China, Yangtze and Tibet Explorer

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated:
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Introduction

While retracing the footsteps of ancient warriors along the Great Wall, you realize you’re onto something. You want to get into the heart of the Middle Kingdom and our guides will take you ‘over the wall’. Handpicked for their expertise, they’ll bring you deep into China and walk backward in time with you to Tibet where you’ll reconnect with ancient ways long forgotten by the modern world. You'll have the chance to visit and have lunch at the village where the Terracotta warriors were unearthed, and experience exotic local cuisine. You won’t just experience China’s arts and culture, you’ll become a part of it.

  • Enjoy a walk along the Great Wall and a cycle along Xi'an's city walls
  • Ponder Tibetan spirituality in Buddhist temples and monasteries
  • Get up close and personal with pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan
  • Cruise the mighty Yangtze River on a luxury riverboat
  • Gain more cultural insight with an expert local guide
Duration: 15 days
Start/Finish City: Beijing to Shanghai
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Comfort
Great adventures with a few extra frills along the way.

Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.

Please note: The Comfort Travel Style is a renamed edition of the G-Plus, our collection of comfort-themed adventures. Same great trips, more descriptive name!

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for China, Yangtze and Tibet Explorer (ACCE)

Day 1 Beijing 1(1D)

Arrive in Beijing and transfer to the hotel. There will be a notice advising the time and location of the introductory group meeting. Spend the day resting or taking in the local surroundings, and in the evening, there will be a welcome meeting with the tour leader and fellow travel companions followed by a scrumptious Beijing Duck Dinner.

Day 2 Beijing (1B)

Today we delve into the history of Beijing, visiting the dramatic Forbidden City and the immense Tiananmen Square. Hear the tales of the emperors and their concubines, a long crafted culture and rich tradition. We witness how ancient Chinese customs are still valued today, yet are blended with the modern technology and western influence. We also visit the Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds which offer a chance to see locals whiling the hours away, practicing water calligraphy and Tai Chi, playing cards and walking pet crickets, with the colorful Temple of Heaven in the background.

Day 3 Beijing (1B)

We get an early start today, and travel two hours outside bustling Beijing by private bus to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall which is over five hundred years old. We spend time exploring the towers, views, and the magnificent structure of the wall.
Afterward, we will have time to prepare for our overnight sleeper train journey to Xi’an, which we will board in the evening.

Day 4-5 Xi'an (2B,1L)

Our train pulls into Xi’an early in the morning, where we will be met and transferred to our hotel. After settling in, we gather for an a bike ride along the ancient city walls (the inner city is surrounded by 9 miles (14 km) of ancient city walls). In the evening, we explore the Muslim Quarter, with its multi-cultural feel, shopping lanes, and street-side food stalls selling nan, kebobs, and a fine array of sweets.

Xi’an is famous for being home to the Terracotta Warriors, built over 2000 years ago. Emperor Qinshi Huangdi arranged for the thousands of warriors and their horses to be crafted and aligned so as to eternally protect his mausoleum. Discovered in 1974 by a local farmer, they were meticulously unearthed. On Day 5 we take a guided tour of this facility, which is about 45 minutes from the city center of Xi’an. After we visit the Village where the warriors were discovered to hear the story and enjoy a local lunch on a farm. Option this evening to enjoy a Tang Dynasty Dinner, sampling a banquet of local cuisine in the true style of an emperor and empress.

Day 6 Lhasa (1B)

Today takes us on a spectacular morning flight over the Himalayas to Lhasa, Tibet, the roof of the world at an altitude of 12,140 ft (3,700 m). We take a relaxed pace this afternoon as we adjust to the altitude, and enjoy a leisurely orientation walk with our local guide.

*Please note that Lhasa is at an altitude of over 12,140 ft (3,700 m). You may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy on arrival in Lhasa. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance. We recommend that you consult your doctor at home for any altitude sickness medication.

Days 7-9 Lhasa (3B,1L)

With our expert local guide we learn more about Tibetan spirituality with a visit to the Potala Palace, the sacred Jokhang Temple and Tibetan Medicine Institute. On Day 8, Visit the Sera Monastery and take a cooking class where we make (and eat) Tibetan Momo beef dumplings. Free time on Day 9 for optional hiking, monastery visits or just explore Lhasa on your own.

Visit the holiest temple in Tibet, Jokhang, set in the middle of Barkhor square. We watch the multitudes of pilgrims, doing seemingly endless prostrations, who have come from all over the region.

Also visit the awe-inspiring inner rooms of the Potala Palace, where the Dalai Lamas would meditate, handle affairs of state, and eventually where their burial stupas remain. From the golden statues, three dimensional mandalas, ancient cloth bound scriptures, to the devoted pilgrims who circle the palace day and night, this is truly a remarkable place to behold.

