Great Wall hikes, Shanghai bites and all the northern sights
Discover the breathtaking countryside and rich cultural history of China's north on this 12-day Lonely Planet Experience, bookended by the bright city lights of the country’s biggest hubs. From the dizzying heights of Huangshan, the Great Wall and waterfront Shanghai to the underground pits that hold thousands of Terracotta Warriors, this trip explores the diversity and significance of China. Go beyond the tourist trail, immersing yourself in the local ways of life, with hand-picked experiences to choose from and curated stays in small village guesthouses along the way. Northern China is a feast for the senses – especially your appetite – so make sure you see the best of the best with Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel.
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China is a land of contrasts. From soaking up the bright city lights of Shanghai’s waterfront to exploring the unearthed Terracotta Warriors outside of Xi’an, you’ll get to see it all for yourself!
Spend two nights at the base of the Great Wall in a locally run guesthouse, and follow in the footsteps of soldiers from hundreds of years ago when you trek the lesser-visited Gubeikou to Jinshanling section.
This adventure offers plenty of opportunity to get active among the wonders of China. Explore city laneways on walking tours, climb the steps of the Yellow Mountain, trek the Great Wall and cycle countryside lanes in Hongcun.
Two overnight trains means you'll maximise your time in each destination, get to know your fellow travellers over a game of mahjong, and have a real sense of the vast size of the country.
We’re all about authentic experiences, so go local every step of the way with an experienced local leader, public transport, and family-run guesthouses and lodgings wherever possible.
This is a Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid, made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary has a mix of included activities and free time when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to partake in.
This trip pack packs a lot into a short amount of time, so we highly recommend spending extra time in Beijing and Shanghai before and after your trip.
This trip has some overnight stays at family-run guesthouses and hostels, which tend to have more basic facilities than hotels (but offer a lot more character). You’ll encounter some cold-water showers, might need to rug up inside in the colder months and need to use a few squat toilets. The local experience is worth it – trust us!
With treks on the Great Wall and Huangshan, both of which can be tough going with many steps, uneven surfaces and steep terrain, you'll need a good level of fitness to get the most out of this trip. Walking shoes with good support and grip are essential, as is being prepared to sweat it out a bit.
The overnight train travel included on this trip is in 'hard sleeper' class – carriages sectioned off into 3 tier (6 berth) compartments. It’s not luxury, but it’s efficient and a great local experience. If you would prefer more comfort, upgrades to 'soft sleeper' (2 tier (4 berth) compartments with lockable doors) can be requested, subject to availability, through your booking agent. For more information about the overnight train condition, please check out the Essential Trip Information.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our North China Getaway trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, excluding overnight trains and guesthouses
2. A scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport is required no later than 40 days before departure in order for us to purchase your train tickets.
3. Overnight train accommodation on this tour is in 3-tier 6-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class. An upgrade to a 'soft-sleeper' train compartment ( 2-tier 4-berth compartment) is available to book on this trip.
4. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites.
5. In winter months (Nov-Feb), we may stay in alternative guesthouses near the Great Wall due to the cold weather. This may also alter our trekking route along the Great Wall.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information