Essential China

10 days
from
$2,015 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 21 reviews >
Leisurely
Learn more
Trip code: 
ACW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

A short trip encompassing ancient and modern China

This trip visits some of China's most iconic sights; the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Great Wall near Beijing and the stunning karst landscape of Yangshuo. Starting in Beijing our journey provides contrasting experiences at every turn; as we the famous Forbidden City and Tian'anmen square followed by the huge park at the Summer Palace; once an exclusive playground for China's Emperors and their concubines. The busy pace of life in the cities is complemented by the visit to markets and sitting down for a cup of tea with the locals in Xi'an, whilst the rural scenery around Yangshuo offers a tranquil change before we end our trip in the bright lights of Hong Kong.

Highlights

  • Beijing city tour including Tianamen Square and the Forbidden city
  • The Great Wall at the lesser-visited Mutianyu section
  • Rural Yangshuo amidst stunning karst scenery
  • Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an
  • Sound and Light show in Hong Kong and city tour

Key information

Travel by train, private minibus, public bus and internal flight

What's included

  • 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) (excludes sleeper train)
  • Chinese Visa - GBP201 with Travcour or GBP151 plus GBP18 special delivery direct with embassy
  • Vaccinations
Call us on
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Beijing
to
Hong Kong
  • Day 1

    Arrive Beijing.

    There will be a welcome briefing this evening followed by an opportunity to taste the famous Beijing duck during an optional welcome dinner.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Full day at the Great Wall.

    We leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, an approx 2 hour journey to the north of the city. We go to one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall at Mutianyu which is an impressive sight, snaking across mountains and valleys into the distance. This section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The wall here is upto 8.5 metres high and 5 metres wide, and has 22 watchtowers on its 2,250-metre-long stretch. There are some steep steps to navigate and clients who suffer from vertigo may find it difficult, (there is an optional cable car). There is the option of seeing an acrobatic or Kung Fu show or a trip to the opera this evening in Beijing.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Sightseeing in Beijing, visiting Tiananmen Square, Hutongs and the Forbidden City; evening sleeper train to Xi'an.

    We take a morning walking tour of the city's hutongs (narrow alleys) to see what is left of old Beijing and its traditions. We also visit Tianamen square, the largest square in the world and able to hold over a million people. Later in the day we visit the Forbidden City with its innumerable courtyards and temples. This afternoon is free to explore, just outside the city centre is the Summer Palace, a huge park dotted with impressive pavilions and temples which, like the Forbidden City, was once the exclusive playground of China's emperors and their concubines.

    In the evening we board an overnight train to the ancient city of Xi'an. It is recommended to try and get food before the train as there is a limited selection provided on the train. The train itself is of a good standard, although please note that all facilities such as washrooms and toilets are shared with other passengers. Sleepers are four berth and bedding is provided.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Arrive Xi'an; visit local markets, Grand Mosque and Muslim area.

    Xi'an is one of China's former capitals, and one of the few cities in China to have retained its city walls, probably because they are so massive that no revolutionary was willing to tackle the huge task of removing them. Today we will visit the city and the Bell and Drum Plaza at its heart, along with the Great Mosque. The Muslim quarter is a fascinating place to explore, especially in the evening as it comes alive with the bustle of the bazaars and food stalls. It is possible to hire bikes (optional) and cycle on the city walls to appreciate the sheer scale of these constructions.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning visit Terracotta Warriors; afternoon fly to Guilin; transfer to Yangshuo.

    Today we visit the famous mausoleum of Emperor Qin with its staggering display of Terracotta Warriors. His tomb lies covered by a grassy mound amidst green fields. Originally four armies were planned, at each point of the compass, life-size and lifelike. Three have been found and it is assumed the Emperor's successors decided enough was enough before the fourth was begun. The first pit excavated had an estimated 6,000 figures in its one army. The third pit has been opened to the public, which contains the 'command post' for the entire operation. This is one of China's great tourist attractions, and some people may find the sheer numbers of visitors rather overpowering.

    In the late afternoon we fly to Guilin and transfer by road for 2 hours through the stunning towering limestone scenery to Yangshuo. The surrounding region is famous for the steep-sided Karst Mountains that pierce the otherwise flat landscape of paddy fields, a rural landscape that has changed little in centuries. Despite its small size Yangshuo has quite a tourist infrastructure due to its large transient population of backpackers and domestic tourists.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Cooking class in Yangshuo.