We also visit the Sera Monastery, where we witness the monks very actively debating, a philosophical practice they have held for hundreds of years.

Momo lesson: we will learn how to make Tibetan Momo Beef Dumplings, this will be taught by a local Tibetan and our Tibetan guide will also be there help you translate your questions to your Momo teacher. You have to try our special Tibetan milk tea along with your dish of Tibet food to make your meal complete.

Day 9 is at our leisure for optional activities. There is time to take optional hikes around the monasteries outside of Lhasa, to visit more monasteries within the city, to shop for beautiful Tibetan artwork, jewelery, and handicrafts, or to sit at a rooftop café and sip tea while taking in the unbelievable setting.

Day 10 Chengdu (1B,1D)

Today we fly down into the Sichuan Valley, leaving the arid Tibetan plateau far behind. Be prepared to try some of the spiciest food in all of China in Chengdu and our tour leader will take us straight to spice-lovers heaven! Sichaun is also famous for its opera, and, as a direct influence from the food- its spicy ladies.

Day 11 Chongqing (1B)

The majority of the world’s remaining pandas live in the mountains of Sichuan. China has, for good reason, adopted these playful black and white darlings as their national animal, and have created the Panda Breeding Center to help them survive. Early in the morning we go to the Breeding Center to see the pandas stretch after a long night’s slumber, and dig in to a healthy bamboo breakfast. At this hour the panda’s should be the most active, as they romp in their playground environment.

After this we set off to Chongqing, where our Yangtze River cruise boat is docked. We have a brief visit to the city of Chongqing and then board our vessel and settle in for the upcoming cruise.

Day 12-13 Yangtze River Boat (2B,2L,2D)

The mighty Yangtze River splits China into north and south, and runs all the way from Chongqing to Shanghai. We cruise through one of the most geographically dramatic sections of the river, called the Three Gorges. Here the scenery is impressive, as we see the rock formations change as we pass village after village.

While on the boat there are several activities planned,or we may just want to laze the days away, writing in our journal or taking photos. Shore excursions are included over the next few days, to various temples and walled cities which we pass along the way. Local guides give us a bit of flavor for the areas we float past.

Daily shore excursions can include: Fengdu or Shibaozhai or Wanzhou, sail through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges or Shennong Stream, Sail through Three Gorges dam shiplocks and optional excursion to White Emperor City (all depending on the season and river conditions).

Onboard activities feature lectures on Chinese history and culture, Tai Chi lessons, tea tasting and calligraphy demonstrations as well as shows and entertainment by the talented staff.

Meal times will vary depending on the schedule of excursions and activities and times will be posted daily. Meals are served in a single-seating Dynasty Dining Room. Sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch and dinner. An elegant Captain’s Farewell Banquet is served on the final night of the cruise. There is also a tea time in the afternoon and happy hour.

Day 14 Shanghai (1B,1D)

Early this morning we take an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam site (dependent on river conditions). After a goodbye to the our boat crew we make our way to the airport, where we will fly to our next destination, Shanghai. After checking into our lovely hotel, we enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 15 Shanghai (1B)

Depart at leisure. Shanghai is a fascinating city - if you have the time we recommend booking a few post nights to better explore the city.

What's Included

Arrival transfer. Visit to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Tour of Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Bike ride along the Xian city wall. Orientation walk in Xi'an Muslim Quarter and street markets. Tour of the Terracotta Warriors and visit the village where they were found for a local lunch. Orientation walk in Barkhor square. Tour of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace and Sera Monastery. Visit the Tibetan Medicine Institute. Take a Tibetan cooking class and enjoy a local lunch. Tour of the Panda Breeding Center. Yangtze River Cruise with excursions to Fengdu Temple, and the Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream (depending on the season). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Enjoy a walk along the Great Wall and a cycle along Xi'an's city walls, ponder Tibetan spirituality in Buddhist temples and monasteries, get up close and personal with pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan, cruise the mighty Yangtze River on a luxury riverboat, gain more cultural insight with an expert local guide

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.

Group Leader Description

Your G Adventures group trip is accompanied by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) in China. The aim of your CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. G Adventures CEOs are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, Avg 10.

Meals Included

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD300-450 for meals not included.

Transport

Train, minibus, cruise boat, small canal boat, ferry, plane, walking.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotels (10 nts), soft-sleeper overnight train (1 nt), Yangtze riverboat (3 nts).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 3, Sleeper Train

About Accommodation

Overnight train
Please note that we do have an overnight train on this trip. Accommodation will be in Soft-sleeper train cars which have 8-9 compartments in one cabin, 4 beds (two upper beds and two down ones) and a sliding door which can be locked in one compartment. While not luxurious-it is clean and comfortable and a fun and adventurous experience.

