9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities

Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Shanghai

  • Crescent Lake in Dunhuang
  • the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
  • Harmony families hiking on the Great Wall
  • New Pudong District from the Bund
    of
  • Harmony families hiking on the Great Wall
  • the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
  • Crescent Lake in Dunhuang
  • New Pudong District from the Bund
Tour Type:
Private Tour
questions
    Our private tour features:
  1. Affordable & worry free;
  2. Just you or your group;
  3. 1-to-1 travel consultant within 0.5~23.5 hrs;
  4. Flexible departure & itinerary;
  5. Private guide & vehicle;
  6. Customizable to your needs & interests;
  7. All inclusive service;
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want
Group size:
You, your family, friends or group
Tour Code:
CD-T10-09
Features:
Our 9 days Best of China tour gives you a classic visit at the most important sites, in addition to 2-day adventure in Dunhuang to appreciate the surviving treatures on the ancient Silk Roads. It is a unique chance for you to experience an exotic China.

Price from $2,144

Trip at a Glance

  • Day 1-3: Beijing
  • Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven
    Great Wall, Summer Palace

  • Day 4: Xian
  • Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda

  • Day 5-6: Silk Road (Dunhuang)
  • Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang Museum

  • Day 7: Xian
  • Terracotta Warriors

  • Day 8-9: Shanghai
  • Urban Planning Exhinbition Center
    Yu Garden & Bazaar, the Bund

Itinerary Details Day by Day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

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

Your lifetime Silk Road 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 )

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Today's tour begins to visit the Tiananmen Square, the world's largest plaza. Walking through Tiananmen Gate, you'll enter the splendid Forbidden City, China's No.1 palace complex adorned with imperial treasures.

In the afternoon, you'll marvel at the Summer Palace the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China, the next 'must see' site after the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

In the evening, we arrange you a fantastic Kungfu Show and learn some Chinese martial art culture.

After the tour, you’ll be escorted to your hotel, and the rest of today is free for yourself, and the Houhai area is recommended for hanging out.

the Forbidden City Overall View
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)

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After breakfast, 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.)

Continue your trip to Sacred Way, a 7-kilometer-long passage leading to the Imperial Tombs of 13 Emperors of Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also would return to Heaven through this road. Take a walk through the largest archway in China and Great Palace Gate and you’ll see the magnificent stone guard of 12 sets of mythical animals and 12 officials. Then drive back to Beijing city and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view 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.

Harmony families hiking on the Great Wall Sacred Way of Ming Tombs
Day 4 Beijing & Flight to Xian ( B, L, D )

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Today after breakfast, you’ll be escorted to take a 2-hour flight to Xian, and after arrival, you’ll be escorted to the hotel by your local tour guide and private vehicle.

After lunch, your Xian city tour begins with a visit to the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum - a large modern museum of the national level. Then move on to the Great Mosque, the biggest and most preserved complete Chinese existent mosque. It was first built at the Tianbao first year (742 years) during Tang Dynasty. The next stop is the Xian City Wall - a symbol of great significance of the famous historic cultural city of Xian.

After today’s tour, you’ll be treated with a local flavor – dumpling dinner, while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show in the evening.

You’ll be escorted to your hotel after the programme.

Xian City Wall
Day 5 Dunhuang Arrival ( B, L )

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Today morning after breakfast, you'll be escorted to the airport and take a 2 and a half hours' flight to Dunhuang. After arrival, met and transferred to your hotel in Dunhuang.

The first stop of the afternoon tour is the Echoing-Sand Dune, which is located about 6 kilometers south of Dunhuang city, also known as the Sand dunes of Mingsha, offering fantastic desert scenery. The dune, surrounded by rolling ridges and precipitous cliffs, reaches a relative height of 250 meters.

The second scenery is the Crescent Lake, called Yueyaquan in Chinese, is a crescent-shaped lake in the oasis, 5 km southwest of the city Dunhuang. It was named Yueyaquan since Qing Dynasty. The lake and the surrounding deserts are very popular with tourists, who are offered with camel and 4x4 rides.

After the tour, you'll be escorted back to the hotel in the city.

Important Notice: Currently Dunhuang Airport is under reconstruction, which may affect the flights from Xian to Dunhuang during March to May. If you fail to book the flight tickets, you can firstly get to Lanzhou, then take s flight or train to Dunhuang. You can also contact us to keep up with latest news.

