20-day Best China Tour for First-Timers

Destinations: Beijing, Pingyao, Taiyuan, Xi'an, Chengdu, Lijiang, Kunming, Guilin, Yangshuo, Chongqing, Yichang, Shanghai

Tour code: TCG-L-019       

This China Tour provides the most famous historical sites, picturesque landscape and modern landmarks in China. Travel from the narrow Hutongs of Beijing and Xi'an to the grand snow mountain in Lijiang, mighty Yangtze, travelers will experience the ever-changing urban and rural cultures throughout the vast China.

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  • Day 1 Beijing

    Transfer via: plane – your arrangement

    Activities for today: Airport to hotel transfer

    Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

  • Day 2 Beijing

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven

    After breakfast at your hotel, meet the guide and start today's city tour from the Tiananmen Square which is the largest city square in the world, followed by the Forbidden City. It is the largest imperial palace in China for 24 emperors' reign during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years. Lunch will be taken at a local Chinese restaurant.

    In the afternoon, proceed to visit the Temple of Heaven, which is a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design where the ancient emperors used to pray for the God's bless of the whole nation.

  • Day 3 Beijing

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Great Wall of Mutianyu Section, Ming Tomb (Changling), Sacred road

    Today you will travel into the rugged mountain landscapes north of the capital to the magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall. We've arranged for you to ascend to the site by cable car so you can conserve your time and energy to explore along the wall. Although sections can be steep, the views from this ancient structure are magnificent and the experience of actually walking atop the Great Wall is truly unforgettable.

    Afternoon continue with your travel guide and stroll along the statue-lined Sacred Way to visit Changling, greatest of the Ming Tombs. Back in the city, you'll see the iconic venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics – the Birds Nest Stadium and the Water Cube.

  • Day 4 Beijing/Pingyao

    Transfer via: train - our arrangement; private car

    Activities for today: Hutongs

    Morning meet the guide and take a 3-wheel rickshaw to Hutong and have a visit to the local family. Hutong is the unique street design in Beijing - some crisscrossing old narrow paths with courtyard houses built on each side. It can be regarded as a window into Beijing folk life.

    After lunch, transfer to Beijing western Railway Station for the high speed train to Pingyao. Check in the hotel and free at leisure.

  • Day 5 Pingyao

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Pingyao Ancient City, Double Forest Temple

    Today guide tour to explore Pingyao Ancient City including the Ri Sheng Chang Exchange Shop - the first money exchange shop in China as well as the founder of Chinese modern banks, Traditional Ming-Qing Street, Old City Wall. It is one of the best-preserved ancient towns in China. In 1986, the State Council proclaimed Pingyao as a historical and cultural site. Also, it was listed to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

    The last travel destination today is Double Forest Temple (also called Shuanglin Monastery), about 4 miles to Pingyao City. This is a construction in castle style which is especially renowned for the painted clay sculptures. Free evening.

  • Day 6 Pingyao/Taiyuan/Xi'an

    Transfer via: high speed train for second class seat - our arrangement

    Activities for today: Family Qiao Courtyard House, Jin Ancestral Temple, train station transfer (Taiyuan)

    Morning meet the guide and drive to visit the Family Qiao Courtyard House. It was built in the late 1700s by the then influential Qiao family. Looking from the pavilion on the southwest corner is a great way to have a bird's-eye view of the entire complex. Beyond the gate is a wall on which is carved Chinese characters, evoking the theme of longevity. It has been featured in many famous Chinese movies and TV series, including the well-known film "Raise the Red Lantern."

    Process to visit the Jin Ancestral Temple near Taiyuan. The Temple is a precious source of Chinese cultural heritage. It is famous for its combination of solemn architecture and skillfully-carved sculptures. After that, drive to railway station for the high speed train to Xi'an.

    Upon arrival in Xi'an, meet the guide and transfer to the hotel.

  • Day 7 Xi'an

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda Park, Bell Tower

    After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive to visit the Xi'an Daqin Terra-Cotta & Lacquer Furniture Art Factory. In the factory, you can see the process of how to make Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Continue drive to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. It is one of the most important archaeological finds in the 20 th century; an army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin's tomb since 2200 year ago.

    In the aftenoon, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Park. The pagoda is the city emblem, which was first built in Tang Dynasty for the storage of Buddhist scriptures taken from India by Monk Xuanzang. Today's tour ends at the Bell Tower. The tower is a stately traditional building, that marks the geographical center of the ancient capital.

  • Day 8 Xi'an/Chengdu

    Transfer via: domestic flight - on our arrangement

    Activities for today: Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Ancient City Wall

    Morning transfer to visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, one impressive museum housing more than 370,000 pieces of historical relics. Lunch will be taken at a local Chinese restaurant.

    In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Ancient City Wall, the best-kept and biggest city walls in China. After that, transfer to Xi'an airport for the later afternoon flight to Chengdu.
    Upon arrival in Chengdu, meet the local guide and transfer to the hotel. Free evening for your own leisure.

  • Day 9 Chengdu/Lijiang

    Transfer via: plane for economy class - our arrangement

    Activities for today: Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Wangjiang Tower Park, Jinli Old Street

    Morning pay a visit to Chengdu Panda Breeding Center to see the lovely China's ambassadors. This is a perfect place to see lovely giant pandas at their hometowns.

