This 9 days trip is particular, scenic, relaxing and interesting, widely praised as one of the most beautiful rail routes in China. It will take you to explore Guilin and Guizhou, the two hidden attractive lands of Karst landscape and ethnic cultures which are quite different from the classic destinations of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, which are quite famous for “the famous icons of China” - Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Shanghai Skyline, etc. You will start your trip from Guangzhou, one of the largest cities in China, then take a high speed train to Guilin to see the limestone Karst landscapes, and keep traveling to Zhaoxing, Congjiang, Rongjiang and Kaili of Guizhou which have the most beautiful villages of different ethnic groups in Guizhou.
Day 1 Guangzhou City Tour (L)Today's highlights: Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Six Banyan Temple, Shamian Island
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel by private tour guide and vehicle to explore the historical sites in Guangzhou.
Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is the first site you will visit. This complex compound was built in 1890s by the celebrated Chen Families. It is famous for the exquisite carvings, statues, paintings and ornate scrollwork. Next, you are going to visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King which was constructed 65 feet (20 meters) underground about 2,000 years ago. Rather than just a tomb of the King Zhao Mo, the site also preserves many colorful murals and more than 1,000 burial artifacts. The most famous one is the burial garment of the king which is made of more than 2, 000 pieces of jade connected by silk thread. It is the only one of its kind in the world.
After lunch, go to visit the Six Banyan Temple. It houses three highest and largest copper Buddha statues in Guangdong all of which stand 20 feet (6 meters) high. You will also stroll around the Flower Pagoda (184-foot high) to admire colorful exterior carvings and the decorative copper top piece which are said to be cast in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Final stop for today is Shamian Island, a quiet island with historical buildings where you will be reminded of the history of Guangzhou in the colonial European period (mid-19th century). The western prosperous expat traders built many Western-style mansions and churches there. Today it is a peaceful place to enjoy a leisure stroll and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Be transferred to your hotel after the tour.
- Exquisite Decoration of Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
- Church of Our Lady of Lourdes at Shamian Island
- Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
Day 2 Guangzhou & High Speed Train to GuilinToday's highlights: Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave
Today, you will take a comfortable morning high speed train to Guilin, the darling of tourists. The train journey will take about 3 hours. Enjoy the pleasant scenery along the journey. Once you arrive at Guilin Train Station, you will be met by your local tour guide, and be transferred to your hotel in Guilin City. Take some rest.
In the afternoon, you will have a leisure Guilin city tour - firstly 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 (about 20 minutes) 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.
The rest time is free on your own to have fun in Guilin - strolling, hunting food...
- Gerhard from Germany visited Reed Flute Cave in August, 2019
- Chusi's family from USA visited Elephant Trunk Hill in June, 2018
Day 3 Guilin - Yangshuo (B, L)Today's highlights: Li River Cruise, Yangshuo
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, immerse 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: experience the splendid evening performance Impression Liu Sanjie (17:45~20:45 or 21:20~22:20) with Li River itself as the stage, directed by famous director – Zhang Yimou.
- Amazing West Street
- Chona from Philippines enjoyed Li River Cruise in late September 2018
Day 4 Yangshuo - Longsheng ( B, L )Today's highlights: Longji Rice Terrace hiking
In this morning, you’ll be driven about 150km (about 4 hours) to witness one of the most beautiful rice terraces in China - Longji Rice Terrace, an amazing feat of farm engineering rising up to 1000m high in Longsheng County. There are several featured Zhuang and Yao minority villages along the road and you’ll take a visit to the special Huangluo Yao Village, the First Village of Long Hair in the World, where you can see women in red ethnic clothes with very long hairs (the longest can reach up to 1.7 meters).
Later, continue your drive to a beautiful 600-year-old Zhuang Village - Ping’an and check in your hotel located near the rice terraces. After some rest, start to explore the breathtaking views. The rice terrace is layer upon layer, like the changing ladder created by nature leading to the blue sky, forming a majestic painting between heaven and earth. From Ping’an, you can hike on the cobbled paths built among terraces to catch the best landscape. Climb up to the great lookouts at Seven Stars with Moon and Nine Dragons and Five Tigers from which you can get superlative views of terraces and villages. Hike half day around, then back to Ping’an for dinner and accommodation.
