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16 Days Ultimate China Vacation with Best Highlights

In-depth Experience Both the Best Culture and Landscape of China

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Why you should spend as many as 16 days in China? Because China has too much to offer not just Beijing and Shanghai. The ancient capital city for 13 Chinese dynasties - Xian, the holy land on the roof of Himalaya - Tibet, the hometown of Giant Panda - Sichuan, most beautiful Karst landscape - Guilin ... there are so many places waiting for you to explore. With this worry-free vacation, you experience the best culture and history, also enjoy the finest scenery in China.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Experience China's rich history and culture as you uncover the magnificent sites of Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors in Beijing and Xian;
  • Explore the holy land Tibet - the sacred city of Buddhism Lhasa, grandiose Tibetan monasteries and palaces, devoted pilgrims;
  • Float down the beautiful Li River in Guilin to enjoy amazing countryside landscape of Yangshuo Town.

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 a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Beijing / Xian / Lhasa / Chengdu / Guililn / Yangshuo / Longsheng / Hong Kong
Travel Length:
16 Days and 15 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTFBH-16
Group Size:
You, your family and friends
Experience:
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 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, traditional Hutong, etc.

Day 4~6 Xian Tour & Flight to Lhasa

Two full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall, Bell & Drum Tower Square, Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaan’xi History Museum.

Day 7~9 Lhasa Tour & Flight to Chengdu

Two full days to explore the holy Lhasa, covering the grandiose Potala Palace, sacred Jokkang Temple, Barkor Street, delicate Norbulingka Park, and two major temples in Tibet – Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.

Day 10~11 Chengdu Tour & Flight to Guilin

One full day in Chengdu to meet the cute Giant Panda, then enjoy leisure time in Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Old Street. After arrival at Guilin city, go to visit the landmarks Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave.

Day 12~14 Guilin Tour & Flight to Hong Kong.

Take a cruise leisurely along the Li River from Guilin city to Yangshuo old town, then explore the amazing countryside landscape around Yangshuo. Next have an over-night visit to Longji Rice Terrace. Last, take a flight to Hong Kong.

Day 15~16 Hong Kong Tour & Departure

A full day to appreciate the magnificent skyline of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak, spend some casual time in Repulse Bay and Stanley Market. Day 15 is free for departure.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

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

Day 2 Beijing Great Wall Tour (B, L)

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square which is now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern square was the site where the Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s 5 most important palaces - Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass through various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings.

Leave the city, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu and climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and you take brag-worthy photos. After the exciting time, descend 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.)

Lastly, drive back to Beijing City, and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view the magnificent Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: 1). In the evening, you could watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30. 2). Or, you could enjoy the well-known Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater to appreciate the classic Chinese art performance at 19:30-21:00.

  • Fobidden City in Beijing Ancient Forbidden City Home to the Emperors for Centuries
  • Great Wall Hiking Taking a leisure hiking on Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Tiananmen Square Family Tour Tiananmen Square Family Tour

Day 3 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.

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 Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Family Hutong

Day 4 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 for some leisure time at the Bell & Drum Tower Square, where the biggest and most intact Bell Tower and Drum Tower in China stands. Then head to the Great Mosque, a very special place made up of a group of buildings that include multi-story buildings, towers, pavilions and palaces with Chinese style decoration on the outside and Muslim style decoration on the inside. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Community, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activity: Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

 

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

Day 5 Xian ( B, L )

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.)

In the afternoon, 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.

Optional activities: Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall.

  • Big Wood Goose Pagoda Big Wood Goose Pagoda
  • Visitor Riding on Ancient City Wall Visitor Riding on Ancient City Wall

Day 6 Flight to Lhasa (B, L)

Today is free until your guide escorts you to catch flight to Lhasa (about 3hrs). Upon arrival, Your tour guide is ready to pick you up at the arrival hall, and escort you to your hotel in Lhasa downtown. Enjoy the stunning views along the driving. After check in, the rest of today is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities which may cause high altitude sickness. Today

Tips of Today: 1. Go for some walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2. You’d better not have bath; 3. Drink more water.

Day 7 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace is the first site to discover. Having gone through more than 1300 years of historical changes, the colossal Potala Palace still dominates over the skyline of Lhasa city. Climb up the sacred steps to get inside the Red Palace and White Palace to explore the marvelous interior which is full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall painting and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, firstly visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet – Jokhang Temple where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. As the spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle – Barkhor Street. Join the faithful Tibetans in colorful attires in walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

  • Tibet Potala Palace Visit Potala Palace
  • Meet with Tibet locals at Barkhor Street Meet with Tibet locals at Barkhor Street
  • Jokhang Temple Jokhang Temple

Day 8 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of Dalai Lamas – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. The monastery used to play a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of Dalai Lamas. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks living and study in the monastery. As you walk further, immense temples, chapels leap to your eyes one after one.

