Hutongs & the Wild Great Wall (6 Days £750pp)

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You may want to visit both the Hutong districts and the wild parts of the Great Wall, but you may only have a limited amount of time for your vacation. By selecting the most popular and attractive places in both areas, we have successfully shortened and combined both of the two activities to form this amazing tour.

The Hutong Districts:

Shicha Lake District, Guozijian District, Dashilan District

For more information on these Hutong districts, please follow this link: Hutongs in Beijing.

The Wild Great Wall:

Jiankou, Jinshanling

Please find details of each area in the information regarding the tours entitled “Experience real ‘Hutong Life’ in Beijing and “Hiking along the wild Great Wall”.


Accommodation: we will stay in the Chinese Quadrangle hotel, which is equipped with all modern amenities. The tour will last 6 nights in total, including the night before the first activity.

  • Since we will be staying in a Hutong district, there will plenty of time and ample opportunity to explore the Hutongs.
  • The photo we have shown of the hotel has been picked as an example, we cannot guarantee that it is the one you will stay in. However, they are all very similar in style.

Food: we will provide a welcome dinner of authentic Beijing cuisine, on day 3, several Beijing-style snacks on day 2, and Chinese afternoon tea on day 5.

You will also be given the opportunity to explore the local food by yourself.

There is also the option to have a luxurious, authentic royal dinner in one of the large mansions built during the Qing Dynasty. It costs approximately £35 per head and is not included in the original tour price. We can arrange the dinner for anybody who is interested.  Please look at the following photo to get an idea of what this luxury restaurant is like:


Transportation: We will mainly rely on taxis and the Underground when we’re inside the city. The brave ones among you may also like to try the Underground during rush hour, which makes peak-time on the London Underground seem quiet. You will be brought to the Great Wall by our minibus.

Cost: £750 per person (including: 6 nights’ accommodation in the Quadrangle Courtyard hotel; 1 welcome dinner, Chinese afternoon tea and several snacks during designated parts of the tour; all entrance fees for attractions; all transportation costs during designated tour times; the services of an English speaking guide; meetings with locals; a pedal cab tour of the Hutongs; a pdf file with information about Hutongs; information for tour in Beijing; help with any further traveling you may do around China after the tour).

It will be £1000 per person if you want a single room rather than a shared room in the hotel.

Minimum number of participants required to run the tour: 4

Maximum number of participants for this tour: 10

Dates of the Tour: 14th June 2015 – 19th June 2015


Day 1

Meeting up

You can choose the meeting points including: the hotel, the underground station near the hotel, Beijing railway station. If you need the pick-up service from any places of Beijing (including the airport), please let us know in advance.

Day 2

pic01A trip to the royal mansions in a Hutong district — Shicha Lake (什刹海).

On your first day you will embark on a tour of the Hutongs by trishaw (a three-wheeled, rickshaw-like pedal cab).  Feel free to relax and soak in the stunning, ancient streets whilst looking like a regular visitor to the Hutongs!  After the tranquil pedal cab tour, we will take you to visit the largest surviving mansion from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) – Prince Gong’s Mansion.

In the afternoon, we will visit the surviving Chinese Quadrangles and talk to their current owners. Then we will throw ourselves hungrily into Jiumen Snack Street and enjoy some of the authentic, time-honoured Beijing snacks – (large fried dumplings, soft bean curd, cooked offal and Chinese sticky cakes). Please let us know if you don’t want to or simply cannot eat certain snacks.

We will also visit Yandai Xiejie as part of the first day’s tour.

Tips: the Houhai Pub is nearby, so feel free to include their happy hour in your evening plans!


Day 3

A trip to the old high street that was used during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties — Dashilan or “Outside the Front Gate” (前门大栅栏) and the old financial centre — West Heyan Street (西河沿儿街). 


You will find that this district contains a mixture of artificial “old-style” buildings and authentic old buildings. Luckily these two kinds of buildings are not on the same street. All of the shops that once sold the old, time-honoured local brands still exist and operate on these streets. Although the newly built, artificial street is prettier, we don’t recommend that you spend too much time there as it is expensive and doesn’t provide the kind of authentic experience that the older streets do.

If you want to enjoy a traditional Chinese cross talk performance, please let us know in advance and we will help you book a ticket.

In the afternoon we will focus our attention on the smaller Hutongs. Historically the district we will visit was used predominantly by merchants, peddlers, some prostitutes and regular citizens. The Hutongs and houses in this district appear shabby. The Quadrangle Courtyard hotels here are smaller and cheaper than they are in other, more famous Hutong districts. For these reasons, you will find many young tourists from all over the world staying here.

On this day of the tour the plan is to walk into a few small but phenomenally well-preserved Hutongs. The most distinct of these Hutongs are Shijia Hutong and Jiuwan Hutong. Shijia Hutong used to be the main street for the old banks, whilst Jiuwan Hutong has the most bends of all the Hutongs in Beijing.

That evening we will provide welcome dinner consisting of delectable, authentic Beijing-style cuisine.


Day 4

A long hike along the Jiankou portion of the Great Wall


Day 4
Hiking in Jiankou;

Roughly 7-8 hours

7:30 Depart from Beijing
≈ 9:00 Start hiking
≈ 10:00 Get to the Great Wall, have a break
13:00 – 14:00 Break for lunch
≈ 17:00 Finish hiking
≈ 19:00 Head back to Beijing
Please Note:

  1. It is vitally important that you have breakfast before we start hiking;
  2. Since we acknowledge that everyone’s hiking speed will be different and we do not want to rush you, you will be given a picture of the break spots so that you will recognize them as you are hiking. Please wait at the designated break spots for other members.
  3. Please DO NOT go out hiking alone, we ask that at least two members travel together at all times. There are some very steep and potentially dangerous steps and walls which some of you may need assistance climbing.


Day 5


A trip to the most archetypal Hutong district – Dongsi(东四)and Guozijian(国子监)

A trip to the most popular Hutong district – Nanluogu Alley(南锣鼓巷)

Dongsi(东四)and Guozijian(国子监)are not as popular as tourist attractions and thus will be less crowded than the other three Hutong districts in our tour plan.  The buildings there are more authentic because they have not been altered to attract tourists.  When we are there, we will walk through the Hutongs and make time especially to visit the Confucian Temple and Imperial College there. However, in spite of all of these awe-inspiring sights, your favourite part of the day may very well be simply taking traditional Chinese afternoon tea in one of the Quadrangle Courtyards.

After the Chinese afternoon tea, feel free to explore Nauluogu Alley by yourself.”


Day 6


A trip to the Jinshanling portion of the Great Wall

Day 6
Hiking in Jinshanling;

Roughly 5-6 hours

8:30 Depart from Beijing
≈11:00 Arrive at Jinshanling
11:00 – 16:00 Hiking
16: 30 – 19: 30 Head back to Beijing
Important Note: When hiking, please be aware of the line and do not cross the line into the restricted areas.


Please Note:

You can choose to stick to this tour entirely, or you can just incorporate it as part of your wider plans to travel across China. We can provide you with information and help you with any other travel plans you may have if you need us to. We also provide a hotel booking service and a flight or train booking service for all of our members’ traveling in China outside of the 5 designated days of the tour. We will also provide a consultancy service for you, which will help you to plan your journey across China and give you useful tips on traveling in China. All of these services are free for all of the members that take this tour or any of our other tours. If you have any special requests, please let us know as soon as possible.


mutianyu02We hope that you will have a wonderful time traveling with us!

For further information,

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