China Highlights

China Highlights

10 Days



China Highlights

10 Days Starting in Hong Kong and ending in Beijing

Visiting: Hong Kong, Guilin, Yangshuo County, Xi'an, Beijing

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Recommended For:

50 plus, Couples, Singles

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 18

Physical rating:

Medium, Full On

Age range:


Special diets catered:

Vegans, Vegetarians

Tour operated in:

Shopping, Sightseeing, Walking

$2091 (USD) Operator discount: -$270 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$59 -14%
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Tour Overview

From the modern skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the imperial palaces of Beijing, this trip offers a great introduction to China. Cruise along vast paddy fields flanked by vast limestone stacks, without forgetting the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall. Hong Kong - Explore this bustling metropolis, an interesting mixture of modern life and ancient traditions Xian - Visit the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and admire the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Beijing - Walk a section of the Great Wall, explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.


  • Hong Kong - Explore this bustling metropolis, an interesting mixture of modern life and ancient traditions

  • Xian - Visit the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and admire the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

  • Beijing - Walk a section of the Great Wall, explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.


Expand All
Day 1: Join Trip In Hong Kong
Location: Hong Kong
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Arrive in Hong Kong; where East meets West. This lively and sophisticated city is a melting pot of culture and ancient traditions, which thrive harmoniously alongside towering skyscrapers. World-class transport and age-old markets make up the vibrancy of this unique metropolis.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 5pm for the welcome meeting. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Hong Kong at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), which is 40 minutes from our hotel. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up at 9am on Day 2.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might go by underground to the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, and then onto Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon.

Day 2: Discover Hong Kong's Waterfront And The Li Yuen Street Market; Optional Ride On The Victoria Peak Tram
Location: Hong Kong
Accommodation: Hotel

Situated in a dramatic setting, Hong Kong is a lively, sophisticated city and the world's third largest financial centre. We start with an orientation walk and leave
the afternoon free for optional excursions. Public transport is efficient and easy to use. You can take a funicular railway to Victoria Peak or a launch out to a floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour. Alternatively explore the jade market or admire the latest sartorial and electronic fashions.

Day 3: Travel To Guilin By High Speed Train, Free Evening On Arrival
Location: Guilin
Accommodation: Hotel

After a relaxed breakfast, this morning we will transfer to Hong Kong West Kowloon station and board the high speed train to Guilin. Our border formalities will be completed in Hong Kong and therefore we will need to be at the station a couple of hours before. The train journey will take three hours and we will arrive into Guilin in the late afternoon, when we will take a short orientation tour of the city. The gateway to limestone scenery for which this part of China is known, Guilin was once the transport centre of the Qin dinasty thanks to the building of the Ling canal in the year 214 BC. After our orientation tour we will have some time free to relax in the evening.

Day 4: Float Down The Li River Past Dramatic Limestone Scenery To The Relaxed Town Of Yangshuo
Location: Yangshuo County
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning we head to the MoPanShan Dock where we board our boat on the Li River and cruise to Yangshuo. Lunch is taken aboard the boat during the journey as we pass along the most scenic stretch of the river. We will pass paddy fields, villages and stunning limestone scenery en route. An afternoon arrival in Yangshuo offers the opportunity to explore this laid back town - a contrast to the bustle of Hong Kong. During this free time you may wish to take one of the optional bike rides or walks in the surrounding villages. Alternatively you could head to one of the many limestone pinnacles around the town, the best known being the Moon Hill.

Day 5: Free Time In Yangshuo With The Option Of Calligraphy Or Cookery Lessons. In The Evening Fly To Xian
Location: Yangshuo County
Accommodation: Hotel

Yangshuo has a lot to offer so most of the day is left free for you to explore at your own pace. You can walk into the surrounding karst summits or hire a bike and cycle through country back lanes. Alternatively, you can soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful riverside town. You may want to practice your bartering skills in the local market - here art students from Guilin sell their batiks, silk paintings, Tai Chi, cooking, calligraphy, mahjong, or you may be tempted to buy a 'Little Red Book'. Later on today we fly to Xian.

Day 6: Discover Xian's Giant Wild Goose Pagoda And The Characterful Muslim Quarter
Location: Xi'an
Accommodation: Hotel

Our stay in Xian reveals the extraordinary continuity of Chinese civilisation. Xian (Changan) served 11 dynasties and was the very starting point of the Silk Road between Central Asia and Europe. Its ancient monuments include, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (64m, a 7-storey high structure with a superb overview of the city) and the Great Mosque, a wonderful 15th century working mosque within the old muslim Hui District, which we include in our sightseeing tour. The afternoon is free but highly recommended is an optional visit to the Shaanxi National Museum which takes us through a million years of Chinese history.