Good to Know:
1. Best time to visit: Longji Rice Terrace can be visited all year round. Go mid-April to late June for mirror-like irrigated terrace and rice transplanting scene; go July to mid-September for green terraces; go late September to early-November for golden and harvest scene; or go late December to early February for silvery terraces.
2. Walking: When arriving at Ping’an Village, you can only be dropped at Ping’an Village Tourist Center parking lot that you need to walk about 900 steps to your hotel. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended!
3. Luggage carrying: For the aged or travelers who are lack of physical strength, you’d better hire a local porter to help carry your heavy luggage to the hotel (pay extra expense on your own).
- Longji Rice Terrices in late September 2019, Taken by Our Customer Caryn from Australia
- Longji Rice Terrices in late August 2018, Taken by Our Customer Gerhard from Germany
- Gerhard's group from Germany visited Huangluo Yao Village late August, 2019
Day 5 Longsheng Morning Vist & Drive back to Guilin (B, L)Today's highlights: Longji Rice Terrace sunrise
When you wake up in the fresh air of peaceful morning, you may forget where you are. You can go to watch the magnificent sunrise from a great location on the terraces. The rest time of this morning is free on your own to have fun - you can take some leisure walk around and experience local ethnic culture in the villages, or, make full use of the wonderful chance in such a perfect place to take some beautiful photographs.
Lastly, drive back to Guilin city. The rest of today is free for you to relax.
- Delma from Ireland visited Longsheng Rice Terraces in July, 2021
Day 6 High Speed Train to Congjiang - Zhaoxing (B, L)Today's highlights: Zhaoxing Dong Village, Zhaoxing Dong Village
In the morning, take an early morning high speed train to Congjiang (50～60mins). After arrival at Congjiang Railway Station, you will be welcomed by local tour guide and driver, then start today's amazing tour to two outstanding old villages of Dong people - Zhaoxing Dong Village and Tang'an Dong Village. There are only about 9 kilometers from each other but has different features. Dong people are very good at creating architectures. Their Drum Towers and Wind & Rain Bridge are very stylish and beautiful. At the same times, they are happy, friendly and thankful, and always welcome their guests by dancing and singing.
Zhaoxing Dong Village is the biggest and oldest Dong village. It is located in Liping county in southeastern Guizhou. The China National Geography listed it as one of the China’s Six Most Beautiful Villages and Towns in 2005. The village has five spectacular Drum Towers to host special events and ceremonies and five Wind & Rain Bridges to cross rivers. You will also enjoy a performance of the Grand Song, a unique polyphonic folk music tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation for over 2,500 years.
Tang'an Dong Village is known as the most primitive Dong village in China. It is located on a mountainside and surrounded by paddy fields and lush green plantations. It’s smaller than Zhaoxing Dong Village, but has most of the things that Zhaoxing has, except the Grand Song, and seems wilder. It’s biggest highlight is the stunning layers of rice terraces.
If your energy allows, you can also have a wonderful 2 hours scenic hiking from Zhaoxing Dong Village to Tang’an Dong Village instead of driving.
After the visit, drive to check in your hotel in Zhaoxing Town.
- Zhaoxing Dong Village - the Biggest and Oldest Dong village.
- Dong People Singing Grand Songs
- Tang'an Dong Village
Day 7 Zhaoxing - Rongjiang (B, L)Today's highlights: Basha Miao Village, Zhanli Dong Village
Today, you will travel from Zhaoxing to Rongjiang. Instead of driving directly to Rongjiang on the highway, you will travel another route which has two amazing villages to see – Basha Miao Village and Zhanli Dong Village. Compared with Dong people, Miao People has larger population. The two biggest things about their culture is dancing & singing, and different kinds of costumes.
