Day 1. Arrive Beijing (D)
Nihao! Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China.
Upon arrival at the airport, look out for the friendly face of your private transfer who will assist you with your luggage before driving you to your hotel located in the city center. Freshen up before meeting your local guide who will go over the details of your trip, followed by an orientation walk before dinner at a local restaurant where you’re able to dig into some delectable Peking duck and other delicious delicacies. Afterward, head back to the comfort of your hotel to get some rest before the beginning of your adventure tomorrow.
Day 2. Beijing (BL) Walking distance @ 5km
Today we’ll begin exploring the famous sights of Beijing. There will be a lot of walking today as well as using the public subway to get around. After breakfast, we will go to the temple of heaven, the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings. Then head to Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest public squares. Home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and the Great Hall of the People. The breadth and scale of the site are astounding. Then it’s off to the Forbidden City, built from 1406 to 1420. As the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for more than 500 years, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is home to the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. After the Forbidden City, we’ll cycle through the alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyards known as Hutong and experience the local lifestyle of Old Beijing.
Day 3. Beijing/Gubeikou & Great Wall of China (BLD) Walking @ 6km in 3 - 4 hours - elevation + 210m
This morning after breakfast, you will ride in comfort as you make your way to the Great Wall of China. Your first encounter with this iconic structure will be the Wohushan Great Wall, which is 665.2 meters above sea level. It was built in the Ming Dynasty with the full length of 13.6 kilometers, which contains a great many watch towers. Wohushan Great Wall becomes a masterpiece in the history of building Great Walls for its long history, ingenious distribution, steepness and complete facilities. Today's Great Wall hiking takes about 3-4 hours.
Day 4. Gubeikou - Jinshanling (BLD) Walking @ 12km in 6.5 - 7.5 hours - elevation: + 480m
Full day hike to Jinshanling. As you hike along with your guide, you'll see lush vegetation and learn how this part of the wall has crumbled because in the 1950s local farmers took bricks from the wall to build their houses. Pass by a local village and walk around the inner circle of wall, which was the second defense in case the main wall was breached. Continue walking until the late afternoon. Today, you’ll hike 7.5 miles (12 km) for a total of 4-5 hours, and will rest for a 3-4 hours to take in the views and have lunch. Then you will come to a guesthouse in village called Erdaoliang Jinshanling area for accommodation.
Day 5. Si Ma Tai – Beijing (BLD) Walking @ 8km in 4 - 5 hours - elevation: + 280m
In the morning, enjoy a home-cooked breakfast in the guesthouse and then continue to hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West. Follow your expert guide to experience both original and restored sections of the wall. Catch scenic views of watchtowers snaking along the mountain. Some of these 2-story and 3-story towers have flat roofs, others rounded, and others pitched with upturned eaves. You’ll hike for 7 miles (12 km) on the mostly paved ground, and there are a few stretches of unrestored pathways with stairs and steep gradients. Be sure to bring your camera! Throughout your hike, you’ll be awarded amazing views of steep gradients rising and dipping into the distance, giving you a constantly changing perspective. After the hike, head to a local farmer's restaurant to have lunch. Drive back to Beijing.
Day 6. Beijing – Huashan in Huayin County (BLD)
Breakfast and free morning in Beijing. After lunch we transfer to the railway station for the high speed train to Mount Huashan for 2 nights. The small city of Huashan is roughly 120km east of Xi’an and is considered the gateway to one of China’s most sacred Taoist mountains. Our hotel is located in the foothills near the base of Mount Huashan.
Day 7. Mount Huashan (BLD) Walking @ 12km in 7 - 8 hours - elevation: + 2000m
Today we plan a full day of hiking on Mount Huashan. Mount Huashan is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak. The walking routes are steep and physically demanding and our guide will make the final route selection based on the capacity and interests of the group, weather conditions and foot traffic on particular routes. We will be using the gondola down hiking the many trails on the peak before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 8. Huashan - Xian (BL) Terrcotta Warriors Walking @ 5km
After breakfast we travel by bus (2-hours) to the site of the famous Entombed (Terracotta) Warriors. You’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. Three main pits are open for you to view the 2000 warriors, about a third of a total of 6,000 warriors standing in battle formation. The number alone makes this an impressive sculpture. However, you should take a closer look: Each warrior was individually sculpted from clay and you will see that each warrior has a different costume, height and even facial expression. Continuing to the city of Xi’an, we start exploring the city by cycling around the ancient City Wall, the most significant and best-preserved wall extant in China now, running over 13km around Xian. Then there will be a guided walk through the Muslim quarter.
Day 9. Xian sightseeing (BLD) Flight to Guilin, Transfer toLongji
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Guilin and transfer by bus to Longji and the village of Ping’an where we stay for 2 nights. This is an ethnic minority Zhuang village in the mountains, a region renowned for spectacular view and terraced rice fields.
