Day 1: Beijing
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included. Enjoy Beijing’s famed Peking duck at our welcome dinner tonight.
Day 2: Beijing
Today, we discover one of the most iconic wonders of the world—the Great Wall of China. This impressive series of fortifications was built between the 3rd century BC and the 17th century AD along China’s northern border, and spans more than 20,000 kilometers. We’ll explore the less-visited Mutianyu section, taking in sweeping views of the countryside from the ancient watchtowers. Opt to ascend a section of the wall by cable car; then hike up to Mutianyu’s highest point and choose to slide back down to the entrance in a toboggan.
Day 3: Beijing
Delve into the fascinating history of Beijing on a full-day tour. Visit the palaces and elegant galleries of the Forbidden City—seat of the Ming and Qing dynasties for more than five centuries—and walk across vast Tiananmen Square, where some of China’s most significant political events have taken place. Venture to the elegant Temple of Heaven, where the emperor would come to pray and perform sacrificial rites, and watch locals practice tai chi in the surrounding gardens. Later, we’ll take a walk through the hutongs or hidden alleyways of Beijing’s old neighbourhoods.
Hear tales of emperors and their concubines, a long crafted culture and rich tradition. Witness how ancient Chinese customs are still valued today, while also blended with modern technology and western influences.
Day 4: Beijing/Xi'an
Continue to explore Beijing today and enjoy some free time on your own. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Xi'an, one of China’s four ancient capitals and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.
Accommodation this evening will be in Soft Sleeper train cars which have 8-9 compartments per cabin. Each compartment includes 4 beds (two upper and two lower beds) and a sliding door which can be locked. Beds include a quilt, pillow, sheet, and reading lamp with space for luggage in each compartment.
Day 5: Xi'an
Explore Xi'an like a local this morning, hopping on a bike to ride along the city’s well-preserved 14th-century walls. Later, hit the streets of the vibrant Muslim Quarter, known for its mouthwatering street food, and enjoy a visit to Gao’s Grand Courtyard. This beautifully restored mansion belonged to a Ming-era official, and offers an insight into traditional Chinese family life. Round off your visit with a performance of shadow puppetry, an ancient Chinese folk art.
In the evening, explore the multicultural feel of the Muslim Quarter with shopping lanes and street-side food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and a fine array of sweets. Opt to try some of the best street food in China – the spicy beef and lamb kebabs are always a favourite.
Day 6: Xi'an
Visit the famed terra-cotta army, fashioned more than 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. We’ll spend half a day learning about this archaeological treasure and admiring the artistic detail of the thousands of life-size sculptures. Afterward, enjoy lunch in a nearby village, where local farmers first discovered the terra-cotta warriors in 1974. Opt for a dumpling banquet this evening, getting a chance to taste traditional northern Chinese cuisine.
Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Yangshuo Countryside
Fly to Yangshuo in China's lush southwestern region, situated at the meeting point of the Li and Yulong Rivers and ringed by dramatic limestone peaks. Float down the Li River on a traditional vessel, winding around karst towers and gliding past terraced rice fields and local fishermen on bamboo boats. Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner at a G Adventures–supported restaurant, which provides rural women with opportunities to become self-reliant.
Includes: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Yangshuo Countryside
Venture further into the scenic countryside this morning, trekking through peaceful rural villages, fruit orchards, and rice paddies. Later, delve into the region’s cuisine on a visit to a Yangshuo market, where we’ll learn about the ingredients used to prepare typical dishes. Then try your hand at whipping up some of these local specialities at a cooking class, and enjoy your creations for dinner.
Includes: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Yangshuo
Rise early for a private tai chi class with a local expert and learn about the health benefits of this ancient Chinese exercise, practiced by millions around the world. Later, travel to the town of Yangshuo and wander through its quaint, café-lined streets. Spend the afternoon at leisure, and opt to enjoy a stunning theatrical performance over the Li River.
Day 10: Yangshuo/Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai, one of China’s most bustling metropolises. Set off on a stroll of the Bund, the downtown riverfront district, and take in Shanghai’s colonial architecture and futuristic skyline—a mesmerizing mix of old and new. Explore the city on your own time this evening.
Day 11: Shanghai
Spend the day soaking up vibrant Shanghai on your own. Opt to visit the Shanghai Museum, home to a world-class collection of ancient Chinese art; roam the beautiful Yuyuan Garden, a classical Chinese garden dating to the Ming era; enjoy a spectacular acrobatic show; ascend to the top of the iconic Oriental Pearl, one of the tallest TV towers in the world; and much more.
Day 12: Shanghai
Depart at any time.