china street opera

Street opera is an ancient Ming tradition

In the picturesque villages of Guizhou Provence, local people perform traditional Chinese opera in hand-made painted wooden masks. This ancient Ming operatic tradition is still practiced in the villages we visit.

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China Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5995  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Shanghai, China
Depart: Beijing, China
Lodging: 7 nights in hotels, 2 nights village homestay (or hotel option)
Meals: All meals included, drinking water, tea, and coffee during meals, drinking water and snacks on vehicles
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Village exploration, cultural touring


  • Discover fascinating villages of traditional Ming dynasty architecture and dress
  • Watch traditional dance performances, enjoy hill hikes, visit musicians and craftsmen
  • Explore Beijing’s Forbidden City and Great Wall

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

In China’s Southwest, discover Guizhou Province, a hidden realm of ancient hill villages and mist-shrouded valleys dotted with spirit shrines. Here in a green, mountainous landscape, tiny villages isolated from modern China preserve ancient cultures. Enjoy a Private Journey in the traditional world of village China, meeting Old Han and Long-Skirt Miao villagers as they make rice paper in the traditional way and cultivate terraced rice fields. Village-to-village hikes bring you into exquisite valleys that seem drawn from classical Chinese landscape paintings, and you enjoy the rare cultural opportunity of village homestays on two nights, hosted by local families, an experience that our past travelers report to be among the most rewarding adventures on the journey. The trip begins in Shanghai and ends in Beijing, two amazing cities that highlight the diversity of Chinese culture.

We also offer a wonderful mid-trip extension that visits ancient Lijiang and Gyalthang in the eastern Tibetan highlands and a rewarding post-trip extension to Xi’an, home of the legendary Terra Cotta Warriors.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Old Shanghai

Stroll the Bund and explore Shanghais historic seafront.

Days 2-3
Guiyang / Jichang Village

From Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province, enjoy a village hike in the Old Han settlement of Jichang, where women still dress in traditional clothing styles worn since the Ming Dynasty.

Days 4-7
Ming, Old Han, and Miao Villages of Guizhou

Explore quaint villages including Dazhai, an enchanting maze of old Ming-style wooden houses set among green paddy fields, set out for optional hill walks, meet the local families. Your support staff is a private guide and a driver, both wonderful traveling companions who offer unique insights into fascinating village cultures. Overnight in village homes for two nights, hosted by a local family and considered a highlight of the trip. Note: Hotel options are available for those who prefer.

Days 8-10
Beijing / Forbidden City and Great Wall

More than 30 emperors have lived and ruled from Beijing, as evidenced by the incredible ancient monuments scattered across this vibrant international city. Visit the local hutongs (narrow-laned traditional neighborhoods), Tiananmen Square, the vast Forbidden City, and The Great Wall. Depart Day 10.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2, Easy to Moderate, according our trip rating system. It is a comfortable, vehicle-based sightseeing trip with optional hikes and village walks on several days. Accommodations are in comfortable and well-located hotels, with two nights in village homestay accommodations (hotel options available upon request).

During village homestays, homes usually consist of small gardens with chilies, tomatoes, gourds, and vegetables are usually planted near each family house. Most homes have two hearths and no chimney, hence it is often smoky. Seeing a few bugs, rodents, or similar critters may be a possibility, but this should not pose any problem (beyond a bit of character building). Please note that village food tends to simpler and oilier than city food, but it is also an excellent chance to sample the food in rural areas.

On village visits, your support team and logistic van will always arrive in advance. Most of roads are accessible by vehicles, so if you want to skip a hike and arrive in a village by road, that should be possible. However, the walks are very scenic and have been carefully designed to be easily managed in a hike of two or three hours.

Ground transportation is by air-conditioned mini-bus or van. Local roads range from adequate to difficult to traverse; expect to encounter foot-deep ruts at some points on your trip. We have taken local travel times into account in planning the itinerary, though road conditions can change from week to week. You will be traveling with a private guide and driver, so any time you want to stop and take a picture, please inform your guide. As you traverse Guizhou, you visit quaint mountain villages, where you have a chance to chat with local families and gain a better understanding of life and customs in their area.

While traveling in rural areas, there are few decent public bathroom facilities. We recommend that rather than using local facilities on hikes and drives, you do what the locals do and opt for a “nature break” in a wooded area when hiking as well as when on road journeys.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

February to mid-November

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$5995 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $615 (group of 3 or more)
Internal airfare: $775 (subject to change)
Additional Cost for Hotel Options (Days 4 and 6): $175 per person, double occupancy

Discount for groups of 3 or more, please call for details

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Lijiang and Gyalthang Mid-Trip Extension
   from: $2335
Xi'an Extension
   from: $1215

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All accommodations as noted, all based on double occupancy
  • All meals included, drinking water, tea, and coffee during meals, drinking water and snacks on vehicles
  • Private guides and drivers in each region
  • Transport by air-conditioned vehicles
  • All admission fees and activities as described
  • All airport transfers and land transportation as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, meals not specified in this itinerary, any activities described as optional, optional tipping to local guides, drivers, and hotel/restaurant staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

Our Private Journeys can be tailored to your group so arrival and departure cities and dates may vary. Below are suggested airports to reference during your booking process. Please note: you are responsible for your own transportation to and from the arrival and departure cities of your Private Journey. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Shanghai, China
Date: Day 1

Suggested Airport for Arrival:

Shanghai, China (Airport code PVG)
Beijing, China
Date: Day 10

Suggested Airport for Departure:

Beijing, China (airport code PEK)

Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai

Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai

Day 1 (1 night), Shanghai, China

Conveniently located on Shanghai’s famous Bund with a view of the Pudong skyline, and within walking distance of the Yu Yuan Gardens, this is ...
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Karst Hotel Guiyang

Karst Hotel Guiyang

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights),
Day 5 (1 night), Guiyang, China

The Karst Hotel is a modern business-style hotel with clean, comfortable rooms.
Click here for full description and more photos

Village Homestay

Village Homestay

Day 4 (1 night),
Day 6 (1 night), Dazhai and Paika, China

A Village Homestay is an opportunity to experience the hospitality of a local family and learn about village life, which many travelers find to be ...
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Zong Heng Hotel Kaili

Zong Heng Hotel Kaili

Day 7 (1 night), Kaili, China

This newly built and modern hotel has friendly service and a good location not far from the Minorities Perfecture Museum, with its displays on the ...
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Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel

Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Beijing, China

Set in the heart of Old Beijing among the Hutongs (traditional courtyard homes), this unique 25-room boutique hotel is the perfect balance of ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Lijiang and Gyalthang Mid-Trip Extension

Naxi and Tibetan Cultures, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Ancient Monasteries

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 1

terra cotta warriors xian china

Xi'an Extension

Explore the Cradle of Chinese Civilization

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1