13 days China highlights tour from Hong Kong to Beijing
Start this China Tour from Hong Kong, followed by a remarkable cruise along Li River in Guilin. Add on a cultural visit to Xi'an and Beijing and now you start to get the picture of this great amazing tour. Many different highlights await you at every spot, from the beautiful water and mountains of Guilin, to the magnificent Great Wall in Beijing and the mysterious Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. An added bonus of this tour is a stop in Suzhou after you visit Shanghai; here enjoy the fascinating scenery of ancient China gardens. WindhorseTour specializes in tailor making each tour to meet your needs.
Begin your 13 days' China tour in Hong Kong, one of the most prosperous cities in all of China. After being assisted to your hotel by the local guide and driver, you can take a break or freely explore this spectacular island city the rest of today.
After breakfast, take a visit to several famous attractions in Hong Kong, first is Victoria Peak, a great place for people to have a panoramic view of the Hong Kong city. The peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island at a low 552 m. (1,811 ft.)
Then head to Repulse Bay located in the south coast of Hong Kong island. This spectacular bay got it's name from a 19th century battle in which the British army repulsed attacking pirates, but now it's a picturesque residential area for dinner and relaxation. Afterwards, go to visit Stanley Market, which is a traditional old open-air market jammed with many little shops selling Chinese souvenirs in Hong Kong.
The last spot of your tour today will be the Aberdeen Fish Village, a great place for you to taste the local seafood delicacies. After lunch, continue exploring Hong Kong on your own and experience this shopping mecca, you can find almost anything your heart desires.
The morning is left free to take a break or continue to explore Hong Kong's Kowloon Island. Depart in the afternoon, for Guilin via Hong Kong airport, as you say farewell to your Hong Kong guide and driver they will ensure you safely board your flight.
After breakfast, drive to Guilin and board a 3 to 4 hour cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo, a small town that used to be a backpacker way station in China. During your cruise, relax yourself as you view the dramatic Karst peaks. Be surprised as you navigate through each bend under of the crystal clear water and rich blue skies. Enjoy lunch on the ship before disembarking .
Upon arrival in Yangshuo, take a 2 to 3 hours bicycle ride into the countryside of Yangshuo. If you prefer you can choose to walk or ride on a motorcycle. As you pass through the country side see local farmers and their water buffalos as they tend to the land. Stop for a visit at a local farmer's house to experience the local life of Chinese peasants.
The morning is free for you to explore Yangshuo on your own. After lunch, take the private car back to Guilin and continue a visit to the attractions in Guilin. The first sightseeing stop is Reed Flute Cave, which is located 5 km. (3 mi.) northwest of the city center. The name of this cave came from the reeds at the entrance, which is commonly used by the locals to make musical instruments at the entrance to the cave. During your visit in the cave, have a glimpse of a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes.
Afterwards, head to the Elephant Trunk Hill, which is regarded as the landmark of Guilin. The appearance of the hill actually resembles an elephant dipping its snout into Li River. Your last spot today will be the Pearl Culture Shop. Guilin is an important place to process the pearls cultivated in the clean waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Guangxi province. Here you can learn to tell the difference between real and fake pearls.
In the evening, your local guide will say farewell as you are assisted on to the flight to Shanghai.
After breakfast, take a visit to Yu Garden in the old town of Shanghai, and witness the shaded alcoves, glittering ponds filled with carp, pavilions and pines sprouting wistfully from beautiful rock formations. This ancient garden, which has over 400 years history, was founded by the Pan family, a rich official in Ming dynasty. Then head to Yuyuan Market, a place for you to buy some antiques or souvenirs.
Afterwards, you and your guide will hop over to the Shanghai Urban Exhibition Hall to help you get a clear understanding the scale and plan of future Shanghai. Here you can also witness some old photographs of old Shanghai. Cross the Huangpu River and head to the observation deck of the Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the tallest buildings in the world. After, walk through Nanjing Road and see the beautiful scenery of the Bund in Shanghai.
In the evening, cruise along the Huangpu River to see the night scene of Shanghai from another unique vantage point. Then return to your hotel and prepare for the next day.
Start your day off be headin west to Suzhou for a one day tour, about a 90 minute drive before arriving a the Humble Administrator's Garden, which is generally regarded to be the finest garden in all of the southern China. The garden is famous for its sightseeing of Zigzagging bridges connecting pavilions, bamboo groves and fragrant lotus ponds. There's also a small museum along with your guide that explains Chinese landscape gardening concepts.
