Beijing to Hong Kong
China really does have it all: tranquil countrysides offering jaw-dropping natural scenery and invigorating hikes, neon cities boasting incredible food and scintillating nightlife and points of historical, artistic and cultural interest at every turn. Get acquainted with this country's complexities and contrasts on this fascinating 23-day adventure that will have you walking the Great Wall, trekking through the Longji rice terraces, idling the hours away in serene Hongcun, drifting along the Li River and living it up in Hong Kong. Jam-packed with colour, culture and zeal, China will astonish you with the levels of diversity and distinction contained within its borders.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will have changes to the order of destinations on days 14-18 in order to reduce the amount of travel time needed on Day 19. Please see 2017 Trip Notes for details.
- See the amazing contrasts between North & South China
- Visit the famous Terracotta Warriors
- Stay overnight in a unique Hakka village roundhouse
- Trek alongside rice terraces to the villages of Longji
- Walk along the Great Wall of China
- See the amazing contrasts between north and south China, from the chaotic and exciting capital to the photogenic landscapes of Yangshuo
- Visit the famous Terracotta Warriors, stay overnight in a unique Hakka village roundhouse, and
- trek alongside rice terraces to the villages of Longji
- Perhaps no trip to China is complete without seeing the iconic Great Wall. Take an invigorating hike along the Mutianyu section
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||16||Duration||23 days|
|Category||Bronze||Keep it simple, keeping inclusions to a minimum. These trips represent exceptional value and having a lot of free time to do what you wish.|
Day 1 - Beijing
Notes: As we will depart for the Great Wall on Day 2 of this trip we highly recommend arriving a few days earlier to make the most of your time here. Those who arrive early could enter the imposing former home of the Chinaâs imperial rulers â the Forbidden City; take a trip to the 798 Art District on a Beijing Art and Architecture tour; cycle round the city; visit the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven; explore the of beautiful Tibetan-style monastery of Yonghegong (the Lama Temple) or the Summer Palace outside of the city, or catch a performance by the world renowned Beijing Acrobats.
Day 2 - Great Wall
Notes: We recommend you bring walking poles with you or purchase these in Beijing for our Great Wall walk on Day 3. You'll need reasonable fitness and walking shoes with good support and grip for the walk. There are many steps and slopes on the way so be prepared for a tough climb in sections. The views make it more than worth the while though â this is a real highlight of the trip. Because you will generally stay at two local guesthouses while at the Wall, you see the Great Wall at sunset or sunrise, an experience that should not be missed.
Day 3 - Great Wall
Notes: If you do not believe you are fit enough for the trek, you can go on the bus with the driver to Jinshanling and still have a chance to walk around this section of the Wall. Please note for CBRF departures during Chinese Winter (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb) we may not stay overnight near the Great Wall as the Guesthouses we use do not have adequate heating for the winter months. During these months, depending on the weather, you might stay in Beijing on these nights to ensure your comfort.
Day 4 - Great Wall - Beijing - Xi'an
Notes: We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound â compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded three-tiered berths (6 to a compartment). Wherever possible, we will group our travellers together, but this will depend on group size and ticket availability. Sheets, pillows and a blanket are provided. Some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Safe, hot drinking water is always available. It is a good idea to bring a mug, spoon, knife and fork if you will be preparing your own hot drinks or food on the train (as these are not provided in cabins). Basic bathroom facilities with toilets and washbasins are situated at the end of each carriage. As toilet paper isn't always available, it's best to bring an emergency supply. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. Food is available on the train, but it's a good idea to stock up on snacks for the trip.
Day 5 - Xi'an
Day 6 - Xi'an - Shanghai
Day 7 - Shanghai
Day 8-9 - Huangshan
Notes: The paths are steep and often slippery, so you will need good fitness and suitable hiking shoes. Please note that Huangshan is subject to dramatic changes in weather. You will need to be prepared for mist, fog, rain and cool temperatures. September & October are considered the best months to visit Huangshan weather wise. In any season you should ensure that you take enough clothing, food and water supplies as well as extra money in case the weather changes and you need to take the cable car instead of hiking. As one of China's premier sights, you should also be prepared for crowds of domestic tourists during public holidays, although at any time of the year there can be long waits for the cable car.
Day 10 - Hongcun
Day 11 - Shanghai
Notes: If you choose to spend more time in Shanghai you could visit the Propaganda Museum for a fascinating look at China's revolutionary past, get a bird's eye view of the city from the Pearl Tower's observation decks, wander the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, barter in markets, stroll through modern Pudong or scope out the cityâs buzzing nightlife at a local bar.
Day 12 - Shanghai
Notes: As we leave Shanghai in the afternoon of Day 2, we highly recommend arriving a few days early to fully experience this dynamic city.
Day 13 - Shanghai - Overnight Train
Notes: Train travel in China may not be entirely luxurious but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people, as it's the main form of transport for locals. We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are certainly not as rough as they sound â compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded three-tiered berths (6 to a compartment). Wherever possible, we will group our travellers together, but this will depend on group size and ticket availability. Sheets, pillows and a blanket are provided. Some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Safe, hot drinking water is always available. It is a good idea to bring a mug, spoon, knife and fork if you will be preparing your own hot drinks or food on the train (as these are not provided in cabins). Basic bathroom facilities with toilets and washbasins are situated at the end of each carriage. As toilet paper isn't always available, it's best to bring an emergency supply. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. Food is available on the train, but it's a good idea to stock up on snacks for the trip.
Day 14 - Longji Rice Terraces
Disembark from the train and jump on a bus from Guilin to Longji.
The Longji region has some of the most extensive rice terraces you'll ever see. These terraces change with the seasons: filled with water from the mountains before planting, becoming green during the growing season and then golden when the rice is ready for harvest. This evening youâll overnight in the minority village of Dazhai, which is home to the Yao minorities. The Yao still live a traditional lifestyle and preserve their unique customs, one of which is the womenâs hair â they can only cut their hair at 16 years old, symbolising their entrance into adulthood. The hair isnât thrown away, but is kept by the grandmother. When the woman marries, the hair is made into an ornamental headdress and brought to the husband's home as a souvenir.
Day 15 - Longji Rice Terraces
Notes: Expect to carry your own daypack and walk for up to five hours as your next accommodation may be in a different village. The hike can be tough going for some, with many uphill stretches and some very slippery paths. However, more experienced hikers will have no problems and there are many more optional walks available, uncovering great photo opportunities around every corner.
Day 16 - Yangshuo
Day 17 - Yangshuo
Day 18 - Yangshuo
Day 19 - Tulou Village
Day 20 - Xiamen
Day 21 - Xiamen
Day 22 - Hong Kong
Day 23 - Hong Kong
Notes: As your trip finishes today and you only have limited time in Hong Kong, we highly recommend staying a few extra days to enjoy all this incredible city has to offer: Take a scenic journey around the islands of Hong Kong on the famous passenger ferry service, the Star Ferry; venture up to the top of Victoria Peak for a bird's eye view; watch the harbour's spectacular light show or ride the peak tram to Victoria Peak for incredible views of the Hong Kong skyline.