Enchanted China for Families

Giant Pandas, terracotta warriors, hutongs, bicycles, pedal cabs and the Great Wall
Overview

overview

This 12-day family China trip is guaranteed to impress the whole family by combining China’s must-see sites with the whimsical local attractions beloved by local Chinese families. The tour will take your family from busy Hong Kong Harbor to beautiful Guilin, then onward for a bike tour in Yangshuo and a ride down the River Li. You’ll then explore Chengdu and visit the Giant Panda Research Center to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. Xian’s Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City in Beijing will entertain your family for the next few days until you complete your trip with a visit to China’s most famous monument — the Great Wall. China pulses with energy, defies our stereotypes, and presents the perfect opportunity for family members to be surprised and delighted together.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive hong kong
    Hong-Kong-floating-restaurant

    Welcome! Your family won't have to worry about anything upon arrival at the airport. Simply exit customs and someone will be there to meet you. They will even help with check-in at the hotel.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Regal Kowloon Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: explore hong kong
    Hong Kong Views from Victoria Peak

    Today is free to relax or do some exploring with your family; your hotel can arrange for guided tours if you wish or we can arrange for a private tour for just your family (not included in land cost). Consider a Hong Kong Island tour to visit Man Mo Temple, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Stanley Market, Repulse Bay, and see Victoria Peak by tram. Another option is Ocean Park, one of the largest oceanariums in the world, which features aquariums, dolphin shows, rides, a film simulator, and giant pandas — it’s got something fun for everyone in your family. You can also take a cable car ride over the Park. Another option is a tour of the Lantau Islands. Your family can take a ferry out to see Silvermine Bay, Po Lin Monastery, Cheung Sha Beach, and Tai Village, then it’s only a short ride out to the China Sea to see Chinese White Dolphins. It is only a short walk from your hotel, situated on the Kowloon side, to the waterfront, for a spectacular nighttime view of Hong Kong's harbor.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Regal Kowloon Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: guilin and yangshuo's natural beauty
    Karst formations of Yangshuo

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin, a place of impressive natural beauty. After arriving in Guilin, drive just a few hours away to Yangshuo, which is nestled among imposing limestone karst formations that have inspired poets and painters for centuries. You may have some time to relax or perhaps take a stroll down West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo with a history dating back to over 1,400 years. The street is completely paved in marble and has a simple court-yard like setting. The street is a great combination of traditional folk and international elements with craft shops, calligraphy and paint shops, embroidered silk shops, cafes and local Chinese restaurants, and even Kung Fu academies. This evening, head over to the "natural" theater to see the Impression Liusanjie light show. The waters of the Li River set the stage with the beautiful karst formations forming a natural backdrop. The performance features over 600 locals, mostly from the Zhuang minority group and includes farmers, fishermen, and young girls. The performers sing and dance with special lights attached to their costumes adding an interesting twist to the performance. The show was designed and directed by Zhang Yimao, the same person who directed the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Yangshuo New Century Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: biking in yangshuo, boating in fuli
    Biking in Yangshuo

    Yangshuo is a small town offering a relaxed and intimate alternative from the major cities of China and is an excellent place to explore by bicycle*. You and your family can join your local guide and spend a few hours exploring the wonderful scenery in the surrounding countryside, including Moon Hill, a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole. The kids will love climbing and exploring this unique natural wonder. Your family will also meet some of the inhabitants of the nearby villages. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch at the home of a local family before taking a leisurely boat ride down the Li River from Yangti to Xingping, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way. Along the way, you'll catch a glimpse into the lives of the locals that make the river their home. You'll see elderly fishermen in search of a meal, children playing in the water, livestock quenching their thirst along the rivers' edge, and women washing the laundry. Before returning to your hotel, take a drive to the picturesque market town of Fuli, with its stone houses and cobbled lanes. Fuli is known as the "town of painted paper fans" and one of the few best-preserved ancient towns in the Guilin region. The town has a history dating back more than 1,000 years and many traditional houses, pagodas and temples can still be seen along its ancient streets. 

    *If you are unable to bicycle or prefer a shorter route, there are alternatives available.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Yangshuo New Century Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: sights and sounds of chengdu
    Changing of the Faces show

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Chengdu, a city which has been influenced by a history of trade built on “cottage industry” handicrafts. Recent changes in Chinese regulations have seen a revival of this private industry tradition and signs of a thriving market are at almost every turn. Afterwards, visit Renmin Park, where there is a bonsai rockery and a kids’ playground. Your family can take a delightful trip around the park's lake in a pedal boat for a fun way to see all that the park has to offer. Across the lake from the teahouse is the entry to an underground museum/funhouse that will be sure to delight all the members of your family. Originally a bomb shelter, the building now houses a Chinese monster show. It also contains models of New York, Sydney, Rome and the Taj Mahal. Time permitting, visit other local sites in Chengdu. In the evening, you will attend the "Changing of the Faces" performance. During the show, the performers change their colorful masks so quickly that a new face appears almost like magic.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Yinhe Dynasty Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: visit the giant pandas
    Hold a baby panda!

    One of the highlights of this family trip to China is a visit to the Giant Panda Research Center*. Here, your family will be able to watch the pandas at play, and learn about how pandas survive in the wild. Unlike a zoo, the pandas here are in open enclosures with lots of green space and large play structures, which ensures your family an exciting visit with these playful, happy creatures. The Giant Panda is one of the world's most endangered species and has become an icon for conservation movements everywhere. Though still found in parts of the Sichuan province, they are very difficult to spot in the wild. Seeing these amazing creatures up close is something that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy.  Return to your hotel in Chengdu for your overnight.

    *You must have a reservation if you would like to have your picture taken with a panda. The earlier you book, the better you chances are of getting a reservation. However, we cannot guarantee a photo, particularly if the session is canceled due to health issues with the pandas. Expect to budget about $350 per person for the photo opportunity (prices can change without notice.)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Yinhe Dynasty Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: the terracotta warriors of xian
    A few dozen of Xian's thousands of terracotta warriors

    Fly from Chengdu to Xian, best known for its renowned Terracotta Warriors. These entombed statues are considered one of the most important archeological finds of the century. Over 6,000 of them were individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expression. They stand in battle formation, facing east to protect the tomb of China's first Emperor, the great Qin Shihuang. Your family will also visit the ancient Imperial Hot Spring Baths, famous for its romantic love story of Emperor Xuangzong and his concubine Yang Guifei during the Tang Dynasty,and the bustling countryside open market. In the evening, there will be a dinner and concert from the restored Tang Dynasty featuring court music and dance. The dinner features dumplings that come in a variety of fun shapes such as frogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and lotus flowers.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bell Tower Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: explore xian
    Drum Tower of Xian

    In the 10th century, Xian was thought to be the greatest city on earth. Visit its ancient sites, which include the Bell and Drum Towers, the Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built by Emperor Gao Zong in memory of his deceased mother, and the Ancient City Walls, built on the foundations of the walls of the Tang Forbidden City. If you like, take a bike ride around the Ancient Walls. If there is time, you will visit the Shanxi Museum, which holds the world's greatest repository of Tang Dynasty ceramics, paintings and imperial artifacts. In the evening, you will board an overnight train for Beijing. You'll stay in a soft-sleeper class carriage in a compartment containing four bunks. There is a luggage closet above the door in each compartment and a small table between the two lower bunks. The toilets (often Western style on one end and squat on the other), washroom, and boiled water dispenser are located at the end of each carriage. It is a good idea to pick up some snacks before boarding the train.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Overnight sleeper train
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  • Day 9: adventure in the forbidden city
    Forbidden City entrance

