Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to the capital of China! A sprawling city sure to stimulate all your senses. I highly advise just taking this day to acclimatise to your new environment. Settle into your hotel, get some rest, explore the local area and get a good night’s sleep ready for tomorrows adventures.
After breakfast your English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel for a full day’s exploring of some of Beijing’s most iconic sites. Explore the maze of courtyards and halls at the Forbidden city, visit the Temple of Heaven, one of China’s most holy places and finish off with a serene walk through the gardens at the Summer Palace.
Things to do:
Beijing & The Great Wall
Leave the energetic city behind as you head out to explore the Great Wall of China this morning. You’ll visit some of the more remote and less developed sections of the wall before transferring to your tranquil retreat for the night. The Brickyard offers panoramic vistas of the Great Wall and is surrounding by glorious fruit orchards. My favourite spot here is the outdoor hot tub overlooking the wall!
Things to do:
The Great Wall & Beijing
After a relaxing morning in Mutianyu, breathing in all that wonderful \mountain air and taking some last minute snaps, you’ll head back to the capital. Tonight you’ll have the opportunity to try Beijing’s famed Peking Duck at dinner and you’ll soon understand why it has such a good reputation here.
Beijing & Xi'an
All aboard the high-speed train to Xi’an this morning for the next section of your epic Chinese adventure. After settling into your hotel, you can enjoy a leisurely late afternoon bike tour along the Ancient City Wall. As you cycle past the city parks, look out for locals practicing all sorts of hobbies as the sun begins to set.
Begin your day with a visit to the acclaimed Terracotta Army Museum, one of the most important attractions in Xi’an and home to one of the most significant archaeological finds in the world. This evening put your glad-rags on and head to the theatre for an evening of traditional Chinese dance and a delicious dumpling dinner.
Things to do:
Xi'an & Chengdu
Your whistle stop tour of Xi’an has come to an end and this morning you’ll head further south-west to the wonderful city of Chengdu which is sure to capture a piece of your heart. Chengdu is home to an abundance of cosy teahouses and quaint restaurants and due to the number of universities in the area, you’ll find plenty of locals looking to practice their English with you.
Today is a very special day as you get to volunteer at the Chengdu Panda Base and learn all about the fantastic work they do here. As a research centre and breeding program, focus is placed on education and observing the bears in their natural habitat. There’s nothing like watching a pile of cute panda babies wrestling in the grass.
Things to do:
Chengdu & Shangri-La
Each region in China has its own particular cuisine and here in Chengdu, it’s all about the Sichuan food. Extremely fiery and full of flavour enjoy a personal cooking class this afternoon learning all the tricks of the trade before transferring to Shangri-La tonight.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, rainforests, deep valleys and plateau lakes, Shangri-La is absolutely stunning. Today you’ll get the chance to explore Pudacuo National Park, one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world and the spectacular Shika Snow Mountains.
Shangri-La & Lijiang
This morning as you leave Shangri-La you’ll make your way to the first bend of the Yangtze River and visit the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. Enjoy the rugged scenery of the Tibetan Plateau as you make your way to the ancient village of Shuhe, just outside Lijiang, for a delightful stay at The Bivou.
Things to do:
Lijiang & Yangshuo
Say goodbye to your new friends at The Bivou this morning as you fly across to Guilin to transfer to Yangshuo where you’ll pack in a few more adventures in the idyllic Chinese countryside.
The dramatic limestone, karst hill landscapes in Yangshuo are truly spectacular. Take a scenic boat trip down the Li River and explore the ancient, traditional cultures, enjoy a simple lunch in a local restaurant and spend the afternoon gently cycling through rural villages and rice fields. This evening take up a VIP seat at the Impressions Liu Sanjie Theatre for some traditional entertainment.
After a busy day yesterday, take your time to explore this fascinating town at your own leisure. You’ll find plenty of local shops, restaurants and bars along West Street where you can sample local dishes such as beer fish and various sticky cakes and pick up those last minute trinkets.
Yangshuo & Longsheng
It’s an early start today as you head to Longsheng for a gentle hike across the rice terraces towards a village to meet the women of the Red Yao tribe. With some of the longest hair in the world, these playful women only cut their hair once at the age of 16. Learn about local village life and what qualities make for the perfect partner!
The quaint traditional village of Pingan is another really special place which exudes a sense of peace and tranquillity. A warren of lanes lined with food stalls and souvenir sellers, you’ll find women wearing colourful hats with woven baskets on their backs, food vendors selling rice dishes stuffed into smoking hot bamboo poles, all surrounded by rolling hills and rice terraces.
Longsheng, Guilin & Hong Kong
Enjoy one last journey through the scenic countryside as you make your way back to Guilin airport for your flight to Hong Kong where you’ll spend the night before tomorrow’s departure home.
Hong Kong & Departure
Your epic adventure through China has come to an end and it’s time to head home and share your lifelong memories and experiences with your loved ones.