When Summer Vacation Meets Chinese Culture
12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Shanghai Tour for Your Summer Vacation
If you plan to visit China in summer, except for the must-see attractions, would you like to try the above unique experiences that are only available in summer?
Your summer vacation can be planned in a smart way so that you avoid the crowds and morning heat, and enjoy a sunset at the best part of the Great Wall. Your summer vacation can be unique as you roll up your trouser legs and step into a muddy field to have a fish-catching competition. Your summer vacation can be relaxed and quiet as you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee after visiting busy attractions. This is the sample tour for your summer vacation but it can be tailor-made according to your needs.
Soak up the flavor of summer in China and immerse yourself in Chinese culture.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Summer You Can See
Enjoy an energy-filled sunset at the Great Wall.Unveil the charm of Xi'an’s sultry nights.
Summer You Can Touch
Stroke stalactites in a refreshingly cool and authentic karst cave. Stir the clean water when having fun on a SUP
Summer You Can Fell
Draw a landscape painting in landscape of a riverside garden.
Summer You Can Taste
Discovery Shanghainese secret-recipe summer dishes.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I had an amazing two trips on the Great Wall and the Forbidden City with the guide Ivy during my stay in China. She was very helpful and answered all of our questions with an enthusiastic approach. I have nothing to say but to highly recommend the trips they offer on the Great Wall hiking/camping and also the in-depth Forbidden City tour! Thank you Ivy and China Highlights.more
May 2023, Serhat Altay
Amazing First Time to Beijing with China Highlights
Tom, my private tour guide was there when I landed and accompanied me all the way through to sending me off at the airport after check-in at the end of my trip. Zhao the driver, who also did all the driving during my trip, was calm, confident and knowledgeable in taking us around. Both Tom and Zhao were punctual too. The Great Wall of China Hike I wanted to do started in a very remote, unrestored part of the wall. This would not had been possible without Tom problem solving many issues we had on the way up and I could not have done this on my own a a foreigner. It was well worth the effort and probably the highlight of my trip.The remainder of the tour around Tiananmen Square, Forbidden Kingdom and The Temple of Heaven was paired with a detailed commentary by Tom of which I learnt a lot.more
May 2023, Munsie
Beijing - city of surprises
A fantastic guide was waiting for us - Jack, who told all the stories with passion and commitment. He also fulfilled those wishes that were not in the plan. I highly recommend visiting Beijing with this guide.more
May 2023, Joanna i Piotr Kuzebscy
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot…
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot of fun to spend time with during my first visit to Beijing. It was a wonderful intensive three days.more
May 2023, Pam S.
Great weather and a good trip out with Lily!
Many thanks to my guide Lily for customising the trip to make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible. She arranged to start an hour earlier to beat the crowd and I got to enjoy the Great Wall before the crowd streamed in and while the weather was cool. I requested to switch the next attraction to visit from Temple of Heaven to Ming Tomb and she not only accommodated the prompt request, but made all the necessary arrangements even before the trip coordinator managed to reply! Kudos! Our driver was jovial and friendly, always on top of traffic conditions and took detours to beat slow moving traffic. Hassle free day and I wouldn’t have been able to cover the two attractions so easily and comfortably without them!more
May 2023, Meibao
This was our first time traveling to Beijing
This was our first time traveling to China, so we really wanted to experience some of the major historical sights of Beijing together with a tour guide. Our itinerary was very carefully planned out according to our interests and tailored to our needs. First, we went camping on the Great Wall and hiked from Jiankou to Mutianyu, and the next day we got an in-depth tour of the Forbidden City as well as a tour of the Temple of Heaven and a taiji experience in the gardens. Our tour guide, Ivy, was truly wonderful in preparing and organizing our personalized itinerary. She is very friendly and knowledgeable, and she was always able and willing to answer all of our questions. Ivy provided us with a truly amazing first visit to China and I would warmly recommend China Highlights for everyone who wishes to travel to China and I would especially recommend Ivy as a tour guide for your trips!more
May 2023, Annalina Wheeler
Tom is the BEST tour guide EVER!
Just had the most AMAZING tour with Tom. He was beyond knowledgeable, so generous with his time and made me feel so at ease which was super important as I am travelling by myself. Thank you Tom for the best day-you have totally made my China trip a fabulous experience, one I will never forget!more
May 2023, SHARRYN HINCHLIFFFE
Superb service and wonderful time in Beijing
Superb service from Jack who were with us for 4 wonderful days in Beijing. Jack was clearly knowledgeable about the history and able to deliver insight information to us about places. He was also kind and accommodating to my mother who has bad knees. Both China Highlights and Jack were flexible about the itinerary to ensure that we enjoy the best of Beijing. We'll definitely use China Highlights' services again for our next trip to China.more
May 2023, Chani
First time booking a trip with China Highlights and was fortunate to have Sunny as my private tour guide. We went to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, then arrived and walked around Gubei Water Town, and then visited the Simatai portion of the Great Wall at night. Was a very enjoyable trip as we were able to see a night time drone show in the sky, ride a private boat through the canals of the Gubei Water Town, and eat a delicious lunch at a local restaurant along the way. Sunny is super knowledgeable when it comes to the history of the Great Wall and took the time to explain various interesting facts and stories which made the trip very meaningful. The driver we had was also a very nice man who was always on time and eager to help. Was an unforgettable experience and would highly recommend Sunny and China Highlights :)more
May 2023, Allen C
Tour to the great wall from the airport
My guide Tom was ver kind and knowlegable, he explained everything to me about the great wall and even went out of his way to help me the next day at Bejings downtown! amazing service!!! thank you so much Tom!more
May 2023, Fer Villasefior
Great tour, fantastic guide!
