Novelties in Southern China!
Why put Xiamen and Huangshan together in a trip? Because it is time to refresh your impression on China now. Great Wall, Forbidden City, Pandas, Shanghai skyscrapers, Xian Terracotta Warriors, beautiful Yangshuo… these places are great and famous, but are only parts of China, representing the Classic Travelling Experiences in China. While in Xiamen and Huangshan, you will see and experience something quite different. Besides, Huangshan is only about 4 hours high speed train ride from Xiamen, and the landscapes along the railway are very stunning.
Day 1 Xiamen ArrivalXiamen airport / railway station pick up, and check in hotel.
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Welcome to Xiamen, the Garden City on the Sea! Clear the customs and retrieve your baggage by yourself upon arrival, be greeted by our tour guide in the airport or train station who is holding a sign on which says your name. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore this beautiful city.
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Day 2 Xiamen - Nanjing Tulou - Xiamen (B, L)Today's highlights: Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Yuchanglou, Taxia Village, Chengqilou
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After breakfast, take a 3-hour scenic drive to see the earth buildings in Nanjing County, Zhangzhou City. You’ll visit Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Yuchanglou (learn structure Hakka House), and Taxia Village. Drive 30 minutes to Gaobei Tulou Cluster to visit Chengqilou. After the tour, transfer back to Xiamen.
Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster: Composed primarily of four round and one rectangular earthen house, it is one of the most magnificent and well-preserved Hakka Castles in the area. The village is also listed in the Famous Historic Cultural Village in China for its typical cultural regional system.
Yuchanglou: Yuchanglou was built in 1308 and is one of the oldest existing Tulou. This five-story earth building is most famous for its tilted pillars. The most extreme is slanted at 15-degree angle.
Taxia Village: There are more than 20 earthen building of different shapes built along the bank of a clear brook that flows through the entire village.
Chengqilou: It is the largest of the earth buildings located in Gaobei Tulou Cluster. Chengqilou is about three hundred years old and is made up of four concentric circular buildings. This King of Round Earth Buildings has altogether 400 rooms and used to house 80 families, more than 600 people in its prosperous days.
- Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster
- Chengqilou facade
Day 3 Xiamen & High Speed Train to Huangshan (B, L)Today's highlights: Gulangyu Island, South Putuo Temple
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In this morning, transfer to the ferry for a 20-minute boat trip to Gulangyu Island from Xiamen City. Have a nice stroll in Shuzhuang Garden, a beautiful seaside garden and walk to the famous Piano Museum with a collection of 80-fold rare old pianos from all over the world.
Then, head to South Putuo Temple which first built in Tang Dynasty. It is renowned for its collection of Buddhist cultural relics, such as a Burmese jade carving of the Buddha, some important Buddhist texts. Standing at the top of the Wulao Peak, you can enjoy the bird’s eye view of Xiamen University and Xiamen Port.
After the tour, you'll be escorted to Xiamen North Railway Station to catch a high speed train to Huangshan North Railway Station. Get picked up by local tour guide after arriving at the railway station, then transfer to check in your hotel in Huangshan City.
- Beautiful Gulangyu Island
- Amazing Beach of Gulangyu Island
- South Putuo Temple
Day 4 Mt. Huangshan ( B )Today's highlights: West Sea Grand Canyon Hiking
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Today after breakfast, our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel, then drive about 80 kilometers (1.5 hours) to the foot of Mount Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the most beautiful mountains in China. Your memorable Huangshan trip starts!
To save energy and time, you will directly transfer by park bus from the mountain foot to Yungu Temple to take a cableway to upper beautiful sightseeing area of Huangshan Mountain – North Sea Scenic Area which is famous for marvelous precipitous peaks, beautiful giant pine trees and far-reaching vision. Walk to lofty Begin-to-Believe Peak (1668m) to stretch your eyesight over cloud seas to far distance, and then hike about 40 minutes to Dispelling Cloud Pavilion to look down the Dreamland - West Sea Grand Canyon. Walk down along the stone steps to the bottom of the canyon while enjoying the Avatar-like rising rock peaks, unfathomable cliffs, bizarre stones and tenacious pine trees.