    This morning we have the opportunity to learn how to make some authentic Chinese dishes at a cookery class in Yangshuo, before enjoying our creations for lunch! The afternoon is free to relax, or take part in one of the many optional activities available in the surrounding area. There are many optional activities to choose from: a cruise on the Li River, visit the Black Buddha caves, enjoy a Chinese massage or even a kung fu class. If you would like, you can spend the evening watching the Liu Sanjie Show, an outdoor performance set on a natural stage formed by the Li River and 12 peaks. Even if you choose simply to relax this is an ideal place; you can take a stroll around the market and examine the local produce or enjoy one of the cafes and watch the world go by.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Free day for optional activities.

    Today we have the chance to appreciate the spectacular landscape on two wheels; as we take a bike and ride towards Moon Hill, one of the most famous in the area. The biking is at a leisurely pace, and there are plenty of stops to hydrate and appreciate the glorious scenery! Lunch is spent at a local family-run restaurant, giving us the opportunity to sample some new dishes. The afternoon is free to relax or enjoy one of the many optional activities Yangshuo has to offer.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Morning bus to Guilin; bullet train to Shenzhen; cross border to Hong Kong

    This morning take a private bus to Guilin where you take the bullet train on the recently opened fast line to Shenzhen. After a bus to the border you cross over to Hong Kong, the final destination. Depending on train times there may be an opportunity to enjoy the evening 'Sound and Light show' with the cities high-rise buildings lit up in all their glory at the end of the day.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Morning orientation tour of Hong Kong including Victoria Peak; free afternoon.

    This morning we take a walk down to the famous Tsim Sha Tsui promenade for a spectacular view of Victoria Harbour passing the iconic Kowloon railway clock tower before boarding the star ferry across to Hong Kong Island. Here we take a walk through the colonial architecture of Hong Kong island. We will pass the former supreme court and St Johns Cathedral. Hong Kong is mix of old and new and you will also see the bank of China Tower once the tallest building in the world outside the US. Finally we take an historic tram ride to Victoria peak famous for its stunning views. This afternoon is free for further sightseeing or shopping. One option is to visit Aberdeen Fishing Village which was once just that, a simple village, but is now a vibrant modern waterfront area, home to thousands of boat people on hundreds of junks (brightly coloured trawlers) who still carry on with their traditional way of life. It is worth taking a ride on one of these boats to experience life on the water with its colours, sounds and odours.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Fly to London.

    For those on the group flight to London the flight is in the morning, with a same day arrival into London in the evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

China

Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter China, which must be obtained prior to departure. The Chinese authorities now require a letter from Exodus, confirming all your accommodation details. Along with this, you need to supply a copy of your flight details, which are on your invoice if you have booked directly through Exodus. For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/China.pdf
It is also essential that we have a clear copy of the details page of your passport. This is required to book certain ground services in China and we cannot confirm your details with our local partners until it has been received. This must be emailed as an electronic scan to [email protected] a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your trip.

Vaccinations

China

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Eating and Drinking

9 breakfasts and 5 lunches included.

One of the major draws of China is its exciting and varied cuisine. On this trip you will be able to try many different dishes that will be carefully selected with your leaders help and based on the group's dietary requirements and preferences. Meals generally consist of shared dishes, which is the best way to experience as many different ingredients as possible and try things you might not have ordinarily chosen! Examples of popular dishes include Ma Po Tofu, a delicious tofu dish made with beef, chillies and onion, Gong Bao chicken, a very popular dish with chilli and peanuts, the iconic Peking Duck, served with hoisin sauce and pancakes, and dumplings in many shapes and sizes. There are many different dishes to try and the leader will always try and accommodate tastes, but if you do tire of Chinese food there are always opportunities to eat Western-style dishes in the cities you visit. For vegetarians or those with dietary requirements, many of the traditional dishes can be amended to omit the meat products.

Weather

Beijing & Xi'an: The north of China has warm (25º+C), quite humid summers, and cold dry winters. If you travel between June and August, it will be hot more or less everywhere, except in the mountains. Some rain must be expected, possibly heavy. If you travel in September/October, you will probably get less rain and the temperatures will be fairly warm (around 20º+C) everywhere. Yangshuo/Hong Kong: The south of China is sub-tropical with hot (30ºC), wet summers (May to September), and warm, relatively dry (November to March) winters, though rain is possible at almost any time of year. The winter months in China are cold (3º+C), so if travelling in November to March/April be prepared for temperatures to drop to below freezing at night in the North, but with almost guaranteed dry sightseeing. The weather is milder in the south.

