15-Day China Half Loop | Budget Group Tours | The Dragon Trip

15-day China, Hong Kong to Beijing | Budget Backpacking Tour

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15 days / 14 nights - £989

HONG KONG TO BEIJING | Don’t have time for our full circuit route round China? Just do the first half of the China backpacking loop up the Western half of this amazing country. You’ll hike and camp out under the stars on the Great Wall, see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, marvel at the pandas in Chengdu and much more! Finish your tour all the way up in Beijing. See below for trip details - contact our friendly team to ask any questions, get advice or book!



Day 1: Hong Kong

Discover one of the most vibrant and exiting cities in the world on your first day; absorb how the cultures of East and West have fused together. Learn about HK


Day 2-5: Yangshuo

Towering karst peaks, a carpet of green, fertile fields and a never-ending list of activities; rafting on the Li river, mud baths, cycling, cooking, swimming and more. Learn about Yangshuo


Day 6-8: Chengdu

Find yourself in the slow-paced heart of Western China, enjoying tea houses, pandas, buddhist shrines, spicy hot-pot, temples, and as much KTV as you can handle! Learn about Chengdu


Day 9-10: Xi'an

Sense the medieval feel in this ancient ‘frontier’ city. Stroll the Muslim quarter, barter for souvenirs, cycle the huge, old city walls, and try local delicacies. Learn about Xi’an


Day 11-12: Shaolin

An unforgettable time at the Shaolin temple. Learn Kungfu from a monk and really get to know the locals as you hike and discover this tranquil, ancient place. Learn about Shaolin


Day 13-15: Beijing

Camp out under the stars on a remote section of the Great Wall. After an unforgettable sunrise, head back to the city for more history, culture and food. Learn about Beijing

Day 1: Hong Kong

  • First Meeting time 7am @ Yes inn @ Yau Ma Tei Hostel (formerly known as Hi Inn @ Nathan Road / Wing Sing Hotel). The address is 2nd Floor, 1B Wing Sing Lane, Yau Ma Tei.
  • Travel up to Victoria Peak and enjoy a view of Hong Kong from above. (PLEASE NOTE: From late April to late July 2019, the Peak tram will be suspended. The Peak may not be open for visitors during this period. If it is closed, The Dragon Trip will provide an alternative program.)
  • Pre-departure briefing on top of Victoria Peak
  • Second meeting time at 10am to Depart from the Yesinn to cross the border and board your train to Guilin. This is the last time and chance to meet your group if you’ve missed the 7 am departure.
  • Depart from the Yesinn to cross the border and board your train to Guilin.
  • Board your 3-hour bullet train to Guilin
  • Arrive in Guilin. You have the choice to have dinner at this point, or enjoy a meal in Yangshuo two hours from now.
  • Check-in (time may vary depending on whether the group decides to have dinner in Guilin, or Yangshuo)

Day 2-5: Yangshuo

  • Try your hand at cooking up some traditional Chinese foods at this friendly and practical local cuisine institute
  • Group Lunch
  • Unmissable Activity: Cruise down the Yulong River on these Chinese style Gondolas – Bamboo Rafts! Bikes included to ride around! (please make sure you wear a helmet at all times when you are riding your bike!)
  • Optional: Bike Ride to Moon Hill and a cave complex including mudbaths and hot springs
  • Optional: Try your hand at Rock-Climbing!
  • Optional: Kayaking on the Li River!
  • Optional: Experience Chinese traditional therapies such as Hot Cupping
  • Optional: A true treat, experience what life is like on a farm by visiting your Adventure Leader’s home village
  • Board minibus to North Bus Station and then board your bus to Guilin
  • Depart Yangshuo on a bullet train to Chengdu, arriving in the evening. Take a metro to your hostel and meet your new Adventure Leader!

