Loading...
/China Great Wall
China Great Wall 2018-03-18T13:31:31+00:00

Project Description

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

The Great Wall of China is an ancient architectural marvel that stretches for thousands of miles

Our itinerary snatches the best of the Wall, ranging from original sections to restored watchtowers, from wide open vistas to narrow overgrown paths, it all forges its way over mountains and through valleys.

Highlights:

  • Final night camping in an abandoned Watch Tower – a unique experience
  • Escape the crowds – we use more remote sections
  • Welcoming Homestay accommodation, close to the Wall every night
  • 2 nights in Beijing- experience this fascinating culture

To get the best out of the Wall, you have to live it, be close to it and even in our case, live on it! On our final trek night, when everyone else has gone, we trek back up to the Watchtower and camp overnight there to experience the silence and see the sun rise (camping equipment supplied).

On arrival, we transfer you straight to the Wall, staying overnight in a local guesthouse before trekking the next morning. The Wall can be demanding at times; very demanding. Subsequent overnight stays are in local guesthouses close to either the beginning or end of the day’s trek.

Once back in Beijing, there is some free time prior to a complimentary celebration roast duck dinner that evening. The following day there is a tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (included).

Extensions? Why not extend your time in China to see more of Beijing, see the Terracotta Warriors and/or the Pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. See the itinerary for further details.

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £1950
Land Only, from
Trip Duration 9 Day UK - UK
Trek Length 5 Days
Max Altitude Negligible
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Guesthouses
All meals on trek, B'fasts hotels

The Great Wall of China is an ancient architectural marvel that stretches for thousands of miles

Our itinerary snatches the best of the Wall, ranging from original sections to restored watchtowers, from wide open vistas to narrow overgrown paths, it all forges its way over mountains and through valleys.

Highlights:

  • Final night camping in an abandoned Watch Tower – a unique experience
  • Escape the crowds – we use more remote sections
  • Welcoming Homestay accommodation, close to the Wall every night
  • 2 nights in Beijing- experience this fascinating culture

To get the best out of the Wall, you have to live it, be close to it and even in our case, live on it! On our final trek night, when everyone else has gone, we trek back up to the Watchtower and camp overnight there to experience the silence and see the sun rise (camping equipment supplied).

On arrival, we transfer you straight to the Wall, staying overnight in a local guesthouse before trekking the next morning. The Wall can be demanding at times; very demanding. Subsequent overnight stays are in local guesthouses close to either the beginning or end of the day’s trek.

Once back in Beijing, you have some free time before a complimentary celebration roast duck dinner that evening followed next day by a tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Extensions in Beijing, or to see the Terracotta Warriors (Xi’an) and or the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding are all possible.

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £1950
Land Only, from
Trip Duration 9 Day UK - UK
Trek Length 5 Days
Max Altitude Negligible
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Guesthouses
All meals on trek, B'fasts hotels

Camp on the Wall for a Night

Tour of Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

All food and Water on trek

Complimentary Roast Duck dinner in Beijing

Hotels/Guesthouse
1 night Camping (optional)

ATOL Protected

Trip Information

Trip Information

Scroll down for extension examples

Day 1 – Depart UK

Day 2 – Arrive Beijing, transfer to mountains (Huangyaguan area)

Day 3 – Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan (3 hours, 4 km hiking)

Day 4 – Gubeikou to Jinshanling (5 hours, 10 km hiking)

Day 5 – Jinshanling to Simatai West (3 hours, 6 km hiking)

Day 6 – Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours, 10 km hiking)

Day 7 – Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu (4 hours, 6 km hiking)

Day 8 – City Tour of Beijing

Day 9 – Depart Beijing


Extensions

Pricing – See Inclusions/exclusions.

If extending to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, from Day 8, your itinerary will change to this:

Day 8: City Tour of Beijing; Beijing to Xi’an by overnight Train

Day 9: Xi’an, Terracotta Warriors

Day 10: High Speed Train back to Beijing

Day 11: Departure Beijing


Pricing – See Inclusions/exclusions.

If extending to Xi’an AND Chengdu to see the Terracotta Warriors and the Pandas, from Day 8, your itinerary will change to this:

Day 8: City Tour of Beijing; Beijing to Xi’an by overnight Train

Day 9: Xi’an, Terracotta Warriors

Day 10: Xi’an, Yangling Tomb, fly to Chengdu

Day 11: Chengdu (Pandas), fly to Beijing

Day 11: Departure Beijing

Day 1 – Depart UK
Fly from London, bound for Beijing.

