China feels like a hundred different moods, landscapes and countries rolled into one. Neon cities, remote villages, deserts, smoky markets and ancient artefacts - there are new adventures around every corner. Even after a lifetime in China, there would still be more to see, taste, admire and experience.

China Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in China

Departing Days Price USD
13 Apr 2015 Real Food Adventure - China 12 $2505
19 Apr 2015 China Highlights 9 $1490
26 Apr 2015 South China Getaway 12 $1575
27 Apr 2015 China Adventure 26 $4315
6 May 2015 Mountains & Monasteries 18 $4150

All our China trips

Yangzi & Beyond

14 days from
USD $2,880
CAD $3,120
AUD $3,060
EUR €2,475
GBP £1,700
NZD $3,405
ZAR R30,590
CHF FR2,995

Embark on an incredible adventure from Shanghai to Beijing. Visit the warriors of Xi'an, the pandas of Chengdu and...

View trip details

Hong Kong to Shanghai

14 days from
USD $2,175
CAD $2,245
AUD $2,205
EUR €1,610
GBP £1,270
NZD $2,450
ZAR R22,025
CHF FR1,950

Travel from the bright city lights of Hong Kong to sensational Shanghai. See dazzling cityscapes, ancient towns, lush...

View trip details

Silk Road - Beijing to Kashgar

12 days from
USD $1,955
CAD $2,015
AUD $1,975
EUR €1,360
GBP £1,140
NZD $2,200
ZAR R19,755
CHF FR1,645

Discover the famous Silk Road on this unforgettable journey through China. Explore from Beijing to Kashgar via Xi'an,...

View trip details

China Uncovered

23 days from
USD $6,300
CAD $6,500
AUD $6,375
EUR €4,385
GBP £3,685
NZD $7,100
ZAR R63,810
CHF FR5,310

Travel from modern Kunming to historic Beijing. See the unique Danxia landform in Shaxi, cruise down the Yangzi River...

View trip details

Classic Yunnan

11 days from
USD $1,970
CAD $2,035
AUD $1,995
EUR €1,370
GBP £1,155
NZD $2,220
ZAR R19,970
CHF FR1,660

Travel around the beautiful Yunnan Province. Discover charismatic Kunming, walk the quaint streets of Dali and be...

View trip details

Beijing to Hong Kong

23 days from
USD $2,960
CAD $3,055
AUD $2,995
EUR €2,060
GBP £1,730
NZD $3,335
ZAR R29,980
CHF FR2,495

Adventure through Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hong Kong to experience the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors...

View trip details

Explore China

13 days from
USD $2,130
CAD $2,195
AUD $2,155
EUR €1,550
GBP £1,250
NZD $2,400
ZAR R21,560
CHF FR1,870

Travel on lightning-fast trains to bustling cities and tranquil towns. See the sights of Shanghai, feel the zen in...

View trip details

Trans-Siberian & Mongolia

16 days from
USD $3,555
CAD $3,670
AUD $3,560
EUR €2,475
GBP £2,080
NZD $4,005
ZAR R35,995
CHF FR3,000

Travel to China, Mongolia and Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow. Visit China, tour Mongolia...

View trip details

South China Getaway

12 days from
USD $1,575
CAD $1,625
AUD $1,595
EUR €1,100
GBP £925
NZD $1,775
ZAR R15,930
CHF FR1,330

Travel through Shanghai, Xiamen, Yangshuo, the Longji rice terraces and Hong Kong on a remarkable city to country...

View trip details

Tiger Leaping Gorge

13 days from
USD $1,210
CAD $1,295
AUD $1,225
EUR €840
GBP £710
NZD $1,365
ZAR R12,260
CHF FR1,020

Travel to China and visit the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. Starting from Kunming, visit Dali, Shaxi, Shangri-La and...

View trip details

Trans-Mongolian Experience

21 days from
USD $4,295
CAD $4,430
AUD $4,345
EUR €2,990
GBP £2,510
NZD $4,840
ZAR R43,490
CHF FR3,620

Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Railways from Russia to China. This epic transcontinental adventure...

