15 days Ancient China tour with capitals exploration

⇀ Xi'an
⇀ Luoyang
⇀ Kaifeng
⇀ Nanjing
⇀ Shanghai
⇀ Suzhou
⇀ Shanghai
This China history tour is so special as it offers a visit to 5 famous ancient capitals in China. Explore numerous cultural heritages to learn about a China that is overflowing with history. Discover the mystery of Kong Fu at the Shaolin Temple.
15 days
Culture and Heritage, Train travel
Trip code
From 1,530 per person
you save 0 (0%)

Enjoy this wonderful China history tour with a visit to five famous ancient capitals in China. Experience a soft train ride from Beijing to Luoyang. While visiting these unparalleled ancient relics including the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors and the Shaolin Temple, you will get a better understanding of China's massive history and culture. 

Day 01 :
Arrive Beijing

Welcome to Beijing, the capital city of China. As one of the six Chinese ancient capital cities, Beijing has its rich cultural heritage and tourism resources. Along with Beijing, you will visit several ancient capitals in China.
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be greeted and assisted to your hotel by the local guide and driver. The rest of today will be open and flexible for you to take a break or get the first impression of Beijing.

Day 02 :
Beijing City Tour - Visit Forbidden City and Summer Palace (B)

Today you will start your tour with a guided visit to Tiananmen Square, it is the world's largest public square and represents the heart of Imperial Beijing. It's also a notable symbol to Chinese people as to where many historical events once took place.

Afterward, head to the Forbidden City, which is located just at the north end of Tiananmen Square. Forbidden City is one of the earliest attractions declared as a World Heritage Sites in China, and UNESCO acclaimed it as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.  Visiting the Forbidden City will give you an incredible experience into Chinese culture and history, as it is a magnificent Imperial Palace that was the home of 24 Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors from 1420 to 1912.
Continue your journey to Jingshan Park, situated directly across from the Forbidden City. A climb to the park's summit will reward you with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Forbidden City and the vast Beijing cityscape.
Enjoy your lunch then in the afternoon, head to the Summer Palace in northwest Beijing. The Summer Palace is a royal garden that surrounding Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill more traditionally know as Wanshou Shan. Along being a UNESCO World Heritage site it is one of the four classic gardens of China. This palace was built by the emperors during Qing dynasty as a summer time retreat. You will easily see many spectacular gardens, palaces and temples throughout. In the evening, you may choose to enjoy the Kong Fu Show or Peking Opera. (Optional)

Day 03 :
Beijing Great Wall Tour (B)

Great Wall is a definite must-see in your China Trip. Today make an excursion trip to the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is one of the several best places to witness the majestic Great Wall. You will have 2 to 3 hours to walk along the wall or take a cable car to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and explore the watchtowers. 

After lunch, head to Ming Tombs, the final resting place for 13 emperors in Ming Dynasties. You will visit Changeling, it is regarded as the largest and best preserved of the 13 tombs, you will be impressed by the incredible Chinese imperial funerary art. On your way back to Beijing, stop at the Olympic Green to have a glimpse of Bird's Nest and Water Cube (if you want to pay a visit of Bird's Nest and Water Cube, your guide will help you to purchase the entrance tickets).

Day 04 :
Beijing City Sightseeing - High Speed Train to Xi'an (B)

In the morning visit the Temple of Heaven, which was the place where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped to heaven for good harvests. The temple is well-known for its unique triple-gabled circular temple called Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, people believe it has already been a landmark of Beijing. 

Then drive to the Shichahai Area in the old part of Beijing, you will have about one hour tour of a 300-year-old courtyard, with the help of your local tour guide. The housekeeper of the yard will give you a detailed explanation of the old courtyard including its history, layout, Fengshui and other related traditional Chinese cultures. Then, have a rickshaw tour through the narrow alleys (called Hutong locally) to experience the real life of the local Beijing residents. Then board the afternoon high-speed train to Xi'an.

Day 05 :
Xi'an City Tour - Visit Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Muslim Quarter (B)

You will arrive at Xi'an in the early morning, be greeted and assisted to your hotel by your local guide and driver. After a short rest at your hotel, drive to visit the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the Eighth Wonder of the World. Since 1974, three pits and more than 10,000 terracotta warriors have been excavated to present the extravagant and picturesque funerary art of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in China, who believed that these warriors could protect his mausoleum and help him rule in the afterlife.