    Arrive in Beijing on a morning arrival and meet your local guide on the train station platform. From here, you'll transfer to your hotel to drop off your luggage and have breakfast. Afterwards, begin a guided city tour that includes the enormous Forbidden City, built in the early 1400's to serve as the home of emperors and their families. It was also the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for almost 500 years. Its size might surprise you, but what makes it fascinating is the intense detail with which it was built, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colorfully painted ceilings. The surprises at every turn make it a fun area to explore with your family. The Summer Palace, another fine example of extraordinary workmanship, sits atop Longevity Hill overlooking the man-made Kunming lake. The Palace is located within a Royal Park that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered a masterpiece in Chinese gardens. This is a wonderful, relaxing area to take a stroll or perhaps a boat ride around the lake. In the evening, enjoy a performance of The Legend of Kung Fu. The show, combining Kung Fu, dance, and acrobatics, follows the story of a young boy trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a Kung Fu master. The performers, all boys averaging 17 years in age, have studied Chinese Kung Fu for many years. The combination of acrobatics, traditional Kung Fu, and modern dance makes this show exciting for kids and culturally enlightening for parents.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Novotel Peace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: the great wall
    Uncrowded Simatai section of the Great Wall

    Today you will travel by van to visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a large 1.5-mile stretch of the wall about 50 miles northeast of Beijing, renowned for its Ming dynasty guard towers and fantastic views. You will have a great time hiking this, one of the few remaining segments of the Great Wall where architectural features have been well-preserved, including 26 military watchtowers. Afterward, return to Beijing where you have the rest of the afternoon free to do some final souvenir shopping or exploring. We recommend shopping at Hong Qiao Pearl Street Market, which has much more to offer than just pearls and jewels. Here you'll find everything from cameras, silk products, traditional and designer clothing, and traditional Chinese art. The children will enjoy wandering the Hong Qiao Toy Market. The market is only about a 15 minute cab ride from your hotel. Another interesting market, located about 15 minutes from your hotel by cab, is the Xiu Shui Jie, known as "Silk Street" Market. Here you will find a variety of items to purchase including name brand clothing, tea, Chinese handicrafts, toys, trinkets, and fine jewelry.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Novotel Peace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: hutongs - experience traditional beijing
    Hutong Lanes

    Today your family heads off the beaten path with a pedal-cab tour through the hutong area. Hutongs are extensive residential neighborhoods of low courtyard houses lining mazes of "streets" that may be only a meter or two wide. You will be fascinated by life in the hutongs, and the local children will be just as curious as your kids are about them. Return to your hotel in Beijing where the rest of the day is free to explore on your own or perhaps spend the afternoon swimming in the hotel's pool. Another option is to spend the afternoon at one of Beijing's interesting water parks such as Water World in the Water Cube, the largest and most advanced indoor water park in Asia (entry fee is about $25-35 per person and does not include transfers). 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Novotel Peace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: beijing/onward

    Say good-bye to your guide as you are transferred to the airport for your flight home. Zái Jián!

     

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Jun 27-Jul 8, 2016
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,650
- $3,650
Group size 6+ cost: $3,350 per adult; $3,050 per child under 16; $2,650 per child under 12 Group size 2-5 cost: $3,650 per adult; $3,350 per child under 16; $2950, per child under 12 Flights within China add approx. $700 ($550 child under 12)
Single Supplement:
$750
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

China is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards differ from what you are used to at home. Please bear this in mind as you are traveling in this exciting country and respect the fact that you cannot impose your standards and expectations on the culture there. This difference in standards also means that you might, at times, be inconvenienced by some things are beyond our control, such as train delays (although these are rare). The easiest way to overcome any problems that might occur is to be open-minded.

Duration:
12 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
3
Mondern 4 star hotels
Group Size:
2-16
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
Light walking & biking; optional hill climbing

Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Shanghai City Excursion

Duration: 3 days

Shanghai is the largest city in China with over 24 million people and the largest city proper in the world.  This is an exciting way to begin or end your China adventure. Consider taking the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai.

Download Trip Itinerary

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