show (depending on the show time). We’ll return to the hotel to check-in at about 2pm, and the rest of afternoon is free.

    Bell Tower Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Excursion to the Terracotta Warriors

    Today we visit the famous Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin (the transfer is approx. 2 hours each way). Originally four armies were planned, at each point of the compass, life-size and lifelike. Three have been found and it is assumed the Emperor's successors decided enough was enough before the fourth was begun. The first pit excavated had an estimated 6,000 figures in its one army. The third pit has been opened to the public, which contains the 'command post' for the entire operation. This is one of China's great tourist attractions, and some people may find the sheer numbers of visitors overpowering. After our visit we will take our lunch at a local farmer's restaurant nearby before driving back to Xi’an.

    Bell Tower Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 6

    Free day in Xi’an; optional cycling along the old city walls or Mount Huashan day trip

    There are no planned activities today but your leader will provide information on what is available to do and help you to arrange it. Perhaps you might like to walk along or hire bikes and cycle along the city walls to appreciate the sheer scale of these constructions. For a full day excursion, you might like to visit Mount Huashan for some walks with magnificent views (please note that we strongly advise against the plank trail due to safety concerns and anyone wanting to do this will be asked to sign a form releasing them from the tour as Exodus accepts no responsibility for this activity).

    Bell Tower Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Bullet train to Chengdu; afternoon walking tour around the People’s Park – try Chinese water calligraphy (weather permitting)

    Take a short transfer to the train station and board a late morning bullet train to Chengdu (approx. 4 hours), the capital of Sichuan province, arriving in the early afternoon. This region is recognised throughout China as being 'the spicy province', and major flavour combinations include garlic, star anise, chili peppers, and the ever-present Sichuanese peppercorn (hua jiao). We recommend having a ‘hotpot’ dinner during your stay here (spicy or mild broths are available).

    In the late afternoon we set off on foot for a walking tour, passing through the city centre square (Tianfu Square) and visiting the People’s Park where, weather permitting, we can see and have a go at Chinese water calligraphy.

    Chengdu City Garden Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Centre

    We leave early today to spend the morning visiting the Giant Panda Breeding & Research Base located 10km out of the city. These furry animals once roamed over large expanses of Asia but the last survey estimated the world’s population of wild Giant Pandas at only 1,864. Giant Pandas eat for up to fourteen hours a day and so hopefully we will witness these highly endangered animals feeding, as this is when they're most active. Otherwise we will have the opportunity to watch the Pandas indulge in their next favourite past time - sleeping! Afterwards we drive back to Chengdu and the afternoon is free to explore at your own pace.

    Chengdu City Garden Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Fly to Shanghai; afternoon visit to the Shanghai Museum

    We catch an early flight to Shanghai so we’ll take a simple box breakfast with us from the hotel. The flight duration is approx. 2.5 hours: we should land by late morning and arrive at our hotel by lunchtime. With a population of around twelve million, Shanghai is a cosmopolitan coastal hub with a futuristic skyline.

    This afternoon we take the public bus (metro) to visit the Shanghai Museum, which has 11 galleries housing some of China's most beautiful and best preserved cultural relics - some over 5,000 years old!

    Shanghai Kingtown Plaza Hotel or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Explore the Bund waterfront area and the French Concession

    After breakfast we’ll set off to discover some of the highlights of Shanghai on foot, starting with the famous Bund waterfront area to see the iconic buildings, before moving on to explore Nanjing Road (Shanghai's equivalent to London’s 'Oxford Street') and the French Concession with its tree lined avenues, cafes and Tudor mansions. The afternoon is at your leisure.

    Shanghai Kingtown Plaza Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 11

    End Shanghai

    The trip ends in Shanghai after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Train

Shanghai Kingtown Plaza

9 nights hotels and 1 night sleeper train.

In all the cities, we stay in good, tourist class hotels with twin rooms and private facilities. Nearly all the hotels are locally rated as at least 3-star and wherever possible located as near to local attractions as possible. 

There is one overnight sleeper train, from Beijing to Xi'an (journey time approx. 12 hours). For this, we book 'soft-sleeper' class where you will be accommodated in comfortable 4-berth (bunk bed style) cabins. Please note that whilst every attempt will be made to place passengers together in the same/nearby cabins this is not always possible due to availability and you may find yourself sharing a cabin with other (non-Exodus) train passengers. However, we will never place a solo traveller in a cabin by themselves (they will always be either with another passenger on the trip or with the leader). Clean bedding is provided and there are shared washrooms on board but you may choose to bring your own sheet. The train itself is of a good standard, although please note that facilities such as washrooms and toilets are shared with other passengers and the cleanliness can never be guaranteed.