Day 2 – Arrive Beijing, transfer to mountains (Huangyaguan area)
On arrival, the group will be greeted by the guide who will oversee the 2hr drive from the airport to the hotel in the mountainous area surrounding Beijing. Do your best to battle jetlag as today is a great opportunity to explore your new surroundings. The group will get together for a first team meal, as well as a briefing about the challenge ahead.

Accommodation: hotel near Hunagyaguan (western toilet & shower).
Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner

Day 3 – Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan (3 hours, 4 km hiking)
After a typical countryside breakfast, it’s about a 10 min drive to Taipingzhai where today’s walk will start. The trek to Huangyaguan is about 3 hours. Lunch is taken after the trek, which is more than enough on this day, followed the drive to Gubeikou village and stay overnight in this traditional walled village. There is opportunity to trek up ‘Crouching Tiger Hill’ in the village (2hrs).

Originally built in 557 AD, the Huangyanguan Great Wall was repaired for the first time in Ming Dynasty with bricks and then restored again in 1985. It is 41 kilometres in length with its walls and towers built on mountain ridge with an average altitude of 738 metres. The name Huangyaguan translates to “Yellow Cliff Pass” and is named after the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. It is unique in that it has various different-shaped watchtowers. There are not many tourists in this area, as it is a remote and seldom visited location. The most unique feature here is the Street of the Eight Diagrams, an architectural wonder of the Ming Dynasty lying just below the pass. A labyrinth set up to confuse and entrap invading armies, this fortification design is based on the ancient trigrams of the Book of Changes. UNESCO placed Huangyaguan Great Wall on the UN list of the World heritage.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Gubeikou village (western toilet & shower)
Meals: lunch/dinner

Day 4 – Gubeikou to Jinshanling (5 hours, 10 km hiking)
We drive for 10 minutes after breakfast to the entrance at Gubeikou, from where we trek to Jinshanling. Gubeikou is located 146 kilometres north of Beijing. It has the Panlong (Coling Dragon) and Wohu (Crouching Tiger) mountains in the background. In 1378 General Xu Da ordered this section of the Great Wall rebuilt. Gubeikou has probably seen more battles than any other part of the Great Wall including some of the most famous in Chinese history. Our trek takes us eastward along the old city wall passing numerous watchtowers and other parts of the wall that have not yet been restored.

After 2 hours trekking of the Gubeikou section, we have to get off the wall to avoid a military area nearby. Going through the path in the field for 1.5 hours, and then we will come back to the wall again on the Jinshanling section. When we leave the wall, we will have fresh Chinese dishes in a local farmer’s restaurant before driving back to Gubeikou village.

A Chinese dumpling-making learning will be organised in the afternoon.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Gubeikou village (western toilet & shower)
Meals : breakfast/lunch/dinner

Day 5 – Jinshanling to Simatai West (3 hours, 6 km hiking)
We will drive to Jinshanling (20 mins) after breakfast at 8am (optional sunrise watching can be organised upon request without additional cost if weather permits, please advise your guide). It will take about 3 hrs trekking on the wall. We will get off the wall at East-Five-Eye Tower at Simatai West Great Wall. This section offers arguably the finest hiking anywhere on the Great Wall. It is extremely photogenic, with over 15 varied watch-towers and steep gradients that give constantly changing perspectives and wide open views. This section of the wall is wild, ruined, preserved and original. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here. We will drive (2 hours) to Jiankou village after lunch.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Jiankou Village (western toilet & shower)
Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner

Day 6 – Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours, 10 km hiking)
We will drive 10 minutes to the start of trekking at Jiankou; a 5hr day on the wall. Today’s trek takes place on both restored and original walls. The first one hour straight up to reach the wall, and then treks through the unrestored towers. This section has superb scenery, dense vegetation and many fine watch-towers. The brickwork is elaborate. The wild Wall to the west is the original Ming Dynasty with fine stonework, and there are almost no other people. You will be rewarded when you approach Zhenbeilou Tower, where you will have a breathtaking view of Jiankou section. There will be a sharp contrast when you arrive at Mutianyu with the restored wall and towers.

