Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
China in Depth tour
Beijing Dali China in Depth Trip
Kunming Shanghai China in Depth Trip

China in Depth

Peregrine Adventures Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
91%
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
19 days
From: $ 5,535 $ 291 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the highlights of ancient china, from the draw dropping tiger leaping gorge to the majestic 2000 years old terra cotta army
  • Spend time with a local family in xizhou and learn about their traditional way of life. try your hand at cheese making and share a local lunch.
  • Hike through the most stunning parts of tiger leaping gorge, listening to the jinsha rver roaring through the mist capped mountains.
  • Wander through a tibetan village in the dreamy shangrila pasture lands. learn about tibetan culture over a steaming cup of yak butter tea.
  • Tour shanghai’s imminently photogenic bund, where historic buildings display a variety of architectural styles along a waterfront promenade.
  • Taste your way through the delectable halal dishes in the sizzling muslim quarter of xi’an.
  • Enjoy a peaceful night in a traditional courtyard guesthouse near the great wall and visit a section of the wall.
  • Admire and try your hands at the intricate art of paper cutting from a master from a family that has passed down the tradition for generations.
  • Zip through china by bullet train , going as fast as 300km per hour.

Short Description

Journey into a land rich in stunning natural scenery, diverse culture, ancient history and drop dropping modern development. Start in Kunming and venture deep into Yunnan province, meet the local Bai people and Tibetan in the ancient town of Dali and Shangrila, hike the roaring Tiger Leaping Gorge and join the pilgrims at Sumtseling Monastery. Fly to the modern Shanghai for a wonder along a the bund and see the amazing historical collections in Shanghai Museum. Learn about Kungfua and Buddhism in Shaolin temple and stand face to face to a Terra Cotta Army. Spend a night in a courtyard house at the foot of the Great Wall and be amazed with the intricate traditional paper cutting skills.

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 Kunming
End City Beijing

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

China

Cities & Attractions

Beijing Dali Kunming Shanghai

Activities

Culture

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming

Known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ for its year-round temperate climate, Kunming is an increasingly modern city, but it still holds pockets of old-world charm in a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll need to attend a welcome meeting at 6 pm at the hotel. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you do arrive early enough to explore, maybe delve into local culture at the ancient temples and intriguing museums dotted around the area – the Buddhist Yuantong Temple dates back 1,200 years and you will uniquely enter the complex from above and descend into the elegant garden and halls.

Day 2 Dali

Depart Kunming by private bus and prepare for the adventure ahead as you travel through the countryside to Dali. Kunming to Dali is 340 kilometres and the drive will take about 5 hours. You’ll travel through the foothills of the Himalayas, driving through the mountains (some tunnels are kilometres long!) that it used to take weeks to pass. Stretch your legs on an orientation walk with your leader, then explore in the afternoon as you’d like. Dali is a favourite among travellers in China, a place where you can soak up the fresh mountain air and observe relics from the past. The town is overflowing with places to eat and drink, so you will not have trouble finding a good meal this evening. The Ancient Town, a beautifully preserved and rebuilt part of the city with lantern-lit cafes, cobblestone streets and ancient stone houses is a great place to start.

Day 3 Xizhou/Dali

Today you’ll travel 1 hour to the nearby town of Xizhou, an authentic town of the Bai – a group renowned throughout the country for their craftsmanship. Be guided around this photogenic town filled with Bai architecture, characterised by ornate gateways with elegant detailing. The town was long ago a stop on the tea horse trail, home to wealthy merchants, officials and scholars, and during World War II, many of China’s universities decamped to this remote part of Yunnan to continue their studies. Wander around this unique town and don’t forget to try the local treat 'xi zhou ba ba' – a warm baked cake filled with savoury or sweet filling. For lunch you'll enjoy a unique experience when you visit a local family. You'll try cheese making with them and have a meal together. Return to Dali for the night.

Day 4 Shaxi

Travel to Shaxi from Dali today (approximately 4 hours). Unlike many other ancient towns in Yunnan, Shaxi has been restored rather than rebuilt, and decades of laying off the main highways mean it hasn’t seen the rapid development places like Lijiang and Dali have. Here you can still find the Yi and Bai ethnic minorities living traditional lives in farmhouses lining the country roads. You’ll see cobblestone streets, original walled town gates and a market square that prove that Shaxi was once an important stop on the old Tea Horse Trail. After you've settled in, take a leisurely walk around the town.

