Beijing City Break Trip Notes

Discover ancient cultural sights and tasty delights in Beijing city. Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven Park and more.

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Last Modified: 13 Mar 2013
Beijing City Break
Trip code: CBAD-B
Validity: 01 Mar 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Beijing is one of the world's most fascinating cities and this three-night mini-adventure offers a taste of its many wonderful sights. See the city through the eyes of a local guide during explorations of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven Park. Join locals in tai chi, ride the busy subway and sample China's delicious - and sometimes very bizarre - cuisine. With plenty of time for independent exploration, this city break offers the perfect serving of bustling Beijing.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersEmergency funds
ThemesSingle travellersVisas
MapAccommodationIssues on your trip
ItineraryMeals introductionWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportSafety
Physical ratingGroup leaderTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point Responsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point Carbon offset
Departure taxFinish point descriptionFeedback
Important notesFinish point instructions
Group sizeEmergency contact
Style
Basix, Comfort, Original
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Short Breaks - Group Adventures
Map
Beijing City Break
Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Beijing
Ni hao! Welcome to China.
You are met on arrival at Beijing airport and transferred to your joining point hotel. Please advise flight arrival details (flight number and time) at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided.
You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Beijing
After pick up from your hotel and meeting your group and local guide, start the adventure at the Temple of Heaven Park. This is one of Beijing’s most popular parks and it’s full of people of all ages taking part in traditional pastimes such as tai chi, fan dancing, diablo, kite flying, water calligraphy and more.
Join in some of the activities or just wander around the park, soaking up its relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps grab the chance to visit the Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvests. Enjoy an early lunch of dumplings or noodles from a local eatery before jumping on Beijing's efficient subway to travel to the very heart of the city - Tiananmen Square.
Discover why Tiananmen is so special to the Chinese people as you wander through this immense square. Enter the Forbidden City through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which is adorned with its famous Mao portrait. Off-limits to most of the world for 500 years, this ‘city’ houses the best preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China and is a must-see destination in Beijing. Discover some of its secrets and learn about some of the legends while enjoying a tour through its many buildings.
After leaving the Forbidden City, get a new perspective over this immense structure from the top of the pagoda in Jingshan Park. High on a hill overlooking the city, this is the best place to take in stunning views of not only the Forbidden City, but the ancient heart of Beijing. End today's tour in Jingshan Park, where you are free to spend more time exploring or head back into the heart of Beijing to take in more of the city’s sights. Tonight you might choose to visit the Night Market or dine on Beijing duck for dinner.
Included Activities
  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Beijing - Temple of Heaven Park
Optional Activities
  • Temple of Heaven - CNY40
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Free day Beijing
With a bit of knowledge gathered from yesterday, today you are free to explore the city by yourself and tailor your day to suit your own interests. We highly recommend a visit to the hutong areas near the drum and bell towers, a visit out to the Olympic park by metro or even a trip to the Great Wall itself. See www.urbanadventures.com for some great guided ideas if you prefer to have someone to show you around again today.
Optional Activities
  • Beijing - Acrobat show - CNY250
  • Beijing Opera - CNY200
  • Beijing Zoo (including Aquarium) - CNY130
  • Beijing Art & Architecture Urban Adventure - CNY590
  • Jingshan Park - CNY10
  • Kung Fu show - CNY180
  • Lama Temple - CNY30
  • Summer Palace - CNY40
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Depart Beijing
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      Culture shock rating

      At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      Any reasonably fit person who is comfortable on a bicycle and walking for 4 - 6 hours over the course of a day will enjoy this tour.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      Money Exchange
      The official currency in China is the Yuan or Renminbi (CNY). 1 renminbi (yuan) = 10 jiao (mao).
      We strongly advise against bringing travellers cheques as in China they can be extremely difficult or impossible to change.
      ATMs are widespread, so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart. Some banks will allow a cash advance against a major credit card which will incur a service charge of 5% or more.
      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. In any case, some money should be taken as cash in case of emergencies - we recommend around US$400 per person. 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.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      Tipping
      CHINA SHORT BREAKS
      If you are 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 Intrepid destinations.
      Tipping in China is not customary, but in the travel industry it is. Please don't tip with coins, notes of or less that CNY1, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
      The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
      RESTAURANTS: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in China or Tibet.
      LOCAL GUIDES: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest CNY10-15 per person per day for local guides with the amount adjusted accordingly for guides who are with you for less than a full day.
      PORTERS: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest CNY5 per bag for porters.
      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 that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). CNY5-10 per person per day is generally appropriate, with the amount adjusted accordingly for drivers who are with you for less than a full day.
