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Beijing and The Great Wall   •   Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces   •   Mount Emei   •   Szechuan   •   Tiger Leaping Gorge and Beyond   •   Hong Kong extension   •   Xi'an and Terracotta Warriors extension   •   Charms of China   •   Combination for Adventure   •   Combination for Classic Walks   •   Combination for Ethnic Peoples   •   Combination for History & Culture/UNESCO Sites   •   Combination for Relaxed Walking   •   Combination for Serious Walking

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Map of our walking Holidays in China - Click here to find out more about China China, or officially the People's Republic of China, is the worlds most populous country with a population of more than 1.35 billion people and the second largest country by land area. China is a single-party state governed by the Communist party and the capital city is Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over the provinces, municipalities and regions of the country. Because of China’s size it is very diverse culturally. There are modern westernised cities like Hong Kong and Macau and rural villages that still operate how they have done for 100’s of year. From villages in the high mountains to those on the edge of deserts. All of which have their own identity and history within China.

The People's Republic of China gained power at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Mao Zedong, or popularly known as Chairman Mao, led the country until his death in 1976 and started the movement towards the country that exists today. Since the 1990's China has seen rapid economic growth and is now the biggest importer and exported of goods in the world. This has also led to big modern cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu.

China's landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau and continue to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles) long and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.



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Walking in China

China is relatively new to the ‘hiking’ market, but now that the Chinese are also becoming interested in this activity, trails are becoming way marked and well maintained by regional authorities.  New routes are being developed, but still the hotel infrastructure and other amenities within hiking areas remain limited.  To enjoy the real beauty and hospitality of rural China it is necessary to accept that standards may not always be on a par with those found in cities.   Language remains a problem for those without knowledge of Mandarin hence a guide is somewhat necessary!  Walking in China is as safe as anywhere though we emphasize that walking The Great Wall requires a good level of fitness as some scrambling will be necessary.  A head for heights is also required on some sections. South in Guangxi Province around Guilin, walking is easy and relaxed along the Li River and through the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces.    

Walking in China with New Experience Holidays is different from most companies which only feature group holidays with fixed itineraries.  We provide a hiking guide for individual clients with the support of a private driver.  They accompany you throughout your stay and tend to everything in support of your trip.  With their extensive knowledge of the regions, you will eat in the most authentic local restaurants, have luggage transferred with you in the car, and have a personal guide around key historical sites. We are able to feature Chinese Homestays and special hotels which generally cater for individual travelers.   

Visa - China

All visitors to China require a Visa.  Applications need to be given plenty of time (absolute minimum in UK is two weeks).

Your application for a China visa should be made when your booking has been confirmed. We will give you the letters of introduction from China, flight details if we have booked them for you and any other relevant information with regards to getting your visa.

For UK residents, to apply for the visa you need to fill out forms which can be printed from the China visa website. You can either make an appointment to take your documentation to one of the three application visa offices at London, Manchester or Edinburgh or you can post the documentation to one of these offices. If you choose any postal options you will be charged extra. For collection a single entry visa for a UK passport should cost £66 and a postal application should cost £84. The visa process will take up to 14 days. Prices for other nationalities will vary.

For non-UK residents please contact your local Chinese consulate for more details.

Visa – Hong Kong

It must be emphasized that visa requirements are not the same for Hong Kong as they are for China.  UK nationals do not require a visa for Hong Kong.

Health

China does not present the traveler with any great health risks as long as certain ‘rules’ are maintained. At the time of booking we will advise on necessary vaccinations required and all health considerations for the regions you will be visiting. 

Food and Drink

The Chinese are extremely health conscious!  They live to eat and are very particular about the preparation and quality of the food they eat and it’s amazing in diversity of tastes, textures and content!  It is usual to eat three hot meals each day and generally large quantities are consumed.  If you stick to freshly cooked Chinese food eating what is recommended by our guides, you should not experience any stomach problems.  Going ‘Western’ is often the cause of a stomach upset and should be avoided.  Meals are always accompanied by Green or Flower Tea.  Beer is popular and is lighter and lower in alcohol than ours.  Rice wines need to be treated with caution!  Fruit and fizzy drinks are not popular. Everything is available in city hotels, but in rural areas only tea, water or beer.  Water should only be bottled or boiled.   

Flora and Fauna

China is such a vast country that it just about has something of everything; from the north with a climate similar, although more extreme, to northern Europe to the sub-tropical regions in the south, the high Himalaya in Tibet and the deserts of Inner Mongolia. This diversity provides a very varied natural world with thousands of plant, bird and animal species making travel throughout the country so exciting.      