This tour was fantastic! I loved hearing about the history of the Forbidden City and admiring the views at the Great Wall. William was a fantastic tour guide. We were a group of families with several young children, and he was very accommodating and flexible with timing and arrangements. I totally recommend this tour and William as a guide!more
May 2023, Ryan Corless
Four excellent sightseeing days in Beijing
We had wonderful four days in Beijing. The entire trip was tailored exactly to our wishes. From experiencing local food, to exploring the major sites of the city up to hiking the great wall of China. Additionally, we had two amazing guides Ina and Fan taking care of all the tickets and coordination required. Also, they could not only tell us everything about the sights we visited and give us an insight to local customs and traditions, but they did so in perfect German. The chauffeur service from Mr Chang was also excellent, getting us from A to B without any hazzle. The past couple of days were one of the most carefree trips we have had so far.more
May 2023, Katha
Great tour from William
Great tour organized by China highlights, our tour guide was William - his knowledge was impressive, his English was great and he was always on time. We did the four day tour including the wall and forbidden city - would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an English tour guide.more
Apr 2023, Lawrence
Beijing 2 day private tour
The tour itself was great, private driver to and from, my guide Ivy was great English speaking guide. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about her country. Was a great time exploring the Great Wall of china and then my second day did a city tour (forbidden city, hutong tour, summer palace). Felt extremely safe, and was confident having an English guide. Thank you china highlights. (Provide them what you want and they’ll make it happen). Prices are reasonable as I looked at a few places but for private tour, my own schedule, and confidence of getting around safely you can’t go wrong.more
Apr 2023, Mark
Everything was to the vest standard, the history all very well explained by the Tour Guide in Beijing, Ivy. Really enjoyed it, and appreciated the time.more
Apr 2023, Jonathan
Amazing Beijing Experience
I had an amazing time in Beijing and glad Tom was my tour guide. He went above and beyond and I’m truly grateful. Tom did all that he could to ensure my stay in Beijing for two days was pleasant and thanks to him, I say that it was. The driver was also nice and courteous, I called him Jon. The company is blessed to have a good tour guide like Tom on their team so if you are planning to come down to Beijing, make sure you ask for Tom. Thank you Christy and Kimmy for replying all my emails with questions that I had.more
Apr 2023, Pedro V
We had a great experience with China Highlights and Roger was highly efficient and helpful planning our itinerary exactly how we needed.more
Apr 2023, Brenda Sarmanho
Excellent service and tour guide!!
Excellent service and communication from the travel agent Roger Li and amazing tour and experience of Great Wall of China from our tour guide Amber. Highly recommended!more
Apr 2023, Evangelos Athanasopoulos
Maggie was such a tremendous help for…
Maggie was such a tremendous help for our recent Beijing trip. Very prompt and helpful in helping us plan and adjust/amend to our requests.more
Apr 2023, Hi
We travelled first to Beijing for a few days before moving on to Wuhan for the wedding and then for a few days in Guilin along with my son and daughter in law. It was a great trip and all went smothly with the help of the guides we had along the way. William in Beijing and Jenny in Guilin were excellent. Chas in HK was also very helpful in getting us to the right place and the right time to fly home.more
Apr 2023, Alan Harris
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Say hello to Beijing as you start the first leg of your summer vacation. Your private English-speaking guide will help you check-in at our well-selected hotel, which has a good location. It is convenient for you to walk around.
Novotel Peace Beijing
Start your day at the Temple of Heaven in the morning. It used to be a holy place of worship and is now the perfect place to immerse yourself into local life because lots of people do their exercises there.
Walk through Tian'anmen Square to explore the mysterious Forbidden City, the largest imperial palace in the world. Hundreds of years ago, the royal families who stayed at the palace had clever ways to find relief from the summer heat. Your guide will unveil the secrets to you.
Afterward, relax in a nearby coffee shop and chat with your guide leisurely.
Your hotel has perfect location, you can walk around Houhai area at night to meet hutongs and bars.
There's no need to get up too early so visit the Summer Palace in the late morning, have lunch, and then drive to Jinshanling, which is the best place to enjoy a sunset from the Great Wall in summer, the best season.
