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Far East Adventure

Epic China and Japan combo tour

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£3,439

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Group Size: Varies

Trip code: FEAD

Duration: 30 days or more

Bucket list activities included
2 amazing Asian countries
Ancient yet modern cities & culture

Combine the best of two ancient nations on this incredible group trip from the high-rise streets of Hong Kong to traditional Kyoto. Begin your journey in China, where you’ll go bamboo rafting in rural Yangshuo, meet giant pandas in Chengdu, explore the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army site, and spend an unforgettable night camping out on the Great Wall of China. After the most amazing couple of weeks in China, journey to Japan for neon-lit nights in Tokyo, onsen and origami in Nagano, cherry trees and castles in Osaka, and spectacular views of Mount Fuji. We’ve packed in tons of included activities, from Mandarin lessons and Samurai experiences, to sushi rolling sessions, and riverside bike rides, and you’ll stay in a mix of authentic hostel accommodations as well as traditional Ryokan and a 1,000 year old Buddhist temple!

Trip Highlights

  • Hike the Great Wall of China at sunset and spend the night camping under the stars on a deserted section of this world wonder
  • Immerse yourself in China’s ancient history and marvel at 2,000 year old craftsmanship as you wander among life-sized warriors at the Terracotta Army
  • Visit the world-famous Panda Breeding Centre
  • Spend the night in an ancient Buddhist temple in Koyasan, learning meditation, eating with the monks, and watching sacred fire ceremonies
  • Explore the Fushimi-Inari Shrine, meet the geisha, and learn sword-skills from a samurai master in Kyoto
  • Explore Tokyo’s eclectic districts, from kawaii fashion in Harajuku, and arcade games in Akihabara, to Shinjuku’s dinky bars
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What's included

China

  • 16 nights accommodation
  • Tour guides
  • Visit to Victoria Peak
  • Bike ride on the Yulong River
  • Bamboo raft river cruise
  • Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre
  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Great Wall of China camping experience
  • 24 hour emergency support

Japan

  • 12 nights’ accommodation
  • 9 breakfasts, 1 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Experienced trip guide
  • Tokyo city tour
  • Entry to ancient temples and shrines
  • Fish market and Sushi class experience
  • Noodle demonstration
  • Origami class
  • Jigokudani Snow Monkeys trip
  • Shiga Kogen National Park entry
  • Lake Ashi pirate ship cruise
  • Mount Fuji cable car
  • Osaka castle visit
  • Ancient Buddhist temple overnight stay
  • Buddhist meditation class
  • Night temple walk
  • Morning prayer ceremony
  • Night tour of Kyoto's geisha district
  • Arishiyama bamboo forest trip
  • Golden Pavilion temple visit
  • Fushimi Inari temple visit
  • Samurai experience
  • 24 hour emergency support 
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Most meals
  • Pillow for Great Wall camping
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

China Adventure - 17 days

Day 1: Hong Kong. Feel your excitement levels rising as you step off the plane in Hong Kong Airport. Hop in a taxi and make your way through the sprawling metropolis. Arrive at our hostel and meet the group before heading to Victoria Peak and then visiting the 'Symphony of Light Show' in Tsim Sha Tsui. 

Day 2: Hong Kong to Yangshuo. We’ll catch a high-speed bullet train to Guilin followed by a short drive to beautiful Yangshuo. Check in to our hostel and enjoy some drinks with your new mates.

Days 3 - 5: Yangshuo. We’ve got three days to explore Yangshuo’s limestone peaks, emerald rivers, and rustic villages. We’ll enjoy a bike ride and bamboo rafting experience on the Yulong River on day 4 and optional activities including a cooking class, kayaking, a bike ride to the Moon Hill and cave complex, rock climbing, KTV karaoke, and traditional Chinese hot cupping!

Days 6 - 8: Chengdu. Board the train to Chengdu, home of mellow teahouses, spicy Sichuan cuisine, and historic architecture. Visit Chengdu’s famous Panda Breeding Research Centre and meet China’s cutest locals on day 7, before learning some local phrases at a Mandarin lesson. On day 8, take some time to chill or book an optional trip to Leshan to the biggest stone Buddha in the world.

