12 Days Classical China Vacation

Discover the Classical Beauty of China

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For the first time visitors to China, the Golden Triangle - Beijing, Xian and Shanghai must be visited because they stand for the past, present and future of China. Then a trip to the Guilin is another Must thing to do because you have to see some natural beauty of China. If you want to explore some civilian culture and landscape, you should go to Hangzhou. This tour give you all!

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...
  • Enjoy the poetic and picturesque lakes, mountains, temple, streets in the Jiangnan city - Hangzhou;
  • Get amazed by the incredible contrast of Shanghais’ past and present;

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Beijing / Xian / Guilin / Hangzhou / Shanghai
Travel Length:
12 Days and 11 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BXGHS-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.

Day 5~6 Xian Tour & Flight to Guilin

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

Day 7~8 Guilin Tour & Flight to Hangzhou

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

Day 9~10 Hangzhou Tou & Train to Shanghai

Two full days to explore the two symbolic city of tradtitional Jiangnan Hangzhou - West Lake, Lingyin Temple and Dragon Well Tea Village, Six Harmonies Pagoda. Then take high speed train to Shanghai.

Day 9~10 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.

    No documents found.

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! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)

Continue your trip to Sacred Way, a 7-kilometer-long passage leading to the Imperial Tombs of 13 Emperors of Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also would return to Heaven through this road. Take a walk through the largest archway in China and Great Palace Gate and you’ll see the magnificent stone guard of 12 sets of mythical animals and 12 officials. 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
  • Sacred Way of Ming Tombs Sacred Way: the road leading to Ming Tombs
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest

Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Xian (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, also pay a visit to a local family's home in the traditional Hutongs.

Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train trip to Xian (about 5 hours). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Xian North Railway Station and escorted to your hotel in Xian. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

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

Day 5 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 6 Xian & Flight to Guilin (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). (Note: Shaanxi History Museum may be replaced with other activity or attraction because of crowding tourists during July ~ early September and China’s National Day during Oct.1-Oct.7. You may check details with your travel consultant.)

The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch flight to Guilin (about 2hrs), the darling of tourists. You will be welcomed by local tour guide at airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Guilin City. 

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

Day 7 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 overwhelms 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, throw yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere. 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 witness 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 Yangshuo to Guilin & Flight to Hangzhou (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 the airport to catch a flight to Hangzhou. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our local tour guide, and then be escorted to your hotel.

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

Day 9 Hangzhou

In the early morning, your private tour guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel lobby, and then set out on today’s sightseeing.

Firstly, spend the peaceful and less-crowded morning time to visit the iconic and World Heritage site of Hangzhou - the picturesque West Lake. You will start with a 45-minute leisure cruise to enjoy the tranquil lake views as well as the ancient pagodas, traditional arched bridges, tree-lined walkways, beautiful hills, green islands and lush gardens. After the cruise, disembark the lake shore to stroll leisurely on the famous Su Causeway and Bai Causeway, and explore the poetic sites around, such as Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon, Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, etc.

Leave West Lake, and move on to next site - Lingyin Temple, about 3km west away from the West Lake. With a history of nearly 1700 year, Lingyin Temple is hidden in the luxurious forest, and offers charming and peaceful landscape and impressive Buddhist culture. Next, extend your visit to the adjacent Feilai Peak which features in uncountable Buddhist carvings lining the riverbanks and hillsides and tucked away inside grottoes.

Lastly, drive about 7km to Meijia Dock Dragon Well Tea Village. After arrival, you will go for a walk among the tea plantations, marvel at the beautiful surrounding scenery, and sit down to enjoy a cup of the best Dragon Well Tea. After the enjoyable tea time, say goodbye to the host, and drive to the China National Tea Museum to learn systematically about Chinese Tea Culture.

Optional evening activity: 1) watch a magnificent night show - Enduring Memories of Hangzhou, a live performance with changing lights, music and dancing on the West Lake, which usually starts at 7pm; Notice: the Impression West Lake would be unavailable during December 17, 2018 to the early-March, 2019 for the cold winter in Hangzhou. 2) feast your eyes to enjoy an amazing Music fountain show at Third Park , near the eastern lakeside of West Lake.

  • West Lake Shuangtou Bridge Enjoy Sunset at Shuangtou Bridge at West Lake
  • Dragon Well Tea Culture Tour Dragon Well Tea Culture Tour

Day 10 Hangzhou & High Speed Train to Shanghai (B, L)

After breakfast, you will drive about 20 minutes to Six Harmonies Pagoda to see the masterpieces of ancient Chinese architecture. Climbing onto the top, you could have a spectacular view of Qiantang River and surrounding hills.

Leave Six Harmonies Pagoda, and go to take an enjoyable walking at the famous Hefang Street, a unique pedestrian street full of ornate Chinese architectures, local delicious snacks and interesting handcrafts. (Optional activity: if you are interested in traditional Chinese medicine culture, you can take a brief visit to the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine where you can learn about the history and development of traditional Chinese medicines, observe processing herbs into medicine, even buy some Chinese medicine if you like.)

Lastly, be free until your guide and driver escort you to take a high speed train to Shanghai.

  • Six Harmonies Pagoda Six Harmonies Pagoda

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. To help you learn about the history and facts about the relics in the museum easily, an Audio Explanation Device will be prepared for you. 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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