China East & West Itinerary

Travel to China and visit China's East and West on a tour from Beijing to Kunming. Visit Xi'an, Chengdu, Shaxi, Shangri-La, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Lijang.

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Happy monks resting outside a temple, China

Red panda, Chengdu

Corn farmer, Dali

Green rice fields, China

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Local children in Zhongwei

Days 1-4 Beijing

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.
ACCOM: Hostel - 3, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 5-7 Zhongwei/Camel Trek

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.
ACCOM: Camping (with basic facilities) - 1, Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 8-10 Xi'an

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.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 11-13 Chengdu

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.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Day 14 Kunming

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 15-16 Dali

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.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Days 17-18 Shaxi

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.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2

Days 19-20 Shangri-La

Be immersed in the Tibetan way of life in Shangri-La County, joining local residents at night for singing and dancing.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2

Days 21-22 Tiger Leaping Gorge

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.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2

Days 23-24 Lijiang

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 25-26 Kunming

Discover ancient temples and mosques as the journey comes full circle in Kunming.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1