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16-Day Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Taipei Tour

Historical and Modern China Tour

Discover the imperial wonders of Beijing, delve into the historical treasures of Nanjing, immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of Hangzhou, and experience the vibrant metropolis of Shanghai. Then, cross the Taiwan Strait to vibrant Taipei, where you'll be captivated by a mix of modernity and tradition.

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

Find the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City

The hidden hall in the forbidden city

Discover the Ancient Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple

Discover the Tranquility of the Symbol of Hangzhou, the West Lake

the West Lake

Discover the Elegance of Shanghai's Past with a 2-hour Bund Culture Discovery Tour

Bund Culture Discovery Tour

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Trip Advisor certificate of 2024 Tour Review

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

Uncover the secrets of the Forbidden City, the world's largest imperial palace where 24 emperors resided during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Our knowledgeable guide will reveal hidden spots and share captivating stories using original iPad visuals. Experience a 600-year-old time capsule with unlimited access throughout its 9,999½ imperial chambers. Expect a moderate walk covering 4-5 kilometers in approximately 4 hours.

Jinshan Park (Overlook the Forbidden City): Ascend Jinshan Park for breathtaking views of the Forbidden City and Beijing. This historic park, formerly part of the palace, offers panoramic vistas on clear days. Feel the grandeur of the palace from a different perspective.

Liulichang Antiques Street: Stroll through Liulichang Antiques Street, Beijing's oldest cultural hub, boasting a vibrant history dating back to the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Explore a variety of shops dedicated to antiques and traditional Chinese arts.

DAY 3 Beijing| The Mutianyu Great Wall

Changling Tomb: Visit the well-preserved Changling Tomb, the burial site of Emperor Yongle during the Ming Dynasty. Admire the magnificent architecture and learn about Chinese Fengshui theory at this historically significant location.

Sacred Way: Stroll along the scenic Sacred Way, lined with beautiful statues, and explore the Great Red Gate and marble memorials.

Mutianyu Great Wall (with round trip cable car): Experience the breathtaking Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, known for its picturesque scenery and restored architecture. Take a round trip on the cable car for convenience, and enjoy free time to explore the Wall at your own pace.

DAY 4 Beijing | The Temple of Heaven

Discover the iconic Temple of Heaven, a Taoist complex built in 1420 during the Ming dynasty. Emperors used to visit this site annually to pray for good harvests. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the park, where locals gather in the morning for singing, exercising, and practicing tai chi. Covering 273 hectares in central Beijing, you'll enjoy an easy walk of about 1-1.5 hours (1.5 kilometers).

Embark on a neighborhood exploration to gain insight into the daily lives of ordinary people in Beijing. Your journey will encompass their religious beliefs, culinary traditions, housing, hobbies, and retirement scenarios. Begin with a visit to Tianning Temple, the oldest pagoda in Beijing, and learn about local religious practices. Experience the hustle and bustle of a nearby market as you observe people go about their daily shopping.

Explore the vibrant Yonghe Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Experience its colorful halls and courtyards bustling with devotees seeking blessings and good fortune. Marvel at the world's largest wooden statue, the Maitreya Buddha, and explore Tibetan exhibitions that offer insights into the culture and traditions.

Exterior Visit of Beijing Olympic Stadiums (Bird's Nest and Water Cube): Admire the magnificence of the Beijing Olympic Stadiums, including the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. Located at the north end of Beijing's central axis, these venues played a significant role in the 2008 Olympics. Explore the encompassing park area, though access to the interior of the Bird's Nest and Water Cube is not included.

DAY 5 Beijing to Nanjing | The Tiananmen Square

Experience the cultural significance of Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in Beijing. Discover its historical importance as the site of significant events in Chinese history. Surrounded by imposing buildings, including the Forbidden City's Heavenly Gate, museums, government buildings, and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, this square represents China's national pride.

DAY 6 Nanjing | President Palace

President Palace (Taiping Headquarters): Step back in time as you explore the President Palace, a historic site dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Originally known as the Heavenly King Palace during the rebellion of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, it later served as the headquarters for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's government in 1912.

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum: Marvel at the intricate layout of the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, showcasing the ancient Chinese art of royal tomb construction. Influenced by the traditional concept of geomantic omen, this mausoleum offers a glimpse into China's power dynamics spanning over 5,000 years.

