Combine the hustle and bustle of China’s booming cities with the tranquility of rural life on this unforgettable adventure. Explore hidden corners of Beijing’s Forbidden City; trek atop the majestic Great Wall; and sample street food in Xi’an, home to the incredible terra-cotta army. Then venture into the countryside, enjoying a paddle on the scenic Li River and learning to cook up regional specialties in Yangshuo. Along the way, discover ancient customs that contrast with rapidly modernizing lifestyles, revealing China’s true allure.
What's Included : Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Chinese Shadow Puppetry, Xi’an Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tai Chi Class, Yangshuo Your G for Good Moment: Jia Community Restaurant, Yangshuo Your Foodie Moment: Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo, Yangshuo Your Discover Moment: Shanghai. Arrival transfer. Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Visit Beijing's traditional hutongs. Excursion to the Great Wall. Xi'an Muslim quarter orientation walk and Gao’s Grand Courtyard. Cycle along the Xi'an city walls. Terracotta warriors tour. Lunch in a local village. Li River boat ride. Walk through the countryside with village visits. Shanghai orientation walk. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Highlights : Walk the Great Wall and cycle along the Xi'an city walls, explore Beijing's traditional alleys and backstreets known as hutongs, enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry, face the Terracotta Warriors and visit the farming community where they were discovered, learn to cook local specialities at a rural cooking school
Dossier Disclaimer : The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer : While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Itinerary Notes : There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.
Important Notes : 1) LUGGAGE As we use (sometimes crowded) local transport please note backpacks, soft rolling bags or duffles are much more suitable than hard suitcases for this style of trip. 2) LUGGAGE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers. 3) Expectations China has emerged as a great tourist destination in the last ten years and is an intriguing and rewarding destination to visit. Developing at a fast rate, travel is becoming easier for foreigners but please be aware that English is still not widely spoken outside the large cities and that accommodation, toilet facilities and some transportation is not yet at the same level as you would expect in developed countries. If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience wil be greatly enhanced. 4) Peak season notice: Golden Week falls between October 1st and 7th, 2019/2020/2021. Please note that Golden Week is a semi-annual 7-day or 8-day national holiday for the people of China. This is a very busy time of the year for domestic tourists, so expect some crowding at major attractions. We recommend booking these dates well in advance as accommodations and transportation availability is extremely limited.
Group Leader Description : Your G Adventures group trip is accompanied by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) in China. The aim of your CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. G Adventures CEOs are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes : Max 15, Avg 10.
Meals Included : 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Meals : Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Transport : Private bus, plane, boat, train, bicycle, walking.
About our Transportation : Train travel is often used throughout our China trips as it's an easily accessible and fast way to make the most of the time you have in China. While packing for your trip please note the following restrictions and remember that the local policies in place are for yours and everyone's safety. Prohibited items on China's trains and metro: 1. Any knives or scissors 2. Items or food that have an unpleasant odour (ex. Durian) 3. Open liquor bottles (new bottles with the seal intact are okay) 4. Pressurized/flammable containers over 120ml in size (ex. sunscreen spray, mosquito repellent spray, hairspray, etc.) Prohibited items on trains to/from Guangxi Province - Guilin/Yangshuo 1. Floria Water - a mosquito repellent water common in China 2. Self-heating food items (self-heating hot pot, rice, etc.) 3. As well as everything on the previous list above
Local Flights : All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Solo Travellers : We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accommodation : Hotels (10 nts), Soft-sleeper train (1 nt)
My Own Room : Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions : Night 4 (overnight train)
Joining Hotel : For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Joining Instructions : An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous. Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name. Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app. If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
Arrival Complications : We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have not made contact with our transfer representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, please contact the Beijing transfer complications number below. As a last resort we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Emergency Contact : Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Tour Operator (China): During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time +86 199 3740 7980 After office hours emergency number: +86 187 0058 2383 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take : We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. Do not bring any knives or swords into China (gifts or otherwise). If they do make it into the country, they will not be permitted on trains. If you purchase a knife or sword while travelling elsewhere before arriving in China your best option is to post/mail it home before entering the country as no post/mail companies in China will accept it as a parcel.