There’s a chance to try toboggan (optional) when finishing the hike at Mutianyu. We will then drive to Huanghuacheng village (just over an hour) for the camping experience. Basic showers are available at the guesthouse and we will also have a home-made local dinner here. Our host will take the camping equipment to the watchtower on the Wall after dinner. We will trek back up to the Watchtower on the Wall (20 mins, torch required). Alternative accommodation is available if needed.

Accommodation: camping on the Great Wall
Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner
Camping equipment provided: twin-share tent, 1 sleeping bag & 1 rolling mat per person.

Day 7 – Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu (4 hours, 6 km hiking)
Wake up to the sunrise and enjoy breakfast on the Great Wall; a great experience. Perfect for amazing photographs; there is usually no-one else about. On completion of breakfast, we start the final trek (4 hrs).

Originally built in the Beiqi Dynasty (550 A.D.-577 A.D.), Huanghuacheng was extended and consolidated in the Ming Dynasty due to its close distance to the Ming Tombs area. It was critical to protect the imperial tombs area in the Ming Dynasty. There are four defence walls in this area and Huanghuacheng is the command center. The Wall was built on steep mountain ridges and it can be seen from a far distance. Two reservoirs were built in 1970s and the Wall was cut down at two positions, thus there’s reflection of the Wall on the lakes/ reservoirs.

The Wall at the beginning is steep so pace yourself. You will meander through jungles and bushes after halfway. A stunning view is waiting for you  when you reach the last watchtower. It’s quite high and you’ll feel as if you’re on top of the entire Wall; enjoy the beautiful lake scenery.

On completion of the trek, there’s a hotpot lunch. Hotpot is originally from Sichuan Province and now is popular all over China. You can choose Plain or Spicy one as you like. This is also a good opportunity to practice your chopstick skills! You will get back to hotel at 2-3 pm.

Accommodation: Beijing Hotel
Meals: breakfast/lunch/celebration dinner

Day 8 – City Tour of Beijing
It’s time to enjoy a day exploring China’s capital city. The guided tour will highlight the contrast of old and new, including the Old Imperial Palace known as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Lunch is included. Then it’s time to perhaps shop for some last minute souvenirs before a final dinner.

Accommodation: Beijing Hotel
Meals: breakfast

Day 9 – Depart Beijing


Extensions

If extending to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, from Day 8, your itinerary will change to this:

Day 8: City Tour of Beijing; Beijing to Xi’an by overnight Train
You will still conduct the Tour of Beijing with the group and at the appropriate time, we transfer you to the station to catch the overnight train to Xian. There is a supermarket at station if you wish to stock up on snacks and drinks.
Note: the sleeper is based on air conditioned, four-berth cabins, mixed sexes. 2 berth, en suite cabins at additional cost; not guaranteed.
Accommodation: overnight sleeper train. Meals: B/L

Day 9: Xi’an, Terracotta Warriors
On arrival in Xi’an, our guide will pick you up and drive to the Terracotta Warriors; one of the most important archaeological discovery in the 20th century. Coming back to the city, we will visit the 500-year City Wall and ride a bike on the top of the Wall. It will take 1.5 hours for 11 km. A dumpling dinner plus Tang Dynasty show will be organised at night.
Accommodation: hotel in Xi’an
Meals: L/D

Day 10: High Speed Train back to Beijing
After breakfast, we walk through the Muslim Quarter which is alive at this time of day. We visit the Great Mosque, which displays features of both local and Arabic architecture. We then head back to the station for the wonderful high speed train journey back to Beijing. Accommodation is in a hotel close to the airport for ease of transfer the next day; transfer is by the hotel shuttle bus.
Accommodation: airport hotel in Beijing
Meals: B/L

Day 11: Departure Beijing
Depart for international flight back to the UK arriving the same day.


