China Experience Trip Notes

China Experience

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 22 October 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016
China Experience
Trip code: CBSE
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 22 Oct 2016
This in-depth tour has proven to be one of the most popular we offer in China. Experience the Middle Kingdom as you take in the major tourist attractions in China and visit some of its lesser-known sites. See the majestic splendour of Beijing, visit the Great Wall of China and discover the Terracotta Warriors before travelling to Hong Kong to soak up the electric vibe. From sizzling Sichuan dishes in Chengdu and a cruise along the Yangzi River to the tranquillity of the Buddhist temples in Emei Shan, experience the true essence of China - you won't be disappointed.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip uses a mix of transport for a local experience – overnight sleeper trains, bullet trains, boats, private vehicles and public buses. The trip covers a fair amount of ground to maximise experiences, so be prepared for some long journeys.
- With walks on the Great Wall and up Emei Shan, you'll need a reasonable level of fitness. Comfortable walking shoes with good support and grip are essential.
- This trip includes stays in a range of accommodation from hotels, guesthouses, monasteries and riverboats to trains. While they might not always be as comfortable as home, they allow you to really encounter local life and experience Chinese hospitality on a proper Intrepid adventure.
Why we love it
- Like everything it does, China’s ancient history is on an epic scale – see it when face-to-face with thousands of Terracotta Warriors and when walking on top of the Great Wall
- Find peace in one of the holiest places in China as you trek around Emei Shan and stay in a monastery, waking to the sound of drums and morning prayers
- Learn about the endangered (and adorable) giant pandas’ struggle for survival, and get up close to these unique creatures in Chengdu
- Step back in time with a traditional tourist boat trip through the iconic scenery of the Yangzi River, which meanders through the dramatic Three Gorges

Day 1 Beijing/Great Wall
Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing is quickly shedding its historical face in favour of modernity. However, there are still plenty of places that give an insight into the nation's ancient past, as well as sights that showcase China's contemporary culture. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm this evening. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. After the meeting maybe head out to explore the Beijing Streets – with your hotel located centrally, a walk in any direction will unveil all sorts of wonderful surprises. Perhaps kick off your China adventure with an iconic dish – Peking duck.
Included Activities
  • Informal Chinese language lesson
    King Parkview or similar (1 nt)
    Day 2 Beijing
    Today you’ll explore two of the most popular sights in Beijing. There will be a lot of walking today, so please ensure you wear comfortable shoes. Make your way to the centre of the city – Tian'anmen Square. Perhaps most famous outside of the country for the 1989 massacre (and the iconic picture of a single man standing up to a tank), this square – supposedly the largest down town square in the world – is the symbolic centre of Chinese power. Framed by the Gate of Heavenly Peace with its Mao portrait, Mao's Mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum, and with elaborate flag raising and lowering ceremonies at dawn and dusk, it's a place of pilgrimage for the Chinese tourists who consider it the heart of their nation. From here you will enter the enormous Forbidden City. Built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all that time, is a truly amazing place. Despite the transformation of the city around it, the Forbidden City thankfully looks much like it always has. As you explore the great halls and courtyards you’ll be able appreciate the might and grandeur of the Imperial Chinese court during the height of its power in the Ming and Qing dynasties. This evening is free to explore the Beijing street food scene; there are many night markets to visit and hutong (historic narrow streets and alleys) eateries in which to try local delicacies.
    Included Activities
    • Beijing - Tian'anmen Square & Forbidden City
    • Beijing - Tiananmen Square
      Optional Activities
      • Beijing - Temple of Heaven - CNY40
      • Beijing - Summer Palace - CNY40
      • Beijing - Beijing by Bike Urban Adventure - CNY530
      • Beijing - Kungfu Show - CNY180
      • Beijing - Lama Temple - CNY25
      • Beijing - Beijing Foodie Walk Urban Adventure - CNY360
        King Parkview or similar (1 nt)
        Day 3 The Great Wall
        This morning you’ll take a private bus to a lesser-visited section of the Great Wall (Jinshanling, approximately 3 hours) and spend some time exploring, taking photos and learning the history of this mighty site (and sight). An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements and an iconic destination. You’ll often feel like you have the whole wall to yourself as you stroll along the wall, which snakes through the hills almost endlessly into the distance. The walk is generally on the restored section of the wall, but there will be some walking over steep, remote terrain, so reasonable fitness and comfortable shoes are suggested. The walk is approximately 5 kilometres, or 3 hours, depending on your level of fitness. A great idea is to bring a picnic lunch with you to enjoy atop the wall during a rest break. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. Return to Beijing by private bus, and then enjoy a free evening to either relax or explore Beijing further.