Day 7: See The Impressive Terracotta Army And Take An Overnight Train To Beijing
Location: Beijing
Accommodation: Overnight Train

Today we visit one of the highlights of any visit to China - the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses who guard the Qin Shi Huangdi Tomb. There are literally thousands of lifesize warriors, dating from 200BC. This dramatic find of the 1970s is considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the century. We should have time to stop at the on-site factory to see how the warriors are made today.

Later this afternoon we take an overnight train to Beijing - a great way to cover large distances and travel truly as a local. Berths are usually in 1st class 'soft sleeper' compartments. They are lockable and have 2 sets of bunks sleeping 4 people; clean bedding is provided. WC and washbasins for shared use are at the end of each carriage and hot meals and snacks are usually sold to your berth during the journey. In times of particularly high demand we may have to travel in 2nd class 'hard sleeper' which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6, leading off an open plan carriage.

Day 8: Explore The Maze Of Palaces In The Forbidden City And Walk Through Tiananmen Square
Location: Beijing
Accommodation: Hotel

Beijing is China's capital and its political and cultural centre. The city has been the capital for most of the period since Kublai Khan made it the capital of his mighty Asian Empire in the late 1200s. All clocks in this vast country are set by Beijing time despite the westernmost regions being some 5000kms away. During our stay we shall visit the Forbidden City, the one-time home of the Ming and the Manchu (Qing) emperors and a treasure trove of eastern wares. There is the option to visit the Summer Palace an old and very extensive imperial garden complex with a large boating lake and impressive palace buildings. There is also the possibility of seeing a Beijing opera in the evening, or perhaps an acrobatic performance (optional). The opera in Beijing is considered to be the best in China.

Day 9: Walk On The Incredible Great Wall At The Mutianyu Section
Location: Beijing
Accommodation: Hotel

Today we drive out to a renovated part of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, situated 90km north of the city. Began in the 3rd century BC by Shi Huangdi, thousands of conscripted workers laboured on it and many lie buried in its brick and stone ramparts. It is incredible to think that this wall spans the entire country! Here there is a 2km section to walk along with watchtowers and views of the surrounding countryside. En route we may also get to visit a cloisonné workshop where you can see examples of this ancient metal-working technique.

Day 10: Trip Ends In Beijing
Location: Beijing

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Beijing.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Beijing at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from either Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) which is one hour and 30 minutes' from our hotel or Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) which is one hour 45 minutes' drive away.

What's Included

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

    Breakfast: 9 Lunch: 1

  • Fully Guided

  • Accommodation

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Train Tickets

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Why Book this Tour

With a fast pace and busy days this tour is the ideal introduction to China. Combining modern cities, important sites and the natural beauty of the Li River it offers something for everyone.


Check out our Q&As

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?


  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Transfers are included on the first and the last day of the trip

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?


  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    8 nights comfortable hotel 1 nights simple overnight train

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Trasnfers are included on the first and the last day of the trip

  • What is the maximum group size?


  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?


  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?


  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?


  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour


China Highlights


Betty, our tour leader, went above and beyond her role. When we didn't want to do an optional activity, she organised something else with little time or notice. The alternative activity - to watch the sunset in a scenic spot - will remain an outstanding memory of the trip. If all your guides are like Betty, I will book with explore again!

Dates & Availability

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Friday - Sunday

Apr 05, 2024 - Apr 14, 2024
$2420 $2091 (USD)

Operator discount: -$270 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$59 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

May 10, 2024 - May 19, 2024
$2490 $2159 (USD)

Operator discount: -$270 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$61 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Jun 14, 2024 - Jun 23, 2024
$2490 $2422 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Jul 12, 2024 - Jul 21, 2024
$2550 $2480 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Aug 09, 2024 - Aug 18, 2024
$2550 $2480 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Sep 06, 2024 - Sep 15, 2024
$2490 $2422 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Oct 11, 2024 - Oct 20, 2024
$2620 $2548 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$72 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Apr 04, 2025 - Apr 13, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

May 09, 2025 - May 18, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Jun 13, 2025 - Jun 22, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Jul 11, 2025 - Jul 20, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Aug 08, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Sep 05, 2025 - Sep 14, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Oct 10, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$2690 $2616 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$74 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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