An incredible journey through China’s most spectacular landscapes, as seen in movie theaters around the globe, but much better up close and personal.
- 16 nights accommodation on twin-share basis in comfortable hotels
- Tour leader
- 4 domestic flights
- Private vehicle and driver throughout
- All entrance fees as listed
- Many meals.
As China hurtles headlong into the future its neon-clad cities, epic landscapes and mysterious culture are making their way onto movie screens around the world. Our journey takes us from fast-moving Hong Kong and Shanghai to the timeless mountains of the interior, and then west to the captivating endless deserts of Central Asia.
Day 1-2 – Hong Kong
This evening we'll get to one another over dinner and have an introduction to the tour. Hong Kong is China's Hollywood and produces hundreds of movies every year. This is where Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan first made their names, and the city has lent its iconic skyline to a host of international films including Revenge of the Pink Panther and several Bond movies. The next day we'll delve straight into character with a wander along the Avenue of Stars and a visit to a movie set.
Days 3-5 – Fujian
Today we'll take a short flight west and then a long drive into the magical mountains used as the backdrop for James Cameron's Avatar. The following day we'll summit a peak for an unparalleled vista over the giant sandstone pinnacles.
Days 6-8 – Shanghai
From Fujian we'll take an overnight train to Shanghai, ultra-modern mega-city and historic home of China's movie scene. Featured in Marlena Dietrich's 1932 Shanghai Express, the city then shrunk into a shadow of its former self in the early years of the PRC, only to re-emerge bigger, brighter and brasher in the 1990s. Since that time Shanghai has once again played set to a variety of movies including the new Bond, Skyfall. We'll walk the Bund, see where Bruce Lee kicked a sign from a public park wall, and explore the picturesque canals of the watertowns as featured in Mission Impossible III.
Days 9-10 – Anhui
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the movie that brought China to the world, and in Anhui we will visit the magical bamboo forests used as the backdrop for the gravity-defying training fight scene between Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat. We'll also visit some incredibly well-preserved ancient villages some of which have featured in award-winning cinematographer Zhang Yimou's movies.
Days 11-13 – Ningxia
From Anhui we transfer by road to Zhengzhou and then fly west to China's movie-world set out in the desert plains of Ningxia.
Days 14-17 - Xinjiang
Today we'll fly west to Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang and gateway to a very different China. We travel south to Turpan, the lowest place in China, and settle into Uighur life. The following day we'll explore the spectacular desert which surrounds the town, visiting the Flaming Mountains which featured in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. From Turpan we'll fly west to Kashgar which was used as a substitute for Kabul in Afghanistan in the beautiful movie adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. We'll head out for an Uighur banquet on our last evening in a restaurant that should be used as a movie set. Our tour ends after breakfast on day 17. From Kashgar there are overland travel options to many other Central Asian countries (visas required), or there are flight and trains back to Urumqi from where there are flights all over China and Asia.