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Great Wall Trail with China City Highlights

Solo Travellers 40 Years & Over
Sunday 13 - Thursday 24 May 2018



  • Walking through rural villages in Hebei Province
  • Exploring original and remote sections of the Great Wall of China
  • Visiting Tiananmen Square, ‘Forbidden City’
  • A traditional lunch in northern Beijing
  • Celebratory Peking duck dinner, Beijing
  • Visit the Temple of Heaven and Hutong by rickshaw
  • Visit the impressive Terracotta Warriors in Xian
  • Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian
  • Iconic sights of Shanghai including the old city, Yuyuan Garden, and the Bund
  • Evening Cruise, Huangpu River, Shanghai
  • Small group touring & walking trip for like-minded solo travellers, maximum 12 travellers



The average distance trekked each day is between 5‑12km, at a leisurely pace, averaging 4 ‑ 8 hours walking each day. 

The trip provides a total of about 40kms of walking through generally hilly but not steep country. There are no problems with altitude sickness.

The Great Wall remains paved in some areas but generally you would walk on a combination of stone paving, earth and stony rubble. Most people would find a light bushwalking boot or rugged trails shoe suitable footwear.

The walking is easily achievable for a person with reasonable fitness but is at times strenuous. The trekking will be largely in the morning and midafternoon. On all sections, there is flexibility in movement, and progress can be adjusted to satisfy consensus (if the group wishes to stop to inspect something, or spend longer at a nearby community, such can be achieved within the schedule).


In Beijing, Xian and Shanghai the order of our activities is dependent on arrangements and may at time differ from those outlined in the itinerary.


DAY 1 - SUNDAY 13 MAY 2018
Arrive Beijing, China 

On arrival in Beijing, if joining the nominated group flight you will be met at the airport and transferred to our group hotel*

Depending your flight arrival time, the day is at your leisure. Perhaps barter for a bargain in the colorful silk markets or do as the locals do and hire a bike for a spin through the bustling back roads of this vibrant city. This evening we will meet in the hotel for a group meeting before we head out to enjoy our first meal together

Meals: Dinner

* applies to passengers that have booked the nominated group flight with us as part of the holiday package. If making your own flight arrangements, there is the option to book an airport to hotel transfer and fees apply. 

DAY 2 - MONDAY 14 MAY 2018
Drive to Gubeikou. Afternoon trek

For those who are interested we’ll rise early and walk 10-25 minutes to have an eye-opening experience. Hundreds of locals doing morning exercises in the local park - Taichi, Kungfu, sword playing, jogging, singing, dancing and some playing strange things you never see in Australia.

We’ll return to the hotel for breakfast and afterwards depart for Gubeikou.

Lunch today is at a local restaurant.  

This afternoon, we’ll be walking on the wild Great Wall Crouching Tiger Hill.

Walking: Approximately 2-3 hours.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 – TUESDAY 15 MAY 2018
Trek and Explore the 1200 Year Old Great Wall

Spend the day exploring the remote parts of the Great Wall around Gubeikou. Tonight, we have an overnight stay in a local inn.

Walking: Approximately 5-6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Trek from Gubeikou to Jinshanling

Today we set off early to trek through cornfields and farm land for a true taste of rural China, before exploring this classic section of the wall. Here we are well off the beaten track, experiencing every day village life as we pass along the way. With broad sweeping views, it is easy to see how the wall resembles a dragon’s back weaving its way across this beautiful golden land.

Walking: Approximately 7-8 hours.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5 – THURSDAY 17 MAY 2018
Jinshanling/Beijing Tower/Jinshanling

Morning hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai border. We’ll then transfer to the Beijing Tower foothill.

Today’s walk is challenging with a rugged climb to the summit. Our efforts are well worth it as we are rewarded with stunning vistas and awe inspiring views back across to Hebei. The Great Wall was built by over 1 million people who largely were soldiers, peasants and prisoners. Thousands of them died in the process. Today as we trek this ancient section of crumbling wall, we can imagine the hard work and structural genius that went into creating what is now a national treasure in modern day China.

Walking: Approximately 3-4 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 – FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018

An early rise and breakfast and we transfer to Jiankou for a full days’ hiking ending in Mutianyu. You can opt to take a toboggan (at your own expense) to the exit.

Late, we transfer to Beijing. En route to Beijing we’ll visit the beautiful Summer Palace.

Walking: Approximately 4-5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7 – SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018
In Beijing

Today we have a full day in Beijing to explore some of the most majestic and historically significant sites of this immense city. We start with Tiananmen Square and the “Forbidden City” so called as it was off limits to the general public for over 500 years. Its ancient buildings served as the imperial palace for two dynasties, the Ming and Qing. We take a full tour of this marvellous enclave, inspecting the massive courtyards. We also visit a courtyard district at the Bell Tower, Hou Hai, in northern Beijing, for a traditional lunch.

Please note: should the Forbidden City be closed for an official visit (which happens often and suddenly) your tour leader will adjust your daily itinerary accordingly to try to ensure a visitation without losing any listed activities.

Tonight, we enjoy a dinner of Peking duck to celebrate a successful trek

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 – SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018
In Beijing

We have a fabulous day tour visiting the Temple of Heaven and Hutong by cycle rickshaw.

This evening is at your leisure to make your own discoveries.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9 – MONDAY 21 MAY 2018

This morning we transfer to the station to experience a high speed train to Xian. On arrival, we will be met and transferred to the group hotel. The rest of the day is spent visiting the City Wall with an optional 14km bike ride.

This evening, enjoy a walk through the Muslim Quarter.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10 – TUESDAY 22 MAY 2018

The Terracotta Warriors is a highlight of our visit to X’ian today we have a day tour of the Terracotta Warriors and also the Wild Goose Pagoda.  There’s an afternoon transfer to the airport for our flight to Shanghai.

Upon arrival to Shanghai we transfer to the group hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY 23 MAY 2018
In Shanghai - sightseeing

Today enjoy a day tour of Shanghai visiting the old city area, the Yuyuan Garden and the Bund.   This evening you will go on a cruise along the Huangpu River and see the spectacular lights of the city’s skyline.

There’s a highlight dinner experience this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 – THURSDAY 24 MAY 2018
Trip concludes in Shanghai

Your trip concludes after breakfast. If you are departing on the nominated group flight you will be transferred to the airport for the onward flight.*

Meals: Breakfast

* applies to passengers that have booked the nominated group flight with us as part of the holiday package. If making your own flight arrangements, there is the option to book a hotel to airport transfer and fees apply.


Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel.  Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   

ABN: 23 119 642 992