View trip details

Best of China

22 days from
USD $3,850
CAD $3,970
AUD $3,895
EUR €2,680
GBP £2,250
NZD $4,340
ZAR R38,990
CHF FR3,245

Travel from the bright city lights of Hong Kong to sensational Shanghai. Discover lush wilderness, ancient towns,...

View trip details

North China Getaway

12 days from
USD $1,450
CAD $1,495
AUD $1,470
EUR €880
GBP £850
NZD $1,640
ZAR R14,705
CHF FR1,065

Travel to China on a getaway from Beijing to Shanghai. Visit Xi'an and Huangshan, see the Great Wall and witness...

View trip details

China Experience

21 days from
USD $3,595
CAD $3,460
AUD $3,395
EUR €2,400
GBP £1,965
NZD $3,785
ZAR R33,980
CHF FR2,910

Travel to China and tour Beijing, visit the Great Wall of China, see the Terracotta Warriors, travel to Chengdu and...

View trip details

Beijing to Delhi

32 days from
USD $5,535
CAD $5,705
AUD $5,580
EUR €3,855
GBP £3,240
NZD $6,245
ZAR R56,060
CHF FR4,670

Travel from Beijing to Delhi on this epic 32-day trip. Experience the highlights of China, Nepal and India and be...

View trip details

China Highlights

9 days from
USD $1,410
CAD $1,455
AUD $1,430
EUR €990
GBP £825
NZD $1,590
ZAR R14,280
CHF FR1,190

Get a taste of China on a short but sweet tour. China Highlights travels between Shanghai and Beijing, visiting the...

View trip details

China Family Holiday

13 days from
USD $2,665
CAD $2,750
AUD $2,700
EUR €1,855
GBP £1,565
NZD $3,005
ZAR R26,985
CHF FR2,250

Travel to the land of the dragon and explore Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Chengdu and Hong Kong. Visit the Great Wall of...

View trip details

Tibet Unplugged

15 days from
USD $2,760
CAD $2,850
AUD $2,790
EUR €1,920
GBP £1,615
NZD $3,110
ZAR R27,925
CHF FR2,325

Enjoy an adventure travel experience on a round trip from Kathmandu. Tour across the world's highest mountain range,...

View trip details

Beijing to St Petersburg

22 days from
USD $5,230
CAD $5,395
AUD $5,280
EUR €3,640
GBP £3,055
NZD $5,885
ZAR R52,920
CHF FR4,405

Explore China, Mongolia and Russia on a journey from Beijing to St Petersburg via Ulaanbaatar, Lake Baikal and Moscow...

View trip details

Wander the Great Wall

5 days from
USD $1,057
CAD $1,147
AUD $1,125
EUR €775
GBP £625
NZD $1,252
ZAR R11,260

Travel from Beijing out to the Great Wall of China and discover why this is incredible structure is considered one of...

View trip details

Mountains & Monasteries

18 days from
USD $3,870
CAD $3,990
AUD $3,910
EUR €2,940
GBP £2,260
NZD $4,360
ZAR R39,155
CHF FR3,565

Take a scenic and spiritual tour of China and Tibet. Travel across the top of the world from Beijing to Lhasa, visit...

View trip details

Annapurna & Everest

31 days from
USD $2,665
CAD $2,750
AUD $2,695
EUR €1,855
GBP £1,560
NZD $2,995
ZAR R26,975
CHF FR2,245

Journey out from Kathmandu to the rugged Himalaya. Follow the footsteps of Hillary up to Everest Base Camp and trek...

View trip details

Beijing to Xi'an

17 days from
USD $1,616
CAD $1,747
AUD $1,740
EUR €1,182
GBP £991
NZD $1,913
ZAR R17,157
CHF FR1,426

The real China waits to be discovered on this epic holiday adventure. Travel from Beijing city along the Great Wall...

View trip details

Beijing to Istanbul

96 days from
USD $11,129
CAD $12,060
AUD $11,970
EUR €8,139
GBP £6,817
NZD $13,192
ZAR R118,341
CHF FR9,847

Travel to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey. See the Great Wall of China and Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. Discover Baku...

View trip details

Kashgar to Xi'an

22 days from
USD $2,562
CAD $2,654
AUD $2,708
EUR €1,933
GBP £1,620
NZD $3,131
ZAR R24,997
CHF FR2,279

Visit China and embark on a journey from Kashgar to Xi'an, touring through the Taklamakan Desert and exploring...

