Day 1: Beijing
- Kickstart you Beijing backpacking adventure in the bar Heyuan Hostel bar to meet your group and a short pre-departure briefing.
- Transfer by metro to Beijing train station and board your train to Shanghai
Day 2-4: Shanghai
- Optional: Walk to the Yu Gardens and back a bustling historical site of a former dignitaries lavish family quarters
- Optional: See People’s Square, before heading on to the World’s busiest shopping street, Nanjing Road. Afterwards, go for a walk along the bund, a hub of global architecture. To finish off, head to the top floor of a skyscraper to enjoy some champagne whilst sitting in a hot tub.
- Stroll through the former French Concession to hear a little bit about Shanghai’s international history, visit a secretive propaganda history museum, take in the sights of the ultra-modern Shanghai financial district, take a local ferry cross the famous Huangpu river from east to the west of The Bund and finish off the afternoon by visiting TianZiFang a local artisan’s lane that blends the chique and traditional
- Group dinner near Hostel
- Join up with the group travelling to Guilin at the roof top Bar of the Phoenix to head down to Yangshuo!
Day 5-8: Yangshuo
- Try your hand at cooking up some traditional Chinese foods at this friendly and practical local cuisine institute
- Group Lunch
- Unmissable Activity: Cruise down the Yulong River on these Chinese style Gondolas – Bamboo Rafts! Bikes included to ride around! (please make sure you wear a helmet at all times when you are riding your bike!)
- Optional: Cormorant Fishing
- Optional: Bike Ride to Moon Hill and a cave complex including mudbaths and hot springs
- Optional: Enjoy Deep Water soloing or Rock- Climbing, both highly recommended!
- Optional: Experience Chinese traditional therapies such as Hot Cupping
- Optional: Enjoy kayaking on the Li River (must be back by 13.00!)
- Optional: A true treat, experience what life is like on a farm by visiting your Adventure Leader’s home village
- Board minibus to North Bus Station and then board your bus to Guilin
- Depart Yangshuo on a bullet train to Chengdu, arriving in the evening. Take a metro to your hostel and meet your new Adventure Leader!
Day 9-11: Chengdu
- Optional: Massage from blind Masseuse
- Mandarin Lesson 1: Have a Mandarin lesson with your Adventure Leader
- Optional: Watch a traditional Sichuan opera performance
- Unmissable Activity: Gather up to go see the Pandas at the world’s main, and biggest, Giant Panda Breeding & Research Center.
- Optional: Leave to Leshan to see the world’s largest stone Buddha.
- Optional: Wander Jinli street and the Tibetan districts independently. (Chengdu is right next to Tibet, or Xizang in Mandarin, so there is a large ethnic community here)
- Optional: Sample the famous Sichuan Hot Pot if you dare! (legendary spice!)
- Have a night out in Chengdu
- Optional: Visit Wenshu Monastery, Sichuan Province Museum, People’s Park and a traditional Tea House
- Take bus or metro to Chengdu North Railway Station
- Say goodbye to your Adventure Leader and board your train to Xian
Day 12-13: Xi’an
- Arrive in Xi’an and meet your next Adventure Leader
- Check-in to your hostel
- Optional: Explore the Bell Drum Towers, Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to learn about the history of the Silk Road, towers, mosque and some local legends.
- Enjoy a dinner of local street foods at the Muslim Quarter. Relax after dinner by visiting the local Silk Road market nearby.
- Optional: Volunteer at the Star Sun Home
- Un-missable Attraction – Terracotta Warriors – Free
- Optional: Bike Ride on Ming Dynasty City Walls. Please make sure you wear a helmet!
Day 14-15: Shaolin
- Board a private minivan than a bus to DengFeng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple
- Arrive in DengFeng
- Optional: Kungfu Lesson & Show at a local Children’s Home run by the Shaolin Temple where the monks teach these children to be Kungfu masters. All proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home.
- Dinner in the Guesthouse
- Mandarin lesson: Have your second Mandarin lesson
- Optional: Visit the flagship of Kung Fu, The Shaolin Temple
- Optional: Hike to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims, and be rewarded by beautiful views of both the shrines/temples in the area and the views of the area
- Have a late lunch at the guesthouse then pack and check out
- Depart to Zhengzhou to board your train to Beijing
- Arrive at the train station and have some food before your train leaves
Day 16-18: Beijing
- Arrive Beijing and meet your next Adventure Leader. Transfer by minibus to the hostel. 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 Wall in the afternoon
- Mandarin lesson: Have your 3rd Mandarin Lesson
- It’s time for the Mandarin Challenge! Use your freshly learned Mandarin to complete challenges around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways. The winning team earns a prize.
- Unmissable Attraction – Hike on totally unrestored sections of the Great Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset on one of the Wonders of the World (Please note, due to cold weather before end of April and after September, we stay in a guest house near the Wall instead of camping, but still return to the Wall to watch sunrise in the morning)
- Unmissable Attraction – Sunrise on the Wall
- Return to Beijing
- Optional: Visit the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium designed by one of the most controversial figures in modern China
- Optional: A stunning Chinese Acrobatics Performance performed by young talents recruited from around China
- Enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times, taste Beijing’s signature dish Peking Roast Duck
- Optional: Take a walk through the globally recognized, Tiananmen Square
- Optional: Visit the Forbidden City. The largest palatial complex in the world, the grounds boast 980 buildings and a history of housing 24 different Chinese royalty
- Optional: Go to Jingshan Park for a bird’s eye view of the three palaces: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.
- Test your bargaining skills in the Fake Goods Market!
- Push your taste buds to the limit at the Wangfujing night market where you can sample food you’ve never tried, like scorpion, dog, cat, bugs and more
- Your Beijing to Beijing backpacking tour has come to an end – say goodbye to your fellow Dragons as they continue on their journey.