March 24 – March 31, 2024
(Booking Deadline: January 19, 2024)
March 24 – Arrive Changsha
Whether you are flying into Beijing, Guangzhou, or Shanghai, plan to arrive Changsha, Hunan today. Our tour guide will meet everyone at Changsha Huanghua International Airport (CSX) and we’ll get checked into our hotel for the night.
Meals Included: All on own today
March 25 – Tour Changsha, Visit Hunan Embroidery Research Institute
Put on some comfortable walking shoes – we’re touring Hunan’s capital city today! Changsha was once a mecca of agriculture and advancement before the Sino-Japanese War tore through its heart. Nowadays, this beautiful city is most well-known as the birthplace of Chairman Mao Zedong. Beyond that, Changsha (and all of Hunan) is famous for its savory, spicy cuisine and we have a strong hankering to try many a dish to understand it!
We’ll stop by the Hunan Embroidery Research Institute after lunch. Hunan (Xiang) embroidery is famous for its silk-work, creating photo-realistic pieces that are simply stunning!
*Optional Experience: Xiang Embroidery Class, $30/person*
Meals Included: breakfast, lunch
March 26 – Bullet Train to Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie City
Checking out of our hotel, we’re hopping on a bullet train to Zhangjiajie (~2 hours).
We’ll rest in Zhangjiajie City for the night before our two-day adventure through the famous national park.
Meal Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
March 27 – Explore Zhangjiajie, Wulingyuan Scenic Area
The must-not-miss Zhangjiajie’s Wulingyuan Scenic Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and utterly awe-inspiring. In pop culture, most know the natural wonder as the filming location of the Avatar franchise. Upon seeing the thousands of jagged quartzite sandstone columns, it may as well be another world.
This is day 1 of 2 in Zhangjiajie. We could spend a full month here, exploring its wondrous caves, forests, waterfalls, and cliffs. Empty those SD cards and stretch those tight limbs – We’re fitting as much of this beauty in as possible!
Meals Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
March 28 – Explore Zhangjiajie, Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Day 2 of 2 and we hate to leave. If you braved the famous glass skywalk bridge and climbed all 999 steps to the Tianmen (Heaven’s Gate), you should be incredibly proud! Our knees are wobbling just writing this.
Capture those final mystical memories of this alien planet. We’ll stay in Zhangjiajie tonight and leave first thing in the morning.
Meals Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
March 29 – Furong Town, Phoenix Ancient City
We’re hopping a bus to visit some of Hunan’s most well-preserved ancient towns. What can we say? We’re huge history nerds.
Our first stop on our 3-hr drive will be Furong Town, a magical waterfall idyll that will transport you to yet another world. Built over 2,000 years ago, walking around Furong feels like a painted fever dream you never want to wake from. Home to the Tujia ethnic minority, this village has been more-or-less hidden from the modern world, frozen in time. Please be respectful and careful to not take photos of the villagers.
We’ll reach our destination by nightfall. Phoenix Ancient City is a national historical and cultural city once praised by the famous New Zealand writer Louis Ellie as the most beautiful town in China. The Youths may have seen many-a-Tik-Tok of this city’s nightscape. With the entire city lit in glinted gold, don’t blame us if you start feeling ridiculously romantic.
Meals Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
March 30 – Phoenix Ancient City, Miao Village
Our last full day together, we’ll have a chance to visit a Miao ethnic minority village nearby. One of Hunan’s six ethnic minority groups, and its largest, beautiful Miao cultural influences can be found across the province.
Within the Miao minority group are many sub-groups and each have their own practices and customs. We will have a chance to try Hunan Miao cuisine and watch a traditional Miao Drum Dance, just a small window into their world.
Meals Included: breakfast, lunch
March 31 – Departure Day: Bullet Train to Guangzhou
Time to say goodbye 🙁 We’ll take a 5-hour bullet train ride to Guangzhou for departure back home. We hope to see you again, soon!
Each tour group is divided into smaller travel groups, around 8-12 parties per group (depending on the number of travelers), each with their own tour guide. This tour group and guide will be yours for the entire tour.
We try our best to arrange groups based on the age of the adoptee travelers. Tour groups will have staggered bus departure times, sightseeing schedules, and often different restaurants for group meals.
Yes, of course!
Please make sure to email email@example.com to make any travel group requests. The earlier that you make requests, the more likely it is that they will be honored. We try our best to honor every request.
Yes, of course! Please make sure to register together under the same profile. The email address provided upon registration will be used for all Heritage Tour correspondence, so be sure to pass information on to your travel companions if they do not have access to that email.
Of course you can! Our Heritage Tour opportunities are for everyone. Please spread the word! We would love the chance to help make your travel dreams a reality.
Certainly! If you need help with any additional trip bookings, we are happy to help.
Yes, you can, but please understand that unused tours are non-refundable and the cost of the Tour package is a fixed cost.
Please let us know in advance of your decisions so that we can confirm your preferences with your tour guide.
$3-6 or 20-35 RMB per day per person in your party for each tour guide. It is fine to tip in either USD or RMB currency. You should plan to tip $1-3 or 7-20 RMB per day per person in your party for tour bus drivers. To make tipping easier for your family, you can tip your guide & bus driver at the end of each city on the tour.
China no longer requires a negative PCR test to enter China.
Wearing a mask is suggested at airports and train stations. In more crowded sight-seeing areas, some people still choose to wear masks, especially elders and kids, but it is not required.
There are no more public COVID testing stations or daily requirements.
China has no specific immunization requirements for entering their country and the U.S. has no immunization requirements for re-entry. This includes no requirements for COVID immunizations.
We recommend that you ask your personal physician, a travel/immunization clinic, and/or the Center for Disease Control about any vaccinations requirement updates or suggestions.
