11-Day Private Tour to Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai

China Classic Wonders

This 11-day China top cities tour covers the most popular four destinations and five World Heritage sites in China. It makes an ideal tour for first-time visitors.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Tell us your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Days

11

Price

from US$2,819

Best For

First-time visitors

Best Time

Apr.May.Sep.Oct.

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Tour Highlights

Explore 12 carefully-selected palaces in the Forbidden City.
Explore 12 carefully-selected palaces in the Forbidden City.
Experience hot springs in a water town at the foot of the Great Wall and have a romantic Great Wall night tour.
Experience hot springs in a water town at the foot of the Great Wall and have a romantic Great Wall night tour.
Learn how to make terracotta warriors — a meaningful present for your friends.
Learn how to make terracotta warriors — a meaningful present for your friends.
Talk with the minority people in Longsheng and taste some bamboo-stuffed rice that you've made yourself.
Talk with the minority people in Longsheng and taste some bamboo-stuffed rice that you've made yourself.
Enjoy the karst mountains and countryside views when you're on a Li River cruise.
Enjoy the karst mountains and countryside views when you're on a Li River cruise.
Have an in-depth tour of the Bund with a private knowledgeable guide.
Have an in-depth tour of the Bund with a private knowledgeable guide.

Itinerary Details

This 11-day suggested itinerary lets you understand China quickly, covering China's history, culture, nature, and modernization. This itinerary is just for your reference — your travel advisor can help you adjust it based on your requirements, interests, and budget.

Day 1
Beijing Arrival

Welcome to the capital of China — Beijing! A private driver and an English-speaking guide will be waiting to collect you in the airport lobby, holding a sign with your name and the China Highlights logo on it. Your local guide will help you to check in to your hotel and confirm the next day's collection time. The rest of the day is for you to spend as you wish. You can adjust to the jet lag at your hotel or go for a walk near your hotel.

Day 2
The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

In the morning, your local guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby at the appointed time. The first stop is to visit the Temple of Heaven so that you will not miss seeing the local people doing their morning activities there, such as singing, tai chi, and so on. The temple was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty and is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties went for annual ceremonies to pray for good harvests. Taking pictures of this ancient building complex adds more fun to the day.

Next, you will enjoy some lunch. We have chosen local authentic restaurants throughout your tour and your guide will help you to order the food you like. After lunch, you will have a walk in Tian'anmen Square so you can digest your meal and learn about the square's history from your guide. At the end of Tian'anmen Square, you'll see the Forbidden City. You will have a totally different experience there from other tour groups. Your tour guide will help you to explore 12 carefully-selected places there, while other tour groups often visit only six to eight spots briefly. This is the best way to avoid the crowds.

If you are interested in Chinese history, you can stay there for longer and discuss things with your local guide.

Day 3
Day and Night Tour of the Great Wall

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

One of the highlights and a must-see attraction in Beijing is the Great Wall. We have chosen the Simatai section for you, which is 120 kilometers northeast of Beijing. It takes about 2½ hours to get to Simatai from central Beijing by car. It is not only less crowded but is also the only section that stays open for visitors at night. You can take a cable car ride up to the top of the Great Wall, switch your camera on, and learn about the wall's history from your guide as you walk along it.

The newly built Gubei Water Town is at the foot of the Great Wall. It is recommended to spend some time there in the afternoon. You also can experience hot springs there if you want to.

In the late afternoon, you will go up to the Simatai section of the Great Wall again with your local guide by cable car. Enjoy the romantic night views of the Great Wall and hope that your camera works well at that time as it will be an unforgettable experience.

Day 4
The Summer Palace and a High-Speed Train to Xi'an

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

On your last day in Beijing, you will visit the Summer Palace in the morning, which is the largest and best-preserved royal park in China. The Summer Palace has greatly influenced Chinese horticulture and landscapes with its famous natural views and cultural interests, and has long been recognized as 'the Museum of Royal Gardens'. After lunch, you will say goodbye to Beijing as your guide and driver transfer you to the train station and help you catch the train to Xi'an.

Your local Xi'an guide and driver will pick you up at the train station and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 5
The Terracotta Army and a Traditional Cave Dwelling

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

Xi'an is a historical city and was an ancient capital of China. The first attraction of the day is a top Xi'an highlight, the Terracotta Army, which was discovered accidentally in 1974. This incredible army of over 7,000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. You can take some pictures with the army if you like.

After enjoying the wonders in the museum, you will have a chance to experience how to make small terracotta warriors with a local craftsman, which would make meaningful presents for your friends. Then, visit the local craftsman's cave dwelling and chat with him.

After lunch, your guide will accompany you to visit the ancient city wall, which was built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City and surrounds the city center. You can walk or pay a fee to rent a bike (40 CNY per person) or an electric cart (80 CNY per person) to travel around the full 14-kilometer circuit, with great views of the city on either side.

