Border Information: If joining in Luang Prabang, you will most likey enter Laos at Luang Prabang International Airport (IATA code: LPQ).Today will be a free day to explore the beautiful city of Luang Prabang until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader on arrival at the joining hotel with more information about this important meeting.Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Luang Prabang before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Luang Prabang.
This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos to the small town of Luang Namtha.In Luang Namtha we will have two free days to enjoy the many optional activities available in and around Luang Namtha and the nearby Nam Ha National Park. Popular activities here include hiking and trekking in the National Park.
Today is a free day for activities in and around Luang Namtha.
Today is a free day for activities in and around Luang Namtha.
Border Information: Exit Laos at Boten, enter China at Mengla.This morning we will cross the border into China and begin our journey through the southern Chinese region of Xishuangbanna. We spend the next few days overlanding through this beautiful area, stopping off at towns, villages and local markets along the way.Tonight we will stay in the border town of Mengla while your crew finalise the paperwork to enter our truck into China.
Today will be a full day's drive through Yunnan province towards Kunming, most likely reaching the town of Mojiang or Yuxi en route.
This morning we will complete our drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest.
Today we will drive to Kunming, the vibrant, modern capital of Yunnan province. We will have a free day to explore the city's sights.
Border Information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG). There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting. The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Kunming, its museums and its parks. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.
Today our journey begins with a morning drive to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.
Today we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.
Today we drive further north through Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.
These following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second).
For those that haven't done the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.
Today we have a long drive north through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Sichuan province.
Today we will continue our drive to the small town of Emei Shan.
Today we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!
Today we continue our journey north to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!After our visit we will continue to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.
Today we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.
From Chengdu we will continue to the small village of Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.
Today we will drive on the Chongqing, where we will have time to explore the city and prepare for tomorrow's ferry cruise on the mighty Yangtze River!We will most likely stay in a local hotel in Chongqing tonight, but on occasion our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.
Today we embark on our Yangtze River Cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.
Second day of our Yangtze River Cruise.
We will arrive in the city of Yichang and disembark our ferry to rejoin our truck and co-leader and have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area.We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, on the last day.
This morning we will have some free time in Yichang or visit the Three Gorges Dam if we did not have time yesterday. After lunch we will drive to the town of Xiang Fan, en route to Wudang Shan.
Today we will continue our journey with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route if time allows.
Today we will have a full day to explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.
Today we will drive to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon on arrival to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.
Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'!There will be a group meeting today at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.This afternoon we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.Please note that many of the optional activities listed will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.
Today we will have a free day to explore the city of Xi'an, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.
Today we make our way to the city of Yan'an. Yan'an is famous for being the ending point for those on the 'Long March', and became the CCP headquarters for a brief period. During our time here we have an included visit to the Revolutionary Museum and the CCP Headquarters site.
Today we continue our journey to visit the ancient village of Lijiashan, famed for settlement of cave dwellers and still home to more than 600 families.In Lijiashan we will stay in a cave room, run by a local family and set up for guests.Please note that some caves include a traditional 'Kang Stove bed'. The Kang bed is a hollow platform made from bricks that is used both as a bed and as a work area, these are common in remote villages in Northern China. In winter a coal fire can be lit under the bed, providing a huge amount of warmth day and night and it is very common for the whole family to sleep on one large bed. This means there may be times that members of the group may have to share 1 large bed with others in the group.
We will set off early this morning for an included visit to the Black Dragon Temple just outside of Lijiashan. We will then drive to China's best-preserved ancient walled town, Pingyao.
We will stay for 2 more nights in Pingyao, giving us plenty of time to explore this ancient town and surrounding sites such as the Mian Shan Mountain Resort and the Zhangbi Underground City.
Today we will have another day to explore Pingyao and its surroundings.
This morning we continue to the stunning mountainous area known as Wutai Shan, one of the holiest sites of Chinese Buddhism and a major centre of pilgrimage in the country.
Today we will have a full day to explore the area and visit its incredible array of temples and religious sites.
Today we will drive to the city of Datong. We will have an included visit to the incredible Hanging Monastery en route.
Today we will head out of Datong in the truck on an included visit to the awe-inspiring Yungang Buddha Caves.
This morning we will drive to one of the world's most incredible sights - the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China! We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to thoroughly explore and walk along the Great Wall.
This morning we will spend some more time exploring the Great Wall of China. We will then continue with a short drive to the city of Chengde.
On the following day we will have a full day to explore the Puning Temple and the famous Imperial Summer Resort.
Today we complete our journey to China's chaotic and evocative capital, Beijing!
Today we will head out on the Beijing metro to the city centre's famous Tiananmen Square, which we will walk through and then take a tour of the Forbidden City. We will then have a free afternoon to fully explore the many sights, sounds and flavours of Beijing.
Border Information: if leaving in Beijing, you will most likely exit China at Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA code: PEK).Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Beijing. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.