Day 5 Shaxi

Today you’ll join a local guide to visit Shibaoshan and Shizong Temple, perhaps taking a picnic lunch with you to make the most of the beautiful danxia landscape along the way. The beautiful multi-coloured rocks are formed by millions of years of sandstone and mineral deposits, creating a rainbow effect that must be seen to be believed. The hike takes around 1.5 hours, reaches around 2,400 metres above sea level and is accessible to all travellers with a reasonable level of fitness. For those travellers who wish to sit out this activity there is the option to stay in Shaxi for the day instead. In the evening, take the opportunity to mix with the locals on the town square, where it's not rare to see impromptu dancing, singing and games happen (feel free to join in or just observe).

Day 6 Tiger Leaping Gorge

Travel to Tiger Leaping Gorge by private bus (approx. 2 hrs). Part of the Yangzi River (known here as the Jinsha River) thunders through Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is in turn framed by 5,000-metre-high mountains. A memorable walk in the gorge is a wonderful way to take in its awesome beauty and today you’ll do just that. It’s a predominantly downhill five-kilometre hike that takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete at a relaxed pace, giving you ample time to soak up the sights of one of Asia’s most dramatic and photogenic hiking trails. About 15 kilometres in length, the gorge is named after a legendary tiger that leapt across the gorge to escape the clutches of a hunter. No mean feat considering the canyon’s narrowest point is still a staggering 25 metres wide!

Day 7 Shangrila

Today you’ll travel to a place so beautiful it was officially renamed Shangrila, a reference to the mythic utopia from James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon. Before you set off, visit the legendary “stepping stone” the tiger used to escape across the Jinsha river, located at the narrowest point of the gorge. Make the 3-hour drive to Shangrila and feel the modern world fade away as you head higher into the mountains. This charming Tibetan town lies on an altitude around 3,200 metres, so take it easy upon arrival and give yourself some time to acclimatise. Later take a stroll on winding streets past prayer halls and pagodas in Dukezong Ancient Town. A fire tore through the area in 2014, destroying most of the town, but painstaking restoration work continues and the town remains charming. It’s also home to a towering, gilded prayer wheel – the largest in the world.

Day 8 Shangrila

Learn more about Tibetan Buddhism with a visit the Sumtseling Monastery. Located just outside the city and modelled after the Potala Palace, Sumtseling is the predominant monastery in the region and a popular destination for pilgrims. Constructed in 1681 and subsequently destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the complex was rebuilt in 1981 and the red and gold buildings now house hundreds of monks. Later travel south to Xiao Zhongdian, a village-dotted plain split by a flowing river. Here you will be invited into the home of a local Tibetan to see how they live and have a chat over a cup of yak butter tea. If time permits (and you have the energy), you may be able to visit idyllic Potatso National Park in the afternoon. If the altitude is taking its toll, why not spend the evening relaxing in Shangri-la.

Day 9 Kunming

Return to Kunming on a roughly 80-minute flight and transfer to your hotel. If you have enough time, Green Lake Park is a lovely place to while away an hour or two. In the evening, perhaps join your group for a final dinner and toast to new friends and ancient sights.

Day 10 Shanghai

Board flight from Kunming to Shanghai and get transferred to your hotel in Shanghai. There will be a group meeting at 6 pm. Please note that you will be unaccompanied on this flight and your tour leader and group composition may change too.

Day 11 Shanghai

Shanghai by morning is bustling with street vendors and workers making their morning commute, and today you’ll weave among them in an early walking tour of the city. Begin with the pride of Shanghai – the Bund. On one side of this waterfront strip you’ll see gothic, baroque and neoclassical architecture dating as far back as 1897. These historic buildings sit in wonderful contrast to the uber modern high rises and sleek office buildings that lie across the water. Then, zig zag through the back lanes off of East Nanjing Road, the oldest (and busiest!) shopping street in Shanghai. Finally, examine the myriad bronze and ceramic pieces in the Shanghai Museum. The afternoon and evening are free for you to do as you please. Those feeling a little overwhelmed by the chaos may wish to visit the classical garden of Yuyuan - on of the must-see sights of Shanghai.

Day 12 Shanghai - Luoyang

A traditional Shanghai breakfast is salty, savoury and rich. As you have a free morning in in the city, why not ask your leader for the best place to get a bowl of congee (savoury rice porridge) or jian bing (egg crepe)? At midday, board a bullet train bound for Luoyang. Once the capital of Imperial China, Luoyang boasts plenty of historic sights. It’s also the gateway to Shaolin Monastery. The journey will take about 6 hours, so it’s a good idea to have a book or podcast on hand to keep you occupied as the scenery rushes past you outside the window.

