Unique Experience Intrepid | North China Getaway

Discover the breathtaking countryside of China's north on this 12-day journey bookended by bright city lights. From the dizzying heights of Huangshan and the Great Wall, to the underground pits that hold thousands of Terracotta Soldiers and the waterfront Shanghai, this trip reveals myriad sides of China. Go beyond the tourist trail and immerse yourself in local life with stays in small guesthouses and travel on public transport.

Theme

Explorer

  • Highlights

    • Forget seeing the sights from the window of a packed tour bus, this tour offers plenty of opportunity to get active among the wonders of China. Explore cities laneways on walking tours, climb the steps of Yellow Mountain, trek the Great Wall and cycle countryside lanes in Hongcun
    • Go local every step of the way with an experienced local leader, public transport, and family-run guesthouses and local hostels where possible – this trip is all about authentic local experiences 
    • Spend two night at the base of the Great Wall, and follow in the footsteps of soldiers hundreds of years ago when you trek the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section
    • Start with a bang in Beijing, hike the heights of Huangshan, explore the Great Wall, soak up the glow of Shanghai’s city lights and step back in time in the idyllic rural villages of Huizhou
    • Two overnight trains means you'll maximise your time in each destination, get to know your fellow travellers, and get a real sense of the vast size of the country
  • What's Included

    Transport

    Overnight Hard Sleeper Train , Public Bus , Private vehicle , Subway

    Accommodation

    Guesthouse/Hostel (6 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Overnight Hard Sleeper Train (2 nights)

    Included Activities

    • Beijing - Great Wall trekking
    • Hongcun - Guided Village Tour
    • Huangshan - National Park Trek
    • Shanghai - Walking tour
    • Xi'an - Muslim Quarter walking tour
    • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • Availability
      • Start Date:18 Dec 19
      • End Date:29 Dec 19
      • Price:$1,628
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,915. Now only $1,628 for this departure

      • Start Date:1 Jan 20
      • End Date:12 Jan 20
      • Price:$2,010
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:11 Mar 20
      • End Date:22 Mar 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:8 Apr 20
      • End Date:19 Apr 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:6 May 20
      • End Date:17 May 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:20 May 20
      • End Date:31 May 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:10 Jun 20
      • End Date:21 Jun 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:1 Jul 20
      • End Date:12 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:29 Jul 20
      • End Date:9 Aug 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:5 Aug 20
      • End Date:16 Aug 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:9 Sep 20
      • End Date:20 Sep 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:16 Sep 20
      • End Date:27 Sep 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:14 Oct 20
      • End Date:25 Oct 20
      • Price:$2,030
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:21 Oct 20
      • End Date:1 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:4 Nov 20
      • End Date:15 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:11 Nov 20
      • End Date:22 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:16 Dec 20
      • End Date:27 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:6 Jan 21
      • End Date:17 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:10 Mar 21
      • End Date:21 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:7 Apr 21
      • End Date:18 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:5 May 21
      • End Date:16 May 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:19 May 21
      • End Date:30 May 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:9 Jun 21
      • End Date:20 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:30 Jun 21
      • End Date:11 Jul 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:28 Jul 21
      • End Date:8 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:4 Aug 21
      • End Date:15 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:1 Sep 21
      • End Date:12 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:8 Sep 21
      • End Date:19 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:13 Oct 21
      • End Date:24 Oct 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:27 Oct 21
      • End Date:7 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:10 Nov 21
      • End Date:21 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:24 Nov 21
      • End Date:5 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:15 Dec 21
      • End Date:26 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,950
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Beijing - Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing is a food-centric city with both ancient and modern architectural charm. 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. We’ll be collecting your insurance and next of kin details at this meeting, so it’s important you attend. Make sure you book a flight that will deliver you with enough time to transfer to the hotel, or perhaps arrive with a few days to spare to make the most of Beijing. We can assist with booking any extra accommodation, and there are plenty of suggested optional activities listed below to give you an idea of how to spend your time. Following the meeting, settle into your hotel and then perhaps strike out with new friends or alone and watch an acrobatic performance at the famous Chaoyang Theatre.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Great Wall - Enjoy a few hours of free time in the morning to explore Beijing before taking a three-hour private bus to a section of the Great Wall unmarred by reconstruction – Gubeikou. Built as a northern defensive line for Beijing (then called Youzhou), this section of the Great Wall was first constructed between AD550 and AD557 and then fortified during the early years of the Ming Dynasty. Spend the night in a family-run guesthouse. While the facilities are more basic than some of the other accommodation on this trip, the homegrown hospitality more than makes up for it. Most of our travellers choose to eat at the guesthouse for dinner as it's a great chance to sample local produce and delicious home cooking.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Great Wall - Embrace an early start and make the trek from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section. Hike over steep, remote terrain for around 5—6 hours, taking in incredible views along this comparitively quiet trail. Some parts of the wall are unrestored, so you'll need to concentrate hard to keep your footing, while other stretches will take you off the wall to walk alongside it through the countryside. The trek will be challenging, but the sight of the wall snaking through the hills as far as the eye can see and the feeling of being immersed in ancient history will be ample reward for your efforts. After the hike, check-in to a guesthouse by the foot of the Great Wall and put your feet up, have a few beers or maybe learn how to play Mahjong in the evening.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Beijing/Overnight Train - Make the 3-hour drive back to Beijing before midday and make use of your last free afternoon in the capital. Consider checking out the Temple of Heaven while you're in the city, or making the most of your last chance to eat Peking duck in its place of origin. Speaking of food, the train journey to Xi'an will take around 13 hours so even if you plan on sleeping for most of it, stocking up on snacks and having a good book on hand is a great idea. Board the train in the evening and get your first taste of high-speed rail travel in China. Train travel here is far from 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

