12 Days Historical China Tour with Train Experience Request

Central of Middle Kingdom

1
If you want to explore the history and culture of China to the fullest, this tour is right for you. Many World Heritage Cultural Sites in the North China like Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Yungang Grottoes, Pingyao Ancient City, Longmen Grottoes etc. are included. You won’t miss Shaolin Kung Fu experience in 13 days.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Be thrilled by the World Heritage Sites in the capital city Beijing - Great Wall of China,Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutongs, etc;
  • Two of Four Greatest Buddhist Grottoes in China covered in this tour - Yungang Grottoes and Longmen Grottoes;
  • Unique trip to the famous Shaolinsi Temple to see the Real Chinese Kung Fu;
  • Enjoy awesome high speed train experience from Pingyao - Xian and Xian - Luoyang.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Beijing / Datong / Taiyuan / Pingyao / Xian / Luoyang / Dengfeng / Zhengzhou
Travel Length:
12 Days and 11 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BSHT-12
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
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, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.

Day 4~7 Shanxi Province Tour

Start to trave from Datong to visit Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple, then transfer to Pingyao via Taiyuan city. Spend two days to visit Pingya highlights, including Pingyao Ancient City and Qiao's Family Compound, etc. Then take a high speed train to Xian.

Day 8~9 Xian Tour & Train to Luoyang

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

Day 10~12 Hennan Province Highlights & Departure

Firstly visit the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site - Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, then go to Dengfeng to explore the center of Chinese Buddhism and Kung Fu Culture - strong>Shaolinsi Temple.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

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.

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Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

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

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)

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 Flight to Datong & Datong Tour (B, L)

Get up early, you will be escorted to the airport and take the 1 hour’s flight from Beijing to Datong. Upon arrival, be met by your local tour guide, and start to explore Datong highlights.

First site to visit is the famous Yungang Grottoes, which hold 53 grottoes with 51,000 statues. The Grottoes are the highlight of your visit to Datong, for it is the treasure of traditional Chinese art that also influenced by Greek and Indian style.

After lunch, move on to Huayan Temple, the largest and best preserved monastery of the Liao dynasty, consisting of upper and lower parts. Later, continue to have a look at Nine Dragon Screen, the oldest and largest glazed screen in China. The dragons on the wall appear so vivid and marvelous that you can’t imagine they were built over 600 years ago.

  • Yungang Grottoes - The treasure of traditional Chinese art Yungang Grottoes - The treasure of traditional Chinese art
  • Shanhua Temple

Day 5 Datong - Taiyuan (B)

After breakfast, visiting the Hanging Temple, at the foot of Mt. Hengshan. Because the temple is on the west side of a hill at over 50 meters high above the ground, it is named as Hanging Monastery.

Then, moving on to the Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, the oldest preserving wooden Buddhist pagoda in China, which is only 50 km away from the Hanging Temple.

(Please note: Since Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is under maintenance and protection at present, travelers cannot climb up to the pagoda. Instead, if you want to visit these this site, you can have a good look at it from afar.)

After the tour, drive to Taiyuan City. 

  • Hanging Temple at Mt. Hengshan Hanging Temple at Mt. Hengshan

Day 6 Taiyuan - Pingyao (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. You'll be driven to Pingyao. On the way to Pingyao, first visiting Jinci Temple, where you can discover a fascinating mixture of Daosit, Confucian and Buddhist influences in the ancient buildings.

Then move on to Qiao’s Family Compound, which is used to be the house of a famous local financier during the Qing Dynasty. Built in 1756, this well-preserved compound shows you how the traditional North China Folk house was like in the past.

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.

  • Qiao's Family Compound Qiao's Family Compound

Day 7 Pingyao - Xian by High Speed Train (B, L)

Today, you will spend a full day to explore Pingyao Ancient City. Your 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 lunch, strolling 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. Later, visiting the Temple of City God, which also called Chenghuangmiao in Chinese. You will be appreciated the wonderful wood carvings, paintings and sculptures in the old temple.

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 8 Xian (B, L)

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 9 Xian & High Speed Train to Luoyang (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.)

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 10 Luoyang (B, L)

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 11 Luoyang - Dengfeng - Zhengzhou (B, L)

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 City for accommodation.

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

Day 12 Zhengzhou Departure (B)

Be free until your guide and driver escort you to the airport or train station for the flight/train to the next destination or back home.

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13 Days Historical China Tour with Train Experience

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