The Tour Price displayed here is for the tour only and does not include international flights. Our flight prices are very competitive, please ask for a quote when making your booking
This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|CBSE||Sunday 30 Jun 2013||Saturday 20 Jul 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 07 Jul 2013||Saturday 27 Jul 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 14 Jul 2013||Saturday 03 Aug 2013|
|CBSE||Friday 19 Jul 2013||Thursday 08 Aug 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 21 Jul 2013||Saturday 10 Aug 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 28 Jul 2013||Saturday 17 Aug 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 11 Aug 2013||Saturday 31 Aug 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 18 Aug 2013||Saturday 07 Sep 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 25 Aug 2013||Saturday 14 Sep 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 01 Sep 2013||Saturday 21 Sep 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 08 Sep 2013||Saturday 28 Sep 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 15 Sep 2013||Saturday 05 Oct 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 22 Sep 2013||Saturday 12 Oct 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 29 Sep 2013||Saturday 19 Oct 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 06 Oct 2013||Saturday 26 Oct 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 13 Oct 2013||Saturday 02 Nov 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 20 Oct 2013||Saturday 09 Nov 2013|
|CBSE||Sunday 09 Mar 2014||Saturday 29 Mar 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 23 Mar 2014||Saturday 12 Apr 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 06 Apr 2014||Saturday 26 Apr 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 13 Apr 2014||Saturday 03 May 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 20 Apr 2014||Saturday 10 May 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 27 Apr 2014||Saturday 17 May 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 04 May 2014||Saturday 24 May 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 11 May 2014||Saturday 31 May 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 18 May 2014||Saturday 07 Jun 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 25 May 2014||Saturday 14 Jun 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 01 Jun 2014||Saturday 21 Jun 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 08 Jun 2014||Saturday 28 Jun 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 15 Jun 2014||Saturday 05 Jul 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 22 Jun 2014||Saturday 12 Jul 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 29 Jun 2014||Saturday 19 Jul 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 06 Jul 2014||Saturday 26 Jul 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 13 Jul 2014||Saturday 02 Aug 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 20 Jul 2014||Saturday 09 Aug 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 27 Jul 2014||Saturday 16 Aug 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 03 Aug 2014||Saturday 23 Aug 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 10 Aug 2014||Saturday 30 Aug 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 17 Aug 2014||Saturday 06 Sep 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 24 Aug 2014||Saturday 13 Sep 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 31 Aug 2014||Saturday 20 Sep 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 07 Sep 2014||Saturday 27 Sep 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 14 Sep 2014||Saturday 04 Oct 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 21 Sep 2014||Saturday 11 Oct 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 28 Sep 2014||Saturday 18 Oct 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 12 Oct 2014||Saturday 01 Nov 2014|
|CBSE||Friday 17 Oct 2014||Thursday 06 Nov 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 19 Oct 2014||Saturday 08 Nov 2014|
|CBSE||Friday 24 Oct 2014||Thursday 13 Nov 2014|
|CBSE||Sunday 26 Oct 2014||Saturday 15 Nov 2014|
As one of the world's largest countries and the most populous there is so much to discover in China.
Understanding the history of China is key to understanding modern China. The people are proud of it's past, and keen to share it's heritage with the world. In a country that defies superlatives the words 'vast', 'astonishing' and 'variation' don't really seem to cover it - China really does have it all. Jungle in the south, mountains in the west, desert in the north and 21st century cities.. well... almost everywhere.
Beijiing is the hub of political and international focus. With the 2008 Olympic games providing funds to modernise huge ares of the city, it is a truly modern city. However most visitors are most struck by it's old elements from celebrated site such as the Forbidden Palace to simple, traditional hutongs.
There's a lot of China to see and most of it is changing rapidly, so what are you waiting for? Get out there are discover it for yourself.
Walk a small stretch of the 8,800 km Great Wall of China, check out Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and stop by Beijing Hui Ling, an Intrepid-supported local organisation that supports intellectually disabled members of the community.
The ancient capital Xi'an is abundant with cultural marvels, including the famous Terracotta Warriors. Perhaps walk or cycle the city wall then devour some tasty morsels at the Muslim Quarter night markets.
The imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi'an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites. A monument pays homage to the fact that this was the start of the famous ancient trading route of the Silk Road and the city is still surrounded by city walls which you can climb and walk or cycle along, a unique way to experience the city. For a different view, haul yourself to the top of the Bell or Drum Towers in the centre of the city. Thanks to Xi'an's long and colourful history, the city is full of beautiful temples and museums and interesting cultural and historic sites, the most famous of which are probably the 2000 year old Terracotta warriors. Home to many Hui people, an ethnic Muslim minority, the city also has a unique Islamic flavour, particularly in the streets surrounding the Great Mosque, best explored by foot. Once you've worn yourself out with a hard days sightseeing, you can head out to the night markets to try some of the many tantalising local specialties on offer. Pao mo is a lamb broth that you break flat bread into, or try hand pulled noodles or hot pot. Later on, try your luck at karaoke, hugely popular here, or head down to the South Park to live it up with the locals as they dance, practice martial arts, play games, fly kites and watch the world go by.
The Chengdu region is home to spicy Sichuan cuisine, including the much-loved hot pot. Visit the residents of a giant panda reserve and perhaps watch locals practise tai chi in People's Park. In Leshan, marvel at the world's largest carved stone Buddha.
With clear mountain streams running through subtropical rain forest and old growth forest shrouding ancient monasteries, Emei Shan is one of the most famous Buddhist sites in China. Soak up the immense beauty of the region on a cable car ride.
Travel to Chongqing, gateway to the majestic Yangzi River. Cruise the river and witness the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges. Relax on board or perhaps enjoy a side trip down a tributary of the river.
With limestone mountains towering over rice paddies and the meandering Li River, Yangshuo is a traveller's delight. Cycle through the idyllic countryside past villages, rivers and farms.
Experience the electric atmosphere of Hong Kong, where skyscrapers nestle alongside ancient temples and modern city life is only minutes from picturesque islands and beaches. Stay on to go shopping, sample street food or venture up Victoria Peak for fabulous views over the harbour and city skyline.
The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note: occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each year. As such the information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated trip notes please visit our website: www.Dragoman.com
This is a list of included activities on this trip. All other activities are optional and at your own expense. For a list of optional activities and sightseeing available on this trip, see the optional activities section below. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Informal Mandarin language lesson
Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City tour - Beijing
Great Wall Jinshanling to Gubeikou trek
Huiling visit - Beijing (Sunday departures only)
Walking tour - Xi'an
Terracotta Warriors tour - Xi'an
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base tour - Chengdu
Giant Buddha entry - Leshan
Walking tour - Chengdu
Baoguo Monastery entry - Emei Shan
Scenic area entry - Emei Shan
Cable car - Emei Shan
Three Gorges boat trip - Yangzi River
Three Gorges dam tour - Yichang
Countryside cycling tour - Yangshuo
We list the following optional activities for your information. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. They are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Dragoman nor included in price of this trip. If you do any of them, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and does not form part of your contract with Dragoman.
Please note that prices are a guide only and are subject to change!
Acrobats performance, Beijing - CNY100
Beijing Opera Performance, Beijing - CNY180
Hutong Cycle Tour Beijing - CNY150
Kungfu Show, Beijing - CNY100
Lama Temple, Beijing - CNY30
Peking Duck Dinner, Beijing - CNY80
Summer Palace, Beijing - CNY50
Temple of Heaven, Beijing - CNY40
Factory 798, Beijing - Free
Beijing Zoo (including Aquarium), Beijing - CNY120
Bell and Drum Towers, Xi'an - CNY25 each or 40 for both
Xi'an city wall, Xi'an - CNY40
Bicycle rental on city wall, Xi'an - CNY20/90 mins
Big wild goose pagoda, Xi'an - CNY25 each
Small wild goose pagoda, Xi'an - CNY50
Great Mosque, Xi'an - CNY20
Shaanxi History Museum, Xi'an – Free
Folk House, Xi'an - CNY15
Temple of the Eight Immortals, Xi'an - CNY3
Bike hire, Chengdu - CNY20
Cooking Class, Chengdu - CNY100
Cultural show and Sichuan opera, Chengdu - from CNY100
Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu - CNY5
People's Park, Chengdu - Free
Sanxingdui, Chengdu suburb - CNY85
Countryside tour, Emei - CNY100
Hot springs, Emei - CNY88 + taxis (CNY10 per taxi each way)
Crouching Tiger Monastery, Emei - CNY150
Fengdu Temple, Yangzi River - CNY80
Shi Baozhai Temple, Yangzi River - CNY20
White Emperor City, Yangzi River - CNY50
Fengdu Temple Cable car return ticket -CNY20
Foot reflexology massage, Yichang - from CNY60
Manicure or pedicure, Yichang - from CNY50
Karaoke, Yichang - from CNY30 per person
Cinema, Yichang - from CNY 30