Day 6-8: Chengdu

  • Unmissable Activity: Gather up to go see the Pandas at the world’s main and biggest, Giant Panda Breeding & Research Center.
  • Mandarin Lesson 1: Have a Mandarin lesson with your Adventure Leader
  • Optional: Watch a traditional Sichuan Opera & Culture Show
  • Optional: Leave to Leshan to see the world’s largest stone Buddha.
  • Optional: Wander Jinli street and the Tibetan districts independently. (Chengdu is right next to Tibet, or Xizang in Mandarin, so there is a large ethnic community here)
  • Optional: Sample the famous Sichuan Hot Pot if you dare! (Legendary Spice!)
  • Have a night out in Chengdu
  • Optional: Volunteer at an Autism Children Rehabilitation Centre (If you would like to donate money or school materials, please talk to your Adventure Leader.)
  • Optional: Visit Wenshu Monastery, Sichuan Province Museum, People’s Park and a traditional Tea House
  • Take bus or metro to Chengdu North Railway Station.
  • Say goodbye to your Adventure Leader and board your train to Xian

Day 9-10: Xi’an

  • Arrive in Xi’an and meet your next Adventure Leader
  • Check-in to your hostel
  • Optional: Explore the Bell Drum Towers, Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to learn about the history of the Silk Road, towers, mosque and some local legends.
  • Enjoy a dinner of local street foods at the Muslim Quarter. Relax after dinner by visiting the local Silk Road market nearby.
  • Un-missable Attraction – Terracotta Warriors
  • Optional: Bike Ride on Ming Dynasty City Walls. Please make sure you wear a helmet!
  • Optional: Watch the Music & Lights show near the Big Goose Pagoda

Day 11-12: Shaolin

  • Board a private minivan than take a bus to DengFeng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple
  • Arrive in DengFeng
  • Optional: Kung Fu Lesson & Show at a local Children’s Home run by the Shaolin Temple, where the monks teach these children to be Kungfu masters. All proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home.
  • Dinner in the Guesthouse
  • Mandarin lesson: Have your second Mandarin lesson
  • Optional: Visit the flagship of Kung Fu, The Shaolin Temple
  • Optional: Hike to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims, and be rewarded by beautiful views of both the shrines/temples in the area and the views of the area
  • Optional: Had enough of temples or kung-fu? Visit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO world heritage site with over 100,000 carved Buddha’s
  • Have a late lunch at the guesthouse then pack and check out
  • Depart to Zhengzhou to board your train to Beijing
  • Arrive at the train station and have some food before your train leaves

Day 13-15: Beijing

    • Arrive Beijing and meet your next Adventure Leader. Transfer by minibus to the hostel. You won’t be staying the night here, so you won’t be able to get into rooms, but can use the shower rooms, and common areas to relax before heading to the Wall in the afternoon
    • Mandarin lesson: Have your 3rd Mandarin Lesson
    • It’s time for the Mandarin challenge! Use your freshly learned Mandarin to complete challenges around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways. The winning team earns a prize.
    • Mandatory meal at a local farm to obtain permission to access the locals only sections of the unrestored Great Wall
    • Unmissable Attraction – Hike on totally unrestored sections of the Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset on one of the Wonders of the World (Please note, due to cold weather before end of April and after September, we stay in a guest house near the Wall instead of camping, but still return to the Wall to watch sunrise in the morning)
    • Unmissable Attraction – Sunrise on the Wall
    • Return to Beijing
    • Optional: A stunning Chinese Acrobatics Performance performed by young talents recruited from around China
    • Enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times, taste Beijing’s signature dish Peking Roast Duck
    • Optional: Take a walk through the globally recognized, Tiananmen Square
    • Optional: Visit the Forbidden City. The largest palatial complex in the world, the grounds boast 980 buildings and a history of housing 24 different Chinese royalty
    • Optional: Go to Jingshan Park for a bird’s eye view of the three palaces: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.
    • Test your bargaining skills in the Fake Goods Market!
    • Optional: Go to the Temple of Heaven, the largest complex dedicated to heaven worship in the world and where ancient sacrifices were made to bring bountiful harvests
    • Optional: Visit Nanluo district, one of the best-preserved historical areas in Beijing. It is famous for its hutongs and siheyuan courtyards as well as the bars, cafes and handicraft shops
    • On day 15 optional activities finish at approx. 23:00. Say goodbye to your group and safe travels!

