Classic Wonders

11 Days Beijing  – Xi'an  – Guilin/Yangshuo  – Shanghai Private Tour

The most popular destinations in China with all the highlights — all in 11 days of private touring, your way!

Discover ancient imperial Beijing, hike the greatest wall in the world, and pay your respects to the Terracotta warriors in Xi’an. Then relax and enjoy the Li River cruise threading between the most incredible karst hills and immerse yourself in Yangshuo's countryside views. Finish this comprehensive China journey beneath the electric skyline of modern Shanghai.

You can have the same destinations in three different travel styles. Which one fits your needs?

Map of Beijing-Xian-Guilin-Shanghai
  • Comfort Trip
  • Discovery Trip
  • Essential Trip
Highlights for Comfort Style
  • Warm up with our exclusive, in-depth Forbidden City journey with our expert in history and architecture
  • Admire a less-crowded part of the Great Wall by combining effort-saving cable car rides and moderate hiking
  • Have a silent conversation with the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an
  • Experience minority people’s life at the incredible Longji Terraced Fields
  • Cycle through Yangshuo's stunning countryside
  • Explore the modern and traditional Shanghai lifestyle
Suggested Itinerary for Comfort Style
Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall (Superior Room)  (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)

Whenever your international flight lands in Beijing, your tour guide will be ready to welcome you at the arrival hall, to transfer you to your hotel with a private car and driver. They will help you with luggage and hotel check-in, and ensure your arrival in Beijing is worry-free.

Free Time for Exploration
We leave the rest of the day free for you to be on your own. You may need some time to relax and recover from the long-distance flight or possibly from jet-lag. If you feel like going for a walk and checking out places nearby, feel free to ask your guide for recommendations for good dining or places to see.

Day 2 Take an In-depth View of the Forbidden City with a Local Expert

Hotel: Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall (Superior Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

After a sound sleep, start the tour from the mysterious Forbidden City. The expert will escort you for 5 hours in the emperors’ home, show you some interesting places you would never find by yourself in the Forbidden City and guide you away from the noise and crush of other tour groups. No longer do you only see empty rooms in the Forbidden City but also pictures of emperors, concubines and eunuchs on the expert's ipad, along with stories that bring the ancient City to life.

In the afternoon, the expert will accompany you to visit Tian’anmen Square, very close to the Forbidden City and from there to have an easy climb to Jinshan Hill in Jinshan Park and take a birds’ eye view of the golden roofs, seeing things from a new angle.

Good to know
The local expert does this day tour once a day. On this day, you have a small group tour with a maximum of eight people. Interaction with the expert and other group members adds to the fun. According to previous customers’ feedback, people who like history and families with kids who are over 7 years old like the tour. 

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

Hotel: Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall (Superior Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Morning Exercises at the Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was the place where emperors went to worship heaven and to pray for good harvests. Nowadays it has become an ideal place for local people to do their morning exercises. A visit there helps one gain for the pace of life of citizens of Beijing.

Mutianyu
This less-crowded section of the Great Wall is about a 2.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing. A cable-car takes you to a good section (avoiding a steep climb) where you can walk along the wall and through the watch towers, enjoying superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can either 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 clothes to provide protection from possible extremes of the weather.

Good to Know
If you prefer three hours hiking, just tell your travel advisor to change the arrangement according to your needs.

The Mutianyu Great Wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 Visit the Summer Palace and hutongs in Beijing – Flight to Xi'an

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

Enjoy a full day visiting classic highlights of Beijing – the Summer Palace and hutongs (i.e. alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences). Have a pleasant stroll at the luxury gardens of the royal family. Different kinds of pavilions and long corridors give you the full flavor of China. Then hop on a rickshaw and ride through the maze of hutongs to see old Beijing neighborhoods, and chat with a local family. To make your hutong experience special, we stop at an old private Chinese baijiu (white liquor made from grain) Museum in a small alley. Thousands of bottles of baijiu are displayed to help clarify Chinese baijiu history and culture. Try a small cup of baijiu. Wow, strong!For lunch, order dishes with the help of your guide at a small restaurant hidden in the hutong alley.