Bicycle hire, Yangshuo - CNY10-20/day
Calligraphy, Yangshuo - CNY30
Chinese language lesson, Yangshuo - CNY40
Cooking school and market tour, Yangshuo - CNY100
Kayaking, Yangshuo - CNY130
Li River cruise, Yangshuo - CNY80
Impression Light show, Yangshuo - CNY188
Moon hill, Yangshuo - CNY15
Tai chi or kung fu lesson, Yangshuo - CNY50
Watercolour painting, Yangshuo - CNY40-50/hour
Culture museum, Hong Kong - HKD10
Disneyland, Hong Kong - HKD 210-350
History museum, Hong Kong - HKD10
Light show, Hong Kong - free
Ngong Ping 360 cable car, Hong Kong - HKD58-88/one way or return
Ocean Park, Hong Kong - HKD93-185
Peak tram, Hong Kong - HKD20-30/one way or return
Science museum, Hong Kong - HKD25
Space museum, Hong Kong - HKD10
Star Ferry, Hong Kong - HKD3
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - HKD4
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, participating in optional activities and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Dragoman destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Please do not tip with coins, notes of and less that 1 CNY, dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
Restaurants: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest 5-10 CNY per person per day for local guides with the amount adjusted accordingly for guides who are with you for less than a full day.
Porters: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest 5 CNY per bag for porters.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). 5 CNY per person per day is generally appropriate, with the amount adjusted accordingly for drivers who are with you for less than a full day.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $US 2 -4 per person, per day can be used.
Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Dragoman runs this trip in conjunction with our trusted local partners
Please note that during Chinas national holidays it is peak travel season for Chinese nationals. During this time literally the whole country is on the move - that's over a billion people! Although these are fascinating and exciting times to travel in
Our boat trip on the Yangzi river through the famous Three Gorges is one that raises everyone's expectations. The Gorges are spectacular, but some words of warning are necessary.
The Yangzi river region is one of the most industrially developed areas in
Due to the excessive heat in the summer months (Jun-Aug), the Great Wall excursion may be altered to provide a shorter, less strenuous trek. Your leader will advise you of any changes at the group meeting.
At peak holiday or festival times accommodation at the monasteries on Emei Shan may not available due to the number of visiting pilgrims. Should this be the case we will stay in alternative accommodation in nearby Emei town and visit the mountain on a day trip.
Soft Sleeper Upgrade:
An optional upgrade from a hard sleeper to a soft sleeper (4 travellers per compartment with a lockable door) berth may be available for some overnight train journeys on this trip for those who are after a little more comfort. Travellers who are interested in purchasing this upgrade should be aware of the following:
- soft sleeper carriages are often at the other end of the train from hard sleeper class where those travellers who have not booked the upgrade, along with the group leader, will be staying. If you have purchased the upgrade it is likely that you will be away from your other group members while on the train and without the services of your group leader during this time.
- at many railway stations in
- soft sleeper compartments have 4 berths. If you have purchased the upgrade you will be sharing a compartment with local or other travellers. Compartments are not segregated by gender so please be aware you could be sharing with members of the opposite sex.
- while we aim to book tickets for all travellers who have purchased the upgrade in the same carriages and compartments, please note that we are not able to guarantee this due to high demand for tickets on some routes and at peak times.
- we are not able to offer the upgrade on trips that run during Chinese New Year, May National Holidays and October National Holiday travel periods.
- please note this service is only available for travellers who have purchased the upgrade prior to joining the trip. On rare occasions it may be possible to upgrade to a different carriage class once on the train itself for an additional cost paid to the train conductor but this can not be guaranteed and and should not be relied on as an option. If you would like to ensure you travel soft sleeper class on all train journeys you will need to purchase the upgrade at time of booking your trip.
Optional Single Supplement does not apply to nights on overnight trains and the nights of the Yangzi boat are on a twin share basis.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group
Hotels/guesthouses (10 nts), monasteries (3 nts), overnight trains (4 nts), overnight boats (3 nts)
We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound - compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded berths (6 to a compartment), sheets, a blanket and hot water available. Most trains have a dining carriage where meals or snacks are available.
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis. Please note there may be times when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Dragoman trips than your own.
