China Cultural and Natural Beauty Tour
14-Day Private China Tour: Beijing– Dunhuang– Xi'an–Zhangjiajie
Discover the best of China on a captivating 14-day tour. Delve into the historical wonders of Beijing, explore the mystical Silk Road in Dunhuang, visit the ancient city of Xian with its Terracotta Warriors, and marvel at the breathtaking scenery of Zhangjiajie. Immerse yourself in the rich culture, awe-inspiring landscapes, and architectural marvels as you journey through these iconic destinations.
The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Discover the Ancient Imperial Complex of the Forbidden City
Explore The Renowned Mogao Caves with an Expert Guide
Have an Unforgettable Camel Ride Across the Desert of the Singing Sand Mountains
Discover Unknown Secrets of Terracotta Warriors
Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.
First Trip to China
Ethan has been my tour guide for my four day trip to Beijing. He has been knowledgeable, polite, and most helpful. I was uncomfortable coming to China for the first time without speaking any Chinese at all. Ethan gave the tours, arranged for shows and literally took me to my seats. He also accompanied me to the train station to help figure my was around and help me find the correct train and car. I would definitely use China Highlights again in the future.more
Jan 2024, Megan Sandbothe
Beijing trip with Birthday surprise
Had a great time in Beijing with Bruce. On arrival he surprised me with a cake for my 30th Birthday which was a special touch. We toured the Great wall, Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven as well as a few other items. Bruce was really knowledgeable (especially about the symbolism in the Temple of Heaven). He also coordinated gaining entry quickly and moving between locations efficiently. Highly recommend.more
Jan 2024, Sherpa325441
Making Family Memories in China
Our Beijing guide Mark was fantastic! He is so knowledgeable about the history of each place we visited and he was very helpful in getting us to hotels, train stations, restaurants, excursions, etc. He took away all of the travel-related stress that can come with a big trip and we are so thankful to him and China Highlights! My parents are hard to please and they also have been very happy with the hotels and unique activities.more
Jan 2024, rosequarose
Beijing dicembre 2023
Siamo stati 3 giorni a Beijing e grazie a Franco siamo riusciti a vedere e apprezzare questa magnifica città. Lui è sempre stato disponibilissimo, pronto ad aiutarci per ogni nostra necessità. Essendo difficile trovare persone che parlano Inglese ci ha spiegato anche come farci intendere senza problemi. Sempre molto premuroso, attento e preparato. Ci ha spiegato perfettamente tutte le peculiarità della città e ci ha fatto assaggiare ogni giorno piatti nuovi per apprezzare la cucina cinese.more
Jan 2024, Michele Azzoni
Terry the best!
I had an awesome time in Beijing, Terry is the best not only guided us, it felt like I was being invited for a trip for an old family member, he was so caring for our needs as a big family group, learned our habits, likes and dislikes on the first day and accommodated us. I strongly recommend taking the tour with him, you will not regret itmore
Jan 2024, HugoA@732hugoa
Greatest Asian Experience
China Highlights organized the trip of a life time for my family with teens, from Japan, through Thailand to China. They were flexible and accommodating of our preferences, fast to react when there was a glitch, passionate and knowledgeable of everything we were seeing.All local guides, from Lena in Tokyo, Denis in Kyoto, Tom in Bangkok, Kai in Phuket, Martin in Hong Kong, William in Guilin, Linda in Zhangjiajie, to Jessie in Beijing, did their best to make sure everything went smoothly and to adjust to my teens' additional requests.more
Jan 2024, Gadjanov Dian
Viagem dos sonhos com nosso guia Terry
Servi?o impecável! Me baseei nas avalia??es e n?o me arrependi. Transporte pontual e responsável. Todo o processo de compra muito bem conduzido. Muito bem planejado. Perfeito do início ao fim. Por fim, o mais importante: o nosso guia Terry. Absolutamente perfeito. O tempo todo preocupado com o nosso bem estar. Cuidou de tudo, se preocupou com tudo. Talvez o guia mais atencioso q já vimos em nossas viagens, principalmente cuidando da crian?a pequena que nos acompanhava. ele nos proporcionou uma experiência inesquecível. Quem for comprar, n?o hesite, pois foi um sonho de viagem, gra?as a eles.more
Jan 2024, Mr s@k89Rsmrs
Best of the Best
