Essential China
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Encounter the essence of China in all its wonderful diversity — climb the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors before heading down south on this three-week tour of China's cultural and natural highlights. Rest your gaze on the giant Buddha of Leshan and explore ancient mountainside monasteries at Emei Shan, then float down the world-famous Three Gorges of the Yangtze River before stepping out to experience the vibrant rural life and stunning scenery of Yangshuo. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our expert Chief Experience Officers, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

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Map for Essential China

Destination & Sightseeing


Arrive at any time.

Head out to discover the wonders of the Great Wall of China.

Explore bustling Beijing including the famous Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.

Enjoy a free morning before catching a bullet train to vibrant Shanghai.

Take an orientation walk down one of the city’s most famous streets, Nanjing Road, ending at the Shanghai Museum, one of the best in the country.

Enjoy free time before boarding an overnight train to Xi’an.

Arrive early and opt to cycle along the ancient city walls, visit the Great Mosque or walk through the bustling Muslim Quarter.

Visit one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures—the Terracotta Warriors. This evening, opt for dumpling banquet.

Enjoy a free morning to explore in and around Xi'an. Later, board an bullet train to Chengdu and enjoy a Hotpot dinner this evening.

Take advantage of a full free day in Chengdu, opt to catch a performance at the Sichuan Opera or go on a foodie tour.

Chengdu/Emei Shan
Enjoy a morning visit to see the Pandas before catching the train to Emei Shan. Continue to the monastery, home for the next 2 nights.

Emei Shan
Spend a full day exploring the monasteries, and hiking around the stunning sites of Mt Emei – one of China's sacred Buddhist peaks.

Emei Shan/Yangtze River
Visit the Giant Buddha in the morning. Take the bullet train from Leshan to Chongqing. In the evening embark on the Chinese-style boat to cruise down the mighty Yangtze River through the Three Gorges.

Yangtze River
Enjoy the views from the deck and embark on riverside excursions up stunning tributaries and to historic sites.

Yangtze River
Enjoy the views from the deck and embark on riverside excursions up stunning tributaries and to historic sites.

Yangtze River/Liujiang
Disembark in the morning and transfer to Yichang Train Station for an overnight train to Liujiang.

Arrive in Liujiang and transfer to Yangshuo.

Navigate the stunning Li River on a bamboo raft. After, enjoy a traditional lunch at a G Adventures supported restaurant where rural women are working to create new opportunities for their families.

Enjoy free time for more activities and to explore this beautiful area.

Yangshuo/Hong Kong
Travel to Guilin for the fast train to West Kowloon, then cross the border into Hong Kong. Enjoy some free time to explore the city.

Hong Kong
Depart at any time.

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