Beijing Old & New Trip Notes

Discover the modern and traditional faces of Beijing, China, on this short city break. Visit the Great Wall of China, Beijing's Olympic Park and more.

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    • Short Breaks - Group Adventures
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Last Modified: 11 Oct 2012
Beijing Old & New
Trip code: CBAB-B
Validity: 01 Mar 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Bejing's architecture ranges from highly traditional to cutting edge modernity. From the traditional hutong areas to the ultra modern aesthetic of the Olympic Park, Beijing is a city that contrasts style like no other. Keep the old and new theme alive by checking out salvaged treasures at an antiques market and the latest in art forms at an artists' compound. Visit the Great Wall and enjoy a local lunch in a nearby village for an experience to remember!
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 Old & New
Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing
Ni hao! Welcome to China.
This morning you are picked up from one of our 3 nominated pick up points by your local guide and driven to a private museum where we can gain an insight into the traditional architecture and culture of this quickly modernizing and developing city.
We have an early lunch at a local restaurant before taking a drive along some of Beijing's main roads past some of the new iconic buildings that are redefining the skyline such as 'The Egg' (National Centre of Performing Arts) and the China Central Television Headquarters (also known to locals as 'The Big Underpants'). We arrive at the 798 Art Zone on the city's outskirts, a former factory area now home to hundreds of galleries, where we will explore the cutting edge of China's modern art scene at the UCCA Gallery, and others if time permits.
Due to the majority of galleries at the 798 complex being closed on Mondays, should your tour be scheduled to visit 798 on a Monday we will instead visit an alternative sight to give us further insight into the art and architecture of Beijing.
To finish the day we drive back into Beijing and to the site of the 2008 Olympic Games with its spectacular Birds Nest stadium and Water Cube swimming complex.
You may either choose to end your tour here and wait for the sun to set when the Water Cube comes alive with light or transfer back to the city centre to be dropped off at your hotel.
Please note that during national holidays and weekday afternoons, traffic in Beijing can be extremely heavy so driving times may be longer than usual. On occasion some of Beijing's main roads may be closed for events, official visits or security reasons. In this case we may need to take a different route to our destinations and timings of activities may be different than described above. Spend tonight in a Beijing hotel.
Included Activities
  • UCCA Gallery
  • Beijing Art & Architecture Urban Adventure
  • Private museum
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Great Wall of China
No visit to Beijing is complete without seeing the Great Wall of China, and this is where we drive to after pick up and meeting your local guide.
Please note that you may have a different local guide today than on Day 1 of your Short Break.
Arriving at Mutianyu, a mostly restored but still spectacular section of the wall, it's a short hike up some steps to get onto the wall itself. The climb is worth it as you'll be rewarded with amazing views over the winding wall and surrounding countryside. We hear some stories from our guide and spend some time trekking to the watch towers and enjoying this incredible feat of engineering. There are a lot of steep steps in places but you are free to walk at your own pace. Choose to walk or take the cable car or toboggan back down.
Please note that as many areas of the Great Wall are quite steep you will need to wear comfortable shoes with good grip and support
We will have worked up an appetite so from here we head to a nearby village for a tasty local lunch to try some real Chinese specialities.
After lunch we drive back into Beijing. We finish our afternoon with a stop for a traditional reflexology foot massage to relax and revive from our active day.
Following the massage you are free to continue exploring Beijing on your own or be dropped off back at your pick up point by 4pm.
Included Activities
  • Great Wall Experience Urban Adventure
  • Beijing - Reflexology foot massage
Optional Activities
  • Beijing - Acrobat show - CNY250
  • Beijing Opera - CNY200
  • Beijing Zoo (including Aquarium) - CNY130
  • Kung Fu show - CNY180
  • Great Wall - Cable car - CNY80
  • Great Wall toboggan - CNY60
  • Temple of Heaven - CNY40
      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.
      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.
      Please note that the order of which the day by day activities are listed may change depending on the availability of guides. You guide will notify you of any changes either on day 1 or the evening before day 1
      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 (1 nt)
      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
      2 Lunches
      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, Minibus, 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 Short Break - Pick up Point
      Beijing
      CHINA
      Joining point description
      Extra accommodation pre- and post-tour can be requested, please ask your booking agent.
      Joining point instructions
      Please make your way to one of the following hotels by 8am on Day 1 of your tour. Your pick-up will take place between 8am and 8.45am. If no-one has arrived by 9am please call us on Tel: +86 1064 067328
      City Central Youth Hostel - Basix
      No.1-5 BeijingZhanXiJie
      Dongcheng District
      Beijing
      China
      From 01JUN2013
      King's Joy Hotel 北京西华京兆饭店 - Basix
      81 Meishi Street
      Xicheng District
      Beijing
      China
      Kaichuang Golden Street Business Hotel - Original
      #32,Baishu Hutong Ave
      Dongcheng District
      Beijing
      Tel: +86 10 6559 666
      Beijing Rainbow Hotel - Comfort
      No.11, Xijing Road
      Xuanwu Distric
      Beijing
      China
      Tel: +86 10-63012266
      ARRIVING FROM BEIJING AIRPORT.
      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.
      AIRPORT TO BEIJING RAINBOW HOTEL:
      If making your own way to the hotel you can take airport bus route 3 to Beijing Railway Station, then it's a short taxi ride to our joining point hotel (CNY20, approx 15 minutes).
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen Station. From Dongzhimen transfer to metro line 2(2 CNY) to Hepingmen Station. Use exit C, go straight and take public bus number 15 at the bus station. Get off at Yonganlu Station(the third stop), then go straight and turn right at the first cross, get into Xijing Road and walk 100 meters to the hotel.
      AIRPORT TO KAICHUANG GOLDEN STREET BUSINESS 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 KING'S JOY HOTEL
      By bus, you can take airport bus route 2 to Dongzhimen OR 3 to Beijing Railway Station and then it is a short taxi ride to our joining point hotel (approx 20 minutes, CNY30).
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen station. From Dongzhimen transfer to metro line 2 and go one station to Qianmen station. Use exit C and you will find Meishi Street, follow Meishi street to the south (turn left), about 15minutes walking later, you will find "Beijing King's Joy Hotel" on your right hand side
      AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRAL HOSTEL:
      By bus, you can take airport bus route 3 to Beijing Railway Station then walk straight 200 metres then go across the road. You will see the hotel.
      By subway, take the airport express train (CNY25) to Dongzhimen station. From Dongzhimen, transfer to metro line 2 (2 CNY)and get off at Beijing Railway Station. Use exit A, and then you will see the hotel on your left 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.
      PRE BOOKED AIRPORT ARRIVAL TRANSFER
      If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer, our local operator, Ms Qi (Ms Chee), will have sent 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, 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, 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 on the right side of Exit B and ask them to call Ms Qi on her mobile (+86) 13671299816.
      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 - Old and New finish point.
      Beijing
      CHINA
      Finish point description
      Extra accommodation pre and post tour can be requested, please ask your booking agent.
      Finish point instructions
      The tour will finish late afternoon on Day 2 in Beijing, you are free to keep exploring on your own or can be dropped off at the pick up point.
      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.
      IMAGES FROM HOME:
      During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.
      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!
      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.
      Your guide will conduct a brief safety discussion before the trekking activity.
      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 159.00 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.