China on a Shoestring tour

Group in Fujian, China
Kung fu fighting, Shaolin, China
Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, China
Great Wall of China
Shanghai city, China
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Encounters Travel

This 25-day full circuit of China take in all the major sites and more. An amazing budget china tour that covers Hong Kong, Chengdu, Beijing & Shanghai, along with plenty of off-the-beaten track adventures and activities along the way. Starting and ending in the dazzling city of Hong Kong, we take you on a budget tour of China beginning with Yangshuo and its towering karst mountains, green fertile fields, and a long list of adventure activities to try out. It's then on to Chengdu for an encounter with the endangered but equally endearing panda bear. Next we drop in to Xi'an for a shot of China's rich and ancient cultural history, and a visit to the world famous Terracotta Warriors. Continuing on to Dengfeng, home to the iconic Shaolin Temple, it's all out kung fu madness, with a chance to watch and even train with the masters of martial arts. Eventually we reach Beijing, China's bustling capital, and from here we take a trip out to the unmissable Great Wall of China and a night camping on the walls, and also enjoy a spectacular sunset and sunrise. Heading towards Shanghai we spend a little time in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province amongst the beautiful bamboo forests and crystal clear lagoons, before reaching the world's biggest city. A night out in Shanghai is an experience you'll never forget. We finally work our way back to Hong Kong, stopping off in Fujian en route to sample rural China at its best.

Highlights
Bright lights of Hong Kong, active adventure in Yangshuo, cute Pandas, the Terracotta Warriors, Kung Fu monks of Shaolin, bustling Beijing & Great Wall of China, rural landscapes of Fujian & Hangzhou, night out in lively Shanghai
Destinations
  • Far East
  • China
Tour Types
  • Singles
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • Active
  • Cultural
  • Luxury
  • Scenic
  • Wildlife
  • River Cruise
Day 1, Meet in Hong Kong
Our tour starts early morning at the Yes Inn @ Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, where you'll meet your tour leader and the rest of the group. Leaving your luggage at the inn, we'll take the tram up to the top of Victoria Peak for a great view over Hong Kong and our pre-trip meeting. Returning to the hostel, we'll then head to the train station to catch the bullet train to Guillin and then on to Yangshuo.
OVERNIGHT:
Yangshuo hostel
EXTRAS:
Single Room Supplement, Extra day in Hong Kong - pre-tour

Day 2, Yangshuo, bamboo raft cruise
Today we enjoy the stunning rural setting of Yangshuo with a cruise down the Yulong River on board bamboo rafts. Kick back and put your feet up as you gently float down river. In the evening enjoy a nice cold beer on the rooftop bar at Monkey Jane's hostel.
OVERNIGHT:
Yangshuo hostel

Day 3, Yangshuo, cooking course
An optional challenge today is to cook up some traditional Chinese foods at a friendly and practical local cuisine institute, where you can try your hand at one of the many tasty local dishes as you try to master the skills of Chinese cooking. There are plenty of other optional activities to choose from to fill your day.
OVERNIGHT:
Yangshuo hostel

Day 4, Yangshuo, free day (optional excursions available)
You day if free today to relax and enjoy the idyllic setting, or alternatively you can try your hand out at one of the many adventure activities on offer. These include rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking and more. You can also jump on bikes to explore the surrounding countryside.
OVERNIGHT:
Yangshuo hostel

Day 5, Yangshuo, train to Chengdu
Today we make our way by train to Chengdu, situated in the heart of Western China in Sichuan province. Sichuan province is renowned for its beautiful countryside, there are many attractions on offer and the food is amazing. We transfer by metro to your hostel.
OVERNIGHT:
On board sleeper train

Day 6, Chengdu, blind massage option & Chinese lesson
Chengdu has plenty of sights and experience to keep you busy during your stay. Today you can start with an optional massage from a blind physical therapist to help ease the stress of the OVERNIGHT: train journey. Later in the afternoon we take a lesson in Mandarin to help you master the basics of this complicated language. In the evening you might like to head out to experience a night out in Chengdu and perhaps try the traditional dish of Sichuan Hotpot for dinner.
OVERNIGHT:
Chengdu hostel

Day 7, Chengdu, Panda breeding centre
We take you on a tour of the city today, including a visit to the The Panda Breeding & Research Centre to see these incredible shy and endangered animals up close and perhaps a visit to Chengdu's Tibetan quarter to experience the many Tibetan shops and cafes. Plenty of other optional excursion are available to book locally including a trip to Leshan, to see the world's largest stone Buddha.
OVERNIGHT:
Chengdu hostel

Day 8, Chengdu, free time (optional excursions available), then train to Xi'an
After some free time in Chengdu where you can visit WenShu monastery and a traditional Chinese tea house, we board the train to Xi'an, cultural capital of China. Start and end of the famous "Silk Route", Xi'an is like a history book of China and the perfect place to explore the countries rich and interesting culture.
OVERNIGHT:
Xi'an hostel

