18 Day Beijing to Beijing - (Dorm)
Similar to The Dragon Trip China backpacker trip kicking off in Shanghai, this route instead starts in China's cultural and political capital, Beijing. The Beijing to Beijing 18 day China backpacking itinerary explores most of The Dragon Trip and China's top destinations and sites on this round trip through this amazing country!
Beijing - Shanghai - Yangshuo - Chengdu - Xi'an - Qinling Mountains – Dengfeng - Beijing
- Explore beautiful karst scenery in Yangshuo
- See pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
- See the Terracotta Army and stay on a mountain farm in Xi'an
- Watch Kung Fu at its highest level at the Shaolin Temple
- Hike the Great Wall then Camp overnight on the Wall, watch the sunrise the next morning
- Stroll the world famous Bund in Shanghai
- Destinations connected by night train with fully flat beds, so no time is wasted travelling.
Day 1: Beijing
Meet Group in the bar of Beijing’s Heyuan Hostel for a short pre-departure briefing. Transfer by metro to Beijing train station and board your train to Shanghai.
- Meet your group at Beijing Spring Time Hostel at 4:30pm for a short pre-departure briefing.
- Transfer by metro to Beijing train station and board your train to Shanghai
DAY 2-4: Shanghai
With a fascinating modern history and sizzling economy, Shanghai dazzles as an epic place for nightlife, Western comforts, getting lost and much, much more.
- Optional: Walk to the Yu Gardens and back a bustling historical site of a former dignitary lavish family quarters
- Optional: See People’s Square, before heading on to the World’s busiest shopping street, Nanjing Road. Afterwards, go for a walk along the bund, a hub of global architecture. To finish off, head to the top floor of a skyscraper to enjoy some champagne whilst sitting in a hot tub.
- Optional: Stroll through the former French Concession to hear a little bit about Shanghai’s international history, visit a secretive propaganda history museum, take in the sights of the ultra-modern Shanghai financial district, take a local ferry cross the famous Huangpu river from east to the west of The Bund and finish off the afternoon by visiting TianZiFang a local artisan’s lane that blends the chic and traditional
- Optional: For the daredevils, head to the top of Jinmao Tower and brave the Skywalk! Or just go up and take in the panoramic views
- Optional: Go to VUE bar to view the city skyline from a rooftop jacuzzi!
- Optional: Take in the bright city lights from the water with a night cruise down the Huangpu River (100 RMB)
- Those of you doing the Beijing loop tour will now be splitting off from your current group. Meet up at the rooftop Bar of the Phoenix to head down to Yangshuo!
Day 5-8: Yangshuo
Towering karst peaks, a carpet of green, fertile fields and a never-ending list of activities; rafting on the Li river, mud baths, cycling, cooking, swimming and more.
- Try your hand at cooking up some traditional Chinese foods at this friendly and practical local cuisine institute
- Group Lunch
- Unmissable Activity: Cruise down the Yulong River on these Chinese style Gondolas – Bamboo Rafts! Bikes included to ride around! (please make sure you wear a helmet at all times when you are riding your bike!)
- Optional: Bike Ride to Moon Hill and a cave complex including mudbaths and hot springs (85RMB entry fee)
- Optional: Try your hand at Rock-Climbing! (180 RMB)
- Optional: Kayaking on the Li River! (160 RMB)
- Optional: Experience Chinese traditional therapies such as Hot Cupping (from 50 RMB)
- Optional: A true treat, experience what life is like on a farm by visiting your Adventure Leader’s home village (100 RMB)
- Board minibus to North Bus Station and then board your bus to Guilin
- Depart Yangshuo on a bullet train to Chengdu, arriving in the evening. Take a metro to your hostel and meet your new Adventure Leader!
Day 9-11: Chengdu
Find yourself in the slow-paced heart of Western China, enjoying tea houses, pandas, Buddhist shrines, spicy hot-pot, temples, and as much KTV as you can handle!
- Unmissable Activity: Gather up to go see the Pandas at the world’s main and biggest, Giant Panda Breeding & Research Center.
- Mandarin Lesson 1: Have a Mandarin lesson with your Adventure Leader
- Optional: Watch a traditional Sichuan Opera & Culture Show
- Optional: Leave to Leshan to see the world’s largest stone Buddha.
- Optional: Wander Jinli street and the Tibetan districts independently. (Chengdu is right next to Tibet, or Xizang in Mandarin, so there is a large ethnic community here)
- Optional: Sample the famous Sichuan Hot Pot if you dare! (Legendary Spice!)
- Have a night out in Chengdu
- Optional: Volunteer at an Autism Children Rehabilitation Centre (If you would like to donate money or school materials, please talk to your Adventure Leader.)
- Optional: Visit Wenshu Monastery, Sichuan Province Museum, People’s Park and a traditional Tea House
- Take bus or metro to Chengdu North Railway Station.
- Say goodbye to your Adventure Leader and board your train to Xian
Day 12-13: Xi'an
Experience the medieval feel in this ancient ‘frontier’ city. Stroll the Muslim quarter, barter for souvenirs, cycle the huge, old city walls, and try local delicacies.
- Arrive in Xi’an and meet your next Adventure Leader
- Check-in to your hostel
- Optional: Explore the Bell Drum Towers, Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to learn about the history of the Silk Road, towers, mosque and some local legends.
- Enjoy a dinner of local street foods at the Muslim Quarter. Relax after dinner by visiting the local Silk Road market nearby.
- Un-missable Attraction – Terracotta Warriors (Free)
- Optional: Bike Ride on Ming Dynasty City Walls. Please make sure you wear a helmet!
- Optional: Watch the Music & Lights show near the Big Goose Pagoda
Day 14-15: Shaolin
An unforgettable time at the Shaolin temple. Learn Kungfu from a monk and really get to know the locals as you hike and discover this tranquil, ancient place.
- Board a private minivan than take a bus to DengFeng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple
- Arrive in DengFeng
- Optional: Kung Fu Lesson & Show at a local Children’s Home run by the Shaolin Temple, where the monks teach these children to be Kungfu masters. All proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home.
- Dinner in the Guesthouse
- Mandarin lesson: Have your second Mandarin lesson
- Optional: Visit the flagship of Kung Fu, The Shaolin Temple
- Optional: Hike to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims, and be rewarded by beautiful views of both the shrines/temples in the area and the views of the area
- Optional: Had enough of temples or kung-fu? Visit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO world heritage site with over 100,000 carved Buddha’s
- Have a late lunch at the guesthouse then pack and check out
- Depart to Zhengzhou to board your train to Beijing
- Arrive at the train station and have some food before your train leaves
Day 16-18: Beijing
Camp out under the stars on a remote section of the Great Wall. After an unforgettable sunrise, head back to the city for more history, culture and food.
- Arrive Beijing and meet your next Adventure Leader. Transfer by minibus to the hostel. You won’t be staying the night here, so you won’t be able to get into rooms, but can use the shower rooms, and common areas to relax before heading to the Wall in the afternoon
- Mandarin lesson: Have your 3rd Mandarin Lesson
- It’s time for the Mandarin challenge! Use your freshly learned Mandarin to complete challenges around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways. The winning team earns a prize.
- Mandatory meal at a local farm to obtain permission to access the locals only sections of the unrestored Great Wall
- Unmissable Attraction – Hike on totally unrestored sections of the Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset on one of the Wonders of the World (Please note, due to cold weather before end of April and after September, we stay in a guest house near the Wall instead of camping, but still return to the Wall to watch sunrise in the morning)
- Unmissable Attraction – Sunrise on the Wall
- Return to Beijing
- Optional: A stunning Chinese Acrobatics Performance performed by young talents recruited from around China
- Enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times, taste Beijing’s signature dish Peking Roast Duck
- Optional: Take a walk through the globally recognized, Tiananmen Square
- Optional: Visit the Forbidden City. The largest palatial complex in the world, the grounds boast 980 buildings and a history of housing 24 different Chinese royalty
- Optional: Go to Jingshan Park for a bird’s eye view of the three palaces: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.
- Test your bargaining skills in the Fake Goods Market!
- Optional: Go to the Temple of Heaven, the largest complex dedicated to heaven worship in the world and where ancient sacrifices were made to bring bountiful harvests
- Optional: Visit Nanluo district, one of the best-preserved historical areas in Beijing. It is famous for its hutongs and siheyuan courtyards as well as the bars, cafes and handicraft shops
- Optional activities finish at approx. 23:00
- Your Beijing to Beijing backpacking tour has come to an end – say goodbye to your fellow Dragons as they continue on their journey.
- A combination of Western and Chinese English-speaking Adventure Leaders.
- Free mandarin tuition for beginners
- Accommodation in hostels which meet The Dragon Trip’s high standards. All hostels have their own unique Chinese charm, and at the same time are safe, clean, and hygienic.
- All train, boat and bus tickets.
- Entry, transport and Adventures Leaders to some of China’s un-missable attractions, such as the Terracotta Warriors, camping on the Great Wall, and bamboo rafting down the Li River (a full list of all un-missable activities is available on individual trip pages).
- All taxes and charges.
What’s not included?
- Flights to and from China
- Aside from the many free un-missable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun.
- Food and Drink – Eating and drinking is incredibly cheap in China, but even so, the Dragon Trip still gives you access to a great range of discounts on food and drinks in the liveliest bars in town.
- Any train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip- we provide a booking service at a cost of 30 RMB per ticket booked, on top of the price of the ticket.
- Any hostels for after your trip has ended
March - 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, 29th, 31st
April - 7th, 12th, 19th, 28th
May - 5th, 12th, 17th, 19th, 24th, 26th, 31st
June - 2nd, 16th, 23rd, 28th, 30th
July - 5th, 12th, 14th, 19th, 21st, 28th
August - 2nd, 4th, 9th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 30th
September - 1st, 8th, 13th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
October - 4th, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th