Beyond the City Walls - 12 days

FROM USD $3,849

Take the road less travelled from bustling Beijing to cosmopolitan Shanghai. Visit the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors, before discovering the striking limestone peaks of Guilin, the fascinating eclectic mix of minority groups in Yangshuo and Longsheng’s incredible Dragons Backbone.

Day 1: Beijing
Saturday. Hello China! Arrive Beijing and included airport transfer to our hotel. Overnight - Beijing
This morning, we explore the heart of Beijing including the vast Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao’s tomb and various monuments to the people are located. Dominating the city’s heart is the Forbidden City, a centre of power for five centuries and seat of the emperors. Entering through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (replete with Chairman Mao’s portrait), we enjoy a guided tour of this old city within a city. Later we take a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, weaving through old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, gaining a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional way of life. This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant. Overnight - Beijing (B, D)
Beyond the City Walls - 12 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Practice Tai Chi on the medieval Old City Wall in Xi'an on one of our China Tours
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills.

This evening take an optional Beijing by Night city tour and see some of the capital's monuments illuminated against the night sky (payable locally). Overnight - Beijing (B, L)
Beijing - Xi’an. Free morning, head out to the nearby street market to try a few unusual local delicacies. Later we visit the Silk Alley markets and the Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake. We view from a distance the 2008 Olympic stadium commonly referred to as the ‘birdsnest’ and aquatic centre. Tonight we travel to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province by express soft sleeper train Overnight - Sleeper Train to Xi'an (B)
An On The Go China Tour group pose in Xi'an with the Terracotta Warriors
Arrive Xi’an and transfer to hotel. We visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where 7,000 Warriors stand battle ready and have done so for the past 2,200yrs. Try counting them! Visit to a clay workshop specialised in making replica figurines. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance. Overnight - Xi'an (B, L)
Xi’an - Guilin - Yangshuo. We spend the morning at leisure before taking a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and enjoying a bicycle ride atop the long Xi’an City Wall. The wall is long (about 9 miles) but is fairly flat so a relaxing bike ride is a great way to explore some of the city. After an early dinner in Xi'an we fly to Guilin. Upon arrival, transfer to Yangshuo (approximately 1.5hrs drive). Late evening check in. Overnight - Yangshuo (B, D)
Our China Tours take you off the beaten track to the rural areas of China as well as the famous citi
Days 7 - 8: Yangshuo
Yangshuo offers a world of opportunity for exploring the great outdoors. With breath-taking beauty, striking limestone mountain scenery and pure clean rivers, one can choose to go swimming or tubing down the Yu Long River, hike or hire a bicycle or motorbike and head off on one of the many mountain trails. Stop to watch the local fishermen use their trained cormorants to catch fish (a centuries old tradition, though somewhat commercialised these days) and perhaps take a sailing trip on a bamboo raft up stream or down stream, hand paddled or motorised. You can also visit any number of the giant local caves or go to Xanadu - a primitive minority village bursting with rural charm, culture and genuine hospitality. If this is not enough, Yangshuo is also China’s foremost venue for rock climbing, with around 300 bolted routes and several companies offering guiding and equipment hire.

At a slower pace, discover West Street, which has retained its traditional styles and is laden with quirky shops, tea shops, antiques, art studios, calligraphers, t-shirt designers and souvenir curios. Maybe take a beginners art class with a local painter or enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school. West Street is a sort of ‘Global Village’ where the local ethnic minority of Hui, Zhuang, Yao people (each with their own distinct appearance, traditions and culture) mix with the Han Chinese, foreign travellers and a number of foreign residents managing cafés and restaurants.

By nightfall sit back and relax at any one of the many al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and delicious speciality foods. Catch a film at an outdoor cinema or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ performance. This popular musical extravaganza is performed outdoors by the river with a mountain backdrop by a cast of more than 500 singers and dancers.

Yangshuo is yours to explore at leisure on day 7 and until late afternoon on day 8, where we return to Guilin. Overnight - Yangshuo (1) Guilin (1) (B:2)
The Dragon's Backbone rice terraces in Longsheng
Day 9: Longsheng - Dragon's Backbone
Guilin – Longsheng – Shanghai. This morning we drive to Longsheng. Here, we explore the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone! Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil the steep mountain layer upon layer climbing to its summit. Where there is soil a terrace has been made! Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we climb skyward to enjoy panoramic views of the ribbon like terraces with picturesque valleys and meandering streams below. Evening flight to Shanghai. Overnight - Shanghai (B)
Traditional Chinese buffet enjoyed on one of our China Tours
Days 10 - 11: Discover Shanghai
Focus your eyes on spectacular Shanghai. Perhaps China’s most modern city, its amazing Pudong skyline is stunning. The next two days are free for you to explore the city at leisure. Consider visiting the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden and street market, The Bund, shopping along Nanjing Road or taking a cruise along the Huangpu River. Overnight - Shanghai (B:2)
Day 12: Shanghai
Wednesday. Our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)

Uncover North Korea

Join us on a fascinating 5 day tour of North Korea. Isolated, controversial and almost untouched by tourism, North Korea is a mysterious place with a bumpy recent history yet offers the inquisitive traveller stunning mountain scenery, halls of treasure, ancient temples historic monuments and a warm welcome.

Highlight of our tour include a visit to Pyongyang Schoolchildren's Palace, a centre of extra-curricular activities for gifted children, the DMZ (demilitarised zone) border crossing with South Korea, various landmarks and projects relating to Presidents Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and ride the Pyongyang metro - the deepest underground system in the world. See our Uncover North Korea Bolt-on for more info.
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Beijing / Ends in: Shanghai
  • Departs: Saturdays - March to November
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:11, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes for groups of 6 or more.
The On The Go Theatre
Discover the highlights of China on one of our group tours