Yangtze River Cruise
For our River cruise we use Victoria Cruise lines. Onboard facilities include a single-seating dining room, atrium lobby, two lounges, three bars, a gym, lecture room, library, beauty salon, massage room, and gift shop. All cabins are outside and have private balconies and bathrooms with bathtub and shower. All ships are fully air conditioned and have the latest satellite communications, HBO, CNN, and internet access.

Any bar purchases, items of a personal nature such as gifts, laundry, internet, telephone, medical services, spa and beauty services are not included and are payable by the passenger. There is no cash flow aboard, you will simply sign for purchases made and your final bill may be settled during your last night or last day on board, in any major currency, major credit card, or travelers checks.

Do not drink the tap water onboard. One bottle of spring water is provided per person per day in your cabin. You may also request boiled water. All water and ice in the Yangtze Club and Dining Room is safe to drink. The water is boiled, treated and filtered. voltage on board is 220 volts (110 volts in the bathroom).

Casual attire is recommended on board and ashore. For the captain's cocktail party and farewell banquet, we suggest bringing a dressier outfit.
NOTE: The cruise company is subject to change at any time and without notice.

Joining Hotel

Beijing Dong Fang Hotel 北京东方饭店
Add:#11 Wanmingli Road 北京宣武区万明路11号
Xuanwu District, Beijing

Tel:+86-10-63014466
Fax : +86-10 - 63044801

We recommend printing out this address with chinese characters to simplify the arrival process; as English is not widely spoken or understood in China.

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included with all Comfort tours when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, and provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through G Adventures in our joining hotel.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.

Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

When arriving to Beijing International Airport, you have a few choices on how to get to your starting point hotel.

A. Taxi: Follow the signs to the taxi ranks once you have come out of the baggage hall. The ranks are clearly defined, and traffic guards will systematically put you into a taxi. Print out the name of your hotel in Chinese. A taxi ride will take between 34-45 minutes depending on traffic, and should cost between 95-120 Yuan (plus an extra 10 for the tollway).

DO NOT GO WITH ANYONE WHO APPROACHES YOU OFFERING A METERED TAXI WHICH IS PARKED IN THE LOT. THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF.

B. Airport Express Train: Once you have come out of the luggage hall, follow the signs to the underground Airport Express Line. This line takes you to the center of Beijing, to DONGZHIMEN, where you can transfer to Subway line 2, or take a taxi from here to your hotel. The Airport Express ticket costs 25 yuan. It takes about 16 minutes from Terminal 3 of the Airport to Dongzhimen. Train hours are from 6:30am to 10:30pm.

C. If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip, our driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. He/She will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name.

**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, please see our Emergency contact details below.
As a last resort we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Taxi Instructions below. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

A. Taxi: Follow the signs to the taxi ranks once you have come out of the baggage hall. The ranks are clearly defined, and traffic guards will systematically put you into a taxi. Print out the name of your hotel in Chinese. A taxi ride will take between 34-45 minutes depending on traffic, and should cost between 95-120 Yuan (plus an extra 10 for the tollway).

DO NOT GO WITH ANYONE WHO APPROACHES YOU OFFERING A METERED TAXI WHICH IS PARKED IN THE LOT.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel

If your call is specifically concerning Beijing Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at: +86 1391 0388 356 –Ms Xiaofeng Chen (Beijing)

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (China) - Stephanie
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +86 1350 9180 566

G Adventures Asia Manager: Julie Fitzgerald

G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074


If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Large suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.

Checklist

Documents
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested
•Day pack for daily personal items
•Watch or Alarm clock
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
•Insect Repellent
•Water bottle and Plastic mug for train journeys
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Small towel and swim wear
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Money belt
•Shorts for summer months (June – September)
•Long trousers
•Hiking pants/track pants
•Shirts/T-shirts
•Dressier outfit for special dinners and Captain's dinner on the cruise
•Warm clothes for Nov-April.
•Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
•Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Pocketknife
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the embassy of each country. Your travel agent can assist. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

CHINA: all nationalities require a visa to visit China

Most nationalities also need an official Letter Of Invitation (LOI) before they can apply for their Chinese visa.

You can obtain the LOI through our visa support agent in China. The visa support link you need to complete will be sent to you or your travel agent by email when you confirm your booking. You must read the instructions carefully and fill out all the details.

When filling out your Chinese Visa Application form, Please ensure that you list the same details as appear on your LOI when filling out your Chinese Visa Application form.