    Location: Xi'an - Good morning and welcome to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the largest city in northwest China. Head to the hotel to freshen up and then join your leader on a short walking tour to uncover what was once the start of the ancient trading route known as the Silk Road. Visit the Bell Tower, which according to legend was built to restrain dragons that were causing earthquakes, and then the Drum Tower, which is full of instruments once used to mark time and warn the population in emergencies. Your leader will also introduce you to the Muslim Quarter, which features narrow streets of quaint shops, lively markets, and the largest mosque in China. FInally, explore the 13-kilometre-long City Walls and attached Gates. Xi’an’s Silk Road history means it has an exciting mixture of cultures, especially found in its food options, with everything from Halal fare to great little dumplings in Chinese restaurants. In the eveining, perhaps visit the night markets and try local specialties such as pao mo (lamb broth that you break flat bread into), hand pulled noodles, hot pot or barbecue.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Xi'an/Overnight Train - Make the two-hour journey by public transport to an iconic monument to ego and human endavour – the Terracotta Warriors. Spend a few hours at this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well after being buried for 2000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots 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 viewing, where just under 2000 of the total 6000 warriors – each an individual with a different costume, height, and even facial expression – are on display. Later, return to Xi'an and board your second overnight train bound for Shanghai (approximately 16 hours).

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Shanghai - Blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai pulses with the beat of contemporary China. Arrive and take the subway to your accommodation. Enjoy a full day of guided and unguided exploration, but don't worry if you can't see everything you want to –  you'll be back at the end of the trip. First up is a leader-led walking tour that will take you to historical Shanghai. Get a taste of the city during the roaring 1920s with a tour of the Bund, a strip of spectacular art deco-style buildings. Wander the narrow winding lanes (nongtangs) of Old Shanghai, where you can get a glimpse of local life. Explore the European-influenced French Concession, then pound the pavement along Luwan's Huaihai Road, a busy shopping street. The area's tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions earned it the nickname 'Paris of the East'. When night falls, perhaps get a taste of Shanghai’s eclectic food scene.

     

    Day - 8-9

    Location: Huangshan - Travel into the stunning countryside on a six-hour public bus journey to Huangshan, otherwise known as Yellow Mountain. The 72 sharp peaks of Huangshan provide some of China's most breathtaking scenery, as well as a respite from the bustle of the city. Spend the next two days in a guesthouse with free time to explore the area as you wish. Two beloved trails are the Eastern Steps (7.5 kilometre, approximately 3-4 hours) and the Western Steps (15 kilometre). We recommend taking the cable car to the summit, exploring the area and then descending via the Western Steps. Whatever you choose, the dramatic limestone peaks populating this beautiful area make for some breathtaking vistas. After taking in the iconic beauty of Huangshan during the day, return to the guesthouse for a well-earned rest in the evening.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Hongcun - Hit the road again on public transport and travel through Anhui province to the picturesque villages of the Huizhou region (approximately 2 hours). A number of these villages are now World Heritage-listed, and you may recognise the ramshackle, ornate buildings from the film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. Arrive in Hongcun, check in to your village guesthouse and then set out on a guided tour of cobbled alleys and Ming Dynasty architecture. Following this short tour, you have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to spend as you wish. Maybe clamber up into the hillsides for panoramic views over the traditional settlements. Or maybe you'd prefer to explore the surrounding villages on two wheels? Ask you leader for information on bicycle hire and other optional activities. 

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Shanghai - Bid farewell to the glorious countryside and make the six-hour journey back to the big smoke of Shanghai by public transport. Perhaps celebrate the end of your adventure with the group at a traditional tea ceremony, or grab a couple of travel buddies and sit down for a final Chinese meal in one of Shanghai's great restaurants. Hairy crab is the city's most notable delicacy, though it’s only available in winter between the months of September and November. If you haven't already, tonight is the perfect chance to try the city's famous xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings). 

     

    Day - 12

    Location: Shanghai - Your tour finishes after breakfast today and you are free to depart at any time following check-out. If you're planning to stay on in Shanghai for a little longer, take a look at the Urban Adventures on offer in this groovy,graceful city here: urbanadventures.com/destination/Shanghai-tours.

     

    North China Getaway
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 9669
logo splash

Get your
points balance

Earn & spend Fly Buys points with helloworld Travel
=
points decoration
Your Fly Buys points
dolloar decoartion
Your dollars