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Beyond the City Walls

12 days  |  Beijing to Shanghai  |  from USD $3,849  |   Guaranteed Departure 

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.

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Day 1

Saturday. Hello China! Arrive Beijing and included airport transfer to our hotel.
Overnight: Beijing

Day 2

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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

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  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

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  |  Breakfast

Day 5

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  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 7-8

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)  |  Breakfast x 2

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  |  Breakfast

Days 10-11

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 Yuyuan Garden and street market, The Bund, shopping along Nanjing Road or taking a cruise along the Huangpu River.
Overnight: Shanghai  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 12

Wednesday. Our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

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.

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Rainbow Hotel, Beijing
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Rainbow is a contemporary hotel accented by the colours of traditional Chinese folk art culture. The spacious guestrooms display character of the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful wooden furniture whilst providing modern amenities fit for international travellers. The hotel also has a restaurant, cafe and bar.

Wan Nian Grand Hotel, Xi'an
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Wan Nian Grand is a comfortable, friendly hotel with light, good sized rooms. Elegantly decorated, the rooms also boast modern amenities and the hotel has a wealth of facilities including an indoor pool and sauna house, a cafe and bar, and well-equipped business centre.

Yangshuo Tangrenjie Hotel, Yangshuo
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Yangshuo Tangrenjie is a modern hotel with a unique architectural style in beautiful surroundings. The tastefully furnished rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities and the hotel has an excellent range of facilities including a sauna, business centre and a number of restaurants.

Shanghai Paradise Hotel, Shanghai
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Paradise is a smart, modern hotel with comfortable and good-sized rooms with internet access. Facilities include elegant restaurants serving Shanghai cuisine and French food, a well-equipped business centre and fitness centre.

Trip Highlights

Beijing - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, UNESCO listed Emperor's Summer Palace, Silk Alley markets, Cloisonne Factory, Hutong area of Beijing, Chinese Acrobatic Show
Xi'an - UNESCO listed Terracotta Warriors, Clay warrior workshop, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall and bike ride
Longsheng – the Dragon’s backbone rice terraces, Ping’an village and minority groups
Badaling - UNESCO listed Great Wall of China
Yangshou – free time. A picturesque village with quirky street markets set within a karst mountain backdrop. Sailing, rafting, hiking and outdoor pursuits
Shanghai - free time. Visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden, The Bund & Old Shanghai

Included

11 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 2 dinners
1 overnight train (soft sleeper cabin) Beijing - Xi'an
Rickshaw ride through Beijings Hutongs
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1, day 7 and day 12
Tour leader escorted for groups of 6 or more
All relevant transfers and transportation
Day trip to the Dragon's backbone and Lonji Village
10 nights 3-4 star hotels
Chinese acrobatic performance
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Touring of Beijing, Badaling, Xi'an and Longsheng.
English speaking specialist guides at local sights
2 economy class flights - Xi'an to Guilin & Guilin to Shanghai

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: $85-90 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 5 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: $80-85 USD

we have loved the holiday! The guide encouraged the group to get to know one another making a very friendly "family group".

Ronald Davies

This tour was very well organized and all our free time had great options to choose from.

This was my 5th trip to China and I have been on organized tours before and I have to say this is #1!

Katie Powell

We found the tour fantastic. Bejing especially.Well organized, we saw all the highlights and everything was on time.

I really liked how the trip flowed together. greatly enjoyable experience

Gina & Gerard

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged provided there is another single traveller booked on the tour date of your choosing.

Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
2015
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2016
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Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $990
-  
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $70
Shanghai - Post-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $70

This tour is also available on a private basis - for details please see the Supplementary Prices at the bottom of this page.

Tour Details
Starts
Beijing
Ends
Shanghai
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Giant Pandas
USD $145
Uncover North Korea
USD $3,899 / 5 days
Hong Kong Express
USD $479 / 1 day
Suzhou
USD $699 / 3 days
Kunming
USD $529 / 3 days
Yellow Mountain
USD $1,269 / 5 days

we have loved the holiday! The guide encouraged the group to get to know one another making a very friendly "family group".

Ronald Davies
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.