Linggu Temple: Immerse yourself in the historical charm of Nanjing by visiting Linggu Temple, located at the base of the picturesque Zhongshan Mountain. With a history of over 1,000 years, this influential Buddhist temple has played a significant role in the region's Buddhist development. Don't miss the fascinating Beamless Hall, constructed in 1381 entirely from brick and stone without any beam supports.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum: Experience the solemn atmosphere and pay homage to the great leader at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, situated at the foot of the majestic Purple Mountain. Admire the glazed torii entrance, climb the steep stairways (392 steps) leading to the memorial hall, and contemplate the inscribed headstone that commemorates the remarkable achievements of this honorable man.

DAY 7 Nanjing | Nanjing Museum

Nanjing Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Nanjing at the Nanjing Museum. Spend four hours exploring this impressive museum, which showcases a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits spanning various periods of Chinese history.

Zhonghua Gate (China Gate): Marvel at the grandeur of Zhonghua Gate, the largest castle-style gate among Nanjing's 13 ancient city gates. As the best-preserved and architecturally most intricate ancient castle in the world, it features three closed courtyards and four arched gates that served as entrances to the city. Spend 1.5 hours exploring this fascinating historical site.

Confucius Temple: Discover the ancient Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao), built in 1034 for the worship of the great philosopher Confucius. Experience a vibrant combination of culture, arts, and commerce with the inclusion of shops, restaurants, and bars within the temple grounds. Admire the magnificence of the Dacheng Hall, home to the largest statue of Confucius in China. Enjoy the scenic view of the Qinhuai River, which flows in front of the temple complex. Allocate 2.5 hours for this immersive experience.

The Imperial Academy (Jiangnan Examination Hall): Visit the Imperial Academy, historically known as the Jiangnan Examination Hall, where ancient scholars prepared for the rigorous Imperial examinations by studying Confucian classics. Explore the walled building complex that serves as a testament to the academic rigor of that era.

Qinhuai River: Embark on a journey through history along the enchanting Qinhuai River. This picturesque waterway holds the remnants of Nanjing's glorious past and offers a glimpse into the lives of its people. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the river's banks were known for their vibrant red-light district, which witnessed both comedies and tragedies. Delve into the stories and charm of this historic river.

DAY 8 Nanjing to Hangzhou| The Lingyin Temple

Lingyin Temple: Explore the grandeur of Lingyin Temple, one of China's most important Buddhist temples. Admire the pagodas and grottoes within its premises, including the legendary Feilai Feng (Flying Peak). Discover the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Grand Hall of the Great Sage, Hall of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra Library, and Hall of the Five Hundred Arhats.

Tea Village and Culture Experience: Visit Meijiawu Tea Village, the birthplace of West Lake Dragon Well tea. Participate in tea-picking, tea processing demonstrations, and learn the art of making tea. Indulge in tea cuisine at a local restaurant hidden amidst the tea plantation.

DAY 9 Hangzhou | The West Lake

Leifeng Pagoda: Explore the scenic Leifeng Pagoda, originally built in 976 AD on the southern bank of the renowned West Lake. Although it collapsed in 1924 due to the removal of "lucky" bricks, it was rebuilt in 2002 to its former glory. The octagonal, five-storied structure is a stunning combination of brick, wood, reinforced steel, and copper parts. As one of the "Ten Scenes of the West Lake," the pagoda offers a magnificent view at sunset when observed from across the lake.

Jingcisi: Visit Jingcisi, a national important temple chosen through public appraisal in 1983. This notable temple is one of the most renowned scenic spots in Hangzhou, second only to West Lake.

The West Lake (including Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, cruise, Mid-Lake Pavilion, and Xiaoying Island): Discover the tranquility of the symbol of Hangzhou, the West Lake, covering an area of 5.6 square kilometers. Begin by visiting the Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, considered one of the Ten Best Views of West Lake. Stroll along the lakeside while marveling at the graceful koi fish swimming beside you. Embark on a leisurely cruise to enjoy captivating views and listen to fascinating stories about the lake's landmarks. Don't miss the Mid-Lake Pavilion and Xiaoying Island during your West Lake experience.

Six Harmonies Pagoda: Witness the architectural marvel of the Six Harmonies Pagoda, a famous ancient pagoda located on the north bank of the Qiantang River. Dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), this brick-and-wood structure forms a significant part of Hangzhou's picturesque scenery. Marvel at this masterpiece, which represents the six Buddhist ordinances, symbolizing the harmonies of heaven, earth, east, west, south, and north.

DAY 10 Hangzhou to Shanghai | Shanghai Gallery of Antique Music Box and Mechanical Works

The Shanghai Gallery of Antique Music Box and Mechanical Works: Discover the hidden treasure of the Shanghai Gallery, showcasing a diverse collection of antique music boxes and intricate mechanical works. Listen to melodies from the world's oldest music box, learn about their evolution, and marvel at ingenious creations. Ideal for families and music enthusiasts.

