Essence of China Tour

8-Day Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai Tour

  • Deluxe
  • Superior
Price from: $ 1,959 1,758 p/p
Private guide & driver

Eight days of ancient culture and modern miracles. The Essence of China are there to be discovered alongside the world phenomenon of "New China".

  • Day 1-3 Beijing: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutongs, Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Day 4-5 Xi'an: the Terracotta Warriors
  • Day 6-8 Shanghai: Yuyuan Garden, the Bund
  • Walk on the Great Wall. Cycle along the Xi'an city wall. Rickshaw through the Hutongs.
  • Watch imperial life at the Forbidden City come to life with the help of your private guide.
  • Explore Shanghai's colonial history, combining ancient cultures and modern miracles.
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing

Your private guide will be on time and waiting in arrivals. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) & experienced driver will transfer you to the hotel.

Good to Know:

  • Stay connected: A Free SIM Card Wi-Fi Rental

  • Free-time Ideas: A Nightcap in this former 1920's US Embassy, in the Litigation Quarter.
Day 2 Beijing
The Forbidden City

A buffet breakfast & real fresh coffee will kick start your day. Your private car, driver and our guide will be on time, prepared with drinks, snacks, and map ready to maximize your time. First stop, Tian'anmen Square. The history and meanings of the Forbidden City (Palace Museum & Imperial Palace) will be unlocked by our guide. Glean the history out of a place where the guidebooks leave you short.

Photograph the old lanes and courtyard houses in the neighboring Hutongs, but first choose dishes with help from our guide at the best Traditional Courtyard Restaurant. Depending on your mood & the weather take a rickshaw or bike to explore this charming world. Visit a local man's pearl workshop & store and learn how to spot a fake. A highlight is a visit to a family who've lived in the Hutongs for generations, offering unique insights from a local perspective.

Good to Know:

  • Courtyard 7 – Trip Advisor's 'Traveler's Choice of 2012' Rated 4.5/5.
  • Hutong Family Visit – Highly recommended by customers and travel reviews as 'making the hutongs worth it'.

Free-time Ideas: The Best Acrobatics Show in Beijing. Chaoyang Theatre has breathtaking performances making this Beijing's #1 attraction after the Great Wall. Your guide can help you get tickets.

Day 3 Beijing
The Great Wall of China

An early start and chance to exercise or stroll with locals among the 60,000 ancient trees in the Temple of Heaven's Grounds. Watch locals exercise, practice martial arts, play traditional instruments.

The Temple of Heaven provided a place for emperors to pray to 'the most high God in heaven' for a good harvest. The Round Altar, Echo Wall and Imperial Vault of Heaven are the rated as key sights; we will cover these and more.

We'll drive into the mountains to a farmhouse garden restaurant, famous for its rainbow trout & salmon. A short drive along the mountain backbones and you'll arrive fresh & ready to climb the Great Wall of China (Mutianyu), less crowded with the most spectacular views.

Beijing Roast Duck is the most famous and must-taste dish of Beijing. We will arrange Roast Duck dinner for you at Fangzhuang Branch of Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant.

Good to Know:

  • Ranked #1 Section – The Mutianyu section is ranked #1 of 900+ attractions in Beijing.
  • "A Guide is Essential" – Beijing's Expat Travel Writer Sara Naumann recommends definitely using a guide, even for an independent traveller. She recommends Mutianyu "the views are awesome and the wall itself is in great shape".

Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an by flight
Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is an enormous park with pavilions, vividly painted corridors, temples, among lakes and surrounded by hills. It was originally the imperial courts summer retreat, and still makes a nice place to escape the heat of the summer. Climb the hill or take a scroll in the gardens, this is a charming place to explore before taking a dragon styled boat tour on Kunming lake.

Enjoy a fair well lunch with the guide at a charming traditional restaurant, serving Sichuan food. In two hours, you will meet our Xi'an guide in Xi'an and get to the hotel by private transfer.

Good to Know:

  • Boat Tour – Most tour companies don't include these things as standard, we do.
  • Adventure & Save – Up for adventure, try the sleeper train to Xian and save.

Free-time Ideas: Early Rise – An early walk to watch the dancing, exercise or Tai chi with swords in nearby parks.

Day 5 Xi'an
The Terracotta Warriors

One of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, the Terracotta Warriors. Enjoy lunch a place known nationwide for its Hunan & Sichuan dishes. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is build in AD652. Chinese-style architecture combined with Buddhist historic statues, murals and scriptures topped off by the best panoramic view over Xi'an. Lastly we have arranged a visit to the Xi'an Imperial Arts Centre to see live jade carving, a specialty of the north.