We will then go to visit another featured Sera Monastery. This six hundred year-old monastery is famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhism debating apart from its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

  • Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance
  • Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden
  • Monks Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

Day 9 Flight to Chengdu from Lhasa (B)

Today is free for you to explore Lhasa city until your tour guide transfer you to airport for flight to Chengdu.

Welcome to Chengdu, hometown of Giant Panda. You will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of Shuangliu International Airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax.

 

Day 10 Chengdu (B, L)

This morning you will make a stirring visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Don’t miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms. There is also a very informative Panda Museum for you to learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Following the Panda Base, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in the hustling downtown of Chengdu – Wenshu Temple. Marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the peaceful paths.

Chengdu is famous for its relaxing and leisure pace throughout China, which will be proved after a stay in Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, make a casual chat with your friends and watching locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment – napping in a lively teahouse, playing mahjong, disco dancing, neck massage, ear cleaning… Next is an impressive trip to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time steals away from you quietly while walking on the lively streets which are full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, etc.

Optional activity: in the evening, watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera, including folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling light, etc.

 

  • Jinli Old Street  (Foreigner) Jinli Old Street
  • Lovely Pandas in Chengdu Lovely Pandas in Chengdu
  • Wenshu Temple Wenshu Temple

Day 11 Chengdu - Flight to Guilin (B)

In this early morning, be escorted to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to take your flight to Guilin (around 1.5 hrs).

Upon arrival, your local guide and driver in Guilin will meet you at the airport 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.

Accommodate at Guilin City.

  • Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill

Day 12 Guilin Li River Cruise to Yangshuo (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 evening 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
  • Beautiful West Street Amazing West Street

Day 13 Yangshuo - Longji Rice Terrace (B, L)

In this morning, you’ll be driven about 150 kilometers (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) Golden Rice Terrace Fields (Late September ~ Early October)
  • Green Longji Rice Terrace (June ~ August) Green Longji Rice Terrace (June ~ August)
  • Huangluo Yao Village - the First Village of Long Hair in the World Huangluo Yao Village - the First Village of Long Hair in the World

Day 14 Longsheng & Flight to Hong Kong (B)

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, your tour guide will take you to airport to catch a flight to Hong Kong (1.5 hours). Your local tour guide will pick you up at the airport, and then escort you to hotel for check in. 

Optional transfer: you can also take a high speed train directly from Guilin West Station to Hong Kong which starts only at around 13:30 p.m. and rides about 3.5 hours. Besides, if the train does not match your schedule, you can transfer more flexibly first by bullet train to Guangzhou South Station for 2-3 hours or to Shenzhen North Station for 3-3.5 hours, since there are more train options from Guilin to Guangzhou and Shenzhen every day. And then take a high speed train to Hong Kong from Guangzhou for about 1 hour or from Shenzhen for about 15-20 minutes.

  • Longji Rice Terrace Spring Ploughing Scene Longji Rice Terrace Spring Ploughing Scene

Day 15 Hong Kong (B)

After breakfast, you will be picked up from selected hotels in downtown area by your private tour guide and driver to start the exciting Hong Kong exploration.

Firstly, you will climb to the highest point of Hong Kong - Victoria Peak(552m) via the famous Peak Tram which has operated for more than 112 years as one of the world oldest funicular railways. Walk through the verdant woods to explore hidden old buildings left by the old Hong Kong. Also ascend to the observation deck to sweep the magnificent Hong Kong skyline and tranquil harbor views. Get down from the peak, then go to visit Aberdeen Fishing Village where you will get an impressive insight of an old traditional fishing village to view the rows of old Junks and Sampans. 

Continue to take a trip to Repulse Bay. Known as the Hawaii of Orient, the Repulse Bay is the most beautiful sand beach with long coastline, soft sand, clean water and appropriate temperature. After the leisure break in Repulse Bay, proceed to the Stanley Market. Browse fancy petty commodities in various little stores and enjoy the fun of bargaining, or just order a cup of coffee or beer at the seaside café or pub, a great way to spend time away from the maddening crowds.

After the tour, transfer back you your hotel.

  • Panoramic View from Victoria Peak during Daytime Panoramic View from Victoria Peak during Daytime
  • Hong Kong Star Ferry Hong Kong Star Ferry

Day 16 Hong Kong Departure (B)

Today is free for you to explore your own fun in this charming city of Hong Kong. Lastly, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to next destination.

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