Trip Type : Small Group Tour
China Highlights tour
Beijing Hong Kong China Highlights Trip
Cultural Trains & Rail China Highlights package

China Highlights

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
96%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 2,020 $ 202 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Hong Kong - Orientation tour plus plenty of time to explore this bustling metropolis
  • Yangshuo - Float through dramatic karst scenery on the Li River
  • Xian - Visit the incredible Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi plus Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Beijing - Explore the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

Short Description

Enjoy an action-packed introduction to China as we travel from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the imperial palaces of Beijing. We take a cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo, passing vast paddy fields and beautiful limestone scenery. We also visit the incredible Army of Terracotta Warriors in Xian and walk along the Great Wall in Mutianyu.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Beijing

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

China Hong Kong

Cities & Attractions

Beijing Hong Kong Xian

Activities

Trains & Rail

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join tour in Hong Kong

Description

Arrive Hong Kong and check into hotel.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Discover the sights of Hong Kong; optional ride on the Victoria PeakTram

Description

Situated in a dramatic setting, Hong Kong is a lively, sophisticated city and the world’s third largest financial centre. We start with an orientation walk and leave
the afternoon free for optional excursions. Public transport is efficient and easy to use. You can take a funicular railway to Victoria Peak or a launch out to a floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour. Alternatively explore the jade market or admire the latest sartorial and electronic fashions.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Continue exploring Hong Kong; overnight train to Guilin

Description

This morning will be left free to explore Hong Kong further. In the late afternoon we transfer by coach to the Sheng Shui train station close to the Chinese border. From Sheng Shui we then take a train to reach the pedestrian only border at Lu Wu. As we cross on foot and porters are not available please make sure you can comfortably carry your own luggage. After clearing immigration and customs we walk the short distance to nearby Shenzhen station from where we take an overnight train to Guilin.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Boat trip on the Li River to Yangshuo

Description

On arrival in Guilin we will make a quick stop at a local hotel for breakfast before we head to the MoPanShan Dock where we board our boat on the Li River and cruise to Yangshuo. Lunch is taken aboard the boat during the journey as we pass along the most scenic stretch of the river. We will pass paddy fields, villages and stunning limestone scenery en route. An afternoon arrival in Yangshuo offers the opportunity to explore this laid back town - a contrast to the bustle of Hong Kong. During this free time you may wish to take one of the optional bike rides or walks in the surrounding villages. Alternatively you could head to one of the many limestone pinnacles around the town, the best known being the Moon Hill.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 - Free time in Yangshuo; catch flight to Xian

Description

Yangshuo has a lot to offer so most of the day is left free for you to explore at your own pace. You can walk into the surrounding karst summits or hire a bike and cycle through country back lanes. Alternatively, you can soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful riverside town. You may want to practice your bartering skills in the local market - here art students from Guilin sell their batiks, silk paintings, Tai Chi, cooking, calligraphy, mahjong, or you may be tempted to buy a 'Little Red Book'. Later on today we fly to Xian.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - In Xian; visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Description

Our stay in Xian reveals the extraordinary continuity of Chinese civilisation. Xian (Changan) served 11 dynasties and was the very starting point of the Silk Road between Central Asia and Europe. Its ancient monuments include, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (64m, a 7-storey high structure with a superb overview of the city) and the Great Mosque, a wonderful 15th century working mosque within the old muslim Hui District, which we include in our sightseeing tour. The afternoon is free but highly recommended is an optional visit to the Shaanxi National Museum which takes us through a million years of Chinese history.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Explore the Terracotta Army; overnight train to Beijing

Description

Today we visit one of the highlights of any visit to China – the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses who guard the Qin Shi Huangdi Tomb. There are literally thousands of lifesize warriors, dating from 200BC. This dramatic find of the 1970s is considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the century. We should have time to stop at the on-site factory to see how the warriors are made today. Later this afternoon we take an overnight train to Beijing.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Discover the sights of Beijing; including the Forbidden City