Day 10. Longji (BLD) Walking @ 9km in 6 - 7 hours - elevation: + 250m
Full day of walking in the mountains from Ping An to Da Zhai village. Dazhai village is a quaint yet picturesque village full of beautiful wooden stilt houses. It also offers some of the most incredible views of the Longji rice terraces below. Today after breakfast we will begin our trek up towards the quaint little village of Dazhai. Remember to bring good hiking shoes and plenty of water as the hike will take approximately 5-6 hours. Dazhai village is a small picturesque village full of beautiful wooden stilt houses. It also offers some of the most incredible views of the Longji rice terraces below. The walk isn’t overly strenuous and not hilly. People with an average level of fitness will be able to complete it. For those not wanting to participate in the walk they can choose to relax at the hotel. After a rest and some magnificent photo opportunities here. After the hike, transfer to our hotel for the night.
Day 11. Longji –Shiertan (BLD) Distance: 61Km; Elevation: 60-700m
Our first day on the bikes starts with a thrilling downhill for 6km through dozens of switchbacks, down the mountainside. We follow a smooth twisting gentle downward ride for 11km along a small river, passing several minority villages. After a short break we spend the rest of the morning on quiet sealed roads climbing gently up over 12km through pine and bamboo forests, tea plantations and small settlements, often catching views of villages perched improbably the hills across the deep valley. What follows is a long sweeping downhill through pristine countryside to our lunch spot. Being close to Guilin, delicious Guilin-style rice noodles are available everywhere and these hearty meals are perfect for biking. In the afternoon, it's an undulating 25km ride, with no significant climbs, passing by bamboo factories and small farming communities. We pass through Wantian village before making our way to our comfortable riverside hotel. We'll eat dinner in a picturesque setting in an open outdoor restaurant by the river.
Day 12. Shiertan -Guilin (BL) Distance: 83km ; Elevation: 80-350m
An early start and it’s back on the bikes with a smooth downhill before heading in to Wantian village for breakfast of local wanton soup and steamed bread, baozi. We'll have time to check out locals going about their daily life, buying in selling in the buzzing colourful local market. One of the highlight rides of the tour takes us through farming communities on small, serene backroads and trails through vegetable and fruit orchards as we explore village farm life. Around 30km we'll stop at a tea plantation for lunch where you see how tea is grown and produced with time to settle in to learn about tea culture over a traditional tea ceremony. After lunch we have a long but superb ride over 50km undulating through tiny villages, some off-road sections through forest, and passing by reservoirs before the karst peaks of Guilin’s skyline appear in front of us and we roll into town to our hotel next to the Li River. Guilin, one of China’s prettier cities, makes for an interesting place to spend an evening. With plenty of restaurants and eating options, shopping strips and cafes it’s a good chance to see how the local urbanites spend their evenings.
Day 13. Guilin - Xing Ping (BL) Distance: 65km ; Elevation: 50-150m
From Guilin we head out of the city for a fun chaotic ride among the locals heading off to work until we reach the bamboo-lined Li River. We'll visit several river towns along the way today, including Daxu, which is a picturesque cobblestone street village that offers a glimpse into old town China. A series of bike paths takes us through bamboo forest and along the waters edge to lunch. We'll eat food prepared right from the field - delicious local vegetables and an array of typical farmer food. After lunch we have some climbing to do! The rewards are spectacular as we take mountain roads high over the Li River and surrounding karsts for expansive views. After our initial climb the cycling gets much easier as we fly down newly built roads and along a wide valley of rice fields before emerging in Xingping town. Xingping is an old Ming Dynasty era village and boasts some fine streets worth exploring to see architecture that is rapidly disappearing in China.
Day 14. Yangshuo Highlight bike - ride (BL)
Our final day of cycling is a highlight! This section is famous for its beautiful karst mountains and is a fantastic start to the day as we follow the Li River upstream for around 2km to the view made famous for being on the Chinese 20 yuan note. From here we load up the bikes on bamboo rafts for a ride up the river taking in sublime views of endless massive karst mountains hanging over the river. Back on the bikes and we take a back road route to our first climb of the day. Heading into the hills for some of the finest views of the tour, we stop for a break at Xianggongshan Mt for a short steep climb up to the lookout. Here you get to appreciate the enormity of the landscape as a forest of karst mountains disappear in the distance and views of the Li River far below. We ride along the ridgeline passing through citrus orchard countryside before heading away from the Li River to Baisha and onto the Dargon River. Situated among paddy fields, overlooked by the centuries old Yu Long (Dragon Meeting) Bridge, we will stop for lunch in a local farmer’s restaurant by the river and with the option for a refreshing swim. From here we cycle small countryside trails and paths along the river to emerge in bustling Yangshuo, popular with travellers from all over the world, where you have tonight to celebrate the end of the cycling adventure!
Day 15. Yangshuo- Guilin - Shanghai (BL) Walking @ 3 - 5km Morning
Take a flight to Shanghai in the morning, upon arrival, we will explore Yu Garden and the Bund, and you can get a taste of 1920s Shanghai. Walking along Huangpu River, you will get a feeling of the urban city with a long history. Then walk along famous Nanjing Road.
Day 16. Shanghai -Departure (B)
These past fifteen days have been flying by, today is your last day in Shanghai. There are no activities planned but depending on the time of your outbound flight you can spend the day exploring more of the busy city or indulging in the many cuisines that can be found here. At the time of departure a private transfer will be ready for you to take you from the hotel to airport.
Have a safe trip home and come back soon!
We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 24 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.
One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been hecked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.