18-day Backpacking Tour of China | Beijing - Beijing | The Dragon Trip

18-day Backpacking Tour of China | Beijing – Beijing

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18 days / 17 nights -

This jam-packed tour takes you camping out on a remote section of the Great Wall for an unforgettable sunrise, bamboo rafting in Yangshuo, biking on Xi’an’s ancient city walls, visiting adorable pandas in Chengdu, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, and learning some awesome Kungfu moves from Shaolin monks. Foodies will get to enjoy mouthwatering Sichuan hotpot, farm-fresh meals, and even scorpions and snakes! Check out the details below and contact us to ask any questions or book :)



Day 1: Beijing

Meet Group in the bar of Beijing’s Heyuan Hostel for a short pre-departure briefing. Transfer by metro to Beijing train station and board your train to Shanghai. Learn about Beijing


DAY 2-4: Shanghai

With a fascinating modern history and sizzling economy, Shanghai dazzles as an epic place for nightlife, Western comforts, getting lost and much, much more. Learn about Shanghai


Day 5-8: Yangshuo

Towering karst peaks, a carpet of green, fertile fields and a never-ending list of activities; rafting on the Li river, mud baths, cycling, cooking, swimming and more. Learn about Yangshuo


Day 9-11: Chengdu

Find yourself in the slow-paced heart of Western China, enjoying tea houses, pandas, Buddhist shrines, spicy hot-pot, temples, and as much KTV as you can handle! Learn about Chengdu


Day 12-13: Xi'an

Experience the medieval feel in this ancient ‘frontier’ city. Stroll the Muslim quarter, barter for souvenirs, cycle the huge, old city walls, and try local delicacies. Learn about Xi’an


Day 14-15: Shaolin

An unforgettable time at the Shaolin temple. Learn Kungfu from a monk and really get to know the locals as you hike and discover this tranquil, ancient place. Learn about Shaolin


Day 16-18: Beijing

Camp out under the stars on a remote section of the Great Wall. After an unforgettable sunrise, head back to the city for more history, culture and food. Learn about Beijing

Day 1: Beijing

  • Meet Group in bar of Beijing’s Heyuan Hostel for a short predeparture 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 famouse 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 rooftop 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 Lession 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 a 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 then 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 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.
  • Mandatory meal at a local farm to obtain permission to access the locals only sections of the unrestored Great Wall
  • Unmissable Attraction – Hike on totally unrestored sections of the 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 most foods you’ve never tried, like scorpion, dog, cat, bugs and more
  • Finish up – say goodbye to your fellow Dragons as they continue on their journey.

Departures 2017/2018

Departing Finishing Price Status
30th Mar, 2018 16th Apr, 2018 FULLY BOOKED
1st Apr, 2018 18th Apr, 2018 FULLY BOOKED
8th Apr, 2018 25th Apr, 2018 FULLY BOOKED
20th Apr, 2018 7th May, 2018 FULLY BOOKED
29th Apr, 2018 16th May, 2018
20th May, 2018 6th Jun, 2018
27th May, 2018 13th Jun, 2018
3rd Jun, 2018 20th Jun, 2018
8th Jun, 2018 25th Jun, 2018
17th Jun, 2018 4th Jul, 2018
24th Jun, 2018 11th Jul, 2018
29th Jun, 2018 16th Jul, 2018
15th Jul, 2018 1st Aug, 2018
20th Jul, 2018 6th Aug, 2018
22nd Jul, 2018 8th Aug, 2018
3rd Aug, 2018 20th Aug, 2018
5th Aug, 2018 22nd Aug, 2018
12th Aug, 2018 29th Aug, 2018
19th Aug, 2018 5th Sep, 2018
26th Aug, 2018 12th Sep, 2018
2nd Sep, 2018 19th Sep, 2018
9th Sep, 2018 26th Sep, 2018
16th Sep, 2018 3rd Oct, 2018
23rd Sep, 2018 10th Oct, 2018
30th Sep, 2018 17th Oct, 2018
5th Oct, 2018 22nd Oct, 2018
7th Oct, 2018 24th Oct, 2018
14th Oct, 2018 31st Oct, 2018
21st Oct, 2018 7th Nov, 2018
28th Oct, 2018 14th Nov, 2018
8th Mar, 2019 25th Mar, 2019
10th Mar, 2019 27th Mar, 2019
15th Mar, 2019 1st Apr, 2019
17th Mar, 2019 3rd Apr, 2019
22nd Mar, 2019 8th Apr, 2019
29th Mar, 2019 15th Apr, 2019
31st Mar, 2019 17th Apr, 2019
7th Apr, 2019 24th Apr, 2019
12th Apr, 2019 29th Apr, 2019
19th Apr, 2019 6th May, 2019
28th Apr, 2019 15th May, 2019
5th May, 2019 22nd May, 2019
12th May, 2019 29th May, 2019
17th May, 2019 3rd Jun, 2019
19th May, 2019 5th Jun, 2019
24th May, 2019 10th Jun, 2019
26th May, 2019 12th Jun, 2019
31st May, 2019 17th Jun, 2019
2nd Jun, 2019 19th Jun, 2019
7th Jun, 2019 24th Jun, 2019
16th Jun, 2019 3rd Jul, 2019
23rd Jun, 2019 10th Jul, 2019
28th Jun, 2019 15th Jul, 2019
30th Jun, 2019 17th Jul, 2019
5th Jul, 2019 12th Jul, 2019
12th Jul, 2019 29th Jul, 2019
14th Jul, 2019 31st Jul, 2019
19th Jul, 2019 5th Aug, 2019
21st Jul, 2019 7th Aug, 2019
28th Jul, 2019 14th Aug, 2019
2nd Aug, 2019 19th Aug, 2019
4th Aug, 2019 21st Aug, 2019
9th Aug, 2019 26th Aug, 2019
11th Aug, 2019 28th Aug, 2019
18th Aug, 2019 4th Sep, 2019
25th Aug, 2019 11th Sep, 2019
30th Aug, 2019 16th Sep, 2019
1st Sep, 2019 18th Sep, 2019
8th Sep, 2019 25th Sep, 2019
13th Sep, 2019 30th Sep, 2019
15th Sep, 2019 2nd Oct, 2019
22nd Sep, 2019 9th Oct, 2019
29th Sep, 2019 16th Oct, 2019
4th Oct, 2019 21st Oct, 2019
6th Oct, 2019 23rd Oct, 2019
13th Sep, 2019 30th Oct, 2019
20th Oct, 2019 6th Nov, 2019
27th Oct, 2019 13th Nov, 2019

Price includes:

  • Bilingual Adventure Leaders
  • Accommodation (hostels, guest houses, and 1 night camping)
  • Transport within China
  • All unmissable activities (see itineraries)
  • Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard.
  • Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available - please contact us for more information.
All our hostels have WIFI

Upgrades, extras & payments

  • 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, with the balance due one month prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £200 GBP / $300 USD / $300 AUD / €300 EUR.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Room upgrades are $375 USD. Train upgrades are $206.25 USD.
  • The Dragon Trip provides, upon request, airport transfers. The price is GBP 30 for a pick up and GBP 30 for a drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 4 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 20 for a pick up and GBP 20 for a drop off (up to 3 PAX). This service is available from and to the following airport locations: Guilin, Chengdu, Xian, Beijing, and Shanghai.


  • Please take note if you wish to use your own camera/phone to take photos and videos that is absolutely fine. However, The Dragon Trip runs a no drone policy for our China trips.
  • 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. Every group travels with a Dragon Trip emergency phone. 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.)

To book or find out more, contact us

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