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15-Day Beijing Pingyao Taiyuan Yunnan and Shanghai Tour | Uncover the Best of China

Historical and Natural China Tour

Embark on a 15-day tour of Beijing, Pingyao, Taiyuan, Yunnan, and Shanghai. Explore China's ancient history with visits to iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Immerse yourself in the charm of Pingyao and Taiyuan's architecture. Experience the beauty of Yunnan's landscapes, including the Stone Forest and Lijiang Old Town. End your journey in vibrant Shanghai, surrounded by towering skyscrapers. Book your all-inclusive adventure now and discover the best of China's culture and modern allure.

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 Forbidden City

Explore a Top-Ranked Section of the Great Wall

walking on the Great Wall

Visit the Famous Pingyao Ancient Town

Pingyao Ancient Town

Embark on a Scenic Cruise on the Tranquil Erhai Lake

Erhai Lake

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Itinerary Quick Look

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

DAY 1Beijing 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| Hutongs and Forbidden City

Explore Tian'anmen Square, the world's largest city square in Beijing. Admire its iconic Tiananmen Gate, surrounded by significant cultural landmarks, including government buildings, museums, and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

Beijing Forbidden City

Experience authentic Chinese culture in the Hutong district. Choose from three immersive activities: Facial Makeup for Peaking Opera, Chinese Calligraphy, or Chinese Paper Cutting.

Discover the time-honored charm of Hutong on a rickshaw tour. Ride through narrow alleys, visit a local family, and learn about traditional courtyard houses.

Unveil the secrets of the awe-inspiring Forbidden City with our exclusive Emperor's Tour. Explore 12 carefully chosen locations, delving into the history and splendor of China's imperial past.

DAY 3 Beijing| Temple of Heaven, Mutianyu Great Wall

Immerse yourself in ancient China with a visit to the Temple of Heaven, a stunning complex of Taoist buildings built during the Ming dynasty in 1420. Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties held annual ceremonies here to pray for bountiful harvests. The temple's park is a vibrant hub of activity, where local elderly people gather in the morning for tai chi, singing, and exercise. Explore the park, covering 273 hectares in the heart of Beijing, with an easy 1-1½ hour walk (1½ kilometers).

Mutianyu Great Wall

For a quintessential Great Wall experience, head to the Mutianyu section, renowned for its breathtaking scenery and beautifully-restored architecture. Ranked as the top Great Wall section on TripAdvisor, it offers a child-friendly atmosphere and multiple visiting options. Just a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Beijing, this section boasts a fully restored 2½-kilometer stretch. Enjoy the convenience of a chairlift to reach a picturesque portion of the Wall, avoiding a steep climb. From there, wander through ancient watchtowers while marveling at the sweeping views of rolling hills and majestic mountains. Conclude your adventure with an exhilarating toboggan ride down, a thrilling experience suitable for both adults and children.

DAY 4 Pingyao | Pingyao Ancient Town

Begin your exploration of Pingyao with a visit to the Pingyao Ancient City Wall in the morning. Enjoy the views and soak in the ancient atmosphere as you walk or bike along the well-preserved wall. Afterward, head to the Rishengchang Exchange Shop to learn about China's modern banking system's birthplace and its impact on the country's economy.

Pingyao
DAY 5 Pingyao | The Shuanglin Temple

Start your day by visiting the Shuanglin Temple, located just outside Pingyao. Marvel at the exceptional collection of painted clay statues from the Song and Yuan dynasties. Later, explore the County Government Office and gain insights into the administrative practices during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll along Pingyao Ancient City Street, fully experiencing the charm of the old town with its authentic shops, restaurants, and the opportunity to try local delicacies.

DAY 6 Taiyuan | Jinci Temple

Start your day by visiting Jinci Temple, located about 25 kilometers southwest of downtown Taiyuan. Explore the beautiful ancient complex with various halls, pavilions, bridges, and gardens. Admire notable features like the Thousand Buddha Hall and the famous "Mother and Son Cypress" tree. Afterward, head back to the city center to visit the Shanxi Museum. Spend time exploring the museum's vast collection of artifacts, including bronze ware, calligraphy, paintings, and ancient sculptures.

DAY 7 Taiyuan to Kunming | Dianchi Lake

Start with a visit to Green Lake Park, a serene location perfect for a morning stroll. Admire the beautiful flowers, watch locals practicing Tai Chi, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. From there, head to Yuantong Temple, a historic Buddhist temple nearby. Explore the temple complex, marvel at the architecture and Buddhist statues, and soak in the spiritual atmosphere.

