Venture from the big cities to rural villages of China
China really does have it all – tranquil countryside full natural scenery and hiking trails, supercities boasting incredible, and historical, artistic and cultural discoveries to make at every turn. Get acquainted with this country's complexities and contrasts on this fascinating 20-day Lonely Planet Experience 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 and culture, China will astonish you with the levels of diversity throughout the country.
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.
In Longji, hike the beautiful rice terraces that snake through the mountains of Longsheng like giant dragons, and visit hill tribe communities to learn of a local way of living.
Enjoy time to sit back and relax beside the dramatic karst countryside of Yangshuo. This region, immortalised in countless traditional Chinese paintings, is a haven of exploration.
Cross the border into cosmopolitan Hong Kong – one of the world’s global cities, and a perfect place to extend your stay. Why not dig a little deeper and explore its up-and-coming neighbourhoods.
This trip travels on overnight hard sleeper trains on sections of the journey. 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. It's the main form of transport for locals, so take the chance to interact.
We cover a fair amount of ground to enable you to see some of China's biggest cities and main highlights, so be prepared for some long travel days. As we use plenty of public transport, you will be better off to bring only minimal belongings, or to leave your larger luggage in Beijing/Shanghai and take a smaller bag with you to the Great Wall, Huangshan and Hongcun.
We pack a lot in, in a short amount of time, so if you have some time to spare we highly recommend extra time in Shanghai and Beijing.
This trip includes a mixture of free time and included activities, giving you choice and flexibility to pursue your own interests in China.
This trip includes overnight stays at family-run guesthouses and homestays, with more basic facilities than hotels, such as cold water showers and outdoor squat toilets.
With walks on the Great Wall and Huangshan, 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. There are many steps and slopes on the way, so be prepared for a tough climb at times. You'll be rewarded with sensational views!
This trip uses a mix of transport – overnight sleeper trains, private buses and public buses. The trip covers a fair amount of ground to maximise experiences, so be prepared for some long journeys.
Not a lot a time is spent in Shanghai or Hong Kong (the starting and ending points) so that you can get straight into the highlights of South China, but we highly recommend booking additional nights here as these exciting cities have so much to offer.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip, excluding overnight trains and guesthouses
2. A scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport needs to be sent to your booking agent 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 six-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class. Bedding is provided and wash basins and toilets (squat/western) are available in each carriage, but there are no shower facilities.
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.
6. This is a combination tour which will save you the hassle of making multiple bookings. But please note that your tour leader and tour composition may change on Day 12.
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