Afternoon, drive back to downtown to visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda, an ancient tower which was built in 652 during Tang Dynasty. It's the landmark of Xi'an. Standing at the top of the pagoda, you will have a bird's eye view of the current city of Xi'an. Afterward, head to the Great Mosque, which is a fascinating blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture to explore the Chinese Muslim culture in Xi'an.

In the evening, you can choose to enjoy the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Culture Show.

Day 06 :
Xi'an City Tour - Huxian Farmer Painting village & Xi'an City Wall (B)

Morning make the excursion trip to Huxian, which is famous for its farmer paintings. Picturesque in nature, the local people in Huxian have kept up the fine tradition of drawing the dynamic scenes of their daily life, so here you will see many great folk artworks, and learn more about the Chinese folk culture. 

In the afternoon, drive back to Xi'an and take a walk along Xi'an City Wall, which is regarded as the largest and best preserved city wall in China. Afterwards you can freely explore the Shuyuan Men cultural street, which is just at the City wall south gate, lots of local arts and crafts including replicas of antiques, Chinese calligraphy, paintings, jewels and jade articles are sold on this crowded street. It is a good place to purchase some souvenirs to bring back home.

Day 07 :
Morning Train to Luoyang - Luoyang City Tour - Drive to Dengfeng (B)

Take the morning bullet train to Luoyang (about 2 hours), Luoyang is another famous ancient capital in China. Upon arrival, your local tour guide will meet you at Luoyang train station, and drive to visit Longmen Grottoes, it is one of the three major Buddhist Grottoes in China, housing over 100,000 Buddhist status and images. Longmen Grottoes is caved 1,500 years ago and is the long-established art form playing a significant role in Asian Buddhism cultural evolution.

After lunch, continue to visit the White Horse Temple, it is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in China, established by the Han Dynasty in 68 AD when Buddhism was introduced into China from India. Then drive to visit Luoyang Museum, here you will see a modest collection of early pottery figures and fragments. If time is allowed, you can freely walk around Luoyang Old City. Late in the afternoon, drive to Dengfeng for overnight. 

Day 08 :
Shaolin Temple Sightseeing - Drive to Kaifeng (B)

Morning visit Shaolin Temple, located in the Songshan Mountain. When it comes to the Shaolin Temple, you must associate it with Chinese martial art. It's definitely an attraction not to be missed in China. Shaolin Temple is perhaps the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery in World, so in addition to watching Shaolin Kong Fu Show, you will also be arranged to visit Pagoda Forest, which is a cemetery of 246 small brick pagodas including the ashes of an eminent monk. 

In the afternoon, drive to Kaifeng via Zhengzhou (about 3 hours drive). Kaifeng was the China old capital in the Northern Song Dynasty. Upon arrival at Kaifeng, check into your hotel and have a short rest, afterward head to the interesting Kaifeng night market to try some local snacks. 

Day 09 :
Kaifeng City Tour - High-speed train to Nanjing (B)

Today you will see the highlights of Kaifeng. First drive to visit Iron Pagoda, a Chinese Buddhist Pagoda built in 1049 during the Song Dynasty. The pagoda is not made of iron, it's a slender brick edifice wrapped in glazed rust-colored tiles. Your next stop will be the Dragon Pavillion, where there was an ancient ruin of the imperial palace of the Song Dynasty and Jin Dynasty. The park is largely covered by lakes, so the scenery is quite breathtaking. 

The last but not least attraction to visit in Kaifeng is Qingming River Garden. It's a theme park which re-creates the Kaifeng of its heyday. Here you see cultural performances, folk art, and music demonstrations. Late afternoon, board the high-speed train to Nanjing for about 3 hours. 

Day 10 :
Nanjing City Tour (B)

Today you will start your Nanjing highlights tour at Purple Mountain, a famous scenic area in Nanjing. Dr. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum is located at the foot of the second peak of Purple Mountain, it's the final resting place of Sun Yat Sen, who is recognized as the father of modern China. At the southern slope of Purple Mountain, you will visit Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the 14th-century tomb of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, who is the first emperor in Ming Dynasty and also the only Ming emperor to be buried outside of Beijing. Then set off to Linggu Pagoda, also called the temple of soul valley, which is an octagonal pagoda built in 1929 under the direction of a US architect to remember those who died during the revolution. 

