China, the middle kingdom


A deeper look into The Middle Kingdom

In Short

  • Day 1-2: Beijing
  • Day 3-4: Datong
  • Day 5-6: Chengdu
  • Day 7: Kunming
  • Day 9-10: Dali
  • Day 11-13: Zhangiajie
  • Day 14: Shanghai

An Overview

At Si Fang we notice trends and special requests each year. During our inspection trips and guiding experiences we talk to our travellers, chat with people on planes and in bars and listen... For many years China seemed to be “terra incognita” and from the late 1990s til 2005 or so, travellers to China felt they were at the vanguard of tourism. China was opening it’s doors, wide open. Then, from 2005 till now, we saw a change in visitors and travel trends. Much more families, children, adolescents, school groups, it seemed like it was “cool” to go to China but also it was safe enough for younger children to scale the Great Wall. And from this year, many who have caught the China bug want more, they want to come back and explore even further. This itinerary hopefully will push the boundaries; we sacrifice a little in hotel comforts, staying just ahead of Peninsula or Four Seasons “Opening Soon” signs yet offering clean and very comfortable hotels. But more importantly, we deliver the “Old China”, the China that has changed little, one of superb landscapes, ancestral images, religious temples and incredible cuisine. Remote China may mean bumpy roads at times and more difficult to access but also locals who have seen very few westerners and a China that has changed little.


All depending on guide services and group size, all-inclusive (except for international airfares) with domestic airfares, all meals, expert guides, transfers, taxes, entry fees and accommodation in 3-4 star hotels (except Beijing and Shanghai where our normal style of hotels can be found).

Day 1,2 Beijing (2 Nights)

Once again, the best city to start from is the capital, a wide choice of hotels but since all of you have been here before, we focus on the old Beijing and venture outside the capital exploring remote Ming Tombs and sections of the Great Wall further afield. We also discover areas of Beijing very few tourists ever see.

Day 3,4 Datong (2 Nights)

Located on the border of Mongolia, Datong is also known as the “City of Coal”. This is a very typical industrial city, one of many coal mines and Chinese manufacturing plants and we have arranged to visit some of these manufactures to understand what “Made in China” actually means and this will in fact surprise you. The sheer number of workers is staggering. We also stop in Datong because this was also China’s capital during the Northern Wei Period and a very important trade and political centre in the 3rd and 4th century AD. Datong is home to amazing grottoes and frescoes and it’s famous Hanging Monastery complete with over 40 halls of prayers and combining superb Buddhist, Taoist and Confucius artwork.

Day 5,6 & 7 Chengdu (3 Nights)

One of our favourite cities for many reasons. First, the food. This is the centre for Sichuan food, one of China’s most regional cuisines and one that boasts over 4784 different dishes... Chinese believe that in a humid climate, you need to eat spiced foods to help reduce internal dampness. Sichuan food uses red peppers and peppercorn but also noodles, steamed fish and snack food in incredible ways. Chengdu is also known across the country for it’s laid back atmosphere and we spend time exploring the many local tea houses where hundreds of people stop by to chat, play mah-jong while listening to live bands performing Chinese music from the 50’s and 60’s. We also venture in the countryside to explore the nearby resort city of Leshan where we visit the biggest Buddha statue on earth….and yes…iy is huge!!! Finally, no visit in Chengdu is complete without a stop at the Panda Breeding Centre and Si Fang has superb connections allowing our guests to meet with the Director of the centre and then visit behind the scenes the panda enclosures.

Day 8 Kunming (1 Night)

The city of flowers, we fly from Chengdu to Kunming and spend the day exploring the city, it’s local markets and traditional herbal medicine centres. The city is one built around many lakes and ponds with stunning temples dating back more than a thousand years old and once the food is amazing. Being the capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming is the focal point for Chinese minority tribes living in the area and we fly out the next morning to one of China’s most pristine area.

Day 9, 10 Dali (2 Nights)

Surrounded by the Himalayan foothills, the small town of Dali dates back more than 4000 years and we take time to explore the gorgeous countryside and some of it’s minority tribes. The ancient city is stunning and we have found a gorgeous and remote luxury lodge to base ourselves from. Dali is located near Erhai Lake and we will take time to do some hikes amongst local villages.

Day 11, 12 Zhangjiajie (2 Nights)

Our final destination in this China Remote itinerary may not seem so remote due to the incredible scenery made famous by Karate Kid 2 movie, and it is a very popular site for Chinese tourists but we have managed to find some very quiet areas and the local town is stunning. Here again different minority tribes are found and we have designed some events where you will be able to learn about their culture and witness stunning tribal dances and costumes.

Day 14 Shanghai (1 Night)

Shanghai is the perfect place to finish our trip due to flight connections from Zhangiajie closest airport, Hehua.

Contact Us


24 Matariki St, Dunedin 9014, New Zealand
Fax: (+0064) 3-4478-0085
Cell: (0064) 27-223-0364

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