We visited Beijing with guide Mark, Xi’an with Jenny, Guilin with Frank, and Shanghai with guide Kris. Each guide was so unique but they all had in common a passion for their city and a true kindness. They were early for all of the airport and train station pickups and helped us so much checking into hotels and flights. We tried so many different foods special to each region and appreciated the great recommendations from the guides. The activities we did were a combination of “must-see” sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, Teracotta soldiers, and participating in local arts like shadow puppetry, fan making, and seeing cultural shows.more
Jan 2024, Rose A
Ski trip to Thaiwoo Ski resort & Beijing Tour
Our Beijing Tour guide Terry, who is very experience and able to explain the history of China. We went to forbidden city, Tiananmen and hutong walking area and took us to a very delicious dumpling restaurant. His English is perfect and very kind to kids also.The trip went smoothly and everything was very well organized, good communications. kids had a lot of fun. Highly recommended for China Highlight when travel to China , Terry - Beijing Tour & Ryo at Thaiwoo ski resortmore
Jan 2024, Explorer00356257314
Bejing for 3 days
We spent 3 days in Beijing and our guide, Ethan, was immediately courteous, punctual and full of advice on Chinese customs and habits. When it came to telling us the history of places and monuments, he always gave complete and exhaustive explanations.more
Jan 2024, Matteo Giudici Turati
3 GG a Pechino
Abbiamo visitato con lui e il driver (ottimo anche lui), la città proibita,il tempio del paradiso, piazza tiennamen e la grande muraglia......stra consiglio Ethan come guida.more
Jan 2024, Matgiu
Great experience in cold Beijing
Bruce was excellent in taking us around Beijing. He was very knowledgeable with the history and the details of each attraction. He knew all the ins and outs and didn’t have to queue where everyone had to. He was also patient with us being a bit older and less than fit especially going up the Great Wall. I would highly recommend Bruce to anyone who wants to do a private tour.more
Dec 2023, sgwelly
Ethan was amazing! He showed us all the detailed attraction and gave us all the useful information and also suggest us places to go. He was really supportive and make our trip unforgettable!more
Dec 2023, Alessandra
First private tour with China Highlights.
The tour guides were all knowledgeable and efficient in taking guiding us through many remarkable historical or natural sites.more
Dec 2023, Catherine W
Terry is the best Tour Guide
Our tour guide Terry was absolutely fantastic. His attitude was amazing, he was very patient with us and the best thing he gave us was his wealth of knowledge when it came Chinese History. This knowledge is exactly why we wanted to visit China and through his words we found it very easy to immerse ourselves in the beautiful architecture and scenery we found ourselves in.more
Dec 2023, sajjads@680sajjads
Best tour experience!
We booked a tour with Terry for the forbidden city, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. Terry went above and beyond in providing us with an amazing experience. He spoke fluent English and educated us on the history of the places we visited and answered every question we could think of. He was extremely helpful and friendly and made an amazing trip even more enjoyable.more
Dec 2023, 598ishamams
4 days in Beijing
Jack was welcoming and warm when we arrived at Beijing airport tired late at night. He was diligent and hardworking taking us around the many historical landmarks in Beijing. Whilst it is cold in winter (and we caught the first snow!), it was very enjoyable visiting Mutianyu because there were no crowds.more
Dec 2023, Catherine Wong
Great places, great food
We visited the Great Wall, The Southern Gong Lane, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Amazing places. Our guide, Jeffrey was excellent. The driver was also helpful. The selected halal restaurants are so good with lots of delicious meals to choose.more
Dec 2023, Farid S
Had an awesome trip with Helen as our tour guide in Beijing and Tianjin. She is such a warm personality and highly motivated guide (recommendable!). Also appreciate the little Christmas gift that she gave to us.more
Dec 2023, Ang
5-star experience in Beijing
Kitty spoke good English and was very knowledgeable. She provided great insights on the places we visited and went the extra mile to help us with our requests on shopping, massages and even to arrange a last minute acrobat show.Both Kitty and Mr Ho were very accommodating to the changes we made in our itinerary during the trip, and Kitty was very caring - she gave me a scarf as I had forgotten to bring mine, and even bought me medication when I was feeling under the weather.more
Dec 2023, sharon
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Beijing. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.
