Classic Hong Kong to Beijing Adventure
There may be two sides to every coin, but there sure are a heck of a lot more to China. This staggering adventure gets you to as many of those sides as we can possibly fit into 20 days (wow!). Bright-lights-big-city Hong Kong? Check. Terracotta warrior staring contest? Check. Giant panda ogling? Remote village cycling? Mountain monasteries and Forbidden City? Oh yes and so much more. Don't just get to China; get inside what makes it drive the 21st century, starting right here, right now.
Hotels (13 nts), guesthouses (4 nts), sleeper train (2 nts).
Your Hands-On Moment: Calligraphy Class, Pingyao. Yangshuo countryside bike ride with local lunch (full-day). Bird and flower market visit (Kunming). Orientation walk in Lijiang. Tiger Leaping Gorge Trek (2 days). Panda Breeding Center excursion (Chengdu). Calligraphy class (Pingyao). Forbidden City visit. Great Wall Mutianyu excursion. Hanging Temple visit. Yungang Grottoes visit. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Visit the Panda Breeding Centre, Enjoy a calligraphy lesson, See thousands of buddhas at the Yungang Grottoes, Explore the Forbidden City and the Great Wall
Train, local bus, private vehicle, plane.
Day 14 Xi'an/Pingyao
Discover Xi'an with some free time before boarding an evening fast train to the ancient city of Pingyao.
Day 15 Pingyao (1B)
Try your hand at calligraphy with an included lesson. Enjoy free time to explore the old city of Pingyao with its cobbled streets and buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Day 16 Pingyao/Datong (1B)
Hop on a train to Datong after a free morning in Pingyao.
Day 17 Datong/Beijing (1B)
Set eyes on the gorgeous Hanging Monastery and visit the Yungang Grottoes to see the thousands of Buddha statues. Later, board an overnight train to Beijing.
Day 18 Beijing (1B)
Arrive in bustling Beijing early and enjoy a visit to the famed Forbidden City.
Day 19 Beijing
Enjoy an included visit to the Great Wall.
Day 20 Beijing
Depart at any time.
Day 1 Hong Kong
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Hong Kong/Yangshuo
Cross the border to Shenzhen for the fast train to Guilin, then transfer to Yangshuo, nestled amongst the limestone karsts jutting out of the Li River.
Day 3 Yangshuo (1L)
Take a full-day bike ride through the surrounding countryside to gain insight into rural Chinese life. Enjoy lunch at a local family's home.
Day 4 Yangshuo/Kunming
After a free morning in Yangshuo, transfer to Guilin and fly to Kunming, capital city of Yunnan.
Day 5 Kunming/Dali
Enjoy a walk around the Bird and Flower Market in Kunming before boarding an express bus to Dali. With free time, opt to explore the old town.
Day 6 Dali
Enjoy a free day to explore this scenic town. Opt to rent a bike to visit Lake Erhai and explore the Villages along the lake.
Day 7 Dali/Lijiang
Travel by bus to Lijiang and take an orientation walk before free time to explore on your own.
Day 8 Lijiang/Yongsheng County
Take a bus to Tiger Leaping Gorge and start on the famous hike. The route follows the stunning scenery of the Yangtze as it cuts through the gorge.
Day 9 Yongsheng County/Lijiang
Continue the hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge. After completing the trek, drive back to Lijiang.
Day 10 Lijiang
Enjoy a day to discover Lijiang. Opt to explore the UNESCO Heritage-listed Old Town or visit the Black Dragon Pool Park.
Day 11 Lijiang/Chengdu
Fly from Lijiang to the vibrant, modern city of Chengdu. Opt to watch a Sichuan opera.
Day 12 Chengdu
Visit the Panda Breeding Centre for an up-close experience with these gentle giants. Later, board an overnight train to Xi'an.
Day 13 Xi'an
Full day to see Xi'an.