China

Walking the Charms of China - With Private Guide

Trip code: W10CH

Private guided walking

10 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

SUMMARY

  • Delve into the ancient city of Beijing, exploring the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square & historic hutongs
  • Journey along the famous Great Wall of China, along wild and restored sections, as you witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World
  • Admire the mighty Terracotta Warriors and Ancient City Walls of Xi'an, sampling local cuisine in the Muslim Quarters
  • Walk along Guilin's vast rice terraces known as the 'Dragon's Backbone', alongside bamboo forests and the iconic Li River
  • Your own private English speaking guide and driver throughout the trip - benefit from insider knowledge and a personalised experience

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts & seven lunches
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Your own private English speaking guide
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Train from Beijing to Xi'an & car transfers as per itinerary
  • Domestic flights from Xi'an to Guilin & from Guilin to Beijing
  • Reduction in price per person for 3 or 4 travellers

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This truly is an experience of a lifetime as you journey across this fascinating country to witness the real Charms of China. Your adventure begins in the city that never sleeps, Beijing. With a guided visit to the Forbidden City, you'll soon become immersed in the remarkable history of this former Chinese Imperial Palace. You'll have the opportunity to add guided tours of Tiananmen Square & the Temple of Heaven, along with a traditional Peking Duck Banquet, and incredible Kung Fu or Opera night time shows. Experience for yourself one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall of China. You'll walk along wild and restored sections as you encounter countless fortifications dominating the skyline; this really is a spectacle to behold.

As you leave Beijing & The Great Wall of China behind, you'll take a high speed train to Xi'an, an ancient imperial capital and eastern departure point of the Silk Road. Xi'an is where you'll feast your eyes on one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century - the Terracotta Warriors. Showcasing terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the Museum Halls & Pits are an extraordinary sight. You'll also have time to explore the Ancient City Walls of Xi'an, built under the rule of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a military defence system; these walls are particularly beautiful to cycle on as the sun is setting behind you. Your time in Xi'an ends with a trip to the bustling Muslim Quarters to sample their famously exotic street food.

After your first few days near to the cities, the third portion of your trip takes you to the sub-tropical region of Guilin in Southern China. Famous for its dramatic landscapes of limestone karst hills, Guilin sits on the banks of the Li River offering a true natural paradise. Here, you'll traverse the lush rice terraces known locally as the 'Dragon's Backbone', passing through remote villages and walking alongside the tranquil Li River. This region invites you to enjoy a slower pace where the 'old style' way of life is still thriving - quite a stark contrast to city life. You'll fly back to Beijing for your last night before departing for home, we're confident with fond memories of the true Charms of China.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Ni hao. Welcome to China! You'll be collected from Beijing Peking airport and transferred to your first accommodation (approx. 60mins).

If arriving early, you may want to add on a private guided tour of Tiananmen Square & Temple of Heaven or an authentic Peking Duck Banquet (both booked in advance). Otherwise, explore the fascinating city of Beijing at leisure before receiving your welcome briefing at the hotel.

You stay at Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel.

hotel details



Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Stay in the centre of Beijing City, just a short drive from the main attractions including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Enjoy a wide range of drinks at the Pavilion Lounge Bar or choose from their selection of three on-site restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Walk Jinshanling Great Wall & Wohu Mountain (8km/5.0mi)

The perfect introduction to your adventure across China - walking the Great Wall! This section of the Great Wall is divided into two distinct parts; the Woushan section and the Jinshanling section. Both offer stunning views of the Great Wall and surrounding landscape.

You'll walk on a much less crowded part of the wall, along intact and restored sections with several diversions onto mountain trails through cultivated fields and with the outline of the Great Wall dominating the sky-line. Explore the General Tower and 24-Window Towers en-route; these imposing watchtowers were once used as military command posts and provide a fascinating glimpse into the history and architecture of the Great Wall.