Evening Flight to Xi’an
Transfer to Beijing airport for late afternoon or evening flight to Xi’an. Your Xi’an guide will be waiting for you at arrivals, and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

Muslim Quarter Summer Palace
Day 5 Xi'an – the Iconic Terracotta Warriors

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

In the morning, uncover the mystery of the underground army dated thousands of years ago at the Terracotta Warriors Museum and site. People are surprised by the magnificent man-made statues. Stand there and have a silent conversation with these soldiers. After lunch at a popular Chinese restaurant, return to the city area and visit the ancient City Wall that has been guarding the inner city for 600 years.

Good to Know
Walking along the ancient City Wall provides a good view of the city. You can also rent a bike to cycle around the wall.

The Yuyuan Garden Terracotta Warriors
Day 6 Other Highlights of Xi'an and Flight to Guilin

Hotel: Shangri La Hotel Guilin (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Discover more of Xi’an and China’s ancient history at the Shaanxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alley ways to explore and taste the local Muslim Cuisine, like Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, or Jiasan Steamed Soup Dumplings.

Flight to Guilin
Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Guilin. Upon arrival at the airport, your Guilin guide will greet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to your hotel via private car and driver.

Good to know
China Highlights gives a helping hand to charity and has built a good relationship with the Xi’an Hui Ling Service Station for Intellectual Disabilities (NGO) near the Muslim Quarter. If you would like to know about NGO in China, we are happy to arrange a visit there to see their handicraft workshop and have some interaction with them.

muslin street Muslim Food at the Muslim Quarter
Day 7 Enjoy the Longji Terraced Fields and Discover Minority Culture

Hotel: Shangri La Hotel Guilin (Deluxe Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Wake up to birds singing in the morning, and your guide and driver ready to escort you to the Longji Terraced Fields. Built into the hillsides, the terraces are beautiful when the sun reflects on the water of the paddy fields, and the fields glow with yellow ears when the harvest is ripe. Longji (‘Dragon's Back’) is always a feast for the eyes.

The Yao minority have lived there for generations in wooden houses. Yao women have long black hair, but they never use shampoo; they have their own mysterious method for keeping their hair clean and shining, which works even for women who are over 50.

It takes about 2½ hours to drive from Guilin to Ping’an Village in Longji. After the day tour, you will return to your hotel in Guilin.

Good to know
Women in Longji excel at Yao style embroidery — a designated China Intangible Cultural Heritage. If you are interested in local culture, your travel advisor will be happy to arrange a visit to an embroiderer’s family for you to try your hand at Yao embroidery to help the embroiderer pass on her culture to the next generation. The embroiderer you will meet was born in a year of the Monkey. Let’s help her to keep her culture alive in Monkey year 2016.

longji terraced fields and Yao Embroidery Longji Terraced Fields and Yao Embroidery
Day 8Guilin to Yangshuo on the Li River Cruise and Cycling from Yangshuo

Hotel: Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Li River as you cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, taking about four hours. Get your camera ready and record the unforgettable scenery and moments. You’ll reach Yangshuo wharf near the bustling West Street at about 13:30.

Biking in local villages
After check-in, your guide will choose a bike for you to start the biking tour around local villages. Meet people there and have pleasant interaction with them.

Good to Know
Impression Liu Sanjie is a quality outdoor performance highly recommended for your evening. Put together by famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou, the show is set on the Li River with karst peaks as backdrop, featuring magnificent folk music and dance. It may not be performed if weather conditions are not amenable, ask your guide to check availability on that day.

li river The Li River
Day 9Cooking Class in Yangshuo or Meeting Local People in an Ancient Town

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

For this day, we arrange a Chinese cooking class, which lasts for about 3 hours. It begins with going to the local food market to buy ingredients for your cooking class. Then cook 2 or 3 popular Chinese dishes under the guidance of an English-speaking tutor, and the taste fruits of your labor at the end.

