China: Into the wild

Into the Wild

Get off the beaten track and immerse yourself in China’s rich culture.

Start with the country’s ethnic minorities, many of which are found in Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan. Local homestays, culinary experiences, and tours of the area will add color to your time in these regions.

Head north to the grasslands and explore Inner Mongolia, where you will experience an interesting mixture of cultures and Russian-style architecture.

Walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo and travel along the legendary Silk Road. This journey is certainly for the intrepid traveler who cherishes local interaction, simple living, and challenging climates.

Ethnic Minorities

There are nearly 70 ethnic groups across China, each with a particular culture. Take some time to immerse yourself and learn more about what makes each special.

Located next to Vietnam, Guangxi was long considered China’s southern frontier and boasts the largest population of the Zhuang people, among other minorities.

The Guizhou region has been fairly untouched by heavy industry leaving its population, culture, and beautiful land untouched. Here, you will see the colorfully dressed women extract indigo near riverbanks, men building old-style homes by hand, and evening congregations in the village square for singing and dancing.

A former capital of the Naxi Kingdom, Lijiang is situated at 2,400 meters above sea level in the Yunnan province and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site dedicated to preserving the ethnic Naxi culture.

Customize your time here with in-home meals, locally owned guesthouses, and bicycle tours.

Inner Mongolia

A true contrast to the rest of China – here you will find endless grasslands and national parks mixed in with Russian-style architecture.

Start your journey in Ergun, the hometown of Genghis Khan, the Mongol conqueror of the largest land empire the world has ever seen.

Pass through the endless white birch tree forest and visit the Genhe Wetlands, the largest in Asia.

Continue to Shiwei, a charming Chinese-Russian village before ending in the Hulun Buir Grasslands, known to be the most pristine grasslands in northern China. Explore the area by horseback and overnight in a yurt (yes, a yurt!).

Minimum duration: 5 nights

Silk Road

Now is your chance to embark on a legendary journey across stunning desert landscapes and through ancient towns.

Walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo as you shop in the lively bazaars, interact with local Uygher residents, and walk amongst vineyards and forests.

Start in Xining, where you will visit the striking Kumbum Monastery, a testament to the once large Buddhist presence there. Travel north for a camel or jeep excursion in the Badain Jaran Desert, home to 500-meter tall sand dunes across an area as large as The Netherlands. You will have the opportunity to visit the western end of the Great Wall as you travel to Turpan.

A highlight for many is a local homestay in the lush Tuyoq Valley before journeying along the cross-desert highway to Hotan. An overnight camel trek in the Taklamakan Desert is followed by an extended visit to the bustling market town of Kashgar and the surrounding Karakoram region.

Minimum duration: 9 nights