China in five curious steps

China in five curious steps
By admin

Cycle Tibet's foothills

Grab a helmet and get on your bike to experience the unforgettable culture, cuisine and alpine landscapes of the north-west Yunnan Province with Grasshopper Adventures' new spiritual Shangri-La cycling tour. 

An expert local guide leads travellers across the foothills of the Tibetan Himalayas and while the mountainous terrain can make the 510km ride a challenge, the tour is filled with rewarding experiences along the way. 

Show stopping vistas, natural thermal springs and fascinating local rituals are just some of the highlights you can experience in between the mountains, jaw-dropping Tiger Leaping Gorge and the world-heritage listed ancient town of Lijiand which you will set sight on in this 14-day cycling adventure. 


Journey along the Silk Road by train

Aptly named due to the large amounts of silk that travelled this route, the Silk Road was China's link with central Asia and Europe in ancient times.

These days you can experience this historical itinerary with Travman Tours onboard the China Orient Express, an overnight train that guarantees complete comfort and ever-changing scenery.  

Explore the old imperial residence of the Forbidden City and the ancient capital of China, Luoyang, before beginning the journey along the Silk Road.

Some of the better known attractions of China are included in the itinerary such as the Terracotta Warriors, but for good reason as the 6000 life-size warriors are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century and a must-see sight of China. 

Continue your journey through the sand dunes and Jade Spring at Dunhuang, the World Heritage site of Mogao Grottoes, with over 490 Buddhist temples, before finishing your thrilling trip with a day cruise and some free time for exploring the city of Urumqi at your own pace. 

With the train providing accommodation throughout most of the tour, this makes for an easy way to experience a collection of cities without the hassle of relocating and moving your luggage between accommodation on a daily basis. 


Camel trek through Mingsha Sand Dunes

They may not be the best looking animals, but camel riding is half the fun of adventuring the Mingsha sand dune desert just out of Dunhuang.  

On arrival to the dunes you will be required to wear fluoro orange cloth sand boots; it's more of a safety standard than a fashion statement and will help you from sinking into the sand in your sandals as well as burning your feet with the hot sun-fried dunes. 

No tour or pre-booking is required and camel rides are available on arrival. The camel-hands will assist you onto the animals before guiding the groups of around five up and down the dunes. 

Most tours detour past Crescent Moon Lake, so named because its shape has been shifted to form a perfect crescent. Sometimes a camel can even run its way down the sprawling dunes. Watching these beasts run is itself an interesting sight let alone riding one. 

And if you're not up for camel riding, you can venture into the dunes on foot, although this is a lot more physical especially since the largest dune measures 1750 metres. 


Ride a cable car to Tianzi Mountain

Take in the breathtaking sights and majesty of the Wuling Mountains as you take the cable car ride up to Tianzi Mountain, also known as the Monarch of the Peak Forest – an attraction as tall as it is beautiful. 

This region is an experience in itself across all seasons, whether you see snow-topped mountains, cloud forests or visit the grand mountains on a clear sunny day.

The cable car is the best way to see the rising peaks, with a 360 degree, bird's eye view of the scenic area which spans over 67 square kilometres. 

To experience the best that the province of Zhangjiajie has to offer, China Bestours have four-day packages that focus on the natural beauty of this area, from the abundance of mountains and valleys to the golden whip stream and the mirror-like Baofeng Lake which reflects the vivid green hills that surround it.

A trip on the cable-car is also a highlight of this exciting itinerary.  


Hike through glaciers

Take a break from the overcrowded tourist hubs and buzzing cities of China to experience grand glaciers en route to the Karakoram mountain range.

Hike your way across the region with World Expedition's Karakoram Exploratory tour, which takes you a 33-day adventure through rural villages and marvels of nature. 

Starting in the Silk Road city of Kashgar in Xinjiang province, the tour makes its way past the towering Muztagh Ata mountain massif and a number of towns before embarking on the trek.

First crossing the Biafo Glacier, the route swings north up the valley of the Dumordo River where a world of ice opens up before you with the Panmah and Chiring glacier stops along the journey. 

Adventure further at your own pace, as you continue to head west up the Choktoi, passing by one of the most spectacular clusters of mountains in the world – the Latok and Ogre (Baintha Brak) groups.

After discovering more extraordinary glaciers and the snow lake you travel back down to the village of Shimshal where the trek concludes and you and fellow trekkers return to Kashgar for a celebratory finish to the trek and tour.  


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