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 (B, L)Today's highlights: Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Six Banyan Temple, Shamian Island
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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
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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...
- Reed Flute Cave
- Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill
Day 3 Guilin - Yangshuo (B, L)Today's highlights: Li River Cruise, Yangshuo
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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.
- Picturesque Li River as a Traditional Chinese Painting
- Amazing West Street
Day 4 Yangshuo - Longsheng ( B, L )Today's highlights: Longji Rice Terrace hiking
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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).
- Golden Rice Terrace Fields (Late September ~ Early October)
- Green Longji Rice Terrace (June ~ August)
- Huangluo Yao Village - the First Village of Long Hair in the World
Day 5 Longsheng Morning Vist & Drive back to Guilin (B, L)Today's highlights: Longji Rice Terrace sunrise
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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.
- Longji Rice Terrace Spring Ploughing Scene
Day 6 High Speed Train to Congjiang - Zhaoxing (B, L)Today's highlights: Zhaoxing Dong Village, Zhaoxing Dong Village
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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
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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
- Basha 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
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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
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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, 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.
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.
At the end of our cruise, with guide Nina
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.
Our Customized China Trip
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!!
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,
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.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
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.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
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!
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.
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!
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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.
Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Beijing
Hong Kong / Guilin / Longsheng / Yangshuo / Guilin
Beijing / Xian
“Very good experience”
“WONDERFUL 25 DAYS IN CHINA - PRIVATE TOUR”
“Awesome China tour from north east to south west”1060+ Reviews