        Notes: Due to the excessive heat in the summer months (Jun-Aug), the Great Wall excursion may be altered to provide a shorter, less strenuous trek. Your leader will advise you of any changes at the group meeting.
        Included Activities
        • Great Wall - Jinshanling section
          King Parkview or similar (1 nt)
          Day 4 Beijing - Xi'an
          Before you depart Beijing today you will visit our friends at Beijing Huiling (meaning 'wise spirit') – a special Intrepid-supported project for young people with intellectual and learning disabilities. If you’re lucky you might enjoy a performance of singing and dancing by the students (and be asked to join in!) and have a chance to see their artwork and handicrafts. You will then transfer to Beijing West train station and board your first overnight sleeper train to Xi'an, (approximately 12 hours).

          Notes: Train travel in China may not be entirely luxurious but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people, as it's the main form of transport for locals. We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound – compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded three-tiered berths (6 to a compartment). Wherever possible, we will group our travellers together, but this will depend on group size and ticket availability. Sheets, pillows and a blanket are provided. Some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Safe, hot drinking water is always available. It is a good idea to bring a mug, spoon, knife and fork if you will be preparing your own hot drinks or food on the train (as these are not provided in cabins). Basic bathroom facilities with toilets and washbasins are situated at the end of each carriage. As toilet paper isn't always available, it's best to bring an emergency supply. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. Food is available on the train, but it's a good idea to stock up on snacks for the trip. An optional upgrade from a hard sleeper to a soft sleeper berth (4 travellers per compartment with a lockable door) may be available for some overnight train journeys on this trip. Please contact us for booking and more details.
          Included Activities
          • Beijing - Huiling Foundation visit
            Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
            Day 5 Xi'an
            Arrive in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the largest city in northwest China. Once the imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi'an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites and is a great place to explore. Head to the hotel to freshen up - in most cases you may not be able to check in early due to availability. The Leader will try to secure one room for early check in, so the group to leave their luggage and freshen up, however this is always subject to availability. Then join your leader on a short walking tour to uncover what was once the start of the ancient trading route of the Silk Road. Visit the Bell and Drum Towers, the former built (according to legend) to restrain the dragons that were causing earthquakes, the latter is (unsurprisingly) full of drums, once used to mark time and warn in emergencies. The city also has a wonderful Muslim Quarter, and you’ll wander the narrow streets of quaint shops, lively markets, and groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes. See the City Walls and Gates, the most complete in China, running over 13 kilometres around the city. Xi’an’s Silk Road history means it has an exciting mixture of cultures, especially found in its food options, ranging from delicious Muslim fare to great little dumplings in Chinese restaurants. Perhaps visit the night markets and try many of the tantalising local specialties such as pao mo (lamb broth that you break flat bread into), hand pulled noodles, hot pot and barbecue.
            Included Activities
            • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter Walking Tour
              Optional Activities
              • Xi'an - Cycling on City Wall - CNY80
              • Xi'an - Bell & Drum Towers - CNY50
              • Xi'an - Small Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY50
              • Xi'an - Big Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY80
              • Xi'an - Great Mosque - CNY25
                Day 6 Xi'an
                Today you’ll journey out in to the countryside surrounding Xi’an (approximately 2 hours) and visit what is undoubtedly one of the man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors. You’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots (originally all painted) were commissioned by the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as part of his mausoleum after he ascended to the throne in 264 BC. Three main pits are open for you to view, where over 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expressions – stand in battle formation. The scale is incredibly impressive. Return to Xi’an for you final evening in the city.
                Included Activities
                • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors & Guide
                  Day 7 Xi'an - Emei Shan
                  Today you’ll have free time in Xi'an until you board our overnight sleeper train to Emei Shan (approximately 18 hours). This train usually departs at 22:18, so you’ll have most of the day free to further explore Xi'an. There’s still much to see in the city: perhaps cycle around the city walls that you saw on your first walking tour, or visit the impressive Tang Dynasty Small or Big Wild Goose Pagodas. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a picturesque Buddhist pagoda built in 652 AD, located in a scenic area that also includes the Shaanxi History Museum and Da Cien Temple. It’s especially popular with locals in the evenings, when there is a nightly light & music show around the many fountains. You can learn about Chinese dynasties in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (inside the Jianfu Temple) and the nearby Xi'an Museum. You could also visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in China. Featuring an unusual blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture, the mosque is still in use today and serves as a place of worship for Xi’an’s large Muslim population, made up predominantly of the Hui minority. Although non-Muslims are not allowed within the main hall itself, a visit during one of the five daily prayer times adds another dimension of spirituality, no matter what your religion.
                  Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
                  Day 8 Emei Shan
                  Arrive into Emei Shan today after your overnight train journey. Emei Shan is one of the holiest places in China, long associated with bodhisattva (person committed to the enlightment for the sake of others) Samantabhadra. At just over 3,000 metres high, this mountain of thick forest has been a centre of pilgrimage for over 1,800 years, with over a hundred temples and monasteries hidden in its peaks. The area is stunning at any time of year, from the lush greens of the summer, to the golden reds and yellows of autumn, and the clear, mystical whites of winter. Here you will visit and overnight at the peaceful Baoguo Monastery, where you’ll experience sharing accommodation with monks and waking up to the sounds of drums and prayers.

                  Notes: You will pack an overnight bag for your trip up Emei Shan, as you'll leave your main luggage at your guesthouse. Please ensure you bring a small daypack for this reason.
                  Baoguo Monastery or similar (1 nt)
                  Day 9-10 Emei Shan
                  The next two days will be spent trekking the beautiful surrounding region. Travel by local bus and then take a cable car to best experience the immense landscape (total travel time approximately 3 hours) – the views from the 3,099m peak at Emei Shan are truly spectacular on a clear day. Jump back on the public bus down the mountain, where you’ll start your 3-hour trek with a local guide, to your accommodation at one of the mountain's monastery guesthouses. Expect plenty of steps and steep paths, so make sure you dress appropriately, wear sturdy footwear and be ready for a physical but rewarding day on the mountain. On Day 10 you’ll continue to explore the beautiful countryside at the base of the mountain, which provides ample opportunity for leisurely paced walks. It may be possible to visit some local hot springs to relax and revive from your hike, or take a tour of some nearby villages. You can also visit the Crouching Tiger Monastery, hidden deep in the forest, and see its seven-metre copper pagoda inscribed with Buddhist images and texts.

                  Notes: While Emei Shan is without a doubt a beautiful place, it is not totally remote wilderness and is very popular with local travellers. You may well find moments of peace when the day-trippers go home, but please be prepared for the fact that during the day (and especially during public holidays) Emei Shan will be a very busy tourist site. Your accommodation here is in a monastery on Emei Shan. It is basic but atmospheric, with simple rooms and shared bathroom facilities, but the setting is always a highlight of the trip. Nights are incredibly peaceful and waking up to the sound of monks chanting is truly unforgettable. Please note that during religious festivals or peak travel periods, you may stay at a guesthouse in Emei town as an alternative to the monasteries here. If you are travelling in the months of October-April, while we still visit Emei Shan and the surrounding areas there may be some changes to the activities and accommodation available depending on the weather conditions. We advise you to bring very warm clothes (waterproof shoes, windproof coat, hat, scarf, gloves) as there can be snow and sub-zero temperatures.
                  Included Activities
                  • Emei Mountain - Scenic Area
                  • Emei Shan - Cable car
                    Optional Activities
                    • Emei Shan - Countryside guided tour - CNY100
                    • Emei Shan - Hot Springs - CNY128
                    • Emei Shan - Crouching Tiger Monastery - CNY6
                      Emei Hongchunping Monastery or similar (2 nt)
                      Day 11 Leshan - Chengdu
                      Today, travel by private bus to the town of Leshan (approximately 2.5 hours) for a stopover on your way to Chengdu, and visit the amazing Leshan Giant Buddha. A World Heritage site, the Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. Facing the river, the Buddha is beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters high, has 8.3-meter-long fingers, and took 90 years to carve. You’ll arrive into Chengdu in the early afternoon or evening depending on traveling time (approximately 4.5 hours). Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province, which is most famous for two things – the pandas living in the mountains and the food. Its hot, spicy dishes are considered by the Chinese to be the best cuisine within China. In such a food-loving country, this is no mean feat. Maybe sample a spicy Sichuan hotpot this evening.
                      Included Activities
                      • Chengdu - Walking tour
                      • Leshan - Giant Buddha
                        Optional Activities
                        • act People's park & Tianfu square - Free
                        • Chengdu - Cooking class - CNY120
                        • Chengdu - Bike hire - CNY20
                        • Chengdu - Wenshu Monastery - CNY5
                        • Chengdu - Sichuan Opera - CNY180
                          Emeishan Hotel or similar (1 nt)
                          Day 12 Chengdu
                          It might be one of China's biggest cities, but Chengdu has preserved plenty of its traditional flavour and visitors can still find famous teahouses, numerous markets and some of the most interesting food in China. Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you're able to witness the conservation efforts being made to save this endearing endangered species. There are only around 1,000 pandas left in the world and 80% of them are found in the mountains in Sichuan. The facility was set up 30 years ago to help conserve this animal, and there are more than 80 giant and red pandas living at the base. The pandas have over 600 acres of parkland to live in, and you can get up close and learn more about these majestic creatures. Watch them play, eat bamboo and climb the trees. If you’re lucky enough you might even get to see newborns taking their first steps in the nursery (July-September). You’ll then return to Chengdu for some free time this evening. The tranquil Renmin Park (People's Park) is a relaxing spot to spend a few hours, with interesting tea-houses and areas full of locals exercising, singing, playing Mahjong or relaxing in their bamboo chairs drinking tea. Perhaps yake in a performance of traditional Sichuan Opera, visit the Wenshu Temple, or take a cooking class. This is not just a demonstration of recipes – the why, how, and timing of each step is explained, along with a detailed description of each ingredient.
                          Included Activities
                          • Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base
                            Emeishan Hotel or similar (1 nt)
                            Day 13-15 Yangzi River Cruise
                            Take a high-speed train to the industrial city of Chongqing (approximately 2 hours), the gateway to the Yangzi River. Chongqing is the biggest city in China with a population of over 20 million in the city centre and suburbs sprawling along the river and up the steep hills behind. Apart from the unique look of the city you'll no doubt notice the sharp smells of the spicy Sichuan cuisine drifting enticingly from local restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Dare your tastebuds to try the chilli-laced hot pot, the city's favourite dish. Not all food here is spicy, but if you like it hot, you'll be in spicy heaven. On Day 13 start down world’s greatest rivers, with two full days on board a basic tourist class boat cruising to Yichang. The Yangzi has also inspired numerous poets, writers and travellers over the centuries. You will travel along one of the most picturesque sections, through the renowned Three Gorges. The dramatic 'Sanxia', as they are known in Chinese, stretch for 200 kilometres and vary from 100 metres to 300 metres in width. As well as relaxing and taking in the sights (now much changed since the implementation of the Three Gorges dam), you may have opportunities to visit some riverside attractions and towns on optional group excursions, including leaving the river boat to take a side trip down a tributary of the Yangzi River. If you prefer to stay on-board, perhaps take the chance to learn some Chinese words or how to write characters from your leader, how to play mahjong, sing some Chinese songs, catch up on your travel diary or just relax and chat with your group members and local travellers.