Generally speaking, it takes about 3 hours for energetic hiker to hike from the Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, via 1st Ring and 2nd Ring to the bottom and return to the starting point. For beginners, children, and senior travelers, you can decide the hiking length on your own according to your physical condition, usually 2 hours for the 1st Ring and 2.5hrs for the 2nd Ring. In the bottom of the canyon, there is also a monorail cable trains for those who don’t want to return by walking to transfer back to the peak area.
If time and energy allow, you can spend about one hour to explore the Sky Sea Scenic Area where you can enjoy the sunset from the second highest peak - Bright Summit (1840m), visit the incredible Flying-over Rock, then return back your hotel and have a good rest.
(Please Note: from December to the late March of next year, West Sea Grand Canyon is usually closed for the cold weather and heavy snow. Please feel free to contact us to adjust your itinerary)
- Amazing Yellow Mountain in Winter
- Breathtaking Scenery of Yellow Mountain
- Happy Tourists in Yellow Mountain
Day 5 Mt. Huangshan ( B )Today's highlights: Sunrise, Lion Peak, Tunxi Ancient Street
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Get up early (usually around 5am to 6am) to enjoy the magnificent sunrise from Huangshan. We suggest you watch the sunrise from the Refreshing Terrance which is only a few minutes’ walking from Beihai Hotel. In good-weather days, you can see clearly the golden light of the sun piercing the mists, and rocky peaks rising above the frothy, ever-changing sea of white clouds. After the sunrise, get back to your hotel for breakfast.
Continue on your wonderful sightseeing on the Yellow Mountain to see the famous Dawn Pavilion, Stone Monkey Watching the Sea on the Lion Peak (1690m). Then walk along the wood path to the cable station to take a cable car to exit the mountain. Your driver is ready at the mountain foot to transfer you back to Huangshan City for lunch.
After lunch, go for a relaxing stroll on the 900-year-old Tunxi Ancient Street to appreciate authentic old Huizhou-style architectures. Next comes an interesting visit to Hu Kaiwen Ink-stick Factory to find out how ancient Chinese people produce ink sticks (major item used to write and paint in ancient time).
The rest of today is free for you to relax and have a good rest.
- Survived Relatively Untouched Tunxi Ancient Town
- Stone Monkey Watching the Sea (on Lion Peak)
Day 6 Hongcun - Xidi - Huangshan Departure ( B )Today's highlights: Moon Lake, Southern Lake Academy, Xidi Village
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Today, you are going to visit two remarkable ancient villages, best examples of ancient Huizhou-style architecture, which are listed in UESCO World Heritage Sites – Hongcun and Xidi. Quite different from other traditional ancient villages in China, the layout, landscape, architectural form, decoration, and construction techniques all retain the original features Hongcun and Xidi are much more exquisite and grandiose, because they were built by successful officials or merchants returning home from official appointments and business.
Hongcun, originated during Song Dynasty (960-1276), is praised as the most beautiful village in China. It is famous as the ancient village in the Chinese painting. The most beautiful sites are the Moon Lake, the crescent-like pond surrounded by several grand dwellings, and Southern Lake Academy, a private ancient school served for the village. One interesting fact is that the whole village is arranged in the shape of an ox. The famous Oscar-winner film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were filmed in Hongcun.
Xidi Village is only about 10km from Hongcun. Its well-spaced houses with white walls, elegant decorations and black tiles are surrounded by mountains, which makes Xidi an ideal place for paint from life. Xidi is a magnificent villager of imperial officers. It contributed about 130 government officials, some of whom were dignitaries in the imperial courts, during Ming and Qing Dynasties. Currently, there are still 124 well-preserved ancient dwelling with unique style in the village.
After the sightseeing, it’s time for departure. Your tour guide and driver will escort you to catch your flight/train to next destination. Our service ends.
