13 days Classic China tour to Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Shanghai
Be greeted by a local guide and driver at the airport or train station in Beijing, then head to your hotel. Have the rest of today to take a break or exploring the city. Your local guide will be ready to offer suggestions on where to go or what to do your first night in Beijing.
After breakfast, head to Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing city. The square, regarded as the largest in world, is an important place for Chinese people to hold celebration or other big occasions. During your visit here you will have a glimpse of several highlights including the Monument to People's Heroes located at the center of the square.
Afterwards, take a visit to the Forbidden City, an ancient palace complex where 24 emperors had lived and worked during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. You local guide will tell you the detailed history of the city and what life was once like for the emperor and servants who used to live here. As a result of the large collection of preserved ancient wooden structures and importance in Chinese history, the Forbidden City has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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. (Optional)
After breakfast, drive to Temple of Heaven in south Beijing. It is a holy imperial temple where emperors once prayed for a good harvest and offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven during every winter solstice. You will have a glimpse of this masterpiece of architecture and landscape design.
Afterwards, drive to Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best section to explore the Great Wall of China. Located about 80 km. (50 mi.) north of downtown Beijing, it will take about 2.5 hours to get there by private car. Upon arrival enjoy 2 to 3 hours of walking along this ancient defense and have a glimpse of the magnificent scenery as the wall winds its way across the mountains. If you don't feel like walking up you no problem you can ascend and descend via a cable car or slide your way down in a toboggan.
On the way back to your hotel, you can have a quick stop at the Olympic Green. (Optional: If you are interested in the local life, we can also drop you off at the Donghuamen night market or Sanlitun Bar Street, where you can get closer to local Beijing).
After breakfast, drive to visit the Lama Temple, which also known as the Yonghegong Temple. It is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. It contains the largest wooden Buddha in the world. (Optional: You can visit Beihai Park instead of you are more interested in the local people’s life).
Afterwards, you will have 1-2 hours to feel the traditional Hutong culture by visiting the Shichahai in west Beijing. Traveling by rickshaw through century old Hutongs in Shichahai before their demolition. Walk along the old Yandai Xiejie which has a 800 year history surrounding Beijing's Drum Tower. Plenty of time for you to explore on your own to near by Nanluoguoxiang for tasting some local snacks or buying some souvenirs from the many antique show for your family and friends.
In the afternoon, take the high-speed train to Xi'an (about 5 hours). Upon arrival in Xián, to be picked up and transferred to hotel.
The first spot of your tour today is one of the must see attractions in China, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which is also called as the 8th wonder of world. After breakfast, take a short 30 minute drive into the Xi'an country side to arrive at the Terracotta Warriors site. Since it was discovered by some farmers in 1974, it has been determined this army of terracotta was created for the first China's first emperor. Each year it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.
Then you will visit the Xi'an City Wall with your guide, see one of the oldest and best preserved city walls across China. When ready head over to Shuyuan Men, an ancient street where you can easily taste many of the local snacks and experience the local life during the Tang Dynasty.
Have a late afternoon visit to to Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to feel the unique ethnic culture of Hui. Take in the unique local feeling and observe as evening prayers approach. In the evening, you may enjoy a Tang Dynasty Dinner Show; dumpling banquet, live performance and more (Optional).
In the morning, start to experience the city with a visit to Shaanxi History Museum, one of the largest state museums with modern facilities in China. More than 300,000 items including murals, paintings, pottery and bronze objects are just waiting for you to discovery them.
Continue with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a major landmark of Xi'an. First built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty, and many people believe that its main function was to protect and preserve the sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought back from India.
In the afternoon, fly to Guilin. Upon arrival, Guilin airport pick up and transfer to hotel.
Spend today comfortably cruising along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Li River is one of the most beautiful rivers in China, you will enjoy the scenery with beautiful water and majestic mountains along the way to Yangshuo. This cruise will take 3 to 4 hours.
After enjoy lunch on the ship and arriving in Yangshuo, have a two to three hours bicycle ride into the countryside of Yangshuo, and experience the real local life of Chinese peasants. If you prefer not to ride a bicycle, just let us know and we will prepare an alternative for you. And then have a local farmer family visit in Yangshuo countryside.
Another morning in Yangshuo you can choose riding bicycle /bamboo rafting (fee on your own) / hiking at the lower reaches of Yulong river, on the way back visit Fuli town. In the afternoon drive about 40 minutes to visit Xianggong hill(Husband Mountain), it takes about 15 minutes to the top of the hill where you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of Li River and the surrounded Karst mountain peaks. Then head to Longji Rice Terraces for the splendid rice terraces and local ethnic minority villages, the drive takes roughly 3 hours, on the way enjoy the nice mountain range views. Overnight at Ping’an village.
Spend most of the day to hike around at the Ping’an village to enjoy the rice terraces views and visit local minority villages. There are several hiking trails that you can choose depending on your physical condition, it could last from 1 hour up to 5 hours. In addition to the beautiful Chinese countryside scenery, you will also have a chance to understand the history, unique culture, life style and language of this Chinese minority group. So just tell your guide what you want, then he can recommend you the options.
In the late afternoon, head to Guilin airport with 2 hours drive, fly to Shanghai. Upon arrival, Shanghai airport pick up and transfer to hotel.
In the Morning, head to Yu Garden, a beautiful garden built by a government officer during the Ming Dynasty, and it's well known for its Exquisite Jade Rock. Afterwards, walk through Shanghai Old Street and have an understanding of the history of Shanghai.
Head over next to visit Xintiandi in the French Concession. It was the location of the first congress of China's Communist Party, however today it is a hip cultural center of Shanghai. There are many cafes, bars, bookstores and boutiques here.
After lunch your next spot will be the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where you can have a whole understanding about this city. Then cross the Huangpu River and visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong District. People all around the world see this as the official landmark of Shanghai. At last you will walk in Shanghai Bund and Nanjing road, getting close to the local life. (Optional: In the evening you can choose to enjoy a Chinese Acrobatics show)
In the morning you will be driven to Tongli water town in Suzhou, an ancient town which has over 1,000 years' history. The town is famous for a system of canals and featured by water, bridges and ancient architectures. Taking a cruise on the canals for witnessing the breathtaking scenery of Tongli will be arranged. Walking on the small alleys to discover this ancient town. Drive back to Shanghai in the late afternoon.
You will have one day on your own to explore in Shanghai, shopping or just walking around to get a better understanding of Shanghai. You can easily ask your WindhorseTour Travel Advisor or local guide for some suggestions on where to go and what to see.
Sadly all thing must come to an end, your guide and drive will pick you up from the hotel and drive to the airport or train station for departure. If you wish to continue your travels we are experts in tailor made trips and ready to assist you in extending your stay in China.