Days 9 - 11: Xi’an. Opt to visit a centre for autistic children, or explore Jinli and People’s Park on day 9, then take a train to Xi’an. Spend the next two days getting to know one of China’s most ancient cities. Take a guided tour of the breath-taking site of the Terracotta Army on day 11, join an optional bike ride on the city walls and visit the Bell-Drum Towers and Muslim Quarter.  

Days 12 - 13: Dengfeng. Take a bus to Dengfeng where you’ll have the opportunity to join a Kung Fu lesson and show at a local Kung Fu school on day 12, and pick up some more local phrases with a Mandarin lesson. On day 13, pay an optional visit to the Shaolin Temple, trek to Dharma Cave, or visit the Longmen Grottoes.

Day 14: Great Wall of China camping. We’re up early this morning for a train to Beijing, where we’ll take a transfer to the one-and-only Great Wall of China. Share a meal at a local farm before heading to a remote section of the wall to set up camp. Hike along the iconic landmark as the sun sets, before a night under a starry sky. Please note: In colder months (usually outside of May to October) you may stay in a guesthouse close to the wall rather than in tents.

Days 15 - 16: Beijing. Enjoy one of the world’s great travel moments as you watch the sun rise over the Wall on day 15, before travelling back to Beijing.  Take an optional tour of some of the city’s biggest attractions, opt to see the Beijing Acrobatics Show, or hit Nanluo district, one of Beijing’s most historic areas.

Day 17: China trip end. Your adventure in China ends here, but you’ve still got the most amazing journey through Japan to go!

We try to run as many of our start dates back-to-back, so that your Japan Intro tour can begin as soon as your China Adventure tour ends. On occasional start dates, there may be days in between where you will need to arrange your own accommodation. Speak to a travel advisor for more information.

Japan Intro - 13 days

Day 1: Welcome to Japan! Touchdown in Tokyo and make your way to our sleek, modern hostel in Asakusa. Check in and head out to explore the city before you meet the rest of the group later.

Days 2 - 3: Tokyo tour. Spend the next two days exploring Tokyo. On day 2, visit the tranquil Meiji shrine, explore Harajuku’s kawaii street fashion, and see 3,000 people crossing at once at Shibuya. Day 3 starts with a sushi rolling class followed by geeking out in the arcades and manga stores in Akihabara, Tokyo’s electric district!

Days 4 - 5: Nagano. Hop on the bullet train and whiz through the countryside to Nagano. Try the art of origami, and soak in an onsen before settling down in our traditional Japanese Ryokan. Start day 5 by rolling your own soba noodles before heading into the mountains to meet some adorable Japanese snow monkeys and visiting Shiga Kogen National Park (summer only).

Day 6: Hakone. Hop on the bullet train to Hakone today, an area known for its unspoilt forests, sparkling lakes, and spectacular views of Mount Fuji. Spend tonight in a modern Ryokan with onsen.

Days 7 - 8: Osaka. On day 7 we cross Lake Ashi on a pirate ship! Then take in incredible views of Mt Fuji on the Hakone Ropeway before arriving in Osaka. Spend the next couple of days enjoying Osaka’s world-class dining, markets, and historic sights. On day 8 we’ll head to Osaka Castle where we’ll learn about the legendary Samurai before an evening in Dotonbori.

Day 9: Koyasan Temple Stay. We’re off to the mountains to Koyasan, where we’ll spend the night in an ancient Buddhist Temple! Join a guided meditation with the monks, eat Buddhist food, and take a night-time walk through a cemetery before cosying down in your Japanese style accommodation.

Days 10 - 12: Kyoto. Start day 12 watching the monks perform their morning prayers and fire ceremony before travelling to Kyoto. On day 11 we’ll visit the beautiful Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama and the enchanting Golden Pavilion. Day 12 begins with the Fushimi-Inari shrine and its selfie-friendly Torii gates before you’re trained in swordsmanship by a real-life Samurai master!

