Beijing to Kathmandu by Bob Withers - Tour leader in China
"I have probably run this tour more times than any other tour, yet I still do not tire of it.
It is a relatively long tour (28 days) encompassing most of China, plus Tibet and finishing in Nepal.
There are spectacular flights (including over Sichuan and the Himalayas), a hike through the incredible Tiger Leaping Gorge, cycling through Yangshuo’s stunning karst system and atop the City Wall around Xian and a leisurely respite from all the travel aboard a cruise boat through the Three Gorges sections of the mighty Yangtse River.
You do cover a lot of territory and you do need a reasonable level of fitness – the wonderful Tiger Leaping Gorge hike is a fairly straightforward hike of around 20 kms (over a couple of days), but there are a few steep sections and it is a fairly constant walk.
However, its got to be worth it - you get to see amazing facets of this country:
• Some of China’s best natural scenery (Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dali, Lijiang Yangshuo, The Three Gorges, Tibet)
• A mix of rural, small town and city living (From Beijing, Xian, ChongQing and Chengdu to hamlets like Yangshuo and surrounds). ChongQing for example claims to be the biggest city in the world with a population of 32 million people!!
• The marvelous minority groups in Yunnan and GuangXi provinces. See the stunning clothes worn by the various ethnic groups like the Yi, Bai and Naxi.
• Tibet – one of the most impressive and amazing countries that still fascinates me, even after all these years. We travel out of Lhasa to the “Hero Fort” and magnificent Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse. On the way back to Lhasa have a picnic on the shores of the magical lake Yam Druk Tso
• Aside from the impressive palaces, monasteries and temples and the incredible scenery, the most wonderful experience for me is watching the Tibetan people. Many are doing the pilgrimage to Jokhang Temple (perambulating, chanting and saying prayers), others are shopping for bargains in the main market in Barkhor Square, while still others are enjoying a cup of yak butter tea and chatting with their friends.
I believe that this tour has something for everyone and highly recommend it to those seeking a bit of adventure and experience of new cultures."
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