The classic China tour unveiling the essence of China

Best Selected Historical & World Culture

Destinations: 8-Day Beijing, Taiyuan, Pingyao and Xian Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, Flight not included

Arrive in Beijing, Flight not included;Airport Transfer (Beijing)

Day 2: Beijing
Tour to Tiananmen

Today's Activities: Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Hall of Clocks and Watches

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Jing Mian Da Wang Restaurant (Di'anmen Branch)


- Tiananmen Square (50 minutes): Tian'anmen Square is the largest city square in the centre of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen (literally, Gate of Heavenly Peace) which sits to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several key events in Chinese history. As the world's largest city square and enduring symbol of China's national pride, it is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), Museums, government buildings and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

- The Forbidden City (2.5 hours): The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors between 1368 and 1911.This "city within a city" is a World Heritage Site, and is the largest and the best preserved ancient imperial architecture complex in the world, with great square, halls and gates contrast with intricate halls, gardens, courtyards and quarters. The exhibitions, both permanent and temporary, are all important treasures of ancient China.

- Hall of Clocks and Watches (30 minutes): It is located in the east of the Inner Court outside the Gate of Respect Movement (Jing Yun Men), Forbidden City. This exhibition hall houses about 200 clocks and watches from the imperial collection. Those watches and clocks are mostly made in Switzerland, England, France, the U.S and Japan, with some Chinese made timepieces on display as well.

- Jing Mian Da Wang Restaurant (Di'anmen Branch): This restaurant of typical Chinese style, it serves authentic dishes of Old Beijing fare - hand-pulled noodles, cold dishes, snack foods and more. Having the taste of the tasty noodles, usually eaten with a thick sesame and soy-based sauce.

This afternoon is yours to explore on your own. We suggest after lunch exploring Jingshan park at the north exit of the Forbidden City, and taking some sunset views over the roofs of the Forbidden City.

Accommodations: Sunworld Hotel Beijing (Deluxe) Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel Beijing (Economy) Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior)

Day 3: Beijing to Overnight train, Train No. K601 (Beijing Railway Station - Taiyuan Railway Station) Dep 20:30 - Arr 07:16
Tour to Temple of Heaven

Today's Activities: The Mutianyu Great Wall(with round way cable car), Temple of Heaven, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Beijing)

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch


- The Mutianyu Great Wall(with round way cable car) (2 hours): This less-crowded section of the Great Wall is a about 2.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing. A cable car takes you to a good section (avoiding a very steep climb), where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can return by cable car, walk down or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.

- Temple of Heaven (1.5 hours): Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of pray for good harvests. Located in the south of Central Beijing, it covers an area of 273 hectares. Temple of Heaven was enrolled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.

Day 4: Overnight train to Taiyuan to Pingyao
Tour to Jinci Temple

Today's Activities: Train station Transfer (Taiyuan), Jinci Temple, Shuanglin Temple, Our guide and driver will escort you from Taiyuan to Pingyao

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch


- Jinci Temple (1 hour): Jinci Temple lies at the foothill of Xuanweng Mountain. It was initially built during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-535), and is famous for its magnificent building complex and excellent art of statue. It integrates ancient consecration buildings, landscape garden, sculptures, carvings, fresco and stele.

- Shuanglin Temple (1 hour): Also known as "Double Forest Temple", Shuanglin Temple is located about 20 minutes drive from Pingyao Ancient Town. Shuanglin Temple was built about 1,500 years ago, and is renowned for ancient locust trees, steles, frescos and especially the vivid and well-preserved colored-painting mud sculptures which number over 2,000.

Accommodations: Yunjincheng Folk Hotel (Superior) Yide Hotel (Deluxe) Yide Hotel (Economy)

Day 5: Pingyao to Overnight train, Train No. 1095 (Pingyao Railway Station - Xian Railway Station) Dep 20:42 - Arr 07:20
Tour to Pingyao

Today's Activities: Ancient City Wall, The Rishengchang Draft Bank, The Mingqing Street, Pingyao Ancient Town, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Pingyao)

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch


- Ancient City Wall (2 hours): The Ancient City Wall of Pingyao was constructed nearly 3,000 years ago, and at present it still keeps the original appearance of the city wall renovated in the early Ming Dynasty which is several hundred years ago. The contruction method is simply but delicate. Its circumference is about 6,163 meters, with a height at 6 to 10 meters. There are 6 city gates, every day local people and tourists go in and out of the ancient town via the city gates.

