Hong Kong to Shanghai on a Shoestring

  • China

Meet some furry friends at the Giant Panda Breeding Centre, Visit the Shaolin Temple, Explore the Great Wall, Belt out your favourite tunes during a private karaoke session, Go shopping in Shanghai, Take in the scenery in Yangshuo, Spend the night in a local guesthouse in Song Shan

China is a great example of a country with equally modern and historic relevance, and with this 19-day tour you’ll learn why. By crossing the country via train you’ll not only be able to visit a bunch of different cities (and Hong Kong!) in just under three weeks, but you’ll also get to see the diverse landscapes that make up the world’s most populous country. Stand face-to-face with the Terracotta Warriors, cycle the ancient city walls, practice Tai Chi with locals, go shopping in Shanghai, or sing your heart out in a karaoke session. If you’re feeling adventurous, do it all.

was €1,61919 days from €1,429

(€75.21 per day)

Suitable for
All ages
Trip Code
ACRS
Travel Style
18-to-Thirtysomethings
Service Level
Basic
Physical Grading
3 - Average
Trip Type
Small Group
Group Size
Max 18, avg 12.
Transport
Local bus, train, private vehicle.
Accommodation
Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (11 nights), guesthouse (2 nights), overnight trains (5 nights).
Meals
No meals included
Other
  • Big Night Out: Private Karaoke Session, Suzhou
  • Great Wall Mutianyu Visit
  • Shanghai and Xi'an orientation walks
  • View more
    • Private Karaoke Session (Suzhou)
    • Shaolin Temple Visit
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Hong Kong to Shanghai on a Shoestring itinerary
  • Day 1Hong Kong

    Arrive at any time.

    There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

    The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

    accommodation

    West Hotel

  • Day 2Hong Kong / Yangshuo

    Cross the border to Shenzhen and board a train to Guilin before transferring to scenic Yangshuo.

    Arrive in Guilin by train and transfer to the nearby village of Yangshuo, nestled among the limestone karsts jutting out of the Li River. One of the most scenic regions of China, this beautiful backpacker town is a haven for activities, cultural immersion, and relaxing at cafés.

    The Li River and the limestone karst mountains interspersed with picturesque riverside villages and markets make this area perhaps the best known scenic attraction in the region.

    Metro

    Get around underground via public transit.

    Border Crossing (Hong Kong - China)

    Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

    Local train

    Climb aboard, take your seat, and get around like the locals do.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    accommodation

    Didu Hotel

  • Day 3Yangshuo

    Enjoy free time in Yangshuo. Opt for a tai chi lesson, cooking class, or cycling tour of the area.

    free time

    Get out and explore relaxing Yangshuo.

    accommodation

    Didu Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Yangshuo Guided Cycle Tour

      Follow the guide and cycle over the flat(ish) landscape past rice paddies, local farmers, and water buffalo. Marvel at the limestone karsts and hear the legends of how they came to be.

    • Yangshuo Tai Chi Lesson

      Learn how to do Tai Chi, the local exercise regimen. Practice in any park around sunrise, and be sure to have company from locals.

    • Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo

      Calling all foodies! Get an inside look at real Chinese food with a tour of the Yangshuo market to learn about the ingredients used in the Yangshuo area. Afterward, learn to cook Chinese food in a traditional Chinese farmhouse in the beautiful countryside just outside Yangshuo. After the cooking class you can sit down and enjoy the delicious dishes you have prepared.

    • Impressions Light Show (Liu San Jie)

      Take in the Light and Sound Show (Liu San Jie), a 1-hr performance that showcases the ethnic diversity of the region and tells the story of 'Third Sister Liu'. See more than 500 singers and dancers, many of whom are local farmers, perform on and around the beautiful Li River against the backdrop of the incredibly illuminated karst mountains. The show usually takes place at 8pm, and is located at the confluence of the Li and Yulong rivers on the outskirts of Yangshuo.

    • Calligraphy Yangshuo

      Classes are available throughout the day and last 1 hr.

