Our grading system explained
- Expedition Grade
At almost 10 million square kilometres in size and with a population of well over a billion, China is truly a country of epic proportions. Such epic scale is also reflected is China’s history which goes back over millennia into the mists of time. Exploring the monumental Great Wall, the magnificent palaces and temples of Beijing and the incomparable Terracotta Army in Xi’an will provide an insight into how China has transformed over the centuries, becoming the contemporary super-power that it now is.
Beijing is a fascinating starting point for any visit to China. The impressive Forbidden City and beautiful Temple of Heaven showcase the life of China’s Imperial emperors. Whilst the traditional life of the ordinary people can still be seen in the Hutong District – a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and tiny houses that once covered the entire city but are now rapidly disappearing. China’s more recent history is to be found both in Tian’anmen Square and the austere buildings of the Communist state, as well as in dazzling contemporary structures such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium and the Central TV building.
Away from the frantic activity of the capital, the Great Wall of China stretches from the coast in the east to its last frontier in remote Gansu province in the northwest. However, it is the impressive sections that run conveniently close to Beijing where the wall can be witnessed in its full glory – rising and falling along the jagged ridges that characterise the landscape of the region, broken only by the imposing watchtowers that mark its progress. A walk along the Great Wall is to step back in time as it bears witness to the many changes that China has undergone from early Mongol invasions to the upheaval of the Cultural revolution and to the pride of modern-day China.
Finally, any holiday to China should include a visit the ancient cultural capital of Xi’an and its incomparable army of Terracotta Warriors.
You can discover all these cultural and historic wonders on our Great Wall of China walking holiday.View our holidays here