Basha Miao Village is like a hidden kingdom occupied by the legendary Basha Miao people. It is famous as the Last Gunmen’s Tribe in China. Untouched by modernations, the villagers still live in the wooden houses. Diaojiaolou is the most famous buildings there which are built on wooden stakes and covered with barks. The most interesting thing in the village is that the Basha boys can’t cut their hairs until they are 18 years old when they will hold an adult ceremony – shaving hairs with a sickle. As guests, you will be welcomed by dancing & singing performance and rice wine.
Zhanli Dong Village is a primitive and mysterious village located in deep mountains and dense forests. Apart from it’s beautiful landscapes and architectures, this village also attract tourists to explore their “population culture”. There is a strict rule lasting for centuries the village that each family is only allowed to give birth to two children to maintain a balance between the population and limited land resources. During the 60 years from 1952, the population has increased only 10 people. Another unique custom in the village is that the teenagers usually have group weddings held every year because according to the tradition in the village, only 16th of the 2nd lunar month or the 26th of the twelfth lunar month are suitable for having weddings.
Accommodate in Rongjiang County.
- Shaving Hairs with Sickle in Basha Miao Village
- Biasha Miao Village's Wooden Houses
- Zhanli Dong Village - A Primitive and Mysterious Village
Day 8 Rongjiang - Kaili (B, L)Today's highlights: Datang Miao Village, Wuji Miao Village and Upper Langde Miao Village
Today you will travel to Kaili, about 180km away from Rongjiang County. It is the capital of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. You won’t be bored because there are three amazing villages to visit and very beautiful countryside landscapes to enjoy along the road.
Datang Miao Village is also called as Xinqiao Village by locals. It is a small but beautiful village of Short Skirt Miao people whose women wear home-made short skirts all year around even when they are doing farm work. This tradition has lasted more than 6 hundred years. Short Skirt Miao people construct their granaries above the water to keep from mice, mosquitoes and fire, which is another highlight in the village.
Wuji Miao Village is famous for its brilliant skills of making batiks and embroidery which are listed as provincial intangible cultural heritage. The buildings and custom there are also very original.
Upper Langde Miao Village, named Chinese Folk Art Village, is a very primitive and local Miao village which still maintains the old way of living of the Miao people. Women here usually wear long skirts. Upper Langde Miao Village is falso amous for their hospitality. Visitors to the village will usually be welcomed by many ceremonies - dancing, singing, rice wine drinking, etc.
Accommodate at Kaili city.
- Hospitable Miao People in Upper Langde Miao Village
- Datang Miao Village Construct Granaries above the Water to Keep from Mice
- Wuji Miao Village is famous for its brilliant skills of making batiks and embroidery
Day 9 Kaili - Guiyang Departure (B)Free day
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Guiyang by a comfortable private car which takes 2.5 hours on the way. After arrival at Guiyang, you are free to leave Guiyang for next destination, or have a good rest, then keep exploring other destinations in Guizhou.
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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, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. 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.
we made it back to Shanghai. It was a great trip even with rain, COVID, and Sophie's personal issues.
we enjoyed the trip very much. Thanks a lot for organizing everything so brilliant it was really fantastic!
Thank you for your help in sorting out my few days ago. I will certainly be asking you for help in the future, now to start thinking about my 10 day break, beginning of April!
We did quite a lot of research for travel agency before heading for our first trip to Lhasa, Tibet; since foreign travelers to Tibet have to purchase a tour. China Discovery did a great job in helping us get the Tibet Tourism Bureau permit, booking our train tickets from Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa; and organizing a private Tibetan guide, Tenzin, and a driver, for our 5 days in Tibet. They also helped us with all Covid-19 safety measures and authorization requirements). Great sceneries and sites, especially Yamdrok Lake, Khambala pass (4800m), Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and Deprung Monastery. Our guide Tenzin spoke very well in English and was very helpful.
My suggestion: No need to visit Summer Palace; suggest organizing visit of Yack herd with Nomads in higher plateau and in Snow area. Otherwise, very good and Tenzin was excellent
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Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
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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.
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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!
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Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Beijing
Hong Kong / Guilin / Longsheng / Yangshuo / Guilin
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