Departures Dates

Departing Finishing Price Status
11th Mar, 2019 25th Mar, 2019 £989
13th Mar, 2019 27th Mar, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
18th Mar, 2019 1st Apr, 2019 £989
20th Mar, 2019 3rd Apr, 2019 £989
25th Mar, 2019 8th Apr, 2019 £989
1st Apr, 2019 15th Apr, 2019 £989
3rd Apr, 2019 17th Apr, 2019 £989
10th Apr, 2019 24th Apr, 2019 £989
15th Apr, 2019 29th Apr, 2019 £989
22nd Apr, 2019 6th May, 2019 £989
1st May, 2019 15th May, 2019 £989
8th May, 2019 22nd May, 2019 £989
15th May, 2019 29th May, 2019 £989
20th May, 2019 3rd Jun, 2019 £989
22nd May, 2019 5th Jun, 2019 £989
27th May, 2019 10th Jun, 2019 £989
29th May, 2019 12th Jun, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
3rd Jun, 2019 17th Jun, 2019 £989
5th Jun, 2019 19th Jun, 2019 £989
10th Jun, 2019 24th Jun, 2019 £989
19th Jun, 2019 3rd Jul, 2019 £989
26th Jun, 2019 10th Jul, 2019 £989
1st Jul, 2019 15th Jul, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
3rd Jul, 2019 17th Jul, 2019 £989
8th Jul, 2019 27th Jul, 2019 £989
15th Jul, 2019 29th Jul, 2019 £989
17th Jul, 2019 31st Jul, 2019 £989
22nd Jul, 2019 5th Aug, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
24th Jul, 2019 7th Aug, 2019 £989
31st Jul, 2019 14th Aug, 2019 £989
5th Aug, 2019 19th Aug, 2019 £989
7th Aug, 2019 21st Aug, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
12th Aug, 2019 26th Aug, 2019 £989
14th Aug, 2019 28th Aug, 2019 £989
21st Aug, 2019 4th Sep, 2019 £989
28th Aug, 2019 11th Sep, 2019 £989
2nd Sep, 2019 16th Sep, 2019 £989
4th Sep, 2019 18th Sep, 2019 £989
11th Sep, 2019 25th Sep, 2019 £989
16th Sep, 2019 18th Sep, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
18th Sep, 2019 2nd Oct, 2019 £989
25th Sep, 2019 9th Oct, 2019 £989
2nd Oct, 2019 16th Oct, 2019 £989
7th Oct, 2019 21st Oct, 2019 £989
9th Oct, 2019 23rd Oct, 2019 £989 FULLY BOOKED
16th Oct, 2019 30th Oct, 2019 £989
23rd Oct, 2019 6th Nov, 2019 £989
30th Oct, 2019 13th Nov, 2019 £989
9th Mar, 2020 23rd Mar, 2020 £989
11th Mar, 2020 25th Mar, 2020 £989
18th Mar, 2020 1st Apr, 2020 £989
25th Mar, 2020 8th Apr, 2020 £989
1st Apr, 2020 15th Apr, 2020 £989
6th Apr, 2020 20th Apr, 2020 £989
8th Apr, 2020 22nd Apr, 2020 £989
15th Apr, 2020 29th Apr, 2020 £989
22nd Apr, 2020 6th May, 2020 £989
29th Apr, 2020 13th May, 2020 £989
2nd May, 2020 16th May, 2020 £989
11th May, 2020 25th May, 2020 £989
13th May, 2020 27th May, 2020 £989
20th May, 2020 3rd Jun, 2020 £989
25th May, 2020 8th Jun, 2020 £989
27th May, 2020 10th Jun, 2020 £989
3rd Jun, 2020 17th Jun, 2020 £989
8th Jun, 2020 22nd Jun, 2020 £989
10th Jun, 2020 24th Jun, 2020 £989
17th Jun, 2020 1st Jul, 2020 £989
24th Jun, 2020 8th Jul, 2020 £989
1st Jul, 2020 15th Jul, 2020 £989
6th Jul, 2020 20th Jul, 2020 £989
8th Jul, 2020 22nd Jul, 2020 £989
15th Jul, 2020 29th Jul, 2020 £989
22nd Jul, 2020 5th Aug, 2020 £989
27th Jul, 2020 10th Aug, 2020 £989
29th Jul, 2020 12th Aug, 2020 £989
5th Aug, 2020 19th Aug, 2020 £989
10th Aug, 2020 24th Aug, 2020 £989
12th Aug, 2020 26th Aug, 2020 £989
19th Aug, 2020 2nd Sep, 2020 £989
26th Aug, 2020 9th Sep, 2020 £989
2nd Sep, 2020 16th Sep, 2020 £989
7th Sep, 2020 21st Sep, 2020 £989
14th Sep, 2020 28th Sep, 2020 £989
16th Sep, 2020 30th Sep, 2020 £989
23rd Sep, 2020 7th Oct, 2020 £989
30th Sep, 2020 14th Oct, 2020 £989
7th Oct, 2020 21st Oct, 2020 £989
14th Oct, 2020 28th Oct, 2020 £989
19th Oct, 2020 2nd Nov, 2020 £989
21st Oct, 2020 4th Nov, 2020 £989
28th Oct, 2020 11th Nov, 2020 £989
4th Nov, 2020 18th Nov, 2020 £989

