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Group Size: Avg 10-15, max 25
Trip code: CHAD
Duration: 27 days
Explore China in 27 days on this awesome Asian adventure tour, beginning and ending in Hong Kong. Visit epic locations such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Macau, and see famous sights including the Terracotta Warriors and Victoria Peak. Plus, you’ll enjoy a fantastic range of included activities, such as hiking and camping on the Great Wall, meeting Pandas in Chengdu, learning Kung Fu at a Shaolin children's home, sleeping in a traditional roundhouse and bamboo rafting on the Li River. You’ll see and do it all on this amazing China Adventure!
Day 1: Arrival Day – Welcome to Hong Kong!
Once you arrive in Hong Kong, you’ll get settled in to your accommodation and, if you want to get a feel for the city, take yourself out to explore the vibrant, heaving streets. With an endless stream of things to see and do, make sure you allow for a little R&R before your adventure begins – but definitely take time to sample some of the city’s outstanding food – Hong Kong is one of the world’s culinary capitals after all.
Day 2: Depart from Hong Kong
You’ll meet your guide and the rest of the group today bright and early at 7am in the reception area of Yes Inn at Causeway Bay. From here you’ll board a bus (7:30 departure) and head to Victoria Peak where, at over 550 metres high, you’ll get to enjoy incredible views of Hong Kong. You’ll have a briefing to give you a good idea of what to expect over the next few weeks. We’ll jump back on the bus, collecting any late arrivals from the Yes Inn at 10:30, and head to Sheung Shui Metro Station to take the metro to Shenzhen North Railway Station (expected arrival 13:30) before boarding the bullet train to Guilin, where you and the group might fancy stopping off for dinner before the second leg of the journey to Yangshuo. Travel on the bullet train should take roughly 3 hours from Shenzhen North to Guilin North, where you’ll take a private bus for the rest of the journey to Yangshuo.
Day 3-6: Yangshuo
On your first morning in Yangshuo you’ll have the opportunity to take part in an optional traditional Chinese cookery class (120RMB/£14) and kayaking session. The next day, you’ll head out to the Yulong River for a bike ride in the afternoon, followed by an utterly unmissable bamboo raft river cruise. Over the next couple of days, you’ll have the chance to try out optional activities including: Chinese cupping therapies (35RMB/£4), deep water soloing (150RMB/£18), rock climbing (170RMB/£20), mud baths and hot springs (85RMB/£10), cormorant fishing (45RMB/£5), and kayaking (150RMB/£18). On day 6 the group will head to Guilin railway station to board the train to Chengdu. This is quite a lengthy journey but it’s a great way to view the country and get to know your group better.
Day 7-9: Chengdu
On your first full day in Chengdu, you’ll meet beautiful pandas at China’s biggest Giant Pandan Breeding and Research Centre. You’ll then enjoy your first Mandarin lesson. You’ll get to learn the basics in this class and later in the programme have two more lessons before trying out what you’ve learnt on the locals! The rest of your time here is free to explore and get involved with optional activities. Optional activities include: getting a massage (40RMB/£5), a trip to Leshan to see the world’s largest stone Buddha (90RMB/£10), watching the Sichuan opera (140RMB/£16), visiting the Wenshu Monastery, Mao’s Statue, People’s Park, or a trip to a traditional tea house. On day 9 you’ll catch a night train to Xi’an (roughly departing at 21:15 and arriving the next day at 12:20).
Day 10-11: Xi’an
After checking in to your accommodation, you’ll have the chance to explore Xi’an properly – take an optional look around the Bell-drum Towers, the Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque, then this evening enjoy some delicious street food before looking around the local silk market. You’ll also have the chance to help out at a local charitable programme in the evening, if you like. On day 11 we’ll visit the world-renowned Terracotta Warriors before chilling out in the afternoon. On day 11 we’ll visit the world-renowned Terracotta Warriors before chilling out in the afternoon. You’ll also have the option to join an afternoon bike tour to ride on the Ming Dynasty City Walls (100RMB/£12).
