16-day Hong Kong Loop
This is the Western ‘half’ of big China tour.
Travel through fascinating destinations in the more rural parts of this country, including Yangshuo, Chengdu, Xi’an and Shaolin, up to Beijing for camping under the stars on the Great Wall (and more!). Finally, whizz back down to Hong Kong on the world’s longest bullet train route! Need advice or want to ask any questions? Want to book? Get in touch below.
Zoom, pan and select icons to learn more.
Day 1 – Hong Kong & Yangshuo:
On the first day of your China tour, you will meet your Adventure Leader at 7am at the hostel to drop off your bags, have a pre-departure meeting and meet your travel companions.
If you’re an early bird, you will travel up to Victoria Peak and enjoy an exceptional view over Hong Kong. With an elevation of 552m, Victoria Peak is the highest hill on the Hong Kong island. If you’re a little jetlagged, you can join at 10am, when the group will leave the hostel, say goodbye to Hong Kong and head to Yangshuo.
After a 3-hour bullet train to Guilin and a 2-hour bus to Yangshuo, you will check-in to your new hostel and relax.
Day 2 – Yangshuo:
Today is a free day! So, you can decide how you’d like to spend it. You have the option to join a traditional Chinese cooking class, kayak along the picturesque Li River or experience traditional Chinese therapy such as hot cupping.
Day 3 – Yangshuo:
Get ready for adventure! You’ll start the day at 9.30am with a morning bike ride along with a cruise down the Yulong River on bamboo rafts. If you have a waterproof camera, definitely bring it along for this activity!
Later on in the day, you have the option to continue the fun and visit local mud baths, cave complex and hot springs. In the evening, why not participate in some entertaining karaoke with the rest of the group?
Day 4 – Yangshuo:
Today is another free day! There is a tonne to see and do in Yangshuo and its beautiful surroundings are a feast on the eyes. To gain a new perspective, this morning, we recommend rock climbing to the top of one of the regions limestone peaks. In the afternoon, you can experience life on a farm by visiting your local Adventure Leader’s home village.
Day 5 – Chengdu:
On to the next destination! You will board a bus back to Guilin and take a bullet train to Chengdu, arriving in the evening. Then, you’ll take the metro to the hostel and meet your new Adventure Leader!
Day 6 – Chengdu:
The day starts early as you will be off to the Giant Panda Breeding & Research Centre. You can’t hold or touch the pandas but you will see them up close and learn about the centres efforts to breed them and release them into the wild.
Later in the day, you will also be taught some mandarin thanks to your Adventure Leader and after lunch will visit an Autism Children Rehabilitation Centre.
In the evening, you have the option to enjoy a traditional Sichuan show.
Day 7 – Chengdu:
Today is a free day! In the morning, you have the option to go to Leshan to see the world’s largest stone Buddha. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue is over 1,300-years-old and is considered to the tallest pre-modern statue. The site attracts millions of people every year, including Buddhist pilgrims, making it something of a sacred destination and an ancient wonder of the world.
In the evening you can sample to famous Sichuan Hot Pot (if you dare!) You can also have a night out in Chengdu and enjoy your freedom!
Day 8 – Chengdu & Xian:
This morning you can enjoy a lazy lie in to recover from the night before or get up early and explore the sights of Chengdu – perhaps enjoy a spot of shopping.
After lunch, you have the option to visit the Chengdu People’s Park. There are many scenic spots in this park, including the Gold Water Stream, the Goldfish Island and the Potted Landscape Garden. Besides appreciating the charming landscape, tourists can sail on the artificial lake, drink tea in the teahouse by the lake and watch all kinds of exhibitions and performances on the Rockery Square.
Around 5pm you will say goodbye to the Adventure Leader and board your train to Xian, where you will meet your new leader and go to your hostel.
Day 9 – Xian:
You have the morning free to visit temples, museums or go shopping in your own time.
