Explore China's East and West travelling from Beijing to Kunming.

Travel to China and experience the magic of China's hotspots and lesser known gems on this trip from Beijing to Kunming. Get acquainted with the icons of Beijing, ride a camel into the golden sands of Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert and trek one of the world's deepest gorges. With the chance to explore modern and ancient capitals, sample local specialties and learn about China's many ethnic minorities, travel off the beaten track from urban Beijing through lush countryside and tap into the magic and spirit of China.

Beijing, China
Kunming, China
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 12
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
1 907kg pp per trip


  • Visit China and soak up the buzz of Beijing
  • Ride a camel into Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert
  • Be tempted by China's culinary delights in Xi'an
  • Chill out lakeside in Dali
  • Be immersed in Tibetan culture while in Shangri-La County
  • Trek the monumental Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Discover modern China in Kunming


Travel to China and delve into the culture and sights of Beijing. Explore the city's hutongs, wander the Forbidden City or take a trip to the Great Wall of China. There is plenty of free time to experience Beijing’s exciting acrobat shows, enlightening museums, grand palaces and holy temples.
Travel to the small town of Zhongwei, situated on the Yellow River and surrounded by desert, farmland and remnants of the Great Wall of China. Visit the Gao Miao temple and the sprawling night market before setting off into the sand dunes of the Tengger Desert. Experience an overnight camel safari through this dramatic scenery, enjoying a dinner under the stars.
The lively Muslim Quarter is always full of activity and a great place for a sizzling kebab. Duck into the Great Mosque to take time out from the city bustle, check out the Bell and Drum tower or the Wild Goose Pagoda. A daytrip to the Terracotta Warriors is highly recommended, as is cycling the majestic Ming Dynasty wall for great views over Xi'an.
The old-world charm of Chengdu is sure to delight. This city is the home of spicy Sichuan cuisine so be sure to seek out a traditional hotpot. For those feeling curious, take a cooking class and learn how to cook up a Sichuan storm. Visit the giant pandas at a non-for-profit breeding centre, spend free time drinking tea, exploring Chengdu’s temples or perhaps having a relaxing massage.
The modern city of Kunming has some excellent markets tucked away in the quaint backstreets. Try and stay on after this trip has ended to see the Tang dynasty pagodas or visit the dramatic landscapes of the Stone Forest.
Travel to China and indulge in Kunming's old-world charm by exploring its quaint backstreets or tracking down a bargain at the bustling local markets.
Step back in time and enjoy the village atmosphere of Shaxi. Learn about the unique cultures and heritage of this remote town which lies in the shadow of the Himalayas.
Be immersed in the Tibetan way of life in Shangri-La County, joining local residents at night for singing and dancing.
Legend has it that a tiger leapt across the Yangzi to escape a hunter, granting the gorge its name. Arduous but rewarding, this hike along the river traverses the spectacular terrain of one of the world's deepest gorges. Stay in simple guesthouses and eat at local cafes en route.
Peaceful and pretty, Lijiang is home to the Naxi people, descendants of Tibetan nomads. Explore the maze of stone streets in this World Heritage-listed town. Stay in the town's atmospheric old quarter and perhaps catch a traditional music performance.
Discover ancient temples and mosques as the journey comes full circle in Kunming.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Bus, Camel, Metro, Minivan, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Public bus, Taxi, Train
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Guesthouse (8 nights), Hostel (7 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (5 nights)
Included activities
  • Camel safari
  • Chengdu - Walking tour
  • Desert camping
  • Hutong walking tour
  • Informal Chinese language lesson
  • Shaxi - guided day trek
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge - guided trek
  • Xi'an - Walking tour


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For information about altitude sickness click here

Important notes

1. Please provide Intrepid or your booking agent with a scanned copy of the personal details page from your passport at time of booking.
2. Please note this trip is discontinued in 2013

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes