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11-Day Classic Wonders

Classic Wonders

11-Day Tour: Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai

Day 1-3Beijing - Forbidden City, Great Wall night tour
 
Day 4-5Xi'an - The Terracotta Army, Cave dwelling
 
Day 6-8Guilin - Li River cruise, Yangshuo rural fun
 
Day 9-11Shanghai - Awesome skyline, Ancient garden
 

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 who would like to discover China's history,culture,mordenization and landscape.

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.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Unveil the Lives of China's Royal Family in their Hidden Halls

Get off the ordinary sightseeing route in the Forbidden City. Listen to the interesting stories of the famous personalities that are not told by typical tour guides.

the Forbidden City
the hidden hall of the Forbidden City

Witness the Great Wall and Enjoy the Dreamy Night Views

Walk on the spectacular Great Wall at Mutianyu. See both a restored section and a wild section of the Wall. See the Simatai Wall lit up along a mountain ridge at night.

the Great Wall on the mountains
the Great Wall at a full-moon night

Understand Beijing by Tasting Its Traditional Food

Enjoy an authentic Beijing roast duck dinner in a time-honored brand restaurant.

roast duck
roast duck restaurant

Unveil the Secrets of the Terracotta Army and Make Your Own Terracotta Warriors

Your local guide will show you around the Terracotta Army and unveil some secrets of the world wonder. See the life-size warriors at the site, get to know how ancient craftsmen made them. Visit a traditional cave dwelling and learn how to make warriors.

The Terracotta Army
Make Warriors

Enjoy a Cruise in the Painting Gallery of the God

Relax on a top-class guided Li River cruise, enjoying spectacular landscapes. Find the exact sight on the note of RMB20

enjoy the cruise
the scenery on the note

Feast Your Eyes on the Best Scenery of the Rice Terraces.

The Longji Rice Terraces are known widely for the awe-inspiring view. Standing on top of such a huge man-made wonder is itself an extraordinary experience.

the green terraced fields
the yellow terraced fields

Visit a Minority Family and Explore Their Centuries-Old Lifestyle.

Enjoy lunch with a Yao family who invite you into their home. Learn how to stuff and cook rice inside a bamboo tube, sip the freshly-extracted oil tea.

cook in the kichen with minority ladies
make bamboo rice

Discover the Rural China by Exploring the Less Touristy Villages

To experience the daily life of the local farmers will let you see another side of China.

countryside with the reflection of the hills
shopping in a market

Discover the Hidden Stories of the Bund and Ascend Shanghai Tower

Travel back in time to the golden age of the Bund in the 1920s. You will walk a route that seldom tourist will find by themselves, see the most original bricks, and hear some interesting stories that you'll never find in history books.

the Bund
Shanghai Tower

Enjoy a Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience.

Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in a fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen.

The Former French Concession
Shanghai Food Discovery and Shopping

Why Choose Us

Your Wellbeing is Our Priority

Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.

  • 1-to-1 travel expert
  • Vaccinated guides
  • Private Rides
Your Trip is Perfectly Planned

Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.

  • Less crowded
  • Exclusive Exciting Experiences
Your Booking is Risk-Free

Your Booking is Risk-Free.

  • No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
  • Free changes

Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day

1. Tell us your dream travel idea

2. Work out your unique plan with 1 to 1 expert advice

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests and schedule.

Day 1Beijing Arrival
Penta Hotel Beijing (4-star)/ Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)

Welcome to majestic Beijing! To ensure your arrival is stress-free, your private tour guide will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer you to your hotel in a private car. Your luggage and hotel check-in will be taken care of.

Hotel options:
Penta Hotel Beijing
Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town

Day 2The Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City
Breakfast & Lunch

Start your journey at the Temple of Heaven, a dignified complex of religious buildings, symbolizing the relationship between Earth and Heaven. There you will see local people doing morning exercise in their unique ways. Lunch is served in a popular local restaurant with authentic local food. Your guide will help you to order the dishes you like.

Walk through Tian'anmen Square to explore the mysterious Forbidden City. Being the largest imperial palace in the world. Get off the ordinary sightseeing route in the Forbidden City. Listen to the interesting stories of the famous personalities that are not told by typical tour guides.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Do you want to discover more about the life of Beijingers? Take a rickshaw tour through the hutongs, make dumplings in a local family's home, or experience a local market — let us know what you would like to do on the form to the right.

the Temple of HeavenThe Temple of Heaven
Day 3Day and Night Tour of the Great Wall
Breakfast & Lunch

After breakfast, travel to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Listen to the stories about this world wonder. Your guide will show you the most recommended section to have a walk.

Head to Simatai Great Wall in the afternoon. Spend the afternoon wandering around the Guibei Water Town, which is at the foot of the Great Wall. You can also enjoy a soak in a hot spring if you want to.

When it gets dark, your guide will accompany you to take the cable car up to the Simatai section to enjoy the stunning night views, which is a different experience from the day version. It's the only section that's open and lit up at night.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Would you like a more romantic experience? Go there between April and October to enjoy a nice dinner at a special restaurant, from where you can see the Simatai section of the Great Wall lit up all along the mountain ridges at night.

Hotel options:
William Edgar Hotel
Beijing Water Town Hot Spring Resort

Visit the Great Wall at NightVisit the Great Wall at Night
Day 4The Summer Palace and High-speed Train to Xi'an
Breakfast & Lunch Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)/ Wyndham Grand Xi'an South (5-star)

Enjoy breakfast and travel back to Beijing city to explore the Summer Palace, a royal masterpiece of Chinese landscaped gardens.

