Beyond the Golden Triangle

9 Days Beijing  – Pingyao Ancient Town  – Xi'an  – Shanghai Private Tour

This 9-day private tour includes not only the route to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai which is called the golden triangle, but also has a smart combination with Pingyao by high-speed train.

In Beijing and Xi’an, immerse yourself into the glory history and stories of imperial family, while in Pingyao, touch the ordinary life of merchant in Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is the best preserved ancient city with people has residing in for generations. This is the China as you imagine: red lantern, elegant courtyard, ancient city wall built by gray bricks.

Beyond the gold triangle tour, you can travel the same destinations in three different styles. Which travel style meets your needs?

Besides Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, the tour also includes ancient Pingyao, a place is highly recommended by the Lonely Planet. It is a tour to have an in-depth view of China.  

Map of Beijing-Pingyao-Xian-Shanghai
Highlights for Comfort Style
  • Experience our exclusive in-depth Forbidden City trip with our expert guide in history.
  • Go over a less-crowded area of the Great Wall by combining effort-saving cable car rides and moderate hiking.
  • Stroll the unique contemporary Chinese galleries of the famous 798 Art District of Beijing.
  • Experience high-tech HSR and authentic ancient city Pingyao with over 2700 years history.
  • Gaze amazed, confronted by the Terracotta Warriors.
  • Savor the modern and traditional cityscapes of Shanghai.
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Beijing

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)  (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)

Private Airport Transfer (Beijing)
Your local tour guide, driver and private car will be waiting for you upon arrival in Beijing. Your guide will assist you with your luggage at the airport and take you to your hotel.

Enjoying a Leisure Recovery 
Your afternoon or evening is free for you to recovery and relax. Feel free to ask your guide what there is to do nearby, if you want to take a walk or discover parts of the area on your own.

Day 2 Tasty a Bit of Old Beijing: In-depth View of the Forbidden City with a Local Expert

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room) 
Breakfast & Lunch

A buffet breakfast & real fresh coffee will kick start your day. The expert escort you 5 hour in the emperors’ house and show you some interesting places you would never find by yourself in the Forbidden City and guide you away from the noisy parts and crush of other tour groups. What you can see no longer only empty rooms in the Forbidden City but also pictures of emperors, concubines and eunuchs in the expert's ipad, stories brings it to life.

In the afternoon, the expert accompany you to visit the Tian’anmen Square that is very close to the Forbidden City and have a easy climbing to the Jinshan Hill in Jinshan Park to take a birds’ eye view of the golden roofs, see it from a new angle.

Good to know
To ensure good timing, the local expert does the day tour once a day. So on this day, you have a small group tour with maximum of eight people. Interaction with the expert and group members add more fun. According to previous customers’ feedback, people who love history and family with kids who are over 7 years old are like the tour. 

Did you know …
That the Square can hold up to one million people!

the Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 More Highlights of Beijing

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room) 
Breakfast & Lunch

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, and other activities that you may never see in your country.

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.

In the afternoon, we avoid crowd and move to Mutianyu, this less-crowded section of the Great Wall is 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 or toboggan. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.

Good to Know:
If hiking is your thing, or three hours of hiking is your choice, you are also able to enjoy a hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai west, just tell your travel advisor which one you prefer.

Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 Explore a Traditional and Modern China

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room) 

Breakfast & Lunch

Continue exploring highlights of Beijing. 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.

In the afternoon, take a look at traditional hutongs where present local culture. It is an opportunity to look into ordinary people’s life. We will stop at a private Chinese baijiu museum that is hidden in hutong. Thousands of bottles strong liquid tell you story in different decades of China. 

Let’s change into the modern part, Mingle with Artists at 798 Art District. You will be addicted to a variety of Chinese galleries set in some abandoned factories at the 798 Art District, which is the largest and most popular place for Chinese artists.

Good to know
If you like Chinese Kung Fu, ask your guide to book night show tickets. The show tells a story about how a boy monk grows up to a Kung Fu master.

