Far East Adventure
The ultimate Far East adventure!
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Group Size: Avg 10-15
Trip code: FEAD
Duration: 42 days or longer
Spend an immersive time travelling through two of Asia’s most historic and beautiful countries. Kicking things off in Hong Kong, you’ll take a round trip of some of China’s most incredible destinations with like-minded travellers, from bamboo rafting on the Li River in Yangshuo and visiting the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, to learning kung fu in Dengfeng and sleeping under the stars on the Great Wall. You’ll then fly over to Tokyo, you'll experience the country's diversity from Tokyo’s buzzing streets to the calm serenity and beautiful scenery of Kyoto and Arashiyama, you’ll visit the country’s temples, shrines, and castles, and discover Japan’s culture clash from time-honoured traditions to uber modern city living. Travel to the Far East and go on an adventure of a lifetime.
- Meet the cheeky residents at Chengdu’s Giant Panda Research Centre
- Discover Beijing and spend a night camping on an unspoilt section of the Great Wall of China
- See the world-famous Terracotta Army
- Take a cooking masterclass, visit the sumo district, and see a samurai demonstration in Tokyo
- Feel the buzz at Shibuya crossing, Tokyo's busiest interchange
China Adventure (27 days)
Day 1: Arrive in Hong Kong. Make your way to your accommodation and then head out into the city to explore.
Day 2: Hong Kong to Yangshuo. Meet your guide and the rest of the group at 7am for a welcome meeting. Check out the city views from Victoria Peak and then catch a train to Yangshuo.
Day 3-6: Yangshuo. Spend the next few days soaking up the atmosphere and taking in the beautiful scenery. Go on a bamboo rafting trip along the Li River and enjoy a range of optional activities.
Day 7-9: Chengdu. Spend the next few days discovering Chengdu at your own pace. Take a trip to the Panda Breeding Research Centre with the group and go on some brilliant optional excursions.
Day 10-11: Xi'an. Take a look around the city's Muslim Quarter on an optional tour. On day 11, we'll see the famous Terracotta Warriors before volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
Day 12: Xi'an to Dengfeng. Pick up supplies to take to the local orphanage, watch a kung fu performance by the children and learn some moves with a Shaolin kung fu master!
Day 13: Dengfeng. Take it easy today with a free day in Dengfeng. This evening, we'll head back to the station to board an overnight train to the country's capital.
Day 14-16: Beijing – the Great Wall of China. Start the day with a Mandarin lesson before making our way to the Great Wall to camp on an unspoilt section of the wall.
Day 17-19: Beijing to Hangzhou to Shanghai. Spend a bit of free time in Beijing before travelling to Hangzhou. Head up to the Misty Forest and go on an optional hiking trip, then head to Shanghai.
Day 20-22: Shanghai. Discover the highlife and modern glamour of the big city for yourself over the next couple of days. Be sure to visit People’s Square, the Oriental Pearl Tower, and Yu Gardens.
Day 23-24: Nanjing, Fujian Province. Jump on a train to the Fujian Province and visit a local Hakka community. Take part in a traditional tea ceremony and swim in the local lagoon.
Day 25: Fujian Province to Guangzhou. Cycle through the mountains and past rivers to another village for some food with the locals. Later, we’ll make the overnight journey to Guangzhou.
Day 26: Hong Kong. Arrive back in Hong Kong and have a free day to explore before one final night with your group in China.
Day 27: Hong Kong. Our China tour comes to an end today, but more adventures are just a flight away, so make your own way over to Japan to carry on your travels from Tokyo.
Japan Adventure (15 days)
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo. Check out the city for yourself. Get plenty of rest tonight so you’re fresh for the rest of your adventure.
Day 2: Tokyo. Meet your new guide and group at today’s welcome meeting. Head to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government skyscraper before heading into the city.
Day 3: Tokyo. Take a cooking masterclass this morning and prepare authentic sashimi. This afternoon head to the city’s Anime and Manga hub before visiting a maid café.
Day 4: Tokyo. Visit the Imperial Palace, home of the Japanese Emperor. Explore a Shinto shrine, before visiting the funky fashion district in Harajuku. Get swallowed by crowds of commuters at Shibuya.
Day 5: Tokyo. Tour Tokyo’s Imperial Palace before heading to the forest shrines in Harajuku. Later we’ll visit the city’s fashion district and the Shibuya Crossing – Tokyo’s busiest interchange.
Day 6: Kamakura. Today we’ll make our way to Japan’s medieval capital. After arriving, we'll head to Enoshima Island to explore it's ancient temples and shrines, as well as amazing sunsets.
Day 7: Mount Fuji. Visit one of Japan’s most iconic natural sites and see Mount Fuji by cable car then climb aboard a pirate ship to sail across Lake Ashi for even closer views of the volcano.