Take a high-speed train to Xi'an after lunch.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

  • Do you love hiking? We can arrange a 2-hour, 4-hour, or even multi-day wild Great Wall hiking experience for you.

Hotel options:
Somerset Xindicheng Xi'an
Wyndham Grand Xi'an South

The Summer PalaceThe Summer Palace
Day 5The Terracotta Warriors and a Traditional Cave Dwelling
Breakfast & Lunch

In the morning, uncover the mystery of the underground army that dates back thousands of years at the Terracotta Army Museum.

Then discover a local craftsman's cave dwelling and learn how to make a mini terracotta warrior.

In the afternoon, visit the ancient city wall that has been guarding the inner city for 600 years.

Walking along the wall provides a good view of the city. You can also rent a bike to cycle around the wall.

the Terracotta ArmyThe Terracotta Army
Day 6Xi'an City Highlights and Flight to Guilin
Breakfast & Lunch

Discover more of Xi'an and China's ancient history at Shaanxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alleys to taste the local Muslim cuisine.

Fly to Guilin in the afternoon.

Hotel options:
Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel Guilin

The Big Goose PagodaThe Big Goose Pagoda
Day 7Longji Terraced Rice Fields and Ethnic Minority Culture
Breakfast & Lunch

Begin your day by exploring the Longji Terraced Rice Fields.

Built into the hillsides, the terraces are beautiful when the sun reflects on the water of the paddy fields, and the fields glow when the harvest is ripe.

The Zhuang minority have lived there for generations in wooden houses, and the people eat their own unique food, such as bamboo rice and oil tea.

Sit around a bonfire in a traditional kitchen, make bamboo rice with the host.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Are you very active and love hiking? Then you'll love the 5-hour hiking trip between the villages of Ping'an and Dazhai through the Longji Terraced Rice Fields.

 Longji Terraced Fields Longji Terraced Fields
Day 8Li River Cruise
Breakfast & Lunch

A cruise along the Li River is an unforgettable experience. Between spectacular limestone peaks, you will see graceful bamboo groves, farmers tending rice paddies, and lumbering water buffalo cooling off in the river.

Disembark in Yangshuo town around 1:30 pm and explore the famous West Street. Transfer to the cozy hotel in the countryside and enjoy your free time in the rest of the day.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Yangshuo offers a relaxing atmosphere and various activities: a cooking class, a tai chi lesson, a farming experience, and even rock climbing.

Tell us what you want to try in the right form so that we can enrich your tour.

Hotel options:
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Yangshuo Ancient Garden Boutique Hotel

The Li RiverThe Li River
Day 9Countryside Lifestyle and flight to Shanghai
Breakfast & Lunch

Drive toward the south of Yangshuo to explore the peaceful villages. You might meet someone on his way to the fields with a water buffalo or someone working in the paddy.

Visit an old couple who still live in a traditional house. Learn about their lifestyle and philosophy of living.

Continue to drive pass an old ferry along the Li River. The old buildings in the ancient style are the memory of the busy water transportation on the Li River in the past. Then you will take a ferry and a local farmer's taxi (a kind of motorbike with three wheels) to the local market.

Your guide will show you around to explain the different types of food and show you the local people's daily necessities.

Flt to the modern city of Shanghai in the afternoon.

Hotel options:
Sunrise On The Bund
Wanda Reign Hotel

Experience of countryside LifestyleExperience of countryside Lifestyle
Day 10Shanghai Highlights with Bund Discovery
Breakfast & Lunch

Do you just want to take one or two selfies in the Bund as most tourists do? Let's travel back in time to the golden age of the Bund in the 1920s during our In-depth Bund Culture Discovery Tour.

Enjoy lunch and ascend to the highest building in China, Shanghai Tower, where you will not only enjoy a panoramic view of Shanghai but will also see the future of China.

Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience

After traveling in China for around 10 days, you might want to do something different at the end. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true!

Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen. Just tell us what you’re interested in.

If you don't know what you want, just let your guide make the arrangements. You will not be disappointed!

Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower
Day 11Shanghai Depature
Breakfast & Lunch

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide and driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your flight home.

Trip Notes

Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.

Extend the tour:

  • Suzhou and/or Hangzhou: add 1–4 days — water towns, gardens, the Grand Canal, and West Lake
  • Chengdu: add 2–3 days — a panda keeper program, have your photo taken next to a panda, and the Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, and a day-tour of Macau
  • Free days: Yangshuo and Shanghai are popular destinations to add one or more free days to explore on one's own.
  • More destinations: Zhangjiajie, Huangshan, and Tibet... Inform us of your interests and we will offer you some recommendations.

2. Accommodation

Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region. Whatever your accommodation preferences are, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect one for you.

Most hotels in China allow at most three people in one room. If there are more than three people in your group, we will check if there is a family room available or do our best to arrange interconnecting rooms or adjoin rooms.

3. Transportation

China is a huge country, so to make your travel experience more efficient, we usually arrange flights to connect to your destinations.

China's high-speed rail network is a fast-paced way to travel. We recommend taking high-speed trains for journeys of less than 6 hours to interested customers — please tell us if you are one of them.

4. Meals

Lunches at popular local restaurants are included for you so you can taste authentic Chinese food. Your guide will assist you with ordering the dishes.

Vegetarian, halal, kosher, Indian, or gluten-free — all your dietary requirements can be taken care of by our experienced private guides. Let us know if you have any of these dietary requirements during your booking.

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

Hotel room in Beijing
the balcony of the hotel
a roof bar with a great view

Tour Price

From US3,100 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
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