Day 6
Xi'an City Highlights and Flight to Guilin

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

In the morning, your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby and take you to visit Shaanxi History Museum, which is quite simply one of the nation's best. There are four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings, which house a vast and impressive collection that's beautifully displayed.

Then, you will have a look at Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.

The last stop is Muslim Quarter. You will find thousands of Xi'an local snacks there and can enjoy some Muslim cuisine with your guide. In the late afternoon, your driver and guide will see you off at the airport in Xi'an to catch your flight to Guilin. Your new driver and guide will meet you at the airport in Guilin.

Day 7
The Longji Rice Terraces and Ethnic Minority Culture

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

In the morning, you will begin your day at the Longji Rice Terraces, which are located 2 hours' drive from the city.

The terraced fields are like chains or ribbons spreading from the foot of the hill to the top. The small ones look like spiral shells and some big ones are like towers. The fields are arranged tier by tier, looking both grand and beautiful.

Another impressive aspect of Longsheng is that many minority people live there. The Yao minority is the most popular one. You will have the chance to visit one of the minority people's homes and experience how to make bamboo-stuffed rice with them. You can also taste some oil tea if you want to.

Day 8
A Li River Cruise and Fan Painting

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

Can you imagine cruising along the Li River? After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the port to catch the cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, which takes about 4 hours. During the cruise, you will not only see the view that's shown on the back of a 20 RMB note but will also enjoy the scenery of large karst mountains. You may see fishermen gliding along on their narrow bamboo rafts and, if you're very lucky, you might see one of the famous fishing cormorants.

After lunch, you will visit an ancient town, Fuli, which is known as the "the hometown of painted paper fans". There, you will experience how to paint a traditional landscape on a paper fan, which is another highlight of the day.

Stay overnight in a boutique hotel in Yangshuo.

Day 9
Countryside Lifestyle and Flight to Shanghai

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

To understand the villagers' real lifestyle, you will visit a village family first, experiencing farming work with water buffalo. Then, you will take a local's special car, which has three wheels, to a local wet market and you can see how local people bargain there.

You will be transferred to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport to catch your flight to the modern city of Shanghai after lunch.

Day 10
Shanghai Highlights with Bund Discovery

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

Having left a countryside city, will you be excited to explore a modern Chinese city. Shanghai is the economic center of China. You still can dig up its history and traditional culture even though it's filled with many skyscrapers.

You will participate in our In-Depth Bund Culture Discovery Tour. Wander around the Bund and, during this 2-hour tour, you will be transported back to the 1920s. It will be different from other group tours as you will walk a route with your knowledgeable guide that tourists seldom find by themselves. See the original bricks and hear some interesting stories that you'll never find in history books.

After enjoying the views and stories in the Bund, you will visit Yu Garden, which is a private garden that was built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty. It features typical classic Chinese architecture and style.

It is surrounded by a busy market place, including Shanghai Old Street and City God Temple Food Street, where visitors can find everything from popular local snacks, handicrafts, antiques, and souvenirs to some famous time-honored restaurants.

The final attraction is Shanghai Tower. As the world's second-tallest building, with 128 stories and a height of 632 meters (2,073 feet), it is a premier Shanghai highlight. You can enjoy a panoramic view of Shanghai there.

Day 11
Shanghai Departure

Meals provided: breakfast and lunch

Your 11-day China classic wonders tour has come to an end. You will say goodbye to your lovely guide and driver at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. We hope you have a safe trip back home.

Price Includes

Price from: $2,819 (Tour code: gh-cht-63)

One-to-one consultancy
One-to-one consultancy
Knowledgeable local guides
Knowledgeable local guides
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Hand-picked hotels
Hand-picked hotels
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Transportation as listed
Transportation as listed
A 24/7 helpline while traveling
A 24/7 helpline while traveling

Trip Notes

1.About the Travel Date

There will be two date options for the Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival 2020 including October 31st and November 1st, we will make sure you are there on the day you choose.

You can decide to create a krathong and have your riverside dinner on October 31 and then experience the Yi Peng mass lantern release on the 1st of November or vice versa.

2.About the Yi Peng Festival Celebration

There are three different kinds of seats available at the Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival including: Premium, VIP, and Standard.

This itinerary includes tickets for the VIP seats. Please let us know if you would like to upgrade to the Premium seats.

Guests who choose Premium or VIP seats will be much closer to the grand pagoda and have a better view of the religious ceremony. The Premium seats are located just next to the central stage and are the best place to take in the sky lantern release. The VIP seats are behind the Premium seats but are still much closer to the stage than the Standard seats.

Guests who choose Premium or VIP seats will have dinner at the premium or VIP area with a different menu than that of standard ticket holders.

3. About Accommodation

This itinerary tentatively does not include your hotel. However, we are happy to make a hotel reservation for you if you need it.

Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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