View trip details

Xi'an to Kashgar

22 days from
USD $3,005
CAD $3,259
AUD $3,223
EUR €2,200
GBP £1,820
NZD $3,564
ZAR R31,986
CHF FR2,660

Travel from Xi’an to Kashgar. Visit sacred Mount Kongtong, see ancient sculptures at the Binglingsi Caves and stare...

View trip details

Xi'an to Beijing

17 days from
USD $1,612
CAD $1,746
AUD $1,740
EUR €1,181
GBP £992
NZD $1,911
ZAR R17,135
CHF FR1,426

The real China waits to be discovered on this epic holiday adventure. Travel from Xi'an, along the Great Wall and...

View trip details

Xi'an to Bishkek

27 days from
USD $3,275
CAD $3,376
AUD $3,457
EUR €2,496
GBP £2,068
NZD $4,101
ZAR R31,455
CHF FR2,962

Journey from Xi'an to Bishkek and encounter the legends of the Silk Road, vibrant Tibetan culture, ancient imperial...

View trip details

Total China

24 days from
USD $6,400
CAD $6,605
AUD $6,475
EUR €4,455
GBP £3,740
NZD $7,210
ZAR R64,815
CHF FR5,395

Travel from Hong Kong to Kunming. Practice tai chi in Yangshuo, walk on the Great Wall, cook classic Chinese dishes...

View trip details

Yangzi & Beyond Independent Journey

14 days from
USD $5,482
CAD $5,657
AUD $5,547
EUR €3,817
GBP £3,205
NZD $6,177
ZAR R55,530
CHF FR4,620

Travel across China, seeing the sights of Shanghai, cruising down the Yangzi and meeting Chengdu's adorable pandas...

View trip details

Real Food Adventure - China

12 days from
USD $2,505
CAD $2,575
AUD $2,530
EUR €1,740
GBP £1,465
NZD $2,820
ZAR R25,325
CHF FR2,110

Discover China and the tantalising sights, culture and food of Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Hong Kong – from climbing...

View trip details

Bite-size Break - Beijing

3 days from
USD $612
CAD $632
AUD $620
EUR €427
GBP £357
NZD $690
ZAR R6,205

Discover Beijing’s exciting food scene. Join in a traditional Hutong cooking class, enjoy authentic dishes, journey...

View trip details

Classic China

14 days from
USD $3,105
CAD $3,205
AUD $3,145
EUR €2,540
GBP £1,815
NZD $3,500
ZAR R31,440
CHF FR3,075

Travel to Hong Kong and visit the very best sights of China, including Beijing, Xi'an, the Great Wall and Shanghai.

View trip details

China Adventure

26 days from
USD $4,315
CAD $4,455
AUD $4,370
EUR €3,005
GBP £2,525
NZD $4,860
ZAR R43,700
CHF FR3,635

Travel from Hong Kong to Beijing and discover the surreal scenery of Zhangjiajie National Park, the historic centre...

View trip details

China trip reviews

Our China trips score an average of 4.71 out of 5 based on 202 reviews in the last year.

Silk Road - China & Kyrgyzstan, May 2014

North China Getaway, June 2014


Articles on China

Say no to lemon chicken: breaking down Chinese food stereotypes

Posted on Mon, 23 Mar 2015

It’s a funny thing, but there’s really no such thing as Chinese cuisine. Oh there’s Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Hunan and Anhui cuisine, but you can’t point to one plate of food and say, ‘Yep, that’s Chinese that is.’

Read more

Chop-stickler: A beginner’s guide to Chinese etiquette

Posted on Mon, 23 Mar 2015

Confucius once said, ‘to know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge’ (he must have been a hoot at parties). Turns out I didn’t know much about Chinese etiquette.

Read more

Made in China: six of Hollywood’s favourite Chinese film locations

Posted on Fri, 20 Mar 2015

If you want to add an element of mystique, a dash of neon or a dollop of ancient wisdom to your movie, book a ticket to China and get the cameras rolling.