In the afternoon, you have the option to bike ride on Ming Dynasty City Walls and later, to explore the Bell-Drum Towers and Muslim quarter to learn about the history of the Silk Road. Make sure to enjoy some local street food!
Day 10 – Xian:
Today’s unmissable attraction is the tour of the world famous Terracotta Warriors!
The Terracotta Army in Xian, is a large collection of life-size terra cotta sculptures in battle formations, reproducing the mega imperial guard troops of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 – 210BC), the first emperor of the first unified dynasty of Imperial China. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Terracotta Army is no doubt a must-see for every visitor to Xian.
In the evening, you can enjoy the music and light fountain show that takes place on the North Square of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the Qujiang District.
Day 11 – Shaolin:
The next morning, you will be off on a long journey to Shaolin.
This afternoon, you can visit a local Kung Fu Children’s Home and join in on a lesson and show run by a master from the Shaolin Temple.. After dinner, you can have another Mandarin lesson to top up what you have learned so far!
Day 12 – Shaolin:
You have two options today:
– You can visit the home of Kung Fu, The Shaolin Temple, and hike to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims. Here, you will be rewarded by beautiful views of both the shrines and temples in the area.
– Or if you’ve had enough of temples and Kung Fu isn’t your combat style, you can visit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO world heritage site with over 100,000 carved Buddha’s.
Later, you can have a late lunch at the guesthouse then check out and depart to Zhengzhou to board your night train to Beijing.
Day 13 – Beijing:
When you arrive in Beijing, you will meet your next Adventure Leader and go to a hostel for a rest. You won’t be staying the night here, so you won’t be able to get into rooms, but can use the shower rooms, and common areas to relax before heading to the Great Wall of China in the afternoon.
After a couple of hours, you can take another mandarin lesson and you can use your freshly learned language skills to complete challenges around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways on a scavenger hunt. The winning team earns a prize!
After a late lunch at a local farm we will gain access to a section of the Great Wall that only the locals get to see and then we will hike on the unrestored sections of the Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section
Day 14 – Beijing:
The sunrise on the Great Wall of China will be the most unforgettable part of your trip. Today you will wake up early, enjoy the silence and watch the sun rise over the Great Wall.
Around 9am, you’ll return to Beijing and have the option to visit fake good markets and the nearby Temple of Heaven.
You can also watch a stunning Chinese Acrobatics Performance performed by young talents recruited from around China.
Additionally, enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times, you can taste Beijing’s signature dish Peking Roast Duck.
Day 15 – Beijing:
Today is a free day! You’ll have the option to take a walk through the infamous, Tiananmen Square, or visit the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the largest palatial complex in the world, with 980 buildings and a history of housing 2 different Chinese emperors.
You can also go to Jingshan Park for a bird’s eye view of the three palaces: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square. Also, why not test your bargaining skills in the Fake Goods Market?
In the afternoon, you can visit the Nanluo district, one of the best-preserved historical areas in Beijing, famous for its hutongs and siheyuan courtyards as well as the bars, cafes and handicraft shops.
Day 16 – Beijing:
Enjoy another free morning to pack in the last few of Beijing’s sights before heading back to Hong Kong. You can visit the Temple of Heaven, the largest complex dedicated to heaven worship in the world and where ancient sacrifices were made to bring bountiful harvests.
Later, you will set off to the train station for your train back to Hong Kong. Arrive in Shenzhen and cross the border into Hong Kong to finish your trip! Say goodbye to your group and finish up your tour with The Dragon Trip.
We wish you safe travels!
Our China tour package price includes the following features:
• Bilingual Adventure Leaders in each city
• Transport within China
• Accommodation (including hostels, guesthouses & 1 night camping)
Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard on our China tours.
Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available, please contact us for more information.