Summer Palace The Summer Palace
Day 5 Beijing to Pingyao

Hotel: Yunjincheng Folk Hotel (Rank No.2 of Hotels in Pingyao on Tripadvisor)
Breakfast & Lunch

HSR to Pingyao and Exploring History in Pingyao Ancient Town
Today you get opportunity to experience smooth China’s high-speed railway. Depart from Beijing at 07:58 and arrival in Pingyao at 12:09. Your guide, driver and private car will take you to the local restaurant and taste local food and take a short break before visiting the ancient town.

As a tiny ancient city with a history of nearly 3,000 years, Pingyao is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities. Walk along the Ancient City Wall, built with rammed earth inside and brick and stone outside, the ancient city walls measure 10 meters high and 6162.7 meters long with 3-5 meters wide tops, and afterwards head to Mingqing Street. One of the earliest banks in China, The Rishengchang Draft Bank established in 1823 will give you some ideas about its development.

Pingyao Ancient Town Pingyao Ancient Town
Day 6 Pingyao to Xi'an by HSR

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Superior Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

Visiting Wang Family Compound
Take your time to enjoy your breakfast, while your guide and driver will wait for you in the lobby.  Today, you will see a representative of North China folk house in the Qing Dynasty-Wang Family Compound that is considered has much less tourists.  The architecture has a magnificent scale with five alleys, five forts, and five ancestral temples. Besides, the courtyard layout of the five ancient forts were respectively compared to designs of five lucky animals of “dragon, phoenix, tortoise, kylin and tiger”.

Your guide and driver escort you to the station to take the HSR to Xi’an in the late afternoon and arrive at Xi’an at about 7:30 pm.

Qiao Family Compound Wang Family Courtyard
Day 7 Visit Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Superior Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Visit Xi’an’s Treasure – the Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Warriors is definitely a unique highlight of Xi’an. This incredible army of more than 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots are unique and buried underground for more than 2000 years. Learn more about this imperial army and the once ancient capital of China.
Have lunch at A Wa Shan Zhan Restaurant after your visit to the Terracotta Warriors.

View the City of Xi’an from the Big Goose Pagoda
Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built from bricks without cement. Climb up to the top of the pagoda for a bird’s eye view of the city center. A great place to get a photo shot of the city.

Biking on the Ancient City Wall is one of highlights. Slow down your pace and enjoy the overview of the whole city.

Good to know
It is pleasant to have a stroll at the Muslin Quarter and the Bell Tower area at night or enjoy a Tang dynasty dancing and singing show.

The Terracotta Warriors The Terracotta Army
Day 8 See a Traditional and Modern Shanghai

Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (Superior Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

Xi’an to Shanghai Transfer
Your flight departs Xi’an and arrives in Shanghai in the morning. A comfortable private car will take you to the airport at right time to avoid traffic jam.

See Shanghai’s Classics – A blend of East and West
Shanghai’s landmark - the Oriental Pearl TV Tower offers wonderful views of the Bund. It has a revolving teahouse, if you want to sit back and enjoy local tea culture. Explore old Shanghai among Shikumen - traditional classical local houses and visit a typical Jiangnan style garden - Yuyuan Garden built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty. Taste some local Shanghainese food at Home’s Restaurant.

Did you know …
Shanghai is the largest city in China by population, with around 24 million!

Good to know
Highly recommend Huangpu Evening Cruise or Era Acrobatics show.

The Bund The Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Day 9 Departure from Shanghai

Breakfast

You have some free time to enjoy on your own before you leave this metropolis city. Your guide, a private car and driver will take you to the airport in good time for you to get on your flight home.

Highlights for Discovery Style
  • Have a lifetime hiking with a knowledgeable hiking guide, who spends 200 days a year on the Great Wall.
  • Join in the exclusive in-depth Forbidden City journey to explore more secretes.
  • Discover the China’s best-preserved ancient walled town, Pingyao.
  • Immerse yourself in the mystery of the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an.
  • Enjoy an traditional city perspective at your own pace by biking on the Ancient City Wall.
  • Explore the mixture of Oriental and Western culture in Shanghai.
Suggested Itinerary

Get all the highlights of the four charming cities in 9 days with unique experience — taking high-speed train. Time smart tour with best possible price.

Day 1 Arrival in Beijing

Hotel: Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel (Deluxe Room)

Airport to Hotel Transfer (Beijing)
Your guide, driver and private car will be ready to take you to the hotel when you arrive at the airport.  They will assist with your luggage and hotel check-in.