Good to Know:

  • No Tricks (Big/Little) Pagoda – Look closely at other companies and large group tour operators and you'll see they take you to the free Little Goose Pagoda, - experience + profits.
  • Adrenaline Boost – Add an extra day and visit Hua Shan. Test your nerves on a crazy cliff hanging path in amazing mountain scenery.
  • Free-time Ideas:
    Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is rated in many Top 10's. Your guide can help you buy tickets.
    A short walk to see the Bell Tower/Drum Tower. This area has many high end restaurants, but if you're ready for something western, there is a Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Dunkin Donuts.
Day 6Xi'an to Shanghai by Flight
The City Wall

Shaanxi History Museum is a perfect overview of Chinese history and not to be missed. Next cycle around Xi'an on the City Wall. It encircles the city and is perfect for seeing an overview of the city, not to mention fun. Lunch is a literal taste of history; Qianzhou Restaurant famous for its Tang Dynasty ancient dishes. Stroll around and merge into the local atmosphere and discover the local Muslim heritage of Muslim Street dating back to the Silk Road era. Today ends with a flight to Shanghai. Your private car, drive and guide handle all the transfer for you at each end. Sit back and relax.

Good to Know:

  • Xi'an City Wall & Bike Ride – The city wall and ride are ranked no. 2 and 3 attractions on most websites after the Terracotta army. Rickshaw, ride, or walk, You call the shots.
  • Bell Tower & Forrest of Steles – Customer feedback on the Steles was low so we do not visit this. Our recommended hotels are close to the Bell Tower so it's easy to see in your own time.

Day 7Shanghai
The Bund

Charming Yuyuan Garden, one of the most beautiful Suzhou style gardens in China. Next your walk though old and modern and stop on route at a neat place, a real hit with our customers. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall is an amazing display of the progress and future of Shanghai. We'll have lunch and visit to see a silk workshop as the perfect contrast to the panoramic views from World Financial Center, before a visit to another era, the Bund, which still retains its colonial charm.

Good to Know:

  • Old Shanghai Restaurant – 130 years old, serving traditional typical Shanghai foods.
  • We revolve around you! – Customize the trip to suit you. e.g. A history and art fan might like to visit Shanghai Museum, it's rated by many as the best Museum in China.
  • Free-time Ideas: The Bund Evening Walk & Drink – Great for an evening walk. When the skyline lights go out at 10pm head over to Glamour for a Shanghai Cocktail.
Day 8 Depart Shanghai

Your private car, driver and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Sit back and relax as they help you check-in and escort you to the correct security gate. Taking the stress and hassle out of travel.

Tour Guides
Jessica Zhao

Guides picked for their personality

There are 'tour guides' and tour guides. We have spent years finding and developing the very best team in China. Our team is knowledgable, flexible and friendly, but rich in personality. So if you want history, facts, local inside tips or even to ask about their lives they are happy to share. Their goal is to be a lovely host, and to entice you back! Meet our excellent guides»

Tour Designer

Andy Beales - Product Director

I work in the head office with an international team from China, New Zealand, Germany, Britain, and American. Our goal is to create 'more than a tour' - tours we'd love to take ourself, we hope you do too.

Price Per Person in US Dollars
  • Deluxe
  • Superior
Traveling Period 1 Person 2-5 Persons 6-9 Persons
before Mar. 31 $3,141 $1,993 $1,690
Apr.1 - Nov. 30 $3,573 $2,219 $1,911
Hotels We Arranged for Deluxe Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town Customers' Rating: 4.91
Location: China World Trade Center,The Embassy District ,Xiushui Street
Address: NO.3 Sanfengbeili, Chaoyang District, Beijing
read more »
Sofitel on Renmin Square Xian Customers' Rating: 4.86
Location: Bell Tower
Address: 319 Dongxin Street, Shanxi, Xian, China
read more »
Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World Customers' Rating: 4.84
Location: People Square,The Bund,Yuyuan Garden
Address: No.88 Nanjing Road, Shanghai, China
read more »
Traveling Period 1 Person 2-5 Persons 6-9 Persons
before Mar. 31 $2,634 $1,733 $1,393
Apr.1 - Nov. 30 $2,930 $1,892 $1,546
Hotels We Arranged for Superior Class
Sunworld Hotel Beijing Customers' Rating: 4.77
Location: WangFujing Shopping Street,Tiananmen Square,The Forbidden City
Address: No.88 Dengshikou Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
read more »
Grand Noble Hotel Customers' Rating: 4.83
Location: Bell Tower
Address: 334 East Street, Beilin District, Xian
read more »
The Bund Hotel Shanghai Customers' Rating: 4.74
Location: People Square,The Bund
Address: No.525 Guangdong Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
read more »
Price Inclusion
  • Centrally Located Hotels
  • Authentic Chinese Food
  • Private Cars and Drivers
  • Private Guides English German:  Additonal cost may apply! Spanish: Additonal cost may apply! French: Additonal cost may apply!
  • Flights & Transfers in China
  • Airport Taxes and Fuel Fees
  • Entrance Fees
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Luggage Transfers
Price Exclusion
  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
  • China Entry Visa Fees
  • Excess Baggage Charges
  • Personal Expenses
  • Single Room Supplement.
April Offer $25 Coupon
  1. Send your inquiry before Apr. 30, 2014, and we will email you a $25 coupon.
  2. The coupon is valid till Dec. 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth $250 or up.
  3. The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.
Interested? Each tour can be tailored.

  • Expert Guides
  • Best Flight Times
  • A’la Carte Cuisine
  • Expert Support 24/7
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • No Shops
  • No Factories
  • No Detours
  • No Wasted Time
  • No Hidden Charges
  • No Cancelation Fees
  • No Regrets