Check out some of the affordable activities you can do on tour below:
• Victoria Peak Walk (Hong Kong)
• Bamboo rafting (Yangshuo)
• Yulong River bike ride (Yangshuo)
• Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre (Chengdu)
• Jinli Street and Tibetan district (Chengdu)
• Wenshu Monastery, Mao’s Statue, People’s Park and traditional tree house (Chengdu)
• Volunteer at a local Autism Rehabilitation Centre (Chengdu)
• Terracotta Warriors (Xi’an)
• Hike to Dharma Cave (Shaolin)
• Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
• Fake market (Beijing)
• Great Wall of China (Beijing)
• Visit the 2009 Olympic Park (Beijing)
*Unmissable activities are listed in bold and included in the tour price. Find our extra optional activities here.
Need hostels booked for after your trip ends? We are more than happy to help – just let us know what you need!
A deposit is required to make a reservation on our China tours, with the full balance due 40 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £100 GBP / $150 USD / €150 EUR / $200 AUD. If you book on to our China tours less than 40 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
For customers making payment from the UK: please note that when you are making a payment into our US dollar account you must request your bank to send the money directly to our US dollar account at HSBC UK. Otherwise they may use an intermediary bank resulting in an added wiring fee charged to you of $25.00.
Late booking customers must understand that they may be sat separately from the rest of the group on trains, and may have to be booked into a separate dorm room. No bookings can be accepted within 18 days of a trip departure date.
If you would like to alter your trip itinerary from the one provided to you by us then please let us know more than 30 days before your trip departs so that we can make your trip the perfect one for you! When you let us know that means we can relay all information to our on the ground staff and make the appropriate arrangements. Some such requests from previous Dragon Trippers are: I would like to skip Macau and go directly to Hong Kong from Fujian, I don’t need accommodation in Shanghai because I am staying with a friend, I would not like to camp on the wall and instead want to stay in regular accommodation, I would like to take a flight instead of a train for certain legs of the trip. Please let us know more than 30 days in advance. If you do not let us know in advance The Dragon Trip will not be responsible for assisting you, or for providing reimbursement for accommodations or transportation not used.
Upgrades & extras
Room and train upgrades for the entirety of this route are available. Room upgrade requests must be communicated to the Dragon Trip before the start of the trip. Customers wishing to upgrade once the trip has started must do so independently. Train upgrades are unavailable once train tickets have been booked, train upgrades only apply to over-night trains.
Room upgrades for our 16-day Hong Kong Loop are £190 for a single room upgrade, or £95pp for a double room upgrade. In Beijing everyone will get twin rooms, those who have paid for an upgrade will receive a superior room. Train upgrades are £80.
The Yes Inn @ YMT has a luggage storage service that is available to use for Dragon Trip travellers. It is $30 HKD per day, per bag. Please make sure to receive your receipt from the Yes Inn at time of luggage storage. Please note that any theft, loss or damage caused to your luggage while in storage is not the responsibility of The Dragon Trip and any queries or issues with the service should be brought directly to the attention of the Yes Inn @ YMT.
The Dragon Trip provides, upon request, airport transfers. In Beijing and Shanghai, the price is GBP 40 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide to meet you and ride with you from the airport to your destination, or vice versa, it is GBP 40 extra for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). In Guilin, Xi’an and Chengdu, the price is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide, it is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). This service is not available in Hong Kong.
All train tickets in China must be purchased through a central booking centre which means there is always a small chance that you may not be seated together with the person that you have booked the tour together with. If you or your PAX has a seat that is not next to the group’s our Adventure Leaders have a process to help you switch your tickets, so that you are seated next to the group. (In some train stations, the Adventure Leader will be able to board the train even when they won’t be travelling themselves. In this case, they will switch you or your PAXs tickets with a local so that Dragon Trippers can sit together. In the case that our Adventure Leader cannot board the train, they will be able to explain in Mandarin over the phone to a conductor, or directly to a local passenger to help switch seats so that Dragon Trippers may be seated together.)
The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.
You will receive a wristband which will have a phone number on it for you to call in emergencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dates & prices
Other China Adventures
Start your adventure