Recently, Brianna, one of our amazing customer service representatives, had the opportunity to set out on one of Webjet Exclusives’ great China tours, the Classic China Tour. Travelling to destinations such as Beijing and Shanghai, and visiting world-renowned sites such as the Great Wall of China, she was able to enjoy a comprehensive introduction to China, its culture and its people.
Check out Brianna’s account of her time in China and find out what you could see, do and experience with Webjet Exclusives’ unforgettable tours!
As a customer service representative at Webjet Exclusives, I have the pleasure of organising dream holidays for our customers while hearing stories about the amazing journeys they have been on. Luckily enough, I was able to experience first-hand the once in a lifetime Classic China Tour with some of our valued Webjet Exclusives customers.
On day one we arrived in China’s impressive capital city, Beijing. The tour group were in high spirits as we met our local guide Eddy. With Beijing’s history stretching back three millennia, Eddy was very knowledgeable and jam-packed with information about the local area, history and culture. He ensured we all got the most out of our tour and addressed any concerns the tour group had. The tour was off to a great start!
After a great night’s sleep and resetting the body clock, day two began with a visit to Tiananmen Square (Gate of Heavenly Peace). Here we learnt about the great cultural significance and importance of events that took place in this very spot. We then continued to the amazing Forbidden City, which was home to the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty (1420 – 1912). I was fascinated to see the world’s largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures and the 980 buildings that cover over 180 acres. This is a World Heritage Site I was glad to experience.
Day three was a highly anticipated day for our whole tour group – it was something bucket list dreams were made of. Today we ticked the Great Wall of China off our list. This excursion was nothing short of incredible. We were given the opportunity to climb a portion of the 3700-mile marvel and during the hike, we were greeted with immense history and awe-inspiring scenery. Keeping in mind that this hike is not for the faint-hearted, it was a tough climb to the top and a very shaky meander on the way down. A special mention to Karen in our group, who had been training for this climb for months and made it all the way to the top on her own!
As we were now halfway through our trip, day four was the ideal time to enjoy a free day at a leisurely pace. I decided to take part in the Hutong Life optional tour, a personal favourite of mine. This tour showed the group some of China’s rich culture, and even includes a local home visit and a rickshaw ride around the beautiful Hutong River. The optional tours are highly regarded by the guides and it is a small price to pay to experience something extra special that China has to offer.
Day five saw the group catching the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai. What an experience! The train got up to a high speed of approximately 300km/hour but it felt more like floating on a cloud. Five hours later we arrived in bustling Shanghai. First stop was a visit to the vibrant ‘New Town’ of Shanghai or, as it’s more commonly referred to, Xintiandi Area. This is the fashionable and affluent district of Shanghai and is full of trendy bars, cafes and high end stores. The pedestrian strip is composed of unique ‘Shikumen’ (stone buildings) and modern architecture, creating the illusion that you could be walking around London or New York.
We then visited ‘The Bund’, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River lined with colonial architectures of European design. Later that evening we decided to do the optional Shanghai River Evening Cruise, a great way to relax, take in the magnificent cityscape views and end a magical day in Shanghai.
On our final day in Shanghai we started off at the Silk Spinning Mill before we continued on to the ‘Old Town’ of Shanghai. This area is well known for its gardens, temples, old architecture, shopping and food. There was no shortage of beautiful little tea houses and at every turn, you were greeted with the opportunity to purchase some local delicacies and souvenirs.
The shopping continues as we move on to the Shanghai Underground Market. For the bargain shopper, this place is Mecca. You can get clothing tailored, cheap electronics, luggage and leather goods and much, much more. But don’t expect that the bargaining will come easy – you have to really work to get the price that you want. The market spans both sides of the underground metro, so everyone made the most of the time spent here. Haggling was had and some serious bargains were snapped up!
At the farewell dinner we were all treated to some local Dim Sum, which was by far the best meal of the trip. Photos were taken, contact details were exchanged and everyone went home with some new memories to share with their family and friends.
Our guide in Shanghai and our Tour Manager for the entire journey, Maggie, was lovely and went above and beyond to ensure everyone in the group was having a good time.
A word about the hotels on tour, they are very well facilitated with all the creature comforts you need to make your stay in China as easy as possible. A delicious buffet breakfast is also part of your hotel stay; traditional and authentic Cantonese breakfast options allow all tour members to start the day fully immersed in the culture from the crack of dawn. Of course the usual breakfast options are available if yoghurt, muesli, eggs or toast are more your thing. If you need a little rest, relaxation and restoration after a busy day of touring, why not book yourself a massage at the day spa? Although the location of the hotel was not inner-city, this is not an issue as all activities are guided with transport included to and from the hotel.
Throughout the Webjet Exclusives Classic China tour, almost all meals are included and the organisation that goes into hosting the sit down lunches and dinners is phenomenal. Within five minutes of being seated, you are greeted with Tsing Tao beer, Green Tea and some of China’s finest food and delicacies, including Peking duck!
With all the major sites included in the Classic China tour, such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and time in Shanghai with action packed with sites, attractions and activities, free time is scheduled in as well as the occasional sleep in or early night. The Classic China Tour offers fantastic value for money and is definitely worth the journey to experience the wonders of China!
Ready to see more of the wonderful world we live in? Browse the great selection of tours and holiday packages on offer from Webjet Exclusives, and start planning your next travels, whether at home or abroad!