When to Go

It is important to consider public holidays when travelling to China and avoid the major ones which are Chinese New Year and 1st May weekend.  Everywhere is overcrowded and accommodation is difficult to obtain. October 1st holiday is also busy but not to the same extent.

Travelling to the north of China is at its very best from mid April to mid June and mid September to mid November.  Up to early April it is still very cold and the land bare of anything green.  As Spring progresses, late April sees blossom trees covering fields and mountainsides as trees begin to leaf. After mid June it is very hot and walking the Great Wall is shade less therefore not recommended. From mid September to early November the landscape changes from green to beautiful autumnal colours and temperatures soften.

The south of China - Guilin area has a sub tropical climate and is warm all year.  It is preferable to avoid the rainy season during May and June as some walks may be affected by high water level of the Li River. January and February are coolest, March and April are best with clear, warm weather.  Summer months from July to September are hot and humid and the remaining months are good with occasional storms and drizzle.     

When considering visiting Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, the weather is not so important as the Warriors are enclosed within a controlled atmosphere.




Further information about China and walking holidays there.Further information about China and our walking holidays there...

Beijing and The Great Wall

Walking holidays in China -   Beijing and The Great Wall - Click Here For Larger Image The Great Wall of China has origins dating back over 2,000 years to the 7th century BC. From that time on it was added to with many sections being built and rebuilt until Mao Zedong caused further destruction by encouraging locals to use it for building material. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan by the sea in the east to Lop Lake in the west and measures approximately 13,000 miles in its entirety including all the branch walls and separated sections. Built to protect the Chinese Empire from undesirable warlike people and military groups, the Great Wall also acted as a border control and played an important part in the transportation and trade of goods especially along the Silk Road. The Great Wall is made up of actual ‘wall’, rivers, trenches and other natural defences such as hills and mountains to provide a continuous defensive barrier complete with regular watch towers and troop barracks. It is an incomparable feat of ancient engineering.

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Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces

Walking holidays in China -   Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces - Click Here For Larger Image Guìlín means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, Guilin has a sub-tropical climate and is a low rise flower covered city. The stunning landscape in which the city is situated has a kind of magic that is all its own. The strangely shaped hills or karsts, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters of the Li River and thousands of colourful bamboo rafts make the city such an appealing destination. It is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. The city has been the political, economic and cultural centre of Guangxi since the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). This is one of China's most popular tourist destinations. Ask any one in China and they will say the Guilin landscape is the best!

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Mount Emei

Walking holidays in China -   Mount Emei - Click Here For Larger Image Mount Emei is a UNESCO world heritage site rising abruptly from the surrounding plains to a height of over 3000 metres as you approach from Chengdu. Although not technically part of the Himalayas, it is high mountains from here all the way to Everest. This mountain has intensive religious significance to the Buddhists of China as this is where Buddhism was first established on Chinese territory. The first Buddhist temple was built on the summit of Mount Emei during the 1st century and is now accompanied by 30 further temples scattered over the mountain. In addition many monasteries and Ming tombs enhance the atmosphere of this sacred, atmospheric mountain.

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Szechuan

Walking holidays in China -   Szechuan - Click Here For Larger Image

The province of Szechuan is one of the largest in China. The west of the province has some of the highest mountains in China as it borders the Himalayas and Szechuan is home to many fascinating ethnic minorities. One group is the people of Tibetan origin living on a high grass plateau. In majestic surroundings, they continue to maintain a culture and language akin to Tibetans living within Tibet. As practicing Buddhists their temples, monasteries and village hillsides are festooned with prayer flags - all creating a truly wondrous sight. Visitors to this part of China have a feeling of being in the Wild West with horses and ‘cowboy’ hats being a major feature. Many continue to practice their ancient nomadic life style, and their canvas tents and yak herds scattered far and wide over the grasslands will be witnessed in your travels.

This amazing region of China remains in a time warp and will appeal especially to visitors with an adventurous spirit!  To access it requires travel over a high mountain range with surrounding snow-capped peaks rising to over 5000m.  Beyond the mountains are extensive grass plateau and into the folds of the mountain lie deep verdant valleys. This is the majestic setting for our trekking and camping experience (optional non camping itinerary).

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Tiger Leaping Gorge and Beyond

Walking holidays in China -   Tiger Leaping Gorge and Beyond - Click Here For Larger Image In this spectacular part of China with dramatic and diverse natural beauty, extends the Tiger Leaping Gorge - the setting for a world famous trek in an area considered to be the best trekking landscape China has to offer. The Gorge was formed by the Upper Yangtze River cutting a path between two mountains rising over 5500 metres on either side from the river bed at 1800m making it the world’s deepest river canyon. The Grand Canyon in the USA by contrast, is only 1600 metres deep. The trail runs high on the northern side of the gorge passing through quiet villages, shady forests, and verdant terraced farmland with the odd cliff to negotiate! It is said that a tiger escaping from a hunter jumped across the river at the narrowest point still 25m wide, hence the name. The local people are the Naxi and offer warm hospitality to passing trekkers.