- The Rishengchang Draft Bank (1 hour): Established in 1823, Rishengchang is the first and was the biggest draft bank in China at that time, and had been famous for "Hui Tong Tian Xia", meaning "business conneting the whole world". Rishengchang is located on the West Street of Pingyao Ancient Town. From its establishment via prosperity till its closure, it operated for over 100 years. At Rishengchang, visitors will learn about its development and how it was managed via the exhibitions.

- The Mingqing Street (1 hour): Mingqing Street is the South Avenue of Pingyao Ancient Town. Buildings and houses of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are preserved quite well, and it is the bustling area and axis of the ancient town. Over 100 shops, restaurants and bars line on this 800-meter-long ancient street. Visitors can shop for some inexpensive souvenirs, watch the ancient buildings and local life, or learn some ancient techniques of making handicrafts.

- Pingyao Ancient Town: Located in the middle of Shanxi Province, this World Heritage Site is one of the four best-preserved ancient towns in China. Inside the intact Ming Dynasty city wall, there are exceptionally well-preserved buildings built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties centuries ago. You can either walk or rent a bike to see around. You can also learn the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting and watch the producing process of laquerware, and many other traditional handicrafts as well. In the evening, the town is especially beautiful with the red lanterns on, and it is very relaxing to sit and chat in one of the numerous bars.

Day 6: Overnight train to Xian
Tour to Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Today's Activities: Train station Transfer (Xian), Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Forest of Stele Museum, The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Reallove Restaurant


- Big Wild Goose Pagoda (1 hour): A major Buddhist site, the simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.

- Forest of Stele Museum (1 hour): Forest of Steles in Xi'an was originally built in Northern Song Dynasty (1090 A.D.) when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 - the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics - was moved to it for safekeeping. All kinds of calligraphy and scripts tell stories, poems and reports from around the Empire. Other exhibits include early sculptures and objects from Imperial tombs.

- The Terracotta Warriors and Horses (2 hours): 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. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. 1.5 hours from Xian, there is also an excellent museum and film about the history of the vaults. Photos (no flash) are allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

- Reallove Restaurant : Real Love Restaurant is located opposite the east gate of Small Wild Goose Pagoda and is one of the finest restaurants specializing in Shaanxi cuisine. It has become popular for its elegant environment and excellent service.

Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel (Deluxe) Xian Skytel Hotel (Economy) Sofitel on Renmin Square Xian (Superior)

Day 7: Xian
Tour to Xian Ancient City Wall

Today's Activities: Ancient City Wall, Great Mosque, Shaanxi History Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Guohua Restaurant
- Ancient City Wall (30 minutes): The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City, it s surrounding the city centre. You can walk or pay extra cost to rent a bike (CNY40 per person), rickshaw (CNY45 per person for 45 minutes) or an electric cart (CNY40 per person) around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side. If the weather is not good for biking on the city wall, we will substitute a visit to the Bell Tower. Your guide will be very glad to take you the Bell Tower after you have been to look at the city wall.

- Great Mosque (1 hour): In the heart of Xian's Muslim quarter, close to the city centre, this is one of the largest Islamic mosques in China. Remarkable for the combination of Chinese architecture with Islamic practice, the courtyards align from east to west facing Mecca. The pavilions, halls and gateways are wonderfully decorated, and this is an active place of worship for the Hui descendants of Silk Road traders and travelers.

- Shaanxi History Museum (1.5 hours): The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and this museum is quite simply one of the nation's best. Four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed. Most of the item labels are in English, although some other information on the exhibitions is not, but your guide can help here. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

- Guohua Restaurant: Located near Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the restaurant serves Cantonese food and is famous for its sea food. The restaurant is nicely decorated, and is a long established restaurant popular with the locals.

Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel (Deluxe) Xian Skytel Hotel (Economy) Sofitel on Renmin Square Xian (Superior)

Day 8: Depart Xian, Flight not included

Today's Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Xian)
Meals: Breakfast

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