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11 Days Essential China Tour Enquiry

If you only have one chance to do a tour in China then choose this one. All the most famous places are covered including the Great Wall in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, the financial powerhouse of Shanghai and the natural beauties of the Guilin district.

Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai – Guilin – Yangshuo – Guilin

The Forbidden City, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Acrobatic Performance, Xi’an City Wall, Tang Dynasty Show, Shaanxi History Museum, Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Yuyuan Gardens, Evening Cruise on the Huangpu River, The Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Elephant Trunk Hill, Li River Cruise, Yangshuo West Street, Impressions of Liu Sanjie Sound and Light Show, Longsheng Terraces

Itinerary Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrival in Beijing

Our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Beijing Airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: No meals provided

Day 2 – Beijing

Attractions: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beijing Hutongs, Peking Roast Duck Dinner

After breakfast, you will start your Beijing tour with a visit to Tiananmen Square, which is the largest city-central square in the world. To the north is the magnificent Tiananmen Gate with its five openings. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the passage in the middle leading to the Forbidden City was reserved for the emperor himself. Now you can walk through it to explore the largest and best-preserved imperial palace in China.

In the afternoon you will visit the Temple of Heaven where the Emperors once worshiped heaven and prayed for good harvests. Later you will explore the Beijing Hutongs by rickshaw to learn more about the life and culture of ordinary Beijing people. For dinner you will have a chance to taste the famous Peking Roast Duck.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, Dinner – Peking Roast Duck

Day 3 – Beijing

Attractions: Badaling Great Wall, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, Summer Palace, Acrobatic Performance

Today you will have an excursion to the Badaling Great Wall which was built during the Ming Dynasty. While driving back to downtown Beijing, you will stop by the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube to view the unique constructions built for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Next you will visit the Summer Palace to view the royal gardens and the famous Long Corridor. In the evening, you will enjoy the famous acrobatic performance.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 4 – Beijing to Xi’an, High Speed Train to Xi’an

Attractions: Rural Scenery

After breakfast your tour guide will transfer you to the Beijing train station in time to catch the morning train to Xi’an. Enjoy watching the rural scenery of China as you speed through the countryside. Upon your arrival you will be met by our Xi’an based English speaking tour guide and driven to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 5 – Xi’an

Attractions: Xi’an City Wall, Bell Tower, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter, Tang Dynasty Show

After breakfast, we will visit City Wall which was initially built as a military defense system over 600 years ago. From the wall you can appreciate magnificent ancient constructions and admire the surrounding urban landscape.

The Bell Tower is a stately traditional building that marked the geographical center of the ancient capital. It is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China. Nearby is the Drum Tower with its impressive array of drums. When you have finished visiting the towers you may round off your trip by exploring the adjacent Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter with its myriad of interesting handicraft and snack shops.

This evening we feast on a traditional Dumpling Banquet, a specialty of the region, while enjoying a performance of music and dance from the Tang Dynasty.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel
Dinner – Dumpling Banquet

Day 6 – Xi’an to Shanghai

Attractions: Shaanxi History Museum, Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Your day begins with Shaanxi History Museum. This museum boasts 370,000 pieces and the relics range from prehistory to all kinds of exquisite wares from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).

Next you will head for Xi’an’s most famous attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210BC. Prepare to be impressed.

The day’s activities will finish with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang brought back from his epic journey to India. The pagoda is one of the most distinctive and outstanding landmarks of Xi’an.

Your Xi’an tour guide will transfer you to the airport in time for the flight to Shanghai. Upon your arrival our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 7 – Shanghai

Attractions: Yuyuan Gardens, City God Temple, Xintiandi, Evening Cruise on the Huangpu River

Today’s tour will begin at the classical Yuyuan Gardens located in the center of old Shanghai. It was built in 1559 and features rockeries, pavilions, ponds and corridors. Just outside the gardens is the City God Temple and its surrounding markets. Originally there was just a temple but as the number of pilgrims rose so did the number of merchants who opened shops in the area to sell to them. Now it is a thriving market where you can find excellent souvenirs and sample some of the local snack foods.

Afterwards you will visit Xintiandi, a trendy area of bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Here old Shanghai style lane houses or shikumen have been renovated in a mixture of Chinese and Western designs.

You will finish the day in a spectacular fashion as you take in the lights of the city during a cruise on the Huangpu River.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 8 – Shanghai

Attractions: The Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Municipal History Museum, Tianzifang

Today’s tour starts with a stroll along the Bund, the most famous part of Shanghai. It is like a summary of Shanghai’s history with colonial buildings mixed in with other architectural styles. From there you can gaze across at the tall, modern buildings which represent Shanghai’s prosperity. Next you will cross the river to Lijiazui to see these buildings from a different perspective.

Here you will find the Shanghai Stock Exchange as well as the city’s three most famous structures – the Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao Tower and the newest and highest Shanghai World Financial Center. When it was completed in 2007 the Shanghai World Financial Center was the second tallest building in the world. The observation deck is at 474 metres offering amazing views of Shanghai.

Nearby in the basement of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is the Shanghai Municipal History Museum. With lots of models and dioramas it is much more interesting than it sounds!
Tianzifang is an arts and crafts enclave in the French Concession which has also been developed in the shikumen style buildings. It is well known for its small craft stores, art studios, coffee shops and restaurants located in the narrow alleyways off Taikang Road.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 9 – Shanghai to Guilin

Attractions: Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill

Transfer to the Shanghai Pudong Airport for your flight to Guilin, world famous for its karst limestone formations. You will be met at Guilin Airport and taken to your hotel.

Later you will visit Reed Flute Cave which is one of Guilin’s most famous tourist destinations with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. An English speaking guide will take you around the various artificially lit formations. It is a Chinese habit to give each formation a legendary or poetic name although sometimes you will need to use your imagination!

Finally you will visit Elephant Trunk Hill which is the landmark of Guilin. It has a distinctive appearance and resembles an elephant sucking water through its long trunk.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 10 – Guilin to Yangshuo

Attractions: Li River Cruise, Yangshuo West Street, Impressions of Liu Sanjie Sound and Light Show

In the morning you will be driven to the pier to board the boat for your cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. This will be one of the highlights of your China experience as you glide through the spectacular karst limestone landscape. You will enjoy lunch on board. Spend the afternoon bargaining for souvenirs in West Street or just relaxing at one of the many cafes.

In the evening be amazed by the Impressions of Liu Sanjie Sound and Light Show. This is an outdoor performance using the mountains and river of Yangshuo as a natural backdrop. The program lasts for 70 minutes and has a cast of more than 600 local people.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, Lunch on the boat

Day 11 – Depart Guilin

Attractions: Longsheng Terraces

Today we will drive to Longsheng to view the spectacular Longji (Dragon Back) Rice Terraces. The terraces were first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271 -1368) and were completed during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) by the Zhuang and Yao people. This ingenious construction makes the best use of scarce land and water resources on the mountainsides and look like giant chains or ribbons as the wind around the contours. Because these fields are built into the hillsides the best place to view them is from above so be prepared for some climbing. The views change with the seasons – glittering water in spring, layers of green shoots in summer, golden rice during the autumn and silvery frost in winter.

Later in the afternoon you will be transferred to Guilin Airport to check in for your flight to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel