The Great Wall | China
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FROM: CAD $5,044 pp
Shanghai to the Dragon's Backbone - 14 days map

Discover the heart of China during this 14-day tour, commencing in Shanghai. Head to Beijing, where you'll explore the Forbidden City, Great Wall and historic Hutongs. Journey on to Luoyang to witness the Longmen Caves and the Shaolin Kung Fu Temple, then marvel at Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors. After a flight to Guilin and immersive explorations of Yangshuo and Longsheng, head to Shanghai and explore at your own pace.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Beijing - Visit the iconic Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, explore the Hutong area of Beijing, enjoy a Chinese Acrobatic Show and taste the famous peking duck
Xi'an - Experience the UNESCO listed Terracotta Warriors, Terracotta Warrior Factory, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarter, City Wall and bike ride and savour a dumpling-making experience
Shanghai – Free time to explore the city or join an optional group tour - highlights include the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, The Bund and Old Shanghai
Longsheng - Embark on a scenic hiking adventure in Longsheng, known as the "backbone of a dragon," and be amazed by its breathtaking rice terraces and vibrant minority villages
Huanghuacheng Great Wall - A section of the Great Wall of China, unique for its partially submerged and picturesque portion of the wall
Luoyang - Take a high-speed train to Luoyang, and enjoy a visit to the Longmen Caves, food hunt in Old City Shizi Street and watch Kung Fu at a Shaolin Monastery
Guilin - Known for its stunning limestone karsts and lush rice paddies, forming a captivating cross-pattern of natural beauty
Yangshuo - Witness the remarkable transformation of Yangshuo from a modest town to a bustling tourist destination, offering captivating landscapes

Included

Daily breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners, inclusive of traditional Peking Duck dinner in Beijing and dumpling-making experience in Xi'an
Chinese acrobatic performance
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Touring of Beijing, Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Luoyang, Xi'an, Yangshuo & Guilin
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles
Shadow puppetry show
Explore Shanghai at own pace or join optional tours
13 nights 4 star hotels
Highspeed train ticket to Luoyang (2nd class)
Shanghai Airport arrival transfer on day 1
English speaking specialist guides at local sights
Visit to Shaolin Monastery
3 economy class flights from Shanghai to Beijing, Xi'an to Guilin & Guilin to Shanghai

Not Included

International flights and visa
Departure airport transfer
Tipping Kitty: USD$50-70pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$5 - 7 per day, per traveller as a tip for your guide. Tipping your guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture
Entrance Fees: USD$100-120pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to China

Friday. Huang ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Upon your arrival at Shanghai Pudong or Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in.

The day is yours to explore and enjoy the vibrant energy of Shanghai, China's bustling metropolis that seamlessly marries tradition with modernity. Discover the city's captivating historic neighborhoods, futuristic skyscrapers, and iconic landmarks like the Bund and Yu Garden.
Overnight: Shanghai

Day 2

Bound for Beijing

Shanghai - Beijing. After breakfast, enjoy time at leisure to further explore the bustling city of Shanghai. Later in the day, we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight to Beijing, with departure scheduled for around 4-5 p.m.

The night is yours to traverse Beijing, the captivating capital of China. Exploring Beijing at night is a unique experience, as the city takes on a new and vibrant persona after dark. Why not check out the historic Houhai Lake area which comes alive with lively bars and restaurants? Or perhaps explore Beijing's modern skyline, especially around the CBD area, which showcases dazzling buildings beautifully illuminated against the night sky. Alternatively, the Temple of Heaven Park stays open in the evening, allowing for peaceful strolls and the chance to observe locals engaging in traditional activities.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast

Day 3

The Forbidden City

After breakfast, our first stop today will be the iconic Tiananmen Square, where Chairman Mao’s tomb lies and various monuments to the people are located. While we won't enter the tomb, we will get to view the exterior.

Following this, we'll enter the *Forbidden City, a magnificent palace complex which served as the seat of power for Chinese emperors over five centuries. With over 800 buildings and 9,000 chambers, this is one of China's best preserved historical treasures. *Tickets to the Forbidden City are limited, see trip notes for more information.

In the afternoon, delve into Beijing's hutongs, a maze-like network of ancient alleyways that form the city's historical core. Wander through these charming lanes, where generations of families have lived, and discover traditional courtyards and compact houses. Afterward, you'll take a leisurely stroll along Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, a renowned shopping avenue at the heart of the city.