If extending to Xi’an AND Chengdu to see the Terracotta Warriors and the Pandas, from Day 8, your itinerary will change to this:

Day 8: City Tour of Beijing; Beijing to Xi’an by overnight Train
You will still conduct the Tour of Beijing with the group and at the appropriate time, we transfer you to the station to catch the overnight train to Xian. There is a supermarket at station if you wish to stock up on snacks and drinks.
Note: the sleeper is based on air conditioned, four-berth cabins, mixed sexes. 2 berth, en suite cabins at additional cost; not guaranteed.
Accommodation: overnight sleeper train. Meals: B/L

Day 9: Xi’an, Terracotta Warriors
On arrival in Xi’an, our guide will pick you up and drive to the Terracotta Warriors; one of the most important archaeological discovery in the 20th century. Coming back to the city, we will visit the 500-year City Wall and ride a bike on the top of the Wall. It will take 1.5 hours for 11 km. A dumpling dinner plus Tang Dynasty show will be organised at night.
Accommodation: hotel in Xi’an
Meals: L/D

Day 10: Xi’an, Yangling Tomb, fly to Chengdu
After breakfast, we walk through the Muslim Quarter which is alive at this time of day. We visit the Great Mosque, which displays features of both local and Arabic architecture. On the way to airport, we will visit Yangling Tomb where half-sized terracotta figures are exhibited, a different collection from the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). We catch the late afternoon flight to Chengdu where our Guide will meet you at the airport and transfer to the city.
Accommodation: hotel in Chengdu
Meals: B/L/D

Day 11: Chengdu (Pandas), fly to Beijing
First thing, we head to Chengdu Research Base of Pandas Breeding where both adult and baby pandas are taken care of. They are active in the morning. Afternoon flight to Beijing. Accommodation is in a hotel close to the airport for ease of transfer the next day; transfer is by the hotel shuttle bus.
Accommodation: airport hotel in Beijing
Meals: B/L

Day 11: Departure Beijing
Depart for international flight back to the UK arriving the same day.

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
7 - 15 Apr 2018 £1950
12 - 20 May 2018 £1950
6 - 14 Oct 2018 £1950
13 - 21 Apr 2019 £2050
5 - 13 Oct 2019 £2050

Deposit – £250

Group Size: 4 – 16 + the Guide(s).

We can tailor make group sizes of 2 or 3 pax for an additional fee of £150 per person.

Sole Occupation – see tab below.

What the price includes:

  • International flights London – Beijing – London
  • Return airport transfers in Beijing
  • Fully qualified English speaking local guides
  • 3/4* hotel accommodation in Beijing, twin share, B&B basis
  • Basic hotel/farmhouse accommodation on trek (5 nights)
  • All meals & drinking water on trek
  • Luggage transfer during trek (night stop to night stop)
  • All trek and National Park access permits
  • Ground transport as per itinerary
  • Camping gear for 1 night: twin share tent, roll mat & sleeping bag per person
  • Challenge Manual containing everything you need to know
  • Full support before and during your trip
  • Discounts from UK retailers

Services Excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending

Terracotta Warrior Extension, Costs and Services Included

  • Cost from £595 pp
  • Transfer to train station in Beijing and overnight train to Xi’an based on 4 berth, mixed berth cabin
  • English speaking local guide in Xi’an
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Xi’an (1 night), twin share
  • Meals as shown on the itinerary
  • Ground transport as required by the itinerary, air conditioned
  • Entrance fee to Terracotta Warrior exhibition
  • Dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty Show in evening in Xi’an
  • Bullet train back to Beijing, overnight hotel (twin share) near airport
  • Hotel shuttle bus back to the airport

Terracotta Warrior & Chengdu Pandas Extension, Costs and Services Included

  • Cost from £950 pp
  • Transfer to train station in Beijing and overnight train to Xi’an based on 4 berth, mixed berth cabin
  • English speaking local guide in Xi’an
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Xi’an (1 night), twin share
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Chengdu (1 night), twin share
  • Meals as shown on the itinerary
  • Ground transport as required by the itinerary, air conditioned
  • Entrance fee to Terracotta Warrior exhibition and Pandas Breeding Centre
  • Dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty Show in evening in Xi’an
  • Domestic flight to Xi’an – Chengdu and Chengdu – Beijing
  • Overnight hotel in Beijing, twin share, near airport
  • Hotel shuttle bus back to the airport

Tailor Made Option

We can tailor make this trip to suit you; dates, extensions, reductions, adjusted trek itinerary, just about anything. Additional charges only apply when additional services or time are added.

Please consult us for Land Only queries.

Because we transfer straight from the airport on arrival in Beijing to the Wall (no overnight stop in Beijing), it is vital all group members meet that transport.

