Walking the Charms of China - Privately Guided

Exodus Travels Premier
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4.7 . Excellent
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
11 days
From: $ 6,220 $ 565 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • 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

Short Description

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.This truly is an experience of a lifetime as you journey across this fascinating country to witness the real Charms of China, with the added benefit of your own private guide.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Beijing
End City Beijing



Attractions & Cities Visited


Activities & Interests


Age Requirement


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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. Overnight Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing.

Day 2 Walk Jinshanling Great Wall & Wohu Mountain

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. Overnight Local Farmer House, Beijing Great Wall area.

Day 3 Walk Gubeikou Great Wall

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. Overnight Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing.

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). Overnight Grand Noble Hotel, Xi'an.

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'. Overnight Grand Noble Hotel, Xi'an.

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). Overnight Bravo Hotel, Guilin.

Day 7 Walk Pingan to Dazha

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! Overnight Bravo Hotel, Guilin.

Day 8 Walk along Li River to Xingping

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. Overnight Bamboo Leaf Hotel, Yangshuo.

Day 9 Walk along Yulong River & Bamboo Rafting

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. Overnight Bamboo Leaf Hotel, Yangshuo.

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. Overnight Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel, Beijing.

Day 11 Depart Beijing

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


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Price Per Day: $ 565 per day
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Walking the Charms of China - Privately Guided

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Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 4

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 16

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Trip ID#:


What's excluded

  • Dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Single room (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Solo travellers (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Private guided tour of Tiananmen Square & Temple of Heaven (optional extra)
  • Beijing Peking Duck Banquet (optional extra)
  • Li River Impression Liusanjie Open-Air Live Show (optional extra)
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