      Watch and learn how to do calligraphy, a traditional form of writing Chinese characters using a brush and ink. See how calligraphers have evolved a richly varied tradition of calligraphic styles, which have been handed down from generation to generation.

    • Chinese Language Lesson

      Enjoy a lesson in basic Mandarin and practice what you've learned with the locals.

    • Kung Fu Lesson

      Pick up some basic skills of Kung Fu and learn a bit of the history behind this ancient martial art form.

    • Moon Hill Entrance and Hike

      Enjoy a hike up to Moon Hill, one of Yangshuo's most popular attractions. This karst hill has a huge hole through the middle that's shaped like the moon, hence its name. The views of the surrounding countryside from the hill are spectacular -- it's worth the climb!

  • Day 4Yangshuo

    Continue to explore beautiful Yangshuo with a free day.

    free time

    Get out and explore relaxing Yangshuo.

    accommodation

    Didu Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Yangshuo Guided Cycle Tour

      Follow the guide and cycle over the flat(ish) landscape past rice paddies, local farmers, and water buffalo. Marvel at the limestone karsts and hear the legends of how they came to be.

    • Yangshuo Tai Chi Lesson

      Learn how to do Tai Chi, the local exercise regimen. Practice in any park around sunrise, and be sure to have company from locals.

    • Impressions Light Show (Liu San Jie)

      Take in the Light and Sound Show (Liu San Jie), a 1-hr performance that showcases the ethnic diversity of the region and tells the story of 'Third Sister Liu'. See more than 500 singers and dancers, many of whom are local farmers, perform on and around the beautiful Li River against the backdrop of the incredibly illuminated karst mountains. The show usually takes place at 8pm, and is located at the confluence of the Li and Yulong rivers on the outskirts of Yangshuo.

    • Calligraphy Yangshuo

      Classes are available throughout the day and last 1 hr.

      Watch and learn how to do calligraphy, a traditional form of writing Chinese characters using a brush and ink. See how calligraphers have evolved a richly varied tradition of calligraphic styles, which have been handed down from generation to generation.

    • Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo

      Calling all foodies! Get an inside look at real Chinese food with a tour of the Yangshuo market to learn about the ingredients used in the Yangshuo area. Afterward, learn to cook Chinese food in a traditional Chinese farmhouse in the beautiful countryside just outside Yangshuo. After the cooking class you can sit down and enjoy the delicious dishes you have prepared.

    • Chinese Language Lesson

      Enjoy a lesson in basic Mandarin and practice what you've learned with the locals.

    • Kung Fu Lesson

      Pick up some basic skills of Kung Fu and learn a bit of the history behind this ancient martial art form.

    • Moon Hill Entrance and Hike

      Enjoy a hike up to Moon Hill, one of Yangshuo's most popular attractions. This karst hill has a huge hole through the middle that's shaped like the moon, hence its name. The views of the surrounding countryside from the hill are spectacular -- it's worth the climb!

  • Day 5Yangshuo

    Transfer to Guilin and board an overnight train to Chengdu.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

  • Day 6Chengdu

    Enjoy a free day to explore Chengdu, known for its spicy local food and the Giant Panda Breeding Centre.

    free time

    Get outside and discover Chengdu.

    accommodation

    Flower Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Wenshu Monastery

      Wenshu Monastery definitely worth a visit during your stay in Chengdu. The monastery was first built in Tang dynasty (618-907). More than 500 pieces of painting and calligraphy by celebrities are stored in this monastery. The exquisite garden and solemn halls are other highlights of this place.

  • Day 7Chengdu

    Opt for a day trip to Leshan to see the giant Buddha or continue exploring the vibrant city of Chengdu.

    free time

    Opt to visit Leshan and see the giant Buddha.

    accommodation

    Flower Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Leshan Giant Buddha Visit

      See centuries-old Dafo, the largest Buddha in the world, from a number of viewpoints. Opt to board a boat and head out into the Mingjiang River to get an overall view of the statue from afar, and then visit a beautiful forested park. Explore numerous carvings and temples before climbing down the path that travels from the statue’s head to its enormous toes. Be sure to take a break with a cup of tea in one of the teahouses in the park.

