Being one of the largest countries in the world with a surface of 9.597 million km2, China encompasses deserts, lakes, wetlands, mountains, rivers, farmland and beaches – all waiting to be explored. The Asian giant is the world’s top country with the most neighbours (before Russia and Brazil). This gives us, and you, a large variety of options for multi country holidays that include China.
From North to South and East to West, here is an overview of China’s neighbouring countries and the cross-border holidays you can take crossing borders.
China, Mongolia & Russia
Hop on a train in Beijing and take a journey crossing several borders that has captured the imagination of travellers for decades. In China, witness the iconic attractions of capital Beijing, cross the Gobi desert to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and visit the immense steppe for a taste of nomadic life staying in comfortable ‘ger’ camps. After passing the heart of Siberia at Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and largest freshwater lake, soak up Russia’s vast history as you head to iconic cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, your final stop. The Trans-Siberian train is a fantastic mode of transport for an epic multi country holiday.
Want to cross borders from China into Mongolia and Russia? Travel on the Trans-Siberian Explorer adventure touring & day walking holiday in June, July or August. Or join a special departure in July to experience the colourful Naadam Festival in Mongolia.
Russia & China
The Russian Revolution took place in 1917, during the final phase of World War I. It removed Russia from the war and brought about the transformation of the Russian Empire into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), replacing traditional monarchy with the world’s first Communist state. Three years later, China followed in this philosophy although taking a different direction in the 1950s. Today you can travel both countries on the Trans-Siberian Express and see the legacy of communism at sites around the Red Square in Moscow and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Want to go on a relatively short multi country holiday to combine Russia and China? Travel on the 19-day Classic Trans-Siberian adventure touring holiday year-round.
China & Hong Kong
On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese authorities, which marked the end of more than 150 years of British rule. Britain had controlled Hong Kong since 1842 and as such the Hong Kong region developed into the global financial centre it is today. Take a multi country holiday to see how Hong Kong compares to the rest of China and travel from Beijing to Hong Kong. Along the way take in the Great Wall, Shanghai and Terracotta Army in Xi’an.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China and Hong Kong? Travel on the Beijing to Hong Kong adventure touring and day walking holiday. Another hiking and cycling holiday that combines China with a short stay in Hong Kong is the Hike and Bike China multi activity holiday that departs year round on selected dates.
China & North Korea
Led by an expert English speaking guide and travelling in private vehicles, start in China’s capital Beijing and travel East to get a taste of what life in North Korea looks like. Straddle the North and South at the Panmunjom DMZ line, view the Arch of Reunification, visit capital Pyongyang and its Central City Square and see gifts presented by foreign governments to North Korean leaders at the International Friendship Exhibition. To get an idea of what daily life of the locals looks like, share a barbecue dinner with North Koreans. Before or after the guided visits in North Korea, you can spend time in the historic city of Beijing to explore for example Tiananmen Square with Mao’s Mausoleum and the Forbidden City.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China with North Korea? Travel on the North Korean Explorer adventure touring holiday in April, June, August or September.
China, Tibet & a bit of Nepal
Officially one country, but culturally worlds apart, combine China and its autonomous province of Tibet that shares the world’s tallest mountain with Nepal. Everest Kangshung Face is an adventure tour in Tibet that culminates with an exhilarating trek to the ‘Hidden Face’ of Everest, a view of this impressive mountain from the east that is rarely seen by others. In Tibet’s capital Lhasa and other places in the southern province you will notice Chinese influences. Another option to experience this is to join buddhist pilgrims to the sacred Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Travel during the Saga Dawa festival to take part in Tibetan festivities and celebrations.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China, Tibet and a bit of Nepal? Travel on the Everest Kangshung Face adventure touring and trekking holiday in June or September or Journey to Mount Kailas during the Saga Dawa festival in early June.
China & Tibet
To get an even better idea of the differences between Chinese and Tibetan culture, one of the best ways is to travel overland from China’s capital Beijing and cross the border into Tibet and finally capital Lhasa. Along the way, you will come across the Great Wall for a 2-3 hour walk, the highlights of Beijing, Xi’an and its truly impressive Terracotta Warriors and Muslim quarter before taking an overnight train to Lhasa. Here you feel like entering a different era; admire the pilgrims at Jokhang temple, explore the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace, witness monks at debate at Sera monastery and see a great monastic university that used to house 10,000 monks.
Want to go on a holiday to combine China and Tibet? Take the Beijing to Lhasa Journey in April, May or August. Or travel on the High Road to Lhasa adventure touring holiday in May, August or September.
China & Nepal
Begin your journey in Beijing - a contrasting metropolis of the imperial capital and 21st century architecture, and travel overland all the way to one of the highest capitals of the world in Nepal - largely influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. In just under three weeks you can cover the highlights of China and Tibet, before you finish in Kathmandu where you can visit the Buddhist Boudhanath and Swayambhunath stupas, Durbar (Royal) Square of Bhaktapur and Nepal’s most important Hindu temple at Pashupathinath along the Bagmati River.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China, Tibet and Nepal? Travel on the Beijing to Kathmandu adventure touring and day walking holiday in August.
China & Xinjiang
Another autonomous territory in China and home to many ethnic minorities is Xinjiang. It’s situated in the northwest of China and was the gateway between mainland China and the countries of the Middle East when the ancient Silk Road trade route was thriving. Today, you can follow parts of the route when leaving Beijing behind and head west for the markets of Kashgar. Along the way encounter camel caravans, magnificent grottos of Magao, colourful bazaars, the Buddhist monastery of Labrang, and Heavenly Lake.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China and the autonomous region of Xinjiang? Travel on the China Silk Road adventure touring holiday in April, May, August or September.
China, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan
A journey that follows the ancient silk route (parts of which are now inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list) from its source in Xian, China, through an ever-changing landscape to the fabled city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. From Terracotta Warriors and Tibetan monasteries to the serene ‘Heavenly Lake’ and Kashgar’s famous Sunday markets, this historical itinerary crosses into Central Asia and steps into tree-lined streets, walled cities and palaces with impressive domes and minarets.
Want to go on a multi country holiday to combine China with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan? Travel on the Silk Road to Samarkand via Kashgar adventure touring holiday in April, May, August or September.
From the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors to the Great Wall and even Shanghai’s modern architecture, China never fails to conjure up a myriad of feelings, images and a sense of mystery. Combine it with one of its 14 neighbouring countries and you are sure to embark on an unforgettable journey.
As in the days of Marco Polo, you will still be regarded as honoured guest and the locals will delight in watching you watch them!
For more information on trips to China and multi country holidays with its neighbouring countries, please get in touch with our team of travel experts around the world.