Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.

Journey to China and the Far East

28-Days featuring Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore & Vietnam China and the Far East

Includes airfare, hotel, tours, baggage handling, and transfers

Departs USA: October 17, 2017

About This Journey

Few places evoke the imagination quite like the Orient, and this unforgettable Enrichment Journey gives you an extraordinary opportunity to experience it with an all-inclusive 11-night trip to mainland China designed to complement an extraordinary cruise visiting some of the most beautiful ports in the exotic Far East. You’ll explore Shanghai, Xian and Beijing before traveling to Hong Kong to board your Celebrity cruise. Shanghai beckons for four nights with its combination of history and modern architecture. You’ll thrill to an acrobatic show and visit picturesque Suzhou and a charming water village. Continue on with a three-night stay in Xian, where you’ll be mesmerized by the mysterious terracotta warriors and entranced by the history of this walled city. Then journey to Beijing for three nights and discover the Forbidden City, the iconic Great Wall and the Summer Palace. You’ll then transfer to Hong Kong to enjoy a night before boarding the Celebrity Millennium and the cruise to ports that let you explore Hanoi, Danang, and the former Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. You’ll experience the excitement and magic of Bangkok with an overnight visit where you can explore the city’s temples and night markets, and then finish your trip in exciting and cosmopolitan Singapore. No wonder travelers rate this Enrichment Journey their favorite trip!

Optional 5-day Siem Reap extension available. Call for details! Visits: Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Hanoi (Halong Bay), Hue / Danang (Chan May) and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Bangkok / Laemchabang, Thailand; and Singapore

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Journey to China and the Far East

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Depart USA – Cross International Dateline
2 Arrive Shanghai – Transfer to Hotel
3 Shanghai, China
4 Shanghai, China
5 Shanghai, China
6 Transfer to Xian and Hotel
7 Xian, China
8 Xian, China
9 Transfer to Beijing and Hotel
10 Beijing, China
11 Beijing, China
12 Transfer to Hong Kong Hotel
13 Hong Kong – Board Ship  O/N
14 Hong Kong  8:00 PM
15 At Sea
16 Hanoi (Halong Bay), Vietnam 7:00 AM  O/N
17 Hanoi (Halong Bay), Vietnam 1:00 PM
18 Hue/Danang (Chan May), Vietnam 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
19 At Sea
20 Ho Chi Minh (Phu My), Vietnam 7:00 AM 8:00 PM
21 At Sea
22 Bangkok/Laemchabang, Thailand 8:00 AM  O/N
23 Bangkok/Laemchabang, Thailand 6:00 PM
24 At Sea
25 At Sea
26 Singapore 7:00 AM  O/N
27 Singapore – Depart ship – Enroute overnight
28 Return to USA

Land Highlights

  • Day 1 – Depart USA
  • Day 2 – Arrive Shanghai: Transfer to the 4-star Broadway Mansions Hotel
  • Day 3 – Shanghai: Spend day at leisure. Tour Bund on your own (B)
  • Day 4 – Shanghai: Full day visit to the Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Nanjing Road and Bund. Evening performance of Chinese Acrobatic show. Chinese table lunch & dinner included (B,L,D)
  • Day 5 – Shanghai: Travel to Suzhou by bus. Explore the Garden of Master of Nets & Silk Spinning Factory in Suzhou, and the canal/village in peaceful Jinxi. Bus transfer back to Shanghai.  (B,L,D)
  • Day 6 – Shanghai – Xian: Transfer to Pudong Airport and fly to Xi’an. Transfer to the 4.5-star Grand Mecure on Renmin Square Xi’an. (B,L)
  • Day 7 – Xian: The morning will start with a surprise visit that will delight you. Then spend the balance of the day visiting the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, City Wall and Muslim Street.  This evening enjoy a special Tang Dynasty show. (B,L,D)
  • Day 8 – Xian: Full day with a visit to a local ceramic factory followed by a tour to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
  • Day 9 – Xian – Beijing: After a mid-morning flight to Beijing, enjoy lunch on arrival in the Capital City. After hotel check-in, experience the Hutong by rickshaw and the Summer Palace. (B,L,D)
  • Day 10 – Beijing: Visit the Temple of Heaven, which acted as the place for Chinese ancient emperors to pray for good harvest of the empire and is famous for its elegance and symmetry. Then visit Tian’anmen Square to stroll around and take pictures. Following lunch, explore the sprawling Forbidden City, home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors and now a repository of precious art and antiques. This evening enjoy a special Peking Duck Dinner. (B,L,D)
  • Day 11 – Beijing – Hong Kong: Full day visit to the Sacred Way and Badaling Great Wall. Stop at a Jade carving factory. Chinese table lunch & Peking Duck Dinner included. (B,L,D)