      Departure tax
      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
      Important notes
      Included activities or excursions with a local guide are on a "join in" basis so these may be shared with other travellers.
      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.
      Group size
      Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
      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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      On some trips accommodation is available only on a shared basis with other travellers, who might not necessarily be Intrepid travellers. Arrangements vary depending on the trip from twin to multishare, so refer to the daily itinerary for more details on your accommodation. In some situations you may have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure you have your own room.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (3 nts)
      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 your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
      Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination.
      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.
      BEDS AND 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. Passengers that require a soft bed should consider bringing an inflatable camping mattress or sleeping mat.
      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 ventilated well before occupation in some cases this is not possible.
      WIFI, in room, or in public areas of accommodation is not as common as travellers may be used to in other regions.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.
      Meals
      1 Lunch
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      USD 50.00
      Transport
      Metro, Bicycle, Taxi
      Group leader
      This Short Break Adventure is a 'join in' group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader - our local representative fills this role - and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
      The aim of our local representative is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this style of trip you might have one person stay with you for the entire journey, or you might get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will all be to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. While some may not be 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.
      Joining point
      Beijing City Break Joining Point
      Beijing
      CHINA
      Joining point description
      Extra accommodation pre- and post-tour can be requested, please ask your booking agent.
      Joining point instructions
      Beijing Capital International airport is located north-east of Beijing, 25 km from the city centre. One of the biggest airports in the world, it is relatively easy to navigate and many signs are written in English. Most international flights arrive at Terminal 3.
      An arrival transfer is included on Day 1 of this trip. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.
      If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. Intrepid provides one complimentary arrival transfer per booking even if clients are arriving at different times.
      Our local operator Ms Qi (Ms. Chee) will send a driver to the airport, who will be holding a sign with the Intrepid logo and your name on it. If you arrive at Terminal 2 of Beijing airport, please meet your driver at the entrance/exit #7 after you go through the baggage claim area. Please note that Beijing Airport is very crowded so please be patient. If you have any problems finding the driver, go to the information desk at door #7 and ask them to call Ms Qi on her mobile. If you arrive at Terminal 3 of Beijing airport, please meet your driver in front of the white jade screen wall with the dragon pattern after you walk through Exit B. Exit B is the only international arrival gate in Terminal 3. If you have any problems finding the driver go to the information desk at the right side of Exit B, and ask them to call Ms Qi on her mobile (+86) 13671299816
      If you are already in Beijing and are not using this airport transfer, please call +86 10 6406 7328 for your City Break joining point.
      Pre- & post-tour accommodation for this trip is available at the following hotels:
      Basix style: 9 Dragons House (Xinmao Hostel), No.78 Dongsijiutiao, Dongcheng District, +86 10 84036143
      Original style: Kaichuang Golden Street Business Hotel, #32,Baishu Hutong Ave,Dongcheng District,Beijing :+86 10 6559 6666
      Comfort style: Sunworld Hotel, #88 Dengshikou Ave, Dongcheng District, +86 10 5816 8999
      Please note although we will strive to do so, the pre- & post-tour accommodation listed above will not necessarily be the same hotels used during the 3 nights of this city break.
      If making your own way from Airport to hotel there are options on bus, train and taxi.
      AIRPORT TO SUNWORLD HOTEL:
      If making your own way to the hotel you can take airport bus route 2 (CNY16) to Dongzhimen or route 3 to Beijing Railway Station, then it's a short taxi ride to our joining point hotel (CNY15, approx 10 minutes).
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen Station. From Dongzhimen transfer to metro line 2 and take it one stop to Lama Temple Station, then switch to line 5 and go four stops to Dengshikou Station. Use exit A, turn left and walk for 100 meters. Then turn left in the first block, get into Dengshikoudajie Street and walk 200 meters to the hotel.
      AIRPORT TO HARMONY HOTEL:
      By bus, take airport bus route 2 (CNY16) to Dongzhimen or route 3 to Beijing Railway Station, then it's a short taxi ride to our joining point hotel (CNY 15, approx 10 minutes.
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen station. From Dongzhimen, transfer to metro line 2 and travel on stop to Lama Temple station. Here switch to metro line 5 and travel 4 stops to Dengshikou station. Use exit A, turn left and walk for 100m. Turn left again at the first block to join Dengshikoudajie St and the hotel is 200m from here.
      AIRPORT TO 9 DRAGONS HOUSE:
      Beijing Airport Express trains leave from both terminal 2 and 3. Trains operate from 06:20 until 22:50. Alight at Dongzhimen Station and our hotel is a short taxi ride away (approx. 10 minutes and CNY10).