Packing List : Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Health & Safety: • Face masks (required) • Hand sanitizer (required) • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.) • Rubber gloves Light Hiking: • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes • Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended) Smart Dress: • Smart outfit (For evenings out) Train Travel (Optional): • Slip-on shoes • Small container with lid • Travel cutlery • Travel or camp cup Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear Note: from Apr-Aug is rainy season for most of Southern China, so please ensure you have some waterproof clothing.
Laundry : Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements : ** Please be advised that if you have recently travelled to Turkey, or you are a Turkish citizen, it is possible that your Chinese visa will not be approved. Please contact your local embassy for further information. ** Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the embassy of each country. Your travel agent can assist. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country. CHINA: all nationalities require a visa to visit China Most nationalities also need an official Letter Of Invitation (LOI) before they can apply for their Chinese visa. You can obtain the LOI through our visa support agent in China. The visa support link you need to complete will be sent to you or your travel agent by email when you confirm your booking. You must read the instructions carefully and fill out all the details. Please ensure that you list the same details as appear on your LOI when filling out your Chinese Visa Application form. HOW TO FILL IN CHINA LOI FORM ONLINE: As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates as per your flights entering and exiting China. Please remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy. You will need to provide additional documentation to the consulate (i.e. flights tickets, hotel reservations) if these dates fall outside the duration of the tour. Please do not submit the below application until 3 months prior to your entry into China. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in China and you will be emailed your Chinese Invitation Letter (With day by day Itinerary) only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date. Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the nearest Chinese embassy. Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct. As of April 3rd, 2018, all Chinese visa application forms must be typed. Handwritten forms will no longer be accepted. Following the successful implementation of their 144 hour visa free program for the Shanghai district, The Ministry of Public Security of China have announced the extension of the 144 hour visa free program for provinces of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. As of the 29th of December 2017, over 50 foreign nationals can now enter or exit via one of the following ports: - Beijing Capital International Airport - Railway West Railway Station - Tianjin Binhai International Airport - Tianjin International Cruise Homeport, or - Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport in Hebei Province and Qinhuangdao Harbor.
Detailed Trip Notes : Due to Internet restrictions, some popular websites and applications – including social media sites like Facebook and email services like Gmail – may not work in China. If you think these restrictions may affect you, we suggest you do research before your departure in order to be prepared. Bear in mind the availability of websites and apps can change without notice at any time.
Spending Money : Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Money Exchange : As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. Cash (Chinese Yuan) is the best method of money in China. There are some ATM machines at international airports and major cities that accept Visa and debit cards but these should not be relied on as a source of funds. We recommend the use of cash in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HKD) as a backup. Major credit cards are accepted in a few shops (except for AMEX and Diner's) but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.
Emergency Fund : Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Departure Tax : Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China.
Tipping : Traditionally in China tipping is not expected and thus there is no need to tip in restaurants and your general interaction with locals; however, tipping is customary - though not compulsory - in the tourism industry and not only shows an expression of satisfaction it may also be of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO may offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from 1 to 3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person per day can be used.
Optional Activities : Mutianyu - Toboggan at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person) - Cable Car at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person) Beijing - Beijing Kung Fu Show Xi’an - Defachang Dumpling Banquet (105CNY per person) Yangshuo - Impression Liu Sanjie Culture Show Shanghai - Shanghai Museum (Free) - Shanghai Acrobatic Performance - Yuyuan Gardens (45CNY per person) - Oriental Pearl Tower (220CNY per person)
Health : Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEOs are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security : Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit: www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/
Trip Specific Safety : We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules : Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance : Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures : Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation. Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment. Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Local Dress : In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Feedback : After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Newsletter : Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/ Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Minimum Age : You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
International Flights : Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Alert Message : Peak season notice: Golden Week falls between October 1st and 7th, 2019/2020/2021. Please note that Golden Week is a semi-annual 7-day or 8-day national holiday for the people of China. This is a very busy time of the year for domestic tourists, so expect some crowding at major attractions. We recommend booking these dates well in advance as accommodations and transportation availability is extremely limited.