Port Highlights

Hong Kong, China: Neon signs galore, dim sum, and amazing temples are a few of the favorite experiences in Hong Kong. Take in as much as you can of this thrilling city with its endless shopping and towering skyscrapers. Your agenda for Hong Kong should include Victoria Peak, an Aberdeen Fishing Village, the Man Mo Temple and Sheung Wan Dried Food and Herbal Market. Be certain to have extra room in your suitcase for the bargains you are bound to discover.

Hanoi (Halong Bay), Vietnam: In Hanoi, the country’s captivating capital, you’ll find a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace. Rise early to watch t’ai chi practiced at dawn near Hoan Kiem Lake, and then take in the history with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the bustling back streets of the Old Quarter. Eventually, you’ll be enticed to visit the country’s northern provinces. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of Halong Bay and its 2,000 limestone karsts, or the experience of trekking around mountainous Sapa. (Overnight)

Hue/Danang (Chan May), Vietnam: In Danang, visit the intriguing Cham Museum, filled with wonderful artifacts of the Cham culture, and famed China Beach. But it is Hue, the former imperial capital, that beckons. The Nguyen Dynasty founded Hue in the 17th century on the banks of the Perfume River. Today it sits as a massive open-air museum of temples, pagodas, palaces and tombs. Enjoy this imposing citadel protected by a moat and then take a river cruise for a view of the Tombs of the Emperors and Thien Mu Pagoda.

Ho Chi Minh (Phu My), Vietnam: Located on the edge of the Mekong Delta, this dynamic metropolis also features the ageless beauty of an ancient culture. French colonial architecture mixes with modern Asian influences, providing a diverse backdrop for the many motorbikes, scooters, pagodas, and street markets. Stroll the wide boulevards of this city, formerly known as Saigon, and visit The History Museum, which houses artifacts from two thousand years of Vietnamese history. (Overnight)

Bangkok / Laemchabang, Thailand: Bangkok is a city of contradictions: high-rise buildings and popular clubs abound, but so do golden temples and lively street fairs. A visit to the National Museum is great for history buffs, while shoppers will love the bargains in the Banglamphu district. Klong Toey, in central Bangkok, features a highly discounted market, offering fresh eel, dried fish, and the lively smells, sights, and sounds of this waterfront-pier area. (Overnight)

Singapore: This diamond-shaped island off the coast of Malaysia is also the smallest country in Southeast Asia. It’s one of only two cities in the world to have a significant rain forest within its boundaries. Here, you’ll find more than 840 varieties of flowering plants and 500 specials of wildlife. Boasting mouthwatering cuisine, incredible shopping, and a thriving arts scene, this island is an exhilarating blend of cultures.

Journey to China and the Far East

Included Features

  • Included round-trip airfare, transfers and baggage handling
  • Ten nights at four-star hotels in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai (Beijing International Hotel, Grand Mercure Xian, and Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai or similar)
  • One night at a four-star hotel in Hong Kong (Regal Kowloon or similar) 
  • Local tour hosts and National Guide during Mainland China Tour
  • All included sightseeing, admissions and meals while on Mainland China tour
  • 14-night cruise aboard Celebrity Millennium
  • All meals while onboard
  • $75 Onboard Credit per stateroom
  • Receive 2 on the cruise (for Oceanview staterooms or higher): Gratuities, Classic Beverage Package,  Unlimited Internet, $300 Onboard Credit

Journey to China and the Far East

What to Expect on Your Trip


During your 28-day Journey, you will stay in China for eleven nights, venturing through the cities of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Hong Kong by land and by air. Then the group will board the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship for a 14-day Journey through Vietnam, Thailand and ending in Singapore. Optional shore excursions will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities. The land portion of the trip should be considered as moderately active involving walking to numerous historical sites, including the Great Wall.

Physical Activity

Walking on different types of land, roads and landmarks will be part of the trip, especially in China. Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses when applicable. For the cruise section of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up narrow stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer to train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

China’s natural landmass makes for a massive, complex and diverse environment that hold true to tradition and faith around every corner. Immerse in the wonders of Chinese architecture and design, found everywhere from bustling cities to sprawling green landscapes dotted with fortresses and temples. Chinese pride connected with an underlying humility is ever present in its memorials to the past royal families and brave soldiers of the Qin Dynasty. A trip of a lifetime through China, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong will be unforgettable and very different than that you might be used to at home. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when meeting people abroad and being in unique situations. Sometimes attractions and the cities themselves can be crowded, especially during holidays, so we will proceed with caution.

