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11 Days Essence of China Culture Tour by High Speed Trains

Beijing / Pingyao / Xian / Luoyang / Shanghai

Stepping back into Imperial China! The northern China cities Beijing, Xian, Pingyao and Luoyang keep the essence of ancient China culture and history. You will take the modern and fast high speed trains to circle around these legendary cities. Start your trip from Beijing, the city of 7 World Heritage Sites. After visiting the world famous Great Wall, Forbidden City and other highlights, take a bullet train to Pingyao, the best-preserved walled ancient city which used to be a financial center for ancient China and has been called “The Wall Street of the East”. After that, you will get to Xian, the greatest ancient capital of China where you will spend one and a half day exploring the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and other famous sites. After Xian is Luoyang, another ancient capital of China. The city is famous for Longmen Grottoes, known as one of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art. Driving not so far from Luoyang, you will get to Shaolin Temple, the holy shrine of Chinese Buddhism as well as the place where Chinese Kung Fu originated. Lastly, take a flight to Shanghai to finish your exciting trip.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-BPSHT-11
  • Price : Request
  • Trip Length : 11D/10N
  • Theme : Culture / History

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Visit the icon of China’s imperial culture, the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, then hike the beautiful Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing.
  • Explore the ancient streets and ramparts and visit the ancient Richest Wang’s Family Compound which still remains 1000 rooms in Pingyao.
  • Ride a bullet train from Pingyao to Xian to see the Eighth Wonder of the World - Terracotta Warriors which was created more than 2,000 years ago.
  • Experience authentic Chinese Buddhist culture and Kung Fu in Luoyang - Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple, two brilliant World Heritage Sites.
Beijing  / Pingyao / Xian / Luoyang / Shanghai
  • Day 1 ~ 5 Beijing Pingyao Tour
    Arrive at Beijing by flight or train. Then spend two full days visiting the most grandiose imperial sites of Beijing - Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven... and hiking Great Wall. Take a high speed train to Pingyao on the Day 4 to see the ancient streets and walls in the afternoon. Visit Wang’s Family Compound and before taking train to Xian.
  • Day 6 ~ 9 Xian Luoyang Tour
    In Xian, you will spend one day visiting the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Community, and a half day visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum. Then take a high speed train to Luoyang where you will stay for two days visiting Longmen Grottoes, Longmen Grottoes, Shaolin Temple, and take a flight to Shanghai.
  • Day 10 ~ 11 Visit Shanghai & Departure
    After arrival at Shanghai, you will have one full day to explore the most recommended attractions in the city, including the beautiful Yu Garden, 492 meters high Shanghai World Financial Center, the Bund, Shanghai Museum, and spend a half day at the charming Former French Concession and interesting Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center before leaving.
Itinerary Day by Day
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Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Airport or railway station pick up and check in hotel

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Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China, rich in history and culture.

Your lifetime China tour begins with welcome from your local guide at the Beijing airport. Then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to acclimatize or explore the vast metropolis on your own.

  • Modern Face of Beijing Modern Face of Beijing

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

Today's highlights: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong Rickshaw, Summer Palace

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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.

Next activity is to hop on a rickshaw to experience Beijing Hutongs – small alleys made of neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to feel the old Beijing life style, meet various antique shops and small boutiques, feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family’s home in the traditional Hutongs.

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.

  • Tiananmen Square Magnificent Tiananmen Square in Beijing
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 3 Beijing (B, L)

Today's highlights: Mutianyu Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Bird’s Nest and Water Cube

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After breakfast, drive from your hotel to visit the imperial site – Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc. 

The rest of today is to drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. You will 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.)

After the Great Wall visit, drive back to Beijing city and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to see 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.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • The Great Wall Family The Great Wall Family

Day 4 Beijing - High Speed Train to Pingyao (B, L)

Today's highlights: Beijing Ancient City Wall, Rishengchang Former Bank, Shuanglin Monastery

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This morning, you will go to take the earliest high speed train (around 8am) to Pingyao, the best preserved ancient city in China. You will arrive at Pingyao after about 4 hours bullet train ride, then be picked up by local tour guide and start to explore Pingyao Ancient City. With a history over 2700 years, Pingyao still keeps its intact charm: ancient city walls, elegant courtyards, scattered temples, all marked the splendid period during Ming and Qing dynasties. AS one of the bestl-preserved ancient cities in China, it was also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 1997.

