How to make a visit to the vast, history-rich country fun for the whole family.
Take the children on an enjoyable jaunt around China
We're thinking of touring Beijing and Guilin along with one or two other Chinese cities. Since we'll be travelling with our children, we want our itinerary to include activities that the whole family can enjoy. Can you suggest a travel company that offers something for everyone?
There's such a staggering variety of things to enjoy in China, especially across cities such as Beijing and Guilin, that it's sensible to decide beforehand what you'd really like to do. From martial arts shows to hiking and river rafting to shopping, it's possible to include all manner of activities that appeal to both kids and adults.
Imperial Tours (www.imperialtours.net), a travel company based in China with offices in the US and the UK, offers a carefully planned "family tour" of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Guilin with an interesting mix of fun activities and sightseeing. Its itinerary includes a shadow puppetry performance, a kung-fu demonstration and show, riding bamboo rafts on the Guilin River, cycling atop the ancient Xian City Wall, a visit to Beijing Zoo to see the pandas, shopping in Beijing's open-air market, a private banquet on the Great Wall and hands-on noodle- and dumpling-making classes. The children will particularly enjoy flying traditional kites in the shape of butterflies, dragons or phoenixes at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Also provided are the services of a local shopping and tour guide. The 11-day tour (excluding international flights) costs US$6,475 (Dh23,782) for two adults and two children (below the age of 12) in two double rooms, and includes 10-nights' accommodation in five-star hotels, most meals, internal flights and land transport, and entrance to all tourist sites and taxes.
Explorient Travel Services (www.explorient.com), a US-based travel operator, has a two-week "China family spectacular" tour of Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong that - besides the mandatory visit to the Great Wall and trips to the Forbidden City and Xian's Terracotta Warriors - offers cormorant fishing in a village in Guilin, hiking and cycling in Yangshuo's picturesque countryside, a cruise down the River Li, a day in Beijing's hutongs and a traditional Chinese lunch with a local family, an acrobatics show, and a city and shopping tour of Hong Kong.
Prices start at $3,055 (Dh11,220) per person, based on two sharing, with five-star accommodation, breakfast, internal flights, English-speaking guides, private transport and taxes. International flights are not included.
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