New cuisine can be the biggest difference. Dishes are prepared fresh and can often be modified to your tastes. The local host, tour manager as well as any staff would be happy to recommend new types of cuisine for you to sample and are willing to explain the flavorful components.

Unique Factors

If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with a local host or tour manager before booking a trip. The months of February and March are often cooler and/or damp, so pack accordingly with insulating clothing if booking this excursion. Take note of some Asian culture and pack modest clothing, as well as a swim cap. Be friendly and polite when taking photos of locals, especially in Vietnam and Thailand.

Recommended Reading List

Looking to learn more about the cultures, lifestyle and fun found in foreign destinations you are about to visit? We recommend these following books:

Fiction/Personal Accounts

Treasures and Pleasures of Hong Kong: Ronald and Caryl Krannich by Paul Theoux (Singapore)

Farewell the Dragon: Lee Barckmann

Children’s Books

Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors: Roseanne Thong

Dim Sum for Everyone!: Grace Lin

Travel Guides

Frommer’s Chinese PhraseFinder

DK Eyewitness Guide: China

25 Things You Must Know Before Traveling to Thailand: Kings of Thailand

Vietnam- Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture: Geoffrey Smart


Stein Family China Travel Blog:

China Adventurer Travel Blog:

Travellers Point (Vietnam):

Thai Blog:


Tomorrow Never Dies (filmed partly in Thailand):

National Geographic’s China videos:


Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airlines and routes are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, or direct, or non-stop, or Business Class flights, or to extend their time in any of our beginning or ending destination cities may do so by contacting their Travel Agent or Enrichment Journeys directly. We are pleased to provide Custom Air arrangements with a charge of $50.00 per person plus any additional air costs. The initial charge of $50.00 will be applied to the deviation cost.

Routing Transportation Approximate Travel Time
Los Angeles – Shanghai Airline 14 Hours
Shanghai – Xian Airline 2 Hours
Xian – Beijing Airline 2 Hours
Beijing – Hong Kong Airline 7 Hours
Singapore – Los Angeles Airline 18 Hours

Journey to China and the Far East

Special Offers

Celebrity’s go! Big Better Best – Enhance your cruise with onboard amenities
(Applicable to bookings with 2 guests per stateroom and in an Oceanview or higher)

Applicable Bookings receive 2:

  • Gratuities
  • Classic Beverage Package for two guests
  • Unlimited internet for two guests
  • $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom

Interested in more? You can upgrade to a Suite and receive all 4 extras!
Guests in the same staterooms must select the same option(s). Click here to view Celebrity Terms and Conditions ». NOTE: Offer expires 10/2/17. Additional terms and conditions apply, call for more information.

5-day Siem Reap – Singapore Extension


  • Round-trip flight: Singapore – Siem Reap – Singapore
  • 4-night hotel accommodations with daily breakfast (4.5-star Le Meridien Angkor, 4.5-star Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, or similar)
  • Tours and transfers in air-conditioned vehicles

• Theam’s House
• Bayon Temple, Terrace of Elephant and Leper King, Ta Prohm temple
• Angkor Wat temple and Night Market
• Banteay Srey and Banteay Samre temple
• Tonle Sap great lake with visit to local floating village
• Les Artisans d’Angkor and local market
• and more!

  • Cambodia Visa fee ($20 USD per person. Passenger responsible for 1 passport photo)
  • All entrance fees for the visit mentioned in the program (3 days Angkor Pass)
  • Half-day boat trip on Tonle Sap lake
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Meals
  • Fresh water and towel during tour

Space is limited.
Please call your travel agent or 1-800-787-1796 for more information and to book!

Journey Date Price PP Single Rates
10/17/2017 $1,499 $1,999


Journey to China and the Far East

Dates & Prices
10/17/2017 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
Air Add-Ons
City Add-On City Add-On City Add-On
Atlanta $450 Houston Intercontinental $450 Philadelphia $500
Boston $500 John F. Kennedy $500 Phoenix $400
Denver $400 Los Angeles $0 San Diego $300
Dallas-Ft. Worth $400 Orlando $500 Seattle $300
Newark $500 Miami $450 San Francisco $200
Washington – Dulles $500 Chicago $400 Tampa $500
– Business Class Air Available on Request
– Additional Gateways Available on Request
– Air Add-On Rates are subject to change without noticeWhile we try to include the most common airports by default, we have many clients coming from different parts of the country. If you desire air from an unlisted airport, you must first reserve your Enrichment Journey with one of the listed airports as your default gateway and then ask, or have your Travel Agent ask, Enrichment Journeys to provide a quote for your preferred gateway.

