The Essence of China vacation

“Join a small group on one of our most popular 3 week overland tours of China with 2nd or 3rd class sleeper trains maximising travel time between Beijing and Hong Kong.”

Highlights

Beijing | Great Wall (Jinshanling) | Xi'an | Emei Shan | Leshan | Chengdu | Yangzi River Cruise | Yichang | Yangshuo | Hong Kong |

Description of The Essence of China vacation

Combining many of China’s most revered highlights with cultural secrets, way off the tourist radar, is what this essence of China vacation is all about with visits to Beijing, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army at X’ian, just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to see and do.

Overnight trains and a Yangzi River Cruise help to minimise time spent on the road with Chengdu, Emei Shan and Yangshuo all to be found en-route from Beijing to Hong Kong as you get to experience the essence of China as part of one amazing vacation.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
21 Oct 2019
£2870
excluding flights
Full
 
04 Nov 2019
£2630
excluding flights
Full
 
11 Nov 2019
£2530
£2150
excluding flights
On Request
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Nov 2019 departure
09 Mar 2020
£2565
excluding flights
5 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Mar 2020 departure
23 Mar 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Mar 2020 departure
06 Apr 2020
£2640
excluding flights
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Apr 2020 departure
20 Apr 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Apr 2020 departure
27 Apr 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Apr 2020 departure
04 May 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 May 2020 departure
11 May 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 May 2020 departure
18 May 2020
£2745
excluding flights
9 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 May 2020 departure
25 May 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 May 2020 departure
08 Jun 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Jun 2020 departure
13 Jul 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Jul 2020 departure
27 Jul 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Jul 2020 departure
03 Aug 2020
£2490
excluding flights
9 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Aug 2020 departure
17 Aug 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Aug 2020 departure
24 Aug 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Aug 2020 departure
03 Sep 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Sep 2020 departure
07 Sep 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Sep 2020 departure
10 Sep 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Sep 2020 departure
14 Sep 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Sep 2020 departure
08 Oct 2020
£2745
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Oct 2020 departure
12 Oct 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Oct 2020 departure
19 Oct 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Oct 2020 departure
26 Oct 2020
£2640
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Oct 2020 departure
02 Nov 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 02 Nov 2020 departure
09 Nov 2020
£2490
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Nov 2020 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.
“They find out it’s very different to what they expected. There are so many people here who are so happy with their lives.”

Responsible tourism

The Essence of China vacation

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Waste and litter is a serious issue in Tibet. We provide all travelers with reusable bags and chopsticks in order to avoid waste. For the train journey, we also encourage our travellers to buy food with less packaging and share more to avoid generating plastic wastes or general waste of food.

We encourage the use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles. Safe drinking water is available in all our accommodation and transport. Any bottles that are purchased are given to the community of waste collectors who rely on this for an income.
You will expect to use a variety of transport on this trip including subway, public buses, overnight trains where we get to ride along just like the locals do and minimize our carbon footprint wherever possible.

Community

All left over food after our group meals is collected, boxed up and left for homeless people. During the trip, our local leader will take the time to give all passengers and understanding of the local culture and about people you will meet along the way.
We will travel by trail and stay in the 2nd or 3rd class to give the maximum opportunity to meet other people, share stories, food, games and the journey with local travellers.
Our tour leaders are all Chinese locals and they have received substantial training on the job to further develop their skills and careers. You are free to join your leader for a walking tour through Old Beijing along the ancient network of alleyways and lanes known as hutong to see how important it is to protect cultural heritage in the face of rapid development. In Beijing, we’ll visit our friends at Beijing Huiling (meaning "wise spirit") - a special project for people with intellectual disabilities and learn about the good work to support this special local community

2 Reviews of The Essence of China vacation

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
0
2
0
0
0

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Great Wall walk

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack for all eventualities especially weather related. The travelling is tough but the reality is never as bad as expected.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes for the first and no for the second

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There are several memorable parts of our holiday including the thrill of seeing the Terracotta soldiers, the interesting landscape around Yangshuo and the boat trip on the Yangzi. We enjoyed the interactions with the local people, and the opportunity to learn the culture and language.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We are Brits, so taking our own tea bags proved to be very beneficial. It is important to be flexible about some of the bathroom arrangements in some of the locations we stayed at. We were disappointed with the Monastery at Baoguo, due to the very poor sanitary arrangements. This unfortunately put a barrier to enjoying the tranquility of the setting. Our main guide spoke good English, some of the local guides need some more training and practice to enhance their skills. We encourage travellers to help the guides develop their language skills.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We tried hard to be friendly and engage with the local people, we believe that our friendship was very well received and the cash contributions helped the incomes of the people. We always try to economise with consumption and the operator’s travel tips such as travelling with trains and to use your own water bottles were good ideas too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We found our guide Sunny was very helpful and his attitude to helping us was great. The overall holiday was excellent, and the group we travelled with were very nice. We thought that the trip itinerary was well designed and we thank the operator management and staff for the opportunity to have this wonderful experience.

Popular similar holidays

China highlights tour, tailor made

China highlights tour, tailor made

Walk along the Great Wall and relax in the stunning LiRiver

From US $2319 - US $2719 11 days including domestic flights only

China culture & hiking holiday

China culture & hiking holiday

A wonderful experience of real China

From US $2830 - US $3600 14 days including domestic flights only

China holiday and Yangtze river cruise

China holiday and Yangtze river cruise

A comprehensive China itinerary covering its length and breadth

From £3099 - £3579 20 days including UK flights

Silk Road adventure holiday

Silk Road adventure holiday

Follow ancient footsteps along the Silk Road

From £3245 14 days excluding flights

Convert currencies