• This is one of the best trips in our range for experiencing beyond what the average tourist sees of China. Go local every step of the way with an experienced local tour leader, travelling on public transport, staying in guesthouses and hostels and of course, eating the most authentic local food everywhere you go. Here's some of what you can expect: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/a-guide-to-traditional-chinese-street-food/
  • Rather than just going on a day trip, stay overnight near the Great Wall in a family run guesthouse, allowing you to see this iconic structure without the crowds.
  • The perfect mix of cityscapes and beautiful natural scenery showcases the contrasts of China. From starting with a bang in Beijing, to hiking the heights of Huangshan, the big city lights of Shanghai, to the idyllic rural villages of Huizhou.
  • There are plenty of chances to get active on this trip as you explore with city walking tours, climb the many steps of Yellow Mountain, trek on the Jinshanling Great Wall and cycle countryside lanes in Hongcun.
  • Two overnight trains means you'll maximise your time in each destination, get to know your fellow travellers, as well as get a great sense of the vastness and landscapes of the country.

Discover the ancient sights and modern delights of China's north. Journey from Beijing to Shanghai and travel through the ancient city of Xi'an, to the heights of Huangshan, the base of the Great Wall and deep into the Huizhou countryside. Encounter friendly people, bustling markets and amazing historical landmarks as you take in the crazy contrasts and profound experiences that render China such a remarkable country.

Cities & Attractions
  • N/A

Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
97% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 2,593 Great 707 Average 136 Disappointing 53 Terrible 50
4.6 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.6 Transportation
4.6 Meals
North China Getaway



Everything worked fine. Gina is an amazing September 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Everything worked fine. Gina is an amazing travel guide.

Operator Intrepid Travel



Most important highlights of Northern China in September 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Most important highlights of Northern China in a well organized trip.

Operator Intrepid Travel



Gina could answer any questions i had September 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Gina could answer any questions i had and she made the trip very enjoyable.

Operator Intrepid Travel



Gina was very efficient, patient, Knowledgeable, Fun September 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Gina was very efficient, patient, Knowledgeable, Fun to be with. and all round a great guide for us. Wouldn't have been such an enjoyable holiday without her.

Operator Intrepid Travel



Everything is taken care of, great guide September 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Everything is taken care of, great guide and lots of free time and choices. A great trip all over

Operator Intrepid Travel


Day 1 Beijing

Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing is quickly shedding its historical face in favour of modernity. However, there are still plenty of places that give an insight into the nation's ancient past, as well as sights that showcase China's contemporary culture. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm this evening. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Settle into your hotel and then maybe head out to explore the Beijing Streets – with your hotel located centrally, a walk in any direction will unveil all sorts of wonderful surprises.

Day 2 Great Wall

Today you’ll have some free time in the morning to further explore Beijing before taking take a private bus to a lesser-known section of the Great Wall – Gubeikou (approximately 3 hours drive) in the afternoon. An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements and an iconic destination. You’ll spend the night in a family run village guesthouse. The facilities are more basic than some of our accommodation on this trip but you can be assured of great local hospitality. Most travellers will choose to eat at the guesthouse for dinner as it's a great chance to sample local produce and delicious home style cooking.

Day 3 Great Wall

Today you’ll rise early and trek from the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. You will walk over some steep, remote terrain for approximately 5 - 6 hours. Some parts of the wall are un-restored so you'll need to concentrate hard to keep your footing, while in other parts the trail takes you off the wall to walk alongside it through the countryside. You’ll often feel like you have the whole wall to yourself as you take your time strolling along the wall, which snakes through the hills almost endlessly into the distance. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. After the trekking, you'll stay at a different guesthouse by the foot of the Wall. Put your feet up, have a few beers or maybe learn how to play Mahjong in the evening.

Day 4 Overnight Train

Mid morning, you’ll travel back to Beijing by bus (approximately 3 hours), and make use of your last bit of free time in the afternoon for more exploration in Beijing, maybe grab some snacks for the upcoming train journey, and then board an overnight hard sleeper train bound for Xi'an (approximately 13 hours) in the evening. Train travel in China may not be entirely luxurious but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people, as it's the main form of transport for locals.

Day 5 Xi'an

Arrive in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the largest city in northwest China. Once the imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi'an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites and is a great place to explore. Head to the hotel to freshen up then join your leader on a short walking tour to uncover what was once the start of the ancient trading route of the Silk Road. Visit the Bell and Drum Towers, the former built (according to legend) to restrain the dragons that were causing earthquakes, the latter is (unsurprisingly) full of drums, once used to mark time and warn in emergencies. The city also has a wonderful Muslim Quarter, and you’ll wander the narrow streets of quaint shops, lively markets, groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes, and the Great Mosque, one of the most important in China. See the City Walls and Gates, the most complete in China, running over 13 kilometres around the city. Xi’an’s Silk Road history means it has an exciting mixture of cultures, especially found in its food options, ranging from delicious Muslim fare to great little dumplings in Chinese restaurants. Perhaps visit the night markets and try many of the tantalising local specialties such as pao mo (lamb broth that you break flat bread into), hand pulled noodles, hot pot and barbecue.

Day 6 Xi'an - Overnight Train

Today we will travel by public transport (approx 2 hours) to visit what is undoubtedly one of the man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors. You’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots (originally all painted) were commissioned by the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as part of his mausoleum after he ascended to the throne in 264 BC. Three main pits are open for you to view, where just under 2,000 of the total 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expressions – stand in battle formation. The scale is incredibly impressive. Afterwards you'll return to Xi'an and then the train station to board your second overnight train to Shanghai (approximately 16 hours).