Day 9, Xi'an, optional cycling tour
Today there is the option to take a bike ride over the city walls, an excellent way to get you bearing and a good overview of the city. In the evening is free for you to enjoy, perhaps try a dinner of local street foods at the Muslim Quarter and relax after dinner by visiting the local Silk Road market nearby.
OVERNIGHT:
Xi'an hostel

Day 10, Xi'an, Terracotta Warriors tour
Today we take you to visit the legendary Terracotta Warriors, row upon row of life-size statues stand silent guard over the burial place of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. In the evening you'll have the chance to visit the Star Sun home for people with disabilities and to volunteer. Then it's time for a night out Chinese style!
OVERNIGHT:
Xi'an hostel

Day 11, Dengfeng, optional kung fu lesson & show
This morning we board the public bus to DengFeng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple. The rest of the day if free to take an optional kung fu lesson & show at a local children's Home run by the Shaolin Temple. Here the monks teach the children to be kung fu masters. All proceeds go directly to the children's home. We also have a second Mandarin lesson to help brush up on your language skills.
OVERNIGHT:
Dengfeng hostel


Day 12 Dengfeng (optional excursions available), overnight train to Beijing

The day is free to explore more of Dengfeng and it's surrounding. You can visit the world famous Shaolin Temple and watch the masters of Kung Fu perform their amazing feats set amongst the beautiful temple courtyards. We'll take a hike to Dharma cave, spiritual centre for Buddhist pilgrims, before we board the OVERNIGHT: train to Beijing.
OVERNIGHT:
On board sleeper train

Day 13, Arrive in Beijing, Mandarin Challenge & Great Wall
Arriving in Beijing, we transfer to our hostel and check in. We start the day 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 explore 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 sunset 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.).
OVERNIGHT:
Great Wall camping

Day 14, 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.
OVERNIGHT:
Beijing hostel

Day 15, 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.
OVERNIGHT:
Beijing hostel

Day 16, Beijing, free day (optional excursions available), then overnight 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.
OVERNIGHT:
On board overnight train

Day 17, Arrive Hangzhou, transfer to Moganshan, lagoon trek
In the morning we arrive in Hangzhou train station and transfer to Deqing. We stop en route for you to get some local breakfast. Arriving in Deqing and take a private bus to Mogan Mountain, famed for its bamboo forests.
OVERNIGHT:
Moganshan hostel

Day 18, 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.
OVERNIGHT:
Shanghai hostel

Day 19, 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.
OVERNIGHT:
Shanghai hostel


Day 20 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).
OVERNIGHT:
Shanghai hostel

Day 21, 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. Visit the Propaganda History Museum, the only one of its kind, or perhaps take a stroll down TianZiFang, a local artisan's lane set in an old-style residential area in the heart of Shanghai. 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).
OVERNIGHT:
Shanghai hostel

Day 22, Train to Fujian
This morning we take the bullet train to Nanjing in Fujian province. This mountainous province boasts perhaps some of the most beautiful, and untouched natural scenery in all of Asia. Home to the Hakka minority, tonight we'll stay in a traditional roundhouse, known as a Tulou and enjoy the generous hospitality of the locals.
OVERNIGHT:
Nanjing Tulou roundhouse

Day 23, Fujian, roundhouse & tea plantation tour
This morning we take a walking tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site and enjoy exploring the neighbouring round-houses and the stunning countryside. We will also sample the locally grown tea in a traditional tea ceremony, and swim in a local lagoon. Later in the day we take time to visit a tea factory and surrounding plantations where you can see tea being made and buy some from the factory itself.
OVERNIGHT:
Nanjing Tulou roundhouse

Day 24, Fujian, cycling tour
We start the day with a cycling tour to a nearby village famous for its beautiful rivers and mountain scenery. The afternoon if free to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings and chat to the friendly locals. In the evening take the night train to Guangzhou.
OVERNIGHT:
On board sleeper train

Day 25, Hong Kong, tour ends
Arriving at the Yes Inn @ Causeway Bay in Hong Kong at around 2200, our tour ends here. Congratulation on completing your epic 3,393 mile journey around China. If you don't have anything else arranged and would like to spend time exploring Hong Kong we can arrange extra nights and activities like a day trip to Macau.
OVERNIGHT:
N/A
EXTRAS:
Extra day in Hong Kong - post-tour
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in basic hostels
  • All transport and transfers in trains, buses & public transport
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Entry fees to included activities
  • Bilingual adventure leaders

Dates Price Single Availability
06-Oct-2021
24 Nights
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13-Oct-2021
24 Nights
Standard Room View live deal View live deal
27-Oct-2021
24 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
03-Nov-2021
24 Nights
Standard Room View live deal View live deal

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.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Encounters Travel

24 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Suitable for: Over 18s
Accommodation:1*
Meals:None
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