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14-Day Beijing, Dunhuang, Xian, Zhangjiajie Tour

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

The hidden hall in the forbidden city

Explore The Renowned Mogao Caves with an Expert Guide

Mogao Caves

Have an Unforgettable Camel Ride Across the Desert of the Singing Sand Mountains

Camel Ride in Dunhuang

Discover Unknown Secrets of Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Beijing Arrival

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.

DAY 2 Beijing| The Forbidden City

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.

DAY 3 Beijing| The Mutianyu Great Wall

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.

DAY 4 Beijing to Dunhuang | The Summer Palace

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.

DAY 5 Dunhuang | The Mogao Caves

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.

DAY 6 Dunhuang | The Singing Sand Mountains

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.

DAY 7 Dunhuang | The Yumenguan Pass

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.

DAY 8 Dunhuang to Xi'an| The Yadan National Geological Park

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.

DAY 9 Xi'an | The Terracotta Warriors

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.

DAY 10 Xi'an | The Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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.

DAY 11 Xi'an to Zhangjiajie | The Hanyang Tomb

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.

DAY 12 Zhangjiajie | The National Forest Park

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.

DAY 13 Zhangjiajie | The Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge

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.

DAY 14 Zhangjiajie to Beijing Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Beijing Capital Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

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Tour Price

FromUS3,500 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • 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

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1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

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Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
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