Journey from Shanghai to China’s vibrant capital

Capture the spirit of China on this 13-day tour from Shanghai to Beijing. Stroll along the narrow paths of Shanghai’s Nongtang, be entranced by ancient Buddhist art at the Longmen Grottoes, see the incredible Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, get a sense of local life in the Tibetan town of Xiahe and walk on the Great Wall of China. This is a journey abounding with bustling cities, natural beauty, incredible culture and history stretching through the ages.

Shanghai, China
Beijing, China
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
529kg pp per trip


  • Take a walking tour of Shanghai
  • Visit the birthplace of kung fu
  • See Xi’an’s famous Terracotta Warriors
  • Enjoy some time with a local family in Xiahe
  • Explore Tiananmen Square
  • Enter the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • Discover thousands of Buddha statues in the Longman Grottoes
  • Trek on the Great Wall


A curious blend of modern aesthetics and old-world character, Shanghai is the vibrant pulse of new China. Embark on a walking tour of historic Shanghai – see the art-deco style buildings of the Bund and meander along the quaint winding lanes of the Nongtang. Those arriving a day or two early might want to catch a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobats or ride the Maglev Train – this mechanical masterpiece can travel upwards of 400km/h.
Step off the overnight train from Shanghai into picturesque Luoyang. Take a trip out to Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of kung fu. Why not take a lesson from the masters while you’re here? Meander through the Pagoda Forest and explore the nearby Longmen Grottoes before jumping on a bullet train to the bustling city of Xi'an.
Famed as the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Xi'an is one of the oldest cities in China. Take a tour of the city centre, passing by the Bell & Drum Towers, the Muslim Quarter and the imposing City Gate. Visit the renowned Terracotta Warriors, unearthed by farmers in the '70s after being buried for thousands of years. In spare time, why not visit our friends at Xi'an Huiling – an Intrepid Foundation-supported project helping young people with intellectual and learning disabilities.
Watch prayer flags flutter in the breeze and saffron-robed monks stroll about the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe. A place of pilgrimage for many Tibetans, Xiahe is as scenic as it is tranquil. Spend some time with a Tibetan family and learn about their way of life. Later, visit the Labrang Monastery and see Tibetan monks performing their daily rituals and chants.
A city of epic proportions, Beijing bustles like no other city on earth. Explore Tiananmen Square, visit Mao’s Mausoleum, enter the Forbidden City and walk along the Great Wall. Why not pack a picnic lunch to have atop this phenomenal structure? This is just a tantalising taste of Beijing – we recommend staying a while longer to soak up more of this incredible city.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 lunch
Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Public bus, Taxi, Train, Train (bullet)
Hotel (9 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Beijing - Tiananmen Square
  • Great Wall - Jinshanling section
  • Luoyang - Longmen Caves
  • Shaolin - Temple & Kung Fu show
  • Xiahe - Labrang Monastery
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors


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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
2. A scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport is required at time of booking in order for us to purchase your train tickets.
3. An upgrade to Soft Sleeper trains is available on this trip. Please see Trip Notes for full details.

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


Our Explore China trips score an average of 4.53 out of 5 based on 15 reviews in the last year.

Explore China , October 2015

Explore China , September 2015