                            Notes: Our cabins are twin-share with private bathroom facilities. Full board buffet style, including local style breakfast, is provided while on the boat with typical (but often quite plain) Chinese cuisine. There's a chance to visit the supermarket in Chongqing before boarding in order to stock up on some favourite snacks, drinks or fruit for your journey, or to buy what you need if you have specific dietary requirements.
                            Please note that depending on the composition of the group you may be required to share a cabin with your leader or a traveller from outside of your Intrepid group on a same gender basis as tour groups are not permitted to book single rooms on the Yangzi boats.
                            The gorges are spectacular and most travellers enjoy their time on the Yangzi boats but some words of warning are necessary. The Yangzi River region is one of the most industrialised and rapidly developing areas in China. We travel on Chinese tourist boats rather than luxury tourist vessels. We like to call it a river trip, rather than a traditional cruise.
                            The Chinese authorities oversee the travel of all boats on the Yangzi. We do everything we can to ensure standards are maintained for our river trip but some things are outside our control. We use a range of different boats, depending on availability and the date of our departure. All boats are of a standard that complies with our required safety standards, although the size and age of boat varies from trip to trip. As the departure times of the boats are subject to frequent change this can mean that we need to make some changes to our itinerary and at times we've been unable to see all three gorges due to the boat schedule or poor visibility. Any changes made will be done with the aim of giving you the best possible Yangzi experience but we'd like to forewarn you of the possibility. Your leader will update you of any changes at your group meeting.
                            Please note that local tourism authorities operate the side tours, and Intrepid has very little control over the quality of the service provided. Your leader should be able to give you some feedback on which tours their previous passengers have enjoyed.
                            Optional Activities
                            • Yichang - Manicure/Pedicure - CNY50
                            • Yangzi River - Fengdu Temple - CNY40
                            • Yangzi River - Fengdu Temple Cable Car - CNY20
                              Overnight Boat (3 nt)
                              2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
                              Day 16 Yichang - Three Gorges Dam
                              Your Yangzi boat trip will end in the small city (by Chinese standards) of Yichang. It offers a great chance to see typical everyday Chinese life and to really get inside the urban culture. Here you’ll enjoy a tour of the incredible feat of engineering of the Three Gorges Dam. The world’s largest hydroelectric project, the dam generates power and prevents the major flooding that had long threatened the people of the area (though the impact on displaced people and archaeological sites should not be ignored). From here you’ll take a private bus to the train station and board your second overnight train to Liuzhou (approximately 15 hours). As Yichang is not a major railway hub there's only one train heading south passing through here. To make the long journey as comfortable as possible, you will travel by soft sleeper (4 people per compartment with a lockable door) on this leg of our trip. It's important to get a good night's sleep as you’ll have to disembark the train very early tomorrow morning.