Your Pingyao Ancient City tour starts from the Ancient City Wall of Pingyao, where you can have a panorama view of the layout of this town. Then you will move on to the Rishengchang Former Bank, which shows you the original bank system in the past. After that, stroll on the traditional Ming and Qing Street, a cobbled road with old buildings on either side. You may like tracing back to the former bustle bazaar in the old days. The last travel destination today is Shuanglin Monastery, where contents a large amount of clay figures and wooden sculptures of various gods, goddesses and saints. You will be impressed by the traditional Chinese art forms.

Accommodate at Pingyao City.

  • Pingyao Ancient Town The Old Street in Pingyao Ancient Town
  • Pingyao Ancient City Wall Pingyao Ancient City Wall
  • Shuanglin Temple Shuanglin Temple

Day 5 Pingyao - Xian by High Speed Train (B, L)

Today's highlights: Wang’s Family Compound, Zhangbi Ancient Castle

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Today, you will firstly head to Wang’s Family Compound, the complex for another rich family in Shanxi Province, near Pingyao. You will see the traditional layout and wooden construction and explore how the rich family lived in the ancient times. Then go to visit the Zhangbi Ancient Castle, a series of tunnels dug to hide out in times of war in over 1380 years ago, to explore how the architecture mixed with engineering in ancient time.

After visiting, transfer to Pingyao Ancient Train Station for your high speed train to Xian (less than 3 hours). Upon arrival in Xian, the local guide and driver will meet you at the train station and take you to your hotel. Have a good rest today.

  • Pingyao Ancient Town The Old Street in Pingyao Ancient Town
  • Pingyao Ancient City Wall Pingyao Ancient City Wall

Day 6 Xian (B, L)

Today's highlights: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Community

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After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor Qin Shihuang to protect his afterlife. Over 8, 000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits more than 2000 years until uncovered by local farmer in 1974, forms an ancient military army with complete battle unites, such as infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Qin Shihuang but also 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. It is followed by a relaxing wandering around bustling and lively Muslim Community, where you can taste the most delicious Xian food and various snacks, as well as experience local culture.

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2). Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show after a hearty dumpling dinner.

  • Terra-Cotta Warriors Amazing Terracotta Warriors with 2000 Years History
  • Xian Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Quarter Visit Muslim Quarter to Enjoy Some Snacks

Day 7 Xian & High Speed Train to Luoyang (B, L)

Today's highlights: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum

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After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation place in Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. With a height of 64.5 meters, the pagoda was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to reserve classic scriptures he bought from India in early Tang Dynasty. (Xuanzang, the prototype character of Tang Seng in the novel of Journey to the West). Note: it charges extra 30 RMB to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

Following is an educational visiting to Shaanxi History Museum. Ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate relics, such as porcelains, paintings, currencies from Zhou to the Tang 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.)

After the tour, be escorted to Xian North Train Station and take a high speed train to Luoyang (about1.5 hours).

  • Big Wood Goose Pagoda Big Wood Goose Pagoda
  • Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum

Day 8 Luoyang (B, L)

Today's highlights: Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang Museum

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After breakfast, start today's trip with a visit to Longmen Grottoes, about 20 minutes' driving from central downtown. Densely scattered along the cliffs on both banks of Yi River, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Longmen Grottoes contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). You’ll appreciate the Chinese Buddhist art by visiting the major caves (Fengxian Temple, Guyang Cave, Three Bingyang Caves etc.) with notable displays of Buddhist sculptures and calligraphic inscriptions.

After visiting the Longmen Grottoes, let’s process to the next site - Luoyang Museum which is nicely designed, new, spacious and less crowded, with a good collection of Chinese artefacts dating from the Neolithic period onwards, such as historical relics, calligraphy, pottery, paintings etc. The best pieces are located in a room called "special treasures" where you find the Tang Tri-color Glazed Potteries and other bronze-copper pieces. 

