All Sample Itineraries
Riding the Yangtze sweeps you down China’s most famous river, beginning at the foot of the Tibetan plateau and flowing through numerous climate zones, geographic landscapes, and regions, all the way to the coast. Apart from the natural beauty of some of China’s finest natural wonders, you’ll tackle some of the most important and historic sites along the craddle of Chinese civilization. This trip has a wide enough range of attractions to please any kind of traveler.
For the rugged traveler aching for a taste of southwestern China’s village life, the Ethnic Expedition is your cup of tea. Some of the country’s most wonderful ethnic minorities are highlighted on this tour, and you should be prepared for some major offroad adventures. Feel free to break from the route at any point and see where China’s most engrossing region will take you, and keep in mind that this one is most appealing to the outdoorsman.
The wild lands of Manchuria and Mongolia have a legendary history, and today are still some of China’s wildest places. Bold travelers will find this route and its snowy peaks, volcanoes and enormous crater-lakes to be the perfect adventure. For a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, follow this path up to China’s tippy-top and catch the northern lights in North Pole village.
This trip is perfect for the adventurer who wants to kick up dust on the sands of the ancient Silk Road and explore the Uighur homeland of Xinjiang. You’ll encounter an exotic land with antique mosques, delicious lamb kebabs, burqa-clad women, and camels roaming the streets; you may even feel like you’re in Baghdad! By traveling fast, you can cut back on time, but if you decide to do both the northern and southern sections of the Silk Road in Xinjiang, you’ll be pushing the five week mark.
Get your quick fix of China’s Southeast and Taiwan on this short trip. You will cross ancient villages, dig your toes deep into pristine sandy beaches and indulge in fresh seafood straight from the ocean. It’s perfect for those who have seen the best of the Mainland and are looking for a new face of China. If there are a few extra days left on your visa, try starting in Shanghai and passing through Suzhou, or spend extra time on Taiwan’s aboriginal east coast to round out the end.
Moving from north to south along China’s eastern coast, this tour is pretty self explanatory; the highlights are some of the nation’s best sandy waterfronts and several of its most popular (and biggest) beer festivals. Start out in late July and you should be able to hit each place when the weather is best and the suds are flowing. Apart from living the care-free life, you will also get a shot of modern culture within a few of the country’s most metropolitan cities.
Chanting burgundy-robed monks, sparkling gold statues of the Buddha, spinning prayer wheels, bitter yak butter tea, smoky incense, soaring mountains and altitude sickness are just some of the many sights, senses and feelings that will grip your soul along the Tibetan Kora. If you can, allot three weeks, but if not you can do a quick trip in two weeks in between Xining and Chengdu for a crash-course in Tibetan Culture. Regardless of how much time you have, you’ll return with a new-found sense of (near) enlightenment and spiritualism after this one.
This is the big one right through the heart and soul of the Middle Kingdom. You will encounter everything – plain and simple. Temples? Yes. Thriving megalopolises? Of course. Untouched forests and mountains? You bet. Off-the-beaten-track destinations? What do you think? UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Absolutely! The first leg of the trip should take about a month, beginning in Beijing and ending in Hong Kong. If you have time to complete the second leg of the Long March, get another month-long tourist visa or renew the one you already have in Hong Kong, and then travel back up north through the hinterlands and return to Beijing. As you might have already noticed, this trip was made for the rough and rugged backpacker with a thirst for adventure and time on their hands.
A handful of ancient capitals await you on the Imperial Tour. In these bustling cities and quaint towns, you’ll be swooned by a collection of ancient palaces, mausoleums, temples and defensive walls, and you can bet that there are even a few royal gardens thrown in for good measure.