13-Day Shanghai - Suzhou - Hangzhou - Guilin- Xi'an – Beijing Private Tour

Riches of China

Immerse yourself in the most popular classic wonders of China's Golden Triangle cities (Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai) and also in the spectacular scenery (Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Guilin).

Days

13

Price

from US$3,150 p/p

Best For

Culture fans

Best Time

Apr.May.Sep.Oct.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

Trip Advisor 2024 certificate Tour Review

Tour Highlights

Explore the classic wonders: Forbidden City and Great Wall
Explore the classic wonders: Forbidden City and Great Wall
Visit the Terracotta Army and learn how to make it
Visit the Terracotta Army and learn how to make it
Relax with the stunning landscapes at Tongli Water Town
Relax with the stunning landscapes at Tongli Water Town
Enjoy the picturesque view of Guilin
Enjoy the picturesque view of Guilin
Have special interactions with the locals: family visits and a cooking class
Have special interactions with the locals: family visits and a cooking class

Itinerary Details

The itinerary below is for inspiration. Tell us your preferences — your travel advisor will customize this trip to suit your interests and budget.

Day 1
Shanghai | Arrival

Upon arrival, your private guide will greet you in the arrivals hall. Just look for your name sign outside the luggage claim area. The private airport transfer takes about 1 hour. Your guide will be happy to help you with the check-in process at your hotel. For the rest of the day, have a good rest.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Direct flights within 14 hours of Shanghai: If you prefer a short direct international flight, you can fly from Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Rome, and more.

For daytime arrivals, your time is flexible so you can rest at your hotel to acclimatize to the jet lag or explore your surroundings.

Day 2
Shanghai | Shanghai City Highlights — Old and New

Shanghai is a charming city that embraces traditional culture and modern life. Your guide will accompany you to discover the old and new parts of Shanghai.

Yu Garden represents elegant traditional Chinese gardens. Step into it to experience the unique design, exquisite carvings, and traditional lifestyle. After exploring the houses of the rich, you will stroll along the lilongs (small alleys) and knock on the door of a family's home. See the real lifestyle of the locals: chat with them, learn some Shanghainese, and have lunch with them.

In the afternoon, take the elevator up to the 100th floor to the observation deck in the Shanghai World Financial Center and enjoy the panoramic view of Shanghai. A nice stroll along the Bund will introduce you to the living history of Shanghai from its colonial buildings.

Tip to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Have you heard any stories about Jews during World War II? Our exclusive tour, Jewish Trail, will take you to some places that are off the beaten path to show you the hidden history.

Day 3
Shanghai to Suzhou | Gardens and Water Towns

You will explore the surrounding water towns. After 2 hours' drive, you will feel as though you're in a Chinese painting when you're on a relaxing boat ride in Tongli Water Town. There are peaceful canals, traditional houses and bridges, and lovely people there.

After lunch, head to the home of Chinese gardens, Suzhou. Enter the largest garden there, the Humble Administrator's Garden. It makes use of Chinese philosophy, water, winding paths, sheer hills, and pavilions to present a harmonious combination between people and nature. Stay overnight in Suzhou.

Day 4
Suzhou to Hangzhou | Lake, Temple, Peak, and Dim Sum

In the morning, take a 2-hour bullet train ride to Hangzhou and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

After an authentic dim sum lunch, wander around West Lake, the landmark of Hangzhou. The stunning scenery makes it attractive whenever you go there: the spring flowers, the summer lotuses, the autumn moon, and the winter snow.

Your next stop will be Lingyin Temple on 'Flown-In Peak' where you can have an insight into Chinese Buddhism.

Finally, paint your own oiled paper umbrella at the Workmanship Demonstration Pavilion. In the pavilion, you can see other traditional craftspeople working on their creations, such as crafting teapots or making fans or umbrellas.

Tip to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Hangzhou is home to Dragon Well tea. It's quite popular because of its rich aftertaste, which is better for your health.

If you like, join our insider's tour to visit real tea plantations, learn about the tea-making process, and try a cup of tea in a tea ceremony.

Day 5
Hangzhou to Guilin | Flight to Guilin

Take a flight to Guilin at noon. Your guide and driver will transfer you to your hotel in Guilin. Have a free afternoon.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Your hotel is centrally located along the river. You can enjoy the scenery on a leisurely walk or explore the bustling market.

If you prefer, we can customize a half-day city tour to Reed Flute Cave or Elephant Trunk Hill.

Day 6
Guilin to Longsheng | Rice Terraces and Ethnic Minority Lifestyle

You will visit the minority area, Longji Rice Terraces. Located halfway up the mountain, you can walk up or take an electric buggy to the viewing platform. The well-watered fields in spring and golden rice terraces in autumn are the highlights when hiking and taking photographs.

When you descend from the terraces, you will visit a minority family. The hostess will prepare some traditional food — bamboo rice and oil tea (with tea leaves and ginger). Take part in this if you are interested.

You will return to Guilin after the tour.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

From our experience, hiking along the mountain is suited to an energetic hiker. We are happy to customize a 5-hour hike with a porter to carry your luggage. A long hike is recommended during spring and autumn because of the comfortable weather and breathtaking view.

Besides hiking, you can also take a cable car or buggy ride up to the rice terraces.

