China Explorer

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Trip Notes

An unforgettable exploration of China’s wonders; ancient, modern and natural. This is a trip where you get out onto the streets and mingle with locals; join them on public transport and venture into places of great historical, religious and scenic importance. To experience China today is to appreciate the contrast between modern infrastructure and ancient traditions, skyscrapers and incredible scenic beauty.

Day 1: Beijing Arrival
Ni Hao! Welcome to Beijing. You will start your trip by meeting with your local guide at 6pm in the hotel lobby. They will welcome you and go over details about your trip including meeting up with your guides in each city. After that, your guide will take you on an orientation walk.

Accommodation:
•Chongwenmen Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
•No meals included today
 
Day 2: Beijing – Explore the Forbidden City, Hutongs, Temple of Heaven
Today you will explore famous sights of Beijing with your guide. There will be a lot of walking as well as using the subway to get around so make sure you wear comfortable shoes. After breakfast we will take the metro 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. Then we enter the Forbidden City, built 1406-1420; a ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for more than 500 years. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. After the Forbidden City, we will stroll through the alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyards known as Hutong and experience the local lifestyle of Old Beijing. Later, we’ll continue by metro to visit the Temple of Heaven before taking a last metro-ride back to your hotel.

Accommodation:
•Chongwenmen Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
•Breakfast

Day 3:  Beijing – Hike the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling
We leave in the early morning for the Great Wall at Gubeikou. Gubeikou was a vital mountain pass and dates back to the 16th century. Today’s hike will start from Wohushan Great Wall, which is 665 meters above sea level. As you hike along with your guide you will 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 the wall, which was the second defense in case the main wall breached. Today you will hike 12km (c.7 miles) - a total of 4-5 hours walking and 3-4 hours resting, enjoying the views and lunch.
Continue walking until late afternoon when you will reach a guesthouse in the village of Erdaoliang in the Jinshanling area where you will spend the night.

Accommodation:
• Jianxia Guesthouse or similar (1 night)
Meals Included:
•Breakfast

Day 4: Great Wall / Xi’an – Hike the Great Wall from Jiankou to Mutianyu – train to Xi’an
In the morning enjoy a home-cooked breakfast in the guesthouse and then drive on for 2 more hours to Jiankou. After a short break, start the hiking on the Great Wall from Jiankou to Mutianyu. The Mutianyu section is repaired so that it is easy to climb up and down. However, Jiankou is untouched and steep, settled on the edge of the mountain top. At midday, enjoy a picnic lunch that is provided by your guide. From the stunning views you can appreciate the difficulty of constructing the wall in ancient times. Hiking distance: approx. 10 km, 6 hours. In the late afternoon we will take a private transfer to Beijing railway station and board the overnight train to Xian.

Accommodation:
•Overnight on soft sleeper train Beijing-Xi’an (1 night)
Meals Included:
•Breakfast

Day 5: Xi'an - City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Upon arrival at Xi’an station you will be met and be transferred to your hotel. Your adventure starts with a walking tour of the ancient City Wall, the most significant and best-preserved wall extant in China stretching over 13 kilometers around Xian. Then we will take a walk around the trendy Muslim quarter and stroll through the narrow streets dotted with small shops, markets and restaurants. Later we will take the bus to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Once, the pagoda held old Buddhist relics and classics brought from India by the hierarch Xuanzang. If you are lucky you may catch a fantastic musical fountain show at the north square of the temple.

Accommodation:
• Manxin Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included :
•Breakfast

Day 6: Xi'an / Hua Shan – Terracotta Warriors, HuaShan sacred mountain
This morning set off to visit the Terracotta Warriors. You will learn 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, where just under 2,000 of the total 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expression – stand in battle formation. After the tour we will drive on for 1.5 hours to Mt. Huashan. HuaShan is known as "The Number One Precipitous Mountain under Heaven." The mountain is one of the Five Sacred Taoist Mountains in China and has a long history of religious significance. Upon arrival, check into the hotel, which is located at the foot of the mountain, then take an orientation walk around.

