China Real Food Adventure

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
11 days
From: $ 2,805 $ 255 / day
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Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Get your hands floury and gain a unique insight into one of China's most revered culinary arts – noodle-making – at a local couple’s apartment.
  • Dine on classic Chinese dishes like kung pao chicken and dumplings and learn how to make them during cooking classes with local chefs.
  • Meet producers and locals at spice markets, a family-owned tea plantation in Leshan, and along the Muslim Quarter tasting trail in the heart of Xi’an.
  • Explore many of China’s most famous sites such as the Terracotta Warriors, Tiananmen Square and Great Wall and see Giant Pandas at a breeding and research centre.
  • Embrace the tastes of China's most important food regions – from Peking duck in Beijing, to the Muslim-influenced food of Xi'an, the spicy flavours of Sichuan hotpot and dumplings in Shanghai.

Short Description

Embrace the tastes of China's most important food regions on a food adventure with a side order of culture, history and more. Taste the peppery cuisine of Sichuan in Chengdu, then enjoy a visit to a small tea-farming village to discover the secrets of this famous Chinese beverage. Stay in a monastery in the lofty heights of Emei Shan, and travel to Xi’an to marvel at the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and learn the art of noodle-making. Explore Beijing’s ancient hutongs to search out some of the city’s best street food, discover Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and stroll along the Great Wall of China, then board a train to Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Style Small group tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Chengdu
End City Shanghai

Destinations

China

Attractions & Cities Visited

Beijing Chengdu Shanghai Tiananmen Square

Activities & Interests

Cooking

Age Requirement

15-99

No single supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 Chengdu

Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. Chengdu, an officially recognised UNESCO City of Gastronomy, is the capital of the Sichuan province and where you’ll begin this Real Food Adventure. It might be one of China's biggest cities, but Chengdu has preserved plenty of its traditional flavour and visitors can still find famous teahouses, markets and some interesting food. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After the meeting, enjoy your first dinner in China with one of the country's most renowned dishes – an authentic Sichuan hotpot. Known in Sichuan as 'huo guo' (which roughly translates to 'fire pot'), huo guo is thought to date back more than 1000 years, originating from a meal enjoyed by boatmen working on the Yangtze River in the nearby city of Chongqing. Consisting of a communal pot of spiced broth, everyone can select their own ingredients to be cooked up in this delicious hot liquid.

Day 2 Chengdu

Start your day with an authentic breakfast featuring noodles and dumplings at a local restaurant. Then surround yourself with the spicy scent of Sichuan pepper at a local market, a fiery spice which produces a tingling, tongue-numbing sensation. Although only introduced to the region in the past few centuries, Sichuan pepper quickly gained a stronghold in local dishes. See how to use it for yourself at a cooking class with a local chef in his apartment, where you’ll learn how to make classic dishes like kung pao chicken. After feasting on your creations over lunch, take a walking tour through the centre of Chengdu. Visit Tianfu Square, where a giant statue of Chairman Mao stands tall. Stroll through one of the most popular parks in Chengdu, People's Park, where locals will be relaxing, drinking tea and exercising. If you’re lucky, they might invite you to join them in an outdoor dance class! In the evening, if you're still hungry, why not taste more Chengdu specialities on Jinli Street? This street is famous for its historic atmosphere, bustling shops and most of all its local snacks. You could be snacking on sticky rice cakes with sesame sauce, spicy chicken on a stick, sweet rice jelly, fried beef pancakes and, for the more adventurous, spicy rabbit heads.

Day 3 Emei Shan

Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you're able to witness the conservation efforts being made to save this endearing endangered species. There are only around 1000 pandas left in the world and 80% of them are found in the mountains in Sichuan. Watch the pandas play, eat bamboo, climb the trees and perhaps even see newborns taking their first steps in the nursery (July-September). Then, drive to a family-owned tea plantation in Leshan. There, one of the skilled workers will teach you how to pick tea leaves (depending on the season). For lunch, your host will create some delicious plant-based dishes. Depending on the season this may include Chinese cabbage, beans, potatoes, hand-made tofu and the tea leaves you just picked. Late in the afternoon, travel to Emeishan. This mountain of thick forest, just over 3000 metres high, has been a centre of pilgrimage for over 1800 years, with over a hundred temples and monasteries hidden in its peaks. Here you will visit and overnight at a peaceful monastery and wake up to the sounds of drums and prayers. Take a walk with your leader on arrival to explore the monastery before settling in for the evening.