Is this trip for you?

This holiday is designed so that you can see the best parts of China in 10 days, and is generally a fast-paced itinerary. There is a lot to see and the distances covered are large, but everything is scheduled so that it doesn't feel too rushed. You should come armed for an experience: China can be hard work and the summer heat and the bustle of some of the cities can be a little overwhelming. That said, there are places where you can find peace and quiet.

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotels & Sleeper Train

This trip spends 10 nights in comfortable hotels with en suite facilities and 1 night on a first class sleeper train with soft bed berths. In the cities, we stay in good, tourist class hotels with twin rooms and private facilities. Nearly all the hotels are locally rated as at least 3 star and where possible are centrally located. The overnight trains are in the 'soft sleeper' cabins, which are 4 berth (bunk beds) private cabins. The train itself is of a good standard, although please note that facilities such as washrooms and toilets are shared with other passengers and the cleanliness can never be guaranteed. Bedding is provided but we do recommend you consider taking a thin sleep sheet. Whilst we make every attempt to place passengers together in cabins, sometimes this is impossible, however we will never place a solo traveller in a cabin by themselves (they will always be either with another passenger on the trip or with the leader).

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Heather Pells

    China trip

    We visited Beijing, Xian, Yangshou and Hong Kong.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the Terracotta Warriors was amazing. We were lucky because for some reason it wasn't very busy so we could see everything without being pushed along. The detail in the warriors is amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was excellent. he was easy to get on with and gave u lots of information without overloading us. Although the travel arrangements were complicated he made it all very relaxed and easy. Dragon was very keen to tell us about the Chinese people so that we got a real feel for the country of which, as he said, he is very proud.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some parts of China are very basic. Be prepared to use chopsticks and don't expect Western food or drink.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Timothy Martin Gaines

    Essential China

    A hectic but Highly Enjoyable Chinese tour. With time to soak up the Chinese way of life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some people say there great wall is just a wall, true, but it is very impressive and the Mutianyu Section which you visit offers great views of the countryside and amazing photo opportunities, is not overly touristy. Xi'an is a very metropolitan city, the cycle round the city walls is a great opportunity to see the city from many angles. Use the free time to visit the market's near the Great Mosque and sample some of the foods in the Muslim Market (deep fried squid with cayenne pepper is surprisingly nice). This is a good place to practice your bartering skills and pick up some souvenirs for those not lucky enough to be experiencing it first hand. Spending some time on my own exploring the 'backpacker Mecca' of Yangshuo and hanging out with the locals in the bars. You may be lucky enough to have drinks bought for you and interact with groups of locals who will not accept a drink bought back (as much as we tried). Cycling round the countryside and Karst mountains of Yangshuo is an experience not to be missed. The roads may seem hectic in town but once you are out they are generally quieter than UK country roads. (plus a car never creeps up on you because they like to use their horns in China). Hong Kong is again very metropolitan with a lot of high earning young people. Try to see as much as you can of this city. We visited the big Buddha in the afternoon. It was very busy but well worth the hour and a half wait for the cable car up to it. If time allows try to book at least an extra day and spend more time here. They speak very good English in Hong Kong so you don't need to rely on your tour guide and can navigate the city very well using the underground.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    William Li made this tour. He was a very likable and amenable person who made the whole experience better than I could have expected. No request or question was too much or unanswerable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If your time and budget allows, book another couple of days either at the start of the trip in Beijing or the end of the trip in Hong Kong. There's so much to see and do in both these cities, as well as the main stream tourist itineraries its good to wander and see the local way of life. Anywhere in china you may be approached by teenagers or children asking to talk to you in English. They will use the excuse of home work set by their teacher but they just want to practice their skills. If you have time its good to do this and it invariably ends in a group photo or more people wanting to speak to you. This may seem odd to us but its just what they do and a 5 minute conversation never hurt anyone.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For a whistle stop tour of china this is a good start. Like I have mentioned if time allows book and extra couple of days at the start or end of your tour, you won't regret it.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Lesley Hecht

    Essential China

    A fantastic experience . The organisation, places we visited , food , local contact all excellent. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Great Wall and Terracotta Army were my main reasons to visit but many places/people became highlights. Victoria Harbour at night , Yangshuo the tea ceremony plus many others. The trip was packed with amazing experiences . Fantastic value for money

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JINGZHEN LU was our group leader for ACW150903 I cannot speak highly enough of her . Nothing was too much trouble. Her sense of humour was brilliant and her local knowledge was invaluable. I would rate her as the best guide I have ever been on a trip with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cash better than relying on cards

