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Departure date: Wednesday, February 14

Great Wall Spur

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On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD and not touched again since. It’s in surprisingly good shape after 400 or so years of weathering.

You’ll hike up and along the Great Wall, passing through large towers on the way to the highest point on the trail. This is an excellent hike for photography—we seldom see other hikers here, and you’ll have long views of ‘wild’ Great Wall ascending ridgelines, with more Great Wall visible on hills in the distance.

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Departure date: Thursday, February 15

White River Ice Hike

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Chinese New Year Eve! 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: Saturday, February 17

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 17

High Rise to Longquanyu

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This hike follows a seldom-used trail mountain trail that connects two villages in Changping District, peaking at almost 800m above sea level. On a clear day the views on the way up are excellent. The second village is conveniently close to a nice stretch of Great Wall we visit on other hikes, and we’re going to follow a recently repaired stretch up a steep hill to finish.

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Departure date: February 18–19 (Sun–Mon)

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: Sunday, February 18

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. The hike at Gubeikou offers 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: Monday, February 19

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.

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20

Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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This hike is a combination of two shorter trails: the Zhuangdaokou and Walled Village hike, and the Moss Mountain hike.

We first climb up a valley to get to the Zhuangdaokou Great Wall, and after a short look we head on through the fields towards the Walled Village. Then we’re on to farm roads and hill trails on the way towards Moss Mountain.

This could almost be rated a Level 3+ hike but there is a deceptive amount of uphill.

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20

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: Wednesday, February 21

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we begin at 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.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 24

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 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!

Working day: if you work in Beijing you might be expected at the office today. It’s one of those times where the work days get switched around so you can have a seven-day holiday for Spring Fest.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 25

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.

Note: there are some very steep descents in the first section of the hike.

Working day: if you work in Beijing you might be expected at the office today. It’s one of those times where the work days get switched around so you can have a seven-day holiday for Spring Fest.

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 28

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.

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Craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, March 3

Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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New hike! Almost 1,000m up into the Yudu Mountains, north of Yanqing City, is Yinmeng Temple. And if there’s a temple up in the mountains, there must also be a trail that goes up there!

We’ll hike up past the temple and cross the mountains at a 1,000m pass, then follow a scenic path through birch forests down into the Sujia River valley.

The trail follows the river, passing below tall cliffs and around bends in the valley.

To get out of the river valley we’ve got to do another big climb, crossing at another 1,000m+ pass before a more mellow walk down and out.

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque, and seldom visited, but its steepness can prove difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route’, cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult – we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case the border crossing guards decide they want to check us on the way out.

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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: Wednesday, January 17
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, January 20
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, January 20
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White River Ice Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, January 21
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, January 24
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, January 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, January 27
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White River Ice Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, January 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, January 31
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, February 4
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Sunday, February 4
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 7
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 10
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, February 10
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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Departure date: Sunday, February 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 14
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, February 15
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White River Ice Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, February 17
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 17
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High Rise to Longquanyu

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Departure date: February 18–19 (Sun–Mon)
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CNY Overnight: Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, February 18
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Monday, February 19
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
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Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
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Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 21
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, February 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, February 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 28
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: March 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4
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Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 8
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 10
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 10
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 14
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, March 15
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 17
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, March 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Sunday, March 18
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 21
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, March 22
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, March 25
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, March 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 31
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: March 31–April 1 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 1
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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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

The lights of Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan
Trip dates: February 17–20, 2018

Fenghuang Ancient Town and Fanjing Mountain (4 days)

In Brief: See Hunan’s beautiful Fenghuang Ancient Town; summit Guizhou’s 2,572m Fanjing Mountain; see Tujia and Miao customs and culture.

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Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 27–March 2, 2018

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 15–18, 2018

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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