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Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Sunday, January 22

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

Note: a bit of recent restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!

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Departure date: Sunday, January 22

Immortal Valley Loop

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This loop walk follows a park trail, passing freezing streams, pools, waterfalls, and big boulders and caves on the way to an almost-800-metre peak. From the peak we’ll get a good view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and should be able to spot the Miyun Reservoir. On the way back down we’ll follow a scenic ridgeline trail through pines and impressive rocky outcrops. The full loop is around 14km, and will take about 4 hours to complete.

(This trail has replaced our planned hike down the ice on the White River – the ice isn’t yet frozen thick enough to walk all the way down the river. On this hike you’ll see a lot of ice, but you won’t need to walk over it.)

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Departure date: Friday, January 27

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Chinese New Year’s Eve!

On this hike we make a loop out of Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

We’re going to make a quick stop at a local restaurant for snacks and drinks before we head back to Beijing, aiming to be in the city on time for your Chinese New Year dinner and fireworks.

Note: if there’s a lot of ice on the wall in this area we’d look at changing the hiking trail.

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Departure date: Sunday, January 29

Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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On this reasonably tough hike we follow hill trails and climb up and down valleys on the way to the Great Wall on the west side of the Jiankou basin. We’ll follow that stretch of Great Wall towards Nine-Eyes Tower, and then follow hill trails to finish with snacks and drinks at Xizhazi Village at Jiankou. Note: Good footwear required.

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Departure date: Sunday, January 29

White River Ice Hike

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Follow a trail that crosses a frozen river in Miyun District, walking down a long canyon and passing below cliffs on the way to the end. We’ll cross the river about eight times, and when not slipping and sliding on the ice we’ll be admiring the excellent scenery.

Note: At this time of the year the river should be frozen thick, no problem to walk on. We’ll call our local contacts for an update in the week before the hike.

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Departure date: Monday, January 30

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

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Departure date: January 30–31 (Mon–Tue)

CNY Overnight: Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Chinese New Year is the best time of year to visit Yu County. Book in early, this trip will be popular!

Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Yuxian Ancient City, visiting the pavilions and pagodas, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center. And, on the first evening, we’ll take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display!

We did some extra scouting for this trip and found a nice countryside walk to do on the last day, a good way to see what it’s like in really rural China.

Note: we’ll be outside quite a bit, and the weather is sure to be freezing – bring all the warm clothes you’ve got, and then bring a few extra layers just in case!

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Departure date: Tuesday, January 31

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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On this hike we’ll walk to and through Hemp Village, an isolated settlement in the hills on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province on the way up to the stretch of wall that lies between Gubeikou and Jinshanling. We’ll follow a narrow trail alongside the wall before passing through an archway to get on to the wall at Jinshanling, a partially-restored stretch with many intact and closely-spaced towers. After hiking along all the wall at Jinshanling, we’ll head to a local restaurant for a meal of Chinese food before the drive back to the city.

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 1

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Hike the Huanghuacheng Great Wall in Beijing’s Huairou District, starting off on an unrestored stretch and following it over the hills to a restored section and then up, over, and down a mountain to finish at a countryside restaurant near a scenic reservoir.

Note: there’s some steep climbing on this hike, so we’re rating it a Level 3+ even though it’s quite a short hike.

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 1

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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For this very easy stroll we will travel to Yanqing County to visit the valley where we’ll find an ancient interconnected series of cave dwellings. This trip is suitable for children (no pushchairs, though) – it’s very easy, and the sight of the cave dwellings is sure to spark the imagination.

After visiting the caves we’ll get an early dinner out in the country before heading for the Longqingxia Ice Festival, where we’ll see all the amazing ice sculptures and lanterns – perhaps not quite as amazing as the Harbin Festival, but definitely not as cold!

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Departure date: Thursday, Feburary 2

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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To begin the hike, we’ll walk in to Hemp Village, a tiny settlement hidden at the end of a long valley. From Hemp Village, we’ll climb into the hills, first following a trail through fields with views of the Great Wall to the side and front, and then getting on to the Great Wall at Gubeikou to walk a 6km stretch of pretty, unrestored wall. We’ll extend the hike from Gubeikou along a few more towers, and then down a nice hill trail to finish. If you’re interested, you can buy a ticket and take a quick look inside the memorial to see historical photos and artifacts from the 1930’s battle for Gubeikou between the Chinese and Japanese armies. (Ticket cost approx. 20 RMB, if they’re open - in winter, maybe not.)

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Departure date: Saturday, February 4

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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The Great Wall at Longquanyu follows a ridge surrounded by taller mountains, with views of peaks in the distance and canyons far below. We’ll hike a recently repaired stretch with some two very steep descents, and take a detour through chestnut orchards to find the last ‘wild’ stretch of wall in the area. The hike finishes with a walk out past the Little West Lake reservoir, a popular park with views of Great Wall dipping down into the water.

When we’re done walking we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch of Chinese food.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 5

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 8

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Book your place

On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: February 11–12 (Sat–Sun)

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

Book your place

Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Yuxian Ancient City, visiting the pavilions and pagodas, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center. And, on the first evening, we’ll take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display!

On the second day of the trip we’ll spend the morning watching a rowdy and colourful street parade before picking up on our regular itinerary.

Note: we’ll be outside quite a bit, and the weather is sure to be freezing – bring all the warm clothes you’ve got, and then bring a few extra layers just in case!

Read more about this hike »

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Sunday, January 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, January 22
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Friday, January 27
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, January 29
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Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 29
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White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, January 30
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: January 30–31 (Mon–Tue)
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CNY Overnight: Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, January 31
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 1
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 1
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Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, Feburary 2
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, February 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, February 5
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 8
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: February 11–12 (Sat–Sun)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Saturday, February 11
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Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Sunday, February 12
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 15
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, February 18
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Prove Your Loyalty

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Departure date: Saturday, February 18
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, February 19
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 22
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 25
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, February 25
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Sunday, February 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 1
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, March 2
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 4
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 4
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 5
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, March 5
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, March 9
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 11
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 12
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Sunday, March 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 15
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, March 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 18
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 18
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Sunday, March 19
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 22
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, March 23
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 25
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, March 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: March 25–26 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 26
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, March 26
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 29
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 30
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Explore China

See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.

Upcoming trips

Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 8–11, 2017

Labrang Monastery’s ‘Unveiling the Buddha’ Ceremony, Xiahe, Gansu Province

In Brief: Visit Xiahe to witness a giant Buddha tapestry being unveiled on the hillside above Labrang Monastery and to join the crowds watching the lively performances in the town square. Trip also includes hikes and walks in nearby grassland areas.

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Terraced hills covered with flowers
Trip dates: March 16–19, 2017

Wuyuan ‘Fields of Flowers’, Jiangxi Province

In Brief: See fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Colourful costumes of the Zhuang ethnic group
Trip dates: April 1–5, 2017

Guizhou: Miao and Dong culture in the mountains (5 days)

In Brief: Hike between villages and enclaves in the mountains of Guizhou Province to get a up-close look at the well-preserved rituals, traditions, and architecture of the Miao and Dong (and more) ethnic groups.

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