Day 7
Guilin to Yangshuo | A Li River Cruise and Countryside Buggying

The stunning scenery of the Li River is a classic theme for poets and artists. The 4-hour cruise will be a feast of karst landscapes and rural life. You will see oddly-shaped peaks, grazing water buffalos, and traditional villages. Have a simple Chinese lunch on the boat.

Arriving at Yangshuo, you can hop on your buggy, cycle around the rural area, and discover the countryside life there. You can meet the playing kids, working farmers, and, of course, see the charming rural scenery.

Return to your resort and enjoy a peaceful night.

Tip to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Apart from a buggy, you can use a bike or electric scooter for your countryside tour. An electric scooter is highly recommended during spring and autumn but a buggy is more comfortable and will protect you from the strong summer sun.

Day 8
Yangshuo to Xi'an via Guilin | Cooking Class

Unlike other cities, Yangshuo offers a relaxing atmosphere so start your tour at leisure.

Having eaten Chinese food for several days, do you want to try those delicious Chinese dishes at home? A cooking class is a great opportunity for you to learn the skills. You will get hands-on practice with instructions from a professional chef.

Later in the afternoon, you will head to the airport in Guilin and fly to Xi'an. Stay overnight in Xi'an.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

As well as a cooking class, other activities are available, such as river rafting, a tai chi lesson, a Chinese language class, and even rock climbing.

You can extend your time in Yangshuo for one more day to accommodate these activities.

Day 9
Xi'an | The Terracotta Army

Located in the suburban area of Xi'an, the Terracotta Army was built to protect China's first emperor as his guards in the afterlife. All the soldiers are distinct from each other, with different facial expressions, hair, and clothing.

Even after more than 2,000 years, all the soldiers and horses were still lifelike when they were first discovered and their colors hadn't faded. What was the secret to this? You will go into a local cave dwelling and make a small terracotta warrior with a local craftsman.

Afterward, you will return to the downtown area where you will climb up to the ancient city wall and watch the sunset if the weather permits.

Day 10
Xi'an to Beijing | Historic Pagoda, Muslim Quarter, Bullet Train

Get an insight into Chinese Buddhism when visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Some locals still worship there on certain days.

Move along to Muslim Quarter and taste some local snacks or buy some souvenirs. Then take the 4½-hour bullet train ride to Beijing. Your Beijing guide and driver will be waiting for you and will take you to your hotel.

Day 11
Beijing | The Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and then you will start your tour from the Temple of Heaven, the most important imperial temple. Besides the mystical architecture, you can meet the locals and join in with their morning exercises if you like.

After an à la carte lunch at a local restaurant, you'll head to the highlight, the Forbidden City. You will have an in-depth experience from our unique tour: the Forbidden City Emperor's Tour. You will learn how emperors lived, studied, and worked inside the countless halls. Your guide will share interesting explanations about the architecture and vivid stories of the hidden history in some of the remote halls. You will return to your hotel after the tour.

Day 12
Beijing | The Summer Palace and the Great Wall

The Great Wall, the symbol of China, attracts countless tourists to see its great engineering and spectacular scenery. First, though, warm up with the best-preserved royal garden in the city.

The Summer Palace is a harmonious mix of plants and paths, water and land. It served as a retreat for the royal family. The pavilions, the Long Corridor, and Kunming Lake (with a boat trip) are the must-see attractions.

After lunch, you'll head to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Of all the sections of the wall, it is the most time-friendly, easily accessible, and highly reputed section. We usually recommend climbing up and getting a cable car back down, or choosing a round-trip cable car ride (highly recommended in summer). Enjoy your free time on the wall. You can hike along it (for 1 or 2 hours) or just walk along part of it.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Do you want a romantic aspect to your trip and an exceptional tour? A night tour at the Simatai section of the Great Wall is a distinctive experience. You can discover the unique length of the Great Wall that's lit up and open at night.

We are happy to customize a Great Wall hiking tour based on your schedule (from hours to days).

Day 13
Beijing | Departure

At the appointed time, your guide and driver will take you to the airport to catch your flight home. They will see you off after the airline check-in procedure. We wish you a great trip!

Price Includes

Price from: $3,150 (Tour code: gh-cht-45)

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

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

How would you travel?

When would you travel?

What's your hotel choice?

I am also available on:

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

13-Day Beijing–Xi'an–Lhasa–Shanghai Private Tour 13-Day Shanghai - Suzhou - Hangzhou - Guilin- Xi'an – Beijing Private Tour 13-Day Chinese Cuisine Tour 13-Day Educational Family Tour to Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

8-Day Beijing–Xi'an–Shanghai Tour 9-Day Private Tour: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai 10-Day Family Tour to Beijing, Guilin, and Hong Kong 11-Day Private Tour to Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai
We are here to help you...
start planning your tailor-made trip with 1-1 help from our travel advisors.
Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

Where Can We Take You Today?

Global Highlights logo
tour review Rated 4.6 out of 5 | Excellence
China Highlights International
Travel Service Co., LTD
Featured on
Global Highlights was featured on these medias.

Address: Building 6, Chuangyi Business Park, 70 Qilidian Road, Guilin, Guangxi, 541004, China