Day 12: Dengfeng
With a 7am departure, we’ll hop in a minivan to catch our bus to DengFeng, which takes around 7 hours. Arriving in the afternoon, we’ll pick up supplies at the local market and make our way to a local children’s home run by the Shaolin Temple, where you’ll be able to take an optional Kung Fu lesson and watch an inspiring performance by the children (150RMB/£18). After dinner you’ll have your second Mandarin lesson.
Day 13: Shaolin Monastery
Time for a bit of spiritual discovery today if you fancy the optional trip to the Shaolin Temple (120RMB/£14). With this trip you’ll also hike to Dharma Cave – a spiritual place for Buddhist pilgrims, and witness the stunning views of the shrine and temples in the area. After a late lunch we’ll head to the station, where we’ll grab a bite to eat before catching the train at around 10pm and travel overnight to Beijing (roughly 8 hours).
Day 14-17: Beijing
In Beijing, after a free morning, we’ll make our way to a farm to eat with the locals and hike to an incredible un-restored section of the Great Wall. We’ll set up camp and watch the sunset before bedding down for the night (between the beginning of October and end of April we’ll stay at a guesthouse near the wall instead, as the temperatures will be too low to set up camp). The next day we’ll start with spectacular sunrise views from the Great Wall before returning to Beijing. There are plenty of optional activities to choose from over the next couple of days: visit the Olympic Bird’s Nest Stadium, watch a Chinese acrobatic performance (140RMB/£16), walk through Tiananmen Square, or visit the Forbidden City (60RMB/£7), plus a whole list of other things to do and see. On day 17 we’ll board the night train to Hangzhou at around 5pm – the journey takes around 16 hours.
Day 18-19: Hangzhou
After breakfast in Hangzhou, we’ll discover the beautiful West Lake. You can take a boat trip across the lake or visit the National Tea or Silk Museum. Later, we’ll hike up to the summit of Jiuyao Mountain in time for a stunning sunset. On day 19, we’ll explore the atmospheric Misty Forest before travelling to Shanghai, where you’ll have the opportunity to party with the group on our Shanghai pub crawl (180RMB-200RMB/£20-£25 – Saturdays only.).
Day 20-22: Shanghai
Once you’ve recovered from your night out, there’s a lot to see and do in China’s biggest city. Why not take a trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town (25RMB/£3), walk through the historical and picturesque Yu Gardens, take time to visit the bustling streets around People’s Square, partake in a little karaoke (35RMB/£4), or sip cocktails from the top of a skyscraper? There’s plenty of culture and history to soak up while you’re in Shanghai – it’s worth making time to visit the fascinating propaganda museum and French concession amid shopping and sight-seeing.
Days 23-24: Nanjing in Fujian Province
Back on the bullet train (travelling for roughly 8 hours), we’ll arrive in Nanjing in the afternoon and make our way deep into the Fujian tea hills. Stopping for dinner on the way, we’ll arrive at our accommodation for the evening – traditional mud roundhouses, and home to the Hakka community. This is a rare opportunity to experience the bare bones of Chinese culture, and during your stay you’ll have a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, getting to explore the round houses, villages and tea fields in the area. You’ll take part in a traditional tea ceremony and get to visit the plantations, eat dinner with the locals and learn a traditional dance!
Day 25: Fujian Tulou
In the morning we’ll take a bike tour to visit the biggest roundhouse in the region, and you’ll get to have a proper look around both levels. You’ll have free time in the afternoon to chill out and relax before our onward journey, via night train, to Guangzhou East (about 8 hours) and bus ride to the Zhuhai border (takes around 3/4 hours).
Day 26: Macau
Today you can opt to tour the 17th-century ruins of St Paul’s and the old military fortress in the historic centre of Macau. Later, we’ll visit the site of one of the world’s highest bungee jumps at Macau Tower before heading to Cotai Strip – the Las Vegas of China, to try your hand at the Venetian casino, and then take the hydrofoil back to Hong Kong to relax for the evening.
Day 27: Hong Kong
Today you’re free to make your own plans – whether you want to head home or continue your travels elsewhere. If you have a few hours before having to depart, you’ll be able to make the most of being in Hong Kong with a spot of shopping, last-minute sightseeing, or filling up on delicious food before making tracks.
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
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