                              Notes: As Yichang is not a terminal station the bedding on this train is not always fresh. You may wish to bring your own sleeping bag or sleep sheet.
                              Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 17 Yangshuo
                              Arrive in Liuzhou very early in the morning (approximately 4.30am) and travel by private transfer direct to your next destination, Yangshuo (approximately 3.5 hours). When you arrive, take the day to soak up the charm of this sleepy little town, popular with the Chinese and Westerns alike, who come for the beautiful landscape and stay for the great cafe and bar culture. It's also one of the best places in the country to get a feel for local culture and traditions, while having plenty of fun at the same time. The countryside around Yangshuo is immortalized in many traditional Chinese paintings – picture immense limestone karsts dotting the rural landscape and towering spectacularly over rice paddies and the meandering Li River, all celebrated on every 20 Yuan note.
                              Optional Activities
                              • Yangshuo - Li River Cruise - CNY100
                              • Yangshuo - Cooking School & Market Tour - CNY150
                              • Yangshuo - Zhang Yimou's Impressions Show - CNY198
                                Pattaya Hotel Yangshuo or similar (1 nt)
                                Day 18 Yangshuo
                                Today you’ll shake out your train legs and experience the dramatic limestone karst landscape on a bike ride, where you’ll gain a real insight into rural Chinese life. Stop for lunch at the house of our local friends for a tasty meal made from locally grown and farmed produce. This is an absolutely stunning region to explore, as every turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard location. You’ll have a local guide take us on this bike trip, and helmets and bike rental are included. Cycling through some of China’s most epic landscapes is a highlight for many passengers. The evening is free for you to explore Yangshuo's lively cafe and bar scene.
                                Included Activities
                                • Yangshuo - Countryside cycling guided tour
                                  Pattaya Hotel Yangshuo or similar (1 nt)
                                  1 lunch
                                  Day 19 Yangshuo
                                  Today is free day for you to do as you like, and there are lots of activities on offer. You could begin the day by focusing your body and mind with a morning Tai Chi class or Kung Fu lesson, and then continue the active theme by climbing up to Moon Hill – a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole penetrating the hill. Perhaps try your hand at Chinese calligraphy or simply sit back and relax as you enjoy a relaxing cruise down the Li or Yulong River. Maybe visit the market to shop with the locals and get a feel for the regional produce. You can then put this new knowledge to use in a cooking class at the Yangshuo Cooking School. Learn to cook Chinese dishes with recipes that are easy to make and ingredients readily available outside of China, so that you’ll soon be wowing friends and family back at home. Later, perhaps watch an outdoor light show staged by 2008 Beijing Olympics’ Opening Ceremony director Zhang Yimou.
                                  Pattaya Hotel Yangshuo or similar (1 nt)
                                  Day 20 Hong Kong
                                  Take a private bus from your Yangshuo Hotel to Guilin North Station, and then board a bullet train to Shenzhen North Station (approximately 3.5 hours). This it’s a short metro train from Shenzhen to the Hong Kong border. The China-Hong Kong border is busy, so there can often be a bit of a wait to get through and a lot of patience is required. On average, it takes around 2 hours to clear immigration and customs on both sides. Your bags will be with you during this time. Then you’ll walk the short distance from the train station to the border, go through procedures to exit China, and then enter Hong Kong. Once all that's done, you’ll travel on the KCR train to central Hong Kong. It was as a British colony that Hong Kong made itself known to the world and, since the 1997 handover, the city is still a unique and fascinating place to explore and see where the East really does meet the West. Hong Kong's cityscape is spectacular and its modern fast-paced life is only minutes from picturesque islands and beaches. The locals are very proud of their Cantonese culture and history, so step out of the shopping malls and off the main streets to discover another side of the city. This evening, enjoy a final farewell dinner at a restaurant of your leader's choice to sample some of the best Cantonese dishes.
                                  Optional Activities
                                  • Hong Kong - Victoria Peak & Tram - HKD40
                                  • Peak Tram - HKD30
                                  • Hong Kong - Star Ferry - HKD15
                                  • Hong Kong - Nightly Light Show - Free
                                  • Hong Kong - The Story of Hong Kong Urban Adventure - USD49
                                  • Hong Kong - Old vs New Hong Kong Urban Adventure - USD49
                                  • Hong Kong - Around Kowloon in 8 Markets Urban Adventure - USD49
                                    Hotel (1 nt)
                                    Day 21 Hong Kong
                                    There are no activities planned for the today and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

