Day 1 - Arrive Beijing
Day 2 - Beijing walking tour
Day 3 - Free day in Beijing
Day 4 - Beijing to Gubeikou, Great Wall trek
Day 5 - Gubeikou to Beijing, train to Xian
Day 6 - Xian and the Terracotta Warriors
Day 7 - Xian to Chengdu and the Panda Breeding Research Base
Day 8 - Guilin to Yangshuo
Day 9 - Cycling the Yangshuo hinterland
Day 10- Free day in Yangshuo
Day 11 - Yangshuo to Shenzhen
Day 12 - Trip ends Hong Kong
Day 1: Arrive Beijing
Arriving into one of the world’s most vibrant cities, we are welcomed by our local guide. After an afternoon rendezvous at the hotel we spend the evening exploring the surrounding area.
Day 2: Walking tour of Beijing
After a leisurely breakfast we head out on foot to see some of Beijing’s majestic sights including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We'll discover the backstreets, also known as hutongs, that are alive with street stalls and hidden temples. Some of the best food in China can be sampled in the hutongs at small local restaurants.
Day 3: Free day in Beijing
The day is yours to explore Beijing. Our recommendations are:
- Hire a bike and cycle around the biking trails of the Summer Palace
- Paddle boat in the Summer Palace
- Feast at the great restaurant at Beihai Park
- Try your hand at noodle making
- Enjoy a traditional massage or cooking class
Day 4: Beijing to Gubeikou, Great Wall trek
After breakfast we travel in our private bus to Gubeikou. This is a great area to undertake some hiking on the Great Wall with its original appearance maintained. Unlike other “wild” sections of the Great Wall, Gubeikou has some historical sites such as temples and temporary imperial palaces and has been ranked as one of the best hiking and photography sections of the wall. In the evening we are treated to a special homestay experience with local farmers providing an excellent insight into life in rural China.
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Gubeikou to Beijing, train to Xian
A must do experience when in China is an overnight train trip. We return from Gueikou to Beijing after completing the Great Wall trek and board our overnight carriage. Tonight we fall asleep to the gentle sway of the tracks before our early morning arrival into the city of Xian.
Day 6: Xian and the Terracotta Warriors
After checking into the hotel there’s time to relax or explore. The afternoon is reserved for a visit to the iconic Terracotta Warriors. Recommended options for the remainder of the day are:
- Wander through the narrow streets of the Muslim quarter to chime into prayer call and sample the cuisine
- Visit the Bell Tower, the geographical centre of the ancient capital
- Stroll along the old city walls drinking in the splendid past of Xian
Day 7: Xian to Chengdu and the Panda Breeding Research Base
The morning is spent at leisure before leaving Xian on a short flight to Chengdu where our main mission is to spend time at the fascinating Panda Breeding Research Base. The facility has not only dedicated itself to giant panda conservations, but has also made great efforts to combine natural scenery and man-made landscapes to create wonderful living areas for giant pandas, red pandas and other endangered Chinese animals. It is also recommended that you visit Mount Qincheng, about a one hour drive from Chengdu, for mountain hiking amid Taoist temples and Chinese architecture.
Day 8: Fly to Guilin and drive to Yangshuo
The Panda Sanctuary will be the highlight of today as we get close to these beautiful bears with the backdrop of a natural forest setting. Our afternoon flight to Guilin is followed by a drive to Yangshuo where we'll settle into our hotel. The evening is free for you to take in the legendary scenery of the natural environment around Yangshuo that has inspired Chinese poets and artists for centuries.
Day 9: Cycling the Yangshuo hinterland
Yangshuo, an idyllic town set amidst limestone pinnacles and rice paddies, is the setting of today's cycle. The surrounding region is very beautiful, spotted with small villages and imposing karst rock formations. The cycle route we follow leads us along undulating roads to the Moon Hill area. There will also be time to explore the village itself, known to have fantastic shopping, restaurants and a lively ambiance.
Meals: B, L
Day 10: Free day in Yangshuo
Today is a free day to explore the many opportunities of Yangshuo. Our recommendations are:
- Exploring Western Street, famous for its distinctive bars, restaurants and hotels that are full of exotic atmosphere
- Visiting Xingping Ancient Town, famed for the beautiful mountains and rivers
- Taking a mud bath, also called a natural baptism, said to be a relaxing experience by many travellers
- Ride in a hot air balloon over the beautiful limestone karsts and waterways
- Try your hand at rafting, an adventurous and exciting adrenaline activity
- Participate in a cooking class to learn traditional Yangshuo dishes
Day 11: Yangshuo and overnight train to Shenzhen
You are free to sleep in and have a leisurely morning before taking a short bus ride to Guilin where we board an overnight train to Shenzhen.
Day 12: Trip concludes Hong Kong
The train pulls into Shenzhen around 11am. From here you'll head to Hong Kong, where the trip ends, to explore its world of shopping, dining, nightlife, history, nature walks and adventure sports.