SEMI INDEPENDENT: See the best of Eastern China on this 10-day group tour. Admire the Great Wall at sunrise and walk along a less-visited section of this legendary wonder. Enjoy a mix of guided sightseeing and free time in Beijing and Shanghai, and enjoy a boat cruise on West Lake in Hangzhou. Hike to the summit of Jiuyao Mountain, learn to speak Mandarin and join optional activities including a Chinese acrobatic show and a visit to the iconic Forbidden City.
Beijing - The Great Wall. Meet your Adventure Leader in the late morning, ready to transfer straight to the legendary Great Wall, stopping at a local farm for lunch (at your own expense). Late this afternoon we hike along a totally unrestored section of the Great Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset over one of the Wonders of the World. While camping this evening enjoy a Mandarin Lesson with your tour leader.
(Due to cold weather we stay at a local guesthouse near the Wall on departures before the end of April and after September and we stop for lunch at lunch at Leo hostel.)
Please note: As we depart Beijing in the morning, please ensure you arrive in Beijing the night before the trip starts. We can arrange pre-tour accommodation for you.
Overnight: Camping on Great Wall
The Great Wall - Beijing. We wake early on day 2 in order to watch the sunrise over the Great Wall. There is a strong possibility this will be the highlight of your trip! Take in your surroundings and appreciate the early morning silence.
At around 9am we transfer back to Beijing. In the afternoon there's an optional walk-through Tiananmen Square, with a visit to the magnificent Forbidden city and a look around Jingshan Park. In the evening there's an optional Chinese acrobatics show and an optional group dinner for those who would like to sample traditional Peking duck, a meal fit for an emperor!
Day 3 is free. There's the option to visit the fake goods markets and the Temple of Heaven. The afternoon offers an optional visit to Nanluo district, one of the best-preserved historical areas in Beijing, famous for its hutongs and siheyan courtyards as well as an array of bars and cafes.
Please note: Sunrise at the Great Wall on day 3 is only possible when camping.
Overnight: Beijing (2)
Beijing - Hangzhou. Our final day in Beijing is free for you to independently explore. You can visit the 798 art district, the Summer Palace, or any other highlights of Beijing. This evening at around 19:00 we head to the train station and board an overnight train to Hangzhou (approx. 14.5 hours).
Overnight: Sleeper Train
Arrive early into scenic Hangzhou, the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and an important centre for silk, tea and paper-making. We transfer by metro to our hostel where you can have a late breakfast (at own expense). Then we embark on a scenic boat trip on the famous West Lake which is dotted with various islands and causeways. This afternoon there's time for an optional activity such as a visit to China's National Tea Museum, Hangzhou Silk Museum or Lingyin Temple.
Late afternoon we hike up Jiuyao Mountain to watch sunset over the lake – a truly breath-taking sight. Returning to the city for an optional group dinner and evening stroll down ancient Hefang Road.
Hangzhou - Shanghai. This morning we venture out of the city and head to the luscious Misty Forest to hike along the Nine Creeks trail, passing verdant valleys and undulating hills. We return to the hostel for some time to freshen up before making our way to the station for our onward train to Shanghai (approx 1 hr 45 mins). On arrival we jump on the metro to our accommodation and have the rest of the evening free to explore this futuristic city.
Spend your days in Shanghai at leisure or choose from a selection of optional activities. On day 7 there's an optional free Mandarin lesson, this time with professional teachers from the Mandarin Garden Chinese Language School. The rest of the day is at leisure. A highlight for many travellers is a trip to the iconic Disneyland theme park. You may also wish to visit the Shanghai Museum, Moganshan Art Street or the ZhuJiaJiao Water Town.
Day 8 is also free for you to explore Shanghai indepedently. Opt to visit the Yu Gardens, the lavish former home of a Chinese dignitary. Take in People's Square and perhaps head to the top of a skyscraper to enjoy panoramic views over the city with a drink.
Overnight: Shanghai (2)
Today there's the option to stroll through the former French Concession to learn about Shanghai’s international history, visit a secretive propaganda history museum, or take in the sights of the ultra-modern Shanghai financial district. For the daredevils, you can head up to the top of Jinmao Tower and brave the Skywalk! Or, go up just for the stunning panoramic views.
This evening take in the city lights from the water on an optional cruise down the Huangpu River.
Today marks the end of our amazing tour of China. Make your own way to the airport.
Is this holiday for you?
If you’re the kind of traveller that doesn’t mind time spent travelling independently on public transport and sharing a mixed dorm room with other travellers, then this trip will suit you just fine. There’s plenty of free time on this tour so it’s a great option if you like to explore a city at your own leisure.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling and the Dorm prices shown are based on mixed dormitory rooms. There is also a Twin / Double Room Upgrade and a Single Room upgrade for solo travellers. Twin / Double room upgrades are based on two people travelling together and are subject to availability.