You stay at Local Farmer House.

hotel details

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Day 3: Walk Gubeikou Great Wall (10km/6.2mi)

Your walk begins in Gubeikou where you walk along some wilder sections of the Great Wall. Your path leads away from the wall for a short while, walking along dusty trails before joining the Great Wall again towards Jinshanling. After today's walk, you'll transfer back to central Beijing.

In the evening, you can choose to add on a night show (booking advance):

Beijing Kung Fu Show: A rare chance to watch the real Shaolin Kung Fu where they've mastered incredibly difficult moves.

Beijing Opera Show: One of the most famous traditional Chinese opera. The artists wear heavy make-up and act out the legends and romance with their unique style of singing and dance.

You stay at Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel.

hotel details



Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Stay in the centre of Beijing City, just a short drive from the main attractions including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Enjoy a wide range of drinks at the Pavilion Lounge Bar or choose from their selection of three on-site restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 4: Forbidden City & onto to Xi'an

After breakfast, you'll visit the former Chinese imperial palace, the Forbidden City. This large palace building was built between1406 and 1420, and served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

In the afternoon, you'll be transferred to Beijing train station where you'll take the high speed train to Xi'an (approx. 5hrs - included). You'll be met at Xi'an train station and transferred to your hotel (approx. 10mins).

You stay at Grand Noble Hotel.

hotel details



Grand Noble Hotel, Xi'an

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Centrally located within the ancient city walls of Xi'an, there are plenty of attractions nearby including the Bell & Drum Towers and Forest of Steles. International cuisine is available in the hotel's open-kitchen restaurant, while light meals, snacks and drinks can be found at the hotel's café, deli and lobby bar. This hotel also houses a fitness centre, a massage centre, spa and beauty salon.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 5: Terracotta Warriors & Horse Museum, then Xi'an City Walls

Today you'll visit the Terracotta Warriors & Horses Museum. This is an incredible excursion, nothing can quite prepare you for the sights witnessed in the Museum Halls. One of the most important archaeological finds in the 20th century, this collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China are a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210 - 209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. The three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. A late lunch is taken in the local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you'll visit the Ancient City Walls of Xi'an. These walls were built under the rule of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a military defence system. They have been refurbished many times since it was built in the 14th century, thrice at intervals of about 200 years in the later half of the 1500s and 1700s, and in recent years in 1983. The wall encloses an area of about 14 square km and is on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Site under the title 'City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties'.

You stay at Grand Noble Hotel.

hotel details



Grand Noble Hotel, Xi'an

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Centrally located within the ancient city walls of Xi'an, there are plenty of attractions nearby including the Bell & Drum Towers and Forest of Steles. International cuisine is available in the hotel's open-kitchen restaurant, while light meals, snacks and drinks can be found at the hotel's café, deli and lobby bar. This hotel also houses a fitness centre, a massage centre, spa and beauty salon.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 6: Big Wild Goose Pagoda Park & Muslim Quarters

This morning, you'll visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Park, built in 652 during the Tang dynasty. The structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of Gautama Buddha that were brought to China from India by the seventh-century Buddhist monk, Xuanzang. Today, the interior walls of the pagoda feature engraved statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben.

You'll then head to the Muslim Quarters located inside the city wall of Xi'an with around 32,361 Muslim residence , 50% of the total Muslim population in Xi'an city. The history of the Xi'an Muslim Quarter can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty, when Muslim merchants came to and aggregated in Chang'an, today's Xi'an, via the Silk Road. It is now a well-known tourism site which is famous for its culture and incredible local food.

In the afternoon, you'll be transferred to Xi'an airport for your flight to Guilin (approx. 2hrs). You'll be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation (approx. 1hr).

You stay at Bravo Hotel.

hotel details



Bravo Hotel, Guilin

TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Just 10 minutes' walk from Guilin Museum, this lovely hotel boasts a prime location. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast, lounge bar and fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 7: Walk Pingan to Dazha (12km/7.5mi)

This wonderful walk follows the villagers' trail over to Dazha, taking you over two mountain ridges with rice terraces in between. Starting from the remote village of Ping'an, the first 30 minutes is a stepped climb up to the first viewpoint where you're rewarded with amazing views across the lush rice terraces and distant mountains.