Crescent Lake in Dunhuang
Day 6 Dunhuang Visit & Back to Xian ( B, L )

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Camera ready! Today, you'll visit the Mogao Grottoes with a group of 492 temples, located about 25km southeast of the Dunhuang center, and it is an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road. The caves house some of the finest examples of Buddhist art with a span of 1,000 years. There are about 40 common caves opened to the public. In the tourist area, you will be divided into groups by different tour guides who will accompany you to visit 7-8 caves among them with great introduction. After that, if you want to visit more other caves, you can do it by yourselves or follow other tour guides. Besides, there are 10 special caves (with extra fees) available for your extensional visiting.

Tips:

1. During peak seasons (May to October), there are usually a lot of visitors to Mogao Caves, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days. 2. If you want to see the Special Caves (excluded in the regular visit, and only open for limmited individual visitors or small groups with reservations), you can contact our travel consultants or your tour guide to arrange for you, but you have to pay the seperate admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.

Then, you'll move on to the Dunhuang Museum, a local museum for housing the cultural relics that were excavated in the Dunhuang area. Now there are over 4000 historical items contained in the museum. The museum is divided into four exhibition halls.

After the tour, you'll be escorted the airport and take an afternoon flight back to Xian. Upon arrival, met and transferred to your hotel in Xian.

Treasure in Dunhuang
Day 7 Xian Visit & Flight to Shanghai (B, L)

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Today after breakfast, you'll visit the famous Terra-cotta Army, a lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2200-year-old terra-cotta Army of China' First Emperor-Qin Shihuang.

After lunch, take the afternoon flight to Shanghai, the metropolis of China. Upon arrival, you'll be met and escorted to the hotel in Shanghai. The rest of today is free for your discovery.

Terra-Cotta Warriors
Day 8 Shanghai Visit (B, L)

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After breakfast, you'll visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, a must-see for all true Shanghainophiles to witness how Shanghai became a cosmopolitan city from a shabby fishing village.

Then walk leisurely around the beautiful Yu Garden, a pleasant enough, well-contained classical Chinese garden, and savor some local flavor snacks at the Yu Garden Bazaar.

The last stop of today is to visit the Jinmao Tower to get an amazing bird’s eye view of this metropolis.

In the evening, interested in the Acrobatic Show? We can arrange the breathtaking show for you, which is an optional programme.

Shanghai Yu Garden
Day 9 Shanghai Departure (B, L)

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After breakfast, head to the famous Bund to witness Shanghai’s skyline, and stroll along China's No.1 shopping street, Nanjing Road.

After the tour, be transferred to the airport for your flight to next destination or back to home.

Jinmao Tower

This trip is from $2,144 Per Person

  • 1. This price is based on a group (2 to 5 travelers) accommodated in 3-star hotel in lower seasons.
  • 2. This price is subject to change according your group members and traveling time. Usually more travelers, lower the price; higher price in high seasons, lower in low seasons.
  • 3. The price is valid until February 28th, 2015.

Please note: reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.04.The USD quote is based on current exchange rate, it may change according the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quote will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Transportation as listed;
  • All attraction entrance fees as listed;
  • All meals as listed;
  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Accommodations as listed;
  • Domestic flights or high-speed train as listed;
  • Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels;
  • Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges;
  • Private escorted tour only for your group members.

What's excluded?

  • China Entry Visa Fees;
  • Personal expenses;
  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China;
  • Tips to your tour guide and driver;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Single Room Supplement.

Practical Info about Traveling with Us

Restaurant & 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.

Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know while booking.

Vegetarian food Requirement

Vegetarian food in Chinese cuisine culture is usually divided into 3 categories: the Monastery Vegetarian Food, the Court Vegetarian Food and the Folk Vegetarian Food. And the main ingredients are: soybean, taro powder, mushrooms, fresh vegetables and tofu (bean curd). It will be easier to find the vegetarian restaurants in big cities of china, such as: Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, HK, etc.

If allergic to some food

We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.

Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?

The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.

Will we be able to try some local foods during our visit?

Yes, you will. 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, if you are interested in local food tasting. But remember, some local snacks may not match your stomach, so ask your guided for more information before eating.

Vehicles

We offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV), and different types of buses. Different vehicles will be used according to different group size.

Shopping

What to buy in China?

In China, there are myriads of souvenirs for visitors, and each city has its own specialty.