Relax and Recover and Discover 
We’ve left the rest of the time for you to relax, recover or you can discover places nearby your hotel on your own. If you not suffering from jet lag feel free to ask for ideas from your guide.

Good to Know 
Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel was the former residence of a famous Chinese Peking opera artist Mei Lanfang. Only a 10 minute walk to Wangfujin, the travel and commercial center of Beijing.

Did you know …
Sihe Courtyard Hotel is the only hotel in Beijing that was built at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.

Day 2 Hiking on the Great Wall

Hotel: Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Hiking on the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai West sections
An early start of the day will take you out of the city to the Great Wall for you to get some fantastic photos. You will hike for about 3 to 4 hours along the Jinshanling to Simatai West with your local experienced guide along the sections best known for its wild walls and scarce scenery. There is no doubt that this is the photographers’ love.

Good to know
If you are not interested in such a long hike on the Great Wall, you can stay in one of the sections or shorten the hike, which doesn’t impact the price of this tour.

Did you know …
That most powerful advertising words in history came from the mouth of Chairman Mao: "Until you reach the Great Wall, you're not a hero." ("不到长城非好汉") Figuratively this means 'to get over difficulties before reaching a goal'.

jinshanling great wall Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall
Day 3 Take an In-depth View of the Forbidden City with a Local Expert

Hotel: Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

We make the ticket reservation ahead of time, skip the long lines and enter directly. The expert escort you 5 hour in the emperors’ house and show you some interesting places you would never find by yourself in the Forbidden City and guide you away from the noisy parts and crush of other tour groups. What you can see no longer only empty rooms in the Forbidden City but also pictures of emperors, concubines and eunuchs in the expert's ipad, stories brings it to life.

In the afternoon, the expert accompany you to visit the Tian’anmen Square that is very close to the Forbidden City and have a easy climbing to the Jinshan Hill in Jinshan Park to take a birds’ eye view of the golden roofs, see it from a new angle.

Good to know
To ensure good timing, the local expert does the day tour once a day. So on this day, you have a small group tour with maximum of eight people. Interaction with the expert and group members add more fun. According to previous customers’ feedback, people who love history and family with kids who are over 7 years old are like the tour. 

the forbidden city The Forbidden City
Day 4 Explore More Historical Highlights in Beijing

Hotel: Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

More of Beijing’s Royal Highlights
Visit the best preserved and largest imperial gardens in China, the Summer Palace. Taking a boat ride on the lake to feel nice breeze and visit the Garden of Virtue and Harmony to imagine the luxury life of royal family.

Afterward, you’ll be taken to visit the unique hutongs to learn about local residents’ life. We will stop at a private Chinese Baijiu museum that is hidden in hutong. Thousands of bottles strong liquid tell you story in different decades of China. 

summer palace The Summer Palace

Day 5 Experiencing Pingyao's Highlights in One Day

Hotel: Hongshanyi Guesthouse
Breakfast & Lunch

HSR to Pingyao in the Morning
Your guide, driver and private car will take you to the railway station and ensure you catch the HSR to Pingyao. Leave Beijing at 07:58 in the morning and arrive at Pingyao around 12:08.

Your local guide, driver, private car in Pingyao will be ready for you to transfer to your hotel and help with check- in when you arrive.

Exploring a Historical Pingyao
You will visit Pingyao Ancient Town and its Ancient City Wall with nearly 3000 years of history. Explore ancient houses and local life or learn to make some handicrafts in Mingqing Street. See the Rishengchang Draft Bank established in 1823, probably one of the earliest bank in China and beginning of Chinese finance business in the modern era.

Did you know …
That Pingyao City is called "Tortoise City" by local people, because the southern gate and the northern gate look like the head and tail of a tortoise, respectively, while the two gates in the eastern wall and two gates in the western wall look much like the four legs of a tortoise.

Pingyao Ancient Town Traditional Architecture in Pingyao
Day 6 Pingyao to Xi'an

Hotel: Grand Noble Hotel (Superior Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

See More in Pingyao 
Your guide and driver will pick you up by private car at the hotel and escort you to the Wang Family Compound that was built in Qing Dynasty.

