There may be two sides to every coin, but there sure are a heck of a lot more to China. This staggering adventure gets you to as many of those sides as we can possibly fit into 20 days (wow!). Bright-lights-big-city Hong Kong? Check. Terracotta warrior staring contest? Check. Giant panda ogling? Remote village cycling? Mountain monasteries and Forbidden City? Oh yes and so much more. Don't just get to China; get inside what makes it drive the 21st century, starting right here, right now.
Arrive at any time.
Cross the border to Shenzhen for the fast train to Guilin, then transfer to Yangshuo, nestled amongst the limestone karsts jutting out of the Li River.
Arrive to Guilin by train and transfer to the nearby village of Yangshuo. One of China's most scenic regions, this beautiful backpacker town is a haven for activities, cultural immersion, and relaxing at cafés.
The Li River and the limestone karst mountains interspersed with picturesque riverside villages and markets make this area perhaps the best known scenic attraction in the region.
Float along a tributary of the stunning Li River on a local boat. After, enjoy a traditional lunch at a G Adventures supported restaurant where rural women are working to create new opportunities for their families.
Full free day in Yangshuo. Opt to go biking or take a cooking class.
Catch a flight to Lijiang and take an orientation walk through the old town.
Take a bus to Tiger Leaping Gorge and start on the famous hike. The route follows the stunning scenery of the Yangtze as it cuts through the gorge.
In the heart of Yunnan province, the fast-flowing Yangtze has cut a dramatic gorge so narrow that legend has it a tiger once escaped capture by jumping across it.
This area rivals the well-known Three Gorges as the most spectacular scenery along the Yangtze River and hiking the route is surely the best way to experience the landscape.
Continue the hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge. After completing the trek, drive back to Lijiang.
Enjoy a day to discover Lijiang. Opt to explore the UNESCO Heritage-listed Old Town or visit the Black Dragon Pool Park.
Cath an express bus to Dali. Take an orientation walk then explore the old town on our own.
Enjoy free time in Dali with optional activities like visiting the old town, taking a boat around Lake Erhai, and riding a bike to Xizhou. Choose to spend some time wandering the local markets.
Enjoy a free day to explore this scenic town. Opt to rent a bike to visit Lake Erhai and explore the Villages along the lake.
Fly from Dali to the vibrant, modern city of Chengdu. Enjoy a local Hotpot dinner.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is a city of almost 12 million people, which still manages to retain some of its older characteristics and traditions.
One of these traditions is the Sichuan Opera. The singing, comedy, puppetry, and incredible 'changing faces' act performed as part of the opera are a feast for the eyes.
Hotpot is a very local way to have a meal. We sit around a table with a pot built in the middle – the pot is divided into 2 halves (spicy vs. non-spicy usually). The restaurants flavoured soup is added and brought to a boil, then we can start adding our food in the pot to cook ( including vegetable, meat or fish). The table also offers various sorts of herbs, spices, oil etc so you can make your own soup to taste.
Visit the Panda Breeding Centre for an up-close experience with these gentle giants. Board a bullet train to Xi'an.
Full day to see Xi'an.
Discover Xi'an with some free time before boarding an evening fast train to the ancient city of Pingyao.
Try your hand at calligraphy with an included lesson. Enjoy free time to explore the old city of Pingyao with its cobbled streets and buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Hop on a train to Datong after a free morning in Pingyao.
Datong is famous for its temples, pagodas, and other Buddhist structures in the area. The Huayan Monastery and Nine-Dragon Screen are excellent examples of the treasures found in the middle of the city.
Set eyes on the gorgeous Hanging Monastery and visit the Yungang Grottoes to see the thousands of Buddha statues. Later, board an overnight train to Beijing.
The Hanging Monastery (or Hanging Temple) is a wooden structure built into a cliff at the foot of a mountain more than 1,500 years ago. It includes Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements.
Further afield are the Yungang Grottoes; there are currently 53 grottoes with 51,000 statues of the Buddha remaining. Enjoy a guided visit to the grottoes to marvel at them in person. Beyond that is Mt Hengshan, one of the five sacred mountains of China.
Opt to check out Datong's six remaining pagodas, which gave the city the nickname "City of Pagodas".
Arrive in bustling Beijing early and enjoy a visit to the famed Forbidden City.
Enjoy an included visit to the Great Wall.
Head out of town to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and enjoy time to wander around, take photos, and pick up souvenirs.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Classic Hong Kong to Beijing Adventure
Duration: 20 Days
From Price: $4,159
Supplier Tour ID: ACNB.B/228521
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