                                    Notes: As your trip finishes today and you only have limited time in Hong Kong, we highly recommend staying a few extra days to enjoy all this incredible city has to offer: Take a scenic journey around the islands of Hong Kong on the famous passenger ferry service, the Star Ferry; venture up to the top of Victoria Peak for a bird's eye view; watch the harbour's spectacular light show or ride the peak tram to Victoria Peak for incredible views of the Hong Kong skyline.
                                    Itinerary disclaimer
                                    ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                                    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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                                    Physical rating

                                    You will be expected to carry your own luggage, including moving about busy public transport hubs, up stairs and escalators and on and off buses and trains. Although you won't be required to walk long distances, you are expected to be able to walk and handle your own luggage for up to 30 minutes. Good general fitness and mobility plays a big part in making your trip more enjoyable In some locations it may be possible to hire porters at extra expense paid locally. Please ask your trip leader for help to arrange this if possible but be prepared to manage your own luggage.
                                    Included activities
                                    Informal Chinese language lesson
                                    Beijing - Tian'anmen Square & Forbidden City
                                    Beijing - Tiananmen Square
                                    Great Wall - Jinshanling section
                                    Beijing - Huiling Foundation visit
                                    Xi'an - Muslim Quarter Walking Tour
                                    Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors & Guide
                                    Emei Mountain - Scenic Area
                                    Emei Shan - Cable car
                                    Chengdu - Walking tour
                                    Leshan - Giant Buddha
                                    Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base
                                    Yangshuo - Countryside cycling guided tour
                                    Important notes
                                    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
                                    2. A scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport is required at time of booking in order for us to purchase your train tickets.
                                    3. Overnight train accommodation on this tour is in 6-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class. Bedding is provided and wash basins and toilet facilities (usually one with a toilet seat and one squat-style in each compartment) are available on all trains, but there are no showers or baths.
                                    4. An upgrade to Soft Sleeper trains is available on this trip. Please see Trip Notes for full details.
                                    5. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites.
                                    It’s important to let your family and friends know that you might not be able to stay in touch over your usual methods, be it – social media or email. Or let them know if you have set up a new email address in which you can access in mainland China.
                                    The Chinese Government control and restrict certain websites. Websites on the blocked list could change at any time, any site could be restricted at any moment. Here are some of the most popular websites around the world that are blocked in China: Google, Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, WordPress, LinkedIn,Yahoo Hong Kong, Yahoo Taiwan, Wikipedia and many more.
                                    6. Please make sure you have access to an additional US$500, 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.
                                    7. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328

                                    Group size
                                    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                    Your fellow travellers
                                    GROUP TRAVEL
                                    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

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

                                    A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. Please note that the Single Supplement will not include the following:
                                    - Overnight rain journeys on days 4, 7, 16 & 19
                                    - Yangzi River boat on days 12-14
                                    Guesthouse (3 nights), Hotel (9 nights), Overnight Riverboat (3 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (3 nights)
                                    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                                    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    SOFT SLEEPER UPGRADE:
                                    An optional upgrade from a hard sleeper to a soft sleeper berth (4 travellers per compartment with a lockable door) may be available for some overnight train journeys on this trip for those who are after a little more comfort. Travellers who are interested in purchasing this upgrade should be aware of the following:

                                    - Soft sleeper carriages are often at the other end of the train from hard sleeper class where those travellers who have not booked the upgrade, along with the group leader, will be staying. If you've purchased the upgrade it's likely that you'll be away from the other members of the group and without the services of your group leader while on the train.
                                    - At many railway stations in China, soft sleeper passengers board the train separately from those in other carriage classes. If you have purchased the upgrade it's likely that you'll need to board the train on your own. Your group leader will give you instructions but may not be able to assist you in boarding and alighting the train.
                                    - Soft sleeper compartments have 4 berths. If you've purchased the upgrade you'll be sharing a compartment with locals or other travellers. Compartments are not segregated by gender so please be aware you could be sharing with members of the opposite sex.
                                    - While we aim to book tickets for all travellers who have purchased the upgrade in the same carriages and compartments, please note that we aren't able to guarantee this due to high demand for tickets on some routes and at peak times.
                                    - We are unable to offer the upgrade during the busy times for train travel in China including New Years, May National holidays, Summer holidays and October national holidays.
                                    - This service is only available for travellers who have purchased the upgrade prior to joining the trip. On rare occasions it may be possible to upgrade to a different carriage class once on the train itself for an additional cost paid to the train conductor but this can't be guaranteed and and shouldn't be relied on as an option. If you would like to ensure you travel soft sleeper class on all train journeys you will need to purchase the upgrade at time of booking your trip.
                                    Meals introduction
                                    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. 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. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                                    On the Yangzi River cruise, the variety of menu options may be limited and out of our control.
                                    3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
                                    Money matters
                                    The official currency in China is the Yuan or Renminbi (CNY). 1 renminbi (yuan) = 10 jiao (mao).