After that transfer you to catch HSR to Xi’an that only takes four hours. You will depart from Pingyao at about 16:38 and arrive in Xi’an at 19:45. Your guide, driver and private car will be waiting for you upon arrival to take you to your hotel and help with your check-in.

Good to know
Have a night stroll at the Muslin Quarter or the Bell Tower area.

The Drum Tower The Drum Tower at Night
Day 7 Xi'an Highlights and Night Train Transfer

Hotel: Overnight Train from Xi’an to Shanghai
Breakfast & Lunch

Iconic Highlight - The Terracotta Warriors
You will visit Chinese unique historical relic - the Terracotta Warriors which has guarded Chinese first emperor - Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210 BC. Have lunch at A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant. Before heading back to city for a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the famous Buddhist pagoda’s in China and built with layers of bricks without any cement. And then you will not miss another highlight-cycling on the Ancient City Wall.

Catch overnight HSR at night to Shanghai. You are suggested to buy some snacks and water for the overnight travel. Soft sleeper in a four-berth cabin, comfortable and safe.

Good to know
The view from the top of the pagoda offers an overview of the city, making it a great place to take photos of this once ancient capital.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 8 Arrive in Shanghai and Enjoy its’ Highlights

Hotel: The Bund Hotel Shanghai (Superior Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Railway Station to Hotel Transfer (Shanghai)
Your guide, driver and private car will be ready for your arrival in Shanghai to take you to your hotel.

Discover Shanghai’s Iconic Landmarks in a Day
Shanghai, a gateway to China, and the largest economic and trade center of the nation. The rest of the day we will help you to discover its cultural setting and to modern day times. From the Yuyuan Garden, a private garden built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty and Shanghai’s traditional local unique houses - Shikumen, is an iconic picture of old Shanghai. Then onto the Oriental Pearl TV Tower to get a view of the Bund and see how this city has fast become a modern day metropolis. Discover more about Shanghai’s history at the Shanghai History Museum.  

The Bund Shanghai The Bund, Shanghai
Day 9 Hotel to Airport Transfer (Shanghai)

Meal: Breakfast

The hotel to airport transfer will be arranged in good time and take you to the right terminal and gate to board your plane home.

  • Just let us know your travel style!
  • Guide vs. Free-time ratio / Hotel Style & Interests / Dates / People
  • We will then adapt this tour and create a unique quote based on your individual needs.
Free Quote
Highlights for Essential Style
  • Explore the must-see sites, the Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall.
  • Experience high-speed train and discover ancient city.
  • Enjoy a day tour of iconic Terracotta Warriors.
  • Worry-free pick-up service in each city.
  • Have all your required transport and hotel bookings coordinated professionally for you.
  • Try some adventures on your own, but with the backup of our awarded customer support.
Suggested Itinerary

The 10-day tour includes essential day tours in Beijing and Xi’an and worry-free pick-up service in each city. To give more free time to explore, the tour has one more free day in Xi’an compared with comfort and discovery style.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival & Relax

Hotel: Beijing Traditional View Hotel (Standard Room)

Airport to the Hotel Transfer (Beijing)
Your guide, driver and private car will be ready to transfer you the moment you arrive in Beijing. The team will assist you with your luggage and check-in. You can relax and recover from a long journey.

Exploring the Capital-Beijing
The afternoon and evening is for you to rest or you can go out and get a taste of the culture. Our guide can offer some suggestions about where you can go to explore parts of the city.

Day 2Beijing Highlights

Hotel: Beijing Traditional View Hotel (Standard Room) 
Breakfast & Lunch

Today you have a small group tour to highlights of Beijing. Your group will be four to six people. Your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby in the morning. (Your tour guide will contact you for the exact pick-up time the day before your departure). A comfortable car will transfer you and your guide to historic Tian’anmen Square where the famous chairman Mao’s portrait is hang on the wall of  the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Walk north, and after going through the middle gate of Tian’anmen rostrum, there will be a huge red gate awaiting you. Start to enjoy the highlight of the day —the Forbidden City.

