Day 0111th October 2019
- Arrival in Beijing (D)
Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed at the airport by a Rahhalah representative, and you will be transferred to your hotel, downtown. A welcome dinner will be organized in a local courtyard restaurant. Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar.
Day 0212th October 2019
- Trekking on the Great Wall from Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours) (B, L,D)
After an early breakfast, you will check out from the hotel (at 8am) and head to Jiankou, the starting point of your hiking adventure (approx. a 2.5-hour drive). You will spend the next 5 hours on the Great Wall, hiking on both restored and original segments, and enjoying a picnic lunch on the way. At the end of this section, the car will be waiting for you to take you to Gubeikou (approx. 2-hour drive), where you will spend the night at a localguesthouse. The section from Jiankou to Mutianyu offers a wonderfully satisfying experience for your first day on the Wall. It includessuperb scenery, dense vegetation and many watchtowers in a beautifully restoredsegment which is about six metres broad. The brickwork is elaborate with crenellations onboth sides and finely curved eaves on some watchtower roofs. There are decorativegables with animal statues, and tablets bearing calligraphy above some entrances. After the first hour, you will enter an unrestored part of the Wall which dates to the Ming Dynasty. It has fine stonework, and there arealmost no other people. You will be rewarded atZhenbeilou Tower, from where you will have a breathtaking view of the Jiankou section. There will be a sharp contrastwhen you arrive at Mutianyu with its restored wall and towers. Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Gubeikou (western toilet & shower).
Day 0313th October 2019
- Trekking on the Great Wall at Coiling Dragon Hill, Gubeikou (3 hours) (B, L,D)
After a typical farmer's breakfast, you will start today’s hike at around 8am, the perfect time to take somefantastic photos, as there will be no other tourists and you will have the Wall to yourself. Today’s hike will last for approximately 3 hours, and at the end, you will be driven back to Beijing. Gubeikou, along with the passes at Shanhaiguan in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was, since ancient times, a key strategic location duringthe military campaigns. Protecting these three passes was considered vital for keeping Beijing safe from the Mongolian nomads. A fierce battle between Chinese and Japanese during the 2nd World War also took place in this location. The vistasof the sinuous Wall snaking its way over the ridges of the Yanshan Mountain are breathtaking. This part of the Wall at the Coiling Dragon Hill is entirely wild and untouched. It takes about20 minutes walking on a trail to reach the Wall and then another hour to stop at a 24-eyetower: the highest point and the most picturesque spot from where you can have a panoramic view of both the Coiling Dragon and the Crouching Tiger hills. From there, access to visitors is forbidden as the path leads to a military area so you will head back, passing by the starting point and continuing to the west, towards the Crouching Tiger Hill. The main Wall here has decayed (you will walkthrough 8 intact watchtowers) and only the foundation is left. It is a relatively flat trail as opposed to the usual steep stairs that you find in other sections. This is one of the best places on the Wall to take photos of the snaking structure, the watchtowers and the beacon towers. When back to Beijing, you will enjoy a unique Hotpot lunch. Hotpot is originally from Sichuan Province, and now it is popular all over China. You can choose Plain or Spicy, as you like. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice your chopstick skills. In the evening, you will enjoy a Beijing duck dinner to celebrate your achievement of hiking on the Great Wall. Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar.
Day 0414th October 2019
- Beijing (B, L)
After breakfast, you will head towards Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The Forbidden City (called Gu Gong in Chinese), was the Imperial Palace for twenty-four emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its construction lasted 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient Chinese astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace. As such, the Palace for the emperor on earth was called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without the emperor’s permission; hence the people usually refer to it as “The Forbidden City” (instead of “The Purple Forbidden City”). Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar.
Day 0515th October 2019
- Summer Palace and Hutong tour in Beijing – Train to Xi’an (B)
In the morning, you will visit the Summer Palace and the cultural Hutongs, where, if you wish, you can have lunch with a local family. In the afternoon, you will take the speed train to Xi’an (G87/14:00-18:23). Accommodation: Grand New World Hotel or similar.
Day 0616th October 2019
- Xi’an - Visit ofthe Terracotta Warriors and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (B, D)
After breakfast, you will visit the famous Terracotta Warriors (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the soldiers of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art, buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE, destined to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty and originally had five storeys. The structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. You will finish the day with a farewell dinner. Accommodation: Grand New World Hotel or similar.
Day 0717th October 2019
- Cycling on the City Wall/ Visit to Muslim Quarter/Xi’an –Beijing train / Departure from Beijing(B)
Your last day in China is still packed with activities. After breakfast, you will enjoy a 1.5-hour cycling tour on the top of the City Wall, and then you will visit the Muslim Quarter of the town. In the afternoon, you will depart from Xi’an, retaking the speed train back to Beijing (Xi’an – Beijing train timing: G88/13:30-17:55) Upon your arrival to Beijing, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. International flights should be after 22:00 pm.