      You can take airport bus (CNY16) route 2 (alight at Dongzhimen) or route 3 (alight at Beijing Railway Station) and then it is a short taxi ride to our joining point hotel (approx 10 minutes, CNY15).
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen station. From Dongzhimen transfer to metro line 2 and go one station to Yonghegong (Lama Temple Station), then transfer to line 5 and go 2 stops to Zhangzizhong Lu Station. Use exit C at Zhangzizhong Lu Station, turning left as you exit. At the first intersection (less to than 10 metres away) go left again. At the first road (pretty much behind the subway station and an enclosed construction site) go left again. This small road is Dongsi Jiutiao. Walk for about 5 minutes and you will see a three story building on the right hand side.
      AIRPORT TO HOTELS-TAXI
      Metered taxis are available outside the airport terminal building. The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotels takes about 45 minutes and should cost around CNY80-100 (plus CNY10 for the airport expressway toll). Show the taxi driver the name and address of the hotel in Chinese characters as shown below. Please AVOID taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.
      An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point
      Beijing City Break Finish Point
      Beijing
      CHINA
      Finish point description
      Extra accommodation pre- and post-tour can be requested, please ask your booking agent.
      Finish point instructions
      Accommodation is included on Day 3 and you are free to depart any time the following day before the hotel's check-out time. Check-out time is generally 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
      A departure transfer from our hotel to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged during the trip. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      Beijing Capital International Airport is located northeast of Beijing, 25 km from the centre of Beijing city. One of the biggest airports in the world, it is relatively easy to navigate and many signs are written in English. Most international flights depart from Terminal 3.
      There is an airport bus departing every 15 minutes from the West gate of the International Hotel (Jiangouman Da Jie), the cost is CNY16. The first bus is at 05:30 and the last bus at 21:00.
      Take a short taxi ride (approx CNY15) to Dongzhimen Station and take the Airport Express Train (CNY25). The Airport Express Train stops at Terminals 2 and 3 and operates from 06:00 until 22:30.
      Taxis to Beijing Airport cost approximately CNY80-100 (plus CNY10 toll fee). Travel time to Beijing Capital Airport depends largely on time of day and traffic volume, allow at least 1 hour if departing from the city centre.
      If you have booked a post-trip airport transfer, please ask your guide to confirm with our local operator the time of departure and meeting place. If you have any problems you can also contact our local operator Ms Qi (+86) 13671299816.
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328. For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      CHINA:
      Australia: Yes - in advance
      Belgium: Yes - in advance
      Canada: Yes - in advance
      Germany: Yes - in advance
      Ireland: Yes - in advance
      Netherlands: Yes - in advance
      New Zealand: Yes - in advance
      South Africa: Yes - in advance
      Switzerland: Yes - in advance
      United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
      USA: Yes - in advance
      MAINLAND CHINA & HONG KONG:
      Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong If you have time here before your trip departs. You will need a Single Entry Tourist for your trip valid for 30 days. Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements.
      INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:
      Itinerary:
      Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Kashgar, Turpan or Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.
      Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
      Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
      606 InterChina Commercial Building
      33 Dengshikou Street
      Dongcheng District
      Beijing 100006
      +86 10 6406 8022
      DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:
      * Hotel List - this will be sent to you by Intrepid or your travel agent at time of booking. If you do not receive this please email us with your booking number and trip details. Please tick the hotels in all destinations that your trip visits
      * Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the embassy or not
      * Itinerary – please print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website www.intrepidtravel.com and include it with your application, marking the dates you will visit each destination if required
      * Photocopy of your passport
      * Passport size photo (up to 4 may be required)
      * Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements
      DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS
      Intrepid requires you send the following at the time of booking, at least 30 days prior to travel:
      *Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
      Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      In China, clean and safe drinking water is widely available for free in hotels, restaurants and bus and train stations.
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
      BALCONIES:
      Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      Pay attention on all roads, even small streets and alleyways. Vehicles find their ways into impossibly small passages leaving no room for both you and the traffic. Traffic can be very noisy and horns are used to signal turning, overtaking and to announce going through intersections.
      SEAT BELTS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      BIKE HELMETS:
      Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
      If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      LOCAL DRESS:
      When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for men and women.
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Responsible Travel projects
      Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in China include:
      * Beijing Huiling offers innovative services to youths and adults with learning disabilities and teaches people to respect what those with disabilities can do, rather than what they can't. Their activities and training facilitate independence and improve daily living and employability skills in a family-like group home environment.
      * Xi'an Huiling provides adults with learning disabilities opportunities to develop their personal abilities and life skills, enabling them to achieve independence as a fully integrated member of the community.
      Carbon offset
      Carbon Offset C02-e 317.00 kgs per pax.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.