    • Giant Panda Breeding Center

      Visit the popular pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, created to provide an ideal breeding environment for these endangered creatures. Learn about their life cycle and habitat and take memorable photographs of these iconic national treasures. See a number of other rare species, including the little-known red panda. Arrive in the fall for a chance to see tiny newborn pandas.

    • Wenshu Monastery

      Wenshu Monastery definitely worth a visit during your stay in Chengdu. The monastery was first built in Tang dynasty (618-907). More than 500 pieces of painting and calligraphy by celebrities are stored in this monastery. The exquisite garden and solemn halls are other highlights of this place.

  • Day 8Chengdu / Luoyang

    Opt to see the famous pandas up close at the Giant Panda Breeding Center before boarding an overnight train to Luoyang.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    free time

    Opt to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center or continue to explore the city.

    Optional Activities:

    • Giant Panda Breeding Center

      Visit the popular pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, created to provide an ideal breeding environment for these endangered creatures. Learn about their life cycle and habitat and take memorable photographs of these iconic national treasures. See a number of other rare species, including the little-known red panda. Arrive in the fall for a chance to see tiny newborn pandas.

  • Day 9Luoyang / Song Shan

    Transfer to the holy mountain of Song Shan and visit the Shaolin Temple, the home of Kung Fu. Spend the night in a local guesthouse.

    Local bus

    Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

    Shaolin Temple Visit

    Song Shan is home to the Shaolin Monastery and Temple, the mystical birthplace of the world famous martial art, Kung Fu. First founded in the 5th century, Shaolin has been rebuilt multiple times.

    accommodation

    Shaolin Kongfu School

    Optional Activities:

    • Song Shan Hike

      Enjoy the natural scenery in the beautiful Song Shan National Forest Park.

  • Day 10Song Shan

    Enjoy free day to explore the area around Mount Song.

    free time

    Get out and explore this scenic region.

    accommodation

    Shaolin Kongfu School

    Optional Activities:

    • Song Shan Hike

      Enjoy the natural scenery in the beautiful Song Shan National Forest Park.

  • Day 11Song Shan

    Transfer to Luoyang and opt to visit the Longmen Grottoes before boarding an overnight train to Beijing.

    Local bus

    Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    Optional Activities:

    • Longmen Grottoes Visit

      Enjoy a visit to this fantastic UNESCO World Heritage Site, with over 100,000 Buddha images carved into a mountain side. Giant panoramas featuring various images of Buddha are flanked by smaller statues that depict him in a variety of poses.

  • Day 12Beijing

    Enjoy free time in China's booming capital city.

    Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.

    free time

    Head out and explore this metropolis.

    accommodation

    Jade Hotel

  • Day 13Beijing

    Step back in time with a visit to the Great Wall. Opt to check out the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

    The Chinese capital, Beijing, is one of the world's most impressive and vibrant cities. Spend a day at the Great Wall, a monumental feat of engineering intended to protect China from the northern barbarians.

    Great Wall Mutianyu Visit

    Climb the rolling hills of Huairou County at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall. Enjoy scenic views as the wall winds along mountain ridges, and take brag-worthy photos of the wall from any of the 22 towers.

    accommodation

    Jade Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Beijing Acrobatics Performance

      Show will begin at 19:30.

      Enjoy an evening of spectacular acrobatics performed by some of China’s most talented performers and athletes. This unforgettable spectacle features Chinese-style tricks, like plate-spinning, contortion, foot-juggling, and a host of circus-style acrobatics, too.

    • Beijing Opera

      There's a show every night at 19:30.

      Enjoy this form of traditional Chinese theatre that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics. Dating back to the late 18th century, this form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.

    • Tiananmen Square

      Explore one of the world's largest public squares, home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People.

