After a walking tour of the capital, heading to the Great Wall is an inevitable leap forward with watchtowers, battlements and steps, lots of steps, all to be found in varying states of repair and abandonment. Overnight sleeper trains and internal flights allow you to explore further south with one of China’s five sacred mountains, Hua Shan, expanding Taoist philosophies just to the east of Xi’an, while over the border in Sichuan, more trails lead to sacrosanct summits close to Chengdu. Hidden paths show the way through bamboo groves, rice terraces and limestone karsts to rural villages in Guilin, as an ancient tea trail takes you from the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming, past Lijiang and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, through Tiger Leaping Gorge, and onwards to Tibet. Pack your poles, head scarf and portable tea flask and set out on a walking holiday in China that will be spiritually and culturally enlightening, and scenically exciting.
Read more about the diversity of this vast country in our walking in China travel guide.