This trip spends time on the Yangzi. The boats and cabin arrangements on the Yangzi are controlled by the Chinese Authorities which means on occasion you may be required to share a cabin with passengers from outside your Dragoman group or with your group leader on a same gender basis. All cabins are twin share.
While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialties so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section of these notes for details of meals included.
Allow USD $300 for meals not included.
3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
It is important to note that on the
Overnight train, overnight boat, minibus, taxi, motor boat, local bus, subway, cable car, bicycle
All Dragoman group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader 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. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Dragoman we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Dong Cheng District
Phone: +86 10 6528 5566
Fax: +86 10 6559 8993
The Harmony Hotel is situated in the heart of
The hotel offers comfortable rooms, a business centre with fax and internet services, plus a hotel restaurant and bar.
An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Dragoman.
You can take airport bus (16CNY) route 3 (alight at Beijing Railway Station), cross the road using the overpass, turn left at the McDonalds and right at the first street named Youtong Jie. The Harmony Hotel is on the left.
By subway, take the airport express train (25CNY) to Dongzhimen station. From Dongzhimen transfer to metro line 2 and take it 4 stations to Beijing Zhan (Beijing Railway Station). Use exit A, walk past the Post Office and McDonalds, turn right at the corner (Youtong Jie) and across the road you will find our hotel.
Metered taxis are available outside the airport terminal building. The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotels takes about 45 minutes and should cost around 80-100CNY (plus 10CNY for the airport expressway toll). Show the taxi driver the name and address of hotel in Chinese characters as shown below. Please AVOID taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.
If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer our local operator Ms. Qi (Ms. Chee) will have sent a driver to the airport who will be holding a sign with your name on it. If you are arrived at Terminal 2 of Beijing airport, please meet your driver at the entrance/exit #7 after you go through the baggage claim area. Please note that
Check-in time is 12 midday.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your trip leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in the Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Phone: 852 2770 7718
Fax: 852 2770 7066
The West Hotel is situated off
There is a formal lobby and reception area which is attended 24 hours a day, so you can come and go at any time.
The surrounding area is fantastic and taking a stroll around the area is highly recommended. The
The hotel has 110 guest rooms in 21 stories. All rooms are fully equipped with an individual air-conditioning control, en-suites, satellite colour TV, LAN internet access (extra charge applies), IDD telephone, radio, bedside control panel, refrigerator, quick boil jug and build-in hair dryer.
West Hotel has short term bag storage available free of charge.
Dragoman do not departure arrival transfers in
Public transport in
The easiest way to get to
Alternatively, you could take the MTR to Hong Kong Station and board the Airport Express from there (100HKD). At both
West Hotel: You can also take the Airport City Flyer Bus, no.A22 from
A taxi from our hotel to Hong Kong International airport will cost you approx. 350HKD
Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
At Dragoman we believe you should make the most of the places you visit, so if you would like to see more of your joining or finishing point cities, why not book additional accommodation to extend your stay. Dragoman can take away the hassle of time zones and language barriers by making the booking for you. This accommodation is only available at the joining or finishing city of your trip, immediately before or after the trip you are travelling on.
While Dragoman is happy to assist with booking your pre and post trip accommodation, it is important that you understand you may be able to book your own room at a cheaper rate directly through the hotel or on the internet. Our additional accommodation prices are based on the hotel’s rate plus an administration fee. Please note our rates do not reflect last minute walkin rates or internet specials.
We can also book arrival airport transfers for you as long as we have your flight arrival details. These are normally payable in cash upon arrival, however we do have pre paid transfers in a few destinations.
Please contact our reservations team for details of the accommodation and transfers that we can offer.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency our Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328 or Drgoman's UK office on Tel: +44 (0) 1728 862 222.
For all other enquiries please contact our reservations team.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional USD$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
CHINA: Citizens from Singapore, Brunei and Japan are allowed up to 15 days stay without a visa. All other nationalities require a visa. When filling out the visa application form, please list the hotel in China specified in the start, continuing or finishing point listed in the Trip Notes as the "company or person to visit in China". You require a single entry visa to complete this trip.
HONG KONG: Please note that as Hong Kong is not considered part of China for visa purposes. Most nationalities do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong. We exit Mainland China on Day 12 of our tour.
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route.
