China on a shoestring small group vacation

“For those that want to see the real China, beyond the most famous landmarks, this small group vacation from Beijing to Shanghai via public transport is one to treasure.”

Highlights

Beijing | Forbidden City | Tiananmen Square | Walk a section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu | Xian | Big Wild Goose Pagoda | Terracotta Army | Tea Ceremony | Three Gorges | Fengdu ghost town | Take the bullet train to Chengdu | Panda Research Centre | Dong village homestay | Trekking in rural countryside | Yangshuo | Shanghai | Yu Yuan Gardens

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
10 Oct 2021
US $3290
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Oct 2021 departure
03 Apr 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Apr 2022 departure
10 Apr 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Apr 2022 departure
08 May 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 May 2022 departure
31 Jul 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 Jul 2022 departure
04 Sep 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Sep 2022 departure
09 Sep 2022
US $3350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Sep 2022 departure
Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
This trip visits much of China, both modern cities and rural areas. The majority of travel is by public transport where we not only mix with the local people but ensure a much lower carbon footprint than if we used our own dedicated vehicle. We also use locally owned hotels throughout the trip, ensuring benefit to the communities we are visiting.

On this trip you will stay in a mixture of hotels and guesthouses with a much more local feel than the many international chain hotels that can be found throughout China. However a real highlight is the 4 nights spent on a river boat on the Yangtse. Not only is this a spectacular way to explore the river it is also a much more sustainable means of transportation, rather than using road transportation.

In addition to the river boat we also spend 3 nights on an overnight train, which is a great way to meet local people and learn about local life. The accommodations are quite basic on the train but allow us to get more quickly to our destinations whilst really getting to the heart of Chinese culture and customs.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We use local tour leaders and guides which means that we get in-depth information on the country we are visiting and generate wealth for the local people. China has wealth of history and culture to explore as well as how life is in modern day China; from learning about the education system, to making sure we don’t fall foul of any taboos!

Meeting the people is often a great highlight of a tour and our leaders are real facilitators; enabling us to meet and mix with local people wherever possible – all the more fun when we are traveling off the beaten track. Our local leaders take us to small, locally owned and run restuarants wherever possible throughout the trip, ensuring that small businesses benefit from our visit, and that we enjoy a very authentic experience.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

Climate

2 Reviews of China on a shoestring small group vacation

3.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
0
1
1
0
0

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The Li River and Yangshuo.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Consider adding some time before and/or after to see more of Beijing and/or Shanghai if you can. Also the operator does not provide local guides at some sites and some sites have limited English info. Having some information with you is helpful.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Somewhat, but we also visited a number of government shops. We traveled mostly by train rather than plane, which reduced environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Enjoyable, but we moved too much. The itinerary is very tight. I would reduce the number of places visited.

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Knife cut noodle dishes in Xi’an were delicious. Tea houses in Peoples park
looked amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take a free walk up to the TV tower in Yangshuo for amazing views over the
city and lime kast mountains.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not really. There is too much plastic waste in China.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


You cover a vast area in a decent period of time.
chased response 14.11.18 SJP re plasics

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Dominic thank you for reviewing your vacation and great to hear that you enjoyed the trip and have some good memories to bring home with you. With regards to the environment it is a problem in China and as you have pointed out there is too much plastic waste. From our perspective we try to assist the environment through measures such as using public transport - particularly trains and boats which cuts down on the carbon emissions that would be generated from private vehicles but we are fully aware of the issue with plastics and are working with our local agents to try to reduce this where we can. It is a long haul however! As a company we are very involved with the whole issue of plastic waste and have introduced such initiatives as Water to Go to help reduce the amount of plastic bottles used on trips. Many thanks again for your valuable comments.

Popular similar vacations

The Essence of China vacation

The Essence of China vacation

Explore cultural & religious heritage

From US $3655 - US $4060 19 days excluding flights

Namibia small group vacation, sand dunes & safari

Namibia small group vacation, sand dunes & safari

A hidden gem of contrasting landscapes and amazing wildlife

From £1685 8 days excluding flights

Morocco cultural tour

Morocco cultural tour

Come and see Morocco's kaleidoscope of colours

From US $1058 - US $1335 15 days excluding flights

Ivory Coast small group tour

Ivory Coast small group tour

Explore the little known but welcoming Ivory Coast

From £3099 - £3420 13 days excluding flights