Day 1: East meets West - Grand Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Gateway to Asia and a key stopover point is a city of contrast of new and old, along with East meets West. Shopping is great and much to the surprise of many Hong Kong has 100's of beaches and even better hiking trails! The city is home to sports of all types, and you must experience the seafood!!! If you're planning on buying electronics (esp. cameras) you should consider Hong Kong as there is no duty or taxes, and yes you can get an international warranty. In the afternoon you'll meet your Trip Leader at our (pre) nominated hostel for a Pass briefing. Afterwards perhaps head out to the many bars or restaurants before leaving the next day for Guangzhou.
Day 2: Guangzhou - Head of the Pearl River
In the morning we make for the railway station for the 2hr trip to Guangzhou. Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is one of the oldest trading ports in China. You'll see this firsthand if you explore the old section of the city on arrival. If you do so you'll experience period housing, shops along with locals going about their day to day life in the shadows of amazing 20th century buildings. The Qing Ping markets can be entertaining, but also confronting, but are worth a visit in the afternoon as are some of the beautiful parks. The food you'll find in Canton is unlike what you've ever tasted in any western Chinese restaurant at home. To allow you to experience real local foods the group heads to a local restaurant by the side of the Pearl River for dinner.
Day 3: Guangzhou & a sleeper train to magical Guilin
Continue to explore Guangzhou as tonight you'll board the sleeper train for Guilin. Rise early and hit the streets to watch the city wake. Additionally Guangzhou is a great place to buy almost anything & everything. Guangzhou has Leather, Pearl, Bag & Clothing markets that you won't find elsewhere. Your Trip Leader will direct you to the best place to grab one or all of these items in areas where the locals shop! Best of all, no real haggling as you'll pay the marked price (as the locals do). Leave the afternoon for time to explore along the Pearl River as it will take a few hours, and don't forget Guangzhou is one of the best places in China for foot massages. In the evening we'll transfer to the train station where you can settle in for the overnight sleeper train to magical Guilin!
Day 4: Dragon's Back Bone Terraces
The overnight train should have afforded you some rest, however some sit up and play cards with their newly found friends. Remember on arriving into Guilin you'll be met by the Dragon Bus where you'll head directly to a small village near the Dragons (no joke) Backbone Rice Terraces. Dragon Bus steer clear of the main tourist area, so we've scouted out our own amazing place that affords both an amazing sunrise and sunset experience. We're sure these amazing terraces built as far back as the Yuan dynasty will be a highlight. Imagine rice terraces that wind their way through the surrounding mountains with unbeatable views and an experience you won't forget. You'll stay overnight in a small rural village homestay, which again is another highlight!
Day 5: Magical sunrise over amazing Rice Terraces
Rise early for your chance to take in the amazing sunrise that rases up and over the top of these terraces. Something you should not miss and won't forget. While the sunset can be just as good, we believe the sun rising over the terraces is an event worth the entire cost of this Pass, but of course we'd say that! After a local style breakfast join the Trip Leader and head out for more in this magical paradise. The incredible scenery of this picturesque mountain area will surely be hard to beat, but you've still got 5 days to go!
Days 6 & 7: Paradise like no other - Yangshuo
Yangshuo is a paradise unlike anywhere else in China! On return to Yangshuo you'll stay in this beautiful city for a full two days. This means you'll have enough time to get out and really experience the nearby soaring limestone peaks or karsts formed thousands of years ago. Activities to consider range from bike riding, hanging out in laid back cafes, indoor and outdoor rock climbing and perhaps best of all is floating down the Li River either in a tractor tyre with a few beers or on a bamboo raft, but hey "It's Your Choice." Eating options are also just as amazing, whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Day 8: Lunch with a local family beside a freshwater stream
A special day awaits - Heading into the mountains we join with a local farming family who will be cooking your lunch for you. Lunch will be (weather depending) in a picnic setting alongside a picture perfect freshwater stream. This real farming family is not some packaged cultural stop and we're sure you will enjoy the experience. Partnering with this family provides them with the chance for additional revenue and for you to really experience a great piece of "Real" China & her people. After lunch we head back into Yangshuo, where you could hire hire a moped and head into the countryside, do some rock-climbing, explore underground waterfalls, streams and mud baths. Being the last night the group joins together for a dinner of amazing local cuisine.
Day 9: Farewell to an amazing Dragon Bus experience
So this day had to come, but it's not over as there is much more to see! Continue exploring or head onto the next departing Dragon Bus Pass or take up the Hot Pot train & accommodation packages through to Chongqing & Chengdu! Those heading to the airport/train station will be assisted by both hostel staff and the Trip Leader. IF you're planning on staying longer, ensure your bed is pre booked as the hostel gets booked out. Additionally, we can help with Train Fares or Airfares, so make sure you speak with your Trip Leader for assistance. Also the front page of the Dragon Bus website has the C Trip Travel booking engine widget where you can find the cheapest domestic flights to anywhere in China in a fully integrated secure site that accepts ALL International Credit cards.