Later, take a visit to Confucius Temple in the south of the city. The temple was a center of Confucius study for more than 1500 years. Now the area surrounding the temple has become Nanjing's main amusement quarter. Have a glimpse of Qinhuai River, the biggest river in Nanjing, which is also the birthplace of the ancient Nanjing culture.

Day 11 :
Nanjing City Sightseeing - Bullet Train to Shanghai (B)

Today you will continue to explore Nanjing. The first spot in the morning will be the Presidential Palace. The palace was built during Ming Dynasty, then it was used as presidential offices by Sun Yat Sen's government in 1912 and by Kuomintang from 1927 to 1949, now it's a museum to present China's modern history. After that, head to Nanjing Massacre Museum,  a memorial hall to document the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers against the civilian population during the occupation of Nanjing in 1937. 

In the afternoon, take a visit to Zhonghua Gate, which is located in the south of Ming City Gates. Here you will see some of the vaults are used as souvenir shops. Then head to Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, one of the longest bridges in China. The bridge was opened on 23 December 1968, now it has already been one of the most important landmarks of Nanjing. 

Late in the afternoon, take the bullet train to Shanghai, your Shanghai local guide will meet you at the train station and assist you to the hotel. 

Day 12 :
Shanghai City Tour (B)

One day highlights of Shanghai will mix both modern and old elements of Shanghai. Yu Garden will be the first attraction in your Shanghai city tour. This 500-year-old garden is located in the old town of Shanghai, and it's famous for the Exquisite Jade Rock and breathtaking landscape architectures. Then freely explore the Yuyuan Market next to the garden, is a busy market specializing in traditional Chinese arts and crafts, a good place for souvenirs.
In the afternoon visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, it shows to people and world the achievements in Shanghai urban planning and construction development. Then the following will be Shanghai Tower, it is an incredible feat of engineering and architecture, and it has the world's highest observation deck that offers one of the most breathtaking views of the Shanghai city. Afterwards, stroll along Nanjing Road to witness the beautiful scenery of the Bund in Shanghai. 

Day 13 :
Travel from Shanghai to Suzhou (B)

Today make an excursion to Suzhou, which is known as the 'Venice of the East' and famous for its elegant and exquisite gardens. Upon arrival at Suzhou, firstly you will visit Humble Administrator's Garden, as one of the four great gardens in China along with Summer Palace in Beijing, it is the largest garden in Suzhou and the finest garden in southern China because of its charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. 

Then followed by a cruise on the ancient Grand Canal, like the Great Wall, the Grand Canal is regarded as one of the two great man-made projects in Chinese ancient time. There is a lot to see when cruising on the canal. Afterwards, visit another one of the four great gardens in China - the Lingering Garden, it is an elaborate succession of small gardens. Lingering in the garden you would be immersed by this unique architecture art.

Day 14 :
Tongli Water Town

Morning drive to visit a less visited water town Tongli, it is an excellent choice to experience the water town folk culture. Tongli is famous for its gardens, buildings and classic bridges. Then return to Shanghai for free by the rest of the day, go shopping or just walk around the city. If you have no ideas on where to go, we and your local guide are full of suggestions.

Day 15 :
Depart from Shanghai

Pick up from your hotel and drive to the airport or train station for departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home, and WindhorseTour is happily to assist you in extending your tour in China.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

2 bottles of mineral water provided daily.
All required government taxes and fees.
Your selection of 3, 4 or 5 Stars hotel (shared twin room, private bathroom and daily breakfast)
The hotel accommodation is based on two persons sharing one standard twin room with private facilities in all relevant locations. If a single client requests a twin room alone, the single room supplement will be charged.
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build and from the local community. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
All domestic flight and train tickets. Economy-class for flights and soft sleeper / seat for train tickets.
Transportation will we be provided via a comfortable and clean car, minivan or tourist bus depending upon the groups size.
Meals as remarked in the itinerary. (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight and/or railway ticket(s) to the first city of the tour and departure from the last city of the tour.
Meals not specified in the itinerary.

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