Lastly, go to take a leisure walking on the old streets of Luoyang Ancient City to experience Luoyang's long history of being capitals for 13 ancient Chinese dynasties and colorfl culture.

  • Longmen Grottoes Longmen: A Treasure House of Ancient Buddhist Cave Art

Day 9 Luoyang - Shaolin Temple - Shanghai (B, L)

Today's highlights: White Horse Temple, Shaolin Temple

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After breakfast, start today's trip with a visit to White Horse Temple, about 30 minutes' driving from central downtown. Established in AD 68 of Eastern Han dynasty, White Horse Temple is the first Buddhist temple in China with over 1900 years history. Since then, it spread the Buddhism throughout of China and regard as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism. 

Then leave the White Horse Temple, and drive about 50km to the dream land for Kung Fu fans and Buddhist pilgrims - Shaolin Temple. Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and the cradle of Kung Fu. You will visit the grandiose temples and halls, admire stone carving art, learn about Buddhism culture, observe the daily living and meditation of monks in the temple. Don't miss the famous Pagoda Forest, the existing largest pagoda forest in China. When an important monk passed away, their cremains or skeleton would be put into the underground palace, and a pagoda will be built on it. The pagoda's height, size and number of layers will be decided according to the monk's Buddhism knowledge, reputation and merits and virtues when during his lifetime. The pagodas here were built in different dynasties, including 2 Tang Dynasty pagodas, 2 Song Dynasty Pagodas, 10 Jin Dynasty pagodas, 46 Yuan Dynasty pagodas, 148 Ming Dynasty pagodas, etc. 

Then continue your visit to enjoy a magnificent free Kung Fu Performance in the Shaolin Wushu Hall, lasting for half hour each day. Shaolin Kungfu was first created by Bodhidharma to exercise his body when he faced the wall and meditated. After that, in Tang Dynasty, most monks in Shaolin Temple would practice Shaolin Kungfu, and this phenomenon reached to its peak in Ming Dynasty, and the Shaolin Kungfu was spread to the outer world after that. You can enter the performance hall 20 minutes in advance, so it's better to get ther early to get a good seat.

After that, drive about 88km to Zhengzhou to catch your flight to Shanghai (about 2hrs), the most flourishing metropolis in China. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by local tour guide, then transferred to your downtown hotel in Shanghai.

  • Shaolin Temple Shaolin Temple
  • Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Excellent Kunfu at Dengfeng Shaolin Temple

Day 10 Shanghai (B, L)

Today's highlights: Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Shanghai World Financial Center, the Bund

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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).

  • the Bund The Bund in Shanghai
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Shanghai Yu Garden
  • Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai Full View from Shanghai World Financial Center

Day 11 Shanghai Departure (B)

Today's highlights: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Former French Concession

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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.

The charming Former French Concession used to be designated for the French and residential and as the premier residential for expats and retail district of Shanghai during the settlement period(1849 until 1943) and the Republic of China era(1912~1949). Its juxtaposition between the ultra-modern and the colonial past,tree-lined streets, boutique shops, historic lane houses and villas make it a window into the city’s up-and-down history.

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

The quotation for this trip is from Request Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
  • Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
  • Cable cars to ride up and down Mutianyu Great Wall;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

Dear Lily,

We had a wonderful time on our President 8 Yangzi River Cruise!  Our guide, Nina, was very helpful.  I think we were the only English-only speakers on the cruise. 

We got busses from FengDu to Chongqing. 

Thank you for your help arranging the train rides, this cruise and the Chongqing visit with Portia. 

Sincerely,

Margaret Briskin

 

China Travel Photos

At the end of our cruise, with guide Nina

Margaret Briskin‚ USA, August 11, 2019

Hi Leo,

Here is my review. I will likely post it on TripAdvisor to help other tourists out so they know what to expect. Let me know if you would like anything edited (such as the Wire Transfer vs PayPal part) if you find it harmful for your business. My intent is to describe my experience to other Western travellers that may have similar fears about booking a trip like this.

