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15-Day Beijing, Xian, Zhangjiajie, Chengdu, Leshan and Guilin Tour

China History and Nature Tour

This 15-day suggested itinerary to help you immerse yourself in the historical wonders of Beijing and Xian, marvel at the otherworldly landscapes of Zhangjiajie's Avatar Mountains, encounter the adorable pandas in Chengdu, visit the magnificent Leshan Giant Buddha, and cruise along the stunning Li River in Guilin.

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

Make a Mini warrior with a Local Artisan Family

Learn to make a clay warrior

Marvel at the Famous Hallelujah Mountain in the Movie "Avatar"

Hallelujah Mountain

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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 Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City

Temple of Heaven - Discover this Ming dynasty complex where emperors held annual ceremonies for good harvests. Explore the park's lively atmosphere, where locals gather for singing, exercise, and tai chi. Enjoy a leisurely walk in the serene park.

Tiananmen Square - Visit the largest city square in Beijing, named after the iconic Tiananmen Gate. Embrace the cultural significance and admire the surrounding landmarks, including the Forbidden City and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

Forbidden City Emperor's Tour - Experience an immersive journey through 12 carefully-selected spots in the Forbidden City. Learn about its architecture, history, and notable figures from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

DAY 3 Beijing| Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall Tour - Visit the picturesque Mutianyu section, ranked as the top Great Wall spot on TripAdvisor. Enjoy restored architecture and stunning scenery. Skip the climb with a round-trip cable car ride, allowing more time to roam and hike the "golden route" between the 14th and 23rd watchtowers. Total hiking time is approximately 2 hours. Walking sticks are recommended for this section, especially for those with weaker legs or balance.

Hutong Walking Tour in Dongcheng District - Immerse yourself in Beijing's history with a walk through the traditional hutongs. Explore the charming alleyways, visit a local family, and witness the preservation of traditional lifestyle and architecture. Ascend the Bell Tower for a bird's-eye view of the area. The tour covers a distance of about 800 meters.

DAY 4 Beijing to Xi'an | The Summer Palace

Summer Palace with Boat Ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony: Located in the northwest of Beijing, the Summer Palace is just 9 miles (15 kilometers) from downtown. As the largest and best-preserved royal park in China, it holds immense cultural and natural significance. Explore the stunning landscapes and immerse yourself in Chinese horticulture. Take a relaxing boat ride on the serene Kunming Lake, admiring the picturesque surroundings. Don't miss the enchanting Garden of Virtue and Harmony, known for its beauty and tranquility.

DAY 5 Xi'an | The Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors Discovery (Half-day): Witness the awe-inspiring Terracotta Warriors, an astonishing archaeological find in Xi'an. Learn the fascinating stories and secrets behind these life-sized statues crafted over 2,200 years ago. Visit a local cave dwelling to witness traditional warrior-making and even try your hand at creating one.

Xian City Wall Bike Tour: Embark on an adventure along the ancient Xian City Wall, one of the best-preserved in China. Ride a bicycle along the 13.74 km path, immersing yourself in the city's history. Alternatively, explore the Bell Tower if biking is not an option due to weather conditions.

DAY 6 Xi'an | Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum - Immerse yourself in the history of China through a visit to the prestigious Shaanxi History Museum. Housed in grand Tang-style buildings, this impressive museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, thoughtfully displayed for your exploration. While most item labels are in English, your guide can assist with additional information. Wear comfortable shoes for this fascinating journey through time.

Cooking Dumplings with Locals - Delve into the local culture by joining friendly hosts in their home to learn the art of making traditional Chinese dumplings, known as jiaozi. This immersive experience allows you to discover the secrets of dumpling making while gaining basic skills and insights into local customs. The entire process takes approximately 1-2 hours.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda - Explore the significant Buddhist site of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, located within the picturesque Da Ci'en Temple grounds. Built in the 7th century, this elegant brick pagoda served as a repository for Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by Xuanzang. Discover the temple's majestic halls adorned with Buddhist statues and murals during your visit, which typically lasts around 1 hour.

Muslim Quarter - Just west of the Bell Tower in downtown Xi'an, you'll find the vibrant Muslim Quarter. Stroll along the 500-meter avenue paved with bluestones, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of stalls, souvenir shops, cafés, and bars run predominantly by the local Muslim community. Engage with the diverse products and flavors as tourists, including many from overseas, flock to this bustling area.

DAY 7 Zhangjiajie | The National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Explore the stunning natural beauty of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique pillar-like formations shaped by years of erosion. With over 90% forest coverage, this scenic area encompasses Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie, Jinbian Stream, and Wulongzhai. Immerse yourself in the culture and folklore of nearby villages, inhabited by Tujia, Bai, Miao, and Hui ethnic groups, providing enriching side trips.

Mt. Tianzishan: Experience the four natural spectacles of Mt. Tianzishan—mists enveloping the peaks, breathtaking sunrise and moonlit nights, and snow-capped winter vistas. With more than 80 natural platforms, you can revel in the magnificent scenery. Take a cable car to Tianzi Mountain for a relaxing ascent and panoramic views. Note: Avoid rush hours by coordinating with your guide to minimize waiting time.

Bailong Sightseeing Elevator: Ascend the Bailong Sightseeing Elevator, the world's tallest and fastest, offering a spectacular view of the Sandstone Peak Forest. The transparent elevators, carrying up to 3,000 people per hour, reach a height of 335 meters in just two minutes. Plan your visit outside of peak hours to avoid long queues. Coordinate with your guide for the best timing.

