Great Wall, Pandas & Pagodas

Start: Kunming Finish: Beijing

Visiting: Kunming, Dali, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Panzhihua, Emei Shan, Chengdu, Dazu, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Xiang Fan, Wudang Shan, Xi'an, Yan'an, Lijiashan, Pingyao, Wutai Shan, Datong, Jinshanling, Chengde, Beijing


Duration: 36 Nights

Physical rating: Low

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Dragoman with any specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Dragoman

Group size: 0 - 22

Age range: 18 plus

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $5644

Tour Overview

China really does have it all; spectacular natural scenery, a rich and interesting history, and no shortage of archaeological and religious attractions. See the best of the north and south on this awesome five-week overland trip between Beijing and Kunming. Visit no less than three sacred mountains: Wutai Shain, Emei Shan, and Wudang Shan; explore the world-famous Giant Panda Centre in Chengdu; trek the upper trail of the imposing Tiger Leaping Gorge; spend three days among the locals on a cruise along the Yangzte River; and walk along the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China. Our local Chinese guide will help us find the best local restaurants and street food stalls, so we can eat as the locals do. As we travel between provinces we'll have the chance to sample the local specialities, including Sichuan hotpot or biangbiang noodles.

Highlights

  • iconTrek up the Wudang Shan's Tianzu Peak to the Taoist martial arts school
  • iconVisit the three gorges dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world
  • iconStop off at the ancient Zhang Fei temple, famous for its red-light decoration
  • iconStay overnight in a Lijiashan cliff-side guesthouse built into a cave
  • iconSide trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves
  • iconVisit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu
  • iconTrek at the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • iconGo to the birthplace of the martial art of Tai Chi at Wudang Shan
  • iconRelax at the lakeside town of Dali
  • iconGuided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors
Show all

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Kunming

Location: Kunming

Border Information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Kunming, its museums and its parks.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.

icon Day 2: Dali

Location: Dali

Today our journey begins with a morning drive to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

icon Day 3: Dali

Location: Dali

Today we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

icon Day 4: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Location: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Today we drive further north through Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

icon Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Location: Tiger Leaping Gorge

These following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second). 

icon Day 6: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Location: Tiger Leaping Gorge

For those that haven't done the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

icon Day 7: Panzhihua

Location: Panzhihua

Today we have a long drive north through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Sichuan province.

icon Day 8: Emei Shan

Location: Emei Shan

Today we will continue our drive to the small town of Emei Shan.

icon Day 9: Emei Shan

Location: Emei Shan

Today we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

icon Day 10: Chengdu

Location: Chengdu

Today we continue our journey north to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

icon Day 11: Chengdu

Location: Chengdu

Today we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

icon Day 12: Dazu

Location: Dazu

From Chengdu we will continue to the small village of Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

icon Day 13: Chongqing

Location: Chongqing

Today we will drive on the Chongqing, where we will have time to explore the city and prepare for tomorrow's ferry cruise on the mighty Yangtze River!

We will most likely stay in a local hotel in Chongqing tonight, but on occasion our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

icon Day 14: Yangtze River

Location: Yangtze River

Today we embark on our Yangtze River Cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

icon Day 15: Yangtze River

Location: Yangtze River

Second day of our Yangtze River Cruise.

icon Day 16: Yangtze River

Location: Yangtze River

We will arrive in the city of Yichang and disembark our ferry to rejoin our truck and co-leader and have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, on the last day.

icon Day 17: Xiang Fan

Location: Xiang Fan

This morning we will have some free time in Yichang or visit the Three Gorges Dam if we did not have time yesterday. After lunch we will drive to the town of Xiang Fan, en route to Wudang Shan. 

icon Day 18: Wudang Shan

Location: Wudang Shan

Today we will continue our journey with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route if time allows.

icon Day 19: Wudang Shan

Location: Wudang Shan

Today we will have a full day to explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

icon Day 20: Xi'an

Location: Xi'an

Today we will drive to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon on arrival to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

icon Day 21: Xi'an

Location: Xi'an

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'!

There will be a group meeting today at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

This afternoon we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.

Please note that many of the optional activities listed will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

icon Day 22: Xi'an

Location: Xi'an

Today we will have a free day to explore the city of Xi'an, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

icon Day 23: Yan'an

Location: Yan'an

Today we make our way to the city of Yan'an. Yan'an is famous for being the ending point for those on the 'Long March', and became the CCP headquarters for a brief period. During our time here we have an included visit to the Revolutionary Museum and the CCP Headquarters site.

icon Day 24: Lijiashan

Location: Lijiashan

Today we continue our journey to visit the ancient village of Lijiashan, famed for settlement of cave dwellers and still home to more than 600 families.

In Lijiashan we will stay in a cave room, run by a local family and set up for guests.

Please note that some caves include a traditional 'Kang Stove bed'. The Kang bed is a hollow platform made from bricks that is used both as a bed and as a work area, these are common in remote villages in Northern China. In winter a coal fire can be lit under the bed, providing a huge amount of warmth day and night and it is very common for the whole family to sleep on one large bed. This means there may be times that members of the group may have to share 1 large bed with others in the group.

icon Day 25: Pingyao

Location: Pingyao

We will set off early this morning for an included visit to the Black Dragon Temple just outside of Lijiashan. We will then drive to China's best-preserved ancient walled town, Pingyao.

icon Day 26: Pingyao

Location: Pingyao

We will stay for 2 more nights in Pingyao, giving us plenty of time to explore this ancient town and surrounding sites such as the Mian Shan Mountain Resort and the Zhangbi Underground City.

icon Day 27: Pingyao

Location: Pingyao

Today we will have another day to explore Pingyao and its surroundings.

icon Day 28: Wutai Shan

Location: Wutai Shan

This morning we continue to the stunning mountainous area known as Wutai Shan, one of the holiest sites of Chinese Buddhism and a major centre of pilgrimage in the country.

icon Day 29: Wutai Shan

Location: Wutai Shan

Today we will have a full day to explore the area and visit its incredible array of temples and religious sites.

icon Day 30: Datong

Location: Datong

Today we will drive to the city of Datong. We will have an included visit to the incredible Hanging Monastery en route.

icon Day 31: Datong

Location: Datong

Today we will head out of Datong in the truck on an included visit to the awe-inspiring Yungang Buddha Caves. 

icon Day 32: Jinshanling

Location: Jinshanling

This morning we will drive to one of the world's most incredible sights - the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China! We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to thoroughly explore and walk along the Great Wall.

icon Day 33: Chengde

Location: Chengde

This morning we will spend some more time exploring the Great Wall of China. We will then continue with a short drive to the city of Chengde.

icon Day 34: Chengde

Location: Chengde

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the Puning Temple and the famous Imperial Summer Resort.

icon Day 35: Beijing

Location: Beijing

Today we complete our journey to China's chaotic and evocative capital, Beijing!

icon Day 36: Beijing

Location: Beijing

Today we will head out on the Beijing metro to the city centre's famous Tiananmen Square, which we will walk through and then take a tour of the Forbidden City. We will then have a free afternoon to fully explore the many sights, sounds and flavours of Beijing.

icon Day 37: Beijing

Location: Beijing

Border Information: if leaving in Beijing, you will most likely exit China at Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA code: PEK).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Beijing. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Tour Staff

Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary, One Local Crew Member

Transport

Overland Expedition Vehicle, Ferry, Overnight Boat, Metro, Taxi

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Dragoman requires a deposit of 300 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 56 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Thursday Apr 07, 2022

Nights

36

Available

24

$5643.85