With tours to suit all tastes it is just a matter of which one takes your fancy. Why not visit the world's biggest panda breeding centre in Chengdu, or learn kung-fu with monks at the Shaolin Temple? Enjoy travelling off the usual tourist trails with The Dragon Trip and discover ‘real’ China.

The tours are hosted by local, bilingual Adventure Leaders who are dedicated to showing visitors a side of China they might otherwise miss. Groups are small (the average size is 15) and guests stay in sociable hostel accommodation which provides ideal opportunities to bond and share this wonderful trip.

Tour information:

The tours range from 8 to 25 days ensuring there is a trip duration for all tastes. Other highlights include visiting the historic Terracotta Army in Xi'an, a trip to Beijing's wondrous Forbidden City, cruising along the Yulong River on a bamboo gondola, and visiting the hot springs in Yangshuo.

It is good to know that the Dragon Trip has a strong respect for local culture with various experiences to try including learning how to cook Chinese-style, getting to grips with Mandarin lessons and even joining the locals in Fujian to learn dance!

Example tour:

An exciting tour is 'Hong Kong to Hong Kong' tour (25 days, from £1,380pp) which provides a full circuit of China. Visitors can soak up the countryside in the West and the cities of the East. It is a great way to see China in under a month. Those with less time to travel can join an 8-days tour from Hong Kong to Chengdu starting from £430pp.

Check out the tour operator's website to find out more about visiting China: