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 color, culture and zeal, China will astonish you with the levels of diversity and distinction contained within its borders.

Start
Beijing, China
Finish
Hong Kong, China
Countries
China
Themes
Explorer
Code
CBRKC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
763kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Get among the sights and sounds of Beijing
  • Walk a remote section of the Great Wall of China
  • Spend the night at a homestay in a rural village
  • See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an
  • Wander the cosmopolitan streets of Shanghai
  • Hike around ‘Yellow Mountain’ in Huangshan
  • Cruise the waterways of quaint Hongcun
  • Traverse the rolling rice terraces of Longji

Itinerary

Arrive in China's grand capital; a city that harbours an impressive mix of ancient citadels, architectural marvels and soaring skyscrapers. Perhaps arrive a few days early and explore the sprawling Forbidden City, check out the city's burgeoning art scene at the 798 Art District or bargain up a storm in one of Beijing’s markets.
Today you will have some free time in the morning to further explore Beijing before we take a private bus to a lesser-known section of the Great Wall (approx 3 hrs drive).

An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements, and an iconic destination.
Today we rise early and we will trek from the Gubeikou section to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.
We will walk over some steep, remote terrain for (approx 5 km or 3 hrs walking depending on fitness). Some parts of the wall are un-restored so you'll need to concentrate hard to keep your footing and in other parts the trail takes us off the wall to walk alongside it through the countryside.

