Forbidden City China

The China Odyssey Tour

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

Airport Transfer (Beijing)

Day 2: Beijing: Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Treasure Houses, Hutong Tour in Xicheng District, Making a Chinese Paper Cut
tiananmen square in beijing

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 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.

Treasure house has undergone 4 time renovations, the present one takes up almost 220 square metres, more than 440 treasures on display belonged to Qing dynasty royalty, half of which have not never been on display in the old one. It's worthy of visiting.

Hutong is a maze of historic alleyways with old single storey traditional courtyard houses, which are now fast disappearing. In this one hour tour, you can hop on a rickshaw to ride through the narrow alleys as well as visit a local family then walk on the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge) and find out about the different thresholds of the courtyards.

Making a Chinese Paper Cut: The Chinese paper cut is a national handicraft with profound cultural connotations. It is an opportunity to make a traditional Chinese handicraft in the Hutong area. It is easy to learn and only requires a pair of scissors and paper, but a good paper cut requires a great deal of skill in cutting and paper selection. The teacher will share the basic skills of this craft. You can ask your teacher If you want to take home the fruit of your labor. The class will take about 30 minutes.

Day 3: Beijing: Temple of Heaven, The Mutianyu Great Wall
mutianyu section of great wall beijing

Temple of Heaven was 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.

Mutianyu Great Wall is 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.

Day 4: Beijing to Xi'an flight. Summer Palace with boat Cruise and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony

Summer Palace is about 12 kilometers northwest of the city center and is equally as famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan'(Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. It is the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China and one of Beijing's premier attractions. It is also possible to cruise on the lake which takes 10 minutes by the ferry boat.

Day 5: Xi'an: The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
xian terracotta warriors army

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses was 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.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda is 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.

Day 6: Xi'an to Shanghai flight. Shaanxi History Museum, Xian City Wall with Bicycle
shaanxi history museum xian

The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and Shaanxi History 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.

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 surrounding the city centre, Xian City Wall is a major landmark, and the best preserved, as well as the oldest and largest of the city defense systems in China. We operate this with bicycle. 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.

Day 7: Shanghai: Yuyuan Garden, The Bund, Oriental Pearl TV Tower
shanghai yuyuangarden

Yuyuan Garden is located in the center of Shanghai old quarters. It was a private garden built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty, with typical Chinese classic architecture and style. The complex covers an area of 2 hectares, with rockeries, pavilions, ponds and corridors. Yuyuan Garden is surrounding by a busy market place, where visitors can find everything from popular local snacks, handicrafts, antiques and souvenirs to some famous time-honored restaurants.

The Bund is a 1.5-kilometer-long embankment running along the western bank of Huangpu River. On its west side it is the "architecture gallery" with 52 well-preserved old European style buildings. Once the major trading and commercial center of old Shanghai, the Bund has now taken on new vitality, with futuristic developments, chic restaurants, top end shops and bars offer plenty to see and do-and by night it's magic!

Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the tallest TV towers in the world, known for its distinctive spheres, or "pearls". It stands across the river from the Bund, among the exciting architecture of the east bank. The Shanghai History Museum is Located on the first floor of the Oriental TV Tower. There you can see the four major exhibition units reflecting Shanghai's history, modern and recent revolutionary history respectively.

Day 8:

Depart Shanghai, Flight not included

Hotel to airport Transfer

  • 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
Interested? Each tour can be tailored.