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus couldn't have used a better guide or planned a better trip. It was fantastic
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Emma Webber

    Action packed trip

    A packed itinerary which ensures a fantastic experience of different parts of China

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to single out. Whilst the expected highlights of the Great Wall and Terracotta Army were fantastic, I really enjoyed meeting the local people our guide introduced us to, eating delicious lunches in their homes and the cycling and River Li trips in Yangshuo.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenny Lu was incredible, what energy!! She spoke excellent English, had a great sense of humour, and soon got to know all the personalities in our group of 9. Her organisation was spot on and she adjusted itineraries and accommodated requests (for example we wanted to visit the Birds Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing) too. Jenny made the trip very special and felt very much part of our group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for wet weather (it rained incessantly in Beijing) and take a coat and fold up brolly. Only take battery packs (for phone charging) if they are labelled as such or they will be confiscated at the Chinese airports. Travel light but leave enough room in your case for snapping up bargains at the markets!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a fast paced trip so you need plenty of stamina, but try everything that's on offer as every activity was interesting and such good value. The second night on the sleeper train has been replaced by a day time 'bullet train' which was brilliant (300kmh).
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Laurence Baker

    Essential China

    A "full on "trip with little time to rest - and all the better for it. A lot packed into a short time. Plenty of interactive travelling with the locals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Terracotta army is a must see highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was an excellent tour leader. Always helpful, friendly and above all very well organized. The whole tour ran smoothly with no hitches.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great tour if you want a lightning visit of the main highlights of China.A good way to get a taste for the country.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Celestine Elliott

    Fabulous mix - a real taste of China

    Brilliant tour if a little fast paced. You need to be reasonably fit to enjoy it especially the Great Wall. If you like chinese food this is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Terracotta warriors and horses and even more amazing in real life than you can imagine

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant group leader - always smiling - incredibly hard working - nothing too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You don't have to take the group flights to and from China, there are lots of alternatives. We booked via exodus which will allow you to hold the flights until the tour is confirmed. We ended up with an extra day and a 1/2 by doing it this way and still had airport transfers included. Finally - check the weather before you travel - it was much hotter in Beijing than we expected!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    James Fleming

    The amazing essential China tour

    A fantastic, emotional, overwhelming and awe-inspiring trip. There is a lot of walking involved and a certain level of fitness – but heck – if I can do it – anyone can.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Prior to the trip I would have said the Great Wall would have been my favourite but it comes in at number 2 for my inspiring moments – which is rather surprising. Yangshuo and Li River are some of the most awe inspiring places I have ever been. The bike ride through the karst mountains and villages was just amazing and I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time– even with saddle soars. I would also suggest a trip to the Summer Palace Gardens in Beijing – it truly was an escape from the hustle and bustle of Beijing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    William was a larger than life character who certainly kept the group informed and engaged. He managed to shepherd the group onto trains; planes and ferries with great skill – as it could sometimes be like herding cats. His knowledge of Beijing was amazing but perhaps this lessened as we travelled and other local guides took over – but this enabled everyone to have a different perspective on China from a new leader and of course the local experts helped our appreciation of the areas. We felt the Li River Light show was perhaps “undersold” to the group and we did not attend with great enthusiasm– however, in hindsight this is no bad thing it was amazing and it far surpassed the groups expectations. One of my highlights in actuality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    One of the key pieces of advice throughout other reviews has been to pack light and this is indeed good advice. Remember to pack the sun-block; the insect repellant; spare camera memory cards and your sense of adventure. The trip will most likely be like no other – the number of people in Beijing can be overwhelming; walking on the Great Wall exhilarating and the Li River Light Show will be emotional and awe-inspiring. Take a diary or complete a blog each night if you can – as you see and do so much that it’s hard to remember it all when you return home. Whilst in Hong Kong, you can book the Big Buddha in advance and it will save a lot of time queuing in the heat and humidity. Take ear plugs/sleeping tablets for the overnight trains & finally – remember extra toilet roll for those trips ( there seems to be rationing on board trains).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As awareness – be prepared for the people spitting everywhere; the squat toilets and crazy driving
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    ESSENTIAL CHINA

