This 13 day itinerary takes you through some of the most famous tea producing regions of china where you will experience picking your own tea and many of the ceremonies and rituals around this drink. Beginning in the bustle of Shanghai before touring through regions famed for different varieties of tea including the Wuyi Mountains this tour also features a river cruise on the Li River in the Guilin Valley.
- Take a bamboo raft trip through the unspoilt scenery of Jiugu Stream
- Walk amongst the 600 year old Dahongpao tea trees famed for their deeply fermented Emperor Tea
- Savour a cup of tea in the Zhou Family Teahouse where the 29th generation of the family to run the establishment will host you
Day 1: Shanghai
Upon arrival into Shanghai Pudong International Airport you will be met by our local operator and transferred to your hotel. Once settled visit the Bund a symbol of Shanghai and an epitome the city’s modern history. Then stroll along Nanjing Road one of the busiest shopping districts in the world before returning to your hotel.
Day 2: Shanghai (BL)
This morning you will be taken to Yu Yuan a 5 acre garden first built in 1559 and declared a national monument in 1982. Amongst the numerous temples and ponds one of the highlights is the exquisite Jade Rock a porous 5 tonne bolder said to have been recovered from a shipwreck.
Later visit the nearby water town Zhujiajiao. This area a kind of Chinese Venice contains many historical sites including rice shops banks spice stores and even a Qing dynasty post office. Here you will gain a fascinating insight into life on the Yangtze Delta.
Day 3: Shanghai – Hangzhou (BL)
This morning take an express train to Hangzhou where you will be met and transferred to West Lake for a boat ride. With its beautiful lakes mountains and many attractions this area has become a world-famous destination and is known locally as the paradise on earth.
Later visit Lingyin Temple one of the ten most famous ancient Buddhist monasteries in China and adjacent to the stunning Feilai Peak a 209 meter tall pure limestone mountain which is very distinctive amongst the sandstone mountains surrounding it.
Day 4: Hangzhou – Wuyishan (BL)
Today begins with a visit to the Chinese Tea Museum which covers over 5 acres in Dragon Well Village. This is followed by a visit to a tea farm where you will spend an hour picking your own tea and learning the frying tea process. In the afternoon take a high speed train to Wuyishan the “Natural Arboretum” where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 5: Wuyishan (BL)
Today is a day devoted to tea in this most famous of tea districts. Home to Wuyi Tea also known as Bohea the Wuyi Mountains produce some of the world’s finest black and oolong tea. You will learn about this while listening to ancient royal music in the Royal Tea Garden before stops including TianYou Peak Cloudy Nest and Special Tea Canyon Fairy Bath Pool and Tian You Temple.
During the afternoon you will take a bamboo raft trip through the unspoilt scenery of Jiugu Stream. After landing at dock you will proceed to Ancient Street with Song Dynasty style filled with local stores restaurants tea houses and workshops before a visit to Ancient Wuyi Palace.
Day 6: Wuyishan (BL)
Today begins with a visit to Water Curtain Cave. At 100 meters high and wide this spacious and bright natural cavern is the largest in the Wuyi Mountains. Next you will visit the Ancient Tea Plantation which features tea trees that are 600 years old. These trees produce Dahongpao tea also known as Emperor Tea a deeply fermented oolong which only grows on the rock cliffs of the area. The afternoon concludes with visits to a local farmer’s small tea factory and house where you will taste local brews including a wild mushroom tea.
Day 7: Wuyishan - Xiamen (BL)
This morning begins with a visit to Xiamei Ancient Village the starting point of the ancient 10000 mile Tea Road to Russia used in the time of the Qing Dynasty. Many of the buildings here are startlingly well preserved and feature sculptures of wood and stone. Next you will have a cup of tea in the Zhou Family Teahouse whose current proprietor is the 29th generation of the family to host guests here.
After lunch take a high speed train to Xiamen where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 8: Xiamen (BL)
Today you will be driven to Nanjing to visit the Tianluokeng Earth Towers a wonderful example of Fujian Tulou construction. Despite being made of earth some of these other-worldly structures are over 700 years old. These traditional communal buildings could house up to 80 families.
Day 9: Xiamen – Guilin (BL)
This morning take a ferry to Gulangyu Island where you will see Shuzhuang Garden and Crag of Sunlight. This fascinating pedestrian-only island measures only 2 square kilometres and at the turn of the 19th century was home to one of only two international settlements in China. The local residents of that time predominantly administered by British citizens constructed many of the buildings there today giving the island a very different feel and style to the rest of China.
After lunch transfer to visit South Potuo Temple Hulishan Fortress and have a stroll at Huandao Road along the sea before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin.
Day 10: Guilin (BL)
In the morning transfer to visit Daxu Village. First built in 200AD it remained a prosperous trading centre for more than 900 years. Afternoon transfer back city to visit Reed Flute Cave named for from the verdant reeds growing outside it with which people make flutes. Inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition.
Later visit Guilin Tea Institute which has done a great amount of research into growing different kinds of tea bushes. All of their products are organic and of a very high standard. The tea plantation there covers 36 hectares and tourists come from all over the world to experience tea leaf picking visit the tea processing workshop and enjoy the famous Chinese Tea Ceremony.
Day 11: Guilin – Yangshuo (BL)
Following breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to a cruise ship for your Li River cruise to Yangshuo. The 3.5 hour cruise through the stunning karst landscape will include lunch on board as breath-taking scenery drifts by including rice paddies school children water buffalo and local fishermen on bamboo rafts.
Upon arrival in Yangshuo the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 12: Yangshuo – Guilin – Guangzhou (BL)
Morning Transfer to Guilin North railway station where you will catch a high speed train to Guangzhou. There you will be met and transferred for a visit to Chen Family Temple and Xiguan old Houses before you take a walk Shamian Island. Discover the enchanted old residences temples and some outstanding colonial buildings and churches with beautiful landscaping nesting in the bustling downtown Guangzhou.
Day 13: Guangzhou – Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- Private tour escorted by an English Speaking guide and private car
- Accommodations: above mentioned hotels or the same class with daily breakfast
- Meals are included as specified (B=breakfast L=lunch D=Dinner)
- Domestic flight (economy class): Xiamen X Guilin
- Domestic train: Shanghai X Hangzhou / Hangzhou X Wuyishan / Wuyishan X Xiamen / Guilin X Guangzhou
- Entrance fees
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Accommodation based on the below (or similar)
First Class - Anting Villa Hotel
Deluxe Class - The Yangtze Boutique
First Class - Haihua Hotel
Deluxe Class - Sofitel Hangzhou Westlake
First Class - WangFeng Garden Hotel
Deluxe Class - Dahongpao Resort
First Class - MingFa International Hotel
Deluxe Class - Millennium Harbourview Hotel
First Class - Aroma Tea House
Deluxe Class - Sheraton Guilin
First Class - Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
Deluxe Class - Amari Yangshuo
First Class - Guangdong Victory Hotel
Deluxe Class - Sofitel Guangzhou
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.