In the afternoon travel 1½ hours from downtown Beijing to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. The section is ranked top among all parts of the Great Wall on TripAdvisor for its picturesque scenery, fewer tourists, and beautifully-restored architecture.

Going back to your hotel in Beijing will normally take about 1½ hours.

the forbidden city The Forbidden City
Day 3 Free Day in Beijing

Hotel: Beijing Traditional View Hotel (Standard Room)
Breakfast

It’s your free day and you are suggested to discover other Beijing’s highlights in a special way! Travel like a local by taking public transport like, the subway, taxi, buses, rickshaws and bike to experience their lifestyle. It is easy to travel in the city among Beijing’s classical travel destinations like the Bell Tower and Hutongs or have a leisure time at 798 Art District or Houhai area.

Day 4 Beijing & Overnight Train to Pingyao Ancient City

Hotel: Overnight Train to Pingyao Ancient City
Breakfast

DIY Daytime in Beijing 
Today you can get the subway, a fast and efficient way to explore some royal palaces and gardens, such as the Summer Palace, the Garden of Virtue and Harmony and the Temple of Heaven.

Soft Sleeper to Pingyao Ancient Town
Embrace yourself for a special and unforgettable journey by taking an overnight train which is a great way to explore and interact with locals. Leave Beijing at 20:43 and reach Pingyao approximately 08:00 the next morning. Your guide and driver offer the transfer for you.

The Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven
Day 5 Pingyao Ancient Town

Hotel: Yide Hotel

Free Day to Explore Pingyao Ancient Town
Guide and driver in Pingyao will pick you up at railway station and transfer you to your hotel. Buses, bikes and walking are the main ways you can explore Pingyao’s ancient life. You are suggested to visit Pingyao’s symbolic sights such as Pingyao Ancient Town, the City Wall, Mingling Street and the Rishengchang Draft Bank. Enjoy some local unique food.

Day 6 Pingyao to Xi'an

Hotel: Grand New World Hotel Xian (Standard Room)
Breakfast

Free Day-Discovery More History in Pingyao
Get to know more of the history about the city of Pingyao. You are suggested to take a day trip to the Wang Family Compound and Zhangbi village that is a 1400-year-old underground castle.

HSR to Xi’an
Transfer to the railway station is included on this trip. Your train will leave 16:38 in Pingyao for Xi’an arriving at approximately 19:45. Have a sound sleep and get ready for the next day.

Good to know
HSR from Pingyao to Xi'an started operation in July, 2014. It only takes four hours.

Pingyao ancient town The Pingyao Ancient Town
Day 7 Xi'an- The Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Grand New World Hotel Xian (Standard Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Visiting the Terracotta Warriors with Experienced Local Guide
Enjoy breakfast and relax, while your guide and driver will wait in the lobby to take you to Xi’an’s historical relic - The Terracotta Warriors. Enjoy a lunch at A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant with some recommendations from your guide, before heading back downtown. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and climb to the top to get a view of the city. Then have a cycling experience at the Ancient City Wall.

In the evening, you are suggested to take a walk through the Muslim Quarters. It’s full of tiny alleyways, a mosque, markets and street vendors. There you will be impressed by the sights, sounds, smells and flavors.

Good to Know 
At the Muslim Quarters you can try some of the local food, such as the meat kebabs, mutton soup with bread and ‘Chinese stuffed pork bread – RouJiaMo’. The Bell Tower is also next to the Muslim Quarters and lit up at night. 

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army

Day 8 Night Train (Soft Sleeper) to Shanghai Transfer

Hotel: Overnight Train to Shanghai
Breakfast

Free Daytime in Xi’an  
If you’re a history buff, then you will enjoy a visit to Shaanxi History Museum, Hangyang Tomb or start very early to the Huashan Mountain to test your courage by walking on the narrow wooden plank.

Night Train (Soft Sleeper) Transfer to Shanghai
Your guide and driver are ready for your transfer to railway station. Departing Xi’an at 17:08 and arriving in Shanghai at 07:42 in the following morning.

Day 9 Train to the Hotel Transfer

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room) 

Railway Station to Hotel Transfer (Shanghai)
Your local guide, driver will be waiting for you with private car upon your arrival. Your guide will help you with check-in.