In the evening, enjoy a Beijing dining experience by savouring a Peking roast duck dinner, typically enjoyed wrapped in thin pancakes, with spring onions and hoisin sauce!
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

The Great Wall of China

Today, prepare for an exciting journey to the iconic Great Wall of China. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Wall stands as an enduring symbol of Chinese civilization and ingenuity. Initially constructed for defensive purposes, it snakes an impressive 6,700 kilometers across diverse terrains and towering mountains.

We'll be visiting the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall, known as the "Yellow Flower Great Wall." Its name originates from the vibrant yellow wildflowers that bloom along the wall during specific seasons. What sets Huanghuacheng apart is that a portion of the wall is partially submerged underwater. We'll embark on a scenic hike along the wall, offering breathtaking views and a deeper understanding of the structure's historical significance.

This evening promises an enchanting spectacle as we attend a Chinese acrobatic performance. These skilled artists will leave you spellbound with their gravity-defying feats.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Welcome to Luoyang

Beijing - Luoyang. After breakfast this morning, we'll head to the railway station for a comfortable 2nd class high-speed train journey to Luoyang, which will take approximately 4-4.5 hours. Luoyang is one of the four ancient Chinese capitals, renowned for its magnificent peony blooms and the celestial Longmen Caves.

After meeting our local guide and enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, prepare to be captivated by the Longmen Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These remarkable caves are perched densely along the cliffs lining the Yi River, and they house the world's most extensive collection of celestial art treasures, boasting the largest array of statues to be found anywhere on Earth. This enduring art form, etched into the stone, has not only withstood the test of time but has also borne witness to the reign of over 10 dynasties spanning more than 1,400 years.

In the evening, we'll take a stroll through Old City Shizi Steet, a renowned food street in old city Luoyang. Here, you'll have the chance to follow tantalizing aromas and sample a wide variety of local flavours.
Overnight: Luoyang  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Xiyuan Park & Shaolin Monastery

Today will begin with a visit to the vibrant Xiyuan Park. Here, residents gather to dance and sing, infusing the park with a lively burst of morning energy. It's an excellent opportunity to observe and perhaps even join in the joyful morning activities that reflect the spirit of the community.

Afterwards, brace yourself for an exhilarating adventure as we head to the legendary Shaolin Monastery, renowned as the reputed birthplace of Chinese martial arts. This sacred temple is not only a spiritual haven but also the epicenter of Kung Fu mastery. Witness a mesmerising performance that promises to entertain and awe. The skills and discipline of these martial artists are sure to leave a lasting impression.

As the day comes to an end, we'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, allowing you to indulge in the flavours of Luoyang cuisine.
Overnight: Luoyang  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

Xi'an City Wall

Luoyang - Xi'an. Rise and shine! Today, we'll catch an early morning train bound for Xi'an. Upon arriving, we'll start our day with a bike ride or a leisurely walk along the Xi'an City Wall, one of the oldest and best-preserved Chinese city walls. This remarkable structure offers stunning panoramic views over the city, blending ancient and modern architecture, and providing an unforgettable glimpse into the past.

Afterwards, get ready for the sensory delights of Xi'an's Muslim Quarter, a bustling neighbourhood in the heart of the city. Here, the air is thick with the mouthwatering aromas of sizzling lamb skewers and fragrant spices emanating from the food stalls that line the narrow alleys. Engage with the warm and welcoming locals, witness their skilled craftsmanship in action, and let the diverse flavours tantalize your taste buds.

Not far from the Muslim Quarter, discover the majestic courtyard of the Gao Family. Within these hallowed walls, a unique spectacle awaits—a 15-minute shadow puppetry show, an art form believed to originate from this province. These performances breathe life into simple yet vibrant leather or paper figures, spinning enchanting narratives that have captivated audiences for generations.

Then, pay your respects at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a serene contrast to the bustling Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Within this peaceful Buddhist complex, you'll discover intriguing exhibits in the Xi'an Museum.

Tonight, roll up your sleeves and try your hand at making dumplings, a local delicacy that is also a true form of culinary art. Enjoy the delicious dumplings you've created, accompanied by a cup of rice wine.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Terracotta Warriors

Our day begins with a visit to the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army and Warriors, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This remarkable collection of terracotta sculptures depicts the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. These life-sized figures were meticulously modeled after actual soldiers of the Qin Army, displaying incredible attention to detail. The army consists of an astounding 8,000 life-size soldiers, 100 chariots, and 600 horses, and each figure is unique. The purpose of this vast army was to guard the remains of Emperor Qin Shihuang, entombed within a massive mausoleum complex.

