Uncover the cities of Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai on this whistle stop tour of China with a night spent camping on the Great Wall.
Day 1: The Great Wall
Welcome to China! Our big adventure begins with The Great Wall. On our way there we’ll stop at a local farming village for lunch and set up camp on a deserted section of the famous wall, known only to the locals. Walk along the wall as the sun sets before returning to camp for our first Mandarin lesson with our trip leader. Overnight camping on Great Wall.
Days 2-3: Beijing
Rise early to watch the sunrise over the Great Wall before returning to Beijing where the rest of our time in the capital is completely at leisure. We recommend visiting Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world, and the iconic Forbidden City, boasting over 980 buildings. You can also head to one of the three fake goods markets for a shopping spree or stroll through the atmospheric hutongs. In the evening why not try some famous Peking Duck or perhaps watch a stunning acrobatics performance. Overnight Beijing (x2).
Day 4: Beijing to Hangzhou
Enjoy one final day exploring Beijing, perhaps with a visit to the beautiful Temple of Heaven, before boarding an overnight train to Hangzhou (approx. 14 hours). Overnight sleeper train.
Day 5: West Lake
Arrive early into scenic Hangzhou and transfer to our accommodation. Today enjoy a scenic boat trip to Lesser Yingzhou Isle on the West Lake, which is dotted with various islands and causeways and surrounded by green trees, pavilions and pagodas. Walk around the island and see the three pools mirroring the moon. Return to dry land for some free time to relax or perhaps visit the National Tea Museum or National Silk Museum. This afternoon we hike up Jiuyao Mountain to soak up the sunset views across the lake. Return to the city for a group meal and an evening at leisure. Overnight Hangzhou.
Days 6-8: Hangzhou to Shanghai
This morning we head to the luscious Misty Forest for a scenic hike along the Nine Creeks trail. Later in the day we take the train to Shanghai, continuing by metro to our accommodation. The evening is free to explore this futuristic city. On Saturday nights there is an optional Shanghai bar crawl. Day 7 is at leisure to further explore Shanghai. Visit one of the many museums to gain an insight into the city’s unique history, go shopping in the local markets, or try the local cuisine at a bustling street food market.
On the morning of day 8 we have our final Mandarin lesson in the Mandarin Garden Chinese Language School. The remainder of the day at leisure with an optional visit to the classical Yu Gardens. We recommend visiting Nanjing Road, the world’s busiest shopping street, and marvelling at the timeless colonial style buildings and modern skyscrapers at The Bund. End the day with a drink in a hot tub on the top floor of one of these skyscrapers for incredible panoramic views. Overnight Shanghai (x3).
Day 9: Shanghai
Today is our final day in bustling Shanghai. There is an optional walk through the former French concession visiting a secretive propaganda history museum, a local artisan lane and the ultra-modern financial district on the east side of the Huangpu River. We return to collect our bags and bid farewell to the group.
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