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12 Days Wonders of China Tour

Fabulous China Culture Plus Pleasant Landscape

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If you are visiting China for the first time, you must get Beijing, Xian and Shanghai covered in your itinerary because they represent the past, today and future of China. While only cultural experience is not fun enough. You should not miss the magnificent landscape that you can only see in China. Guilin and Zhangjiajie are two of most outstanding places to enjoy the natural beauty of China.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Discover the greatest cultural heritages of Beijing and Xian – Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors...
  • Marvel at the most scenic destinations in China - Li River Cruise, Yangshuo Countryside Exploration...
  • Step into the real Avatar Wolrd - Zhangjiajie National Park;
  • Get amazed by the incredible contrast of Shanghais’ past and present;

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Beijing / Guilin / Xian / Zhangjiajie / Shanghai
Travel Length:
12 Days and 11 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BXGZST-12
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~4 Arrival & Beijing Tour

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. Take a flight to Guilin on the Day 4.

Day 5~6 Guilin Tour & Flight to Xian

Take a relaxing Li River cruise from Guilin city to Yangshuo old town, then explore the amazing countryside landscape around Yangshuo. Before departing to Xian, visit the famous Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave.

Day 7~8 Xian Tour & Flight to Zhangjiajie

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

Day 9~10 Zhangjiajie Tou & Flight to Shanghai

Two full day to explore the incredible Zhangjiajie National Park, including many famous attractions, such as Yuangjiajie and Tianzi Mountain, Huangshizhai, etc. Then you will take a flight to Shanghai.

Day 11~12 Shanghai Tour & Departure

Experience the great contrast of Shanghai by visiting the traditional Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, modern and prosperous Jinmao Tower, Nanjing Road and the Bund, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Ni Hao! welcome to Beijing, the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of the day is your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby areas, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Arrival Ideals: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.

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Day 2 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 Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 3 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.

  • Mutianyu great wall The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest

Day 4 Beijing & Flight to Guilin (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.

Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing Capital International Airport for your flight to Guilinn (about 3~5hrs). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Guilin Airport and escorted to your hotel in Guilin. The rest of the day is on your own to explore the beautiful Guilin city.

  • Temple of Heaven in Beijing Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Hutong

Day 5 Guilin (B, L)

As the declaration in Chinese textbook” Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven”, today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River from Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery will overwhelm your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views.

After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. Take a short break, immerse yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere and be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green hills and near the mirror-like river, with farmers cultivating the soil with their water buffalos.

This evening is for you to walk leisurely on the ancient West Street to experience how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.

Optional activity: watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director – Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).

  • Li River Cruise in Guilin Painting-like Li River
  • Yangshuo Cycling Yangshuo Cycling
  • Old Alley in Yangshuo Yangshuo West Street

Day 8 Guilin & Flight to Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, transfer back to Guilin in a comfortable vehicle (1.5~2hrs). Then make a visit to the symbol of Guilin landscape - Elephant Trunk Hill. A giant rock hill vividly shapes like an elephant which is drinking water. Besides, there are many historical sites here for you to explore, such as stone carving, Buddhist temple, relic exhibition, etc. Then, drive about 7 kilometers to next attraction - Reed Flute Cave, a majestic underground palace with sparkling different colors. The magical Mother Nature condenses millions years of natural efforts to form the incredible stalactite, stalagmite, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes.

Lastly, your tour guide will take you to airport to catch your flight to Xian. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be escorted by local tour guide to check in your downtown hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore this ancient capital city of China.

  • Reed Flute Cave Reed Flute Cave
  • Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill

Day 7 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 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 while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit 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 Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 8 Xian & Flight to Zhangjiajie (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 flight to Zhangjiajie (about 1.5hrs). You will be welcomed by local tour guide at airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Zhangjiajie City. Have a good rest!

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Xian Shaanxi History Museum To Explore the Spectacular Heritages of Ancient China

Day 9 Zhangjiajie (B,L)

After breakfast, you’ll go to visit the most beautiful scenic spots in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Firstly take the cable car to Huangshi Villagewhich is 1080m above the sea level. It is the biggest sightseeing platform to view the spectacular scenery in the national park. A saying goes “He who does not reach Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie.” Later, you will explore the famous Golden Whip Brook which covers a distance of 7.5 km, winding across mountains and valleys. It is famous for its pristine water, its verdant mountains, its steep cliffs and its serene valley. As a veritable "paradise" for plants, its pathways are adorned by an abundance of flowers, trees, and grasses.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Located 32 kilometers from Zhangjiajie city, it is the first state-level forest park in China. The worlds such as majestic, eccentric, tranquil, delicate and wild could hard to describe it. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is known for its exquisite forests, odd-shaped peaks and rocks, the beautiful canyons, the limestone caves, and the breath-taking panoramic views.

  • Huangshi Village Huangshi Village
  • Golden Whip Brook Golden Whip Brook

Day 10 Zhangjiajie & Flight to Shanghai (B, L)

On this day, you’ll first take Bailong elevator up to Yuanjiajie, which is situated in the north of Zhangjiajie National Park. This scenic area is world famous as the mountains here inspired the floating mountains in the Hollywood movie Avatar. The peaks in Yuanjiajie are nearly at the same height, which makes it a mountain platform great for enjoying sweeping vistas.

Next, take a sightseeing bus to Tianzi Mountain, where you can have a stunning view of the peaks rising one after another. Atop of the mountain offers a full extent of the whole scenic area, which is magnificent and spectacular. There are four wonders in Tianzi Mountain: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in winter.

After the exciting tour, you'll be transferred back to Zhangjiajie City to catch your flight to Shanghai, the most flourishing metropolis in China. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be escorted by local tour guide to check in your downtown hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore this cosmopolitan.

  • Tianzi Mountain Tianzi Mountain
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Day 11 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 you will 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) Attend an entertaining Acrobatic Show, including breathtaking “balls of death” acts, chair balancing, hula hoops, juggling of benches, walking in the air, and other breathtaking performances (usually performed during 19:30~21:00); 2) 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).

  • Jinmao tower The Landmark Supertall Skyscraper of Modern Shanghai
  • the Bund The Bund in Shanghai
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Shanghai Yu Garden

Day 12 Shanghai Departure (B)

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.

In the afternoon, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.

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