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to China and the Far East

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary. Please note that hotel ratings are based on TripAdvisor ratings and are subject to change.

Beijing International Hotel

No.9 Jiangguo Mennei Street, Beijing China. Zip:100005

Telephone (86-10) 65126688

Beijing International Hotel is located on east Chang’ an Avenue. The center of Beijing, which is close to many historic sites including the Forbidden City (the former royal palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties) Tian’ anmen Square and Wang Fu Jing Business Street. In addition, the hotel is within walking distance to CBD, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China Customs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The hotel is 28 Kilometers from the Capital International Airport. It is surrounded by Bei Hai Park, Zhong Shan Park and efcs. The location of the hotel is very convenient for visitors, and is favorably located within multiple points of public transportation.

Grand Mercure Xi’an

Tel.: +86 29 87928888
319 Dongxin Street, Shaanxi Province 710004, Xi’an

The Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square is surrounded by serene courtyards and enchanting gardens which encapsulate the historic riches of the region. Fifty years of Renmin Square history is reflected on the magnificent décor of the hotel’s 194 guestrooms and suites. Combining chic Chinese design with modern touches, the rooms are fully equipped for comfort and convenience: room safe, satellite television and Wi-Fi access.

Courtyard Shanghai Puxi

338 Heng Feng Road, Shanghai, China, 200070

Telephone:  +86 21 2215 3888

The Courtyard Shanghai Puxi is located in the center of the Shanghai Jingan District, an ideal destination for business and leisure! Within minutes of The Courtyard Shanghai Puxi, guests will find the Shanghai Railway Station, Visa Center, Nanjing Road West, Jing An Temple, and People’s Square. Guests will enjoy spacious accommodations featuring well-lit desks, high-speed Internet, in-room safes and mini-bars, as well as a 30th-floor Executive Lounge with panoramic skyline views!

Regal Kowloon Hotel

No.71 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China (Tsim Sha Tsui)

Telephone: 00 852 2722 1818

Conveniently located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong’s renowned commercial and entertainment district, the Regal Kowloon Hotel is an exquisite blend of classical European elegance and Oriental hospitality. Catering to the needs of the most discerning travellers, the luxurious hotel offers gracefully furnished guest rooms, and a variety of excellent food, including Cantonese cuisine, classic American grilled fare, international buffets, stylish healthy specialties and refreshing cocktails.


Celebrity Millennium

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Since its inception in 1989, Celebrity has held true to its original commitment of taking the very best aspects of classic, elegant cruising and updating them to reflect current lifestyles. In 1997, they merged with Royal Caribbean International to form Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. What sets Celebrity apart from other vacation choices today is the cruise line’s passionate dedication to providing guests with a cruise experience that embodies modern luxury. This has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set the worldwide standard for today’s expression of what first made cruising famous — high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine. Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all providing an unmatchable vacation experience.

Ship: Millennium

A favorite of many vacationers, Celebrity Millennium® includes many award-winning Solstice® Class features. She’s been renewed with spa-inspired AquaClass® staterooms, the AquaClass signature restaurant, Blu, and the addition of verandas to her chic Celebrity Suites. There is no better way to experience the exotic beauty of Asia and the South Pacific than aboard Celebrity Millennium. Out of the ordinary? Definitely.

Journey to China and the Far East

Before You Go

Money Matters

How you handle your own currency and financials is your choice while on the trip. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to have them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These are often readily available, especially in major cities. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks when in need of cash. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

Cards are now widely accepted all over the world, especially major brand names. Call your card ahead of time to find out its specific limitations and benefits overseas.


Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Keep packing as simple as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Ask your domestic carrier their own rules for baggage allowance, which might mean additional fees. All bags will be screened during transfer to Beijing and onto cruise ship.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines with weight and size.


Have your bags all labeled with name and address clearly marked. Add something recognizable in case bags are misplaced. Also mark bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for fluidity.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into the states, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you are questioning a certain item, visit for a list of items that cannot be packed.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable Journey. Most regions will have cooler, blustery weather and sometimes rainy climates, so pack accordingly. There is always unusual variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key item to take on your trip to Asia:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Pants with pockets
  • Skirt with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglasses and/or glasses (if needed)


Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment. Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If bringing a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but incur additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling you carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless internet for free in places like China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Your Health and Comfort

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside your trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip beforehand up to the departure date with a full refund – that means 100% coverage at anytime.

This covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, baggage delay and medical consultations abroad. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if travel insurance is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period.

Please apply through our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra, just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

While on Tour

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journey. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will have the group go over items such as the daily schedule, cruise details, weather and local customs.


All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high standard of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each choice varies so you may experience various types of properties on your excursion.

Journey to China and the Far East

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Journey to China and the Far East

Regional Information

Travel Documentation

Your identification is one of the most important things you will be carrying on your trip. Passports are required upon entry into Shanghai and subsequent countries. Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out as well as e-mailing to yourself and someone back home in case anything is misplaced. It can also be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be in good condition and valid for at least 6 months following your date of return from the trip. China requires a multiple entry tourist visa, which you can apply for before arrival. If traveling with a non-US passport, contact your local embassy to ensure this document is the only one needed for passage into China, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide the most current visa information. However, it is most likely you will need traveller visas for China and Vietnam prior to departure.

The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov, which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

Some cruise lines offer visa services for your cruise at an additional charge. However, this is not always available.

You may also use a third-party visa service, such as CIBT. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.


Vaccinations are not required by law in places such as China, but it is recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have and your personal medical history. During this excursion, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce. Here are some suggestions for the various countries visited on this journey:

  • China – Short-term travel shots for Typhoid and Hepatitis A
  • Thailand – Short-term travel shots for Tetanus and Hepatitis A
  • Vietnam – Short-term travel shots for Typhoid and Hepatitis A
  • Singapore – Short-term travel shots for Typhoid and Hepatitis A

If you have more questions, feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at 1-800-232-4636 or visit the website at

Electric Current

Have an international electric outlet converter for this trip. Each country has variants, so this will ensure your electronics stay charged. China runs on 220v, as does Vietnam and Thailand. Most hotels will have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter.

Time Differences

You will be changing time zones periodically on the trip, but never more than one hour differences. These are the zones of each checkpoint:

  • Beijing – CST
  • Hong Kong – HKT
  • Vietnam – ICT (hour behind Beijing)
  • Thailand – ICT
  • Singapore – SGT (hour ahead of Vietnam)

Money Matters

By visiting various countries throughout the Journey, you will need several kinds of currency. This is only needed for additional shopping, food or extra expenses, as much of this is included in the trip.

Here are current exchange rates for China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.

China – Renminbi, or Chinese dollar

Banknotes in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100

There are small change paper and coin amounts, called yijiao

Exchange – $1 USD to 6.14 Chinese dollar

Hong Kong – Hong Kong dollar

Banknotes in 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000

Coins in 10, 20 and 50 cents, dollar coins in 1, 2, 5, 10

Exchange – $1 USD to 7.76 Hong Kong dollar

Vietnam – Vietnamese dong

Banknotes in 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 500000

Coins range from 200-5,000 dong

Exchange – $1 USD to 21,223 Vietnamese dong

Thailand – Thai baht

Banknotes in 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000

Coins represent 1-10 baht, as well as satang (100 satang equals one baht)

Exchange – $1 USD to 30.9 Thai baht

Singapore – Singapore dollar

Banknotes in 1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 10000

Coins are in 1-50 cent denominations and one dollar

Exchange – $1 USD to 1.26 Singapore dollar

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is always appreciated but not required. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry in Asia that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers and baggage handlers. Avoiding coins may be advisable, as it can be a cultural faux-pas to use these as tips.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels and at airports. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few dollars in the local currency is customary. The local host or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per day, as can any ship staff member (which will be split at the end of the day by all), and drivers can be tipped about $5 USD per day. Guides/drivers will happily accept either local currency or US.


With the tour covering a wide range of climates and regions, you will most likely come in contact with heat, rain, fog, wind and damp environments. Check the weather online before embarking for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations (Beijing, Hanoi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok). The summer months of July and August are warmest, while winter months of December-February can be chilly.