Arrive there at about 3:30pm to avoid the hottest time of day and ensure there are no crowds around you. Jinshanling is an unrepaired and quite well-preserved section of the Great Wall. You'll see golden sunlight and green trees at the beginning, then the glow from the sunset dyes the sky purple and the moon rises slowly in the distance. The Great Wall is just like a huge dragon that has fallen asleep quietly.
Your guide will prepare a picnic dinner for you. Drink a toast to this summer experience of a lifetime!
Dhawa Jinshanling (As a sister brand of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, this is a newly-built stylish resort at the foot of the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. )
Do not in hurry, you have enough time to pack and have lunch and get on a comfortable bullet train to Xi'an and take a journey from the current capital to a capital in ancient times. Have a sound sleep and get ready for the next day.
Grand Noble Hotel Xi'an
Get ready and head to the highlight of the day's trip. Admire the proudly unflinching, life-sized Terracotta Army, which was built 2,200 years ago. Discover more information about the first emperor of China that you won't be able to find in a history book.
Visit a traditional cave dwelling and make your own terracotta warrior together with your host to unveil the secrets of ancient technology.
After lunch, take a rest in your hotel to avoid the heat and crowds. Then start the night tour at about 7pm to discover a new area that you may not know about. Different from the bustling city wall area, it becomes sultry and charming when it is lit up. Have a stroll around a lake and walk through the golden Tang Dynasty Culture Square to see Xi'an from other angles.
Cycle on the well-preserved ancient city wall in the morning to see views of the city from different directions. Move to the 1,300-year-old Muslim Quarter where hundreds of types of local food give you an eye-opening experience. Pick one or two snacks to satisfy your taste buds and curiosity.
In the afternoon, wander around Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built to hold sacred Buddhist texts and artifacts brought back from India over 1,000 years ago in the Tang Dynasty.
Catch a 2-hour flight to Guilin, a city full of landscapes.
You have a whole day in Longsheng - a place where you can enjoy traditional agriculture and minority cultures.
Drive to the Longji Terraced Fields (about 1.5 hours). Explore the minority villages on the mountainsides. Enjoy magnificent views of the rice terraces and understand how local people make their living on the mountains.
Have lunch with a family from the Zhuang minority, learn how to make bamboo rice, or try their refreshing oil tea.
Embark on a comfortable star-rated boat trip and enjoy the 4-hour cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. With clear water and green peaks along the two banks, just immerse yourself in the Chinese landscape painting.
Disembark in Yangshuo around 1:30 pm. Head to your hotel, which has a perfect location near the Yulong River. Relax in the outdoor riverside garden and try Chinese landscape painting with the help of a teacher. Slow your pace and enjoy the moment.
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
There is no need to hurry on this day as you only have one activity - to discover a cool and authentic karst cave that is not decorated with man-made colorful lights.
Drive for about 40 minutes and then a professional English-speaking outdoor expert will join you. Put on a headlamp and ride in a small boat to enter the cave. See the original colors and touch the growing stalactites. This is a refreshing and cool experience in summer.
Get away from the touristy section of Yangshuo and have fun on a SUP and enjoy the stunning view of the Karst formation
Nothing could be more meaningful than getting a glimpse of people's lives from a totally different culture. Experience the daily lives of the local farmers on your last day in Guilin to see another side of China.
Drive through the villages where there are almost no other tourists. You might meet someone on his way to a field with a water buffalo or someone working in a paddy field. The locals will be happy if you say hello to them and are interested in their work.
Continue to drive past the rice paddies after saying goodbye to the villagers. Then take a ferry and a local farmer's taxi to the market in a small town on the other bank of the Li River.
Take a flight to Shanghai, which is a modern metropolis.
Sunrise On The Bund
Shanghai is a window through which to see China's development. It is a city full of energy while also retaining traditions.
Start your day at a local market. Your host will tell you about his/her daily life and favorite summer vegetables.
Then cook the summer ingredients with your host and learn how to make chilled wontons and other dishes. Your host will be happy to show you the special seasoning used in Shanghai. Have lunch there and enjoy the food that you have cooked.
Instead of just walking around the Bund in the afternoon, your guide will take you to enter some aged and historical buildings, telling you the area's story from the very beginning in 1844.
Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience
After traveling in China for around 10 days, you might want to do something different at the end of your tour. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In the magic city of Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true!
Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen. Just tell us what you're interested in.
If you don't know what you want, just let your guide make the arrangements. You will not be disappointed!
This is the last day of your trip. Looking back on your summer vacation, we hope you have enjoyed the season's experiences.
Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.
This tour can be tailor-made. Besides included destinations, these are ohter places that are recommended in Summer.
- Hangzhou: add 1-2 days - west lake, tea plantations
- Chengdu: add 2- 3 days - pandas and snow mountains nearby
- Zhangjiajie: add 2–3 days - amazing rock formations, a natural paradise
- Yunnan or Tibet: add 4–5 days - moderate temperature, plateau views, diverse minorities
Hotels with a convenient location are included. In most cities, we recommend hotels with a swimming pool or near a river.
Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good-value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the styles of their regions.
Whatever your accommodation preferences, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect hotels for you.
Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.