Yuanjiajie (including Hallelujah Mountains): Discover Yuanjiajie, located in the northern corner of Zhangjiajie National Park. Visit the top three attractions: Ecstasy Spot, Backyard, and First Bridge. Marvel at the famous Hallelujah Mountain, renowned for its resemblance to the floating rocks in the movie "Avatar". Capture breathtaking photos of the "First Bridge in the World" from the Viewing Bridge Platform (Wangqiaotai).

DAY 8 Zhangjiajie| The Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge

Today, our guide will lead you to visit Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, which is a stunning natural attraction that has recently been developed into a wonderland for visitors. It offers a combination of majestic mountains, flowing streams, intriguing caves, towering cliffs, and lush forests. One of the highlights of this scenic area is the world's longest and highest glass bridge. Imagine the thrill of walking on this bridge, suspended 300 meters above the ground! It's definitely an experience you wouldn't want to miss during your tour.

If walking on the glass bridge isn't your cup of tea, don't worry. We have an alternative route that allows you to still enjoy the attraction without stepping on the glass bridge. However, if you decide to take on the adventure, please note that for safety reasons, carrying a camera on the bridge is not allowed. You can, however, bring your cellphone or GoPro to capture those unforgettable moments.

DAY 9 Zhangjiajie | Tianmen Mountain

Visit the Tianmen Mountain, the awe-inspiring heart of Zhangjiajie! As the highest peak in the area, this majestic mountain offers unrivaled views of ancient trees, stunning karst formations, and scenic roads carved into cliff sides. Hop on the world's longest cable car ride, a thrilling 30-minute journey from the city center, and ascend to the mountain's summit.

At 1430 meters above ground, you'll find the renowned Tianmen Mountain Glass Walkway, a remarkable observation platform that extends from a sheer cliff. This narrow 1.6-meter-wide, 60-meter-long glass walkway offers brave souls not only breathtaking views of the mountains below but also the exhilaration of treading nervously above such heights. Some have even likened this experience to the famous 'skywalk' at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.

Don't miss the chance to explore this remarkable natural wonder in China. Savor the beauty and thrill of Tianmen Mountain, an experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

DAY 10 Chengdu | Panda Breeding and Research Center

Visit Panda Breeding and Research Center: Just 6 miles north of Chengdu City, the Panda Breeding and Research Center is a haven for giant pandas, red pandas, and other endangered species. Stroll through bamboo groves and shaded walkways as you witness the successful breeding program. Observe these adorable creatures at rest or play in the nursery. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the panda museum to learn more about these incredible animals.

Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane: Step back in time and experience traditional Chengdu at Kuan-zhai Lane, a restored and renovated part of the old city. Immerse yourself in the charm of old Chengdu while exploring the narrow and wide alleys. This area offers a blend of Western dining, takeaways, coffee shops, and an artistic ambiance.

DAY 11 Leshan | Leshan Giant Buddha

Embark on a captivating journey to witness the iconic Leshan Giant Buddha and immerse yourself in the charm of a lost town. This unique itinerary blends cultural exploration, breathtaking views, and tea plantation experiences to create a memorable day.

DAY 12 Guilin | The Longji Rice Terraces

Explore the Longji Rice Terraces, a remarkable man-made wonder near Guilin. These terraces, built 600 years ago by local minorities, resemble dragon's ribs on steep mountainsides. Visit Ping'an Zhuang Village, home to over 50 families, and witness the incredible panoramic views after a moderate walk. Learn to make bamboo-tube rice, a famous local dish, from a minority family, and immerse yourself in their traditional wooden house and way of life.

DAY 13 Guilin to Yangshuo | Li River Cruise

Embark on an unforgettable 4-hour cruise along the Li River, immersing yourself in breathtaking scenery at every turn. Marvel at the stunning limestone peaks, graceful bamboo groves, and farmers tending to rice paddies. Watch as water buffaloes cool off in the river and fishermen glide along on narrow bamboo rafts. Keep an eye out for the famous fishing cormorants. Departing from various wharves depending on the river's height, we have selected a newly operated 4-star boat for this medium-sized group experience. Enjoy a buffet or semi-buffet lunch as you soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

Immerse yourself in the spectacular Impression of Liu Sanjie show, based on the life of the legendary folk heroine Liu Sanjie. Directed by renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou, this mesmerizing performance takes place on a 2km stretch of the Li River. With hundreds of cast members, the show combines music, lights, dancing, and the natural beauty of the backdrop to tell a captivating tale of love, intrigue, and tragedy. Don't miss this unforgettable experience.

DAY 14 Yangshuo | Yangshuo's Countryside

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Yangshuo's countryside, with its unique hills and picturesque landscapes. Explore by cycling, electrombile, or hiking for about 1.5 hours, covering 10-12 km. Note that bike helmets are not provided. Enjoy the peaceful scenery but be cautious of street vendors along the way. Slow down when passing through villages.

Indulge in a captivating bamboo rafting experience on the scenic Yulong River. Admire the stunning karst peaks, rice fields, and green bamboo as you navigate the gentle current. Choose from rafting options of 40 minutes, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours, arranged based on your preference and hotel location. Note that children under 7 years old or below 1.1 meters in height, as well as seniors over 70 years old, are not allowed on the bamboo rafts.

DAY 15 Guilin to Hong Kong Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Guilin Liangjiang 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-20

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