Day 13 Luoyang

Today, visit the legendary birthplace of kung fu - the Shaolin Monastery. A private bus journey of around 3 hours will take you to the monastery, which remains the primary source of Shaolin Buddhist training and learning to this day. Learn about the warrior monks of Shaolin and how the martial art has changed over centuries. Watch an athletic kung fu performance and then wander through the Pagoda Forest, where respected monks have been laid to rest in towering tombs since AD791. For lunch enjoy a vegetarian feast at nearby Yongtai Temple where you will sample innovative Buddhist cuisine. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in Luoyang. As night falls, you’ll see thousands of colourful lamps light the streets and squares across the city, creating a lovely ambiance.

Day 14 Longmen - Xi'an

Embrace an early start to visit the nearby honeycomb caves and stone-carved Buddha statues of the Longmen Grottoes. This UNESCO World Heritage site features more than 100,000 statues and carvings of the Buddha that date back to the 4th century. You’ll explore them with a local guide. Return to Luoyang and board a bullet train bound for Xi’an. The 2-hour journey will deliver you to the city widely regarded as the birthplace of Chinese civilisation, and you’ll dive in with a late afternoon walking tour of the historic Muslim Quarter. This buzzing commercial quarter is the best place to sample some unique regional halal dishes. One local favourite is yang rou pao mo, a clear broth soup filled with tender mutton and crumbed flatbread.

Day 15 Xi'an

The most famous archaeological site in Xi’an, if not all of China, awaits today. The Terracotta Army was hidden for thousands of years until farmers accidentally uncovered the archaeological wonder in 1976. This immense clay militia – including soldiers, horses and chariots -- was commissioned by First Emperor Qin as part of his mausoleum, designed both to protect him in the afterlife and commemorate his victory over the Warring States during his reign. Explore the pits that are on display to the public and marvel at this impressive display of ancient power. Sit down for a local lunch and then return to Xi’an for the evening. If you have the energy to venture out, the South Square is lit beautifully in the evening and is home to ancient Big Goose Pagoda and numerous contemporary sculptures.

Day 16 Great Wall

A long day of travel is necessary today to reach what is arguably the greatest wonder of the world -- the Great Wall of China. A 5.5-hour bullet train ride to Beijing is followed by a 3-hour transfer to your guesthouse, located in the countryside near the Wall. Enjoy a barbecue dinner and relax in preparation for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Day 17 Great Wall - Beijing

An early start is necessary today to get the most out of the spectacular Great Wall. A feat of engineering that began construction around 2700 years ago, the section of the Wall most are familiar with stretches 6000 kilometres west from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. Although unsuccessful in protecting the Chinese empires from ancient enemies, it's without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements and an iconic destination. Follow the serpentine fortifications through green mountains in a cable car, then spend a few hours exploring a section of the wall that is further from the city (and therefore less crowded). Later, return to the guesthouse and learn the fine art of paper cutting from a master of the tradition. Finally, make the 3-hour journey back to Beijing and spend the evening relaxing in the capital.

Day 18 Beijing

Make your way to Tiananmen Square in the centre of the city. Framed by many imposing and iconic buildings such as the Gate of Heavenly Peace with its Mao portrait, Mao's Mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People and the National Museum, it's a place of pilgrimage for many Chinese tourists who consider it the heart of their nation. From here you will enter the enormous scarlet walls of the Forbidden City. Built more than 500 years ago and until recently off limits to commoners, explore the great halls and courtyards of this palace complex. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to further explore Beijing. The ornate and colourful halls of the Lama Temple are a beautiful place to spend an hour or two and in the evening you can choose to have an optional farewell dinner with your leader and fellow travellers.

Day 19 Beijing

The tour will come to an end today after breakfast. There's still lots to see and do in Beijing, so perhaps consider staying a few days longer.

Availability

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Price From $ 5,535
Price Per Day: $ 291 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Oct-11-2019Oct-29-2019$ 5,620Yes4 spots left Reserve
Apr-03-2020Apr-21-2020$ 5,535Yes8 spots left Reserve
May-08-2020May-26-2020$ 5,535Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-12-2020Jun-30-2020$ 5,535Yes10 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2020Sep-29-2020$ 5,535Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-09-2020Oct-27-2020$ 5,535Yes10 spots left Reserve

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Clark Norton
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Stride Featured in

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22 Peregrine Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

91%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 19
Great 1
Average 1
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.7
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.6

China in Depth

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Company Reviews

Great itinerary with brilliant guide!