Day 8: Kyoto. Travel to the beautiful city of Kyoto. We'll explore the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, one the most iconic sites in Japan, and walk through the chain of thousands of red torii gates. Spend your first evening in this incredible city by enjoying jazz and beer in Kawaramuchi or wandering down the lamp-lit Pontocho alley.
Day 9: Arashiyama. Drift through the Arashiyama hills on a boat ride along the Hozagawa River. Step ashore to walk through the bamboo forest and hike up to the monkey park.
Day 10: Kyoto. Have a free day to explore Kyoto. Why not visit some of the cities stunning temples, or check out the manga museum?
Day 11: Kyoto. Start the day with a trip to the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji Temple, then walk around the Buddhist gardens of Ryoanji. Later, we’ll take a bicycle tour of the Imperial Palace.
Day 12: Hiroshima. Pay your respects at the world’s first nuclear bomb site then take a ferry to Miyajima Island to see Itsukushima shrine.
Day 13: Osaka. Visit Osaka Castle – one of the country’s most famous landmarks. In the evening enjoy a night at some of the city’s liveliest bars and spend the night at a capsule hotel.
Day 14: Osaka to Tokyo. Enjoy a mid-morning farewell meal with the group before taking a look around the Umeda Sky Tower. Head back to Tokyo this evening.
Day 15: Farewell. Today marks the end of your epic Far East Adventure – you’re free to head off whenever you like.
- Flights between Hong Kong and Japan are not included
- This trip can be done the other way round if you wish: Japan first and China afterwards. Please speak to a travel co-ordinator for dates.
- All itineraries are for guidance only and are subject to change.
- We try to run as many of our start dates back-to-back, so your China Adventure can begin as soon as your Japan Adventure ends. On occasional start dates there may be days inbetween where you will need to arrange your own accommodation. Please contact us for details.
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You will need to arrive into Hong Kong on the first day of your China Adventure. There are no activities planned on day one of your programme. Airport transfers aren’t included, so you’ll need to make your own way to your accommodation, either by taxi (approx. £35) or by the public metro system (approx. £10). It takes roughly 45 minutes to get from the airport to your hostel whether you’re travelling by taxi or on the metro. The China leg of your tour ends in Hong Kong on day 27 and you can depart at any time.
Arrive in Tokyo on day 1 of your Japan Adventure. Airport transfers aren’t included, so you’ll need to make your own way to your accommodation in Tokyo. Japan has a very efficient transport system that is easy to navigate. You can take a train to Tokyo city centre for around £10. Your tour ends in Tokyo on day 15.
Please note, flights are not included in the cost of your trip.
26 nights' accommodation is included in the cost of this tour. Most nights will be spent in hostels, in mixed sex dorms, usually sleeping 4 to 12 people. Some nights will be spent travelling by sleeper train with triple-level flat bunks to sleep on. These are not in individual cabins but set out in dorm-style carriages, which you will share with locals and other travellers.
You will also spend 1 night camping on the Great Wall. All camping equipment will be provided, including two-man tents, sleeping bags, and a roll mat. Pillows are not provided so you might want to bring your own travel pillow.
Please note: Camping at the Great Wall will only take place between May and October unless the weather is unseasonably warm. For trips taking place at any other time of year, we'll stay in a guesthouse 10 minutes' walk from the wall.
Meals aren’t included as part of this tour, although food will be provided the farm on the way to the Great Wall. Your guide will always be able to recommend great local restaurants where you can find cheap and delicious food. An average meal will cost around 60-80RMB per person.
14 nights’ accommodation are included in the cost of your trip to Japan. Most of your accommodation will consist of clean and comfortable shared single-sex dorms in hostels, with 1 night in a typical Japanese capsule hotel in Osaka.
Meals aren’t included in the cost of your Japanese Adventure, which creates a fantastic opportunity for you to try an abundance of delicious Japanese cuisine, chat to street vendors and sample local delicacies. Please be aware that vegetarian and vegan options are limited in Japan and therefore we would encourage vegetarians and vegans to bring additional snacks to Japan.
The minimum age to join this trip is 18.
China: You will need a visa to enter China. Visas need to be obtained in person from your nearest Chinese visa application centre, which can be located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. You will need to book an appointment online and travel to the visa application centre with your passport, application form and letter of invitation. You will then be asked to return to the visa application centre at a later date to collect your visa. Your letter of invitation will be issued to you within 3 months of your travel date, and you can then begin your visa application process.
Japan: British nationals will be granted a 90-day visitor visa on arrival in Japan, which can be extended for a further 90 days while in Japan, if needed.
Please be aware that visa rules and regulations are subject to change and it is your responsibility to check the current rules with the Chinese Embassy before you travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.