Mix the bustle of China’s metropolises with the tranquility of rural life on a 12-day adventure. Explore hidden corners of Beijing’s Forbidden City. Cycle along ancient city walls and learn about Xi’an’s famed terracotta soldiers. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the gorgeous Li River. Meet and interact with Shanghai’s celebrated acrobats, and watch them train. Along the way, discover how China’s many contrasts make it one of the world’s most intriguing places.
Bicycle atop the city walls of Xi’an
before facing its ancient army of
Walk along the Great Wall, taking
in magnificent views, and hike
through the Guilin countryside.
Go behind the scenes at the historic Gao's Grand Courtyard House and interact with local artists.
Wake early for a private Tai Chi class led by a local expert. Learn the basic principles of this ancient practice and discover firsthand why it’s revered for such health benefits as stress relief, improved balance, and overall well–being.
Itinerary - 12 Days
Day 1 — Beijing
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer
is included. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese
cuisine with a welcome dinner of Peking duck.
Days 2, 3, & 4 — Beijing
Explore the highlights of
Beijing, including Tiananmen Square and the lavish
Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage
site spanning more than 800 palaces, temples,
government buildings, and homes. Visit the
stunning Temple of Heaven and its surrounding
grounds, which offer a chance to watch locals
practicing tai chi, water calligraphy, and other
activities. Then set off on an excursion to the
Great Wall, one of the greatest structures
ever built. Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section, and spend time exploring the towers. If you wish, hop in a toboggan and ride alongside this architectural marvel, taking in spectacular mountain views. Later, enjoy a walking tour of some of the city’s
traditional hutong neighborhoods. Then catch
an overnight train to Xi’an. (3B)
Days 5 & 6 — Xi'an
Arrive in the ancient Chinese
capital of Xi’an, once the eastern terminus of the
Silk Road. Set out to experience the city like the
locals do with a bike ride atop the ancient walls. Then enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at the historic Gao’s Grand Courtyard House. Visit backstage, interact with local artists, and enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry.
In the evening, delve into the bustling alleyways
of the Muslim Quarter, perusing colorful shops
and food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and an array
of sweets. The next day, encounter Xi’an’s famed
terra-cotta warriors, an army
of life-size soldiers that stand guard outside the
tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
Learn about the discovery and excavation of
these archaeological treasures. Then have lunch
in the farming village where the artifacts were
found. (2B, 1L)
Days 7 & 8 — Guilin/Yangshuo
Fly to Guilin and immerse yourself in the local culture. Trek through the countryside, passing through
villages and rice fields, and enjoy a relaxing
cruise on the Li River. (2B, 1D)
Day 9 — Yangshuo
Rise early for a private Tai Chi class with a local expert. Then take an easy cycling trip through the countryside, passing rice paddy fields and striking karst mountains. Later, learn how to prepare local cuisine at a cooking school and enjoy the results for dinner. (1B, 1D)
Days 10 & 11 — Shanghai
Fly to the vibrant metropolis
of Shanghai and take an orientation walk
through the historic Bund area. Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance. (2B)
Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354
Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.
My Own Room
During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.
My Own Room Option: From $979
Arrival transfer, internal
flights, transport between destinations and to/
from included activities, and activities as listed in
the itinerary. The optional Beijing kung fu show
and Li River light show are at an additional cost.
Meals Included 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch,
3 dinners. Allow an additional $325–425 for
meals not included.
Transportation Private bus, plane, boat, train
You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.