Read more

Confucius say: 11 lessons from China’s most annoying philosopher

Posted on Tue, 10 Mar 2015

Ancient wisdom or just showing off? Confucius say: let's begin.

Read more


Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in China, you may find yourself travelling by:


Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in China you may find yourself staying in a:

About China

At a glance

Capital city: Beijing (population 13 million)
Population: 1.3 billion
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese and many dialects
Currency: CNY
Time zone: (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin) Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)
Dialing code: +86

Best time to visit China

Due to China's large size, there are great variations in the climate - depending on what area you're travelling in, expect different temperatures and conditions. Autumn and spring are generally the better seasons to visit as temperatures are less extreme than in summer and winter. Be aware that travelling through China during Chinese New Year presents some challenges, with many businesses closing and public transport (especially rail) much busier due to locals moving around the country to visit their families.

Bejing weather chart Hong Kong weather chart

Culture and customs

Permormers at a festival in Beijing
As one of the world's oldest cultures, China has a fascinating array of cultural treasures to observe, taste, admire and learn about. Ancient mythology and spirituality is infused throughout the traditional dance, art, music and literature of China, with many contemporary customs being directly attributed to century-old traditions. While modern China is changing at a rapid pace, with technological advances and infrastructure cropping up at a speedy rate, much of China still clings to age-old traditions and ways of life. This culture clash is particularly evident when visiting large cities like Beijing that are home to ancient hutongs, modern skyscrapers, time-worn temples and glorious UNESCO World Heritage sites, which can all be found near each other. Culturally, China has given the world everything from martial arts to mah jong, with the greater world enjoying China's rich cuisine, delicate art, evocative dance and enlightening philosophy. Although the language may be impenetrable for new comers and some of the customs and foods a little strange to western tastes, China's culture remains one of the world's most fascinating.

Eating and drinking

Peking duck

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways of experiencing a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

China can lay claim to rich culinary traditions and some of the world's most celebrated cuisine.

Things to try in China

1. Sichuan Hot Pot

Taste a bit of Chinese history by dipping into a fiery Sichuan hot pot filled with meat, vegetables, noodles and chilli. While each region in China has different varieties, the hot pots in Sichuan are among the fieriest.

2. Dim Sum (Yum Cha)

Sitting down to a dim sum banquet is one of Hong Kong's great culinary experiences. Bamboo baskets of salty dumplings and pots of cleansing tea change hands in this traditional feast that will leave you feeling very full.

3. Green Tea

China is home to one of the world's largest tea drinking cultures, with most locals sipping a few cups of tea daily. In western societies, green tea has risen in popularity of late, but has been used as a medicine in China for thousands of years.

4. Peking Duck

This famous roast duck dish from Beijing dates back to Imperial China. Succulent slices of duck served between delicate pancakes with green onions and hoisin sauce is simply one of the best flavor combinations in the world.

Geography and environment

Rice paddy fields
As one of the world's largest countries, China's vast land mass spreads across a large part of northern Asia and includes a diverse range of terrain and people. With fertile rice terraces, inhospitable desert, towering mountain ranges, earthy steppes and life-giving rivers and channels, China is a revolving door of natural environments. The diversity of topography is also matched by the different ways of living that have evolved over the years. Contemporary China is a mixture of sleepy villages, busy port cities, burgeoning industrial centres and thriving metropolises.

History and government

Forbidden city, Beijing Boy waving flags at Tiananmen square, Beijing

Early History

As one of the world's oldest civilisations, China has an intriguing history that spans thousands of years. The Yellow River is known as the Cradle of Chinese Civilisation as it is thought that Chinese civilisation originated on the banks of the river. China's early history is dominated by periods of dynastic rule, fragmentation and imperialistic expansion, with each dynasty contributing something different to the annals of history. Construction of the Great Wall of China was thought to have started during the Qin Dynasty, with the Ming Dynasty enhancing the wall at a later stage. The Tang Dynasty is known as a time of prosperity and artistic expression, the Song Dynasty is famed for being a time of scientific and technological discovery, and Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty saw an overall population decline that has been attributed to everything from an administration error to the arrival of the Bubonic Plague. With the Yuan Dynasty being overthrown by the Ming Dynasty in 1368, population numbers began to increase again and urbanisation grew quite rapidly. During this time, private enterprise flourished, with small-scale paper, silk and cotton trading providing trade income to the masses. The following period of rule known as the Qing Dynasty stretched from 1644 to 1911. This is generally seen as a time of rebellion and upheaval with the Taiping Rebellion, Nien Rebellion, Panthay Rebellion and Boxer Rebellion all testing the Qing's ability to rule. Thankfully, remnants of most of these periods of history can be found in China today.