Group Leader : CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.
Max Pax : 15
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included. Enjoy Beijing’s famed Peking duck at our welcome dinner tonight.
Today, we discover one of the most iconic wonders of the world—the Great Wall of China. This impressive series of fortifications was built between the 3rd century BC and the 17th century AD along China’s northern border, and spans more than 20,000 kilometers. We’ll explore the less-visited Mutianyu section, taking in sweeping views of the countryside from the ancient watchtowers. Opt to ascend a section of the wall by cable car; then hike up to Mutianyu’s highest point and choose to slide back down to the entrance in a toboggan.
Delve into the fascinating history of Beijing on a full-day tour. Visit the palaces and elegant galleries of the Forbidden City—seat of the Ming and Qing dynasties for more than five centuries—and walk across vast Tiananmen Square, where some of China’s most significant political events have taken place. Venture to the elegant Temple of Heaven, where the emperor would come to pray and perform sacrificial rites, and watch locals practice tai chi in the surrounding gardens. Later, we’ll take a walk through the hutongs or hidden alleyways of Beijing’s old neighbourhoods.
Continue to explore Beijing today and enjoy some free time on your own. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Xi'an, one of China’s four ancient capitals and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.
Explore Xi'an like a local this morning, hopping on a bike to ride along the city’s well-preserved 14th-century walls. Later, hit the streets of the vibrant Muslim Quarter, known for its mouthwatering street food, and enjoy a visit to Gao’s Grand Courtyard. This beautifully restored mansion belonged to a Ming-era official, and offers an insight into traditional Chinese family life. Round off your visit with a performance of shadow puppetry, an ancient Chinese folk art.
Visit the famed terra-cotta army, fashioned more than 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. We’ll spend half a day learning about this archaeological treasure and admiring the artistic detail of the thousands of life-size sculptures. Afterward, enjoy lunch in a nearby village, where local farmers first discovered the terra-cotta warriors in 1974. Opt for a dumpling banquet this evening, getting a chance to taste traditional northern Chinese cuisine.
Fly to Yangshuo in China's lush southwestern region, situated at the meeting point of the Li and Yulong Rivers and ringed by dramatic limestone peaks. Float down the Li River on a traditional vessel, winding around karst towers and gliding past terraced rice fields and local fishermen on bamboo boats. Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner at a G Adventures–supported restaurant, which provides rural women with opportunities to become self-reliant.
Venture further into the scenic countryside this morning, trekking through peaceful rural villages, fruit orchards, and rice paddies. Later, delve into the region’s cuisine on a visit to a Yangshuo market, where we’ll learn about the ingredients used to prepare typical dishes. Then try your hand at whipping up some of these local specialities at a cooking class, and enjoy your creations for dinner.
Rise early for a private tai chi class with a local expert and learn about the health benefits of this ancient Chinese exercise, practiced by millions around the world. Later, travel to the town of Yangshuo and wander through its quaint, café-lined streets. Spend the afternoon at leisure, and opt to enjoy a stunning theatrical performance over the Li River.
Fly to Shanghai, one of China’s most bustling metropolises. Set off on a stroll of the Bund, the downtown riverfront district, and take in Shanghai’s colonial architecture and futuristic skyline—a mesmerizing mix of old and new. Explore the city on your own time this evening.
Spend the day soaking up vibrant Shanghai on your own. Opt to visit the Shanghai Museum, home to a world-class collection of ancient Chinese art; roam the beautiful Yuyuan Garden, a classical Chinese garden dating to the Ming era; enjoy a spectacular acrobatic show; ascend to the top of the iconic Oriental Pearl, one of the tallest TV towers in the world; and much more.
Depart at any time.
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