China

The Great Wall Trekking & Xi'an

Level

Moderate

Duration

7 days

Best time to travel

All around the year (avoid winter and public holidays)
April; May; September and October are considered best months for this trip.

Route

Arrival Beijing – Beijing – Jiankou – Mitianyu – Gubeikou – Xi’an – Departure 

Built by a succession of Chinese dynasties, the Great Wall of China is an architectural masterpiece that was constructed more than 2,000 years ago to hold back the Mongol invaders. The wall is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts millions of visitors each year.

This wall is a cultural icon and plays an important role in Chinese history- it was the wall that defended the Chinese Empire, protected the people, took years to build and cost the lives of hundreds in its construction.

Great Wall trekking is truly the best way to appreciate such a colossal feat of engineering; by trekking its sections, the history of the Great Wall of China comes alive!

Xi’an is more than 3,000 years old and was known as Chang’an in ancient times. For 1,000 years, the city was the capital for 13 dynasties, and a total of 73 emperors ruled here. Xi’an is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. With so much history within the ground the city lies upon, it is no wonder that there are so many historical ruins, museums and cultural relics to be found here. It was already influencing the world outside of the Great Wall of China as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road Here traders from far and wide brought goods and ideas for sale and took goods and ideas back with them to their native countries. In present day Xi’an not much of its former glory remains within the city confines, due to the constant warfare and political changes that swept China particularly throughout the 20th Century. Today the city has a pleasant cosmopolitan flair to it and it is worth visiting for the famed Terracotta Warriors alone. It has often been said that, “if you have not been to Xi’an, you have not been to China!”

Facts

Activities: trekking/hiking; cultural sightseeing, cycling

Our operation:

All Rahhalah’s ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity and understanding of the local culture and environment.

Our staff is highly experienced and has excellent knowledge of each section of the Great wall, committed to provide exceptional service at all times.

Sustainability:   

We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.

We are committed to employing local people to the maximum extent possible. We pay our staff well and, just as important, we provide them with periodical training. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Beijing (D)

Our guide and driver will meet you up at Beijing airport and then transfer to hotel in the downtown. A welcome dinner will be organised in a local courtyard restaurant.

Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar

Meals: dinner

Day 2: Great Wall trekking from Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours) ( B, L,D)

Leave hotel at 8am and drive 2.5 hours to start the hiking at 10 am at Jiankou, and it will take 5 hours hiking on the wall. You will hike on both restored and original walls. We willnhave a picnic lunch on the Wall. We will drive 2 hours to Gubeikou where we stay at local guesthouse.

Jiankou to Mutianyu section offers a wonderfully satisfying experience of the Wall. It has superb scenery, dense vegetation and many fine watch-towers in an excellent restored section which is about six metres broad. The brickwork is elaborate, with crenellations on both sides and finely curved eaves on some watch-tower roofs. There are decorative gables with animal statues, and tablets bearing calligraphy above some entrances. The first one hour is going straight up and reaches the wall, and then hikes unrestored towers.

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.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthoue at Gubeikou (western toilet & shower)

Meals: breakfast/picnic lunch (subway)/dinner

Day 3: Great Wall trekking at Coiling Dragon Hill at Gubeikou (3 hours) ( B, L,D)

After a typical farmer’s breakfast, and we start the hike at 8am.It’s the right time to produce amazing photographs. At this time there are usually no other tourists on the wall, you have the wall to yourself. It will take about 3 hours hiking on the wall. We will drive back to the city after the hiking.

Gubeikou, along with the passes at Shanhaiguan in the east and Juyongguan in the west,was a key strategic target in military campaigns since ancient times. Protecting these three passes was considered vital for keeping Beijing safe from the Mongolian nomads. There was also a fierce battle between Chinese and Japanese in the 2nd World War. The vistas of the sinuous Wall snaking its way over the ridges of the Yanshan Mountain are Breathtaking.

This part of the Wall at Coiling Dragon Hill is completely wild and untouched. It takes some 20 minutes walking on trail to reach the Wall and then another 1 hour to break at 24-eyetower,the highest point and the picturesque spot where you could have a panoramic view of both Coiling Dragon & Crouching Tiger hills. We will not continue eastward as it’s a part of military area. We will do a return walk and pass by the starting point and keep going to

the west, approaching Crouching Tiger Hill. The main Wall here has decayed (we will walk through 8 intact watchtowers) and only the foundation is left. It is relatively flat trail instead of many stairs on the Wall. The unrestored wall, the watch towers, the beacon towers snake on the mountain from east to west. It is one of the best places for keen photographers along the wall. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here.

We will organize a unique Hotpot lunch when back to the city. 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. A Beijing duck dinner will be organised for your achievement of walking the Great Wall.

Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Beijing (B, L)

Today  you will visit Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.

Forbidden City,lying at the city center and called Gu Gong in Chinese, it was the imperial palace for twenty-four emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built throughout 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu  in 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. The Palace for the emperor on earth was so called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the empeor. Hence its name ‘The Purple Forbidden City’, usually ‘The Forbidden City’

Accommodation: Prime Hotel or similar

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 5: Summer Palace and Hutong tour/ Xi’an ( B, L)

Today you will visit Summer Palace and Hutongs  and have lunch with  a local family.

Afternoon take the speed train to Xi’an (5 hours)

Accommodation: Grand New World Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 6: Xi’an - Visit to Terra-cotta Warriors and Big Wild Goose Pagoda ( B, L)

Today you will visit Terra cota Warriorsan  UNESCO World Heritage Site and Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

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 stories. 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.

Accommodation: Grand New World Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Day 7: Cycling on the City Wall, visit to Muslim Quarter/Departure Xian ( B)

Today you will enjoy 1.5 hours cycling on the top of the City Wall. Walking the Muslim Quarter.

You will complete the activities by noon and departure from Xian.

1,800 USD

per person in a group of min 4. Double occupancy.

Trip Dates

22 October 2017

NOTES

  • The above rate is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement applies.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change

THIS INCLUDES

  • Air-conditioned vehicle with experienced driver during the whole trip
  • Twin-shared accommodation as listed in itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all sections on the Great Wall and indicated sightseeing attractions in Beijing & Xi’an
  • Fully-escorted English-speaking hiking tour guide
  • 2nd class speed train from Beijing to Xi’an
  • Bottled water stored in our vehicle for the whole trip
  • Trekking poles are available upon request
  • Snacks, energy bars, fruits on the Wall
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary, complimentary drinks on meals are included; (extra drinks after meals are not included)

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International Airfare and Airport Taxes
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Any other meals which are not specified in itinerary, or snacks, drinks
  • Gratuities, tips to guides and driver on good service separately
  • Optional activities
  • Other personal expenses
  • Excess baggage charge

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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