Duration: 8 Days
Best Time To Travel: Fall
From: $1,269 USD
Ultramodern and resolutely traditional, modern China is a land with one foot in the present and the other striding into the future. This eight-day adventure connects them both, beginning with Shanghai’s sleek skyscrapered skyline and a train to the limestone karsts of Guilin. Next, you’ll strap on your boots and hike into the countryside around Longji to wander the picturesque rice paddies. (Depending on the season, you may even get to help out with the harvest.) Finally, you’ll return to modern times with a two-day stint in always-on Hong Kong. Nature and modernity, in perfect balance.
Day 1. Arrive at any time. After the group meeting, head out for an optional group dinner and go for a stroll along the Bund, taking in Shanghai’s futuristic skyline.
Day 2. Spend a free day exploring the mix of modern and historic in Shanghai before boarding an overnight train to Guilin.
Day 3. Arrive in Guilin, transfer to Longji and get ready for the next day’s hike with some free time. Stay at a country guesthouse today and tomorrow.
Day 4. Enjoy village to village trekking along the rice terraces. Longji is famous for its centuries old rice terraces, often referred to as the Dragon’s Backbone, built along forested mountain slopes that seem to poke into the clouds. Check out the unique wooden architecture of the local Zhuang and Yao people.
Enjoy an included half-day trek along hills and terraces, and admire the rice paddies that this area is famous for. Stop for lunch along the way. Longji means “Dragon-backed Mountain”, due to the appearance of what looks like scales on the mountains when the rice paddies are filled with water in the spring.
Day 5. Transfer to Yangshuo on the world-famous Li River. Get to know the town on an orientation walk before free time to explore.
Spend two days in Yangshuo enjoying the heaps of activities available in this scenic region. Some favorites include trying your hand at cooking local fare at a boutique cooking school, dabbling in Tai Chi or Chinese calligraphy, walking and cycling through the countryside, climbing atop a karst for panoramic views or relaxing at one of the town’s many cafés.
Day 6. Discover more of scenic Yangshuo with a free day.
Day 7. Transfer to Guilin and board a train to Hong Kong, arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 8. Depart at any time.