Day 7 Shanghai

Blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai pulses with the beat of new China. Arrive and take the subway to your accommodation. You’ll have a full day to explore here, but don't worry if you don't fit everything in, as you will return here for the end of the trip. Today join your leader for a walking tour that will take you to historical Shanghai. At the Bund you can get a taste of 1920s Shanghai; its spectacular array of art deco style buildings, formerly belonging to Western banks, line what was once the most important financial street in Asia. Wander the narrow winding lanes (nongtangs) of old Shanghai, where you can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life. Explore the European-influenced French Concession, the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, consisting of today's Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Luwan's Huaihai Road is a busy shopping street and is home to Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang, extremely popular shopping and dining spots for visitors. The area's tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions still retain an air of the 'Paris of the East'. This evening perhaps get a taste of Shanghai’s eclectic food scene, which draws influence from far beyond China’s walls.

Day 8-9 Huangshan

Travel by public bus to Huangshan (approximately 6 hours), otherwise known as Yellow Mountain, where you’ll stay in a local guesthouse for the next two nights. The 72 peaks of Huangshan provide some of China's most stunning scenery, and you have the next two days to explore the mountain however you’d like. The eastern steps are shorter (7.5 kilometre, approximately 3-4 hours), but with less spectacular views. The western steps take longer (15 kilometres) and are more difficult. We recommend taking the cable car up, exploring the trails at the summit and then descending via the western steps. Either way, the dramatic limestone peaks populating this superbly beautiful area make for some breathtaking vistas. After taking in the iconic beauty of Huangshan (which, despite the crowds and unpredictable weather, is a rewarding destination) you’ll return to your guesthouse for a well-earned rest.

Day 10 Hongcun

Climb aboard public transport to travel through Anhui province to the picturesque villages of the Huizhou region (approximately 2 hours). A number of these villages are now World Heritage sights, and were even the backdrop to scenes in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. You will stay overnight in a village guesthouse, giving you plenty of time to wander the maze of cobbled alleys, admire Ming dynasty architecture and ornate stone carvings, or clamber up into the hillsides for panoramic views of the pretty-as-a-picture traditional settlements. You might like to explore more villages on your own by bike or public transport, or just on foot.

Day 11 Shanghai

A long travel day by public transport (approximately 6 hours) takes you back to the big smoke of Shanghai. Perhaps celebrate the end of your time in China with a night out with the group at a traditional tea ceremony, visit the city's hippest bars, or toast to the conclusion of this memorable Chinese journey in one of Shanghai's great restaurants.

Day 12 Shanghai

Your tour finishes after breakfast today and you are free to depart at any time.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 1,386

Price Per Day:

$ 116 per day
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Dec-19-2018Dec-30-2018$ 1,386Yes8 spots left Reserve
Mar-13-2019Mar-24-2019$ 1,605Yes10 spots left Reserve
Apr-10-2019Apr-21-2019$ 1,670Yes16 spots left Reserve
Apr-17-2019Apr-28-2019$ 1,670Yes16 spots left Reserve
May-08-2019May-19-2019$ 1,670Yes14 spots left Reserve
May-22-2019Jun-02-2019$ 1,605Yes16 spots left Reserve
Jun-12-2019Jun-23-2019$ 1,545Yes15 spots left Reserve
Jun-19-2019Jun-30-2019$ 1,545Yes16 spots left Reserve
Jul-03-2019Jul-14-2019$ 1,545Yes10 spots left Reserve
Jul-31-2019Aug-11-2019$ 1,545Yes15 spots left Reserve
Aug-07-2019Aug-18-2019$ 1,605Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2019Sep-22-2019$ 1,670Yes16 spots left Reserve
Sep-18-2019Sep-29-2019$ 1,670Yes16 spots left Reserve
Oct-09-2019Oct-20-2019$ 1,670Yes16 spots left Reserve
Oct-16-2019Oct-27-2019$ 1,605Yes16 spots left Reserve
Nov-06-2019Nov-17-2019$ 1,545Yes16 spots left Reserve
Nov-13-2019Nov-24-2019$ 1,545Yes16 spots left Reserve
Dec-18-2019Dec-29-2019$ 1,545Yes16 spots left Reserve
Jan-01-2020Jan-12-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Mar-11-2020Mar-22-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Apr-08-2020Apr-19-2020$ 1,605No16 spots left Reserve
Apr-15-2020Apr-26-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
May-06-2020May-17-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
May-20-2020May-31-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
Jun-10-2020Jun-21-2020$ 1,605No16 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2020Jun-28-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Jul-01-2020Jul-12-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2020Aug-09-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Aug-05-2020Aug-16-2020$ 1,605No16 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2020Sep-20-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
Sep-16-2020Sep-27-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
Oct-14-2020Oct-25-2020$ 1,670No16 spots left Reserve
Oct-21-2020Nov-01-2020$ 1,605No16 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2020Nov-15-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Nov-11-2020Nov-22-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2020Dec-27-2020$ 1,545No16 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 16
Guesthouse/Hostel (6 nights),Hotel (3 nights),Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (2 nights)
Start City
End City
Guides All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Shanghai City Central Youth Hostel 万里路青年旅馆
  • 300 Wuning Road, Caoyang Road Station 地址:上海市普陀区武宁路300弄50号
  • Putuo district
  • Shanghai
  • Phone: +86 2152905577

Trip ID#: intrepid-CBRF

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