This 9-day budget China tour takes you from the capital Beijing to Shanghai, the most populated city in the world. Experience the best of China's urban sprawl and beautiful rural landscapes on an adventure through this magical country.
Starting in the sprawling capital of Beijing this short tour of China gives you plenty of time to explore on of the most historic and culturally rich cities in the world. We also head out to marvel at one of the true wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China, and camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset.
Leaving the city crowds behind we next head out into rural China to the Hangzhou region and an option to trek to Moganshan Peak and to Chairman Mao's old summer residence. We'll also visit a stunning lagoon to swim in the crystal clear waters.
Our final destination is Shanghai, the biggest city in the world, and time to sample the vibrant nightlife on offer. There is plenty of opportunity to explore the sights, sounds and mouth-watering cuisine of this amazing city, and no doubt enjoy a little shopping spree as well.
Sprawling Beijing, sunrise on the Great Wall of China, swimming in crystal clear lagoons, beautiful rural landscapes of Hangzhou, bamboo forests of Mogan Mountain, night out in lively Shanghai, amazing Chinese cuisine
- Small Group
Day 1, Meet in Beijing, Mandarin Challenge & Great Wall
Our tour starts at the Leo Hostel in Beijing, where you'll meet your tour leader and the rest of the group. We start with a Mandarin lesson where you'll learn the basics of this intricate language. Next it's time to take the Mandarin Challenge! Use your newly learned Mandarin to complete challenges around Beijing's ancient streets and alleyways. It's a great way to explor the city and the winning team earns a prize.
Late afternoon we visit one of the wonder of the world, the Great Wall of China. To obtain permission to access the locals only sections of the unrestored Great Wall, we enjoy a mandatory meal at a local farm. We'll then hike on totally unrestored sections of the Wall where we set up camp on a deserted section of the wall. In the evening we take in suneset in this ancient and dramatic setting (Please note, due to cold weather before the 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. Between April and September monsoon rain may also mean we are unable to camp on the wall.).
Great Wall camping
Single Room Supplement, Extra day in Beijing - pre-tour
Day 2, Beijing, free day (optional excursions available)
After sunrise on the Wall we return back to Beijing. Back in Beijing the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own leisure or try one of the many optional tour available (see the Options tab for all available local options). Perhaps you could visit the Olympic Bird's Nest Stadium, or enjoy the incredible Beijing Acrobatics Show. For dinner tonight there is a chance to taste Beijing's signature dish Peking Roast Duck, enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times.
Day 3, Beijing, free day (optional excursions available)
Today is a full free day to see more of Beijing like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. In the evening you could explore the WangFuJing night market where you can push your taste buds to the limit and sample many foods you'll have never tried before, like scorpion, bugs and more.
Day 4, Beijing, free day (optional excursions available), then train to Hangzhou
Our last day in Beijing is free to do some more sightseeing or perhaps test your bargaining skills with a visit to the Fake Goods Market. Finally we board the OVERNIGHT: train to Hangzhou.
Day 5, Arrive Hangzhou, transfer to Moganshan
This morning there is an optional hike through the beautiful bamboo forest to the summit of Moganshan Peak. There's also an optional cycle trip available here (free of charge). Returning to the hostel for lunch we then catch the bullet train to Shanghai where we transfer via metro to your hostel.
Day 6, Mogansan Peak option, transfer to Shanghai
This morning there is an optional hike through the beautiful bamboo forest to the summit of Moganshan Peak. Returning to the hostel for lunch we then catch the bullet train to Shanghai where we transfer via metro to your hostel.
Day 7, Shanghai, free day (optional excursions available)
Today is a free day in Shanghai where you can explore this vibrant and interesting city at your leisure. Alternatively you can choose to take one of the many optional sightseeing tours on offer like an optional day trip from Shanghai to ZhuJiaJiao Water Town, a Chinese equivalent to Venice (see the Options tab for all available local options).
In the evenings, you can enjoy Shanghai's lively bar scene, and perhaps try out the largest bar crawl in China "the Drunken Dragon Pub Crawl". If you're looking for something a little more sophisticated try sipping champagne in a hot tub on the rooftop of a skyscraper, taking in Shanghai's spectacular skyline.
Day 8, Shanghai, free day (optional excursions available)
Today is another free day in Shanghai. There's lots to do to keep yourself busy, with plenty of sightseeing and shopping on offer. Alternatively you can let us do it for you and choose to take one of the many optional sightseeing tour available (see the Options tab for all available local options).
Day 9, Tour ends
Today your tour ends and it's time to say goodbye to the group and new friends made.
Extra day in Shanghai - post-tour
Touring with Encounters Travel
Encounters Travel specialise in creating imaginative, adventurous small group tours all around the world for the open minded traveller. They are always looking for new ways to add value and excitement to your travel experiences so that you see more than just the usual tourist spots, as well as having great fun at the same time. Their tours are designed to give you the best possible experience in each country, whilst at the same time providing good value for money without making compromises.
You will see and learn about local cultures and historic sites while enjoying some more adventurous activities along the way. They also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of their tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each destination. Their escorted group tours are hosted by specially selected experts who bring their knowledge and skills to add an extra dimension to the tour.
Encounters Travel are committed to travelling responsibly, and leaving a positive impression and impact on the countries through which they travel.