The hotels usually used are named in the detailed itinerary, however, these may be subject to change by departure date, depending on availability. Chinese government officials occasionally take over hotels at short notice and so there can sometimes be last minute hotel changes which are beyond Exodus' control - in this event, we will book an alternative of the same local rating but we cannot guarantee that the facilities will be the same. 

A limited number of single supplements are available on a first-come-first-served basis, excluding the overnight train. Please request this at the time of booking. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £360.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 lunch included.

One of the major draws of China is its exciting and varied cuisine. On this trip, you will be able to try many different dishes that will be carefully selected with your leader's help and based on the group's dietary requirements and preferences. Meals generally consist of shared dishes, which is the best way to experience as many different ingredients as possible and try things you might not usually choose. Examples of popular dishes include Ma Po Tofu, a delicious tofu dish made with beef, chillies and onion, Gong Bao chicken, a very popular dish with chilli and peanuts, the iconic Peking Duck, served with hoisin sauce and pancakes, and dumplings in many shapes and sizes. Chengdu in Sichuan province is known for its spicy hotpots but you can request mild options too. There are many different dishes to try and your leader will always try and accommodate tastes, but if you do tire of Chinese food there are always opportunities to eat Western-style dishes in the cities you visit. For vegetarians or those with dietary requirements, many of the traditional dishes can be amended to omit the meat products.

Transportation

Much of the sightseeing is on foot.

The main road journeys such as to the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Giant Panda Centre, and other main transfers are by private coach/minibus (depending on group size). In Beijing and Shanghai, we also use public transport (bus/metro) for short journeys where it is the most convenient way to get around.

We take a high-speed bullet train from Xi'an to Chengdu (journey time approx. 4 hours) in second class seating. There is also one overnight sleeper train, from Beijing to Xi'an (journey time approx. 12 hours) - please see the accommodation section for further details.

There is one domestic flight from Chengdu to Shanghai which will be in economy class with a local airline, typically China Eastern Airlines.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Beijing & Xi'an: The north of China has warm (25ºC+), quite humid summers, and cold dry winters. If you travel between June and August, it will be hot more or less everywhere, except in the mountains (around the Great Wall). Some rain must be expected, possibly heavy. If you travel in September/October, you will probably get less rain and the temperatures will be fairly warm (around 20ºC) everywhere. November is starting to get cooler (3-13ºC) and can therefore sometimes feel chilly. The Great Wall region will be colder than the cities due to the mountainous terrain.

Shanghai: The south of China is subtropical with hot (30ºC), wet summers (May to September), and warm, relatively dry (November to March) winters, though rain is possible at almost any time of year.

The winter months in China are cold (+3ºC), so if travelling in November/March be prepared for temperatures to drop to below freezing at night in the North, but with almost guaranteed dry sightseeing. The weather is milder in the south.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 12 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Air China (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 11 days starting in Beijing and ending in Shanghai

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Beijing in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival transfers for any flight arriving into Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Please note that free transfers are not offered from/to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). A free departure transfer is also offered in Shanghai but only on the day the tour ends. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end hotel and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Beijing
Location end:
Shanghai

What to Take

Essential Equipment

As you will be moving from point-to-point, we ask that you pack light and only bring one main suitcase with you, weighing no more than 20kg maximum. 

On the trains, there are limitations on the quantities of certain items which are allowed, including aerosol sprays (up to 120ml), nail polish, hair dye (up to 20ml). The overnight trains are generally very clean, but as standards vary, you may feel more comfortable bringing a sleeping bag liner or similar to sleep in. You may also wish to take earplugs just in case there are louder sleepers in the berth!

Light casual cotton clothing is recommended in general, however, due to the distances covered, the climate can vary significantly from one place to another and so we recommend packing layers so that you can adjust these to be comfortable in warmer or cooler conditions. 

Daypack/rucksack - to carry personal items such as clothing layers, water, your camera etc. for the day

Comfortable practical shoes  - for sightseeing on foot.

Trainers or walking shoes/boots are required for the walk on the Great Wall.

Lightweight waterproof jacket and/or an umbrella.

Refillable water bottle.

Sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream.

Warm jumper/fleece, hat, gloves and a wind-proof or down jacket (November to March/April departures).

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

The Great Wall of China

Practical Information

Passport

China

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

China

Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter China, which must be obtained prior to departure. The Chinese authorities now require a letter from Exodus, confirming all your accommodation details. Along with this, you need to supply a copy of your flight details, which are on your invoice if you have booked directly through Exodus. For further information see here. It is also essential that we have a clear copy of the details page of your passport. This is required to book certain ground services in China and we cannot confirm your details with our local partners until it has been received. This must be emailed as an electronic scan to [email protected] a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your trip.

