What to Expect
Each Vantage Adventure is designed to help you fully experience local culture and to get out and explore while keeping active. We find these are the two most fulfilling and rewarding ways to transform any trip into an adventure, and into the experience of a lifetime. To that end, we’ve rated each trip to indicate the level of cultural immersion and physical activity, with “1” being the lowest and “3” being the highest.
CULTURAL IMMERSION: As can be expected, a visit to China and Tibet involves some cultural adjustment. Traveling in this region can be challenging, even with today’s modern conditions. During national holidays, such as the national holidays at the beginning of October, heavy crowds are expected in parks and museums. Large crowds in the cities and heavy traffic can be distressing for some travelers – but are part of the ever-changing environment in the People’s Republic. Most of the meals are Chinese, and Chinese food, while similar to dishes you may have enjoyed in North America, does not always taste the same as you would expect. We do feature a few Western-style meals during the trip. Ask your Adventure Leader for advice on specialty dishes that may be interesting to try. There are many opportunities to meet the local Chinese and Tibetan people.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Most sightseeing is on air-conditioned coaches with guides. Moderate to heavy walking is required throughout the tour. For instance, the Forbidden City tour requires roughly two hours of walking. Many sites involve climbing stairs; the walk on the wild section of the Great Wall is strenuous. Ability to maneuver on and off a ship gangway is also required for embarking/disembarking your Yangtze cruise ship. Expect a good amount of walking to/from trains and at airports. Transfer times can be long due to heavy traffic, especially in the larger cities.
PACING: You'll visit 5 cities in 13 nights with at least two-night stays in each city, plus a 3-night cruise on the Yangtze River. Included are 4 flights in China, a local train from Beijing to Xian (about 5 hr and half), each of one to two hours long, with late morning or afternoon departures.
SPECIAL FACTORS: A Chinese visa is required prior to arrival. Please refer to Vantage’s wheelchair and handicapped traveler policy for this program as there are many physical limitations for guests on this tour. Passengers must send in a color copy of their passport (front page) as well as a color copy of their Chinese visa 50 days prior to departure. Passengers who fail to send in the above information on time will be prohibited from entering Tibet. Tap water is not drinkable in China. If you wish to swim in the hotel pool, please do not forget to pack a swimming cap.