Accommodation:
• Lotus Flower Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included :
•Breakfast & Lunch

Day 7: Hua Shan – A full day hiking around the mountain
Today we will explore the magnificent Mt. Hua Shan. Beginning by taking a cable car to the North Peak, we climb up the Ear-Touching Cliff, Heavenward Ladder and Black Dragon Ridge until reaching the Golden Lock Pass. After a lunch break, continue on to visit the Middle Peak (Jade Maiden Peak) and the East Peak (Facing Sun Peak) before the hike to South Peak (Landing Wild Geese Peak).The South Peak is 2,160 meters above sea level, the highest of the five. Here we will have chance to experience the dangerous Changkong Plank Trail, a 0.3 meter wide plank path built along a seemingly bottomless vertical cliff. Then finally we reach the West Peak. The West Peak is the symbol of Hua Shan; it is the most spectacular of the five peaks. From the West Peak we take the cable car down and return to the hotel. Today you will hike 12km (c.7 miles) - a total of 4-5 hours walking and 3-4 hours resting, enjoying the views and lunch. The cliff trail of Huashan offers excellent opportunity for a thrilling but easy hike.

Accommodation:
· Lotus Flower Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included :
•Breakfast

Day 8: Hua Shan / Shaolin / Luoyang – Train to Luoyang, martial arts at Shaolin Monastery
After breakfast, transfer to Hua Shan North Railway Station for a fast train to Luoyang. Upon arrival it is a one-hour journey to Shaolin Monastery. Spend the rest of the day visiting the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Martial Arts Training Center. Watch a live kung fu performance and witness an incredible display of concentration and skills. In the late afternoon drive back to Luoyang and check into the hotel.

Accommodation:
·Peony Hotel or similar
Meals Included:
•Breakfast

Day 9: Luoyang / Shanghai – Luoyang Town & Museum, Longmen Grottoes, train to Shanghai
Spend the morning exploring the old town of Luoyang. Starting from the ancient cultural street and Luoyi Old Town we experience a lively place with residential areas, snack streets, souvenir shops and old buildings. Next we visit the Luoyang Museum where we can find items and various folk art collections from the Zhou period. After that, continue to visit the World Heritage Longmen Grottoes. These are located about 12km south of Luoyang. Steep limestone cliffs extend for almost a mile and contain approximately 110,000 Buddhist stone statues, 60 stupas and 2,800 inscriptions carved on steles. Most of the carvings at the Longmen site date between the end of the 5th century and the middle of the 8th century—the periods of the Northern Wei (486­–534 C.E.) through early Tang dynasties (618–907 C.E.). Evening transfer to Longmen Train Station for overnight soft sleeper train to Shanghai.

Accommodation:
• Overnight on soft sleeper train Luoyang /Shanghai (1 night)
Meals Included :
•Breakfast

Day 10: Shanghai – Walking tour of Shanghai
We arrive in Shanghai in the morning. Today we will enjoy a walking tour that will take us back in time. The first stop is the City God’s Temple area, a folk temple neighboring Yuyuan Garden. The City God Temple in Shanghai originated as the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan or "Gold Mountain", an island off the coast of Shanghai. It was converted into a City God Temple in 1403, during the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty. Its popularity turns the surrounding area into a large pedestrian area that hosts an array of shops, restaurants and teahouses, as well as annual temple fair events. Yuyuan Garden is the most extensive ancient garden with Ming and Qing architectural styles. We’ll stroll along the narrow winding lanes (longtangs) of Old Shanghai where we can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life. Shanghai Museum is a highlight of the tour. The museum design is in keeping with Feng Shui principles. It houses a great permanent collection and hosts various exhibitions with over 120,000 pieces. In the evening, we will explore the Bund. This spectacular array of Art Deco buildings line what was once the most important financial street in Asia.

Accommodation:
• Metropolo Jinjiang Classiq Shanghai Nanjing Road or similar (1 night)
Meals Included:
· Breakfast

Day 11: Shanghai - Depart
Today is your last day in Shanghai. There are no activities planned, and you are free to leave the accommodation at any time.

Meals Included:
· Breakfast

Visas - A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

Under the current guidelines to get a visa you will need to provide the following:

- Letter of Invitation from a Chinese agency

- Copy of Flight tickets

- Hotel booking confirmation

- Travel Insurance (some embassies ask for this document) 

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

Booking a Single Room - On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

Vaccinations and Your Health - 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. 

Insurance - 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.

Luggage - 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 checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

Itinerary Disclaimer – The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. 

Accommodation -Your accommodation is selected for convenient.




11 Days