Thanks for all you did. The trip was both flawless and amazing.

I took a 2 week personalized vacation with Chendu Bamboo tours through China. I wanted to put some thoughts down to the TripAdvisor community as I had a lot of reservations going into it, and I hope my review will help clarify some of the items that I was uncertain of.

First, while I researching, I determined that I wanted to do a custom tour as none of the packages that I saw had everything I wanted. The towns I chose were Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. I submitted inquiries to multiple companies and ChinaDiscovery came back to me promptly with a very comprehensive tour that was detailed and in line with my expectations. The scary part of communicating my requirements was that it had to be done mostly through email, although the company was also quick to Skype call me to handle some of my more advanced questions.

If you decide to book a tour like this (and you are firmly in the middle class) this is and expensive endeavor. For you to pull the trigger, you can expect 4 big expenditures. First, you will need to put 1/3 balance down on the trip to reserve the reservation. That 1/3 was placed through PayPay, and the Paypal account that I placed it to did not look anything like the business I was dealing with. It was scary sending the money to such a strange account, but in the end, the transaction was fine. One point of confusion...you may research and book through ChinaDiscovery, however the invoice then turned into (in my case) Chengdu Bamboo International Tours Co, Ltd. I don't fully understand the relationship, but it was legitimate, although a little confusing of why the website said one thing, but the actual contractor that was doing the work said another. Another scary thing came later when I was asked to pay the remaining 2/3 balance, I was requested to do so via wire transfer. Again, a scary endeavor which I felt I would have no protection if the company was not legitimate. So fearing loss of funds, I reached a win/win compromise to use the Paypal account again (with Visa) to submit the funds. Once I received confirmation, the company executed the hotel, train and plane tickets flawlessly, communicating the reservations about 1 week later.

In short, my fears were unfounded.

You will also have to handle 3 other expenses. First, and not surprising are your international plane tickets, which I handled shortly after the deposit. But the 3rd and 4th were not known. As a US citizen, I needed to get Visas for myself and the family. A Chinese Visa costs about $160 per person, and to get it, you must carefully submit a form to the Chinese consulate in a designated region of the country. Because I delayed doing this, I needed to do expedited service. And because the form is brutal and requires you to send your passports to the Chinese consulate, I enlisted a visa expert (CIBT.com) in order to get in processed. Long story short, about $1K later, I received the last of the passports back from the consulate with about 2 days to spare. 

The other warning, since all the trips have drivers and tour guides that take you around, you are advised (not mandated) to give them tips. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines given or direction of how much to give. I spent time researching on the internet what were fair tips for always outstanding service. Now, 1 week after the trip, I still have no idea if I tipped fairly, generously or cheaply. But, calculate 2 weeks and 2 persons a day, you can calculate that it will cost you hundreds of dollars or thousands of Yuan.

Last warning to give about going to China...you'll need cash. Only some (not most) banks and stores are hooked up to the Visa and Mastercard system. This means, (1) you may need to search for the right bank to get cash in China in order to withdraw funds and (2) the vendors that you'll see only will take your cash. This caused some stress the first couple of days as I had trouble finding a bank that worked.

Now...for the good stuff. Once prepping for all that, the trip that was designed by Chinadiscovery (or Chengdu Bamboo Tour Company) was pretty spectacular. The guides were beyond great, and did a truly amazing, amazing job of being everything you would want as a tour guide. Prompt, flexible, funny, sometimes motherly, sometimes brotherly, open, honest, kind, insightful, human, knowledgeable and ...simply great. Each one in each town was different...but each of them took such pride in their cities/country that you are given a great gift.

The hotels were as good as it gets as well. Breakfast was included in all hotels...some food good, and other food great. The hotels were within walking distance to all the good things. For Beijing, 15 min walk to the Forbidden City. Shanghai? 5 minute walk to the River and 20 minutes to The Bund. I could go on, but the accommodations were really good. Combine that with flawless execution of all travel arrangements, it made for a stress free trip. The lunches were all Chinese and again, and food ranged from good to great. They always gave our family of 3 too much food for one sitting, and I felt embarrassed about leaving so much food behind.