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Had a Turkey tasting tour in August with Peregrine. Great itinerary, brilliant guide. Good accommodation (mostly). The experience with a small group of people who are now friends was amazing.
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Wonderful trip.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The trip was absolutely wonderful and gave us the opportunity to explore many different towns and aspects of urban and rural Cuba in such a short time period. Natalia was an amazing guide; she was incredibly knowledgable and (most importantly) passionate about Cuba and wanted to share her love for the country. Natalia in particular went above and beyond what was required and helped us all to organize anything following the conclusion of the trip and made herself available over the coming days should we need assistance!
The combining of Intrepid and Peregrine tour groups was the only downside- most of those who booked through Peregrine were much older and would have benefited from a smaller group size- despite the guides best efforts to involve everyone and provide diverse options of activities (even get some to hear!) there were obviously different priorities and expectations within the group.
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Perfect 'first timer' itinerary

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I took my mom on Peregrine’s Secrets of Italy trip in August. The itinerary is a perfect “first timer” itinerary and hits the major highlights of Italy. In addition to all of the usual highlights (walking tour of Rome, boat trip in Venice, trip to see the leaning tower of Pisa, time to hike at Cinque Terre) we did a lot of unique activities as well. Some of our favorites included a pesto making class and a wine and food tasting at a local enoteca (we were full for weeks!). Our leader Florian was wonderful and went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time. We both loved it and would travel with Peregrine again in a heartbeat!

(This trip is a public transport trip, so make sure to pack light, as you will need to carry your own bags through train stations, etc.)
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Peregrine Tours are fantastic

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We used them in Egypt. It was worth every cent. I've never been happier with a tour company and the lovely local guide they chose for us.

It was an amazing experience

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Completed an Classical Egypt & Jordan in March. The sites are just breath taking & Our tour Leaders are more then just leaders, full of passion & knowledge. An unforgettable experience . Thank you Peregrine.
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Thank you, Peregrine. What a fabulous adventure in a land of beauty.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just completed this morning when our private bus dropped us all off at Verona Train Station. Sad to say goodbye to our fellow tourists and our excellent guide Roberta.

First tour of the year, the weather included a few grey days, but we scored big when the sky cleared and the stunning scenery of the region reached its full potential. The jackpot was the crystal clear day when we crossed the Maloja Pass to St Moritz, walked to the glacier at Morteratsch, threw a few balls of crisp, new-fallen snow, and took the Bernina Express back over the border to Tirano. OMG, the scenery was incredible!

The steep mountains, picturesque villages and blue waters of Lakes Como and Garda were thrilling to the eye as well. We dined at lakefront restaurants, explored historic villas, walked along woodland paths under fresh spring leaves to glorious outlooks, touched mediaeval walls, drank fresh spring water and local wine, and learnt about the food, the customs, the history and the wildlife of the area.

We were lucky with the other tourists. We all got along well, and as the tour progressed, the lunches and dinners became less reserved and more fun. We laughed a lot and enjoyed each others' company.

Our guide, Roberta, was superb. She kept her eye on the ball, and our comfort and convenience was her first thought. When things went wrong - rain on a mountain track, a local bus timetable change, she was able to arrange alternate activities.Her humour, her knowledge, and above all her open, thoughtful heart made this a five star trip. She really cared.

She worried a little over her English, but honestly, it was fine. The occasional mispronunciation - talking about a wildlife program that reintroduced "beers" to the forest, for instance - was charming more than confusing.

The hotels were excellent. Big rooms, filling breakfasts, astounding views from the lakeside balconies, hotels with character and charm. The private buses were (mostly) spacious and comfortable. One mountain road demanded a smaller vehicle, but who am I to complain when the sixteen tourists, guide and driver occupied an eighteen-seater bus? The drivers were skilled on the often tight roads, in fact, we often applauded their abilities.

We also walked, but it was a walking tour, after all, and the pace was never overly fast, the paths never too steep, the distances never too long for we middle-aged and senior travellers. We also got to see a great many sights denied to those depending on cars and buses and trains.

My only real complaint was that it was too short. I guess that means I'll be back for another tour.
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Details

Accomodations

Hotel (14 nights),Guesthouse (1 night),Feature Stay Dali (2 night),Great Wall Guesthouse Feature Stay (1 night)

Guides

All 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. We endeavour 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. 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

  • Dongfang Hotel 北京东方饭店
  • 11 Wanming Road 地址:北京市西城区万明路11号
  • Xuanwu District
  • Beijing
  • 100050
  • CHINA
  • Phone: +86 1063014466

Trip ID#:

peregrine-PCYCC

Peregrine Adventures Preffered
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