    I taught this was and excellent trip if you want to see the real China. It shows you All the parts and the history.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had so many inspirational moments due to having an excellent guide But the one we picked was the bike ride in yangshuo words could not Describe it and it was for all ages and fitness and wad relaxed but Fantastic to see you would not want to miss it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Michael zheng what can we say he went over and above For people helpful, caring, knowlegble and excellent at his job. Michael had So much energy and passion about his job and you could see this he was the Best group leader we have ever came across. I would defo be looking to do a trip With him again as he made it the best holiday ever. Thank you Michael From clodagh and robbie (Ireland)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The 2nd train journey is 14 hours long so stock up before Going. Ensure to have toilet roll both you at all times. And let your Mind go it is a one of trip for 9 days try all food and enjoy be positive throughout It open mind us best.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its a holiday of a lifetime if you are open minded and a positive Person you will live it. Its not sitting on a beach its a life experiences That you do for yourself and you meet some good friends
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    ESSENTIAL CHINA

    This trip was amazing!! It lived up to all my expectations and more. Exodus made everything very easy for us travellers and I felt like we truely experienced life in China. As a solo traveller, I always felt safe, relaxed and very welcome in the group. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everything!! To be honest every day brought new sights, smells and experiences. I never knew what was awaiting me each morning, which made it all the more exciting! Of course walking on the Great Wall was amazing, just to feel like we were seeing such an important part of world history. Hong kong was incredibly busy but picturesque at the same time.  The Terracotta army was so vast, you just couldn't believe the effort it took to create that. Perhaps celebrating my birthday there was my highlight. It's not every year you celebrate your birthday with chinese farmers in their home!! The group & leader made it so special for me. I will never forget that pyrotechnical birthday candle!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dennis was wonderful! He was such a funny, intelligent and interesting person that it made our trip all the better. His knowledge of China is vast and because of his witty sense of humour, we were constantly laughing. He always made sure everyone was having a good time and was available to us all the time. What I liked best, was that he took the interests of the group into mind when planning the dates events. He was flexible with the plans and was honest about certain things. I am sure that our group tired him out, but he never complained. We were very lucky to have him as our leader. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    JUST DO IT!! As a solo traveller I was hestitant at the start to book this trip. But having been there ( and bought a few t-shirts!!) I could not recommend it highly enough. Everything went smoothly, no one got ill or hurt. I did  not find it expensive at all, once we got there. My only regret is that I brought too much stuff. Best to pack lightly and bring a small(ish) case as you have to do a lot of carrying your luggage with you. Bring good walking shoes too.....this trip is mostly walking!! A certain level of fitness is required. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    China is huge , but this trip really does allow you to experience wonderful places and people. Don`t expect to be chatting to locals-they don`t speak English!! We found them very friendly though and you get used to them wanting to take photos with you. Be prepared for noise!! With so many people all around, everywhere is busy, noisy and crowded. If you just go with the flow and do not worry about being carried along in crowds of people, you will enjoy it immensely. The night trains are actually quite pleasant and very safe. No need to be worried about them.  One last thing.....bring earplugs!
  • Reviewed August 2013
    Anonymous

    ESSENTIAL CHINA

    This was a fantastic holiday and exceeded my expectations! All aspects of the holiday went smoothly and we all had so much fun too. I cannot thank our tour guide Denis enough. I am hoping to travel with Exodus again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So hard to decide but perhaps watching of ordinary Chinese families in the forbidden city as they walked the paths emperors had walked. Watching families everywhere in fact!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent. It was hard to cope with life in the UK on return without him! He was perfect for us, friendly, knowledgeable, interesting and totally committed to sharing his country with us. He quickly learned the ways of all our group and it was his welcome that made us all instantly gel .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel fairly lighty. Don't worry about the toilet situation, most were just as clean as in the UK on this trip. In fact it was Gatwick's that were amongst the grottiest! The suggested amount of money was right for us but Hong Kong did cost a bit more than I planned! Trust the food outlets of the rep. Not one person on our trip was "ill" at all. Enjoy the Chinese beers and if you like a cup of tea take a mug with you and buy Chinese tea before the sleeper train journey. If you get the chance buy a lovely Chinese umbrella early on because an umbrella against the sun was really useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday really did give us a taste of china. Being at those places you have read about and seen pictures of was so good. Being at the wall, seeing the warriors, Beijing traffic, the lovely Li river, the fun of the sleeper train, the bus ride to the peak in Hong Kong- everything! I am over 50 and mad that I only just discovered this company. If you are thinking about this and can afford it then go for it. All the people in our group were great and talking to others who had travelled before it is fine for single people too. We made some lovely new friends we hope to keep in touch with.

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