Classic Journeys - vacations and travel

China–shanghai To Shangri La

China, Asia

from $6,295* per person 12 Days May, July, September, October
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Classic Journeys 12 people max
  • Beijing airport, china
  • Active & Adventure trips
Which China vacation is on your mind? A tour that includes the land of terra cotta soldiers and the Forbidden City? Or a wildflower meadow where yak herders wander under the gaze of the Himalayas? Is it a Yangtze riverside walk on Shanghai’s Bund? Or a morning on a bamboo raft floating on a rural river past dragon-teeth peaks? Is it an imperial-scale banquet? Or a dim sum lunch in a private home? Our China adventure tours are all those things and much more. In true Classic Journeys fashion, our China tours blend the essential sights with unexpected experiences—and take care of all the logistics for you. You hike (and picnic) on the best stretch of the Great Wall, wander country paths that farmers use to take their water buffalo to the rice paddies, and ascend to Shangri La: the gorgeous highlands of Yunnan on the Tibetan frontier. This China vacation has a fine sense of balance—the travel equivalent of feng shui—that will reveal China to you like no other trip.

Locations visited/nearby

China, Asia

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We meet in Beijing (2 nights). Our premier walk includes Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City…and a pedicab ride through ancient lanes (hutongs) to lunch in a family home. Dedicating a whole day to the Great Wall, we take a guided walk of its ramparts (and ruins) from Jinshanling to Simatai.

We fly to Xian (1 night) for a close-up look at its army of terra cotta warriors. Through pomegranate and persimmon orchards, country paths lead us to Huajicun, a rural village renowned for its painters. Another hop takes us to Guilin (1 night). On the Li River, we’ll cruise in an otherworldly landscape of “dragon’s teeth” mountains to quaint Yangshuo (2 nights). Along the way, we’ll have the chance to practice Tai Chi with a local master…lunch with a local family…and bike or walk into the lush, level farmlands.

The tour’s literal highlight is Shangri La, the heavenly Tibetan plateau that inspired the James Hilton novel. From our spa resort in Zhongdian (3 nights), we’ll walk through meadows in breezes swept down from the Himalayas. We’ll meet the ethnic Tibetan and Naxi peoples…try a sip of yak butter tea…and make a pilgrimage to Songzanlin monastery. Finally, we fly to Shanghai (2 nights) where we’ll stroll the Bund, visit the quiet “water town” of Zhujiajiao, and go shopping on Nanjing Road before a farewell feast.

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