In Beijing, our guide took us through Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven (among other places). When she took us to the train station, she insisted in walking us down to our seat on the High Speed railway car. When I asked if that is the company policy, she said 'that MY policy' (to ensure her clients get to where they are going). Amazing. We reached Xian for a day and Zoe gave us great insights of the growing city, the crowds, and life in China. Then onto Dunjuang, where Lily and her driver rearranged the schedule to ensure that we saw all the Silk Road sites. The schedule changes included her and the driver starting at 6AM (after we were picked up at the airport 10PM the night before) in order to ensure we saw everything. Then in Chengdu, Cherry helped so patiently with my wife's shopping at the Panda sanctuary. And in Guilin, Kennedy was awesome describing the land and China's ethnic minority. The insight for the rice fields and rivers were wonderful. We ate probably the best Chinese food of the trip in the fresh country air. Then finally, to Shanghai, where Zack was truly a joy, and one of the friendliest and enjoyable people I have ever met in my life. The city of Shanghai was amazing, and my son enjoyed it tremendously.

Two things I would do over if I could. First, I would plan to take it in June, not late July. We had to compete with the rest of China, which has summer break at this time. As a result, the places were packed with China tourist going to the same sites, which made the crowds a bit much. Second, I would have also altered the trip to spend 1 less day in Guilin and 1 more day in Shanghai. Other than that, I would not have changed anything.

China Travel Photos

Our Customized China Trip

John‚ USA, August 11, 2019

Hi Vivien,

The Suzhou has been wonderful experience. Both guide and driver were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They have made the trip extremely enjoyable. And thank you very much for helping to arrange Suzhou trip in such short notice. Your customer service and attitude is fantastic!!

Regards

Marcus‚ Singapore, August 8, 2019

Hello Zoe,

I’m sorry it took me so long to reply to you. We really appreciated your help in arranging our trip with such short notice. Usually when we travel we don’t use a travel agent and we spend many weeks planning. Because China is so large and we had only 10 days including flights we needed help in making decisions and you provided that. We had very good guides which made getting around easy. It would have been difficult to figure out getting around the airports and train stations by ourselves. The guides’ English ranged from good to excellent. We especially loved Carol in Zhangjiajie. She was fun and recommended really good restaurants! Johnny took us to a museum in Xian that was not on our itinerary and we enjoyed that. He also recommended a new market with many food vendors that was very fun to go for dinner in Xian. Our favorite places were Zhangjiajie, the Terra-cotta Warriors and the Great Wall. Our least favorite were the Jade Factory and the tea house. We felt they was some pressure to buy things and that is not something that interests us. We liked our hotels and their locations. We were able to walk to interesting places for dinner, especially the Hutong near our hotel in Beijing.

Zoe, you did a very good job for us. You always responded to my emails quickly, answered all my questions and gave us good advice. I think we must have kept you very busy. And you seem very friendly! I enjoyed working with you and I will write a review on Trip Advisor.

Thank you so much,

Cathy ‚ USA, August 8, 2019

Hi Wonder, 

We arrived in Beijing today and received the tickets when we checked in. We’re all set for the trip. Thank you for all your help getting this taken care of.

Eric Vierling‚ , August 7, 2019
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Local Drivers & Vehicle

Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!

Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.

Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!

Comfortable & Homelike Hotels

China Tour

In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!

The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.

If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.

Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.

Meals & Dining

China Tour

We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.

All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip

  • Modern Face of Beijing Modern Face of Beijing
  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace in Beijing
  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven Tour
  • The Great Wall Family The Great Wall Family
  • Pingyao Ancient Town Pingyao Ancient Town
  • Pingyao Ancient City Wall Pingyao Ancient City Wall
  • Shuanglin Temple Shuanglin Temple
  • Pingyao Ancient Town Pingyao Ancient Town
  • Pingyao Ancient City Wall Pingyao Ancient City Wall
  • Terra-Cotta Warriors Terra-Cotta Warriors
  • Xian Ancient City Wall Xian Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Quarter Muslim Quarter
  • Big Wood Goose Pagoda Big Wood Goose Pagoda
  • Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum
  • Longmen Grottoes Longmen Grottoes
  • Shaolin Temple Shaolin Temple
  • Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Dengfeng Shaolin Temple
  • the Bund the Bund
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Shanghai Yu Garden
  • Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai World Financial Center
  • Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors
  • Jade Buddha Temple Jade Buddha Temple

