China - Beyond the wall

People think they know what to expect from China. They’re going to walk the Great Wall, hang out in Beijing and hopefully (somewhere in there) eat a dumpling. But there is so much more to the People’s Republic than that. Within its massive border lies a veritable yum-cha trolley of landscapes: from windswept tundra, deserts and wetlands, to pine forests, cherry blossoms and fairytale mountains. And with our years of experience, expert local guides and a range of great value adventures, we’ll make sure you see China in all its diverse and surprising glory. 
 
Plus, if you book before May 31 we’ll knock 10% OFF the price of your trip (for travel before October 31) – this includes both peak and shoulder seasons. Just use promo code 11845 at the time of booking. Terms and conditions apply.
 

Discover a different China

There’s a reason Hollywood keeps knocking on China’s door and asking for permission to film there. The country is like the world in miniature. We’ll take you through the dense jungle and rice paddies of Yunnan, Zhangye’s eye-popping rainbow danxia (just Google them), low-lying river valleys in Yangzi and Zhangjiajie’s floating limestone karsts (aka the Avatar Mountains). Come in late March and Beijing might even put on a world-class cherry blossom display. Who knew, right? If you thought China’s landscape was just bamboo with a touch of smog, think again. 
There’s no doubt about it, the dragon has well and truly awoken. Three decades of rapid urban development have seen China’s urban giants ¬– Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong – reach for the clouds (literally). More than ever, you need that local edge to make sense of the neon sprawl. Find Beijing’s crispiest Peking duck, practise some dawn yoga or karaoke in colonial Hong Kong or chat with artists and jazz musicians in trendy Shanghai. From island hopping to all-night shopping, China’s silver cities offer a great value adventure (if you know where to look). 
The cool thing about China is the way modern and traditional coexist side by side. Travel out of the urban centres and time begins to spool backwards, particularly in the one million villages and towns that dot the countryside. Life here hasn’t changed much in the last 500 years: here a traditional 16th-century Fujian Tulou village; there a water town from the Ming Dynasty. Farmers and water buffalo tilling the fields, stilt houses in Fenghuang perched above the river and Tibetan nomads praying in the monasteries of Xiahe – this is the China most people only see from an airplane window.
Forget every Chinese takeaway menu you’ve ever read – we’ll introduce you to the real deal on a dedicated Intrepid Food Adventure. Let’s start your Middle Kingdom education with some steamed guan tang baozi in Xi’an and a spicy Sichuan hotpot in Chengdu. Sip fragrant tea at a farm near Mount Emei Shan, snack on crispy guotie dumplings in Beijing and slurp up a bowl of lanzhou noodles on the Silk Road. And for dessert: a flaky mooncake or three in the eastern city of Suzhou (you may want to pack stretchier pants). Trust us, there’s a reason they called it yum cha. 
 
Thirty years of socialist construction may have given China a face lift, but there are still red veins of history and tradition running through the countryside. You just need a keen eye to spot them. Start with the tumbledown stones of the Great Wall and Xi’an’s silent Terracotta Army by all means (they’re called highlights for a reason). But dig a little deeper and all kinds of small wonders emerge: Ming Dynasty water towns, Buddhist cave statues, sacred mountains and 1500 year-old Shaolin temples. With our expert local guides by your side, the whole country begins to open up. 

10% OFF select trips

DAYS
9
FROM
USD $1,332
CAD $1,615
AUD $1,895
EUR €1,230
GBP £970
NZD $2,035
ZAR R21,745
CHF FR1,360
Get a taste of China on a short but sweet tour. China Highlights travels between Shanghai and Beijing, visiting the...
DAYS
12
FROM
USD $1,296
CAD $1,570
AUD $1,845
EUR €1,200
GBP £945
NZD $1,985
ZAR R21,170
CHF FR1,325
Travel to China on a getaway from Beijing to Shanghai. Visit Xi'an and Huangshan, see the Great Wall and witness...
DAYS
23
FROM
USD $2,547
CAD $3,087
AUD $3,625
EUR €2,355
GBP £1,855
NZD $3,895
ZAR R41,600
CHF FR2,605
Adventure through Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hong Kong to experience the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors...
DAYS
12
FROM
USD $1,332
CAD $1,615
AUD $1,895
EUR €1,230
GBP £970
NZD $2,035
ZAR R21,745
CHF FR1,360
Travel through Shanghai, Xiamen, Yangshuo, the Longji rice terraces and Hong Kong on a remarkable city to country...
DAYS
13
 
 
Discover the famous Silk Road on this unforgettable journey through China. Explore from Beijing to Kashgar via Xi'an,...
DAYS
12
FROM
USD $2,106
CAD $2,551
AUD $2,995
EUR €1,945
GBP £1,530
NZD $3,220
ZAR R34,370
CHF FR2,150
Discover China and the tantalising sights, culture and food of Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an and Shanghai. Sample delicious...

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