Trying to summarize one of the world's largest countries, longest histories and largest populations is almost as intimidating as travelling there. In a way, China is its own world. The cities - many could be countries in their own right - run the gamut. From western-facing Hong Kong to historical Beijing and futuristic Shanghai, they can be enchanting, bewildering and ghastly in equal measure. The countryside oozes millennia of history, as much through Great Wall-size monuments and fairy tale landscapes as through a daily village life, suspended somewhere between the middle ages and an uncertain future. All this is China and more: the future before it arrives, shaded by a past with no end.
China Adventure (ACBH)
Explore a side of China you never knew existed on this eye-opening multi-activity adventure. Using rural roads that wind through tiny villages and past seemingly endless rice fields, you’ll get a full dose of this land’s truly incredible history, culture, and geography. On two wheels or on foot, you’ll tour the imperial tombs and palaces of the walled city of Xi’an, study curious limestome karst formations, navigate the busy streets of Beijing and relax, secure in the knowledge that your downtime is rightly earned.
Highlights: Explore Beijing's Forbidden City and hutongs, walk the Great Wall, trek through rice terraces, cycle old city walls and rural villages, watch kung fu monks
Walk the Great Wall of China (ACGA)
Centuries after its construction, China’s Great Wall remains one of humankind’s engineering marvels. At over 21,000km (13,048 mi) in length, the Wall is a trip in and of itself. You won’t tackle the whole thing on this ten-day trek, but you’ll return home with a deeper understanding of the life that goes on around and upon it. The Beijing-to-Beijing route will take you to small villages that have stood for centuries in the shadow of this massive tribute to human will and introduce you to the cuisine, culture and history that make this one of China’s most captivating attractions. The Wall’s been standing for centuries. Isn’t it about time you turned up?
Highlights: Explore Beijing's Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, trek along the Great Wall, sleep on the Wall and in rural villages, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and tai chi lessons