IMPORTANT: Please note that all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 will need to visit one of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centres in person (appointment required) where biometric data will be taken as part of the visa application process.

For assistance with obtaining visas please call Travcour on 020 8543 1846 or visit their website: http://www.travcour.com/page/tour-packs/exodus.php

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

China

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

If your trip visits Hong Kong, dengue fever is a known risk - this is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten: apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

China's Timezone:
Asia/Shanghai CST (GMT +08:00)

Electricity

China's Electricity:

China uses non‐grounded twin flat plugs, similar to the nongrounded US version. The voltage provided at sockets is 220V ‐ 240V in China. In China, they also sometimes use Australian style 3‐pronged sockets. Sockets are widely available in the hotels that we use for charging camera equipment.

WiFi, Apps and Websites in China

In China, certain websites and phone apps are blocked, including Google (and therefore Gmail accounts), Facebook and Whatsapp. You may get coverage of these from time to time but for the most part, they will not work during your stay. Alternative web search engines such as Bing are, however, available. The locals commonly use an all-in-one app called 'WeChat' for messaging, voice and video calls, photo-sharing and language support. If staying connected while you are away is important to you then you may want to download WeChat before you go (and ask those who you want to stay in touch with to do the same).

Money

China's Currency

The national currency of China is the Chinese Yuan (Renminbi) (CNY), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 8.9 to the UK£ and 6.8 to the US$.

Money exchange facilities are readily available in all of the big cities but may be limited in smaller towns. You will need to have your passport handy in order to exchange money at a bank. We generally advise against taking travellers cheques as very few banks can cash them. Please note that if you wish to change RMB back into hard currency when you leave China, you may have to produce your exchange certificates to do this.

ATM Availability

China is well serviced by ATMs which are available in all of the major towns and cities. Most but not all ATMs will take British/European style cards, but your leader will be able to advise you. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and large establishments such as shopping malls but are not recommended for day to day spending. Many restaurants throughout China use WeChat Pay, an electronic payment made through the application on your mobile phone/device.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Allow about CNY3000-3470 (GBP350-400 / USD425-480 / CAD565-645) spending money per person for optional activities and meals not included (assuming you may do two or three optional activities in total). This does not include tips, shopping or alcoholic beverages. 

Meals in good standard local restaurants will typically cost in the region of CNY80 per person for lunch and CNY120 per person for dinner. If you drink alcoholic drinks on top, you will spend more than the suggested spending amount. 

Please note: Some hotels in China require a refundable deposit of between CNY200-400 per room, to be paid upon check-in, to cover items from the minibar etc. This can usually be paid in cash or on credit card and will be refunded in full upon departure providing no items have been consumed.

Optional Excursions 

There are a number of optional activities, which if you wish, your leader can arrange for you. The below examples provide an indication of what is available and approximate costs but prices are subject to change throughout the season and may be dependent on the number of people taking part. They are subject to schedules and availability; your leader will let you know what is available and the actual local costs.

Beijing
Opera Front Zone (incl. public transport): CNY300
Acrobat Show (incl. public transport): CNY290
Kungfu Show (incl. public transport): CNY280
Cable car at Great Wall: CNY91 one way, CNY116 return

Xian
Bell and Drum Tower entry CNY50, city wall entry CNY54, Bike rental on the city walls in Xian (90min) CNY45
Tang Dynasty Show and dumpling banquet (min. 5 pax): CNY290
Mount Huashan Full day Excursion: CNY970 (based on 4 people - prices will be higher for smaller groups and less for larger groups)

Chengdu
Sichuan Opera (incl, private transfer): CNY280

Shanghai
Acrobat Show (incl. public transport): CNY280
Huangpu River Cruise at Night (incl. public transport): CNY120

It is not compulsory to join any of these optional activities and your leader can recommend many more options. It is also possible to arrange many of these activities independently if you prefer.

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion however in China, with the increase in tourism, tipping has become customary and if you have received good service, a tip would be appreciated by local staff. In order to take the hassle out of this, your tour leader will usually suggest each member contributes approx. CNY200 per person towards a group tipping kitty on arrival - this will be used to tip local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, hotel porters and so on as a group rather than individually. Your leader will keep a record of how the kitty is spent and will be happy to share this with you at any time during the trip. If you do not wish to contribute to a central pool for tips you are of course free to opt out and tip as an individual. 

If you feel that your leader has performed well over the course of your holiday and you would like to show your appreciation of their service, a tip would be appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide, CNY35-50 per person per day would be a reasonable starting point. We suggest sending an envelope around the group to collect tips anonymously; this can then be presented to the leader by a volunteer spokesperson on the final night. 

The 'tipping kitty' explained above is entirely separate from any contribution to the tour leader. 

Terracotta Warriors

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus, we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.