Day 4 Xi'an

In the morning, you may like to visit the nearby Leshan Buddha, a 71-metre tall stone statue carved from the cliff-face, built during the Tang Dynasty. Return to Chengdu, then board a high speed train to Xi'an. Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, is the largest city in northwest China. Once the imperial centre of China for 2000 years, it is now a vibrant, city dotted with many interesting historical sites and noted for its distinctive food culture. After you arrive, your leader will take you on a brief orientation walk then you’ll have free time to explore. If you’re hungry, ask your leader about the best spots to sample Xi'an’s famous flat noodles.

Day 5 Xi'an

Wake early to try local Xi'an breakfast specialties such as ba bao zhou (eight treasure rice porridge) and hulatang (pancakes and pepper soup with meatballs and vegetables). Then, journey out into the countryside surrounding Xi’an (approximately 2 hours) and visit what is arguably one of the man-made wonders of the world, the Terracotta Warriors. The incredible site was discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2000 years. Three main pits are open for you to view, where over 6000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, with a different costume, height, and even facial expression – stand in battle formation. For lunch, you will have the opportunity to visit a local farmer-owned restaurant (optional). For dinner you’ll find yourself back in Xi’an in the heart of the Muslim Quarter to discover why this city is considered the 'snack capital' of China. Go on a unique food crawl with your leader that will have you tasting some of the city's best: beef or lamb kebabs, cold noodles, a sumptuous lamb soup and steaming dumplings.

Day 6 Xi'an

After an authentic breakfast of spicy hulatang (pancakes and pepper soup with meatballs and vegetables), gain a unique insight into one of China's most revered culinary arts today – noodle-making – at a local couple’s apartment. Get your hands floury during a fun hands-on demonstration and learn a few tips about dough preparation and noodle cutting, while gaining an insight into a modern Chinese life. Relax with tea and fruit while your hosts head into the kitchen to make soup, using your handmade noodles, stir fried meat and vegetable dishes and rice. You’ll be amazed by the amount of delicious food they produce in their cosy kitchen. Afterwards, perhaps head back into the Muslim Quarter to wander the narrow streets of quaint shops or stroll along the city walls (the most complete in China) or explore the Drum and Bell Towers.

Day 7 Beijing

It’s an early start today for the high speed train trip to Beijing. Don’t forget to grab some instant noodles to have for breakfast on the train, like the locals do. If you feel sleepy later, the smooth train ride is the ideal time for an extra nap. We’ll take your bags to the hotel so you can get straight into immersing yourself in Beijing, an intriguing modern city with an ancient heart. Make your way to the centre of the city – Tiananmen Square – then enter the nearby Forbidden City. Built more than 500 years ago and off-limits to commoners for most of that period, it's an amazing place. As you explore the great halls and courtyards, you’ll be able to appreciate the grandeur of the Imperial Chinese court during the height of its power in the Ming and Qing dynasties. After checking into your hotel, head out for a traditional dinner of Beijing’s most famous dish – Peking duck! You haven’t tasted real Peking duck until you’ve eaten it in a Beijing kaoyadian (roast duck restaurant). Often referred to as ‘capital city cuisine’, the food of Beijing has been strongly influenced by its imperial heritage and Peking duck has been a dish on the royal menu since the 1300s.

Day 8 Beijing

This morning you’ll drive out to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and spend some time exploring, taking photos and learning about the history of the 6000km wall which snakes through the hills almost endlessly into the distance. It's up to you how far you walk once up on the wall. On your return to Beijing, join your leader for a tour of the hutong markets and see steaming fresh tofu and freshly made dumplings while learning about the key ingredients and spices used in northern Chinese cooking. Later, head to a traditional tea house and learn the ancient art of China’s tea ceremony.