Price includes:

  • Bilingual Adventure Leaders
  • Accommodation (hostels, guest houses, camping (1 night))
  • Transport within China
Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard. Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available - please contact us for more information. All our hostels have WIFI.


  • A deposit is required to make a reservation, with the balance due one month prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £200 GBP / $300 USD / $300 AUD / €300 EUR.
  • For customers making payment from the UK: please note that when you are making a payment into our US dollar account you must request your bank to send the money directly to our US dollar account at HSBC UK. Otherwise they may use an intermediary bank resulting in an added wiring fee charged to you of $25.00.
  • Late booking customers must understand that they may be sat separately from the rest of the group on trains, and may have to be booked into a separate dorm room. No bookings can be accepted within 18 days of a trip departure date.

Upgrades & Extras

  • Need hostels booked for after your trip ends? We are more than happy to help - just let us know what you need!
  • If you would like to alter your trip itinerary from the one provided to you by us then please let us know more than 30 days before your trip departs so that we can make your trip the perfect one for you! When you let us know that means we can relay all information to our on the ground staff and make the appropriate arrangements. Some such requests from previous Dragon Trippers are: I would like to skip Macau and go directly to Hong Kong from Fujian, I don’t need accommodation in Shanghai because I am staying with a friend, I would not like to camp on the wall and instead want to stay in regular accommodation, I would like to take a flight instead of a train for certain legs of the trip. Please let us know more than 30 days in advance. If you do not let us know in advance The Dragon Trip will not be responsible for assisting you, or for providing reimbursement for accommodations or transportation not used.
  • Room and train upgrades for the entirety of this route are available. Room upgrade requests must be communicated to the Dragon Trip before the start of the trip. Customers wishing to upgrade once the trip has started must do so independently. Train upgrades are unavailable once train tickets have been booked, train upgrades only apply to over-night trains.
  • Room upgrades are $340 USD. In Beijing everyone will get twin rooms, those who have paid for an upgrade will receive a superior room. Train upgrades are $162.50 USD.
  • The Yes Inn @ YMT has a luggage storage service that is available to use for Dragon Trip travellers. It is $20 HKD per day, per bag. Please make sure to receive your receipt from the Yes Inn at time of luggage storage. Please note that any theft, loss or damage caused to your luggage while in storage is not the responsibility of The Dragon Trip and any queries or issues with the service should be brought directly to the attention of the Yes Inn @ YMT.
  • The Dragon Trip provides, upon request, airport transfers. In Beijing and Shanghai, the price is GBP 40 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide to meet you and ride with you from the airport to your destination, or vice versa, it is GBP 40 extra for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). In Guilin, Xi'an and Chengdu, the price is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide, it is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). This service is not available in Hong Kong.
  • You can extend your stay in Beijing and stay with the group for an extra day of activities for just £40/$50. Please ask us about this and we can arrange it for you.


  • Please take note if you wish to use your own camera/phone to take photos and videos that is absolutely fine. However, The Dragon Trip runs a no drone policy for our China trips.
  • You will receive a wristband which will have a phone number on it for you to call in emergencies.
  • All train tickets in China must be purchased through a central booking centre which means there is always a small chance that you may not be seated together with the person that you have booked the tour together with. If you or your PAX has a seat that is not next to the group’s our Adventure Leaders have a process to help you switch your tickets, so that you are seated next to the group. (In some train stations, the Adventure Leader will be able to board the train even when they won’t be travelling themselves. In this case, they will switch you or your PAXs tickets with a local so that Dragon Trippers can sit together. In the case that our Adventure Leader cannot board the train, they will be able to explain in Mandarin over the phone to a conductor, or directly to a local passenger to help switch seats so that Dragon Trippers may be seated together.)

To book or find out more, contact us

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