Join this awe-inspiring twelve-day private tour to discover the highlights of China! Explore the Forbidden City, home to emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty for over 500 years. Visit the Terracotta Warriors Museum, the eighth wonder of the world and the Muslim quarter, Xi’an city’s glamour and gourmet. Stop at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, an up-close look at China’s universally adored mascot. Cruise along the Li River, to see one of China's natural masterpieces. Visit the Bund, the symbol of Shanghai and the Former French Concession, the charm of old Shanghai.
Beijing: from ancient walled capital to showpiece megacity in barely a century, it spins a breathless yarn of history, culture, and innovation
Xi’an: Xi'an’s Ming-era city walls remain intact, vendors of all descriptions still crowd the narrow lanes of the warren-like Muslim Quarter
Chengdu: named Unesco's first-ever City of Gastronomy, with a brimming teahouse culture and home of the giant pandas
Guilin: Guilin's natural endowments will amaze you, yet, thanks to imperfect urban planning, there is a pervasive feeling that the city is past its prime
Shanghai: home to the world's second-tallest tower and a city with a diverse architectural heritage is like no other cities on earth
Arrival Beijing (30Km – 1Hr)
Welcome to China! Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, you will be greeted by the guide and driver at the arrivals halls. You will be then transferred to the hotel, with the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Beijing.
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby. Drive to Tiananmen Square, gaze across it and take in the full weight of its historical and cultural significance. People travel from all over the world to see Mao’s portrait and visit his mausoleum, which lies on the opposite end of the Square. Walking towards to Forbidden City, where emperors ruled, concubines fluttered their fans, and eunuchs schemed for five hundred years. It is a life preserved in chambers, where emperors ruled, gardens, where empresses and concubines strolled and in the palace where the emperor's courtesans lived for centuries behind the towering red walls. Lunch at a local tourist restaurant (included). In the afternoon, venture to one of Beijing’s few remaining ‘hutongs’ or traditional lanes in the backstreets of the city to gain a perspective into fascinating and authentic ‘old’ Beijing. Hutongs, the narrow alleys and lanes first laid out during the Yuan dynasty (1268-1364AD), and the siheyuan, traditional courtyard homes that border these leafy streets, define old Beijing. Here, we can get an idea of what the entire city once looked like and experience the traditional way of life, the silhouette of imperial dynasties, Chinese local lifestyle, the impact of western countries. Visit the Buddhist Miaoying Temple, which has an iconic White Stupa that was completed in 1279, under the leadership of Kublai Khan.
Overnight in Beijing.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Huanghuacheng Great wall. Literally, the Yellow Flower Wall is considered one of the most scenic sections of the wall, and a great place to go for a not-too-strenuous hike along with the country's most iconic landmark. At either end of this stretch of the Great Wall are two lakes, made by dams built in the 1970s and ‘90s. Upon the wall, you’ll have unobstructed views of both lakes from high above, with the Great Wall dipping majestically down into the water. Lunch at a local tourist restaurant (included). After lunch, delve into the heart of Beijing’s contemporary art scene at the 798 Art District, based rather ironically within an abandoned industrial complex, built by East Germans in the 1950s, Chinese contemporary artists moved in the 1990s, transforming this decommissioned factory district into a hotspot of modern art, culture, and design. From avant-garde galleries to cutting-edge food and drinks, make sure you set aside some time to explore what this area has to offer.
Overnight in Beijing.
Beijing – Xi’An (4.5/5.5Hrs By High-Speed Train; Included)
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Temple of Heaven complex, situated in southeast Beijing, was built in the first half of the 15th century, for the use of Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors to worship the heavens and pray for a good harvest. The main architectural themes are: “on the earth” which is represented by the square-shaped 'Palace of Abstinence' in the west, much like The Forbidden City but on a smaller scale; whereas the circular-shaped Qinian Dian (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests) and Huanqiu (Circular Mound Altar) are thought to be connected with heaven. The park serves as a recreational ground for local people. Dancing, fencing, flag-waving, and Taichi are all part of locals’ morning rituals. Lunch on own arrangement. Transfer to Beijing West Railway Station 2nd class high-speed train to Xi’an, Xi’an known as “Chang’an” before the Ming Dynasty, its deep historical roots today are a testament to the city’s importance to past dynasties. Greeted by the guide and driver, then drive to Muslim Quarter, Let the savoury aroma wafting from the countless food stalls of Xi'an Muslim Quarter envelop you as you sample Halal skewers (at your own cost), roast mutton, and persimmon cakes. Xi’an has one of the world’s oldest Muslim communities, founded some 1,300 years ago by traders of Persian and Arab origin who travelled along the Silk Road and settled in the then capital of the Tang Dynasty (618- 907AD). Dinner at a local tourist restaurant (included).
Overnight in Xi’an.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the Ancient City Wall, take a leisurely walk at Ancient City Wall, the most complete city wall that has survived in China as well as being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The wall was originally built out of rammed earth and was rebuilt with bricks for the first time during the reign of Emperor Longquing. Along the wall are some bricks with markings on them to indicate that they are from the original wall. Once on top of the wall, you can rent a bike, or an electric bike to take you around the wall (own expense). You can ride the whole wall or just complete a section of it. Then start your adventure bright and early and beat the crowds at the UNESCO protected site of the Terracotta Warriors to unlock the mysteries of a now-vanished empire with a professional tour guide. Stand in awe of life-sized sculptures of warriors and horses, which were built to guard the massive mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang. Unearthed in the suburbs of Xi’an, the army of the Terracotta Warriors comprises one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of all time. Consisting of 8,000 life-size soldiers, 100 chariots, and 600 horses, no two of which are the same, the army was built to guard the remains of Emperor Qin Shihuang, housed in a massive mausoleum complex. Lunch at a local tourist restaurant (included). After back from the terra cotta warriors, pay a visit to Xi’an museum (closed on Tuesday), which is one of the most important cradles for the origin of the Chinese nation and the Huaxia civilization.
