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Beijing to Bangkok Overview
See Angkor Wat, explore China and visit Thailand on a huge tour of Asia.
From Beijing’s Great Wall and Forbidden City to the reclining Buddha in Bangkok, this two-month long adventure will take you through the heart of China before crossing into some of South-East Asia’s most welcoming countries: Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Visit star attractions, such as the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an in China, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia - but also discover hidden gems away from the main tourist trail. Learn about local Naxi culture in the southern Chinese town of Lijiang and overland through the remote Isan region in Thailand.
What's included in this trip
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Beijing has a long and colourful history and this rapidly modernising city is an amazing whirl of ancient sites, modern buildings, bicycles, people, shops and eateries.
Sitting pretty in the mountains, Chengde is a breath of fresh air, especially the enchanting Mountain Resort which is a former royal summer residence.
Jinshanling is a mountainous area with an attractive section of the Great Wall, which zigzags up the steep terrain and straddles peaks like a suspension bridge.
Bordering Inner Mongolia, Datong is a coal rich city that founded in 200BC and is the gateway to the incredible Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Monastery.
Wutai Shan is also called 'Five Plateau Mountain', and is home to the Bodhisattva of wisdom and harbours some of China's most sacred monasteries and temples.
Walking through the beautifully preserved streets of Pingyao is like stepping back into Imperial China with red lanterns lighting streets, imposing city walls and traditional buildings at every turn.
With cave dwellings adorning the hills around Lijiashan, this fascinating town is a definite highlight of any trip to China.
Yan'an was where Mao's Long March ended in 1935, and was the Communist Party's base until 1948 - it's also filled with cultural sites and nature to enjoy.
As the start of the ancient trading route the Silk Road and an imperial centre for 2,000 years, Xi'an has a fascinating history and rich cultural sites to discover.
Xiang Fan is within the farming and textiles area of China and close to a number of important temples and cultural sites. The stunning Wudang Shan Mountains are an important Taoist site full of monasteries and is home to a number of prominent schools of martial arts.
Located on the Yangzi River, Yichang is an important trading town and has been the site of many historic battles due to its strategic location.
Named after the site of an ancient ferry crossing, the Yangzi River flows for 6,418 km and winds through a diverse range of China's landscapes.
Dazu's incredible sculptures and carvings are a fantastic sight to behold. They number in the tens of thousands and depict Taoist, Buddhist and Confuscian iconography.
Chengdu has plenty of traditional flavour with its famous tea houses, numerous markets and as the home of Sichuan cuisine, known the world over for its spiciness.
Home to the world's largest outdoor Buddha, which took 90 years to carve, Leshan is a small city situated at the confluence of three rivers. Emei Shan is one of the holiest places in China. At just over 3000 m high, this mountain has been a centre of pilgrimage for over 1800 years.
Panzhihua is an industrial city located where the Jinsha and Yalong rivers meet. The surrounding mountains contain numerous hot springs and a wealth of precious stones.
Set among stunning mountain scenery, World Heritage-listed Lijiang is home to old-world China and the local Naxi people - a matrilineal society descended from Tibetan nomads.
Dali has a relaxed atmosphere that is enhanced by its spectacular surroundings - snow-capped mountains on one side and the vast Erhai Lake on the other.
Although Kunming is a large city, a relaxed vibe still exists and there is plenty of culture and traditional sites to be found among the increasingly modern landscape.
Shilinzhen houses the provocative Shilin stone forest. Said to be 270 million years old, these greyish limestone formations are an impressive sight to behold.
Located in a lush tropical rainforest close to the Laos border, Xishuangbanna is an atypical area of China where a number of colourfully-dressed ethnic minorities live. Jinghong sits alongside the Lancang River and is a good place to explore the minority villages and rainforest that surround the city.
With the gorgeous Nam Ha Protected Area located close by, Luang Namtha is lovely town to relax in and soak up the beauty of Laos's wilderness.
Nestled in the hills of northern Laos, the tranquil city of Luang Prabang is studded with ornate temples, brimming with colourful markets and enriched by French colonial architecture.
Surrounded by stunning limestone karst scenery, Vang Vieng is a small haven with fascinating caves to explore, a myriad of water-based activities and a relaxed atmosphere.
As the most relaxed capital in South-East Asia, Vientiane is a lovely mix of riverside calm, outstanding temples, fabulous food and charming locals.
Phimai, in the remote Isan region of Thailand, is famed for its temples, which are similar to the Angkor Wat temples, though built around 100 years earlier.
The Thai border town of Aranyaprathet is a popular crossing point between Thailand and Cambodia and has a lively nightlife due to its casinos and lively markets.
A vibrant nightlife, mouth-watering food, a time-worn French feel and certain famous temples on its doorstep - Siem Reap is a little town with a big, pulsating heart. Immense, awe-inspiring, extraordinary - the Angkor Wat temples are all this and much more. Built in the 12th century, this former Khmer city is nothing short of spectacular.
Phnom Penh celebrates life with optimism and colour, and there are a wealth of riverside eateries, bustling markets and historic sites - both tragic and inspiring - to discover.
With the Sangker River running alongside, Battambang has wonderfully preserved French Colonial architecture, ornate Khmer temples and a laidback feel, despite being Cambodia's second-largest city.
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