China by Train

3-Week China Train Itinerary - Shanghai to Hong Kong

Prices from £2,058 pp

red plane icon All prices exclude international flights at the start/end of your trip. Let us book flights for you. 

View day-by-day

Duration18 days / 17 nights (flexible)


ItineraryShanghai - Beijing - Great Wall of China - Pingyao - Xian - Terracotta Army - Chengdu - Yangshuo - Hong Kong

Call us 01273 322398


Take to the rails on an epic train journey from the Shanghai to Hong Kong, stopping to meet giant pandas, sail between Karst mountains and explore rice paddies. You’ll take cyber-quick bullet trains and traditional sleeper trains between destinations, giving you a great window into Chinese life. Along the way you’ll meet the local people and stay in authentic hotels packed with character.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Transfers and train tickets as described
  • Excursions as described

Our ready-made itineraries 1. Add your favourite itinerary to your travel plan  2. Send it our way 3.Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Shanghai: Back to the Future

Explore Shanghai, crammed with skyscrapers and exploding with variety. From 19th century alleyways to swanky bars and art-deco buildings, there’s nowhere like it. With twice as many skyscrapers as Manhattan, Shanghai is a sleek modern sprawl that seems to go on forever. You will stay in a colonial style hotel close to the Bund and your time is free to explore the city at your own pace.

shanghai night

Temples and Hutongs of Beijing

You’ll spend three nights soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of Beijing, an intoxicating clutter of history and modern-day ambition. Wander through the atmospheric hutongs, visit the Forbidden City and take a breather from the madness of the city at the Temple of Heavenly Peace. Top off your time in Beijing with a trip along the twisting Great Wall, one of the world’s most staggering sights.

beijing wall

Raise the Red Lantern

Explore Pingyao, a fascinating walled town packed with atmospheric cobbled alleyways, friendly locals and glowing lanterns. A curious maze of traditional courtyards, small teahouses and Buddhist temples, it’s somewhere to soak up the spirit of ancient China. Discover hidden alleyways and tea houses in the tangle of cobbled streets, all bathed in the soft red light reflected from the lanterns.

Raise the Red Lantern

Terracotta Army and Drum Towers

Marvel at the soldiers of the ancient Terracotta Army and wander around the Bell Tower in Xi’an. A modern city with an imperial past, it’s an eye-opening window into Chinese culture. Drenched in history and jam-packed with fascinating places to explore. You’ll spend two nights in China’s past Imperial Capital, soaking up the atmosphere and visiting the impressive Terracotta army.

terracotta army jen

Teddy Bears and Tea Houses

With mouth-watering food and teahouse culture, Chengdu is a winner. You’ll spend 2 nights here, ambling amongst old shops, sampling Sichuan dishes and slowing to the relaxed pace of life. On the second day, you’ll visit the giant pandas that have roamed these parts for 2 million years. Now residents of the ethically run Breeding Research Centre, you’ll be bowled over by their quiet beauty and sheer size.

Two panda bears eating bamboo shoots in china

Bamboo Sailing through Karst Mountains

Cycle between Karst Mountains and drift lazily downstream aboard a bamboo raft through the gorgeous scenery of Yangshuo near Guilin. Cycling between forested hills and a patchwork of rice paddies is a sure-fire way to feel the spirit of rural China. You’ll spend three nights in the a countryside hotel and take a trip along the river by bike and bamboo raft.

Yellow mountains in the clouds

Skyscrapers of Hong Kong

Gaze out over the harbour in Hong Kong, a place packed with endless possibility. With tongue-tingling cuisine and thriving traditional culture, it’s bewitching. Stare down upon silver skyscrapers from Victoria Peak, wander around bird markets and share steaming dim sum. You’ll spend two nights in a Kowloon hotel and during your stay you’ll get to visit all the big highlights of the city, from Victoria Peak to the up and coming suburbs where designers and artists are flourishing.

Hong Kong streets with signs and traffic
Man at Great Wall of China

Speak to our China specialist, Rob

"I was lucky enough to travel across China for two months and the more I explored, the more I loved; from its ancient towns to its futuristic cities. My top highlight has to be the mountainous scenery of Yunnan."

More China itineraries

Recently Viewed