Passengers traveling to Tibet:
As Tibet continues to be a sensitive area for travel to the Chinese government you must refrain from listing Tibet as one of the places you are going to visit as your application form or your Visa will be denied. We will provide you with the necessary documents to obtain your Chinese Visa, please use the details provided when filling out your Chinese Visa application form.

Please be advised Norwegian passengers are currently not allowed entry into Tibet.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have a Chinese business visa we will require additional documentation for the Tibet permits. We will require a letter from your employer confirming that you work in China, or the original LOI that was used to obtain your business visa.

HOW TO FILL IN CHINA LOI FORM ONLINE:

As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates. We also recommend you add on an extra day to both the start/end of your trip so your visa length will cover any unexpected delays. Please, remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy.

Please do not submit the below application until 3 months prior to your entry into China. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in China and you will be emailed your Chinese Invitation Letter (With day by day Itinerary) only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date.

Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the nearest Chinese embassy. Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.

Once you have obtained your Chinese visa please email a copy through to your Travel Agent or Sales CEO AT LEAST 30 Days prior to departure. This is required to arrange the Tibet permit and other arrangements on the tour.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

As of March 2014 the exchange rate for China was 1 USD = 6 CNY (Chinese Yuan).

Cash (Chinese Yuan) is the best method of money in China. There are some ATM machines at international airports and major cities that accept Visa and debit cards but these should not be relied on as a source of funds. We recommend the use of cash and traveller's cheques in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HKD) as a backup. Major credit cards are accepted in a few shops (except for AMEX and Diner's) but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China.

Tipping

Traditionally in China tipping is not expected and thus there is no need to tip in restaurants and your general interaction with locals; however, tipping is customary - though not compulsory - in the tourism industry and not only shows an expression of satisfaction it may also be of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO may offer to collect the money and tip as a group.

Recommendations for tipping is 3 USD per person per day and depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

Tipping for service staff on the River cruise is included in the price of your trip. This however, does not include a gratuity to the river guide or cruise director, which may be given at passengers’ discretion based on their satisfaction with services received, as can gratuities for additional special services requested by passengers to individual service staff.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.

Optional Activities

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

All prices are per person in Chinese Yuen (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Beijing
▪ Cable car at Great Wall - CNY 60.00
▪ Toboggan at Great Wall - CNY 60.00
▪ Summer Palace - transfer - CNY2 PP by subway (Taxi or Subway)
▪ Summer Palace - CNY 50.00 (30main entry; 10 Cixi Museum; 10 Dragon boat)
▪ Lama Temple - CNY 25.00 (Subway 2 CNY PP)
▪ Legend of Gongfu Beijing - CNY200-680
▪ Acrobatic Performance Beijing - CNY180-880
▪ Beijing Opera Performance - CNY180-680
▪ Hutong Trishaw Cycle Tour - CNY100-150
▪ Bike tour Drum Tower & Houhai - CNY 25.00 (Bike Rental)
▪ Factory 798 Art & Galleries - Free
▪ Hutong Cycle tour - 100-150

Xi'an
▪ Bell & Drum Towers - 35CNY - one way; 50 CNY - round trip
▪ Great Mosque - 25CNY
▪ Big Wild Goose Pagoda - 50CNY PP (15CNY per taxi - one way)
▪ Shanxi History Museum - Free (20CNY for non-reserved visitors)
▪ Dumpling Banquet Defachang Restaurant - 108CNY

Shanghai
▪ Yuyuan Garden Shanghai - 40CNY
▪ Jinmao Tower - 120CNY
▪ Huangpu River night cruise - 100CNY (10CNY taxi from your hotel to the pier - one way)
▪ Shanghai Museum - Free
▪ Old Town Shanghai - Free
▪ Urban Planning Exhibition Centre - 30CNY
▪ Acrobatic Show Shanghai - 260-600CNY
▪ Oriental Pearl View deck - 120 CNY for second ball view deck;150for third ball view deck
▪ Meglev Train Longyang train station to Pudong Airport - 100CNY (Round Trip)

Chengdu
▪Massage CNY 60-150 per hour
▪Cooking Class CNY 150
▪Wenshu Monastery CNY 5

Lhasa
▪Drepung Monastery CNY 60
▪Ramoche CNY 40
▪Day trip to Ganden Monastery CNY 90
▪Norbulinka (Summer Palace) CNY 60

***Please note these are examples of the entrance fees charged, this does not include hiring transport to/from the destination (unless stated otherwise)

Health

Please note that Lhasa is at an altitude of over 12,140 ft (3,700 m). You may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy on arrival in Lhasa. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance. We recommend that you consult your doctor at home for any altitude sickness medication.

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are traveling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length.

In Tibet, often times you should cover your arms and legs, especially when entering a monastery. Please keep this in mind.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.