Recent History

The Republic of China was formed in Nanjing in 1912 after a military uprising. During the following years, leadership changed hands many times until the People's Liberation Army succeeded in ousting the US backed Chiang Kai-Shek after a long and bloody battle. Mao Zedong became Chairman (leader) of the People's Republic of China, which was declared in 1949, and China's society was systematically converted to communism, with land reforms and collectivisation of agriculture changing the structure of society and daily life dramatically. Mao's death in 1976 triggered leadership changes and economic reforms which had impacts that have rippled out into the future. More recently, China has seen Hong Kong and Macau returned from foreign rule, has enjoyed a period of increased economic growth and basked in the international spotlight as the host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Top Picks

Terracotta Warriors, Xian Giant Panda, China Forbidden Place, China

Top 10 Must-See Icons of China

1. The Great Wall

At 6,000 km long, the Wall is like an old friend that keeps popping its head up on your travels. You're likely to glimpse it from train windows, but the best way to experience it is with a walk. It's steep, but with every step you're rewarded with an amazing sense of history.

2. Terracotta Warriors

These 8,000 soldiers and their horses have stood guard for 2,000 years over the First Emperor of China. Beautifully preserved and standing in full battle regalia, they are a highlight of any trip to China.

3. Longji Terraces

Nicknamed the dragon's backbone with good reason, the rice terraces soar into the sky like ribs from a mythical beast and bring different colors and moods with every season. Hike through them to small villages where life has remained unchanged for centuries.

4. Shanghai

This bustling metropolis is modern China at its best. Take in the futuristic skyline of the Bund, get a taste of Europe at the French Concession or grab a bargain at bustling Yuyuan Bazaar.

5. Giant Pandas

These gorgeous, black and white fur-balls originate from China but are loved by the world. Visit the breeding program in Chengdu that is helping to save this rare species and see for yourself why pandas have captivated the world.

6. Yangzi River

Take a cruise down the world's third largest river for front row seats to rural China. Explore tributaries, see the phenomenal Three Gorges Dam and take time out on deck to learn mah jong or brush up on your Mandarin.

7. Emei Shan

Take a cable car to the peak of this holy mountain. Then the active can choose to join pilgrims for the six hour hike back down, past cool streams and rainforests. Spend the night in a simple monastery and wake to the sound of monks chanting.

8. Shaolin Temple

Watch kung fu students practise their moves at the legendary Shaolin Temple. For those feeling game, there is the opportunity to attend a class and soak up some of the wisdom.

9. Tiananmen Square

Beijing's huge city square has seen many important historical events take place over the years. Surrounded by monuments and flags, this is an icon of China not to be missed.

10. The Forbidden City

This UNESCO World Heritage site located in the middle of Beijing has historical and political importance. As an imperial palace, the Forbidden City housed emperors - now this place is recognised as being the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Don't miss it!


Chinese Calligraphy Art

China is a shopper's wonderland with a multitude of different shopping experiences: from the massive malls of Beijing to the fashion boutiques of Shanghai and the small village markets that are dotted around the country.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in China

1. Silk

As the home of silk, Chinese silk is legendary. Greatly admired by the world for centuries, don’t leave China without picking up some silk fabric, clothing or scarves.

2. Chinese Calligraphy Art

This beautiful art form has been practised in China for centuries. Buy an antique art work or get a customised piece featuring your name made on the spot.

3. Paper Cut Art

This traditional art is a painstaking process that ultimately creates an intricately beautiful result. Associated with Chinese New Year, you will be able to find paper art souvenirs all year round, with flowers, animals and people being the most common.

4. Chinese Knots

These traditional, decorative handicrafts are seen as a symbol of health and prosperity, and make brilliant gifts for friends back home.