Afterwards, take a cruise along the Grand Canal, the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Then head to the Lingering Garden located about 3 km. (1.9 mi.) west of the city. Along with Humble Administrator's Garden, this ancient garden was also recorded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The last attraction you will visit in Suzhou is top silk factory, which houses a number of fascinating exhibitions that detail the history of Suzhou's 4,000-year-old silk industry. After drive back to your hotel in Shanghai.
In the morning, drive to the airport for a flight to Xi'an which will take over 2 hours. The tour in Xi'an will begin in the afternoon, after you have checked in at the hotel. First, head to the Shaanxi History Museum, one the best museum in China. View more than countless exhibits including paintings, murals, bronze objects all displayed in the museum, and gain a better understanding of Chinese ancient culture.
After you exit the Shaanxi Museum heading to Xi'an's City wall. Xi'an is one of the few cities in China where the old city walls are still standing. This ancient city wall was built in 1370 during the Ming dynasty. Then descend at Shuyuan Men Gate, the start of an ancient street where you can easily taste many of the local snacks and experience the local life during the Tang Dynasty.
In the evening, be entertained with a Tang Dynasty Dinner Show; filled with a dumpling banquet, live performance and more. Return to your hotel or head to a local pub.
After breakfast, take a private car to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which is located in the northeast suburb of Xi'an. Qing Shi Huang, the first emperor in China had the Terracotta warriors built to defend his mausoleum and help him rule in the afterlife. Now it is called as the eighth wonder of world. You will see more than 10,000 clay warriors and their chariots here, waiting for their emperor to wake them up.
Late morning, drive back to the downtown Xi'an about 30 minutes and continue visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This pagoda was built in 652 during Tang Dynasty and has been rebuilt over the centuries, people believe that it was used to preserve the sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought from India by the famous Buddhist traveler Xuanzang. It's regarded as the key landmark of Xi'an.
Late in the afternoon or evening, drive to the airport and take the flight to the last destination of your China tour: Beijing.
Saving perhaps the best city for last, China's capital Beijing is well know for Tiananmen Square located in the heart of Beijing and the largest square in world. While visiting Tiananmen square you will see the Monument to the People's Heroes in the center, the Great Hall of the People along with the China's National Museum. Today the Square is an important place for Chinese people to hold celebration or other big occasions.
Afterwards, continue with a visit to Forbidden City, which is located in the North end of Tiananmen Square. This is a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. 24 emperors lived and worked here during Ming and Qing Dynasties. During your visit, your 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.
In the afternoon, head to the Temple of Heaven in southern Beijing. It's famous for its unique and magnificent triple-gabled circular temples. During Ming and Qing Dynasties, this imperial palace complex is used to offer sacrifices to the God of Heaven by the emperors every winter solstice, they believed that this way could bring a good harvest in the next year. When finished wonder within the beautify park before heading off to a Kong Fu dinner show.
In the Morning, take a 2.5 hours' drive to Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best section of of China's great wall located about 80 km. (50 mi.) north from Beijing city. Upon arrival spend 2 to 3 hours walking along this ancient architecture and have a glimpse of the magnificent scenery of the wall winding its way across the mountains. You can ascend the great wall by cable cars or walk up.
After lunch, stop at Ming Tombs, the final resting place for 13 emperors in Ming Dynasty on your way back to Beijing, and visit Changling, the largest and best preserved among the 13 tombs. Walk along the Spirit Way which leads into the complex, lined with statues of guardian animals and officials. Chinese emperors believed that this road could lead them to the Heaven.
Before reaching your hotel in downtown Beijing enjoy a visit to the 2008 Olympic Green, and have a glimpse at the iconic Bird's Nest and Water Cube. In the evening, you can choose to savor the world famous Beijing roast duck or another local specialty for dinner.
Start today by visiting Summer Palace, a famous imperial garden which is located about 12 km. (7.5 mi.) northwest of Beijing city. This garden was once a retreat for the imperial court during Qing Dynasty, now it's regarded to be one of four classic gardens in China. Here you can see some spectacular ancient palaces, temples and garden buildings surrounded the Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, and the principal structure is the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity by the east gate.
Afterwards, head to Shichahai Area in Western Beijing and explore the Hutong culture in ancient Beijing. Hutong culture is one of the most important features in Beijing. During your visit, learn some history, culture, layout of Beijing Hutong from your guide. The rest of today is free for you to explore Beijing on your own.
After breakfast, be escorted to the airport and ready for the departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home, and WindhorseTour is happily to assist you in extending your tour within China.