Day 13: Trip End. Pack your bags, swap contact details and say your goodbyes to your new mates. Head to the airport for your flight home or continue your travels in Asia. 

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Booking options

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Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Flights from £366

Cheapest flights between London and Hong Kong for the next 6 months.

*Prices updated every 72 hours

Cheapest: £366 April, 2024
Most expensive: £852 July, 2024
Arrival information

We have a fantastic flights team who can help you book all the flights needed to get between your individual programmes, as these are not included in the cost of the programme. Contact a travel advisor who can provide you with a quote for the flight prices.

The China leg of your trip starts on day 1 in Hong Kong. Make sure to arrive early morning/afternoon as there will be a welcome meeting and activities planned for the afternoon. Airport transfers are not included so you’ll need to make your own way to our starting accommodation. Taxi transfers take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on traffic. Other more affordable options include the airport express train.

Your time in China ends on day 17 in Beijing and you can depart at any time.

You’ll need to fly into Tokyo for the Japanese leg of your tour. There are two airports in Tokyo – Narita and Haneda. Travelling from either airport to the accommodation using public transport is very straightforward and you’ll be given a detailed pre-arrival pack that explains how to do it. There are no activities on your first day in Japan so you can arrive any time.

Your Japanese adventure ends in Kyoto. The closest airport is Osaka (Kansai) which takes about 1.5 - 2 hours to get to by train. We suggest you fly out of Osaka, but if you need to make your return flight from Tokyo, you’ll either need to get the bullet train, which takes about 4 hours and costs around £100, or you can take an internal flight from Osaka to Tokyo. Your guide can help you arrange travel back to either Tokyo or Osaka Airport. 

Accommodation & meals

China

In China most nights will be spent in hostels in shared (usually mixed sex) rooms with 4 to 12 people per room. All hostels offer air con or fans, shared bathroom facilities with modern showers, laundry services (additional cost), and free Wi-Fi.

You’ll spend some nights on overnight trains with triple-level flat bunks in dorm style carriages. You’ll share your space with locals and other travellers which will give you an amazing insight into local life and lots of opportunities to make new friends.

From May to October (and sometimes outside these times if the weather is warm), you’ll spend one night camping in an amazing setting on a section of the Great Wall far off the tourist trail. Camping gear will be provided, including two-man tents, sleeping bags and a roll mat (no pillows). You’ll hike to your campsite carrying your camping gear on your back, pitch your own tent and collect firewood to build a campfire. Cooking facilities are not provided, but you’ll have a chance to buy snacks and drinks to take with you before you set out on your hike. There are no bathroom facilities at the camp either - it's a real outdoor experience! At other times you’ll be staying in a guesthouse just ten minutes’ walk from the Wall.

Japan

The accommodation is a real highlight of the Japanese section of the trip. You’ll stay in everything from high-quality flashpacker hostels and modern hotels to traditional Japanese Ryokan. You’ll also be spending a very special night in a 1,000-year old Buddhist temple in the mountains! All rooms are on a multi-share basis, although double or twin room upgrades may be available at an additional cost.

Meals

Meals aren’t included on the China leg of this trip, but you’ll receive 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners on the Japan section of the tour. You’ll need to purchase all other meals yourself. Please be aware that vegetarian and vegan options may be limited in Japan so if you’re plant-based, we’d encourage you to bring additional snacks. 

Minimum age & eligibility

This trip is designed for travellers aged between 18 to 39 years old.

British nationals need a visa to enter mainland China. You’ll need to make your visa application in person at a visa application centre (London, Manchester, or Edinburgh). As part of the application process, biometric data (scanned fingerprints) has to be provided. For further information on visas please visit the Chinese Embassy website. Your passport must be valid for 6 months from your date of arrival.

British citizens can enter Japan for up to 90 days without a visa. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket. It’s your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. Visa rules are subject to change without prior notice, so please do check visa requirements at the time of your trip. Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Visa rules are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling. 

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