The trek will take around 5-6 hours along the Great Wall. If you do not believe you are fit enough to trek for 6 hours, you can go on the bus with the driver to Jinshanling and still have a chance to walk around this section of the Wall.
Today is a long travelling day for the group. We travel back to Beijing by bus (approx 3 hours) and here we board our first overnight train in Beijing to Xi'an.
Discover a plethora of fascinating historical sites and modern big city conveniences in Xi'an. Sample street food on a guided tour in the lively Muslim Quarter, pay a visit to the Great Mosque and climb to the the top of the Bell and Drum towers for impressive views. Make sure to leave time for an optional trip out to the Terracotta Warriors, a battle formation of incredible military precision.
Today we explore Xi'an's most famous site - the Terracotta Warriors. It takes around an hour to get there and you'll hear all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered by farmers digging a well in 1976 after being buried for thousands of years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots, all standing in battle formation, were commissioned by the emperor of the Qin dynasty as part of his mausoleum and a number of pits are now on view to the public.
Visit China’s most dynamic city, Shanghai. Embark on a guided tour of the city's historical quarters, such as The Bund, Nongtang and the European-influenced French Concession. To gain a deeper understanding of China’s engrossing past, perhaps stop by the Shanghai Museum or Propaganda Museum for a versing in local history.
Catch a local bus out to Huangshan. Also known as Yellow Mountain, the dramatic limestone peaks populating this superbly beautiful area make for some of the country's most breathtaking scenery.
Pass through verdant bamboo and pine forests en route to the age-old village of Hongcun. Amble along the quiet cobblestone streets, hire a bike and pedal out to surrounding villages or do your best Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon re-enactments – this is where a bunch of the film's scenes were shot.
Return to the bustle of Shanghai. After freshening up at the hotel, why not head out as a group for a traditional tea ceremony or visit the Bund's hippest bar and toast the conclusion of this memorable Chinese journey.
Today is a free day to further explore Shanghai.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Free time to further explore this bustling city until this afternoon, when we board our first overnight train Shanghai to Guilin.
Train travel in China may not be entirely luxurious but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people as it's the main form of transport for locals.
This morning our train arrives into Guilin.
We then take a public bus from Guilin Station to our hotel.
Yangshuo has become very popular with international and domestic tourists in recent years and has a great cafe and bar culture. It's also one of the best places in the country to get a feel for local culture and traditions and have plenty of fun at the same time.
The countryside around Yangshuo is immortalized in many traditional Chinese paintings - picture immense limestone karsts dotting the rural landscape and towering spectacularly over rice paddies and the meandering Li River.
Today is a free day to explore Yangshuo.
There are plenty of interesting activities to keep us entertained during our time here! Why not:
Take a bike ride to gain an insight into rural Chinese life. This is an absolutely stunning region to explore, as every turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard location.
The spectacular outdoor light show staged by Olympic Opening Ceremony director Zhang Yimou,director of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceronmony, is a definite highlight and highly recommended.
Enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the Li River.
Take an early morning tai chi class by the riverside.
Enjoy another day of free time in Yangshuo. Perhaps head just outside of town and explore the spectacular karst countryside, a mecca for climbers but just as beautiful for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. You may like to hire a bike and cycle along country bumpy roads, hike up to Moon Hill or visit the otherworldly Silver Cave. Or you may prefer to just take it easy, enjoying a quiet drink or two in a cafe or bar.
Today we depart the picturesque Yangshuo and make our way to the the Longji Rice Terrace region of southern China. Today is a long travelling day, we will take 3 public buses before arriving at our destination.
This evening we overnight in the minority village of Dazhai which is home to the Yao minorities.
The Longji region has some of the most extensive rice terraces you'll ever see. These terraces change with the seasons: filled with water from the mountains before planting, becoming green during the growing season and then golden when the rice is ready for harvest.
Take a day hike through the Longji Valley to visit local hilltribe communities and learn about village life. Expect to carry your own day pack and walk for up to five hours as our next accommodation may be in a different village. The hike can be tough going for some, with many uphill stretches and some very slippery paths. However, more experienced hikers will have no problems and there are many more optional walks available, uncovering great photo opportunities around every corner.
We overnight in the village of Ping'an this evening.
This morning travel by private bus from Ping'an to Guilin airport in order for us to board our flight to Xiamen.
We then transfer by private bus from Xiamen to Tulou Vilalge.
This area is home to the Hakka people, who traditionally live in round, walled villages or communal houses ("tulou") with many families and generations of the same clan living together.
Accommodation is very basic in local style. It can get quite cold at night in some months so please ensure you bring warm clothes. Washing facilities may be limited, with communal toilets outside of the rooms. We have the option to try some simple local dishes for dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow which may be quite different from what you are used to, but certainly authentic. The area has been developed for domestic tourism recently and sees lots of day trippers, but few people stay overnight so we will have a great local experience while here.
We will take a walk around the villages with a local guide, including a hike to a view point and nearby waterfall and between some of the clusters of Tulou houses. The length and distance we hike will depend on the weather, local conditions and fitness of the group, however most groups will spend a few hours exploring.
Transfer to by private bus to Xiamen for the evening.
Today is a free day to explore Xiamen.
We suggest you jump on a ferry and head over to Gulang Yu, an island crammed full of historic mansions and villas easily navigable on bike or foot.
Visit the Xiamen University campus with is landscaped grounds and surrounding trendy bars and cafes for a chat with some local students.
Or traipse up the steps to Nanputuo Temple, one of the most important and active Buddhist sites in the region.
Pop into the Overseas Chinese Museum - many ethnic Chinese in Singapore and further afield were originally from Fujian province.
Back in the bustle of a big city, jump aboard a ferry to see Hong Kong’s skyline from the water, enjoy the bright spectacle of the nightly light show or escape the busy city centre and wander through Hong Kong Park. Be sure to stop at a bakery to pick up an egg bun, visit a yum cha house for some perfect dumplings or hit up a street vendor for a stick of fish balls – Hong Kong's food is fast, fresh and full of flavour. Then it's time to say farewell to China's south and this enlightening journey.
There are not activities included on this day and you are free to depart at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Bus, Cable car, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private Bus, Public bus, Taxi, Train
Accommodation
Guesthouse (6 nights), Hostel (4 nights), Hotel (9 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Great Wall - Gubeikou section
  • Great Wall - Jinshanling
  • Hongcun - Guided village tour
  • Huangshan National Park Trek
  • Longji - Guided Rice Terraces trek
  • Shanghai - Walking Tour
  • Tulou Village - Guided hike & village tour
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors & Guide
  • Xi'an - Walking Tour

Dates

There are currently no departures for this trip.

{{departure_day.departure_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}} {{departure_day.arrival_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}}

Style: {{departure.style}}

Boat/Ship: {{departure.vehicle_name}}
On sale Hot deal Departure guaranteed On request
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.base_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.discount_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
Fully booked Bookings closed

Total price per person {{room.room_type | lowercase}}
Includes {{departure.kitty_currency_code}} {{departure.kitty | noFractionCurrency:departure.kitty_currency_symbol}} kitty
Includes {{extra.extras_code}} {{extra.extras_symbol}}{{extra.extras_value}} in local payments Single supplement available from {{product.currency_code}} {{departure.single_supp | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}

Contact us to arrange an alternative departure for you

Book {{departure.places_left}} spaces left! space left!


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

Reviews

Our Beijing to Hong Kong trips score an average of 4.55 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.

Beijing to Hong Kong , December 2015

Beijing to Hong Kong , October 2015