- Hongcun - the masterpiece of ancient Hui architecture
- Archway at Xidi Ancient Village
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
We had a wonderful time on our President 8 Yangzi River Cruise! Our guide, Nina, was very helpful. I think we were the only English-only speakers on the cruise.
We got busses from FengDu to Chongqing.
Thank you for your help arranging the train rides, this cruise and the Chongqing visit with Portia.
At the end of our cruise, with guide Nina
Here is my review. I will likely post it on TripAdvisor to help other tourists out so they know what to expect. Let me know if you would like anything edited (such as the Wire Transfer vs PayPal part) if you find it harmful for your business. My intent is to describe my experience to other Western travellers that may have similar fears about booking a trip like this.
Thanks for all you did. The trip was both flawless and amazing.
I took a 2 week personalized vacation with Chendu Bamboo tours through China. I wanted to put some thoughts down to the TripAdvisor community as I had a lot of reservations going into it, and I hope my review will help clarify some of the items that I was uncertain of.
First, while I researching, I determined that I wanted to do a custom tour as none of the packages that I saw had everything I wanted. The towns I chose were Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. I submitted inquiries to multiple companies and ChinaDiscovery came back to me promptly with a very comprehensive tour that was detailed and in line with my expectations. The scary part of communicating my requirements was that it had to be done mostly through email, although the company was also quick to Skype call me to handle some of my more advanced questions.
If you decide to book a tour like this (and you are firmly in the middle class) this is and expensive endeavor. For you to pull the trigger, you can expect 4 big expenditures. First, you will need to put 1/3 balance down on the trip to reserve the reservation. That 1/3 was placed through PayPay, and the Paypal account that I placed it to did not look anything like the business I was dealing with. It was scary sending the money to such a strange account, but in the end, the transaction was fine. One point of confusion...you may research and book through ChinaDiscovery, however the invoice then turned into (in my case) Chengdu Bamboo International Tours Co, Ltd. I don't fully understand the relationship, but it was legitimate, although a little confusing of why the website said one thing, but the actual contractor that was doing the work said another. Another scary thing came later when I was asked to pay the remaining 2/3 balance, I was requested to do so via wire transfer. Again, a scary endeavor which I felt I would have no protection if the company was not legitimate. So fearing loss of funds, I reached a win/win compromise to use the Paypal account again (with Visa) to submit the funds. Once I received confirmation, the company executed the hotel, train and plane tickets flawlessly, communicating the reservations about 1 week later.
In short, my fears were unfounded.
You will also have to handle 3 other expenses. First, and not surprising are your international plane tickets, which I handled shortly after the deposit. But the 3rd and 4th were not known. As a US citizen, I needed to get Visas for myself and the family. A Chinese Visa costs about $160 per person, and to get it, you must carefully submit a form to the Chinese consulate in a designated region of the country. Because I delayed doing this, I needed to do expedited service. And because the form is brutal and requires you to send your passports to the Chinese consulate, I enlisted a visa expert (CIBT.com) in order to get in processed. Long story short, about $1K later, I received the last of the passports back from the consulate with about 2 days to spare.
The other warning, since all the trips have drivers and tour guides that take you around, you are advised (not mandated) to give them tips. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines given or direction of how much to give. I spent time researching on the internet what were fair tips for always outstanding service. Now, 1 week after the trip, I still have no idea if I tipped fairly, generously or cheaply. But, calculate 2 weeks and 2 persons a day, you can calculate that it will cost you hundreds of dollars or thousands of Yuan.
Last warning to give about going to China...you'll need cash. Only some (not most) banks and stores are hooked up to the Visa and Mastercard system. This means, (1) you may need to search for the right bank to get cash in China in order to withdraw funds and (2) the vendors that you'll see only will take your cash. This caused some stress the first couple of days as I had trouble finding a bank that worked.
Now...for the good stuff. Once prepping for all that, the trip that was designed by Chinadiscovery (or Chengdu Bamboo Tour Company) was pretty spectacular. The guides were beyond great, and did a truly amazing, amazing job of being everything you would want as a tour guide. Prompt, flexible, funny, sometimes motherly, sometimes brotherly, open, honest, kind, insightful, human, knowledgeable and ...simply great. Each one in each town was different...but each of them took such pride in their cities/country that you are given a great gift.
