Walking the Great Wall of China with Xian Express - Awesome Experiences

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Call us today on 0208 432 0885 or email us

Unique trips
at your fingertips

Call us today on 0208 432 0885
or email us

Walking the Great Wall of China with Xian ExpressChina

From £2,985 per person for 6 nights
Combine walking the Great Wall – one of the world’s most breathtaking man-made wonders – with two of China’s most exciting cities, Beijing and Xi’an.

Perfect for:

Fitness Level 2Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

China

Our Great Wall of China Adventure combines walking one of the wonders of the world with exhilarating trips to chaotic, captivating Beijing with its mysterious Forbidden City and bustling Xi’an, famous for its Terracotta Warriors and once the terminus of the Silk Road.


What makes this experience awesome:

  • Private holiday with personal guides and private transport included
  • Walk remote sections of the Great Wall as well as evocatively restored parts
  • Whizz around Beijing in a motorbike sidecar 
  • Bike around the Forbidden City, the former Chinese Imperial Palace
  • Relax & refresh with a lesson from a Tai Chi master
  • Explore Xi’an’s food scene by tuk-tuk
  • Take a Jeep safari to the famous Terracotta Warriors


China Summary

Prepare to be dazzled: from the unbeatable serene landscapes of the Great Wall to the madness of Beijing by motorbike sidecar, we’ve devised this experience to be a delightful assault on the senses. Scramble up unrestored swathes of the wall towards crumbling watch towers and deserted fortresses with incredible views. After a day’s hike, you’ll spend the night in a small village, for your first glimpse of Chinese life outside the city. The serenity of these surroundings are in complete contrast to the chaos of Beijing, where you’ll immerse yourself in the mayhem as you roar through the city streets by motorbike sidecar, pedal around the criss-crossing alleys of its hutongs, and make like the locals with a Tai Chi lesson in the park. 

China

The city of Xi’an, gateway to the Terracotta Warriors, is equally vibrant and one of our favourite places in China. The food here is excellent and the roads come packed with cafes and restaurants – as you’ll find on a street food trip by tuk-tuk to try delicious dumplings, broths and noodles.

Terracotta Summary


 


To get our mini brochure for this holiday please click here, and we will email you a PDF copy.


For UK Government travel advice on this destination see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

China


To get our mini brochure for this holiday please click here, and we will email you a PDF copy.


Day One: Arrive in Beijing

Get ready for the sprawling chaos of Beijing. The world’s most populated capital is huge, with a history dating back three thousand years. After a private transfer to your hotel to check-in, it’s time for total immersion, as you weave by motorbike sidecar through the city centre traffic, passing sights including the futuristic CCTV Tower and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (otherwise known as the Giant Egg), as well as the ancient Temple of Heaven. Your destination is Hua’s Restaurant, a famous eatery with a beautiful leafy courtyard that’s renowned for its excellent Beijing duck. Try it for yourself during a leisurely evening meal, before returning to your hotel for the night.

Overnight in Beijing

We offer a variety of hotel classes to suit different budgets. You can choose the style that’s right for you.
Select from Classic, Premium or Deluxe when booking, and click hotel name below for more details.

Classic - Ron Yard Hotel 

Premium - Double Happiness 

Deluxe - Peninsula Beijing 

Meals included: Dinner

Beijing


Day Two: First Glimpse of the Wall

After an early breakfast, there’s time for a quick look around Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Complex and its ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium, now an eerily deserted collection of incredible buildings and open spaces. After choosing a sandwich for lunch later, you’ll make the journey by private car to your starting point for your first Great Wall Hike, Jiankou. Over the course of the day, you’ll be making the six-hour hike to Mutianyu, on a lesser-visited section of the wall topped by watchtowers and surrounded by stunning landscapes. This is the Great Wall at its most challenging: prepare for upward climbs and downhill scrambles, as you navigate unrestored towers and pass the fine stonework of the original Ming Dynasty ‘Wild Wall’. After an hour, you’ll reach the Zhenbeilou tower, which has incredible views back over the Jiankou section, taking in undulating hills blanketed in greenery. You’ll then continue towards Mutianyu, on a stretch that’s rarely visited by tourists – the perfect place to contemplate your surroundings. After around 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at Mutianyu, to see a completely different side of the monument. This is where most visitors head, to pass 15 watch towers on a well-restored trail that shows how the wall must have looked when first built. You’ll overnight at a guesthouse in the tiny farming village of Gubeikou, a sleepy contrast to bustling Beijing. You’ll enjoy a traditional farmer’s dinner before settling down for the night.