The trail brings you to the small village of Zhong Liu, home to the Yao community. Continue over a ridge with beautiful vistas of rice terraces before you, known fondly as the Dragons Backbone - you'll soon see why!

You stay at Bravo Hotel.

hotel details



Bravo Hotel, Guilin

TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Just 10 minutes' walk from Guilin Museum, this lovely hotel boasts a prime location. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast, lounge bar and fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 8: Walk along Li River to Xingping (16km/9.9mi)

This is the walk of all walks - a fascinating trail along the stunning Li River. Follow an ancient path along the river, alternating between dirt tracks and purpose built paths; you'll even cross the river by boat to add to the excitement! Walk past cultivated fields, ancient Chinese houses, and between the breath-taking karst mountains with incredible views of the Li River down below. Lunch will be taken in a farmers home, where simple local dishes are served - expect deliciously fresh vegetables!

Your descent brings you to a cobbled trail, hugging the side of the river with ever striking mountain views. Here, you cross the river by boat before continuing your walk to Xingping beside bamboo forest, fields and orchards. On arrival in Xingping, take some time to explore this ancient town before transferring to your accommodation in Yangshuo.

You stay at Bamboo Leaf Hotel.

hotel details



Bamboo Leaf Hotel, Yangshuo

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Bamboo Leaf is a beautiful, eco-friendly hotel with a focus on nature and providing an exceptional guest experience. Just a short walk from the Li River and the centre of Yangshuo, the hotels lovely swimming pool faces towards the valley and stunning mountains. Guests can also enjoy the rooftop restaurant with incredible views all around.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 9: Walk along Yulong River & Bamboo Rafting (11km/6.8mi)

Today's walk begins at Fuli bridge, a beautifully rural Chinese setting, with stunning Karst mountains as a backdrop to this green, tranquil river. Our route starts over the bridge and follows the river as it meanders through fields, rice paddies and villages where the 'old style' way of life is still thriving, providing a stark contrast to city life. Lunch will be taken en-route or at your destination depending on timing.

You stay at Bamboo Leaf Hotel.

hotel details



Bamboo Leaf Hotel, Yangshuo

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Bamboo Leaf is a beautiful, eco-friendly hotel with a focus on nature and providing an exceptional guest experience. Just a short walk from the Li River and the centre of Yangshuo, the hotels lovely swimming pool faces towards the valley and stunning mountains. Guests can also enjoy the rooftop restaurant with incredible views all around.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 10: Return to Beijing

Transfer from your accommodation to Guilin airport for your flight back to Beijing (approx. 3hrs). You'll be collected from Beijing airport and transferred to your accommodation where you'll have the afternoon & evening to explore Beijing.

You stay at Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel.

hotel details



Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Stay in the centre of Beijing City, just a short drive from the main attractions including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Enjoy a wide range of drinks at the Pavilion Lounge Bar or choose from their selection of three on-site restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 11: Depart Beijing

You'll be transferred from your accommodation to Beijing Peking airport (approx. 60mins).

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$6935
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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $927.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $927.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Private guided tour of Tiananmen Square & Temple of Heaven
  • Beijing Peking Duck Banquet
  • Li River Impression Liusanjie Open-Air Live Show
TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

Very helpful and knowledgable. Couldn’t be faulted

Andrew Phillips, 30 Jan 2024

Good interaction to iterate to a mutually suitable arrangement

Timothy Anderson, 22 Nov 2023

It was prompt and efficient and the staff dealt with my enquiries. I have travelled with Headwater before and have always found their descriptions to be accurate and helpful.

Christine Baker, 17 Nov 2023

We both enjoyed our trip to Amalfi. Hotel was great although at first were a bit disappointed staying in the annex. However the food and staff were fantastic, we were really looked after. The walks were varied, were pretty demanding with the long stretches of steps. The walk via the nature reserve was our highlight, off the beaten track, stunning backdrop.

3 Nov 2023


Private guided walking

10 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

10 nights from $6650

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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