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Beijing to Hong Kong Overview
- 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Explore the big cities and quaint villages of China from Beijing to Hong Kong
China really does have it all: tranquil countrysides offering jaw-dropping natural scenery and invigorating hikes, neon cities boasting incredible food and scintillating nightlife and points of historical, artistic and cultural interest at every turn. Get acquainted with this country's complexities and contrasts on this fascinating 23-day adventure that will have you walking the Great Wall, trekking through the Longji rice terraces, idling the hours away in serene Hongcun, drifting along the Li River and living it up in Hong Kong. Jam-packed with colour, culture and zeal, China will astonish you with the levels of diversity and distinction contained within its borders.
What's included in this trip
Beijing to Hong Kong SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Beijing has a long and colourful history and this rapidly modernising city is an amazing whirl of ancient sites, modern buildings, bicycles, people, shops and eateries. Snaking over the landscape for 8,851 km, the building of China's Great Wall started in the 5th century BC with the aim of protecting China's northern borders from invading Mongolian hordes.
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.
As the start of the ancient trading route the Silk Road and an imperial centre for 2,000 years, Xi'an has a fascinating history and rich cultural sites to discover.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head to the seaside and relax by the bay. Perhaps visit Gulangyu Island, Xiamen University or the peaceful Botanical Gardens.
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.
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.
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.
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