Overnight in Xi’an.
Xi’An – Chengdu (4.5Hrs By High-Speed Train; Included)
Breakfast at the hotel. Take the 2nd high-speed train to Chengdu. Lunch on own arrangement. You’ll be met and greeted by a local guide and driver after arrival in Chengdu. Private guided visit to Kuanzhai Alley, the last remaining part of Shaocheng City before it was absorbed into Chengdu. Kuanzhaixiangzi Alley dates back to the Qing Dynasty when it was used to quarter troops. Now, it’s a cultural hub that reminds visitors of Chengdu’s long past. Literally meaning wide and narrow alleys, it is a clear description of what the area looks like. The wide alley is the entrance to 45 courtyards in the complex, souvenir shops, old Chinese tea shops, Sichuan restaurants with loving gardens. Experience everyday life at Chengdu People’s Park in central Chengdu, the largest green area downtown. With an artificial lake, several gardens and teahouses, and monuments, it’s the best place to observe the lives of local people. Take a leisurely stroll beside the lake, watch people dance, sing, paint water calligraphy, or take a cup of tea in one of the many tea houses, perhaps learning to play Mahjong or Chinese chess (own expense).
Overnight in Chengdu.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, it’s for an up-close look at China’s universally adored mascot. The base itself aims to provide an accurate simulation of the panda’s true living environment. Once the pandas are adjusted to living there the plan is to release them into the actual wild for the continuation and preservation of this endangered species. Apart from giant pandas, there are other rare and endangered animals. Come in the early morning to see them being fed, climbing the trees, and sleeping before eating again in the afternoon. Lunch at a local tourist restaurant (included). In the afternoon, visit the Sichuan Museum, it’s the largest comprehensive museum in southwestern China. Sichuan, rich in natural resources and strong culture, is reputed to be the 'The Land of Abundance'. Thus, a range of the province's historical collections can be found in the museum.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Chengdu – Guilin (105Min By Flight; Included)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Shuangliu international airport, fly to Guilin (if new Tianfu international airport is used later, the surcharge is excluded), Guilin, a city that represents China’s classic landscape, is forming a cross-pattern of limestone karsts and rice paddies. You’ll be met and greeted by the guide and driver. Lunch on own arrangement. Transfer to Reef flute cave, a massive limestone cave over 180 million years old and a top site in Guilin. Gaze in awe at a cave filled with dazzling stalactites, stone pillars, and ever-changing formations that are created through thousands of years of water dripping and erosion into the cave, walk past illuminated stone pillars, stalactites, and stalagmites, marvel at the mesmerizing cave, you would feel like a step into a wonderland. Stop at Elephant trunk hill, a signature of Guilin. It’s named after its shape of a giant elephant stretching its trunk to Li River (Photo stop, entrance fee excluded). Dinner at a local tourist restaurant (included).
Overnight in Guilin.
Guilin – Li River – Guilin (4Hrs By Cruise)
Breakfast at the hotel. Float down the Li River, to see one of China's natural masterpieces. Verdant hills, bamboo forests, crystal clear water, fishing boats with cormorants standing on board, and ancient villages sit along the river, composing charming views. Li River Cruise starts from Zhujiang Wharf to Yangshuo Town taking nearly 4 hours to complete the journey. Simple lunch included onboard. Amble down West Street, Yangshuo's oldest street turned lively shopping area, a great place for souvenirs (own expense). Drive back to Guilin.
Overnight in Guilin.
Guilin – Shanghai (145Min By Flight; Included)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport, fly to Shanghai, the face of modern China, is teeming with energy and activity, and offers travellers a true diversity of areas and experiences. You’ll be met and greeted by the guide and driver after arrival in Shanghai. Lunch on own arrangement. Find your way to the Shanghai propaganda poster museum (closed on Monday), a hidden gem of a museum, although small, it gives an absorbing insight into China's recent history. It houses a vast, private collection of over 5,000 propaganda posters of Mao-era communist revolutionary propaganda artworks charting post-war Chinese history. Many rescued from recycling centres and rubbish bins and spanning the '40s through the late 1970s. Walk along the Bund, this riverfront location is a time-honoured symbol of Shanghai and shows pieces of the city’s Neoclassical European imperial past. It offers a glimpse into Shanghai's earlier interactions with the West. Dinner at a local restaurant (included).
Overnight in Shanghai.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Yu Garden, wander the maze of pavilions and arched bridges of Yu Garden, one of Shanghai’s premier sights. Today the area is also home to a lively market that specializes in traditional Chinese arts and crafts. You can peruse antiques, silk fans, bamboo articles, shell carvings, paintings, or simply try some Shanghai Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), vegetarian buns, and chicken soup. Followed by a visit to Jade Buddha Temple, the temple is an active site of worship and home to a couple of famous Buddha statues that were brought from Burma in the 1800s. It took ten years to complete its construction. Lunch at a local tourist restaurant (included). Take a walk in the French Concession Quarter, home to the city’s most stylish streets. The former Shanghai French Concession was a region under French control from 1849 until its return to the hands of the Chinese government in 1946. While this Shanghai neighbourhood is no longer of French ownership, the area is still ruled by a laid-back attitude and European architecture. Now one of the most vibrant shopping districts in Shanghai, the former French concession is where much of Shanghai’s disposable cash is splashed.
Overnight in Shanghai.
Departure Shanghai (50Km – 1.5Hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and leisure time before transfer to the airport to catch your flight back home.
Comfortable and light clothing is best suited to travel in the warm months and warm clothing in the colder months in China. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or sparse clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses and a hat can be very useful during your stay.