What the price includes:

  • Return airport transfers in Beijing
  • Fully qualified English speaking local guides
  • 3/4* hotel accommodation in Beijing, twin share, B&B basis
  • Basic hotel/farmhouse accommodation on trek (5 nights)
  • All meals & drinking water on trek
  • Luggage transfer during trek (night stop to night stop)
  • All trek and National Park access permits
  • Ground transport as per itinerary
  • Camping gear for 1 night: twin share tent, roll mat & sleeping bag per person
  • Challenge Manual containing everything you need to know
  • Full support before and during your trip
  • Discounts from UK retailers

Services Excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending

Terracotta Warrior Extension, Costs and Services Included

  • Cost from £595 pp
  • Transfer to train station in Beijing and overnight train to Xi’an based on 4 berth, mixed berth cabin
  • English speaking local guide in Xi’an
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Xi’an (1 night), twin share
  • Meals as shown on the itinerary
  • Ground transport as required by the itinerary, air conditioned
  • Entrance fee to Terracotta Warrior exhibition
  • Dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty Show in evening in Xi’an
  • Bullet train back to Beijing, overnight hotel (twin share) near airport
  • Hotel shuttle bus back to the airport

Terracotta Warrior & Chengdu Pandas Extension, Costs and Services Included

  • Cost from £950 pp
  • Transfer to train station in Beijing and overnight train to Xi’an based on 4 berth, mixed berth cabin
  • English speaking local guide in Xi’an
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Xi’an (1 night), twin share
  • 4* hotel accommodation in Chengdu (1 night), twin share
  • Meals as shown on the itinerary
  • Ground transport as required by the itinerary, air conditioned
  • Entrance fee to Terracotta Warrior exhibition and Pandas Breeding Centre
  • Dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty Show in evening in Xi’an
  • Domestic flight to Xi’an – Chengdu and Chengdu – Beijing
  • Overnight hotel in Beijing, twin share, near airport
  • Hotel shuttle bus back to the airport

Tailor Made Option

We can tailor make this trip to suit you; dates, extensions, reductions, adjusted trek itinerary, just about anything. Additional charges only apply when additional services or time are added.

If Sole Occupation is requested – £210.

This provides sole occupation of a hotel/guesthouse room throughout the scheduled itinerary.

If you a lone traveller and do not request sole occuaption, you will be not be charged any form of ‘single supplement’ by default but placed into a twin room (same sex). If there happens to be an odd one out, someone gets sole occupation at no cost.

This does not apply to the extensions. Sole occupation charges on request.

If the above group dates do not suit, you can request alternative dates to suit you. Read more>>

brochure
book
key information

It’s All In The Detail

Passport – Must be valid for at least 6 months when you enter China.  Information source is the FCO Travel Advice China.

Visa – UK Nationals will require a visa, obtained through the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre. We will provide full details of how to do this but expect to pay £170 – £180.

Flight Tickets – paper tickets are rare these days; all e-tickets. All you need to check in is your passport and PNR Reference No (which we provide you with). From that your boarding passes are provided. We either provide your boarding passes (by email) or you check in on line yourself (or at the airport).

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

Suffice to say, there are a lot of steps, both up and down on this trek. It therefore makes it physical on the legs (knees).

The trekking days are not full days, few would be able to cope with that level of stepping so they are extended half days with some travelling combined to allow for the necessary movement in between the sections.

In general terms, a reasonable level of fitness based on the ability to walk up and down steps at your own comfortable pace for 4 – 5 hrs a day (with rest stops), for several consecutive days carrying a day sack weighing approx 5kg is all that is required.

After booking, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Details Form which will include your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • All b’fasts supplied throughout + all meals and drinking water on trek.
  • A celebratory traditional roast duck dinner is also supplied complimentary; first night in Beijing.

Please inform us if you are vegetarian.

Accommodation

  • On trek – local guesthouses, twin share, same sex.
  • Beijing – 3* hotel, twin share, same sex.

Our default flights are:

International Flights – London (Heathrow or Gatwick) – Beijing (PEK). Can be direct or indirect (one stop).

London not convenient? – Other UK regional airport options are possible. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Please ask for advice on 01529 488159.

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations:

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

You need very little spending money on this trip, save for any time expenditure within Beijing.

The Chinese currency is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). You can obtain CNY prior to departing the UK, or you can obtain it on arrival.

We recommend either carrying additional spare cash OR a debit/credit card as a back up. The latter (credit card) should always be carried for emergencies.

Further generic information on subjects such as travel insurance and high altitude trekking can be found on our Information webpage.

Anything missing? – Ask A Question