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Beijing to Hong Kong Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing
Welcome to Beijing, China's grand capital. As this trip doesn't spend much time here, arriving a few days earlier to take in some of the city's sights is highly recommended. Perhaps head to Tiananmen Square, stroll through the Forbidden City and Summer Palace, take in an acrobat show at the Choayang Theatre or feast on succulent Peking duck and hand-pulled noodles in one of the city’s countless restaurants.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1
Days 2-4 Great Wall
Jump on a bullet train bound for the Great Wall of China, a fortress built to defend China’s boundaries in the seventh century BC against invading Mongols. Explore the Old Dragon Head, where the Great Wall meets the Pacific Ocean, and relax around town. Afterwards, travel to Dongjiakou village to meet and mingle with local families. Head out on a remote hike along a part of the wall that has not yet been restored - a fascinating experience and exceptional chance to get up close to this ancient wonder. Stay overnight with a local family in a basic homestay and chat about what it’s like living next door to the national symbol.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 5-6 Xi'an
Explore the sights of Xi’an on a walking tour with a local guide. After meandering through the city by foot, choose your own adventure - head to the Terracotta Warriors, cycle along the city walls or visit the array of mosques, pagodas and temples around town. Xi’an is also known for its tasty stuffed dumplings, so chomp away on the huge variety of beef, pork, cabbage and radish-filled treats.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Day 7 Shanghai
It may lack the imperial history of Bejing and Xi'an, but Shanghai more than makes up for it with an intoxicating modern buzz and cosmopolitan flair. Explore Shanghai on a walking tour and better understand the city where China and the western world unite. In free time, take to the Propaganda Museum, Yuyuan Gardens or just sit back with a juicy pork bun and watch the world whizz by.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1
Days 8-9 Huangshan
Visit ‘Yellow Mountain’, an incredible mountain range of sharp granite peaks and spectacular scenery. Spot some of the 490 wild animal species while walking around this serene landscape. The city also holds a number of interesting sights to explore, but commit some serious time to a quiet, shady spot and just soak up the jaw-dropping views.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2
Day 10 Hongcun
Take a guided walking tour of this picturesque village and visit the Hall of the Peach Garden, South Lake Academy and the tea market. With crystal clear waterways mirroring timeworn buildings, this might look more like a movie set than a rural village, and it is – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed here.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1
Days 11-12 Shanghai
Head back to the big smoke of Shanghai and suss out the sights that you may have missed first time around. If in doubt, just ask your leader for help – with an intimate knowledge of the best dumpling houses, shopping districts and night-time entertainment, you’ll be experiencing Shanghai like a local in no time.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2
Day 13 Tulou Village
Travel to a Tulou village and meet the local Hakka people. Become acquainted with their culture, history and unique living arrangements on an overnight homestay in a tulou or a local guesthouse.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 1
Days 14-15 Xiamen
Head to the seaside and relax by the bay. Perhaps visit Gulangyu Island, Xiamen University or the peaceful Botanical Gardens.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2
Days 16-18 Yangshuo
Soak up the scenic surroundings of Yangshuo. Perhaps hire a bike and set off for a pedal though the emerald-coloured rice paddies around Moon Hill or take in the limestone pillars lining the Yulong River on a cruise. There's also the opportunity to delve further into the local lifestyle by signing up for a cooking or Tai Chi class.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3
Days 19-21 Longji Rice Terraces
Take a stroll along the ‘Dragon’s Backbone’: the rice terraces that cling precariously to the steep mountain sides. Have cameras handy because this is some of the most exceptional scenery in China. Watch the glistening water change colour as the sun floats through clouds, and try bargaining with local ladies selling handmade goodies. It is a challenging trek, but regardless of the time of year, it will be one of the most rewarding parts of the trip.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 22-23 Hong Kong
Never sleeping, always moving, Hong Kong is best experienced from above. Head to Victoria Peak for exceptional views (both day and night) of arguably the best skyline in the world. Then, why not watch A Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after dining on Hong Kong’s legendary cuisine – perhaps partake in a banquet of traditional Cantonese yum cha.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1
Our small group style of travel means you’ll stay under the radar, travel the local way, eat the local way and sleep the local way.
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