China Experience

19 Days | Experience the nuanced essence of China from Beijing to Hong Kong

4.7 out of 5 based on 24 reviews submitted.
GBP £2,624
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Experience the breadth of cultures, flavours and landscapes that make up the vast Middle Kingdom on one our most popular tours through China. Marvel at iconic attractions like the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors, then find a quieter side of the country with a cruise along the Yangzi River and a stay in a Buddhist monastery tucked into the mountains of Emei Shan. Discover a land of epic history, vibrant cultures and dramatic vistas on this 19-day China Experience.  

Trip overview

Map of China Experience including China and Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region Of China
Beijing, China
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Explorer, Rail
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 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 37 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • This is one of our most comprehensive trips in China, covering huge distances and taking in key destinations from north to south with plenty of variety in experiences and sights along the way 
  • Zip through the country from north to south on its efficient high-speed rail network.
  • Take through the iconic scenery of the Yangzi River as you meander through the dramatic Three Gorges on a three-day cruise
  • No matter how many guide books you have read, nothing truly prepares you for the grandeur and immensity of historic sights like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Leshan Big Buddha and the Terracotta Army. However, the country's modern man-made sights refuse to be outdone, and you can see the modern equivalence of those ancient feats in the skyline of Hong Kong and the Yangzi River's Three Gorges Hydroelectric dam 
  • Get up close to giant pandas in Chengdu and learn about the preservation work required for this ancient species.
  • Beyond adorable, endangered giant pandas, Chengdu is one of our favourite cities in China. Find out why our travellers end up falling in love with this emerging travel hotspot here:
  • Escape the cities to discover China's natural beauty. Trek up the misty forests of Emei Shan for a stay in a monastery, waking to the sound of drums and prayers in the morning Buddhist ritual.
  • Cycle through the Chinese countryside with backdrops that resemble paintings – the picturesque limestone karsts of Yangshuo, for example, grace the walls of conference rooms and Chinese embassy's around the world

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip is a true journey in the sense that we are covering huge distances and visiting many destinations along the way. Be prepared for long days of travel in between days packed with sightseeing. 
  • With walks on the Great Wall and up Emei Shan (both which have many steps!), you'll need a good level of fitness to get the most out of these activities. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of more relaxing days too, such as on the Yangzi River cruise or in the picturesque town of Yangshuo.
  • There is a variety of accommodation on this trip including hotels, guesthouses, monasteries, and riverboats. They might not always be as comfortable as home, but each accommodation site will give you a different perspective on China.
  • While we finish in Hong Kong, due to our late afternoon arrival we do not include much free time or activities here. We highly recommend staying a few extra days post trip to make the most of this exciting city. Here's some tips to get you started:


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



4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners


Private Bus, Public Bus, High-Speed Train, Overnight Riverboat, Subway, Taxi, Bicycle


Hotel (13 nights), Monastery (1 nights), Overnight Riverboat (4 nights)

  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Beijing - Tiananmen Square
  • Beijing - Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter Walking Tour
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors Tour
  • Chengdu - Leader-led walking tour
  • Chengdu - People's Park & Tianfu Square
  • Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (entrance fee & transport included)
  • Leshan - Giant Buddha (boat ticket & transport included)
  • Emei Shan - Scenic Area Hiking
  • Emei Shan - Cable car & Golden Summit visit
  • Yichang - Guided Three Gorges Dam Project tour
  • Yangshuo - Cycling tour (local guide & bike hire included)
Add on activities
  • Beijing - Temple of Heaven (entrance fee) - CNY40
  • Beijing - Summer Palace (entrance fee) - CNY60
  • Beijing - Kungfu Show (ticket) - CNY280
  • Beijing - Lama Temple (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Beijing - Hutong family visit - CNY150
  • Beijing - Acrobat show (ticket) - CNY290
  • Beijing - Beijing Opera show (ticket) - CNY380
  • Xi'an - City Wall bike hire - CNY45
  • Xi'an - Bell & Drum Towers (entrance fee) - CNY50
  • Xi'an - Little Wild Goose Pagoda - CNY50
  • Xi'an - Big Goose Pagoda (entrance fee) - CNY80
  • Xi'an - Great Mosque (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Xi'an - Tang Dynasty Show - CNY290
  • Chengdu - Wenshu Monastery (entrance fee) - CNY5
  • Chengdu - Sichuan Opera (ticket) - CNY260
  • Emei Shan - Crouching Tiger Monastery - CNY6
  • Emei Shan - Hot Spring Resort - CNY212
  • Yangshuo - Moon Hill (entrance fee) - CNY15
  • Yangshuo - Xianggongshan & Tea Farm Visit (Minimum 6, transport and entrance fee) - CNY358
  • Yangshuo - Impressions Liu Sanjie light show (minimum 4 people) - CNY328
  • Yangshuo - Tai Chi/Kung Fu class - CNY120
  • Yangshuo - Cooking School & Market Tour - CNY230
  • Yangshuo - Li River Cruise - CNY230
  • Yangshuo - Massage/Hot cupping - CNY100
  • Hong Kong - Victoria Peak & Tram - HKD90
  • Hong Kong - Star Ferry - HKD15
  • Hong Kong - Nightly Light Show - Free

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 Days 11,12,13, 14 (Overnight boat) 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 45 days before departure in order for us to purchase your train tickets.. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
3. 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


4.7 out of 5 based on 24 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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Jennifer · Traveled May 2024
The China Experience trip was wonderful. The country itself is amazing and the local people all friendly and welcoming. Our tour leader Jacky was terrific. A wonderful insight into an often negatively portrayed country. Thanks Intrepid.
Review submitted 01 Jun 2024

David · Traveled May 2024
Decent itinerary overall, but ask for details about the cruise before you book.
Review submitted 30 May 2024

Janet · Traveled May 2024
This trip covered so many of the country's highlights! I had no idea what to expect and found China to be full of beautiful sights and experiences, even on the long travel days. I enjoyed many of the optional activities as well and they were well worth it. I felt safe at all times and it was a brilliant way to see a country I have long wanted to visit.
Review submitted 31 May 2024

Daniel · Traveled April 2024
Great way to experience China and this tour really helps navigate through The Middle Kingdom.
Review submitted 01 May 2024

Sally · Traveled March 2024
This trip was one of the best trips I have done. Jackie our tour guide was very approachable and informative, nothing was a hassle and we had a great time, would thoroughly recommend this trip if you want to experience true China.
Review submitted 10 Apr 2024
China Experience
GBP £2,624