Day 9 Shanghai

This morning, take a fast train from Beijing to Shanghai. As a cutting-edge global city, the food of Shanghai is an exciting blend of traditional and international flavours. Given Shanghai's location on the East China Sea, as well as the region's extensive network of rivers, lakes and canals, both seafood and freshwater produce are also common. Join your leader for a walking tour that will take you to historical Shanghai. At the Bund you can get a taste of 1920s Shanghai; its spectacular array of art deco style buildings, formerly belonging to Western banks, line what was once the most important financial street in Asia. Tonight, join your group for an included dinner where you may get to try hong shao rou (red braised pork), or the seafood that the city is famous for.

Day 10 Shanghai

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is free to explore Shanghai your way. Perhaps drop into Shanghai First Food which was established in 1952 and is the world’s largest comprehensive food store. Alternatively, visit the Propaganda Museum for a fascinating look at China's revolutionary past, get a bird's eye view of the city from the Pearl Tower's observation decks, wander the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, barter in markets, or stroll through modern Pudong. In the afternoon, try your hand at making Shanghai’s famous dumplings during a cooking class. Chomp on potstickers and slurp up the juice from Shanghai’s famous soup dumplings with a local chef, who will teach you how to create the perfect xiao long bao, a delicious early dinner for everyone. Tonight, maybe scope out the city’s buzzing nightlife at a local bar or enjoy one more delicious meal.

Day 11 Shanghai

Your China Real Food Adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no activities today, and you are free to leave your accommodation at any time.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,805
Price Per Day: $ 255 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
May-07-2023May-17-2023$ 2,92011 spots left Reserve
Jun-18-2023Jun-28-2023$ 2,80511 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2023Aug-23-2023$ 2,80512 spots left Reserve
Sep-10-2023Sep-20-2023$ 2,92012 spots left Reserve
Sep-17-2023Sep-27-2023$ 2,92012 spots left Reserve
Oct-08-2023Oct-18-2023$ 2,80511 spots left Reserve
Oct-22-2023Nov-01-2023$ 2,80511 spots left Reserve
Mar-31-2024Apr-10-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
May-05-2024May-15-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
May-19-2024May-29-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Jun-16-2024Jun-26-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Aug-11-2024Aug-21-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Sep-08-2024Sep-18-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Sep-15-2024Sep-25-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Oct-06-2024Oct-16-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
Oct-20-2024Oct-30-2024$ 2,86012 spots left Reserve
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4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,164
Great 667
Average 132
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

China Real Food Adventure

Our tour Guide Jane was the best

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our tour Guide Jane was the best .. she gave us a really good experience she was fun and made my overall experience fantastic , I have a gluten intolerance and she helped me pick food that I could eat and couldn't have done it without her! was great traveling with her
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The tour was very comprehensive, I loved

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour was very comprehensive, I loved that it had so many included activities and food.

Great tour- all must see sites, helpful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great tour- all must see sites, helpful fun guide, great hotel locations and the included meals makes finding and trying food and meal times easy.
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Company Reviews

I had a really fun time travelling to…

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I had a really fun time travelling to Thailand last December. Intrepid made the entire trip easier because of the preparations they made beforehand. I'm definitely going to recommend Intrepid to my friends. Ciao!
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Viewing wildlife in a natural setting

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Viewing wildlife in a natural setting with an experienced naturalist is outstanding

Great trip made better by the guide.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great trip made better by the guide.

Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Train,Private vehicle,Public Bus,Subway

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Lodge (1 night),Hotel (9 nights)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Kingtown Hotel Shanghai Hongkou 上海虹口嘉庭酒店
  • 1885 North Sichuan Road, Hongkou District 上海市虹口区四川北路1885号,近多伦路步行街
  • Shanghai
  • CHINA
  • Phone: +8621 36129111

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 07 May 2023 (CBZF230507), 21 May 2023 (CBZF230521), 18 Jun 2023 (CBZF230618), 13 Aug 2023 (CBZF230813), 10 Sep 2023 (CBZF230910), 17 Sep 2023 (CBZF230917), 08 Oct 2023 (CBZF231008), 22 Oct 2023 (CBZF231022)
  • Kingtown Plaza Hotel
  • Xinzha Road 888 Long No.126, Jing'An
  • Shanghai
  • CHINA
  • Phone: +86 2161371111

Trip ID#:

intrepid-CBZF

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