Explore ancient temples and dazzling cities in the diverse northeast
Capture the spirit of China on this 12-day tour from Shanghai to Beijing. From fast-paced modern cities to the well-preserved remnants of a long and storied history, this adventure reveals the many sides of one of the world’s great cradles of civilisation. We think it’s important to contrast the big and the bold with quiet moments and real connections. That’s why our tour of the Terracotta Warriors finishes with lunch at a local family home, and why we spend a few days in the Tibetan Buddhist town of Xiahe before tackling boisterous Beijing. Whether you’re scaling the Great Wall or sharing crispy Beijing (Peking) duck with your fellow travellers, this tour is packed with unforgettable moments.
Explore the Longmen Grottoes and wonder at the thousands of Buddha statues carved directly from the limestone cliffs, including the 17-metre-high Vairocana.
Take a spectacular hike along the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and see towers that date back to the Ming dynasty about 600 years ago.
Fall in love with Chinese food during a vegetarian feast at a Buddhist temple, a home-cooked lunch with a family in rural Xi’an, a Beijing (Peking) duck dinner, and more.
Check out the mind-blowing Terracotta Army, then head to a local’s house for lunch and some insight into how life has changed since farmers discovered the vast mausoleum.
Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture with a two-day stay in Xiahe, an autonomous Tibetan region with a deeply ingrained Buddhist tradition centred around the legendary Labrang Monastery, without having to apply for a permit for Tibet.
The best way to experience a place is by doing as the locals do – and in this case that means using public transport such as trams, buses or metro at some locations. It’s better for the environment and you’ll get an authentic look at daily life, just be aware you may find yourself sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters (for example). 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.
This trip travels to altitudes of up to 3100 metres above sea level and as a result, some travellers can feel the effects of altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health.
In order to see as much as possible, this tour includes some long journeys. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
You'll need a reasonable level of fitness for the Great Wall walk. Shoes with good support and grip are essential. There are many steps and slopes on the way, so be prepared for a tough climb in sections. You are free to walk as far as you want, and it is possible to reach the section we visit via cable car.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Explore China trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A Single Supplement is available on all nights. Please speak to your booking agent for more information.
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 and flight tickets.
3. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres (9200 feet) where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude – regardless of your age, gender, and fitness. If you have concerns, discuss this with your doctor before leaving.
4. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites like google, facebook, instagram etc. You can consider getting a VPN for access to these websites before leaving if necessary.
5. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
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