                                    ATMs are widespread, so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit/debit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart. Look for ATMs with your card logo.

                                    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.

                                    The official currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).

                                    ATMs and currency exchange facilities are widely available in Hong Kong.

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

                                    China Tipping

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

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

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

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

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

                                    At your group meeting on Day 1, your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent. The record can then be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

                                    DEPARTURE TAX
                                    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                                    Budget for meals not included: 180.00

                                    EMERGENCY FUNDS:
                                    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
                                    Group leader
                                    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

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

                                    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the 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 your Leader 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.

                                    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.

                                    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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                    LIFE JACKETS:
                                    While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

                                    LIFE JACKETS:
                                    Intrepid will provide life jackets for private boats, but cannot guarantee that all public ferries will have enough life jackets or life rings for all clients.

                                    BIKE HELMETS:
                                    Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.

                                    Your leader will conduct a brief safety discussion before our trekking activity.
                                    Joining point
                                    King Parkview Hotel (Huayu Hotel) 北京华育宾馆
                                    55 Shatan Hou Street 地址:北京东城区沙滩后街 55号 (近五四 大街,在景山公园东门对面的胡同里)
                                    Dong Cheng District
                                    Phone: +86 (010)58757888
                                    Joining point description
                                    King Parkview Hotel is centrally located in Beijing, close to many historical and cultural landmarks, including Jinshan Park, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square and the National Art Museum, and the hutong areaThe hotel offers comfortable rooms including en-suite bathroom, TV & AC. Hotel rooms may include a vanity pack which are not complimentary. You will be charged at checkout if you open or use the vanity pack.

                                    For more information, please go to
                                    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. For more information about Beijing Capital Airport, please go to

                                    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 your booking agent.

                                    If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer with us, our local operator, Ms Qi (Ms Chee), will have sent a driver to the airport who will be holding a sign with our company logo on it and your name.

                                    If you arrive at Terminal 2, please meet your driver at the entrance/exit #7 after you go through the baggage claim area. I
                                    f 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. 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 near your exit and ask them to call Ms Qi at (+86) 13671299816.

                                    In any case, please take a printed copy of your hotel name and address in Chinese as shown in the joining point hotel section with you.

                                    If you are making your own way to the joining hotel:
                                    By taxi (the easiest option): Metered taxis are available outside the airport terminal building. You can follow the airport signs to reach to the official taxi stand. The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotels takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour and should cost around CNY120 (include CNY10 for the airport expressway toll). Show the taxi driver the address of the hotel in Chinese characters as shown below. **PLEASE AVOID TAXI DRIVERS WHO DON'T WAIT IN THE TAXI LINE FOR CLIENTS AND APPROACH YOU IN THE QUEUE CLAIMING THEY USE METER**

                                    By airport express and taxi:
                                    You can follow the airport signs to reach to the airport express station. Take the airport express (CNY25, service time: 06:20 to 22:50) to Dongzhimen station. It is suggested to hail a passing by taxi to go to your hotel. It will cost around CNY30 from Dongzhimen Station to your hotel. Show the taxi driver the address of the hotel in Chinese characters as shown in the Joining Point Section. **THERE IS NO TAXI LINE AT THIS STATION. AVOID USING TAXIS THAT ARE WAITING JUST OUTSIDE THE STATION EXITS. THEY DON'T USE METER AND TEND TO OVERCHARGE. **
                                    Finish point
                                    West Hotel 偉晴軒
                                    No.39 Wai Ching Street,Kowloon 地址 : 香港九龍佐敦偉晴街39至47
                                    Hong Kong
                                    Phone: +852 27707718
                                    Fax: 85227707718
                                    Finish point description
                                    Located off Jordan Road (near Nathan Road) in one of Hong Kong's main shopping precincts, Kowloon. The surrounding area is fantastic and taking a stroll around the area is highly recommended. The Temple Street night market is situated just a few blocks away. The hotel features 24hr reception, 110 rooms, all with AC, en-suite, TV, internet access (extra charge applies), phone, refrigerator, kettle and hair dryer. Short term bag storage is available free of charge.

