North China Getaway

12 Days | Great Wall hikes, Shanghai bites and all the northern sights

5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews submitted.
Explorer
Rail
From
USD $1,036
View dates and book

Discover the breathtaking countryside and rich cultural history of China's north on this 12-day trip 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.

Trip overview

Map of North China Getaway including China
Start
Beijing, China
Finish
Shanghai, China
Theme
Explorer, Rail
Destinations
China
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
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
CBRF
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.

Why you'll love this trip
  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip is 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 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.
  • Family-run guesthouses and hostels are used on this trip, 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 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. For more information about the overnight train condition, please check out the Essential Trip Information.

Itinerary

Map of North China Getaway including China

Inclusions

Transport

Overnight Hard Sleeper Train, Public Bus, Private vehicle, Subway

Accommodation

Twin-share Guesthouse/Hostel (7 nights), Hotel (2 nights), Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (2 nights)

Activities
  • Beijing - Great Wall
  • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter Walking Tour
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors Tour
  • Shanghai - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Huangshan - National Park Trek
  • Hongcun - Leader-led Village Walking Tour
Add on activities
  • Beijing - Forbidden City - CNY60
  • Beijing - Lama Temple (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Beijing - Summer Palace (entrance fee) - CNY60
  • Beijing - Temple of Heaven (entrance fee) - CNY40
  • Xi'an - Great Mosque (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Xi'an - Big Goose Pagoda (entrance fee) - CNY80
  • Xi'an - City Wall bike hire - CNY45
  • Xi'an - Bell & Drum Towers (entrance fee) - CNY50
  • Shanghai - Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre (entrance fee) - CNY25
  • Shanghai - Shanghai Museum (entrance fee) - Free
  • Shanghai - Yuyuan Garden (entrance fee) - CNY40
  • Shanghai - Urban Planning Exhibition Centre (entrance fee) - CNY30
  • Shanghai - Acrobat Show (ticket) - CNY280
  • Shanghai - Oriental Pearl Tower Viewing Deck (entrance fee) - CNY150
  • Shanghai - Huangpu River Night Cruise (ticket) - CNY120

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 4 and Day 6 (Overnight train) and Days 2,3,7,8,9,10,11 (Guesthouses) 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 is required no later than 40 days before departure in order for us to purchase your train tickets.
3. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites.
4. 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.

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

Reviews

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.

Filter by rating

Dennis Üzeyir Manfred · Traveled March 2024
Review submitted 25 Mar 2024

Lucy · Traveled March 2024
An amazing trip, so much covered in 12 days, Alan our guide was brilliant, came home with a better understanding of china and its people. The wall was definatly the highlight for me, trip was full on, lots of walking and travelling, but we got to experience so much, so was totally worth it. China was incredibly cheap too, a fabulous, insightful trip was had by the whole group.
Review submitted 28 Mar 2024

Michael · Traveled March 2024
An excellent trip covering main highlights in Northern and Central China: Beijing, Great Wall, Xian, Shanghai and Yellow mountains. A total immersion into local culture, nature and history in the comfort of good organization, support and lack of language barrier provided by the tour leader Alan.
Review submitted 11 Apr 2024
North China Getaway
From
USD $1,036