Day 1 – Hong Kong to Yangshuo
Hong Kong – Yangshuo. Welcome to Hong Kong and the beginning of your Chinese adventure. Travel independently to the hostel where you’ll meet your tour leader and the rest of the group. We’ll then travel to Victoria Peak for spectacular views of the city and harbour before boarding the famous bullet train to Guilin for an evening at leisure. Overnight: Yangshuo.
Days 2-4 – Yangshuo
Arrive in Yangshuo this morning where you’ll have the afternoon free to explore or participate in an optional kayaking excursion down the rushing Li River. Alternatively, there is the more relaxing option of experiencing some traditional Chinese therapies including hot cupping. This evening stroll down West Street or marvel at the majestic Impression Liu Sanjie, a famous sound and light show in Yangshuo.
Explore the stunning landscape with a bike tour on the morning of day 3, before you take to the river aboard traditional bamboo rafts, passing under ancient bridges and through rural villages. You’ll then have the rest of today and day 4 to spend at leisure. Why not visit the famous Moon Hill Caves and take a dip in the mud baths, or try rock climbing on the towering limestone peaks of Yangshuo? You may also experience rural Chinese life for yourself with a visit to your tour leaders home village. Overnight: Yangshuo.
Day 5 – Yangshuo to Chengdu
Yangshuo – Chengdu. Enjoy your final morning in Yangshuo as you please before boarding the night train to Chengdu. Overnight: Sleeper train.
Days 6-7 – Chengdu Pandas
Today we’ll visit the famous Giant Panda Research and Breeding Centre, where this once endangered Chinese icon is bred and protected. Watch the pandas enjoy breakfast before heading to the nursery to meet the new-borns. Discover other rare Chinese species at the centre including the red panda and the black-necked crane. Later, enjoy a Mandarin lesson from our tour leader before an optional trip to the traditional Sichuan Opera this evening.
Enjoy day 7 exploring Chengdu independently or travel to Leshan on our optional excursion to admire the world’s largest stone Buddha, which took over 90 years to carve. Why not spend the evening enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife? Overnight Chengdu.
Day 8 – Chengdu to Xi’an
Chengdu – Xi’an. There will be some free time this morning before we say goodbye to Chengdu – you may wish to visit the Wenshu Monastery or visit a traditional Chinese tea house before we board the night train to Xi’an. Overnight: Sleeper train.
Days 9-10 – Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors
Arrive in ancient Xi’an where you’ll have the option of participating in a bike ride along the 14th century Ming Dynasty wall that divides the city. Other optional excursions will explore the Bell-drum towers and visit the Muslim quarter where you’ll see unique Chinese mosques. Spend the evening exploring Xi’an as you please, ensuring you try some of the Muslim quarter’s delicious street food.
On the morning of day 10 we’ll explore the most famous site in Xi’an, the Terracotta Warriors. This sculpted army was crafted in the 3rd century BC to protect the legendary Emperor Qin Shihuang in the afterlife. This evening there is an optional excursion to the Star Sun Home in the Muslim quarter, a local charity which cares and educates children with mental illness. Overnight: Xi’an.
Day 11 – Xi’an to Shaolin
Xi’an – Shaolin. This morning we’ll travel to Shaolin before you enjoy an optional Kung Fu lesson and show at a local children’s home, run by a master from the famous Shaolin Temple. This evening practice your Mandarin with a second lesson from our tour leader. Overnight: Shaolin.
Day 12 – Shaolin Temple and Beijing
Shaolin – Beijing. Rise early this morning to join an optional visit to the Shaolin Temple – the flagship of Kung Fu. Marvel as the masters demonstrate near impossible moves in the courtyard. Later, we’ll hike to Dharma Cave on Elephant Trunk Mountain where we’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding scenery, before we board the night train to Beijing. Overnight: Sleeper train.
Day 13 – The Great Wall
Today we’ll visit one of China’s most famous sites, the Great Wall. Hike on a secluded and un-restored section of the wall and watch the sunset over the dazzling landscape. Spend the night under the stars as we camp along the wall and enjoy another Mandarin lesson with our tour leader this evening. Overnight: Camping on the Great Wall.
Day 14 – The Great Wall and Beijing
Wake early this morning and enjoy the view as we watch the sun rise over the Great Wall. We’ll then return to Beijing where the rest of today can be spent exploring independently. There is an optional excursion this afternoon to the fake goods market where you can use your haggling skills to buy souvenirs. Make sure to try Beijing’s signature dish of Peking Roast Duck for dinner, before we witness a stunning acrobatics display. Overnight: Beijing.
Day 15 – Beijing to Hong Kong
Beijing – Hong Kong (via Shenzhen). Spend your final day in Beijing exploring the highlights of the city as you please. Walk through the famous Tiananmen Square, visit the former imperial palace and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city from Jingshan Park. There is an optional excursion this afternoon to the Nanluo district, one of the best-preserved historical areas in Beijing – take time to explore the narrow hutong streets and siheyan courtyards. This evening we board our night train to Shenzhen. Overnight: Sleeper train.
Day 16 – Hong Kong
We’ll arrive into Hong Kong via Shenzhen where your Chinese adventure ends. Travel to the airport for your onward flight.