Alternatively on that day you can pay a visit to Daxu Ancient Town. To wrapping up your Yangshuo holiday, drive directly to Daxu Ancient Town near Guilin. Daxu means “big market” and it was historically one of the “four biggest markets” of Guangxi Autonomous Region, because of its proximity to the river. Now you can observe that the old town is not as busy as it used to be, since the high ways and railways have replaced the river as means of transport, but people there still maintain their traditional way of life. Old residential houses, old shops, an old clinic and other home work-shops are still unchanged. Now such things can rarely be seen in China, after 20 years of economic boom. An English-speaking local scholar will accompany you to discover the town's glory and understand the lives of its ordinary people by visiting some local families and talking with some of the older people there.

In the afternoon or evening, head to Guilin airport for your flight to Shanghai, a modern city. Upon arrival, meet your Shanghai guide at the arrival hall, and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

people in daxu ancient town Cooking Class or Meeting a Local Doctor in Daxu Ancient Town
Day 10 Shanghai – Metropolis of East and West

Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (Superior Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

China’s most prosperous city oozes vibes of both tradition and modernity. See the typical Shanghainese life at Shikumen, visit South China’s classical landscape garden at Yuyuan Garden, enjoy a bird’s eye view over Shanghai on the sightseeing deck of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and finally have a walk around the Bund to learn about Shanghai history.

Good to Know
There are many evening shows in Shanghai, and the most recommended ones involve acrobatics, some of the best in China. Ask your tour guide to help you obtain tickets. This is optional.

The Bund The Bund
Day 11 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide, driver and car will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight home. The guide will assist you with flight check-in and luggage, and see you off at the security check-point.

  • 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 Discovery Style
  • Follow our professional hiking guide who spends 200 days on the Great Wall per year
  • On our in-depth Forbidden City journey you'll discover more, without the hassle of other groups
  • Immerse yourself in the mystery of the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an
  • Join in Chinese cooking classes and experience culture shock at the local food market
  • Cycle through Yangshuo's stunning countryside and say hello to water buffaloes
  • Explore the modern and traditional Shanghai lifestyle
Suggested Itinerary for Discovery Style

Have you been dreaming of visiting China? From China's most famous historical sites to the stunningly beautiful Li River, experience classic wonders all in 11 days. The Discovery Style offers high-speed train experience and one free day in Yangshuo.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel (Deluxe Room)

Private Transfer to the Hotel
Your driver and guide will meet you at the international arrival hall with your name board. It takes about 40 minutes to your hotel, just sit back and relax.

Relax or Explore the Area Nearby
We’ve left this afternoon or evening free for you to recover, relax or explore on your own. You can ask your guide what there is to see an do near your hotel.

Good to Know
Beijing Sihe Courtyard Hotel was the former residence of famous Chinese Peking opera artist Mr. Mei Lanfang. It is only 10 minutes by foot from Wangfujing, the travel and commercial center of Beijing. The hotel is the only one in Beijing built during the early period of the Qing Dynasty.

Day 2 Hiking on the Great Wall

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

The Hike of a Lifetime
A fascinating day for the outdoor enthusiast! Your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby after you’ve had breakfast and then we will travel out to the Great Wall, between Jinshanling and Simatai West. This section of the Great Wall covers some wilder parts, reinforced parts, partial restorations and full restorations, giving you the full flavor of the Great Wall.

Good to Know
The hiking route takes approximately 3 to 4 hours and offers you spectacular views. It's the photographers’ favorite.  If hiking is not your thing, or 3 hours of hiking sounds a little long, we will go at your pace, at your leisure and/or just cover one section of the wall.

The Jinshanling Great Wall The Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall
Day 3 Discover the Forbidden City and hutongs

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

After a sound sleep, start the tour at the mysterious the Forbidden City. Your guide will escort you around the emperors’ home and show you some interesting places away from the noise and crush of other tour groups. You no longer see only empty rooms in the Forbidden City but also hear stories that bring it to life. After that your guide will accompany you to visit Tian’anmen Square, the heart of China. Then head to local traditional hutongsfull of local people's life.Hop on a rickshaw and ride through the maze of hutongs to witness old Beijing, and chat with a local family.

