When Summer Vacation Meets Chinese Culture
12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Shanghai Tour for Your Summer Vacation
The Forbidden City, Summmer activity: Great Wall Sunset
The Terracotta Army, Summmer activity: Charming Night Tour
The Bund, Summmer activity: Summer Dish Recipe
During this summer vacation, you will:
Enjoy amazing summer experiences (See tour highlights below)
- Travel at a suitable pace when visiting busy must-see attractions and relaxing in quiet places
- Get under the skin of destinations
Appreciate summer comforts in a trip designed for you
- Most hotels have swimming pools or are near a river
- Travel in an air-conditioned van and take advantage of cold drinks kept in an icebox
- Cool down with a refreshing ice cream in each city
- Enjoy a cold beer at lunch
Have a guide who deals with the crowds in a clever way
- He/she will reserve limited tickets ahead of time to avoid standing in long queues
- He/she will know the real-time flow rate of visitors at must-see attractions
About China Highlights
Since 1959 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
My Beijing tour was AMAZING
My Beijing tour was AMAZING! I visited Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City [and Imperial Garden], The Temple of Heaven, The Great Wall (Day and night Tour) and finally the historic and breathtakingly beautiful Gubei Water Town. Thank you Chinahighlights for making my trip as enjoyable as possible and a huge THANK YOU to Yuan Yuan my tour guide, who was so informative, very patient and helpful and also incredibly funny! more
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.
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. As time goes by, the view gradually changes. 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. It is called the Beverly Hills of Xi'an as it has the most expensive houses and amazing lights. 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.
Layers of green terraced rice fields are covered in white rice flowers, which are very tiny even though they are in full bloom. Under robust rice shoots, there are lots of creatures - little carps! Local people keep these fish from fries, and the fish eat microbes and rice flowers in the fields. By swimming in the fields, the fish loosen the soil for the rice and their waste is a natural fertilizer. What a magic ecosystem created by the local people's wisdom! Roll up your trouser legs, carry a bamboo basket, and step into the muddy field to have a fish-catching competition.
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.
See all the highlights of the Li River, get off at Xingping Fishing Village, and have lunch in a boutique hotel's restaurant.
Then drive for about 30 minutes to Yangshuo. 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 head lamp 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.
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 ferryand 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.