Next, you'll have the opportunity to visit a Terracotta Warrior Factory. Here, you can delve deeper into the intricate production process, which remains unchanged since the time of the Qin Dynasty. Gain insights into the techniques behind these captivating artworks, adding a layer of appreciation to these ancient treasures.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we'll return to the hotel. From here, enjoy time at leisure to explore Xi'an at your own pace.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Days 9-10

Guilin & Yangshuo

Xi'an - Guilin - Yangshuo. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Guilin, a city renowned for its classic Chinese landscape featuring limestone karsts and picturesque rice paddies.

Upon arrival, you'll meet your local guide and embark on a scenic drive to Yangshuo. Yangshuo, once a quiet town, has transformed into a vibrant and highly sought-after tourist destination. Its beauty, as described in ancient Chinese texts, surpasses even that of Guilin, with striking karst limestone outcrops gleaming against flat rice paddy fields. You'll have leisure time to explore Yangshuo over the next two days.

On Day 9, you may choose to partake in various activities such as hiking, renting a bicycle or motorbike to explore the mountain trails, or observing local fishermen using trained cormorants for fishing, a centuries-old tradition that has become somewhat commercialised in recent times.

You may opt to explore West Street, a historic alley filled with unique shops, tea houses, antiques, calligraphers, and art studios. Consider taking a beginner's art class with a local painter or participating in a morning class at the 'Cloud 9' cooking school. As evening falls, relax in one of the al fresco cafes, pubs, or bars, watch a film at an outdoor cinema, or attend the nightly 'Impression Liu Sanjie' musical, featuring a cast of 500 singers and dancers.
Overnight: Yangshuo  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 11

Dragon's Backbone

Yangshuo - Longsheng - Guilin. This morning, we'll embark on a scenic drive to Longsheng, often referred to as the "backbone of a dragon." As we arrive, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking rice terraces that stretch like ribbons up the steep mountainsides. These lush fields stand as a testament to the agricultural expertise of the local Yao and Red Yao minority communities, and our hike along the narrow stone paths will provide us with a unique opportunity to observe their daily way of life.

This adventure is an opportunity not only to appreciate the natural beauty but also to connect with the welcoming ethnic communities who call this region home, adding a personal touch to our exploration. Following our hike, we'll enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before settling in for an overnight stay in Guilin.
Overnight: Guilin  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12

Surreal Shanghai

Guilin - Shanghai. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Shanghai. Shanghai is a true melting pot of cultures and experiences, offering travelers an array of areas to explore. Enjoy a day at your leisure in Shanghai, where you can explore the city's vibrant attractions and neighbourhoods at your own pace. We also offer optional tours if that's more your style.

Our optional tours include a Full Day City Tour of Shanghai's cultural and historical treasures, starting at the enchanting Yu Garden and exploring the Jade Buddha Temple, and more. Another option is a Full Day Tour to Zhujiajiao Water Town. Escape the busy city and enjoy a day trip to a picturesque water town nestled on the outskirts of Shanghai. Lastly, we offer a Full Day Tour to Suzhou, a city celebrated for its classical Chinese gardens and historical charm.

However you choose to spend this day, rest assured it will be filled with memorable moments and experiences.
Overnight: Shanghai  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Explore at your own pace

Today is a day of leisure, allowing you to explore the dynamic city of Shanghai at your own pace. Whether you choose to revisit favourite spots, indulge in shopping, or uncover more of Shanghai's local experiences, you have the freedom to spend the day however you'd like to!
Overnight: Shanghai  |  Breakfast

Day 14

Goodbye

Thursday. Today marks the conclusion of your remarkable China adventure, full of cultural wonders and tasty delicacies. After breakfast and 12pm hotel check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward flight.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 4 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

2024
Twin Share
Single Room
16 Aug - 29 Aug 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
06 Sep - 19 Sep 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
20 Sep - 03 Oct 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
04 Oct - 17 Oct 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
11 Oct - 24 Oct 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
18 Oct - 31 Oct 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
25 Oct - 07 Nov 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
01 Nov - 14 Nov 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
08 Nov - 21 Nov 30% off
CAD $7,435
CAD $5,205
CAD $8,735
CAD $6,115
20 Dec - 02 Jan 30% off G
CAD $7,205
CAD $5,044
CAD $8,265
CAD $5,786
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
07 Mar - 20 Mar 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
21 Mar - 03 Apr 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
28 Mar - 10 Apr 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
11 Apr - 24 Apr 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
18 Apr - 01 May 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
25 Apr - 08 May 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486
02 May - 15 May 30% off
CAD $7,575
CAD $5,303
CAD $9,265
CAD $6,486