Description

Beijing is China’s capital and its political and cultural centre. The city has been the capital for most of the period since Kublai Khan made it the capital of his mighty Asian Empire in the late 1200s. All clocks in this vast country are set by Beijing time despite the westernmost regions being some 5000kms away. During our stay we shall visit the Forbidden City, the one-time home of the Ming and the Manchu (Qing) emperors and a treasure trove of eastern wares. There is the option to visit the Summer Palace an old and very extensive imperial garden complex with a large boating lake and impressive palace buildings. There is also the possibility of seeing a Beijing opera in the evening, or perhaps an acrobatic performance (optional). The opera in Beijing is considered to be the best in China.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - Walk on the incredible Great Wall

Description

Today we drive out to a renovated part of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, situated 90km north of the city. Began in the 3rd century BC by Shi Huangdi, thousands of conscripted workers laboured on it and many lie buried in its brick and stone ramparts. It is incredible to think that this wall spans the entire country! Here there is a 2km section to walk along with watchtowers and views of the surrounding countryside. En route we may also get to visit a cloisonné workshop where you can see examples of this ancient metal-working technique.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 10 - Tour ends in Beijing

Description

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 2,020
Price Per Day: $ 202 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

73 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

96%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 55
Great 11
Average 3
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.5
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

China Highlights

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Company Reviews

Trip of a lifetime seeing the Arctic in a week

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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Excellent

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Mohammed was excellent!

Enjoy the trip

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.

Pleasant surprise experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
It is hard to say because each outing was a pleasant surprise. The best experience was a workshop on feltmaking in Kazbegi town Georgia) where, as a group, we made the felt from scratch and created our own design. A great opportunity to discover a local craft. It is also an excellent example how this diverse group got along like a house on fire. In Armenia my fqvourite outing was the walk along the Garni river gorge with a local guide. The scenery was breathtaking.
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Hong Kong - Victoria Peak tram, £2 Yangshou -Sound and Light show £21.00 (£26 for VIP seat) ; bicycle hire £5.00; painting lesson £5.00; caligraphy lesson £8.00; cooking class £15.00. Xian - Shaanxi National Museum, free entry. City wall by bike - £10. Beijing - Summer Palace, £5 (plus £12 for private transfer); Opera, £15

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

As tourism developed relatively recently in China, accommodation is usually modern, spacious and comfortable, albeit rather generic. Most hotels are large and purpose built and though rarely characterful, you can generally rely on good facilities. In Beijing, Xian and Hong Kong the hotels that we use are of international style generally with business facilities, restaurants and bars and all mod cons, though few have pools. In other cities and large towns the standard is similar although on a lesser scale. In small towns or villages where tourism is less prevalent, the hotels we use are smaller and facilities are more limited, though we generally stay in the best place in town. Rooms will still be en suite but rooms can be basic. Plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is warm, service levels may be less efficient than you might expect. Please be aware that the beds in China are often quite firm and may take a few nights for you to get used to. Aboard the overnight sleeper train, berths are usually in 1st class 'soft sleeper' lockable compartments for 4 which have 2 sets of bunks with clean bedding provided. WC and washbasins are provided for shared use at the end of each carriage. Hot meals and snacks are usually sold to your berth on overnight journeys. In times of large demand we may have to travel in 2nd class 'hard sleeper' which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6, leading off an open plan carriage. The majority of hotels in China offer check in from 12noon. On days where we will arrive on a sleeper train the Tour Leader will try and arrange an early check in for the group, however this may not be possible. Our hotels in Beijing and Xian enjoy relatively central locations in these large cities, within walking distance of the Temple of Heaven and the Muslim Quarter respectively.

Guides

A Tour Leader is an integral part of any Explore tour and your tour will be led by one of our experienced tour leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Tour Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your tour Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this tour fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s)

Additional Information:

Tour Features

Why not combine our China Highlights trip with Walk the Great Wall to give a truly comprehensive guide to China. Spend time exploring the cities, landscapes and history of the emperors before following the Great Wall from the coast back to Beijing. Tour code HCW.

Trip ID#:

explore-HC

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