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.

Start
Beijing, China
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Cambodia,
China,
Laos,
Thailand
Themes
Overland
Code
CDOQC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 19
Carbon offset
2 542kg pp per trip

See Angkor Wat, explore China and visit Thailand on a huge tour of Asia.


Highlights

  • Experience the chaos of bustling Bangkok
  • Travel to Cambodia’s remarkable Angkor Wat
  • Discover remote sections of the Great Wall of China
  • Visit Luang Prabang’s beautiful temples

Itinerary

Ni hao and welcome to China where a grand adventure awaits! Begin by joining the buzzing hive that is Beijing - a place where discovery and intrigue lie around every corner. Visit the Forbidden City to admire imperial architecture or the sprawling Summer Palace on the banks of Kunming Lake.
Stroll through the lush Shanzhuang gardens in the footsteps of past Emperors who holidayed here. Take in the rich heritage of Chengde by bicycle or admire the Mongolian and Tibetan influences in local temples and monasteries.
Take a walk along the monumental Great Wall as it snakes its way through rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Imagine the exhaustive effort of farmers and labourers who toiled for many generations to construct the Wall.
Marvel at the Hanging Monastery, delicately perched on a steep cliff face in Golden Dragon Gorge, and explore the World Heritage listed Yungang Grottoes, home to a staggering collection of over 50,000 statues and fascinating ancient rock art.
A famous pilgrimage site, Wutai Shan is believed to be the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri. Visit sacred temples, go hiking or simply soak up the serene atmosphere in a local cafe.
Stroll the ancient, and well preserved streets on Pingyao. This Han Chinese walled city is designed in the traditional bagua (octagonal) layout with architecture dating back centuries.
Visit the incredible cave houses of Lijiashan - built over 500 years ago - and spend the night in a cave room.
Get an insight into China's communist beginnings with a visit to Yan'an, once the Chinese Communist Party's headquarters during the 1930s and 40s
Admire the 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors and explore significant cultural sites and museums both in and around Xi'an. Enjoy a plate of hand-pulled noodles as you watch the locals dance, eat and practice martial arts in South Park.
Explore the mountain reserve of Wudang Shan, the backdrop to the epic film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Explore the picturesque town of Yichang. In free time, why not treat the feet to a traditional reflexology massage.
Get an insight into rural life along the Yangtze River. Be lulled to sleep at night by the gentle rocking of the boat.
Travel onwards to Dazu. Admire the sleeping Buddha in the Bei Shan caves.
Home to spicy hot pot cuisine, this bustling Sichuan city has plenty of food and culture on offer. While here, get up close and personal to giant pandas at the research base and breeding centre.
Make the pilgrimage to Emei Shan, visiting the 71 m high Dafo Buddha in Leshan along the way. Once there, perhaps take the opportunity to hike up China’s holiest of mountains.
Check out Panzhihua, a thriving industrial city surrounded by greenery.
Wander through the cobbled streets of picturesque Lijiang and learn about the Naxi people, who are descendants of Tibetan nomads. If feeling energetic, take an overnight trek to the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Head to the lakeside town of Dali and choose to explore this fascinating region by bike, boat or cable car.
Arrive in Kunming, 'the city of eternal spring'. Perhaps explore the ancient Yuantong temple, wander the laidback streets or visit a teahouse and mingle with the locals.
Pay a visit to Shilin, known as China's 'Stone Forest', and discover an intriguing maze of towering limestone pillars.
Overland through some of China's most remote villages, experience vast, dramatic landscapes and meet colourful locals.
Travel to Laos and make tracks to Luang Nam Tha on the banks of Nam Tha River. While here, why not enjoy some optional outdoor pursuits including kayaking, rafting and trekking.
Absorb the air of quiet romance in Luang Prabang. This delightful city has plenty of well-preserved wats (temples) that are worth visiting, and climbing to the top of Phu Si at sunset is also well worth the effort.
Take the opportunity to go kayaking or river-tubing in Vang Vieng, or hire a mountain bike and set off to explore nearby caves and swimming holes.
Travel to Laos's laidback capital, Vientiane, where French and Asian cultures collide. Explore the city from the back of a tuk-tuk, sip coffee in a cafe or slurp a bowl of steaming pho soup.
Say goodbye to Laos and travel across the Friendship Bridge into Thailand. Discover a remote region, well off the tourist trail, that offers unique insights into rural life.
Stop by the Khmer temple complex of Phi Mai. Travel onwards through rice fields and small communities with proud cultural heritages to a busy border town.
The riverside city of Siem Reap is the gateway to the magical Angkor Wat temples. Join a local guide to explore these impressive ruins and uncover the fascinating folklore that surrounds their history.
Make tracks to Phnom Penh. Find graphic reminders of Cambodia's tragic history in the bone-chilling Tuol Sleng Museum and Choeung Ek.
In Battambang, crumbling French-colonial shopfronts along the river add elegance to the town. Visit the hillside site of Phnom Sampeau and admire its pagodas and cave shrines.
Return to Thailand, stopping to spend another night in Aranyaprathet.
Step into the chaos of Bangkok's busy streets. Get lost in the maze of markets, visit gilded temples or take time-out for a well-earned massage in the exuberant Thai capital.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport
Ferry, Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nights), Cave house (1 night), Guesthouse (14 nights), Hotel (40 nights), Overnight boat (3 nights)
Included activites
  • "Killing Caves" at Phnom Sampeau
  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Chengde - Bisu Shanzhuang
  • Chengde - Puning Temple
  • Chengdu - Panda Breeding Centre
  • Datong - Hanging Monastery
  • Dazu - Bei Shan & Baoding Shan Caves
  • Emei Shan - Day trek
  • Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek Killing Filelds
  • Jinshanling - Great Wall
  • Kampong Loung Floating Village Boat Trip
  • Leshan - Da Fo
  • Lijiang - Optional Tiger Leaping Gorge trek
  • Lijiashan - Black Dragon Temple
  • Phimai Temple Complex
  • Phnom Penh - Guided tour Choeung Ek (Killing fields)
  • Shilin - Stone Forest
  • Siem Reap - Guided Angkor Wat & Angkok Tom tour
  • Wudang Shan - National Park
  • Wutai Shan - Taihui Temple Cluster
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors guided tour
  • Yan'an - Revolution Museum & CCP Headquarters site
  • Yangzi River - Three Gorges boat cruise

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Notes

Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

Important notes

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