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8 Days Best Shanghai, Xian & Beijing Tour

Explore Essence of Ancient China

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See the best of the BEST of China, including Shanghai, Xian and Beijing! In the metropolitan Shanghai, you can enjoy the Paris of the East at your own pace and top sights like the Bund and French Concession which are incomparable and can’t be missed. The other two cities offer you a good opportunity to explore the epic history of ancient capitals. Xian, the epicenters of ancient Chinese civilization, is stretching all the way back to 11 dynasties while Beijing still remains its charm with a historical grandeur from its imperial days.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Experience the beauty of Shanghai by going to Yu Garden for a stroll, feasting on the tastiest views from the Bund and Nanjing Road and so on.
  • Touch ancient Xian and take stock of imperial beginning at the incredible Terracotta Warriors.
  • Step into flourishing Beijing, admiring the magnificence of the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall etc.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Shanghai / Xian / Beijing
Travel Length:
8 days and 7 nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTSH-08
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureHikingMountaineeringReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Arrival & Shanghai Tour

Experience the great contrast of Shanghai by visiting the traditional Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, modern and prosperous World Financial Center, Nanjing Road and the Bund, etc. Fly to Xian.

Day 4~5 Xian Tour & High Speed Train to Beijing

One full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter. Before leaving for Beijing, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaan’xi History Museum.

Day 6~8 Beijing Tour & Departure

Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, manmade wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the biggest metropolis of China!

Upon arrival, you will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of the airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

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Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

You will take a full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty.

Then, take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works. Next you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” Shanghai World Financial Center.

You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes);  2). Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres (usually performs during 19:30~21:00).

  • Yu Garden Yu Garden: The Classical Garden Built in 16th Century
  • Beautiful The Bund Beautiful International Buildings at The Bund
  • Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai Full View from Shanghai World Financial Center

Day 3 Shanghai & Flight to Xian (B, L)

Have you wondered why Shanghai developed into a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan city from what was originally a shabby fishing village? This morning’s tour to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will answer that question fully while also giving you an overview of the City’s ambitious plans for future. The Center is a fashionably designed modern museum, themed with “City, Citizens, Environment and Development”. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.

Next is a wonderful visit to Jade Buddha Temple, the site of the largest jade Buddha in the world and numerous religious artifacts, ancient statues and Buddhist scriptures. This peaceful kingdom of Buddhism hidden among modern blocks and dominating mansions is a great place for a nice break in this very busy city.

Lastly, take a flight to Xian (about 2hrs and 45mins), the ancient heart of China. Upon your arrival, be transferred to your hotel in Xian downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is free for you to explore the ancient city on your own.

  • Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors
  • Jade Buddha Temple Jade Buddha Temple

Day 4 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world – the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian to take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian and walk leisurely on the well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circle of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2). Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Terra-Cotta Warriors Amazing Terracotta Warriors with 2000 Years History
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall

Day 5 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.)

Next is an educational visit to the Shaanxi History Museum where you can ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate historic relics such as porcelains, paintings, and currencies dating from the Zhou to the Tang dynastic periods (1100BC to 907 AD).

The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch a high speed train to Beijing (about 5hrs), the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by local tour guide at the Beijing West Railway Station and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax.

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Great Mosque

Day 6 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.

After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.

Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00.

  • Tiananmen Square Family Tour Tiananmen Square Family Tour
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 7 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40 minute walk to set your feet on the historic Great Wall. Then climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and you take brag-worthy photos.

Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, the mausoleum of a 13th century emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide to observe its geomantic arrangement as well as visit the underground palace for a closer observation. Then drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Visitors on the Great Wall Visitors on the Great Wall

Day 8 Beijing & Beijing Departure (B, L)

After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.

Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing.

After the tour, your Beijing tour is about to end. Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Family Hutong
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Recommended Add-on Options

+2 days Chengdu City Break & Giant Panda Visit

Chengdu is famous for Giant Pandas and its idyllic slow pace of daily living.

During this trip, your tour guide will company you to explore the top recommended attractions in Chengdu one by one to experience its authentic culture and history. First of all, take an exciting visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Then move to Renmin Park to enjoy a cup of traditional Chinese tea in the Renmin Park; Learn about Buddhism culture in Wenshu Temple; Experience traditional Chengdu life in Jinli Old Street...

Mama and Baby of Panda
+3 more days to explore all Guilin Highlights (Li River, Yangshuo and Longji)

Guilin, the darling of tourists!

Guilin is famous for having the best landscape under Heaven which can be seen in three most popular places - Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng. Only 3 days are needed to get them all in a single trip. You will visit the essential sites in the city, enjoy a relaxing cruise along Li River, and have a pleasant time of countryside exploration in Yangshuo Town. Another highlight is the unique trip to Longji Terrace which is an ideal place for experiencing ethnic culture, hiking and photography.

Panoramic View of Yangshuo Town
8 Days Best Shanghai, Xian & Beijing Tour

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  • +2 days Chengdu City Break & Giant Panda Visit
    +3 more days to explore all Guilin Highlights (Li River, Yangshuo and Longji)

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