China on a Shoestring

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • COVID-19protected
  • Safari
  • Wildlife
  • Countryside and village visits
  • Natural landmarks sightseeing
See Itinerary
  • duration 21 days
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 14+ yrs
  • max group size 17
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Beijing, China
  • Ends Shanghai, China
Tour with Flexible Booking Policy
  • Change dates It is free to change your tour start date within 30 days of departure.
  • Choose a different tour Select a new tour run by the same tour operator within 30 days of departure.
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Beijing Walk along the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Explore Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City
  • Xian Meet the famous Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi
  • Yangtse River cruise Relax for 3 days whilst exploring the stunning Yangtse River landscapes
  • Villages and Rice Terraces Take in rural China as we hike amongst the villages of the Dong, Yao and Zhuan people
Starting in Beijing and ending in Shanghai, the "China On A Shoestring" tour is a guided cultural, religious and historic sites tour that takes 21 days. You will travel through Dazhai, Chongqing, Yangshuo and 9 other destinations in China. "China On A Shoestring" is a small group tour which includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

Witness China's highlights as we travel across this vast country with locals on public transport. From ancient sites in Beijing and the Great Wall to the lively and modern streets of Shanghai, experiencing the 'real China' in between. Xian & Chengdu - Meet the famous Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi and see pandas at the famous research centre Yangtse River cruise - Relax for 3 days whilst exploring the stunning river landscapes Villages and Rice Terraces - Take in rural China as we hike amongst the villages of the Dong, Yao and Zhuan people
5 - Excellent
Based on 295 reviews
  • Anne
  • On Dec 11 2019
4 - Very Good
Anne's review for another Explore tour
“Advice on money required not good and changed far too much. Fortunately acted as banker to others”
  • Gillian
  • On Feb 15 2020
5 - Excellent
Gillian's review for another Explore tour
“I have made these comments to be helpful - I don't expect them to appear on the website and I don't want them to detract from what was a great holiday. We had a lovely group - all experienced Explore customers, and everything worked well. Oman was a wonderful destination”
  • Joanne
  • On Jun 10 2020
5 - Excellent
Joanne's review for another Explore tour
“We really enjoyed the whole trip, every activity and being with the group. Paul was fantastic and really looked after us throughout ”
Select Tour Version:
  • Day 1 : Join trip in Beijing
  • Day 2 : Discover the sights of Beijing including the Forbidden City
  • Day 3 : Discover the Temple of Heaven, free afternoon in Beijing
  • Day 4 : Walk the Great Wall; overnight train to Xian
  • Day 5 : Free time to explore Xian's Muslim Quarter
  • Day 6 : Discover the Terracotta Army; optional Tea Ceremony
  • Day 7 : Morning train to Yichang; board the Yangtse riverboat
  • Day 8 : Cruise down the Yangtse River passing through Xiling Gorge
  • Day 9 : Continue down the Yangtse River; passing through the Wu and Qutang Gorges
  • Day 10 : A chance to visit the Fengdu Ghost City and take part in the Captain's farwell dinner
  • Day 11 : Disembark riverboat; bullet train to Chengdu
  • Day 12 : Visit the Panda Research Centre and take the bullet train to Sanjiang before driving to Ma An Zhai Village
  • Day 13 : Drive to Ma An Zhai Village. Evening with local family
  • Day 14 : Meet Yao families in Longji and Dazhai Village
  • Day 15 : Hike from Dazhai to Pingan, passing incredible views
  • Day 16 : Transfer from Pingan to Yangshuo
  • Day 17 : Free day in Yangshuo; optional bike hire and cooking classes
  • Day 18 : Transfer to Guilin; overnight train to Shanghai
  • Day 19 : Free day in Shanghai; stroll along the Shanghai Bund
  • Day 20 : Optional visit to the Pearl TV and Radio Tower
  • Day 21 : Trip ends in Shanghai
  • 11 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • King Parkview Hotel (3 nights)
  • Overnight Train from Beijing to Xian (1 night)
  • Jie Fang Hotel (2 nights)
  • Yangtse River Boat (4 nights)
  • Chengdu Kuanjing Ruiji Hotel (1 night)
  • Longfeng Guesthouse (2 nights)
  • Dazhai Xin Tian Guesthouse (1 night)
  • Ping An Guesthouse (1 night)
  • New Li Jiang Hotel (2 nights)
  • Overnight Train from Guilin to Shanghai (1 night)
  • Shanghai Yu Hang Hotel (2 nights)
  • Driver(s)
  • Bus
  • Boat
  • Train
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Local Guide(s)
  • Any international flights to Beijing and from Shanghai are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this China on a Shoestring tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Why Book with Bookmundi
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this China on a Shoestring tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 17 December 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 17 December 2021, a deposit of 10% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 59 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

China on a Shoestring tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this China on a Shoestring tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

For Solo Travelers

A twin share room may not always be available for solo travelers as it depends on the final number of people on the tour. If you have picked twin share room while booking, and that option is not available, we will get back to you after booking. A single room might then be available against an additional fee.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • The average size of this tour is just 12 people.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing has been implemented on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected. Hygiene safety measures and distancing will furthermore be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Various COVID-19 distancing measures have been implemented on this trip to ensure the safety of each traveller.
  • This tour has implemented COVID-19 protocols that are guided by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), the European Commission and local government regulations. It amongst others take into account personal protection, extensive disinfecting and social distancing measures.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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