Discover the ancient imperial complex of the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. Marvel at its grandeur, with vast squares, halls, and gardens showcasing the best-preserved architectural wonders from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Explore the exhibitions filled with ancient treasures during a 2-hour walk.
Visit Tiananmen Square, Beijing's largest city square, surrounded by significant buildings and landmarks. Experience its cultural importance and historical significance during a 30-minute visit.
Explore the narrow alleyways of the Hutong in Dongcheng District, remnants of traditional Beijing. Discover the unique courtyard houses and cultural heritage, visiting a local family to experience their traditional lifestyle. Ascend the Bell Tower for a bird's-eye view of the Hutong area. Walk approximately 800 meters during this 1-hour tour.
Visit the historic Temple of Heaven, originally built in 1420. This Taoist complex was a place where emperors held annual ceremonies for a successful harvest. Explore the temple's park, alive with locals singing, exercising, and practicing tai chi. Take an easy walk for around 1-1.5 hours (covering 1.5 kilometers) through this scenic area.
Discover the picturesque Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, the top-ranked section on TripAdvisor. With its well-restored architecture, this child-friendly section offers various ways to explore. Enjoy a time-saving round-trip cable car ride instead of climbing stairs. Experience the "golden route" hike between the 14th and 23rd watchtowers, known for its captivating beauty. Spend approximately 2 hours here before descending and taking a bus back to our vehicle.
Experience the beauty of the Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, just 9 miles (15 kilometers) from downtown. As China's largest and best-preserved royal park, it holds immense cultural and horticultural significance. Known as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens', the Summer Palace offers stunning natural vistas and captivating historical attractions. Enjoy a leisurely 2-hour walk (covering 2 kilometers) through the park, immersing yourself in its rich heritage.
Embark on a guided tour of the renowned Mogao Caves, accompanied by an English, German, French, or Japanese-speaking guide. While around 30 caves are open to the public, the tour typically showcases a selection of 10 caves chosen by the guide, providing a representative experience of this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site.
Afterward, visit the Dunhuang Museum, an immersive journey into the region's rich history. Explore a comprehensive collection of over 4,000 precious cultural relics, historical artifacts, folk art, and natural resources. Learn about the vibrant cultural exchange between China and the West during the Silk Road era, when Dunhuang thrived as a major center.
Explore the enchanting Singing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan) and discover the breathtaking Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan), located just 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang. This oasis in the desert will captivate you with its unique beauty. The spring gets its name from the crescent-shaped lake formed by the spring water nestled between two massive sand dunes. Surprisingly, despite the arid surroundings, the pool remains full year-round, defying expectations.
Embark on an unforgettable camel ride across the desert of the Singing Sand Mountains. Immerse yourself in the stunning scenery, as the smooth yellow dunes gracefully undulate against the deep blue sky. Feel transported to the ancient Silk Road as you traverse the landscape. Don't forget to step off the camel and listen for the magical singing of the sand, a fascinating natural phenomenon.
Discover the remnants of Yumenguan Pass, once a significant western gate of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.). Despite being partially ruined by shifting sands over the centuries, this ancient site still exudes its former splendor. Experience the historical significance of this gateway to China's past.
Witness the remarkable Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, constructed to defend against the nomadic Xiongnu during the reign of Han Dynasty (206 B.C.– 220 A.D.). Although you'll spend a brief 30 minutes at this site, you'll gain insight into the architectural marvels that centuries-old civilizations created to protect their territories.
