Activity and Adventure Holidays to China
From epic mountains and desert moonscapes to the modern chic of Shanghai; from ancient civilisations to the People’s Republic. China is vast, it’s incredible - it really is a different world. To do China justice you need to take your time on your adventure holiday. Overland tours give the maximum opportunity to make your trip a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Iconic sights are aplenty: float down the Yangtze, follow the Silk Road and stop off at the Great Wall before you arrive at the Forbidden City. China has so many cultural sights and natural wonders that you will be spoilt for choice. Worried that you haven’t got time for it all? What you don’t see will still be there for your next adventure holiday.
Adventure Holiday to China: The Highlights
1 Follow the Silk Road
The Silk Road is one of the world’s oldest and historically important trade routes and had a huge influence on the civilisations of the West. A series of trade routes connecting China to the Mediterranean via the Central Asian steppes, the Silk Road covers some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet.
The vast plains and great deserts create an unmissable wilderness landscape, home to nomadic tribes and marauding warriors. The Silk Road is also home to the forgotten cities that were once the centre of civilisation – Samarkand and Bokhara in Uzbekistan, and Kashgar, regal posts on this incredible journey to Beijing.
2 Trek the Great Wall
China’s most famous landmark, the Great Wall, winds like a dragon across the landscape. Stretching over 6,000km it maps out most things Chinese, taking in Imperial tombs, quiet rural villages and mountainous highlands before reaching Beijing itself.
The best bits are away from the tourist hordes that descend on the wall by the coach load. Our advice – take a cycling or trekking holiday to the more remote areas. Your effort will be rewarded with peace and tranquillity, and an opportunity to get a real sense of the scale and majesty of this remarkable construction.
3 Walk among the Terracotta Army
In 1974, a group of peasants unearthed one of the biggest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Imagine their surprise when instead of finding an underground lake they uncovered over 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors. Beautifully crafted with astonishing attention to detail, the soldiers had been lying there for over 2,000 years guarding the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor in the ancient city of Xi’an.
4 Visit Yunnan, ‘South of the Cloud Mountains’
The Chinese say that the people of Yunnan are relaxed and easygoing. Maybe this is the influence of neighbours Vietnam and Burma. Maybe it’s the melting pot culture that sees 55 ethnic minorities live side by side in harmony. Maybe it’s the villages that exist beyond the clouds. Whatever it is, it makes for an inspirational adventure holiday experience in one of China’s most intriguing regions.
Georgina Lawrence, Exodus' Marketing Executive writes about The perfect cup of Tea (January 2013).
To find out more about this fascinating country check out our Country Guide to China.