    • Kung Fu Show - Beijing

      Follow the tale of a young boy on his journey to becoming a kung fu master through six gripping scenes told through traditional Chinese art and live modern dance. (Don’t worry; there are subtitles above the stage). Developed by some of China’s top stage directors and designers, the performance showcases the skills of its talented cast, most of whom are just 17 years old.

    • Forbidden City Visit

      Check out the iconic Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing! For 500 years the palace was only accessible to the emperors’ attendants and officials by invitation only. Visit sights like the Clock Exhibition Hall, wander through the Three Great Halls or stand in the shade of the cypress trees in the Imperial Garden.

    • Hutong Cycling Tour

      Roll through the ancient alleyways and lanes typical of Beijing. This old area of the city is rapidly diminishing as modernization takes over, but taking to the streets by bike is the perfect way to explore the neighbourhood. See daily life in these old lanes while cycling by.

  • Day 14Beijing / Xi’an

    Enjoy free time in Beijing before an overnight train to Xi'an.

    free time

    Get out and explore more of Beijing.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    Optional Activities:

    • Tiananmen Square

      Explore one of the world's largest public squares, home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People.

    • Temple of Heaven

      Explore the stunning Temple of Heaven, which was built during the rule of the Ming dynasty. Learn more about the history and significance of this place, often referred to as the symbol of Beijing.

    • Summer Palace

      This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of palaces, lakes, and gardens in Beijing and is absolutely stunning. Its main components are Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, which is 60m (200 feet) high and has many buildings on it. Kunming Lake is actually man made, and measures 2.2sq km (1.4 sq mi).

    • Forbidden City Visit

      Check out the iconic Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing! For 500 years the palace was only accessible to the emperors’ attendants and officials by invitation only. Visit sights like the Clock Exhibition Hall, wander through the Three Great Halls or stand in the shade of the cypress trees in the Imperial Garden.

    • Hutong Cycling Tour

      Roll through the ancient alleyways and lanes typical of Beijing. This old area of the city is rapidly diminishing as modernization takes over, but taking to the streets by bike is the perfect way to explore the neighbourhood. See daily life in these old lanes while cycling by.

    Train is our main mode of transport in China and it's a great way to travel.

  • Day 15Xi’an

    Enjoy an orientation walk through the Muslim Quarter, then opt to visit the Terracotta Warriors, cycle the ancient city walls, or practice tai chi with the locals.

    Opt to tour the lovely and unusual Great Mosque (a wonderfully serene place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city), great souvenir stalls, and enjoy some of the best street food in China. The remaining city walls are a great place to watch the sunset or join the locals for ballroom dancing or tai chi in the early morning.

    Opt to take a day trip to the Terracotta Warriors, situated a short drive out of town (approximately 1 hr).

    Muslim Quarter Orientation Walk

    Enjoy a walk around Xi'an’s Muslim Quarter with our CEO, and be introduced to favourite streets, artists, chefs or food stalls in the quarter. Each CEO offers a unique perspective. Get a better feel for the district and have plenty of time to roam around on your own, shopping and eating along the way.

    accommodation

    Jinjiang zhixing Xi'an

    Optional Activities:

    • The Great Mosque

      Discover this hidden oasis behind the markets of the Muslim Quarter. Learn about the Great Mosque's centuries-old history, and explore the temples and gardens to see how Chinese and Islamic architecture came together in this place of worship.

    • Terracotta Warriors Visit

      Visit the site of the Terracotta Warriors, an archaeological treasure where approximately 8,000 soldiers and hundreds of horses stand on guard in three excavated pits in an on-site museum.

      Visit the site of the Terracotta Warriors, an archaeological treasure where approximately 8,000 soldiers and hundreds of horses stand on guard in three excavated pits in an on-site museum. Learn how the underground warriors were discovered (by accident) in 1974, and why Emperor Qin Shihuang commissioned the statues to serve as his army in the afterlife.