In the afternoon, move on to the Lama Temple, the largest and most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet.

forbidden city The Forbidden City
Day 4 Beijing Famous Attractions & High-Speed Train to Xi'an

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

Enjoy the day and explore the city through the eyes of the locals. Discover classic highlights of Beijing –the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace.Join in local people's morning exercises at the Temple of Heaven to slow down the fast pace of life. As the largest and best preserved imperial garden in China, the Summer Palace gathers the lovely landscaped gardens, halls, pavilions and corridors and sets themaround the lake and rivers in natural harmony.

Arrangements will be made to get you to Beijing railway station to catch the high-speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival, your Xi’an guide will be waiting for you and transfer you to your hotel.

Good to Know:
You may want to pack some snacks and take bottled water for your 6-hour train journey.

The Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven
Day 5 Xi'an - The Terracotta Warriors

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

Meet the soldiers thousands of years old
You'll arrive into Xi’an at 8am where your guide will be waiting for you at the exit with your name on a board. A driver and private car will be ready and waiting to transfer you to the hotel or local restaurant to have breakfast. 

In the morning, uncover the mystery of the underground army dated thousands of years ago at the Terracotta Warriors Museum and see the sites where they were discovered. After lunch at a popular Chinese restaurant, return to the city area and cycle or walk on the city’s ancient city wall, which once guarded the inner city for 600 years.

Good to Know
The Terracotta Warriors were discovered by two farmers in 1974. You might get to meet the farmers and have your photos taken with them.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Xi'an & Flight to Guilin

Hotel: Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel (Standard Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Discover more of this ancient city by visiting the Shaanxi History Museum, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, or the Muslim Quarters where you can try some Muslim Food along the streets, such as ‘Biang Biang Noodles’.Following China Highlights social projects support, optionally we offer the chance to interested customers to add a visit to the Hui Ling Service Station for Intellectual Disabilities (NGO) to see their handcraft workshop and have some interaction with people there.

Did you know …
That Xi’an was once the capital of China! 

Flight to Guilin
You’ll be taken to the airport for your evening flight to Guilin. Upon arrival at the airport, your Guilin guide will greet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to your hotel by private car and driver.

Good to Know

It is a 40-minute car ride from the Guilin airport to the Waterfall Hotel. The hotel is located next to the Sun and Moon Tower on a lake and the Li River.  If you are not too tired, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll around the lake, which is lit up at night.   The hotel is also next to Pedestrian Street, where there are many local delicacies for you to try, like Guilin Rice Noodles!

big goose pagoda The Big Goose Pagoda
Day 7 Guilin to Yangshuo

Hotel:Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (Standard Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Buffet Lunch on Boat

Discover the beauty of the Li River and Yangshuo
Get on board and enjoy the Li River cruise that takes about 3-4 hours. Just sit and relax or go to the dock to take pictures of the stunning views.

Another way to experience the river is to take a motorized bamboo-raft. Drive to Yangdi by private car and take in the scenery of the beautiful karst hills while on a motorized bamboo-raft on the river.  Feel free to ask the guide to stop the raft at any point where you can capture photos of the steep karst hills!  You’ll arrive at a small ancient town, Xing Ping. Walk around and relax in a small café or take a stroll through this quaint town before heading on to Yangshuo.

After check-in at the hotel in Yangshuo, start your biking tour to local villages to meet people and have interesting interactions with them.

Did you know …
During summer, you may see water buffaloes cooling off in the river or you may hear laughter of children swimming along the shores, as you travel on the raft down the Li River.  You won’t be disappointed!

Cycling in Yangshuo Countryside Cycling in the Yangshuo Countryside
Day 8 A Full Free Day

Hotel: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (Standard Room)
Breakfast

We’ve left this day free for you to choose what to discover or to do at your own pace! You might continue to enjoy more of this beautiful countryside, possibly stopping to take photos that capture your interest.

Or if you are interested more in Chinese culture and arts, then you might try your hand at learning the some Chinese Kung Fu or calligraphy. The choice is yours!

Good to Know
Suggestion for the evening: Impression Liu Sanjie is an excellent night show, with folk music and dancing, set on the beautiful Li River with the karst hills as a backdrop. It is highly recommended and not to be missed. Your guide can help you obtain tickets if you feel interested in the show.