Dianchi lake

Afternoon and Evening: Indulge in Yunnan cuisine for lunch, experiencing the flavors of the region at a local eatery. Next, visit Western Hills for breathtaking views of Dianchi Lake by taking a cable car ride up the hills. Explore the Dragon Gate with its intricate rock carvings and Taoist temples. Then, visit the magnificent Golden Temple, a renowned Taoist temple known for its golden pavilion and tranquil gardens. In the evening, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a Kunming night market. Stroll through the bustling stalls, savor local street food, and indulge in shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs. Optionally, consider extending your day by visiting Yunnan Nationalities Village, an open-air museum showcasing the traditions and architecture of Yunnan's ethnic minorities.

DAY 8 Dali| Three Pagodas

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Dali, nestled amidst mountains and lakes. With its iconic Three Pagodas and rich history, Dali offers a glimpse into the diverse cultures of its ethnic groups. Explore nearby towns and villages for hiking and biking adventures. Immerse yourself in the enchanting Bai ethnic culture and embark on an unforgettable journey through Dali's captivating landscapes.

DAY 9 Dali | Erhai Lake

After visiting the Three Pagodas, make your way to Dali Old Town, a charming ancient town full of traditional architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and vibrant local culture. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, visit local shops and cafes, and immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere.

Dali travel

Discover the Erhai Lake: In the afternoon, head to Erhai Lake, one of the largest highland lakes in China. Take a boat trip around the lake to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the peaceful water. You can also visit Yangbi Island, located in the middle of the lake, to explore its Buddhist temples and experience the local fishing culture.

DAY 10 Dali to Shaxi | Shaxi Old Town

Start your day by exploring the Shaxi Old Town. Take a leisurely stroll through its narrow cobblestone streets, admiring the traditional Bai-style architecture. Visit the Sideng Square, the heart of the town, where you can see the well-known Xingjiao Temple and the Shibaoshan Mountain Gateway. Immerse yourself in the town's cultural atmosphere and learn about its history.

Head towards the Shibaoshan Mountain, a short distance from Shaxi Old Town. This scenic area is famous for its ancient temples and intricate stone carvings. Hike up to the Shizhong Temple, perched on a hilltop, and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Marvel at the Baoxiang Temple and its exquisite stone statues.

DAY 11Shaxi to Lijiang| Lijiang Ancient Town

Start your tour by exploring the enchanting Lijiang Ancient Town, with its narrow lanes, canals, and traditional architecture. Visit the Tea Horse Road Museum to learn about the town's history as a trading hub. Then, head to Lion Hill and climb up to Wangu Tower for panoramic views of Lijiang. Afterward, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Black Dragon Pool Park, where you can stroll around the lake and enjoy views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. In the evening, savor a delicious dinner in Lijiang Ancient Town, and experience the vibrant nightlife with live music performances and cultural shows.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
DAY 12 Lijiang | Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Embark on an adventure to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, located a short distance from Lijiang. Take a cable car to the scenic area and marvel at its stunning alpine landscapes, ancient glaciers, and hiking trails. On your way back, visit Yufeng Temple, a serene Tibetan Buddhist temple nestled in the forests. Then, explore the cultural heritage of Baisha Village, known for its Naxi traditions and remarkable mural paintings. Conclude your two-day tour by returning to Lijiang, and if time permits, consider visiting other attractions like the Dongba Culture Museum or the Shuhe Ancient Town.

DAY 13 Lijiang to Shanghai | The Bund and Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai the Bund

Visit Oriental Pearl Tower for stunning views, explore Lujiazui's skyscrapers, and stroll along the Bund. Explore Yu Garden, visit City God Temple, shop on Nanjing Road, and have dinner in Xintiandi. Enjoy a Huangpu River cruise.

DAY 14 Shanghai | The French Concession

Discover the French Concession, visit Tianzifang, and indulge in coffee and shopping. Explore the Shanghai Museum, revisit Nanjing Road, and try local snacks. Enjoy a Chinese acrobatics show and take a food tour to immerse in the local cuisine. Feel free to make adjustments and spend more time at the attractions that interest you the most. Have a fantastic time exploring Shanghai!

DAY 15 Shanghai Departure

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

Tour Price

FromUS3,750 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-6

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