    • Cycling Xi'an City Walls

      Rent a bike and cycle the Xi’an city walls. The walls – built for protection in the Tang Dynasty and expanded in the Ming dynasty –are a great way to absorb local history. Hop off where you like and admire the views as you pedal along the 12m (39 ft) wide wall, which takes about 2 hrs to cycle along.

    • Big Goose Pagoda Visit

      Head to the outskirts of the city to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a beautiful, brick Buddhist temple. Check out the Music Fountain Square at the base of the leaning pagoda at night to see an amazing light show.

    • Defachang Dumpling Banquet

      Dumpling banquets are a great way to experience the traditional Northern Chinese cuisine. Have a delicious meal trying all the different dumpling flavours.

  • Day 16Xi’an / Suzhou

    Enjoy free time to explore Xi'an, then take an overnight train to Suzhou.

    free time

    Get out and explore Xi'an.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    Optional Activities:

    • Terracotta Warriors Visit

      Visit the site of the Terracotta Warriors, an archaeological treasure where approximately 8,000 soldiers and hundreds of horses stand on guard in three excavated pits in an on-site museum.

      Visit the site of the Terracotta Warriors, an archaeological treasure where approximately 8,000 soldiers and hundreds of horses stand on guard in three excavated pits in an on-site museum. Learn how the underground warriors were discovered (by accident) in 1974, and why Emperor Qin Shihuang commissioned the statues to serve as his army in the afterlife.

    • Cycling Xi'an City Walls

      Rent a bike and cycle the Xi’an city walls. The walls – built for protection in the Tang Dynasty and expanded in the Ming dynasty –are a great way to absorb local history. Hop off where you like and admire the views as you pedal along the 12m (39 ft) wide wall, which takes about 2 hrs to cycle along.

  • Day 17Suzhou

    Visit Suzhou, the "Venice of the East." Opt to explore the Master of the Nets Garden, one of China's most exquisite gardens. In the evening, let loose like the locals with a karaoke session in a private room for the group; this is sure to be a memorable night!

    free time

    Get out and explore historic Suzhou and its beautiful garden.

    Private Karaoke Session

    Release your inner rock star and let loose like the locals with a karaoke session in a private room for the group. Everyone will have a turn to sing a song as a solo, duet, or group. Sing your heart out!

    accommodation

    Suzhou Overseas Chinese Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Master of the Nets Garden Tour

      Tour through the serene classical garden and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Day 18Suzhou / Shanghai

    See the city on an orientation walk, then enjoy free time to explore this metropolis on your own.

    Shanghai is the most modern of Chinese cities. Go shopping on the famous Nanjing Road or stroll along the Bund district with its many riverside historical buildings.

    Bullet train

    Get to your next destination faster than the speed of flight (ok maybe not that fast) aboard a high-speed train.

    Orientation Walk of the Bund

    Take a stroll along the Bund, a main road that follows the Huangpu River, with our CEO. This is a great opportunity to get a layout of the city and figure out what you want to explore next.

    free time

    Get out and explore bustling Shanghai.

    accommodation

    Astronautic Hotel (Yuhang Hotel)

    Optional Activities:

    • Shanghai Acrobatic Performance

      Enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show with tumbling, balancing and plate-spinning. There are amazing contortionists and high-wire walkers— truly not to be missed!

      Transport to the show takes between 30-40min by taxi.

    • Yuyuan Gardens

      Explore this tranquil, 400-year-old, five-acre garden. Climb to the top of the Rockery to see the greenery from above. Check out the Jade Rock and watch the swarms of goldfish swim around in the ponds. With multiple pavilions and halls there’s plenty to see. Depending on when you visit there may be flower shows or tea ceremonies in the area. Opt to visit the bustling bazaar located outside the gardens and hone your bargaining skills.

  • Day 19Shanghai

    Depart at any time.

    Departure Day

    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Please select passengers to get started!


How it works?

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  • Select passengers
  • Enter your contact details
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Booking conditions

Adventure Tour prices are subject to terms, conditions and availability.

Only 1 tour can be discounted per passenger per reservation booking. If multiple tours are booked the discount will be applied to the most expensive tour booked.