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Activities

  • Guided Group
  • Food

    • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included. Food is cheap in China and you can avoid the spicier regional food if you wish. The food on this trip is fantastically varied with lots of new flavours and 'things' to try. Gastronomically the trip can be divided into two parts: 'tourist hotels' and 'local hotels'. In tourist hotels the breakfast is normally a buffet, with a huge spread of Chinese and western food, including coffee, juice, breads, cakes, fruit, eggs, bacon and a wide variety of noodle and stir fried dishes. Dinners are normally taken in the hotel or local restaurants, serving rice with assorted vegetables, pork, fish, chicken and duck dishes with flavours roughly approx. imating those you would find in a Chinese restaurant in the UK. In the local hotels, breakfast includes rice porridge, dumplings, eggs, noodles, etc, however, we tend to augment this with fruit and cakes where available. Dinners are taken in local restaurants where the food is heavily flavoured with ginger, garlic bamboo shoots and chilli. Don't be surprised to find river snail, sparrow or even dog appearing on the menu! Lunches are taken in local village restaurants and will normally consist of noodle soup or stir fried vegetable noodles. Expect an audience most lunches as the locals crowd around to watch the 'big noses' trying to master the use of chopsticks! Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in China the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home. Strict vegetarians may find the diet rather limited to stir fried vegetables and eggs as all the soups are made with meat stock.
    • Food is cheap in China and you can avoid the spicier regional food if you wish. The food on this trip is fantastically varied with lots of new flavours and 'things' to try. Gastronomically the trip can be divided into two parts: 'tourist hotels' and 'local hotels'. In tourist hotels the breakfast is normally a buffet, with a huge spread of Chinese and western food, including coffee, juice, breads, cakes, fruit, eggs, bacon and a wide variety of noodle and stir fried dishes. Dinners are normally taken in the hotel or local restaurants, serving rice with assorted vegetables, pork, fish, chicken and duck dishes with flavours roughly approx. imating those you would find in a Chinese restaurant in the UK. In the local hotels, breakfast includes rice porridge, dumplings, eggs, noodles, etc, however, we tend to augment this with fruit and cakes where available. Dinners are taken in local restaurants where the food is heavily flavoured with ginger, garlic bamboo shoots and chilli. Don't be surprised to find river snail, sparrow or even dog appearing on the menu! Lunches are taken in local village restaurants and will normally consist of noodle soup or stir fried vegetable noodles. Expect an audience most lunches as the locals crowd around to watch the 'big noses' trying to master the use of chopsticks! Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in China the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home. Strict vegetarians may find the diet rather limited to stir fried vegetables and eggs as all the soups are made with meat stock.

    Activities

    • Adult Group
    • Culture & Discovery
    • Accom: hotel/lodge
    • Solo departures
    • Trek: point-to-point
    • Walking & Trekking
    • Go local
    • History
  • 1

    Arrive Beijing; free afternoon and Beijing duck dinner.

    After arriving into Beijing the afternoon is free to relax after the overnight flight. There is a welcome dinner organised for the group allowing us to sample one of the cities most famous dishes: Beijing duck.

  • 2

    Transfer to Jiankou; trek past watchtowers to Mutianyu before transferring back to Jiankou

    We leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, a 3 hour journey to the north east of the city. From Jiankou we trek to the less visited section at Mutian Yu where the Wall is an impressive sight, snaking off across mountains and valleys into the distance. As one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutian Yu section used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. There are 22 watchtowers on this 2,250-metre-long section. We transfer back to Jiankou where we stay at a guesthouse/homestay. Walk approx. 8km/5-6 hours

  • 3

    Morning trek around Jiankou with its steep mountains and beautiful scenery; transfer to Gubeikou.

    Today we trek to a section of the wall constructed of large white rocks, very noticeable from a distance, built in 1368 during the Ming dynasty. Due to its steep mountains and beautiful scenery Jiankou is a photographers dream, and is where most photos of the Wall are taken. This part of the Wall is unpreserved and wild and we will walk for approx 2-4 hours on a few sections of the Wall; we will bypass a few sections, as they are steep and difficult underfoot. In the afternoon we return to the road and are picked up by our vehicle and transferred to Gubeikou, approx 2.5 hours drive away, where we spend the night. In Gubeikou there will be the option to walk to a nearby section of the wall for sunset. Walk approx. 5km/2-4 hours

  • 4

    Walk along the Great Wall of Crouching Tiger near Gubeikou.

    This section of the Wall stretches for more than 25 miles. There are 14 beacon towers, 143 watchtowers, 16 strategic passes and 3 citadels. Gubeikou has long been a town of military significance. We walk along this section before transferring back to spend the night at Gubeikou. Walk approx. 5km/3-5 hours

  • 5

    Hike past villages to Jinshanling.

    Today's walk involves scrambling and steep ascents to the top of ridges. The views from the top of these ridges are spectacular as we walk past numerous watchtowers and beacon towers. Parts of today's walk are on a broken section of the Wall, and during one section of today's walk we will descend from the Wall, in order to bypass a restricted military area, before rejoining the wall and carrying onto Jinshanling. Walk approx 17km/5-7 hours.

  • 6

    Jinshanling circular walk; drive to Beijing via Summer palace & Olympic Park.

    The Wall here was rebuilt in 1572, during the Ming dynasty, and has been restored but is still reasonably quiet if we start early; it is the starting point for our walk. There are many watchtowers on this stretch looking out across the gullies and ravines of the rugged landscape. The Wall is steep in places and its condition worsens in the middle section - you need to be happy walking on uneven and stony surfaces with some drops off to the side. The views here are excellent, watching the Wall stretch away across the rugged hills. After lunch we transfer back to Beijing via the Summer Palace. Once the playground of emperors and their concubines; the Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens & palaces, and is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. There is also a chance to see the spectacular Birds' Nest stadium at the Olympic Park on the way to our accommodation. **Please note, the itinerary for 2016 stays in Simatai and visits the East Qing Tombs on day 8. For more information on this please see the 2016 trip notes**

  • 7

    Beijing City tour visiting hutongs, Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City.

    We take a morning walking tour of the city's hutongs (narrow alleys) to see what is left of old Beijing and its traditions. We also visit Tianamen square, the largest square in the world and able to hold over a million people. Later in the day we visit the Forbidden City with its innumerable courtyards and temples.

  • 8

    Free day in Beijing.

    Today is a full day of free time for you to explore the amazing Beijing as you wish. Get up early to visit Temple of Heaven, and admire the incredible history and architecture of this royal complex of 600 years. Don’t be shy to join the locals in their morning exercise, like Taiji, fan dancing, playing badminton or try your hand at the mop calligraphy. Or go to Lama temple and learn about Buddhism and its importance to Chinese people. For a different taste of Beijing, visit the 798 art district, which gives a modern vibe in this modified loft zone, full of quirky modern art and architecture. Otherwise, hire a bike and dive into the vibrant Beijing streets and hutongs like a local!

  • 9

    Fly to London.

    Fly to London.

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