Festivals and Events in China

Chinese New Year

This traditional holiday is considered the most important in China, where it is known as the Spring Festival. Even though the Lunar New Year falls on a specific day, satellite celebrations can be observed for 14 days around the time of Lunar New Year. Fireworks, feasts, lively parades, offerings and fairs are all geared towards clearing out the old, and welcoming in a new year of happiness, health and prosperity.

Dragon Boat Festival

This major holiday originally began as a time of warding off evil spirits and disease, and to this day people in China still see this festival as a time to cleanse, renew and cultivate peace.

Xi'an Ancient Culture and Art Festival

This annual celebration of ancient culture and art features performers from more than 30 countries. Stilt walking, dragon dance, traditional drumming, fire works, historical re enactments and folk art demonstrations celebrate and promote the ancient culture of China during this vibrant festival.

FAQs on China

Citizens from Singapore, Brunei and Japan are allowed up to 15 days stay without a visa. All other nationalities require a visa. When filling out the visa application form, please list the hotel in China specified in the start, continuing or finishing point listed in the Trip Notes as the "company or person to visit in China". You require a single entry visa to complete this trip.

If submitting your visa form in person with your local consulate, please check beforehand whether you need to make an appointment.
Generally, tipping is not expected on mainland China, although leaving spare change at restaurants and giving a small amount to porters or bar staff is becoming more commonplace (although not mandatory). Some large hotels and restaurants may already include a 10%-15% surcharge within the bill. The culture of tipping is different in Hong Kong, where taxi drivers and restaurants will usually round up the bill, and service staff like porters will generally expect a tip.
Travellers can access the internet via internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots in China's cities. Internet access is less available in rural and remote areas. Please note that some web sites are censored in China.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in China's cities, but less so in remote and rural areas. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving home if you want to use your phone.
Most of China's toilets are squat toilets, although flushable toilets can sometimes be found in modern hotels and restaurants. Be sure to carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these are rarely provided.
Metro ride = 3 RMB
Can of soft drink = 3-5 RMB
Bottle of beer = 7-10 RMB
Basic lunch = 15 RMB
Basic rice or noodle dinner 25 RMB
Three-course dinner = 80 RMB
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in China. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are accepted by China's large stores, hotels and restaurants, but less so by smaller vendors and market stalls where cash is usually the only payment option. Carry both modes of payment to be sure.
Travellers will be able to access ATMs in China's large cities and regional centres. Rural and remote areas will have less ATM access so ensure you have other payment modes before venturing out of the city.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Feb 10 Spring Festival/Chinese New Year
Apr 4 Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping) Festival
May 1 Labour Day
Jun 10 Dragon Boat Festival
Sep 19 Mid-Autumn Festival
Oct 1 National Day

Please note these dates are for 2012. Further holidays may be celebrated in regional parts of China. For a current list of public holidays go to:

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to:

From New Zealand?

Go to:

From Canada?

Go to:

From US?

Go to:

From UK?

Go to:

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to:

Responsible Travel

China Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for China

1. Be considerate of China’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In China, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

Braille Without Borders

This organisation aims to facilitate the integration and acceptance of the blind in Tibetan society by providing rehabilitation and education for blind children. In Lhasa, they have a preparatory school, medical massage training and a Braille printing press. At the vocational training centre and farm in Shigatse they teach skills including animal husbandry, market gardening, agriculture, cheese production, bread baking and kitchen management.

Beijing Huiling

This proactive not-for-profit organisation helps the disadvantaged local community to live more independent lives. Art and craft workshops teach skills and foster employment options while public education projects enlighten the community about the ways in which people with disabilities can contribute to society.

Image supplied by Kim Bowden and Jane Crouch.

Xi'an Huiling

Providing skills, training, employment services and housing assistance, this organisation works to better the lives of disabled people in Xi'an by increasing the amount of opportunities available to this marginalised section of the population.

Image supplied by Xi'an Huiling.

To learn more or donate, go to:

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Last Chinese ChefNicole Mones
River TownPeter Hessler
The Painted VeilSomerset Maugham
Wild SwansJung Chang
The Last Days of Old BeijingMichael Meyer
Mao's Last DancerLi Cunxin
Leaving Mother LakeYang Erche Namu