                                    Finishing point instructions
                                    Hong Kong International Airport (or Chek Lap Kok Airport) is situated on Lantau Island, 36km from the centre of Kowloon Peninsula. Even though it is one of the world's busiest airports, it is very easy to navigate and there are several different and convenient ways to get in to the city. All signs and directions are written in English.

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

                                    Your tour leader can advise you when is the best time to leave for your flight depending on local traffic condition. It is suggested to leave from your hotel at least 3 hours before your flight time. By taxi, it’ll take about 45minutes to go to the airport at a cost around HKD300.

                                    By airport express, you can take a taxi to Kowloon airport express station (about HKD60), then take airport express to the airport (90HKD).

                                    By airport shuttle bus, you can take the A22 City Flyer bus from Shanghai Street stop (HKD39$, service time: 05:30 – 22:30). Your tour leader can tell you where the bus stop is.

                                    Emergency contact
                                    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.

                                    For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

                                    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

                                    Intrepid's Local Beijing Office: +861064067328
                                    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                    CHINA VISA:
                                    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 for Hong Kong.

                                    Please make sure if you have a transit anywhere in China before arriving at your destination that you check with your airline to see if the transit will require using your visa.

                                    List the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form, even if your tour goes here. You will be given a specific itinerary to use if booking a Tibet trip. While Tibet is not off limits to travellers, you must first obtain a Chinese visa BEFORE we apply for your Tibet permit on your behalf.
                                    Including Tibet on your visa application without being booked on a government arranged tour will lead to your visa being rejected.

                                    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, email us with your booking number and trip details.
                                    * Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided from us together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the consulate or not and will assist with your application.
                                    * Itinerary – print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website and include it with your application, marking the dates you will visit each destination if required (exception - Tibet tours)
                                    * Photocopy of your passport
                                    * Passport size photos (up to 4 may be required)
                                    * Check with the consulate for any other specific requirements

                                    DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS:
                                    Intrepid requires you send the following at the time of booking or at least 30 days prior to travel:
                                    *Clear, colour scanned 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 in case it is requested)

                                    HONG KONG VISAS
                                    Although Hong Kong is now part of the People’s Republic of China it remains a Special Administrative Region with its own immigration controls. Most nationalities can visit Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a visa.
                                    If you are travelling to mainland China via Hong Kong you must get a Chinese visa before arrival at the border. If you are entering Hong Kong via mainland China and leaving again via the mainland you will need a double or multiple entry visa for mainland China.
                                    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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                                    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.

                                    Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:


                                    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                                    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                                    LUGGAGE STORAGE
                                    Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

                                    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.

                                    DRINKING WATER IN CHINA:
                                    Tap water is not generally palatable, however in China, clean and safe drinking water is widely available for free in hotels, restaurants, bus and train stations. This is often provided as hot water as Chinese are great tea drinkers. Consider bringing a bottle that you can fill with hot water and allow to cool down. Alternatively, ask your leader for their favourite kind of tea and stay hydrated the local way!
                                    Climate and seasonal information
                                    MT EMEI WEATHER:
                                    Located in the subtropical monsoon climate region, Mt. Emei is noted for considerable weather difference between various areas on the mountain. The climate changes with altitude. So it is common for it to be very hot at the foot of the mountain but cool and pleasant higher the higher you travel.

                                    The best time to visit Mt Emei is in Spring and Autumn, especially April and October, for these two months are mostly sunny days compared to other months that have often cloudy days. April to May is also the best time to enjoy the blossom of Azaleas, while October is the best time to appreciate the maple leaves on Emei Mountain.
                                    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 Travel 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.

                                    BIRD FLU:
                                    There have recently been a number of isolated cases of Bird Flu in Asia. While the risk to travellers is very low, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of local authorities and the World Health Organisation. WHO recommends basic hygiene practices to limit the risk of infection:

                                    • Avoid visiting live animal markets and poultry farms
                                    • Avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with animal faeces
                                    • Do not eat or handle undercooked or raw poultry, egg or duck dishes
                                    • Do not attempt to bring any poultry products back
                                    • Do not pick up or touch dead or dying birds
                                    • Exercise good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing

                                    For further information please visit:

                                    AIR POLLUTION IN CHINA:
                                    The high levels of air pollution in major urban and industrialised areas in China may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. Please ensure you bring the required medication with you if you have any of these type of medical conditions.

                                    You can check the pollution index levels for many cities on the following website:
                                    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 group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                    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 group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                    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.

                                    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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


                                    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.

                                    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.