The hotels were as good as it gets as well. Breakfast was included in all hotels...some food good, and other food great. The hotels were within walking distance to all the good things. For Beijing, 15 min walk to the Forbidden City. Shanghai? 5 minute walk to the River and 20 minutes to The Bund. I could go on, but the accommodations were really good. Combine that with flawless execution of all travel arrangements, it made for a stress free trip. The lunches were all Chinese and again, and food ranged from good to great. They always gave our family of 3 too much food for one sitting, and I felt embarrassed about leaving so much food behind.
In Beijing, our guide took us through Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven (among other places). When she took us to the train station, she insisted in walking us down to our seat on the High Speed railway car. When I asked if that is the company policy, she said 'that MY policy' (to ensure her clients get to where they are going). Amazing. We reached Xian for a day and Zoe gave us great insights of the growing city, the crowds, and life in China. Then onto Dunjuang, where Lily and her driver rearranged the schedule to ensure that we saw all the Silk Road sites. The schedule changes included her and the driver starting at 6AM (after we were picked up at the airport 10PM the night before) in order to ensure we saw everything. Then in Chengdu, Cherry helped so patiently with my wife's shopping at the Panda sanctuary. And in Guilin, Kennedy was awesome describing the land and China's ethnic minority. The insight for the rice fields and rivers were wonderful. We ate probably the best Chinese food of the trip in the fresh country air. Then finally, to Shanghai, where Zack was truly a joy, and one of the friendliest and enjoyable people I have ever met in my life. The city of Shanghai was amazing, and my son enjoyed it tremendously.
Two things I would do over if I could. First, I would plan to take it in June, not late July. We had to compete with the rest of China, which has summer break at this time. As a result, the places were packed with China tourist going to the same sites, which made the crowds a bit much. Second, I would have also altered the trip to spend 1 less day in Guilin and 1 more day in Shanghai. Other than that, I would not have changed anything.
Our Customized China Trip
The Suzhou has been wonderful experience. Both guide and driver were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They have made the trip extremely enjoyable. And thank you very much for helping to arrange Suzhou trip in such short notice. Your customer service and attitude is fantastic!!
I’m sorry it took me so long to reply to you. We really appreciated your help in arranging our trip with such short notice. Usually when we travel we don’t use a travel agent and we spend many weeks planning. Because China is so large and we had only 10 days including flights we needed help in making decisions and you provided that. We had very good guides which made getting around easy. It would have been difficult to figure out getting around the airports and train stations by ourselves. The guides’ English ranged from good to excellent. We especially loved Carol in Zhangjiajie. She was fun and recommended really good restaurants! Johnny took us to a museum in Xian that was not on our itinerary and we enjoyed that. He also recommended a new market with many food vendors that was very fun to go for dinner in Xian. Our favorite places were Zhangjiajie, the Terra-cotta Warriors and the Great Wall. Our least favorite were the Jade Factory and the tea house. We felt they was some pressure to buy things and that is not something that interests us. We liked our hotels and their locations. We were able to walk to interesting places for dinner, especially the Hutong near our hotel in Beijing.
Zoe, you did a very good job for us. You always responded to my emails quickly, answered all my questions and gave us good advice. I think we must have kept you very busy. And you seem very friendly! I enjoyed working with you and I will write a review on Trip Advisor.
Thank you so much,
We arrived in Beijing today and received the tickets when we checked in. We’re all set for the trip. Thank you for all your help getting this taken care of.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
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Below are some important things to know regarding of train travel tips, traveling documents, hotels and food, weather, booking guide. Traveling with China Discovery, you only need to focus on enjoying your holiday time. We will take care of all the details. Our travel consultants are always ready to help you if have any questions about the trip.
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“Very good experience”
“WONDERFUL 25 DAYS IN CHINA - PRIVATE TOUR”
“Awesome China tour from north east to south west”1060+ Reviews