Guilin Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF CHINA 1937

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Temple of Heaven

Day 1: Beijing

Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday with On the Go Tours! Our local rep in Shanghai will collect you from your airport in Shanghai and transfer you to the railway station for the trip to Beijing (1st class carriage). Upon arrival into Beijing we will transfer you on to your hotel.

Mao at the Forbidden City

Day 2: Beijing

Day at leisure

Forbidden City

Day 3: Beijing

This morning, we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the nation’s capital. Tiananmen Square is essentially the heart of Beijing. Heading back a few centuries we step into the Forbidden City, the walled city of the former Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take rickshaws to explore the Hutongs of Beijing and later this evening enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner.

Great Wall

Day 4: Beijing

Today we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling where we can walk a section of the famous Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty. Don some comfortable shoes as today! Zig zagging some 6000km, ducking and weaving through mountain peaks and lush terrain, the Great Wall is one of those 'must-do experiences'.

Summer Palace

Day 5: Beijing

Morning market walk and a visit to the Summer Palace. We explore the lavishly decorated temples, halls and courts, reconstructed in 1902 at the whim of the extravagant Dowager Empress Cixi.

Ming statue

Day 6: Beijing - Xi'an

Today offers more free time for you to independently explore Beijing before we collect you later on this evening to transfer you to the railway station for your overnight sleeper train to Xi'an (4 berth shared cabin).

Day 7: Xi'an

Xi’an in Shaanxi Province is perhaps most famous for the discovery of Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. The 2,200 year old warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand battle-ready in excavated pits. We tour the site and a workshop where replicas are crafted.

Day 8: Xi'an - Guilin

Spend the morning at leisure before touring the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and taking a bike ride along the great Old City Wall. Peering from the Old City Wall offers spectacular, if not unique views of the city and residence going about their daily lives. This afternoon we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Upon arrival we transfer you to your hotel.

Day 9: Guilin

This morning you pay a visit to The Reed Flute Cave, with enchanting stalagmites, stone pillars, stele, stone curtains and stone flowers. Then we continue on to Elephant Trunk Hill located at the confluence of the Taohua (Peach Blossom) River and the Li River, this Hill is too famous to be missed.

Day 10: Guilin - Yangshuo

This morning your Li River cruise departs from downtown Guilin for a full day's excursion. The 90km Li River cruise is the highlight of any trip to northeastern Guangxi province. Gorgeous karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Bear witness to rural China as peasants reap rice paddies and school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. After passing many world-renowned sights such as Elephant Trunk Hill and Pagoda, arrive in to Yangshuo with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Chongqing temple

Day 11: Yangshuo - Yangtze & Three Gorges

We fly to Chongqing, the start point for our exciting Yangtze River cruise. Before boarding the cruise the we can stroll along Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.

Day 12: Yangtze & Three Gorges

Good morning from the River Yangtze! At 6340km in length, the Yangtze is the 3rd longest river in the world, neatly dividing China into north and south and wending its way through eight very different provinces. The Gorges are a breathtaking sight! The first gorge we pass, Qutangxia Gorge is the shortest and narrowest yet the most impressive.

Day 13: Yangtze & Three Gorges

During our cruise, we’ll also sail through the new ship locks of the impressive Three Gorges Dam construction. Shore excursions to mythical Fengdu - ‘Ghost City’ and Shennong stream, with its unique scenery and four natural gorges. Drift serenely along the stream in open ‘pea pod boats’, looking out upon lush greenery and ancient villages of the Tujia people.

Day 14: Yangtze & Three Gorges - Shanghai

Disembarking from our cruise in Yichang we take the express train bound for Shanghai (1st class carriage). Upon arrival into Shanghai transfer to your hotel.

Day 15: Shanghai

Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is breathtaking. Today enjoy a tour of the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar, old Shanghai and the Bund.

Days 16-17: Shanghai

The next two days offer free time for you to enjoy Shanghai at your leisure.

Day 18: Shanghai - Hong Kong

Today we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward departure flight. FURTHER SERVICES BOOKED BY RTW EXPERTS.

Kowloon street

Days 19-21: Hong Kong

Your RTW Experts agent has organised your accommodation and other services for your time in Hong Kong.

Lantau Buddha

Day 22: Hong Kong - Hanoi

Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, full of culture and history. You will be met at Noi Bai airport by our local guide and learn a bit about this fascinating country on the way to your hotel.

The Huc Bridge

Day 23: Hanoi

Today we commence our exploration of Hanoi by visiting the Ho Chi Minh complex, starting at the President’s Mausoleum. We continue to his humble “house on stilts”, see the French colonial Presidential Palace and the 11th century One-Pillar Pagoda. Afterwards we visit the Temple of Literature, the first Vietnam University dating to 1070. After lunch we go to the Museum of Ethnology, which is an excellent museum containing the ethnic costumes of the various minorities of Veitnam, as well as relics, tools and even full size replicas of their homes and buildings. We then take a Cyclo tour through the Old Quarter and enjoy a walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake before attending a famous Water Puppet show.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 24: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Early this morning journey north to Halong Bay (approx 4 hours drive), stopping for refreshments en route. UNESCO-listed Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of Vietnam's most spectacular regions. Thousands of karst limestone and jungle covered peaks and isles rise dramatically out of the emerald waters of the bay. Spend the day cruising around the islands onboard a traditional Junk boat, stopping to explore caves and coves and to swim in the emerald waters. There is also the option to Kayak. Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and overnight onboard.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 25: Halong Bay - Hue