CDC website for specific recommendations.
Each traveler will need:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months’ validity from departure date
- Chinese tourist visa (L visa)
- Obtain a Chinese tourist visa from a Chinese Embassy/Consulate prior to travel. For more detailed information on travel visas, please view our Visa Information page.
When it is time to apply for visas, we will send you a Letter of Invitation from China to include with your application.
Please check your passport and the passports of each individual in your travel party to verify that all expire at least 6 months after your tour dates.
Due to the unpredictability of international travel, we highly recommend that you purchase international travel and medical emergency insurance. Visit our Tour Resources section for more information.
All of the hotels we will be staying at have in-house clinics for any mild medical needs. For anything more urgent, our guides are able to take you to the nearest hospital, if needed.
For any prescription medication, it is recommended that they be kept in their original containers in case of emergency. Make sure that you pack amounts slightly more than enough for the entire trip and have a plan for the drastic time change. For more information regarding medications in your carry-on or checked bags please visit TSA guidelines.
Yes, all of our tour guides will try their utmost to help ensure that all meals are safe for any dietary restrictions. However, due to cultural and culinary differences in China, we cannot guarantee anything and suggest taking caution and packing snacks if food allergies are severe.
Please mention any and all food allergies, dietary needs, or health concerns on your registration form. This will help our guides better prepare.
We also have translated cards available for common allergies or physical conditions. Visit our Tour Resources section to find these under “Travel Tips”. If you would like a translated card that is not yet listed, please contact us.
For in-China flights:
- Checked luggage weight allowance: ≤ 44 lbs
- Carry-on size restrictions: 14in. x 19in. x 22in.
Plan to bring an additional $50-$100 if you are a heavy packer. You may lock your bag for in-China flights but you must leave your bag unlocked for your international flights.
For bullet train travel:
- Checked luggage weight allowance: ≤ 110 lbs.
- Carry-on weight allowance: ≤ 44 lbs.
- Carry-on size restrictions: 36in. x 36in. x 36in.
Your hotels on the trip will have laundry services available; however, with the quick speed of the trip, it can be challenging to get hotel laundry done in time. Plan on only being able to do laundry when you are staying at least 2 nights in a given city so that your clothes have ample time to dry.
Please keep in mind that hotel laundry services can be very expensive. Be sure to carefully review the laundry form provided by the hotel in regards to the price per item. There may be some opportunities to have your laundry done outside of the hotel in Chengdu and Guilin. These options could be cheaper. Your guide will be able to notify you if this service is available.
A $200/traveler deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is applied toward your tour total and is non-refundable except under extenuating circumstances.
Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about this deposit.
Unfortunately, we are no longer able to provide free trip coverage for adoptees traveling on a heritage tour.
Your tour fee does not cover:
- International airfares
- Passport and/or China Visa fees
- Tips or gratuity
- Suggested tip amount for Guide: $3-6 or 20-40RMB/day/person
- Suggested tip amount for Driver: $1.5-3 or 10-20RMB/day/person
- Additional $330 for single room occupancy in hotels
- Personal expenses, spending money
- Meals not included on the itinerary
- Approximately $20-$40/person/day for any lunch & dinner
- Any optional tour excursions
- Transfers between the airport and the hotel before or after the main tour itinerary
Please fly into Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG).
Unfortunately, all orphanages have been closed to visitors since the pandemic. We hope the government will allow orphanages to reopen again soon. As of right now, orphanage visits have to be verified and approved on a case by case basis.
Let us know if you do want to visit your/your child’s orphanage on your birth city tour so that we can do some homework for you.
Same goes for visiting the CCCWA. Currently, it is not open to outside visitors, but we are hoping this changes soon.
It’s true that our tours are very go, go, go, but we have built in rest days and several shopping and free time opportunities throughout our schedule. There’s just so much to pack into a tight 11 days!
Although it is one of our favorite cities to tour, we will not have any tour plans for Shanghai upon our return. If you are hoping to stay longer, we are happy to help arrange any additional travel plans you are hoping to fit into your trip. Just contact us and we can discuss!
*Please keep in mind that orphanage visits are not guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the orphanage.*
For an orphanage visit, you will need:
- Orphanage Visit Application Form
- Adoption Registration Certificate
- Abandonment Certificate (Chinese version)
- Printed copies of Adoption Registration Certificate, U.S. passport, and Abandonment Certificate to bring with you to China.
Yes, to everything except the orphanage visit itself. Pending approval of your Orphanage Visit Application, our guides can contact the orphanage for you, but the go/no go decision is ultimately up to the orphanage.
Your Orphanage City Tour costs (including hotels, flights/trains, transportation, guide services, etc.) will be calculated specifically for your trip.
Yes! You can take a day trip to visit your/your child’s orphanage in Shanghai, Suzhou, or Hangzhou while the group is traveling in each particular city. The additional cost of this would be approximately $200-$500 per family per orphanage visit.
- Day 1: Fly into the capital city of the birth province. Get settled and acquainted.
- Day 2: Drive to orphanage city/town, visit the orphanage, visit foster parents or finding spot (if information is available), stay overnight in the orphanage town or travel back to the provincial capital
- Day 3: Free day or sightseeing before flying back to depart to join the main tour OR flying to your departure city to fly back to the U.S.
Yes, this can be arranged for an additional fee.
Yes, this can be arranged in most cases. Please be sure to note this on your registration form. Again, you must first obtain permission to visit any orphanages in China.
Although gifts are not required as part of the orphanage visit, if you would like to bring a gift, you can consider bringing small toys, candy, school/art supplies for the children living in the orphanage. You may also consider inquiring with the orphanage about any needed items. If you would like, you can purchase what is needed in China.
Gifts/donations are strictly optional.