Essential China

Classic, Beijing to Hong Kong

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Encounter the essence of China in all its wonderful diversity — climb the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors before heading down south on this three-week tour of China's cultural and natural highlights. Rest your gaze on the giant Buddha of Leshan and explore ancient mountainside monasteries at Emei Shan, then float down the world-famous Three Gorges of the Yangtze River before stepping out to experience the vibrant rural life and stunning scenery of Yangshuo. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our expert Chief Experience Officers, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

What’s included

  • Your Discover Moment: Shanghai
  • Great Wall excursion
  • Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City guided tour
  • Shanghai Museum entrance
  • Xi'an orientation walk
  • Terracotta Warriors excursion
  • Emei Shan entrance
  • Leshan Giant Buddha visit
  • Panda Breeding Center excursion
  • Yangtze River boat trip through the Three Gorges with tributary excursion
  • Yangshuo countryside bike ride with local lunch
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Bargain in bustling markets
  • Walk the great wall and explore the forbidden city
  • Stand face-to-face with terracotta warriors
  • Visit a panda sanctuary
  • Cruise the yangtze
  • Explore yangshuo's stunning karst landscape

Itinerary

Day 1 Beijing Arrive at any time. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Beijing Travel north to the Great Wall. One of the most iconic sights in all of China, spend the better part of the day exploring and taking photos, soaking in the atmopshere. Included Activities: Great Wall Mutianyu Visit Transport: Drive through the city and countryside to reach the Great Wall's Mutianyu section. Take the same transportation back. Private Vehicle
Day 3 Beijing Explore the vast expanses of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Use free time to shop in the various markets scattered throughout the city, take a tour of the ancient hutongs (alleyways) in Beijing's old city or visit the Tibetan Monastery. Included Activities: Tiananmen Square Forbidden City Tour
Day 4 Beijing/Shanghai Enjoy a free morning before catching a bullet train to vibrant Shanghai. Transport: Relax an enjoy smooth ride at 300km per hour and scenery along the way. Bullet train (5.00-6.00 hours)
Day 5 Shanghai Take an orientation walk down one of the city’s most famous streets, Nanjing Road, ending at the Shanghai Museum, one of the best in the country. Included Activities: Orientation Walk of the Bund Shanghai Museum
Day 6 Shanghai/Xi'an Temples, markets, gardens and colonial enclaves are around every corner. Spend some time exploring the Yuyuan Gardens or the old alleyways. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (18.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Xi'an Arrive in Xi'an in the morning and, after checking into the hotel, opt to visit one of Xi’an’s most fascinating areas – the Muslim Quarter. Tour the lovely and unusual Great Mosque, a wonderfully serene place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, bargain at souvenir stalls and enjoy some of the best street food in China. The remaining city walls are a great place to watch the sunset or join the locals for ballroom dancing or tai chi in the early morning.
Day 8 Xi'an
Day 9 Xi'an/Emei Shan Visit one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures—the Terracotta Warriors. Later, board an overnight train to Emei Shan. Additional Notes: Please note that train schedules have been changing along this route. Should your departure be affected, not to worry we will work within the revised train schedules and rearrange the order of when you visit Emei Shan and Chengdu. Your CEO will advise you during the welcome meeting if there is a change. Included Activities: Terracotta Warriors Guided Tour Transport: Drive out to the Terracotta Warriors site, located about an hour out of the city. Private Vehicle Basic overnight train (beds) (19.00 hour(s))
Day 10 Emei Shan Arrive in Emei Shan in the late afternoon and travel to the monastery for an overnight stay. Enjoy an orientation walk and some free time to explore the area. Included Activities: Orientation Walk
Day 11 Emei Shan Spend a full day exploring the monasteries, and hiking around the stunning sites of Mt Emei – one of China's sacred Buddhist peaks. Included Activities: Emei Shan Hike
Day 12 Emei Shan Visit the Giant Budhha in the morning. Opt to take a tour visiting a local tea farm and one of the region's old villages. Included Activities: Leshan Giant Buddha Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 13 Emei Shan/Chengdu (1D) 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. Transport: Local train (1.00 hour(s))
Days 14-15 Chengdu/Yangtze River See the famous giant pandas up close at the Panda Breeding Centre before boarding a fast train to Chongqing. Later, board the Chinese-style boat and settle in before tomorrow's cruise down the mighty Yangtze River and through the Three Gorges. Included Activities: Giant Panda Breeding Center Transport: Local train (2.00 hour(s)) Chinese-style boat
Day 15 Yangtze River Spend two days on board a basic boat traversing through the Three Gorges en route to Yichang. Along the way take the opportunity to visit some of the many attractions and towns. There is the opportunity to leave the boat to take an early morning trip down a tributary of the Yangtze River. Additional Notes: The cabins are clean, twin-share with private toilet and shower facilities, but not luxurious. There is basic Chinese food available in the restaurant on board. Included Activities: Yangtze River Cruise Transport: Chinese-style boat
Day 16 Yangtze River Spend two days on board a basic boat traversing through the Three Gorges en route to Yichang. Along the way take the opportunity to visit some of the many attractions and towns. There is the opportunity to leave the boat to take an early morning trip down a tributary of the Yangtze River. Additional Notes: The cabins are clean, twin-share with private toilet and shower facilities, but not luxurious. There is basic Chinese food available in the restaurant on board. Included Activities: Yangtze River Cruise Transport: Chinese-style boat
Day 17 Yangtze River/Liuzhou Disembark in Yichang and board an overnight train to Liuzhou. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (16.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Liuzhou/Yangshuo Arrive in Liuzhou early in the morning and travel to the small countryside town of Yangshuo, where the Li River winds its way around thousands of limestone karst mountains. Every turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard sight. Here, there are so many activities to choose from— bamboo rafting, rock climbing, hiking, acupuncture and traditional massage, the Light and Sound Show, calligraphy lessons, tai chi, or a countryside cooking class. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
Day 19 Yangshuo (1L) Cycle out over the mostly flat fields to get more of a feel for the region. Ride past rice paddies with water buffalo and stare up at towering limestone karsts. En route, enjoy a delicious local lunch with options like garlic fried water spinach and stuffed aubergine. Included Activities: Yangshuo Guided Cycle Tour
Day 20 Yangshuo/Hong Kong Arrive late morning to Shenzhen, cross the border and catch the metro into the heart of Hong Kong, arriving late afternoon. Prepare for the change of pace as you enjoy your last night's dinner in the most dynamic city in Asia. Explore Stanley Market, shop, eat, go to the top of Victoria Peak or take a harbour cruise. Included Activities: Border Crossing (China - Hong Kong) Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours) Local train (3.50 hour(s)) Metro (1.50 hour(s))
Day 21 Hong Kong Depart at any time. Additional Notes: We highly recommend you book post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.
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