Some of the best buys are:

  • Beijing: Cloisonné; Fresh water pearls
  • Xi'an: Replicas of the Terra Cotta soldiers; Tangsancai (Tang Dynasty hand painted China); Antique Furniture
  • Shanghai: Silk carpets
  • Hangzhou: Longjing Tea; Silk
  • Suzhou: Silk
  • Guilin: Scroll paintings; China Southern Sea Pearls
  • Yunnan: Mounted Butterflies; Pure tea; Dali Batik (tie-dyed fabric)
  • Xinjiang: Carpets; jade articles
  • Tibet: Thang-ka(tanka)(Sheep skin wall hangings)

How to bargain?

Bargains are not acceptable in big supermarkets and department stores. But in some night markets or tourist shops, you can bargain for a lower price, since the vendors always ask for very high price for a certain item. You’d better ask the opinion of the guide first, and then the guide will tell you the real value and quality of the item. Please note that when the bargain is processing, the guide will be hesitate to help as it may annoy the bosses. Just try to let the guides know you will bargain in advance.

What to do with persistent vendors?

If you do not need something from them, just do not ask for price. Some of the venders are very persisted, and if they keep selling things to you, you can simply say “No, thanks.” (Chinese pronunciation: ”Bu, XieXie”). If they do not give up, you just keep silence. Silence is sometimes useful to handle this situation.

More Tips for free-time shopping

  • 1. If you think you have no desire or interest, you do not feel embarrassed to let our guide know DIRECTLY (since some of our guides are enthusiastic in taking you shopping)
  • 2. Better to choose the shops run by the state when buying expensive articles.
  • 3. Do not shop everything in one city, because every place has its unique local products which worth buying.
  • 4. Do not feel obligate to buy anything only because the shop attendants are very kind to you.
  • 5. Be smart consumers. Do not spend big money on things you are not familiar with. Do ask for shop guarantee, contacts and certificates when purchasing big items like antiques, jade, arts pieces.
  • 6. Leave plenty of time for transactions. When you see something you like - buy it. Usually, you would not find it elsewhere and you would not have time to go back.
  • 7. Always verify the date of antiques before you purchase them. Antiques dated before 1795 cannot legally be exported.
  • 8. Articles made from rare wild animals are contraband and will be confiscated by customs without compensation.

Private tour & Group Tour

A: Private tours

  • 1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually, or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
  • 2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
  • 3. Start the tour on any date you want.
  • 4. Escort you through the whole tour. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
  • 5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
  • 6. Ideal for people who need considerate care and assistance, such as elderly, the disabled, families with small children.

B: Group tours

  • 1. Low Price;
  • 2. Share a guide and driver;
  • 3. Share a clean, safe and air-conditioned vehicle;
  • 4. Good chance for you to meet and make friends from all over the world;
  • 5. Tour date is fixed and unchangeable.

Emergency calls

Call your guide, or if you can’t find your guide, call your travel consultant or our office immediately. All the phone numbers include in our confirmation letter. Keep the letter with your during your trip.

Note: As our Beijing office is using the different guide arranging system, so we will not be able to provide the Beijing guide information until the day before you arrival, but once we have it, we will email you immediately.

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
>>Read Details

How Travel Experts Service you at China Discovery

"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.

1-on-1 Travel Consultant

They are the ones you contact in person in the first place at China Discovery.

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.

Get to Know them

They're working at our head office in Chengdu, get to know them now.

Local Tour Guides

They know your destination like the back of their hand.

For every destination or city you visit, there is a local tour guide to take you discover at your own pace. Most of them grow up there, and get you into the real stuff. It's their backyard and show you all the things they love. They're not only expert guides who take care of all the little details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and confidenc.

Get to Know them

They showcase the authentic LOCAL life to you!

Local Drivers & Vehicle

Ours drivers are professional and reliable; and our vehicle is neat and air-conditioned.

All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.

Get to Know them

Our drivers know how to avoid the crowds and the traffic jam.

9 Days Silk Road Tour

Personalize the Trip?

Customize this trip based on your specific interests and every wish to get the most out of your China tour.
Tailor this Trip

Why travel with us...

Personalized service to ensure you're delighted.
Flexible to get more time for photos or discovery.
We time the visits to avoid the crowds.
The food, accommodations, and sights selected to your interests.
Personal tour guide and private vehicle at your service.
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