Day 9 Yangshuo to Guilin & Flight to Shanghai

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

Start the day with a cooking class. A teacher will guide you to a local food market before the class. An English-speaking tutor will demonstrate how to cook local dishes such as beer fish. You will also have English recipes to take away. As part of the local karst geology, caves are common and are often full of stalactites and stalagmites. Silver Cave, 20km from Yangshuo, is worth a visit. It is a mixture of natural and human features, and has been acknowledged as representative site of Guilin natural scenery.

In the late afternoon or evening you will be transferred to Guilin airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival your Shanghai guide and driver will meet you to take you to your hotel by private car.

Good to Know
If you like ancient culture, you can choose on this day to visit Daxu ancient town instead of the cooking class and the Silver Cave.Daxu means ‘big market’. A thousand years ago it was an important ferry town connecting Canton and Guilin. An English-speaking local scholar will accompany you to discover some of the town's glory and learn about the everyday lives of its people by visiting some local families and talkking with some older people there.

Daxu ancient townSilver Cave or Daxu Ancient Town
Day 10 Shanghai – Metropolis of East and West

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

China’s most prosperous city oozes vibes of both tradition and modernity. See the typical Shanghainese life at Shikumen, visit South China’s classical landscape garden at Yuyuan Garden, enjoy a bird’s eye view over Shanghai on the sightseeing deck of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and finally have a walk around the Bund to learn about Shanghai history

Good to Know
There are many optinal evening shows in Shanghai, the most highly recommended being those involving acrobatics, some of the best in China. Ask your tour guide to help you obtain tickets.

Shanghai Shanghai
Day 11 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide, driver and car will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight home. The guide will be accompany you and assist with flight check-in and luggage, and then see you off at the security check-point.

  • 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.
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Highlights for Essential Style
  • Feast your eyes by visiting the Fobidden City and the Mutianyu Great Wall in one day
  • Try some adventures on your own, but with the backup of our special-award customer support
  • Enjoy a day tour of Xi'an's iconic Terracotta Warriors
  • Take a breath-taking Li River Cruise
  • Worry-free pick-up service in each city
  • Have all your required transport and hotel bookings coordinated professionally for you
Suggested Itinerary for Essential Style

The essential style tour package secures you a safe booking of domestic air tickets and hotels to make a worry-free connection in each city. It includes private round-way transfers between airport or railway station to hotels, highlights day-tours in Beijing, Xi’an and Guilin with the company of your guide and driver. Enjoy some free time in Yangshuo and Shanghai. Save your time, so you do not need book everything from different suppliers. This is the style combining convenience and flexibility.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)

Private Pick Up and Transfer to Hotel
When your flight arrives at Beijing airport, your driver and guide will be waiting to greet you at the arrival hall and help with your luggage and transfer to hotel by private car. After check-in, your guide will help you ensure everything is in order at your hotel room.

Exploring Beijing
The rest of the day is all yours to relax or explore. Feel free to ask for insider ideas and recommendations from your travel advisor or hotel staff when you arrive in.

Day 2 Highlights of Beijing

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Today you take a small group tour with a maximum of 6 people in a group. Your guide contacts you the day before departure and picks you up from the hotel lobby. We will have already booked your tickets online so no need to queue in line and waste time, “Skip the line at the amazing Forbidden City (Imperial Palace Museum). In the morning, walk around Tian’anmen Square with an insider’s insight. In the afternoon, your guide and driver will escort you to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Avoid the morning crowds to enjoy a 2-hour Great Wall Hike with return cable car. You also have free portable Wi-Fi anytime and anywhere. This is a smartly-timed arrangement with absolutely no shop visiting. You can have confidence with our money-back guarantee. ”

The Mutianyu Great Wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 3 A Full Free Day in Beijing

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)
Breakfast

Beijing – DIY Free Day
Today you will explore the city in your own way and at your own pace. Classic highlights include the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace and hutongs. You can get between these sites conveniently using public transport like the subway, buses or taxis.

The Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven for your free time choice
Day 4 Free Time in Beijing & Overnight Train to Xi'an

Hotel: Overnight Train (Soft Sleeper) Beijing to Xi’an
Breakfast

Beijing – DIY Free Daytime.
After visiting major attractions on the previous day, you are recommended to explore some special or leisure place like 798 Art District, Houhai, or Nanluoguxiang.

Overnight Train to Xi’an
Get your own transport to the train station and board the overnight train heading for Xi’an. If you need help to transfer to the railway station, please inform your travel advisor to add this in. To ensure your comfort, we will book soft sleeper tickets on the direct high speed train Z19 (20:43-07:58), with a maximum of 4 people in one compartment. Make sure to arrive at the train station at least one hour before departure time, and you may want to pack some bottled water and snacks for your train ride.

Day 5 Xi'an – the Iconic Terracotta Warriors

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

Your train is expected to arrive at Xi’an around 8:00 in the morning. You will be picked up at the station by your guide, driver and car, and transferred to your hotel for breakfast. After you have freshened up and whenever you feel ready, start today’s private tour to the Terracotta Warriors.

Unveil the Mystery of the Underground Army
The Terracotta Warriors have been buried underground guarding the lavish Emperor Qin Shihuang for thousands of years. With the introduction from your tour guide, you will get to know their history and stories. After lunch at a popular Chinese restaurant, return to the city area to visit the city icon – the Big Wild Goose Pagoda - for a good view over the city, and hunt for souvenirs and specialty foods at the Muslim Quarter.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Flight from Xi'an to Guilin

Hotel: Guilin Park Hotel(Deluxe Room)
Breakfast

Today you’ll have plenty of free time to see more of Xi’an. You can hire a bike to cycle on the ancient city wall, or see some exquisite displays at Shaanxi History Museum. After that, you guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to Guilin.

Private Transfer from Guilin Airport to Hotel in Guilin
Upon landing at Guilin airport, meet your English-speaking driver guide at the arrival hall and transfer to your hotel. Get ready for the Li River Cruise and the next two free days in Yangshuo, so feel free to seek travel ideas and recommendations from your driver guide during the three-hour transfer.

Day 7 Essence of Guilin: Li River Cruise

Hotel: Yangshuo Aiyuan Hotel(Superior Room) (Perfect location at West Street)
Breakfast

Start the new day with the breath-taking Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. You are not alone on board, staff on the boat will broadcast each special sight to you. Your English-speaking driver guide will meet you at the hotel lobby in Guilin and escort you to the wharf. Then the guide will drive your luggage to your hotel in Yangshuo, meet you at Yangshuo wharf and help you check-in.

Good to Know
Impression Liu Sanjie is a creation by a famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Set on the Li River with karst peaks as the backdrop, this quality music and dance performance is highly recommended for a spare evening. It is optional; you can book tickets at the hotel or ask your driver guide to help.

The Li River Explore the Li River
Day 8 Yangshuo Free Day

Hotel: Yangshuo Aiyuan Hotel(Superior Room)
Breakfast

Keep enjoying your Yangshuo holiday. If you are interested in exploring more of the countryside, ride a local bus to Yangdi, and take a motorized bamboo raft to Xingping. This section is considered the most beautiful part of the Li River. Stroll in the small town of Xingping, and try the local beer fish, a Yangshuo specialty.

Day 9Yangshuo – Guilin – Shanghai

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)
Breakfast

Today wrap up your Yangshuo holiday. Your driver guide will arrange your transport from Yangshuo to Guilin airport for your flight to Shanghai. Allow 3 hours for the transport from your hotel to the airport.

Private Airport Pick-up and Transfer

Upon arrival at Shanghai airport, your local guide will welcome you at the arrivals hall, and transfer you to your hotel with private car and driver. While in the car, feel free to ask your guide for recommendations of attractions and dining places for your exploration the next day.