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Shanghai (From price)
CAD $75
CAD $135
Post-Tour Accommodation - Shanghai (From price)
CAD $75
CAD $135
Full Day Shanghai City Tour
CAD $245
N/A
Full Day Suzhou Tour
CAD $355
N/A
Full Day Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour
CAD $285
N/A

Hotels

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.

SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Hongkou, Shanghai

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Hongkou boasts a convenient location near the Wujiaochang business district, Fudan University, and Tongji University, all accessible within 10 minutes by car. The hotel offers well-appointed rooms ensuring a comfortable stay with 'KingKoil' mattresses and tropical rainforest showers. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast at the Four Seasons Garden Restaurant, and the hotel's proximity to Quyang Road Station (Subway Line 8) makes exploring Shanghai's attractions, including the Hongkou Football field, the Bund, and Nanjing East Road Pedestrian Street, a breeze.

Dong Fang Hotel Beijing, Beijing

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Dong Fang Hotel Beijing, nestled in Beijing's Cultural Tourism District, offers a rich cultural experience with its proximity to historical attractions. Comprising of three distinct buildings from 1918, 1953, and 1985, this Republic of China-themed hotel seamlessly blends nostalgia with classic charm. Guests can savor traditional Shandong cuisine at the 'Flavor 1918 restaurant'.

New Friendship Hotel, Luoyang

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The New Friendship is a modern hotel with a beautiful garden of bridges, brooks and peonies. The practical rooms are cosy and comfortable with modern amenities including internet access. The hotel is on Xiyuan Road, a few blocks from Wancheng Park and the museum. It is 15km from the airport and 7km from the railway station.

Xi'an Minsheng International Hotel, Xi'an

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Wangyuan Minsheng International Hotel in Xi'an offers a comfortable stay with amenities like relaxing rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also provides a 24-hour front desk, concierge service, and express check-in and check-out for guest convenience. With its proximity to landmarks such as Daming Palace Site Park and Xi'an Mosque, along with popular attractions like the Muslim Quarter and the Xi'an Bell Tower, guests can easily explore the city's rich history and vibrant culture. Additionally, an on-site restaurant allows for convenient dining, making it a convenient choice for travelers looking to enjoy their stay in Xi'an.

Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xi'an

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Located a stone’s throw away from the Ancient City Wall and Islamic Mosque, is the Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel. The hotel offers modern comforts in the heart of the city. Each air-conditioned guestroom features WiFi, a minibar and satellite TV. There is an onsite restaurant which serves a daily buffet or a la carte breakfast as well as a variety of Asian and Western dishes. During free time, guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or work out in the fitness centre.

New West Street Hotel, Yangshuo

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Offering a fantastic location in the very centre of Yangshuo, the New West Street Hotel is set just opposite Yansghuo Park. Its guestrooms are well-equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and an electric kettle, with some providing views over the surrounding mountains. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and for an additional fee, guests are able to enjoy the rejuvenating spa and massage treatments in the wellness centre.

Bravo Hotel, Guilin

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Bravo is an imposing, modern hotel with tastefully decorated rooms and a wide range of facilities including internet access with over half of the rooms offering views of the lake. A number of restaurants in the hotel serve a variety of Western and Asian dishes including dim sum, and a resident live band performs Chinese traditional folk music nightly. The Skylight Lobby Bar is the perfect spot for a relaxing beverage after a day soaking up the scenery of Guilin.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Shanghai
Ends
Shanghai
Departs
Fridays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 13, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 3
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
No - bookable for a supplement
Click to play videoThe view across the Huangpu River to the modern cityscape of Pudong in Shanghai
Click to play videoTaihemen gate of the Supreme Harmony Imperial Palace at the Forbidden City in Beijing
Click to play videoGreat Wall Highlight
Click to play videoCarved rock statues of Buddha in Luoyang
Click to play videoCyclists on the old city walls in Xian
Click to play videoBeautiful mountainous scenery in Yangshuo
Click to play videoAerial view of Guilin and the stunning karst landscape

Tour Add-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and add-ons

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