Shanghai Tower: Experience the iconic Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building standing at 632 meters (2,073 feet) with 128 stories. Enjoy breathtaking views from the highest observation deck at 561 meters, and witness the architectural marvel that includes a prestigious hotel and the world's fastest elevators.

DAY 11 Shanghai | Shanghai Municipal History Museum

Shanghai Municipal History Museum: Uncover the captivating Shanghai Municipal History Museum located beneath the Oriental Pearl Tower. Explore life-size models depicting the streets and history of old Shanghai. Experience the city's past from a local perspective, including foreign merchants, opium wars, traditional shops, and more. Allow a couple of hours for this fascinating journey.

Bund Tunnel for Sightseeing: Experience the first river pedestrian tunnel in China, the Bund Tunnel for Sightseeing. Spanning 646.70 meters, it offers an immersive audio-visual experience, taking you between Outside Beach and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

Bund Culture Discovery: Discover the elegance of Shanghai's past with a 2-hour Bund Culture Discovery tour. Walk along the Bund and explore its golden era in the 1920s. Visit old buildings, uncover hidden stories, and marvel at the original bricks. Experience Shanghai's history in a unique way.

DAY 12 Shanghai | The Shikumen

Shikumen: Explore Shikumen, also known as "stone gate," a traditional housing style that was prevalent in Shanghai before the 1990s. Today, Shikumen has transformed into a vibrant gathering place with bars, tea houses, and entertainment centers. While the landscape has changed, you can still catch a glimpse of the old Shanghainese lifestyle at Wu Li Xiang, a small exhibition showcasing traditional home furnishings.

Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre: Discover the fascinating world of China's propaganda art at the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Located in the basement of an apartment building, this unique museum showcases thousands of striking posters from 1910 to 1990, representing the evolution of China's dogma over the years.

Jade Buddha Temple: Step into the serene Jade Buddha Temple, a beloved Buddhist temple dating back to 1918 and cherished by locals. The temple houses two rare white jade statues of Buddha, imported from Burma and adorned with precious stones. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere with monks, worshippers, and visitors adding to the spiritual ambiance.

DAY 13 Shanghai | The Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden: Explore the enchanting Yuyuan Garden, a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of Shanghai's old quarters. Built during the Ming Dynasty in 1559, this private garden showcases classic Chinese architecture and style. Spread across 2 hectares, it features picturesque rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and meandering corridors. Surrounding the garden is a bustling market offering a delightful array of local snacks, handicrafts, antiques, souvenirs, and renowned time-honored restaurants.

Shanghai Old Street: Stroll through Shanghai's well-preserved old quarters to experience the charm of local life. Discover narrow lanes and quaint residential houses, allowing you to transport yourself back in time to old Shanghai. Explore shops and booths brimming with antiques, crafts, and souvenirs.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town: Discover the fan-shaped Zhujiajiao Water Town, boasting centuries of history. Marvel at the architecture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties that lines the shores of picturesque lakes, while 36 stone bridges retain their ancient charm. Explore Tongtianhe (an ancient pharmacy), the historic Post Office, Yuanjin Temple, and Kezhi Garden as part of the tour.

Zhujiajiao Boat Ride: Don't miss the opportunity to take a leisurely boat ride along the river, immersing yourself in the charm of the ancient town. Enjoy a 10-15 minute cruise through the tranquil waterways of Zhujiajiao.

DAY 14 Shanghai to Taipei | Lungshan Temple

Embark on an enchanting Taipei Night Tour, beginning with a visit to the historic Lungshan Temple—Taipei's oldest and most renowned temple. Experience the captivating beauty of its traditional architecture and soak in the spiritual ambiance. Next, explore the grandeur of Bao'an Temple, another splendid religious site in the city. Lastly, prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking panoramic view of Taipei 101, an iconic symbol of modern Taiwan. The stunning cityscape from this towering landmark will truly elevate your trip to an extraordinary level. After the tour, you'll be transferred back to your hotel for a restful evening.

DAY 15 Taipei | Taipei National Museum

Discover the treasures of Taiwan's heritage at the Taipei National Museum. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the country through its extensive collection of art, artifacts, and archaeological finds. From ancient civilizations to contemporary works, this museum offers a comprehensive journey through Taiwan's artistic and cultural legacy. Delve into the captivating exhibits and gain a deeper understanding of the island's vibrant heritage.

DAY 15 Taipei Departure

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

Tour Price

FromUS4,800 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-22

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