Embark on a captivating journey to Yadan National Geological Park, known for its mesmerizing rock formations and unique landscapes. Located south of Wubao town in Hami, around 20 kilometers away from Wubao and 100 kilometers from Hami city, the park is home to the renowned "Evil City." Marvel at the striking rocks resembling animals or famous attractions from around the world. Don't miss the chance to experience the enchanting night sound of this extraordinary park.
Explore the fascinating world of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. Discover unknown secrets behind these ancient masterpieces, learn about the impressive craftsmanship, and visit a local cave dwelling to experience traditional warrior-making. Craft your own miniature warrior with the help of a skilled host.
Experience the vibrant Muslim Quarter, located near the Bell Tower in downtown Xi'an. Stroll through the bustling 500-meter-long avenue filled with unique stalls, souvenir shops, cafes, and bars run by Muslim locals. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and cultural diversity.
Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Da Ci'en Temple, an elegant Buddhist site. Built in the 7th century, this brick pagoda housed Buddhist materials brought from India. Explore the temple complex, admire statues, and enjoy the beautiful murals.
Cycle atop the ancient Xian City Wall, one of China's oldest and best-preserved defense systems. Biking along the 13.74 km perimeter takes approximately 2 hours. If weather conditions are unfavorable, a visit to the Bell Tower is provided. Bike rental fee is included, and walking or using a club car is alternative options.
Discover the history of Shaanxi at the impressive Shaanxi History Museum. Housed in Tang-style buildings, it features a vast collection. Enjoy the exhibits and rely on your guide for information. Wear comfortable shoes.
Explore the Hanyang Tomb, known as the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi from the Han Dynasty. This site showcases a rich collection of tombs, including the underground exhibition hall displaying archaeological discoveries. Visit the above-ground museum and, if arranged, participate in archaeological digs.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Explore the mesmerizing Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its stunning pillar-like formations shaped by erosion. With abundant forest coverage, visit Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie, Jinbian Stream, and Wulongzhai. Immerse yourself in local culture by exploring nearby villages inhabited by Tujia, Bai, Miao, and Hui people.
Mt. Tianzishan: Experience the natural wonders of Mt. Tianzishan, known for mist-covered peaks, breathtaking sunrises, moonlit nights, and snow-capped peaks. Take a cable car to Tianzi Mountain for panoramic views and relaxation. Avoid rush hours to minimize wait times.
Bailong Sightseeing Elevator: Witness the awe-inspiring Bailong Sightseeing Elevator, the world's highest and fastest, offering spectacular views of the Sandstone Peak Forest. It reaches a height of 335 meters in just 2 minutes. Plan your visit outside of rush hours to avoid long wait times.
Yuanjiajie (including the Hallelujah Mountains): Visit Yuanjiajie, located in Zhangjiajie National Park's northern corner. Discover attractions such as the Ecstasy Spot, Backyard, and First Bridge. Marvel at the famous Hallelujah Mountain, inspired by "Avatar." Capture remarkable photos from the Viewing Bridge Platform (Wangqiaotai) during the afternoon. Explore Tianzi Mountain and Yangjia Valley from here.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge: Explore the natural wonderland of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, a scenic area with mountains, streams, caves, cliffs, and forests. Walk on the world's longest and highest glass bridge, offering a thrilling experience 300 meters above the ground. If preferred, an alternative route can be arranged to visit the attraction.
Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Cave) including Glass Walkway and Cable Car: Experience the majestic Tianmen Mountain, the highest peak in Zhangjiajie. Take the world's longest cable car ride to the mountaintop and admire ancient trees, karst formations, and cliffside roads. Don't miss the breathtaking Tianmen Mountain Glass Walkway, a 1430-meter-high observation platform that provides thrilling views of the mountains below, resembling the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
- Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
- English speaking local guide
- Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
Tour code: cht-cx-21