It appears that your web browser does not support JavaScript, or you have temporarily disabled scripting. The Explore website requires JavaScript enabled to operate correctly.

Find a trip

Where would you like to go?
What type of trip do you like?
When would you like to go?
More search options
625 Matching trips
Site Search

Other trips you might like

Customer Feedback

Read reviews


Discover our latest brochures available online now, with hundreds of adventures to choose from.


Be the first to hear about great new tours, competitions, special offers and unique departures.

Gift Vouchers

The perfect gift idea for any occasion. Send gift vouchers and create fantastic memories with vast trips and experiences to choose from.

China On A Shoestring QCH

Visiting: China
Trip Duration 21 Days

Budget China Holiday

Experience the real China with us as we travel with locals on public transport on this journey across the country. We visit China's greatest sights including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Terracotta Warriors. Staying in traditional village houses we explore rice terraces, discover dramatic limestone landscapes and visit tribal families. We also cruise down the Yangtse River and visit endangered Giant Pandas.

Tour Highlights

  • 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
  • Yangshuo - Enjoy beautiful karst landscapes as we drift down the Li River
  • Shanghai - Explore one of Asia's most vibrant and dynamic cities


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select.

Show more
  • 1
    Join tour Beijing

  • 2
    Discover the sights of Beijing; including the Forbidden City

  • 3
    Walk the Great Wall; afternoon free in Beijing

  • 4
    Overnight train to Xian

  • 5
    Free time to explore Xian's Muslim Quarter

  • 6
    Discover the Terracotta Army; optional Tea Ceremony

  • 7
    Morning train to Yichang; board the Yangtse riverboat

  • 8
    Cruise down the Yangtse River

  • 9
    Continue down the Yangtse River; passing through the fabulous Three Gorges

  • 10
    A chance to visit Fengdu, the Yangtse famous ghost town

  • 11
    Disembark riverboat; bullet train to Chengdu

  • 12
    Visit the Panda Research Centre; overnight train to Guiyang

  • 13
    Drive to Ma An Zhai Village. Evening with local family

  • 14
    Meet Yao families in Longji and Dazhai Village

  • 15
    Hike from Dazhai to Pingan, passing incredible views

  • 16
    Transfer from Pingan to Yangshuo

  • 17
    Free day in Yangshuo; optional bike hire and cooking classes

  • 18
    Transfer to Guilin; overnight train to Shanghai

  • 19
    Free day in Shanghai; stroll along the Shanghai Bund

  • 20
    Optional visit to the Pearl TV and Radio Tower

  • 21
    Tour ends Shanghai

Trip notes

Each departure date has its own dedicated trip note, detailing all you need to know about that trip. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the China On A Shoestring trip available at present.

Please select a date:

Customer rating:
China On A Shoestring
Why Book this trip
This trip provides the perfect budget opportunity to see a great deal of a fascinating country including the must-see sites of Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall and the Chengdu Panda Research Centre. More off-the-beaten-path places are also included and there is an option of free time at many places, allowing for a more independent approach to your exploration.
Included meals 7 5 6
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Bus, Train, Boat
8 nights Simple Hotel
3 nights Simple Overnight Train
4 nights Standard Boat
3 nights Simple Guesthouse
2 nights Standard Hotel
Trip Staff
Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s)
Group Size
Generally 8 - 14