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Ready your chopsticks for a China foodie adventure with award-winning author Fuchsia Dunlop.
On this National Geographic ‘Tour of a Lifetime’, you will taste your way through the imperial banquets of Beijing to the spice bazaars of Sichuan (while taking in all the sights, too).
You’ll unlock the secrets of authentic Chinese food and learn how to shop, cook, and eat like a local.
Your WildChina Beijing team will meet you at the arrivals hall of the airport to take you to your hotel • Check in to your hotel and relax • Kick off your journey with an orientation with Fuchsia and celebrate with a welcome dinner in a lively courtyard restaurant.
Head outside of the city for a hike along the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall • Enjoy a refreshing seasonal lunch at a local countryside restaurant by the Wall • Head back into town to relax before your imperial Peking duck dinner.
Explore Tiananmen Square and the imposing Forbidden City, where emperors ruled for 500 years • Wander the popular hutong neighborhoods around Houhai • Rest your legs with a traditional noodle-making demonstration before tucking into a delicious lunch • In the evening, enjoy a traditional Mongolian hotpot dinner • After dinner, explore Wangfujing’s bustling and eclectic snack street.
Channel your morning energy into a private tai chi lesson with a master at the Temple of Heaven • For lunch, head to one of our favorite local eateries for traditional wheat-based noodles • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Xi’an • Head to your Xi’an hotel to check in and relax • In the evening, join Fuchsia to hunt down the best serving of lamb stew served with warm dipping bread.
Stroll through the bustling streets and stalls of the Muslim Quarter • Sample Halal skewers, roast mutton, and persimmon cakes on your way to Xi’an’s Great Mosque • Enjoy the savory flavors of Shaanxi cuisine for lunch • View the eternally stationed army of Terracotta Warriors • Talk over your trip so far as you enjoy a traditional dumpling banquet.
After breakfast, transfer to the train station for your ride to Chengdu • Upon arrival, grab a late lunch at a local teahouse • Sample tea, watch mahjong matches, and discover local delicacies as you explore the city on foot • Enjoy a rambunctious Sichuan hotpot dinner at one of Fuchsia’s favorite spots.
In the morning, stop by the Giant Panda Breeding Center to get a close-up view of China’s national icon • Enjoy an array of authentic Sichuan cuisine, Fuchsia’s first love • Mingle with monks, worshippers, and fellow travelers at the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu • Enjoy a cozy dinner in a private kitchen.
Sample and buy authentic spices at a wholesale spice market • Head to the Sichuan Culinary Museum for lunch, then roll up your sleeves for a Sichuan cooking lesson • Fly to Shanghai in the early afternoon • Enjoy dinner on your own before spending the evening at your leisure
Visit Shanghai Museum’s world-class exhibits • Practice the art of eating soup-filled xiaolongbao • Stroll through the elegant, tree-lined streets of the French Concession • Straddle the line between two faces of China during a Huangpu River Cruise, which takes you past yesterday’s colonial outposts and tomorrow’s financial empires • Sample the diverse and delicate flavors of Shanghainese cuisine for dinner.
Take an early morning high-speed train to Hangzhou • Make your way through the town’s old streets and stop by a traditional pharmacy • Enjoy a traditional Hangzhou lunch near West Lake • Relax on a boat trip across the tranquil waters of West Lake • Head to Fuchsia’s favorite Hangzhou restaurant for dinner.
Travel to Longjing village to visit a tea farmer and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea in a working tea plantation • For lunch, savor the sweet and light flavors of a classic Hangzhou spread • Transfer to the train station for your high-speed train back to Shanghai • Take the rest of the day to explore or rest at your own leisure.
Spend your free day exploring, relaxing, or shopping at your own pace • End your gastronomic adventure with a farewell dinner in a grand colonial mansion.
Experience zero turbulence as you zip towards Pudong International Airport at well over 400km/hour on the Maglev • Check in for your flight back home.
Dates for this journey
Monday, May 8, 2023 – Saturday, May 20, 2023
This journey starts in Beijing. Beijing has two international airports, Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). We can pick you up at either airport.
Beijing Capital Airport is about twice as close to the city center (29 km / 15 miles) than Beijing Daxing Airport (46km / 29 miles).
Both airports have daily flights from major international airports around the world.
This journey ends in Shanghai. Shanghai has two major international airports, Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG). We can take you to your departure flight at either airport.
Pudong mainly serves international flights, while Hongqiao mainly serves domestic and regional flights in East Asia.
Hongqiao is closer to the city center (13km / 8 miles) than Pudong (30 km / 19 miles). However, Pudong is connected to the Maglev, currently the fastest commercial train in the world, which can reach the airport from downtown Shanghai in under nine minutes.
Twin Share: From USD $7,390 per person
Single Traveler: From USD $9,010 per person
Domestic Air & Train Travel
The land costs above do not include domestic flights and trains.
Economy Domestic Air and First Class Train: From USD $766 per person
First Class Domestic Air and First Class Train: From USD $1,806 per person
Trip Difficulty: Easy Adventure
This journey is considered an easy adventure. Easy adventure includes half to full days outside the hotel with possible visits to sites no more than 2 hours away. We drive on paved city roads and stay in 5-star or boutique hotels and may spend up to 2 hours walking per day.
Your guide will arrange the logistics of your trip, including meals, hotel reservations, sites, and activities, as well as providing you with information about the local region. Your WildChina guide is specific to each local region and will be confirmed during booking.
Meals and Water
Meals are included, as listed in your itinerary. We strive to arrange meals that highlight authentic local cuisine in clean, local establishments.
It is safe to drink bottled mineral water, but tap water, even in 5-star hotels, is not safe for drinking. We will provide bottled water, tea, and snacks throughout your journey.
We request guests with severe allergies to consult their physicians prior to traveling and to bring all necessary medicines with them. Inform us ahead of time of specific allergies, such as peanuts or shellfish, or sensitivities to MSG, so that we can do our best to ensure these items are not used in your meals.
We will continue to work with you until your trip is perfect.
For international bookings: Once you are ready to book, a USD$500 planning fee, per booking, is required to begin reserving your arrangements. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.
For bookings made in China: Once you are ready to book, a RMB1,000 deposit, per person, is required. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.
A deposit is required to secure your reservation. Once your deposit has been received, we will send your confirmation along with a detailed itinerary and all the information you’ll need to prepare for your journey.
2. Full payment:
Full trip payment should be made 20 days prior to departure. If you’re booking within 20 days of your departure, you may be asked to pay make the full payment straight away.
Payments can be made via credit card, bank transfer, WeChat or Alipay
This trip will be scheduled to run once we receive bookings from six (6) passengers. Should the journey be cancelled due to lack of sign-ups or government restrictions, WildChina will fully refund any deposits or fees paid.
In order to travel around China at the moment (Summer, 2020) you will need to provide your passport, residency permit and, occasionally, proof of employment in China. Your travel designer will explain the exact requirements for your specific trip.
Different sites and regions of China currently have different health and safety requirements. We will let you know in advance what the restrictions are in your destination. We encourage all of our guests to bring their own face mask and wear it whenever possible. We will also have face masks and hand sanitizers available. A province or city-specific green health code is currently required for domestic travel. Your travel designer will talk you through the details of this process. Please note that certain areas also require clear COVID-19 test results.
We’ve updated our booking conditions due to the current situation. See our full cancellation policy for more information.
For more information, see terms and conditions for our small group tours.