Day 10 Shanghai DIY Free Day

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)
Breakfast

The convenient and efficient public transport in Shanghai will get you to attractions that you don’t want to miss – possibly the Bund, Jade Buddha Temple, or Yuyuan Garden. You can get a bird’s eye view of the city at Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and if you like history, visit Shanghai History Museum on the lower floors of the tower.

The Li Bund Walk around the Bund in your free time
Day 11 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

As your China Classic Wonders tour comes to an end, your guide will arrange your transport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight. For international flights, it is suggested that you arrive at the airport around 3 hours ahead of your flight departure time.

  • 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.
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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 own discretion)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee
  • Specified flights, trains, and cruise
What Our Customers Say
Visiting Daxu Ancient Town was a highlight for our family. We were hoping to meet authentic Chinese families on our trip and felt very privileged to have the opportunity to do it. Walking through the old town of Daxu, meeting the old generation who are living treasures and learning about their old Chinese lifestyle was especially memorable. Read more - Heather’s Family from New Zealand
All arrangements made were excellent and there were absolutely no detours to souvenir opportunities. Guides and drivers were impeccable. Our 2 teenage daughters were kept interested and engaged by them, treated superbly. Have never done an organized tour before but this was just superb - a great company with great people doing a great job. This was not cheap but it was great value. Read more - Fergusson’s Family from the UK
Our guide Jessica in Guilin was extremely proactive and accommodating with an impressive command of English. We preferred hiking at Longsheng, she walked for hours with us in the terraces and was always really nice to talk to. She really put our comfort first. Had all our info and studied us before we arrived. She knew our nationalities, our itinerary, etc (they have that information, but no-one else really cared to know about us). She gave many recommendations to us as we did Guilin and Yangshuo on our own, and even checked the rooms before we arrived to make sure they were ok. Bought tickets for a performance and saw us on her time to deliver them. Read more - Steven and Melania from the USA
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our holiday ! All your arrangements were 100% and we did not experience even a single problem anywhere. - Chris & Nelshia from South Africa
Trip Notes

Extension based on the tour

Extend the tour:

  • Yangtze River Cruise: add 4–5 days (Chongqing to Yichang or vice versa)
  • Chengdu: add 2–3 days — visit a Panda Research Center, the Giant Buddha, and Mt. Emei
  • Suzhou and Hangzhou: add 2–4 days — visit scenic gardens, West Lake, and water towns
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — visit Victoria Peak, Disneyland, and day-tour Macau

Shorten the tour:

If you have only one week, and it is your first time to China, we suggest leaving Shanghai or Guilin for another time. Shanghai is suited to lovers of modernity, and is easily connected with your international flight; while Guilin is a good choice for scenery lovers, and Guangzhou or Hong Kong offer international flights, just one hour's flight away.

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

Optional Activities

It must be clearly understood that enjoying these extras would be at your own discretion. They are not included in the itinerary or tour price, so you would 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
  • Xi'an — Tang Dynasty Cultural Show plus Dumpling Banquet
  • Yangshuo — Impression Third Sister Liu Night Show on the Li River (outdoor)
  • 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 York, but very close. Four-star hotels have quality facilities, but are 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 recommends 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.

Vehicles

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 we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.

Responsible Tourism:

Environment

    We encourage our staff to reduce the use of paper, and fax machines and copying machines. Instead of using printed paper, we send documents by Wechat or QQ. We send orders and bills to local suppliers by our online system, which saves lots of paper.

    CH usually uses cars or vans with low exhaust emissions. Our light vehicles damage the village roads less. We understand that it is hard work for villagers to build/maintain their roads.

    We do not recommend customers use disposable chopsticks and disposable bathroom supplies.

    Community

    We make use of local suppliers and services. These include locally owned and family run accommodation, local drivers, locally produced and prepared food. This ensures that the local economy is supported. We also only employ local guides. We do visit local community projects and remote schools where our contributions are greatly appreciated.

    Our guides teach customers some short phrases in the local language, translate, and suggest customers show their photos to local people, particularly if they take photos together. They also remind customers not to step into rice fields to protect crops, especially when they are taking photos.

    We have had an excellent long-term relationship with our guides and suppliers and this helps to stabilize their income generation and so helps to create a more sustainable future.