Overnight in Gubeikou

Classic, Premium and Deluxe - Local Farmer's Guesthouse in Gubeikou

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Great Wall


Day Three: Hiking Onwards

Wake early for a typical farmer’s breakfast at 8am, you’ll be continuing your hike of the Great Wall. We start early because the other tourists arrive late: as you begin your walk, you’ll have incredible photo opportunities over the empty landscape. Today’s hike will take about three hours, beginning in Gubeikou, which has been a strategic military target since ancient times. Millenia ago, this pass played a vital role in protecting Beijing from Mongol invasion; later, it was the scene of a fierce battle between Chinese and Japanese forces in the Second World War. The views here are particularly breathtaking, as an unrestored part of the wall snakes across the ridges of Yanshan Mountain. Compared with yesterday, this is an easy loop, starting with a quick walk along a dirt trail towards the wall, before wandering its path for around an hour. At this point, you’ll reach 24-eye Tower, the tallest tower on this section, with stunning views over the Coiling Dragon and Crouching Tiger hills. After returning by foot to Gubeikou, you’ll be driven back to Beijing (2.5 hours) where you’ll munch on a traditional lunch of hot pot, a soup that’s popular throughout China. You will then return to your hotel for a well-earned rest.

Overnight in Beijing

Classic - Ron Yard Hotel 

Premium - Double Happiness 

Deluxe - Peninsula Beijing 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Great Wall Hills


Day Four: Exploring the Forbidden City

Today, you’ll experience Beijing’s most famous monument, the red-wall-ringed Forbidden City. Starting in Tiananmen Square, you’ll spend a leisurely morning wandering over its marble bridges and through its delicate courtyards, gardens and treasure-packed galleries with your private guide. Finished in 1420, the Forbidden City was home to the reclusive emperors and huge entourages of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, until the Empire fell in 1911. In the afternoon, you’ll continue your journey back in time, getting on bikes to explore the hutongs that ring the City. Pedal power is the perfect way to experience the ancient alleys of old Beijing, passing traditional courtyard houses, sidestreet stalls and tiny restaurants and teahouses. Later, there’s the chance to see a completely different side of the city, at the Kung Fu Show at the Red Theater. During this action-packed extravaganza, in which hundreds of performers tell the story of a young boy’s journey towards becoming a Kung Fu master, there’s a compelling mix of dance, music, acrobatics and martial arts.

Overnight in Beijing

Classic - Ron Yard Hotel 

Premium - Double Happiness 

Deluxe - Peninsula Beijing 

Meals included: Breakfast

Forbidden City


Day Five: Morning Meditations

Start your day the Beijing way, with an hour-long class with a Tai Chi master. You may have already noticed the locals stretching and meditating in the city’s parks – it’s seen as an essential way to prepare for what’s ahead. Afterwards, you’ll transfer to Beijing’s train station, for the high-speed trip to Xi’an, once the elaborate city at the end of the Silk Road. Packed with pagodas and museums, it’s a fascinating place to spend a couple of days. Your first experience of the city will be by tuk-tuk, zooming through ancient alleys as you flit between restaurants, sampling some of the trademark dishes that the city is famous for, including noodles, dumplings and barbecued meats.

Overnight in Xi’an

Classic - Mercure Xian 

Premium - Grand Mercure 

Deluxe - Sofitel Legends Peoples Grand Hotel 

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Xi'An Bell Tower


Day Six: Land of the Warriors

After breakfast, it’s up and out by Jeep to explore the fascinating sites outside Xi’an. First stop is the caves of the Loess Plateau, where people have lived for 4,000 years. More than three million Chinese people still live in caves, mostly in this area, and you’ll catch a glimpse of their way of life and beautifully decorated homes. Next, you’ll drive to one of the country’s most famous attractions: the Terracotta Warriors. Widely believed to be built as an afterlife army for the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, they’re an incredible sight en masse. Your final stop will be a museum that’s home to more ancient artefacts, including a pair of perfectly preserved bronze chariots. Then it’s time to return to your Xi’an for a final night. After freshening up at the hotel, a farewell meal awaits at the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, where dancers, musicians and acrobats perform dressed in the elaborate costumes of the Tang Dynasty.

Overnight in Xi’an

Classic - Mercure Xian 

Premium - Grand Mercure 

Deluxe - Sofitel Legends Peoples Grand Hotel 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

China Cave House


Day Seven: On your Bike

Just before your flight home, we’ve arranged an hour-long pedal around Xi’an with a private guide.* Cycling is a great way to explore, as it’s traffic-jam and crowd free: see the 13th-century walls which still ring the modern city before visiting the intricately-decorated Great Mosque and the vibrant Muslim Quarter around it, packed with busy stalls and shops. After your final exploration, it’s time for a private transfer back to the airport, ready for your flight home.

*If your flight time allows 

Meals included: Breakfast

Xi'An Wall


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 3 lunches; 4 dinners

What's included:

  • Private bilingual or English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and train tickets (first class tickets on the high speed bullet train from Beijing to Xi’an), unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from experience: call 0208 432 0885 for AX specially negotiated flight rates
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the holiday
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £500 per person and take approximately 12 hours outbound and 17 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times.

For this particular Experience, the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Beijing - Xi’an - London. 

Experience start point: Beijing (PEK). Arrive before 4pm. 

End point: Xi'an (XIY).

Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.


Ready to book

Extras

 

 

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of these extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Luxurious Hot Springs Spa

After an active and adventurous trip, you will be taken to a Luxurious Resort to enjoy 3 nights in the Royal Room along with daily breakfast buffets and one dinner buffet. Also, feel free to luxuriate in the hot springs and spa treatments with 15% discount.

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