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Hong Kong extension

Walking holidays in China -  Hong Kong extension - Click Here For Larger Image Hong Kong, a former British colony, is a major tourism destination for travellers from all around the world including from China's mainland population.  It is a major hub in East Asia with connections to many worldwide cities. Hong Kong is special as it has welcomed people and cultures from all around the world.  Whilst officially part of China, Hong Kong has its own constitution which lays out its own government and laws.  It also has its own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar, and is officially bi-lingual (Cantonese and English).  Due to its history, it is very different to mainland China as the people here enjoy a much more Western way of life with freedom that offers a complete contrast to those living on the mainland.  The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is much more than a city with a harbour.  Many people fall into the trap of thinking Hong Kong is just another sky scraping city.  However, with its mountains and many neighbouring islands, it also offers a very rural like landscape.  Although you are never far away from the millions of people of Hong Kong, it is still possible to find those special unspoilt areas that most walkers are always on the lookout for. 

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Xi'an and Terracotta Warriors extension

Walking holidays in China -  Xi'an and Terracotta Warriors extension - Click Here For Larger Image Xi’an is a fascinating city to visit and although it has experienced rapid development in the past 10 years it remains a living history book within the original city walls. Called Chang'an (meaning the eternal city) in ancient times, it is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin area. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road bringing the Muslim culture to the city and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, the city has won a reputation all over the world. More than 3,000 years of history including over 1,100 years as the capital city of ancient dynasties, have endowed the city with an amazing historical heritage.

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Charms of China

Walking holidays in China - Charms of China - Click Here For Larger Image Combine the city of Beijing, the Great Wall of China, and a visit to the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an with the tranquil sub-tropical south of Guilin rich in rivers and rice terraces for an all-round, wonderful China Experience!On this holiday, not only do you see and walk amongst some of China’s most visited sites, but you can also enjoy the company of fellow walkers during your stay.

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Combination for Adventure

Walking holidays in China - Combination for Adventure - Click Here For Larger Image For those looking for adventurous walking in China these 2 treks offer a chance to go to remote areas of the country which very few Westerners visit. Combine the remoteness of the high plateau in Szechuan with walking through the mighty Tiger Leaping Gorge and on to ancient towns and cities.

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Combination for Classic Walks

Walking holidays in China - Combination for Classic Walks - Click Here For Larger Image For those looking to do the most classic walks which China has to offer then these treks offer this with two of the most identifiable walks in the country. Combine the history of Beijing and The Great Wall with walking through the mighty Tiger Leaping Gorge.

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Combination for Ethnic Peoples

Walking holidays in China - Combination for Ethnic Peoples - Click Here For Larger Image For those looking for the ethnic peoples of China we have put together this itinerary. These 3 treks offer the chance to experience the everyday life of a number of different Chinese peoples and to gain a greater understanding of their way of life, where some things haven't changed for hundreds of years. Combine the rivers and rice terraces worked by Zhaung and Yao villagers with the Tibetans in Szechuan and the Naxi, Yi, Yao and Mosuo peoples in the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek.

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Combination for History & Culture/UNESCO Sites

For those looking for history and culture in China we offer these 3 treks, each to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These enable you to get close to not just the history of the country but also some it's peoples. Combine the UNESCO Heritage sites of Beijing city, The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors at Xi'an and Mount Emei with it's Buddhist temple.

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Combination for Relaxed Walking

Walking holidays in China - Combination for Relaxed Walking - Click Here For Larger Image For those looking for less strenuous walking in China but still encompassing the culture and history of the country we have combined our Guilin Rivers and Rice Terraces trek with a visit to Xi'an for the Terracotta Warriors. This combination enables you to enjoy the delights of the Yangshuo and Li rivers and the famous "Dragon's Backbone" rice terraces with exploring the world reknown Terracotta Warriors.

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Combination for Serious Walking

Walking holidays in China - Combination for Serious Walking - Click Here For Larger Image For those looking for strenuous walking in China these 3 treks offer challenge as well as the opportunity to marvel at some of the most fantastic views that the country has to offer. Combine the history of Beijing and The Great Wall with climbing to the Buddhist temple atop Mount Emei and walking through the mighty Tiger Leaping Gorge.

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