High/Low in Fahrenheit
Bejing 34/17 39/22 52/33 67/47 78/57 85/66 86/72 85/69 78/59 66/47 49/32 37/22
Hong Kong 67/58 67/59 71/63 77/69 83/75 86/79 89/81 89/81 87/79 83/75 76/67 70/60
Xi’An 39/25 45/30 55/39 68/50 77/58 86/67 87/71 85/70 76/61 66/51 52/38 42/28
Hanoi 66/58 67/60 72/65 80/71 87/77 90/80 89/80 88/78 82/73 76/66 71/60 65/57

Altitude (above sea level, in feet)


Beijing – 180

Xi’an – 1,305

Hong Kong – 79


Hanoi – 39


Bangkok – 10


Singapore – 30

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local native language can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are the top ten fun phrases in Mandarin (Chinese), Vietnamese and Thai.

China and Hong Kong – Mandarin

nǐ hǎo (Knee how): Hello

Xiè  xiè (Sheh sheh): Thank you

Búyòng kèqì (Boo yong sheh): You’re welcome

Shì (Shr): Yes

Búshì (Boo shr): No

Duìbuqǐ (Dway boo chee): Excuse me

zài jiàn (Zi gee’en): Good Bye

duō shǎo qián (Dor sheow chen): How much?

Wǒ tīng bù dǒng (Wore ting boo dong): I don’t understand

kuài zǐ (Kwhy za): Chopstic

Vietnam – Vietnamese

Xin chào. (Seen chow): Hello

Khỏe không? (Kweh kohng?): How are you?

Không sao đâu (Kohng sao doh): You’re welcome

Tôi không hiểu (Toy kohng hee-oh): I don’t understand

Biết nói tiếng Anh không? (Byet noy tyeng ang kohng): Do you speak English?

Tôi bị lạc. (Toi bee lack): I’m lost

Làm ơn. (Lam uhhn): Please.

Tắc xi! (Tuck see): Taxi!

Bao nhiêu (tiền)? (Bahw ngew tee-uhn?): How much is this?

Sẽ quay lại sớm (Se-ay kway lie-ay sohm): Be back soon

Thailand – Thai

สวัสดี (Sa-wat-dii): Hello.

คุณสบายดีไหม/หรือ  (Sabaai-dii mái?): How are you?

ยินดีที่ได้รู้จัก (Yin-dii thii dai ruu-jak): Nice to meet you

กรุณา (Karunaa): Pleaseขอบคุณ[มาก] (Khop khun): Thank you

ใช่ (Chai): Yes.

ไม่ใช่ (Mai chai): No

ขอโทษ (Kho thot): Excuse me

เท่าไหร่, กี่ (Thâo’rai’) or (kii): How much, how many?

อร่อย (A-ròi): Delicious

Facts and Figures

Explore some unusual and fascinating facts about China and the Far East before you embark on your Journey.

China and Hong Kong

  • China has the biggest population in the world, with 1.34 billion people. The capital city of Beijing has 20 million people.
  • One in every five people in the world is Chinese. China’s population is four times that of the United States.
  • The Chinese invented paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.
  • According to the city’s official census in 2006, the most common surname in Beijing is Wang, a name shared by 10.35% of the population.
  • The city of Beijing is very old and dates back to about 3,000 years.
  • Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor.
  • Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world; double that of New York City.


  • In an area slightly larger than New Mexico, Vietnam has a population of more than 92 million, with the capital city of Hanoi holding 2.6 million.
  • Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, and the second largest exporter of rice.
  • There are 54 ethnic groups in the country (H’mong is one of these). The most populated ethnic group is Viet (88% of the population).
  • From elementary school to high school, students are required to wear uniforms when they go to class.
  • Ruou ran (snake wine), a Vietnamese specialty of rice wine with a pickled snake inside, allegedly can cure any sickness.
  • The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word. This makes their language somewhat difficult to learn.


  • Of the 67 million people in Thailand, roughly 6.9 million live in the capital city of Bangkok.
  • Thailand’s name in the Thai language is Prathet Thai, which means “Land of the Free”.
  • The world’s smallest mammal, the Craseonycteris thonglongyai (the bumble bat), is found in Thailand.
  • Thailand shares a border with four countries: Myanmar (formerly Burma) to the north and west, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south.
  • In the past, all Thai young men including the kings became Buddhist monks for at least a short period of time before their 20th birthday. Today, fewer young men observe the practice.


  • Singapore consists only of one main island and 63 other tiny islands with a population of 4.6 million people. Most of these islands are uninhabited.
  • Although English is the official working language and the most widely used language in Singapore, the national anthem ‘Majulah Singapura‘  is actually sung in Malay.
  • The Singapore Sling was first served in 1915 at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. The ingredients are gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Dom Benedictine, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angoustura bitters and limes.

Journey to China and the Far East

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