To truly understand China, you’ve got to get out and meet it on its own terms, which is exactly what this 12-day trip through the country’s northern reaches delivers. Up here, you’ll get to the big stuff (the Great Wall, Xi’an’s Terracotta Army, Beijing) and lesser-known treasures that only the hardiest of travellers ever get to see: village life in Inner Mongolia, the amazing Yungang Buddhist Caves and the nearly 3,000-year-old city of Pingyao, to name just a few. North China: No tourists allowed!
Highlights: Envision ancient times at the Great Wall of China, live like a local in an Inner Mongolian ger, marvel at the Hanging Monastery of Datong, stare down the Terracotta Warriors, learn traditional Chinese painting in Pingyao
While retracing the footsteps of ancient warriors along the Great Wall, you realize you’re onto something. You want to get into the heart of the Middle Kingdom and our guides will take you ‘over the wall’. Handpicked for their expertise, they’ll bring you deep into China and walk backward in time with you to Tibet where you’ll reconnect with ancient ways long forgotten by the modern world. You'll have the chance to visit and have lunch at the village where the Terracotta warriors were unearthed, and experience a tea tasting in Shanghai. You won’t just experience China’s arts and culture, you’ll become a part of it.
Highlights: Enjoy a walk along the Great Wall and a cycle along Xi'an's city walls, ponder Tibetan spirituality in Buddhist temples and monasteries, get up close and personal with pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan, cruise the mighty Yangtze River on a luxury riverboat, taste tea in a traditional ceremony and learn about Chinese calligraphy
Hanoi to Hong Kong (AVHK)
Looking to mix a little rural living with your adventures in Asia’s big cities? This 15-day trip across China and Vietnam fits the bill and then some, getting you to the metropolises and out into the gorgeous countryside of both countries. Between Hanoi and Hong Kong, you’ll experience the stunning cliffs of Halong Bay and Guilin’s limestone karsts, and get a hands-on feel for the landscape by hiking, rock-climbing and rafting in Yangshuo. Toss in personal encounters with some of the region’s friendliest people and you’ve got yourself the perfect balance of rural and urban life.
Highlights: Cruise through the limestone karsts in serene Halong Bay, hang with the locals at a karaoke bar in Liuzhou, stroll over the 'wind and rain' bridges of Chengyang, walk between villages of the Longji Rice Terraces, enjoy a night out in glitzy Hong Kong