Most Important Trip Notes

Below are some important things to know regarding of train travel tips, traveling documents, hotels and food, weather, booking guide. Traveling with China Discovery, you only need to focus on enjoying your holiday time. We will take care of all the details. Our travel consultants are always ready to help you if have any questions about the trip.

1. How to travel by high speed trains in China?
Understanding China Train Designations
China trains are divided into two kinds: High Speed Trains and Normal Trains with different speeds, facilities and names. There are three kinds of High Speed Trains in China, differed by the letters G/D/C plus several digits. Generally speaking, G trains are faster and with better amenities. Normal trians are not recommended.
Facilities and Services in China’s High Speed Trains
All China high speed trains are fully air-conditioned and non-smoking. Western toliets are provided. There are also luggage racks, dining car, power plugs, water-dispenser and some other user-friendly facilities equipped on the train.
Which Class of Seat to Take
Second Class Seats, First Class Seats, Business Class Seats are three common seats you can find on most China high speed trains. First Class Seats are strongly recommended. They are larger and less-crowded.
How to Book China Train Tickets
Currently, you can only book China train tickets 30 days in advance. You can book on China Railway’s official website or some online travel agencies, or go to purchase tickets at any of China’s railway station. Passport is always required no matter you book online or at railway stations. If you book ticket online, you can collect ticket at the ticket counters in any railway station in China any time.
Security Check & Luggage Check
After arriving at railway station, firstly get your ticket and passport prepared and represent to the staff, and then pass Security Check & Luggage Check, and find the right boarding gate. It's easy and simple.
How to Handle Your Luggage
Travelling with luggages on China train is not a problem. If you take high speed trains, it will be easier to handle your luggage because there are plenty of spaces to place your luggage, and there are also many ways to deliver your luggages.
Related Tips about this tour
When is the best time to take this trip?
Both located in northern, the weathers of Beijing, Pingyao, Xian and Luoyang are much similar - temperate and continental monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. January is the coldest time with low temperatures of -10~-5C (14~23F). July is the hottest with high temperatures of 25~30C (77~86F). They are both suitable for traveling all year round. Summer (Jun, Jul, Aug) days are relatively hot and rainy, while the winter days (Dec, Jan, Feb) are cold and try. Compared with summer and winter, the spring (Mar, Apr, May) and autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov) are more pleasant for travel.
Vehicle and Road Condition
In this tour, the driving hour is usually less 2 hours each day. Most of the roads are in good condition. There may be traffic jams in rush hours and holidays. We usually choose the suitable time to start your trip to avoid large traffic. Our drivers are licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience. All our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained.
Hotels and Dining
The choices for accommodation are flexible in this tour. The standards of hotels range from local 3-star to some international 5-star. We usually use 4-star and 5-star hotels for our customers to ensure better stays. All the hotels we choose are usually based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Air conditioning and Wi-Fi are usually available. Chinese food is mainly provided in this trip. Western food can be arranged too if you want.
Payment and Booking Guide
1. What kind of payment method do you accept?
PayPal, Wire Transfer/Bank Transfer, Western Union are acceptable before your arrival, and after your arrival, CASH is required.
2. How soon before our trip do you need payment?
Early booking is always better than being rushed, and we would suggest booking to be 2-3 month earlier than your arrival so as to guarantee the booking items. If you are interested in any of our tours, you can pay a deposit first and balance to be paid 30 days prior to your arrival. You can also choose to pay the full amount so as to avoid small loss caused by currency exchange rate fluctuation.
3. When should we pay the deposit and the balance?
Certain deposit will be paid if you decide to book, and balance is required to be paid 30 days prior to your arrival. If booking is less than 30 days, full payment is required.

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