DIY Day-See Shanghai’s Highlights in One Day
It is your free day in Shanghai. With public transport, like the subway, buses and taxi, you can experience a taste of old and new. Visit to the the Yuyuan Garden, a typical Chinese garden located at an older corner of the city, and then venture to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, standing for a modern picture of Shanghai. A visit to Shanghai History Museum on the first floor of the TV Tower will give you insight of this ancient culture to where the city stands today.

Did you know …
That Shanghai has an estimated city population of 7,000,000.

The Bund The Bund, Shanghai
Day 10 Departure Shanghai

Meal: Breakfast

To make sure you can catch your international flight, your guide can get the first-hand information and meet you at hotel on time. Bon Voyage.  

  • Just let us know your travel style!
  • Guide vs. Free-time ratio / Hotel Style & Interests / Dates / People
  • We will then adapt this tour and create a unique quote based on your individual needs.
Free Quote
What's Included
  • Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport or railway station, attractions, ports, and hotels
  • Private local English-speaking tour guide and driver service (except tips based on your willingness)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee
  • Specified flights, trains, and Cruise
Trip Notes

Extension based on the tour

Extend the tour:

  • Yangtze River Cruise: add 4–5 days (Chongqing to Yichang or vice versa)
  • Chengdu: usually add 2–4 days —visit a Panda research center, the Giant Buddha, Mt. Emei, Panda Keeper Program and Jiuzhaigou natural scenery. Choose your favorite.
  • Guilin: add 3-4 days —enjoy the Li River cruise, Longsheng terrace field, relax at Yangshuo
  • Suzhou and Hangzhou: add 2–3 days — visit scenic gardens, West Lake, and water towns
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — visit Victoria Peak, Disneyland, and day tour Macau

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong are China's major entry cities.

Optional Activities

It must be clearly understood that enjoying these extras is your own decision. They are not included in the itinerary or tour price, so you will need to pay separately. The ticket price depends on seating. Ask your guide to book tickets if you want to see any of the following.

  • Beijing — Legend of Kungfu Show
  • Xi'an — Tang Dynasty Cultural Show plus Dumpling Banquet
  • Pingyao —Synopsis of the Dance Drama Wild Jujubes
  • Shanghai — Chinese Acrobats Show

Useful Information for Traveling in China

What’s the difference between 3, 4, and 5 -star hotels?
We usually arrange centrally-located and Western-standard hotels. Five-star hotels are usually palatial with huge lobbies and comfortable rooms, their standards not quite matching the best of Paris or New Year, but very close. Four-star hotels have quality facilities, but not as luxurious as five-star hotels. Three-star hotels meet the needs of most Westerners, but breakfasts have less choice.

We also recommend some courtyard hotels or Chinese-style hotels with local features and architecture. These hotels have a good ranking, or positive feedback from our customers, and TripAdvisor.

Usually hotels in big cities, small cities, and rural areas are a bit different, even if they have the same star level. We try to use the best available hotel in each place.

What are train conditions like in China?
A soft sleeper is recommended for overnight and long-distance travel. Each soft sleeper compartment is enclosed, and contains four bunks, two on each side. The bunks are wider and more comfortable than hard sleepers, with decent bedding. Soft sleeper compartments may vary between trains. You may have both over-head storage and under-bed storage, or just under-bed storage.

For short distance train travel, G and D high-speed trains are recommended. G trains are the fastest trains in China, with a speed of 250 km/h to 400 km/h, and their prices are highest.

Currency Exchange

As currency exchange rates in China fluctuate, we suggest you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. In 2015 the yuan (NCY or RMB) has been around 6.2 USD (6.1–6.3 USD), and the HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) has been more stable around 7.75 USD (7.74–7.77 USD). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Master card, but these are limited to cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but they may charge a 2–4% transaction fee.

Tipping

It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, depending on the service. Tipping is expected — though not compulsory — and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service.

Food

Eating is an important part of your China experience. Generally breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. China Highlights recommend local Chinese restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities.

If you are vegetarian or you are looking for e.g. halal food, please feel free to inform your travel advisor, who can arrange a restaurant to fit your needs.

Vehicle

We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles that we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.