Enjoy fresh air and the gentle breeze of the bay this morning as you relax onboard the Junk. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng where you can gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the local people before disembarking at Halong Bay dock around noon. Transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue in central Vietnam. Upon arrival in Hue, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 26: Hue

Enjoy a full day tour of Hue including a boat trip on Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang tomb. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. Minh Mang tomb is perhaps the most majestic of all Hue’s tombs. This tomb is well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape, and it's the ideal location for a picnic lunch. After lunch venture to Emperor Tu Duc and Khai Dinh’s tomb.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 27: Hue - Hoi An

This morning journey overland to Hoi An via spectacular Cloudy Pass and stop in Danang to visit the Cham Museum, once centre of the ancient Cham civilization. UNESCO-listed Hoi An is a former merchant trading post, famed for its beautifully preserved Chinese, Japanese and European architecture. Picturesque Hoi An has managed to retain its traditional character and charm, with its cobbled streets, markets and row upon row of tailors shops. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour around the cobbled streets of this ancient town, which was once one of the busiest trading ports in Asia.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 28: Hoi An

This morning take a bike downtown and stop at Hoi An’s colourful central market. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients to be used in your cooking lesson later today - make sure your camera is handy. We then bike to Tra Que vegetable village. Enjoy a welcome drink and walk through the vegetable gardens where local farmers work on their fields using the traditional methods of hundreds of years ago - no electrical machinery here. You'll then learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food and enjoy what you've prepared.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 29: Hoi An - Nha Trang

Enjoy the day free at leisure in Hoi An - perhaps visit a local tailor for a perfect suit. Later this afternoon we tranfer you to the airport for the flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to hotel and free for the rest of the day.

Day 30: Nha Trang

Spend today at leisure in Nha Trang. The resort is ideal for scuba diving, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the sandy beach. Sample some of the delicious seafood in some of the many restaurants and perhaps enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Cho Dam Market.

Day 31: Nha Trang - Saigon

This morning we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam's most lively, modern and cosmopolitan city. This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the city, visiting the former Presidential Palace which is now preserved as a museum, and the History Museum. Then continue to Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque Cathedral, Hotel D’ville and Dong Khoi Street, formerly the centre of haute couture is Saigon. This evening consider sampling some of Ho Chi Minh's acclaimed gourmet restaurants and bars.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 32: Saigon

It's an early start this morning as we head out on a great day trip to see a mixture of culture and history. A morning excursion takes you to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, a colourful temple combining Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity and Islam. The trip is combined with a visit to the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where we learn first hand how the Viet Cong survived the extraordinary underground existence during the Vietnam war.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 33: Saigon - The Mekong Delta

This morning we transfer to Cai Be to board a Basaac boat. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet the crew. As the vessel cruises to Cho Lach on the Tien Giang river, enjoy lunch before visiting a village on the banks of river Mang Thit. This is a great opportunity to appreciate the way of life and hospitality of the local inhabitants with time to walk amongst local orchards and rice fields. The remainder of the day is spent back on board with dinner served as the ship continues downstream to anchor close to the little Tra On floating market for the night.

Day 34: The Mekong Delta - Chau Doc

This morning the Basaac boat heads back to Cai Be where you'll disembark and transfer onto a smaller boat for a visit to Cai Rang floating market. We'll then transfer to Chau Doc for the night in preparation for the early morning boat ride to Cambodia tomorrow.

Day 35: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

We start early today as the boat leaves Chau Doc at 07:30am for its journey to Phnom Penh, the capital of neighbouring Cambodia. Arriving around noon you'll be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day can be spent at leisure.

Day 36: Phnom Penh

Our first site to visit today is the Royal Palace and the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and home to the biggest golden Buddha statue. We'll also visit the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artefacts. Next proceed to the 15th century Wat Phnom pagoda sat on a small hill crowned. Our last destination of the day is Toul Sleng which was once Tuol Svay Prey High School but now a frightening reminder of the horrors of the Pol Pot regime. The school was used as a torture chamber and it was believed that 16,000 people died here. In the evening, enjoy an hour's boat cruise on the Mekong River to see the riverbanks come to life at night.

Day 37: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After time to freshen up we visit the last capital of the Angkorian Empire – Angkor Thom. This monumental fortified city is encircled by a 100m wide moat and is famed for the huge statue heads that glare down from every angle. We continue to the monastic complex of Preah Khan before heading to the mother of all temples – Angkor Wat. This breathtaking monument of man’s devotion to his gods is believed to be the largest religious building in the world and contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. In the evening we enjoy a walking tour of the old market.

Day 38: Siem Reap

Today we head to Banteay Srey, built largely of red sandstone and covered with elaborate and deeply carved decoration. En route, we stop at Banteay Samre. Ta Prohm Temple is the highlight of the day. Unlike most of the other Angkor temples, Ta Prohm has been left just it was founded - the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. We'll also visit Banteay Kdei, a sprawling, largely unrestored, monastic complex. If time permits, we take time to visit a local orphanage centre and support poor students by providing some study equipment.

Day 39: Siem Reap

This morning we visit the Roluos group of temples (Bakong, Lolei and Preak Ko), the earliest large and permanent temples built by the Khmers. The monuments mark the dawn of Khmer classical art, dating from the late 9th century, with elaborate inscriptions in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit. Later visit the floating village of Kompong Pluk. Houses built on soaring stilts hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. Afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 40: Siem Reap

Today marks the end of your incredible adventure with On the Go Tours in SE Asia. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward departure flight.

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last updated - 15 Sep 2014 8:56 AM