Explore China on this truly unique and real China experience. China offers a wide range of historical attractions, natural marvels, off the beaten track villages, amazing people along with urban delights that no traveller can refuse. Enjoy comfortable, clean and safe accommodation while travelling with fellow travellers from around the world. The variety of stunning sites, culture and even remoteness you’ll thoroughly enjoy at an affordable price while under the leadership of our amazing bi-lingual guides.
Day before departure
Meet the group at 19.15 in a harbor-front bar the night before the date of departure for a short welcome and safety brief, then stroll along the Avenue of Stars to catch the light show which synchronizes the lights of all the skyscrapers across the bay, to a very Chinese soundtrack.
To get there, just head to the Star Ferry Terminal in Kowloon`s Tsim Sha Tsui, and walk along the Avenue of Stars, so that the water is on your right and Kowloon is on your left. Just keep walking past the avenue of stars for about 5 minutes and you`ll see The Deck and Beer bar is on your left hand side just after a Starbucks, you can`t miss it, so just keep walking and you`ll see it.
Meet your group at the hostel and take the tram or hike together up and down Victoria Peak, where you´ll be able to enjoy incredible views of the bustling metropolis below! After listening to a short welcome and safety briefing, hike down Victoria Peak back to the hostel. Later, the group will cross the border into Mainland China, going by bullet train and bus to Yangshuo.
Wake up to the unbelievable karst scenery of Yangshuo. This landscape of rivers, rice paddies and limestone peaks is your playground for the next three days. On your first afternoon, participate in the first of many free and un-missable attractions: bamboo rafting down the Li River. Put your feet up and relax as you meander downstream. At night, kick back at Monkey Jane’s hostel where you can sit quietly atop the rooftop bar with a cool beer; or unleash your competitive side and challenge Monkey Jane herself to a game of beer pong. Winner gets a free crate of beer!
There are many optional activities in Yangshuo. Those wanting to keep busy on the Li River can go kayaking (150RMB), deep water soloing (rock climbing above a river with no ropes; 150RMB) and rock climbing (170RMB), or watch a Cormorant fishing demonstration (45RMB). Once the river has run its course, you can take mud-baths in underground caves (85RMB), attend a Chinese cooking lesson (120RMB), or try cupping (suction cups on the back that help circulation; 35RMB). There’s also a chance to visit your adventure leader´s home village (80RMB). At the beginning of day 5 board your bus to Guilin and afterwards take the night train to Chengdu.
Arrive in Chengdu and meet your new adventure leader - a fun-loving Sichuanese local. Ease out the strains of your overnight journey with a massage from a blind physical therapist (40 RMB). In the afternoon learn your first Chinese words in a free mandarin lesson! Afterwards try a traditional Sichuan Hotpot for dinner - a meal where you cook meats and veggies by dipping them into a boiling pot of spicy broth (around 80 RMB).
The next morning you will visit the Panda Breeding Research Centre, arriving just in time to watch these national treasures dig into breakfast (bamboo shoots, of course).
In the afternoon you’ve got time to visit the world´s largest stone Buddha (it’s 70m tall!) in Leshan (transportation + 90 RMB entrance fee) or you can walk through Chengdu’s Tibetan quarter with its Tibetan shops and cafes (yak dumplings anyone?).
Next morning is your last in Chengdu. Visit WenShu Monastery, Mao´s Statue and a traditional Chinese tea house then board the night train to your next destination: Xi´an.
Today, you can join the group for an optional bike tour around the ancient city walls of the former dynastic capital (100RMB). A great way to get your bearings. In the late afternoon you can explore Xi’an’s fascinating Muslim Quarter, where you’ll see unique Chinese mosques and sample the delights of Hui Muslim street food carts. The lamb skewers are a must! Afterwards you´ve got the opportunity to visit the Silk Road market nearby.
Next morning we visit the jewel in Xi’an’s crown: the Terracotta Warriors (free entry), a full-sized stone army designed to protect Emperor Qin in the afterlife. In the evening, you´ll have the chance to help out at a soup kitchen for Xi´an´s homeless people. Then it’s time for a change of gear with a Chinese-style night of fun, which needless to say involves drinking and singing your heart.
In the morning, take a private minivan and afterwards a bus to Deng-Feng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple. After your arrival, you’ll have the chance to put your strength and flexibility to the test in a Kung Fu lesson and then watch a show at a local children´s home run by the Shaolin temple (150RMB - all proceeds go directly to the orphanage). In the evening your second mandarin lesson starts - good luck/Yiqiè shùnlì!
Rise early if you wish to visit the flagship of Kung Fu - the Shaolin Temple (100RMB)! In the beautiful temple courtyards you’ll see masterful displays and physically impossible feats from these Kung Fu masters. Afterwards the group hikes together to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims. You will be rewarded with beautiful views of both the shrines and the surrounding landscapes. In the evening you depart to Zhengzhou to board your night train to Beijing.
After a morning spent relaxing in the hostel in Beijing and our third Mandarin lesson, it’s off to do the Hutong Challenge! You will need your freshly learned Mandarin to complete challenges all around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways. In the afternoon, we head off to our next unmissable attraction, The Great Wall of China! We go to a deserted section of the Wall, where we will have the place to ourselves! We have a mandatory meal at a local farm, to obtain permission to access this section of the unrestored Great Wall. Then we hike along this wonder of the world as the sun sets, before pitching up our tents for a night camping.
Wake up the next morning for what will be one of the most memorable sunrises of your life. Afterwards return to Beijing where you can visit the Olympic Bird´s Nest Stadium (80RMB) or enjoy in the afternoon the incredible Beijing Acrobatics Show (140RMB). For dinner you’ve got the opportunity to taste one of Beijing´s signature dishes: famous Peking Roast Duck (around 65RMB).
The next two days in Beijing are spent seeing the Tiananmen Square (free), the Forbidden City (60RMB), the Temple of Heaven (35RMB) and a night market where you can try dog, snake, cat, scorpion and a host of other “mouth-watering delicacies”. In the late afternoon of day 16 you board your night train to Hangzhou, famed as China’s most beautiful city.
After arriving in Hangzhou we head to the countryside, this time to a bamboo nature reserve called Moganshan, which was a favoured summer time retreat of Chairman Mao! In the afternoon you´ve got the opportunity to hike to the peak of Moganshan Mountain, passing Chairman Mao´s former residence on the way (50RMB).
The next morning, we participate in another un-missable activity: the Lagoon Trek. Here you can jump in the crystal clear mountain lagoon for a refreshing dip once you´ve reached it. Afterwards the group goes back to Hangzhou to catch the bullet train for our next destination: Glamorous Shanghai!
Shanghai is the world’s biggest city by population, and does not disappoint in what it has to offer. Learn about China’s modern history on a walk around the Former French Concession, which includes a visit to the Propaganda History Museum (20RMB entry), the only one of its kind! Discover TianZiFang (free), a local artisan’s lane set in an old-style residential area in the heart of Shanghai.
Explore the more futuristic side of the city when you embark on a walking tour down Nanjing Road (the world’s busiest shopping street) and take a walking tour down the Bund (your un-missable activity!), where you will get the best view of Shanghai’s stunning skyline.
In the evenings, take advantage of Shanghai’s hedonistic bar scene when you experience the largest bar crawl in China - the Drunken Dragon Pub Crawl (160 RMB). Or, spend your evening in a more sophisticated manner, sipping champagne in a hot tub on the rooftop of a skyscraper, overlooking Shanghai’s dazzling nightlife below (100RMB).
Today we take the bullet train to Nanjing in Fujian province, arguably the most picturesque area in the whole of Asia. You spend the night in a Tulou (the Hakka people´s roundhouse). There are over 30,000 Tulous in Fujian which still host the Hakka minority people today. This provides an opportunity to not just observe, but also actively experience their fascinating way of life.
In the morning participate in another unmissable activity: a walking tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site exploring the neighbouring round-houses and the beautiful countryside. Sample the tea in a tea ceremony and swim in a local lagoon. Later we will then head to a tea factory and its plantations. Take some cash if you’d like to purchase tea at the factory itself! We start the morning with some cycling to a neighbouring village that is famous for its beautiful rivers and mountains. After arriving back, you’ve got free time to relax with the locals before dinner. In the evening take the night train to Guangzhou.
Take a short drive to Zhuhai and try the World´s Highest Bungee Jump (entrance fee 105RMB, jump 2,414RMB/2688MOP)! Gamble in casinos which make 5 times more profit than Las Vegas. We´ll visit the Venetian Macau, which is a replica of the Venetian in Vegas, only twice the size! In the evening, we´re taking the high-speed ferry back to Hong Kong and to the hostel we started our adventure.
The Hong Kong Loop ends here. Congratulations, you’ve just completed an epic 3,392 mile journey around China!
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Trip Name: Hong Kong to Hong Kong
Duration: 25 Days
From Price: 2515
Trip Code: 158864
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