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. The following are the international/administrative border crossings for this trip:
Day 20 - Exit China at Shenzhen and enter Hong Kong at Lo Wu
To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website to be very useful - http://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadd.html
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. In addition, laundry services can be found outside our hotel in all major cities. There may be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non polluting/biodegradable soap.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for daytrips.
Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag also has carry straps as you will need to carry your own bag up and down the many steps in train stations. You may also like to bring a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for during the day or for accessing your important items when on transport and overnight trains. Overweight or bulky bags will be difficult to store on the overnight train and will need to be kept on your bed if they do not fit in the overhead locker or storage space under the bottom bunk.
The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. In
During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and "talk" with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc. Another good tip is to bring badges/pins from your country as many people that you meet will appreciate a small memento of your home.
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout
The following checklist is to be used as a guide only and is not intended to be a complete packing list. Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion however you should attempt to comply with the suggested luggage weight limit.
Travel documents: passport, visas, travel insurance, air tickets, Trip voucher Health requirements/medication
Money: cash/credit card, money pouch
First aid kit
Travel plug/international adapter
Refillable heat proof water bottle/flask/mug for the train
Ear plugs, eye mask
Comfortable walking shoes
Lock for your bag
Camera, memory card/film, batteries/recharger
Flip flops/thongs for train journeys
Comfortable clothes for sleeping in on the train
Tampons - can be difficult to buy in China
Sleep sheet - bedding is provided on trains but you may wish to bring one
Lightweight travel towel
Eye mask/ear plugs
IN SUMMER: May - September
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Loose, lightweight clothes
IN WINTER: November - March
Waterproof shoes or boots
Hat, scarf, gloves
Warm wind and water proof jacket
Heavy fleece/polar fleece
Layers of lighter clothes rather than all heavy clothes
Loose, lightweight clothes for on the train and indoors - China is often very well heated!
Please check recent temperatures in the major destinations before your trip departs: www.wunderground.com
Plastic mug for train journeys
Inner sheet/sleeping sheet for overnight train journeys - sheets are provided on the train but you may want to bring your own
Warm clothes in the winter months including thermal underwear, a fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves (Oct to April)
Wet Wipes (disinfectant hand tissues) or hand sanitiser
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
The local currency in
We strongly advise against bringing travellers cheques as in
ATMs are widespread in
Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. In any case, some money should be taken as cash in case of emergencies - we recommend around 400 USD per person. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange and carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt.
Please note that due to restrictions on currency conversion for foreigners in
Hong Kong: In
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend email. Email cafes are generally available throughout the regions we visit, although it is possible you may be without email contact for several days on some itineraries. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our emergency contact details. We don't recommend that family and friends try to contact you through hotels, as they are subject to change and the reception staff may not speak English.
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local partner straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case please ask the leader if you may speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip but we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
All Dragoman travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. If in the opinion of our group leader or company representative any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Dragoman reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in these trip notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your doctor if you have any doubts.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date information and prescriptions before your departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that for legal reasons any leaders/guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets and antibiotics.
Dragoman is very aware of the health issues raised by bird flu and SARS and these have been taken into consideration for all aspects of the trip you are about to take. Dragoman reserve the right to make changes to any itinerary in the very unlikely occurrence that an area should suddenly be deemed to be unsafe because of an outbreak of bird flu, SARS or other disease.
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, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities however 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 group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Dragoman itinerary, and Dragoman makes 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. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it is being implemented in the field.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip,
Please be aware that while travelling there is the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy areas. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport, including keeping an eye on any luggage that is put underneath the seats or on overhead racks. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities differ from those in the western world and not all the accommodation which we use on this trip has fire exits, smoke alarms or fire extinguishers.
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road and only cross in designated places. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware on the roads and even small streets and alleyways. Vehicles find their ways into impossibly small passages leaving no room for both you and the traffic. Traffic can be very noisy and horns are used to signal turning, overtaking and to announce going through intersections.
Dragoman will provide life-jackets for private boats, but cannot guarantee that all public ferries will have enough life jackets or life rings for all clients.
Your leader will conduct a brief safety discussion before our trekking activity.
Please note that helmets are not provided for the sightseeing on bicycles.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your tour leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the Bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Please note that due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip, in accommodation ranging from twin to multi-share. Please note some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis - where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our Comfort and Standard style trips you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you will have your own room (where available). Please refer to the important notes if this trip has a single supplement and any accommodation on the trip that the single supplement will not apply to. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour, pre- and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our 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 Dragoman travellers. Dragoman's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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