Real China

12 Days | From an ancient Wonder of the World to pandas and karst mountains

5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
NZD $1,373
View dates and book
This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

You could travel for a lifetime in China, and there would still be more to explore – but this 12-day trip through the country’s highlights does a pretty good job of narrowing it down. Tick an ancient Wonder of the World off your bucket list at the Great Wall, witness the Terracotta Warriors in Xi-an and watch baby pandas play in Chengdu. Sip tea in People’s Park, taste delicious street food with a local leader who knows all the best spots and cycle through the misty countryside of Yangshuo – home to stunning vistas, Moon Hill and karst mountains. Start in Beijing and end in Hong Kong for some thriving nightlife and you’ve got a pretty cool adventure.

Trip overview

Map of Real China including China and Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region Of China
Beijing, China
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
18 to 35s
China, Hong Kong
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities

Why you'll love this trip
  • Walk the walk on the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), watching the stones snake as far as the eye can see. If you’d like, you can even toboggan back down!
  • Take a scenic cycling tour through farms and villages in Yangshuo’s karst-dotted countryside. Every turn in the road brings you to another postcard-perfect spot before riding to Moon Hill and taking a short hike that leads to panoramic views of the area.
  • Watch rolly polly baby pandas playing, munching bamboo and generally doing their thing at the Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu – if they’re not already, pandas might just be your favourite animal after this.
  • Join a local guide to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an – the most famous site in the city – only discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well.
  • Eat your way through China, from Beijing’s Peking duck to the delicious Sichuan pepper – then, maybe challenge yourself with authentic local delicacies like silkworms, spicy rabbit head and beer fish.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip packs a lot into a short amount of time, with very little time spent in Beijing and Hong Kong – it’s recommended that you extend your stay in these locations before and after your trip if you want to explore them in depth.
  • The overnight train included on this trip is in ‘hard sleeper’ class, meaning carriages are sectioned off with six sleepers per compartment in tiers of three. It’s not luxury but efficient and a way to spend time with local travellers.
  • You will easily surpass your 10,000 steps a day on this trip, in fact most travellers are surprised at how much distance they end up covering! Make sure your shoes are comfy enough to spend most days on your feet.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2025 - 31 December 2025

Map of Real China including China and Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region Of China



1 lunch


Overnight Hard Sleeper Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, High-speed Train, Subway, Taxi


Hotel (10 nights), Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (1 night)

  • Beijing - Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Beijing - Tiananmen Square
  • Beijing - Leader-led Hutong Walking Tour
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter Walking Tour and Snack Sampling
  • Xi'an - Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square Walking Tour
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors Tour
  • Chengdu - Walking Tour (Tianfu Square, People's Park and Kuanzhai Lane)
  • Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (entrance fee & transport included)
  • Yangshuo - Walking Tour
  • Yangshuo - Bike Tour with Lunch & Moon Hill Visit
  • Hong Kong - Leader-led Walking Tour
  • Hong Kong – Temple Street Night Market Walking Tour
Add on activities
  • Beijing –Great Wall Toboggan Ride - (round trip) - CNY140
  • Beijing - Lama Temple (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Beijing - Temple of Heaven (entrance fee) - CNY40
  • Beijing - Forbidden City (Entrance fee & Pre booking required) - CNY60
  • Xi'an - Little Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY50
  • Xi'an - Great Mosque (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Xi'an - Bell & Drum Towers (entrance fee) - CNY50
  • Xi'an - Cycling on City Wall - CNY80
  • Xi'an - Karaoke - CNY100
  • Yangshuo - Li River Cruise - CNY230
  • Yangshuo - Tai Chi/Kung Fu class - CNY120
  • Yangshuo - Cooking School & Market Tour - CNY230

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1.A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 3 (Sleeper train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
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. The overnight train from Beijing to Xi'an on this tour is in 6-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.

Essential Trip Information

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.

Read Essential Trip Information


5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Kiarne · Traveled May 2024
Amazing experience from start to finish, it’s go go go and fitness is required. But China is amazing and the Real China trip is a great way to see it ☺️
Review submitted 01 Jun 2024

Kerri · Traveled April 2024
The best trip of my life and it’s all owed to the tour guide Kris. Love from Ireland!
Review submitted 21 Apr 2024

Brayan · Traveled April 2024
If you like a vacation where you like to see top Chinese touristic areas, lively city activities, learn about China’s culture, and appreciate some of rural China, this is the perfect tour for you. The experience you’ll have is one you’ll be glad you had for many years to come.
Review submitted 21 Apr 2024
Real China
NZD $1,373