    Afternoon tour to Wangjiang Tower Park, then drink tea at local tea house, further to explore the ancient cultural street - Jinli Old Street. Evening transfer to airport to fly to Lijiang. Upon arrival in Lijiang, meet the guide and transfer to the hotel for a leisure evening.

  • Day 10 Lijiang

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Spruce Meadow, White Water Terraces, Impression Lijiang, Baisha Mural

    Today guide tour to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is quite a different view from the one you get at the Dry Sea. You will take a cable car up to the Spruce Meadow for the beautiful views of snow-capped peaks, then move to see the White Water Terraces and watch the Impression Lijiang. Later, pay a visit to Baisha Village, where you will see the Baisha Murals with 600 years of history. Drive back to your hotel for a free evening.

  • Day 11 Lijiang/on the train

    Transfer via: train with soft sleeper - our arrangement

    Activities for today: Black Dragon Pool Park, Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture, Lion Hill, Mu's Residence

    Enjoy full day tour of the Black Dragon Pool Park, the Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture, the Lion Hill and the legendary mini Forbidden City - Mu's Residence. After sightseeing, take train to Kunming.

  • Day 12 Kunming/Guilin

    Transfer via: domestic flight - on our arrangement

    Activities for today: Stone Forest

    After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive to visit the Stone Forest. It is the most famous tourist attraction in Kunming - a typical formation of Karst topography. Lunch will be taken at a local Chinese restaurant.

    Afternoon transfer to the airport for the evening flight to Guilin. Upon arrival in Guilin, meet the local guide and transfer to check in the hotel.

  • Day 13 Guilin/Yangshuo

    Transfer via: Cruise - our arrangement

    Activities for today: Li River Cruise to Yangshuo, West Street

    After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive about 40 minutes to Zhujiang Pier, and take a cruise on the Li River (about 3.5-4 hours) and enjoy a simple Chinese buffet lunch on board.

    Upon arrival at the small town Yangshuo in the afternoon. Check in your hotel. The rest of the day is free for your own exploration (perhaps strolling or shopping for some souvenirs along the West Street).

    Recommended evening activity: Impression Liu Sanjie, an outdoor night show, performing on the Li River.

  • Day 14 Yangshuo/Guilin

    Transfer via: private vehicle

    Activities for today: Countryside tour, Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Hill

    In the morning, your guide will rent bikes for you. Ride a bicycle to visit the nearby countryside of Yangshuo (about 2 hours). Lunch is arranged at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, drive about 1.5 hours back to Guilin, visit the Reed Flute Cave, known as "Natural Art Gallery", and then visit the symbol of Guilin - Elephant Trunk Hill. The shape of the rock is just like a giant elephant drinking water from river with its trunk, hence the name. Standing atop the rock, you can see the beautiful panoramic view of the town.

  • Day 15 Guilin/Chongqing

    Transfer via: domestic flight - on our arrangement

    Activities for today: Eling Park, Ciqikou Ancient Town, Yangtze Cruise

    Transfer to Guilin airport for the morning flight to Chongqing.

    Arrival in Chongqing, meet the local guide and drive to visit the Ciqikou Ancient Town, which means porcelain harbor. With a history of more than 1,800 years, and typical traditional and cultural characteristics, the old town offers a glimpse of the peaceful laid-back life in the Sichuan countryside. Then proceed to Eling Park, a good scenic location, ascend to the highest place of Chongqing, have a bird eye view of the city.

    After the tour, transfer to board the Yangtze River Cruise.

  • Day 16 Yangtze Cruise

    Activities for today: Fengdu Ghost City or Shibaozhai Village

    Shore excursion to Fengdu - Chinese Ghost City or Shibaozhai Village.

  • Day 17 Yangtze Cruise

    Activities for today: Shennong Stream or Lesser Three Gorges

    Take a sampan to go deep into the beautiful narrow gorges of Shennong Stream, the once torpidly flowing water is now tamed and it is ideal for a sampan-pulling performance.

  • Day 18 Yichang/Shanghai

    Transfer via: domestic flight - on our arrangement

    Activities for today: Three Gorge Dam

    Appreciate the magnificent Three Gorges Dam and pick up more background information on this largest water conservancy project. Disembark in Yichang around 11:30am, meet the local guide and transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight to Shanghai.

    Upon arrival in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, meet the local guide and transfer to your hotel.

  • Day 19 Shanghai

    Activities for today: Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Oriental Pearl Tower, the Bund, Nanjing Road

    After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and full day guide tour to visit Oriental Pearl TV Tower where has best viewing spot of Shanghai located by the Huangpu River with 468 meters high. Followed by a visit to the Yu Garden. The garden used to be a private garden with 400 years' history; it features traditional architectural style of Yangtze Delta.

    After that, have a free walk on the nearby Old Street and transfer to visit the Jade Buddha Temple. Free at leisure on the Bund and Nanjing Road.

    Recommended evening activity: Acrobatic Night Show.

  • Day 20 Shanghai/Exit

    Transfer via: plane – your arrangement

    Activities for today: Airport transfer (Shanghai)

    Transfer to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your flight to your next destination.

    Service Ends

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  • Cheap and Flexible Itineraries
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  • No Hidden Charges
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