Our Family Travel to China - A real-life holiday experience

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My family travelled to China & this site tells our first hand experiences.

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Read about our holiday experience in Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, New York and Niagara, Yellowstone and Montana, Turkey and Bosnia

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Our Family Travel to China - A real-life holiday experience

Ever wondered what it would be like to travel with your family to China? To see the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and the Pandas. Would it be safe? What would the food be like? Would there be enough for the Children to do? Our family of five (children's ages 9, 12 and 14) travelled to China in 2011 and this website explains our experiences and what we all thought about the journey.

Why China?

Our previous holidays have taken us to Sri Lanka, Malaysia (inc Singapore and Bornes), Kenya and Eygpt. There seems to be a formula that works well - plenty to see, plenty to do and somewhere to relax afterwards. China certainly held plenty to do - the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors and Pandas are the ones that immediately came to mind. This to do (we'd camped in the Jungle in Sri Lanka and in the Desert in Egypt) seem a little more scarce but there were options for relaxing.

I also love to see new cultures and they don't come much more diverse from our own lives in the UK as in China. It has such a great history and is a country still going through massive changes. It only really opened to the west in the early 80's so its also somewhere many people haven't yet been.

Booking a tour operator and the flights to China

My normal approach is to try and book a local operator and in China this was no exception. After lots of research we booked Dragon Delight International Tours Ltd and we were very please with our choice. I must have driven Vicky, our contact at Dragon Delight mad with all my questions and requests. The holiday was a lot more expensive the I have planned. The final price for the two week itinerary below came in out £6,400 (GBP) excluding international flights which works out at about £640 per person per week.

Flights to China were also a problem - plenty of them but most worked out at more than £3,500 for all five of us. Eventually I struck luck and through a website called EmailFlights.com I managed to book us all on an indirect flight via Germany with Lufthansa. I was a little nervous at first but EmailFlights give you the e-ticket number and I was able to go in and group all our seats together well in advance of our departure date.

Getting around China

Typically our holidays follow two stages - intense sight-seeing and then some time to relax. In China we had a big list of places we wanted to see but China is a massive country. There are good flights connecting the cities but travelling with five of us is expensive - plus we didn't want to spend all our free time at the airport.

So we opted for a combination of flights and trains, taking overnight sleeper trains (staying in Soft Bed Cabin accomodations - we booked 5 beds but all slepts in a single cabin with two of us bunking in together which was pretty tight!) and flights.

Dragon Delights arranged all of the other travel to and we had a guide and a driver in every location. They also arrange some more unusual activities such as tobogganning down the Great Wall and having lunch at a local family's Hutong.

Itinerary in China

Hotels in China

During our trip we stayed at the Novotel Peace Hotel in Beijing, the Grand Noble hotel in Xian, the Yinhe Dynasty hotel in Chengdu, the Mountain Retreat in Yangshuo, the Shangri La Resort hotel in Guilin and the CITIC hotel at Beijing airport.