Welcome to China! Your trip begins in the country’s vibrant capital, Beijing. There will be a 5pm welcome meeting at the hotel, but if you arrive early, take the chance to explore the city. Experience the blend of ancient history and modernity with a stroll around the busy streets and enjoy a real Chinese meal to round off the day.
Overnight: Dong Fang Hotel or similar (Dinner included)
The Great Wall
Delve into the capital city today, starting with a trip to Tiananmen Square. As the world’s biggest square, it can hold one million people and is best known for its bloody student protests in 1989. Visit the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, which lies next to the square and was home to Chinese Emperors. The UNESCO-listed site is the largest palace complex in the world and features a maze of impressive buildings. Look out for dragon, phoenix and yin and yang themed decorations.
You’ll venture out to China’s most famous attraction, the Great Wall. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is over 21,000 kilometres long and was built in sections over hundreds of years, serving as defensive walls. You will spend the night in a family run village guesthouse, a great chance to sample local produce and tonight you will try your hand at making dumplings with the family.
Overnight: Gubeikou Guesthouse or similar (Breakfast included)
The Great Wall - Beijing
In the guesthouse this morning you will learn about the local craft of paper cutting which has been a traditional decorative craft since the Chinese invented paper back in AB 105. A great activity for all the family, followed by some time exploring the Great Wall of China. Take the opportunity to walk along the wall, taking in the surrounding woodland and countryside views. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera and water. Return to Beijing for a traditional dinner and enjoy a free evening.
Overnight: Dong Fang Hotel or similar (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Today you will travel by bullet train to Xi’an, the journey takes around 5 hours and you’ll travel through some beautiful countryside. Arrive around 3pm and stop at the hotel to drop off you bags and freshen up before exploring this historic city on a walking tour. Discover the history of Xi’an, which dates back 6,000 years and was once a key stop on the Silk Road, as well as the imperial capital of 11 dynasties. Walk the grid-like streets of the old town and historic Muslim Quarter which is easy to navigate followed by an afternoon of free time. At night embark on another tour to see a different side of the city, taking in the views of the Bell and drum Tower lit up and sit down to a tasty classic dumpling dinner.
Overnight: Skytel Hotel or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Today you’ll get to see Xi’an’s famous Terracotta Warriors, which lie 90-minutes away by bus. These life-sized statues of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s army lay buried for over 2,000 years before they were discovered, guarding the Emperor’s tomb, in 1974. An estimated 8,000 soldiers and 130 chariots with horses are spread across three huge pits. Take in this mesmerising site and learn more in the museum, which has a collection of artefacts from the original excavations.
Overnight: Skytel Hotel or similar (Breakfast included)
Take the 3.5-hour bullet train to Chengdu this morning, which is the capital of China’s Sichuan province. The city is known for its hot, spicy dishes and the endangered pandas that live in its nearby mountains. Today you’ll tour the old town and Tibetan Quarter of Chengdu on a two-hour walking tour and visit Tianfu Square, which boasts a giant statue of Chairman Mao.
Enjoy some free time in one of the city’s most scenic parks, Renmin, a favourite with locals. Visit traditional Chinese tea houses and watch people exercise, relax and play sports. End the day with an authentic hot pot dinner, where you’ll get to choose and cook your own ingredients.
Overnight: Garden City Hotel or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Visit the Panda Research Centre this morning, which is home to both Giant and Red Pandas. You’ll learn about these rare animals, as well as the centre’s vital conservation work. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see the pandas when they’re active, playing, eating bamboo and climbing trees. You’ll have three hours to spend at the centre with these incredible animals. If you visit between July and September, there’s even a chance of seeing adorable new-born pandas. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you wish, perhaps head to Wide and narrow Alley to watch craftspeople at work or find some delicious cuisine from the food stalls.
Overnight: Garden City Hotel or similar (Breakfast included)
Today you’ll fly to Guilin and transfer to Yangshuo in Guangxi province, a total journey of four hours. This tranquil resort town is known for its towering karst mountains, hiking trails, boat cruises and natural beauty. Settle into your hotel before venturing out to the local farmers market to see the regional produce and daily life. Next you will make a short drive to Chaolong, a small village for this afternoon’s activity, a cooking class. An experienced chef will teach you the techniques and skills to make regional dishes, which you’ll feast on for dinner. You can take this new-found knowledge back home and cook authentic Chinese meals for your loved ones.
Overnight: Snow Lion Riverside or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Rise and shine for an early morning nature bike tour through the idyllic Chinese countryside, past emerald green karst mountains and lush fields. Enjoy a stop for lunch with the group before being transferred back to your hotel to spend the rest of the day relaxing. All bikes and helmets for adults and children are provided and the ride lasts from 8am until lunchtime. There will also be a support vehicle for those who don’t want to ride the whole way.
Overnight: Snow Lion Riverside Resort or similar (Breakfast and lunch included)
Rise early and head to the train station, where you’ll board an exciting bullet train towards Hong Kong. You’ll reach speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and change at Shenzhen, arriving in Hong Kong around 6pm. Spend the evening settling in, or if you have the energy, take in the spectacular laser show in Victoria Harbour.
Overnight: Metropark Hotel Kowloon or similar (Breakfast included)
Explore this modern metropolis on a morning orientation walk with your leader, then continue independently. Stroll around the harbour, which has views stretching over the island-studded bay or get caught up in the bustling downtown. Take the tram to Victoria Peak for panoramic views of the city and head out on the Star Ferry to watch the evening laser show from the water. You can also hike one of the surrounding trails, such as the Dragon’s Back, or visit the Hong Kong Science Museum.
Overnight: Metropark Hotel Kowloon or similar (Breakfast included)
There are no activities planned for the day and you’re free to leave when you like. If you have some time before your flight, do some shopping or more sightseeing in the city.