North China on Train Tour
14-Day Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xi'an, Luoyang and Shanghai Tour
Extend your China's golden triangle tour and explore Pingyao, Luoyang and Datong in North China, all bestowed with precious ancient sites and relics.
- Train safari along North China to visit ancient capitals
- Climb the Great Wall for a breathtaking view
- Two of China's four most famous grottoes: Yungang and Longmen
- Hanging Monastery built on the mountain side
- Authentic Kungfu performance by monks Shaolin Temple
- Pingyao Ancient Town
- Magnificent underground Terracotta Army
- Observe local life at Shanghai's old residence area
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
After your flight lands at Beijing Capital International Airport, meet your Beijing guide at the arrival hall, and transfer to hotel by private car and driver. Check in and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
After strolling around the world's largest city square - Tiananmen Square, continue to the impressive Forbidden City for a glimpse of ancient imperial life. This 'city within a city' is a massive architectural complex housing a large number of important treasures of ancient China.
After lunch at a traditional courtyard restaurant, get to learn some knowledge about Hutongs (Beijing's old neighborhood) at Shi Family Hutong Museum. Hop on a rickshaw and ride through the maze of narrow alleys to see local life.
We will take you to Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall, a less crowded section but with impressive views. It winds along steep mountains among dense vegetation, featuring a number of historical and cultural relics and watch towers. Take cable car up and down the mountain, which will save you from climbing up stairs and will take you to the section with good views.
After lunch, back to the city and visit Temple of Heaven, a complex of Taoist buildings where ancient emperors used to hold ceremonies to pray for good harvest.
In the morning, visit the summer retreat for ancient imperial family – Summer Palace. The lovely landscaped gardens, pavilions and corridors set around the lake in natural harmony. If weather permits, take a short wooden boat ride on the lake.
After lunch, escort to the train station for train to Datong (about 6 hours train ride). After arriving at Datong, meet your local guide and transfer to hotel.
Besides reserving rich coal deposits, Datong boasts a number of valued historical and religious treasures. In the morning, drive for 30 minutes from city center to Yungang Grottoes, one of the four most important ancient grottoes in China. Stretching for one kilometer long, the Buddhist grottoes with delicate statues and frescos were carved out on the mountain.
In the afternoon, get back to city center and visit Huayan Temple, a Liao Dynasty (12th century) temple housing statues and frescos that present the masterpiece of religious art in its time.
About one hour drive from Datong City you will get to Hanging Monastery. You will marvel at the sight once you see how the monastery hangs 50 meters high on the mountain side. Climbing up the narrow stairs feels like hanging up in mid-air. Continue to Yingxian County to see its Wooden Pagoda, the only and oldest Buddhist pagoda totally built with wood, without the help of a single nail, screw, or bolt.
Afterwards, drive for about 5 hours to Pingyao and check in at hotel.
This tiny, well preserved ancient town boasts a history of 2,700 years, providing a relatively complete picture of historical, economic, cultural and social development of the time of its founding. While strolling along the well-arranged pavements, you will see old houses and courtyards, and get to know about the town's history by visiting ancient government office, prison, China's first bank and market tower.
In the evening, the whole town is beautifully decorated by lit-up red lanterns, giving off relaxing atmoshere. Enjoy a drink at one of the many bars would be a good experience.
Driving for 10 minutes, you will visit the Shuanglin Temple first. The Shuanglin Temple is considered to be the "unrestored glory" of Pingyao, and it has over 2,000 colored mud sculptures preserved under its humble-looking roofs. Every sculpture has its own face and expression, and each of them is a rare treasure.
Located about 35 kilometers from Pingyao is Wang Family Courtyard, a masterpiece of Chinese civil residence architecture. Built on the big mountain and connected by a large bridge, it opens to the public 231 couryards and 2078 rooms, about one third of its total. Its building and decoration reflected the sense of strict hierarchy back then, and the carvings and statues all imply lots of meanings and stories.
Transfer to train station and take afternoon bullet train to Xi'an, which takes about 3 hours. Upon arrival, escort to hotel and check in.
Accidentally discovered in 1974, Terracotta Army is considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. It is significant because the hundreds of detailed life-size models represent the army that triumphed over all other Chinese armies and protected the emperor after his death for over 2,000 years.
Get back to the city and visit the city symbol - Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It was built to house precious Buddhist scripts and items brought from India. Climbing up the steep and narrow stairs will offer you a good view over the city.
In the morning, ride for about 2 hours on bullet train and reach Luoyang.
Longmen Grottoes is one of the four most significant grottoes in China, famous for its huge number of Buddhist sculptures and carvings over 1,500 years ago. About 30 minutes away stands White Horse Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China and is renowned as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism. Appreciate the vivid Buddha statues and solemn architecture, and get to know some historical stories and feel the spiritual world of Buddhism here.
Today you will visit the cradle of Chinese Kungfu at Shaolin Temple. Nestled among the dense forests of Songshan Mountain, Shaolin Temple gives you the chance to learn about the mystique of its martial arts and monks. Check out its renowned Kungfu Show at its theater, and enjoy a vegetarian lunch.
In the afternoon, transfer to airport for flight to Shanghai, which takes 2 hours. For your option, there are also bullet train (8 hours overnight) and regular train (14 hours overnight) that run from Luoyang to Shanghai, which will be more cost-effective than taking a flight. Tell us your requirements if you are interested in taking the train.
China's most prosperous city is a perfect blend of old and new, east and west. Walk through the bustling area of stands and shops selling souvenirs and food, you will come to Yuyuan Garden, a classic landscape garden with exquisite layout, beautiful scenery and artistic style.
Towering high above Pudong New Area, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower has been the outstanding landmark of Shanghai since its completion in 1995. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city skyline, and get to know some knowledge of Shanghai history at Shanghai History Museum located on the ground floor. After tasting authentic Shanghai dishes for lunch, visit the old alley neighborhoods at Shikumen, Shanghai people's traditional living area. It is now turned into a chic place retaining its old flavor, with bars, restaurants and shops. But you can still visit an old house that still has its past layout and furnishings well kept.
Today you will have a free day to explore the city on your own.
1. Tailoring your tour
This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we are happy to help you arrange with our professional knowledge and experience.
2. Taking trains in China
Arrive at the correct train station at least 30 minutes before departure time. You are required to do a security check before entering the train station, and there's a 5-8 minute walk from ticket gate to the platform. There may be long stairs and slopes without escalator, so it is suggested that you pack light.
Bring some food and drinks for the ride, which come less in varieties and higher in prices on the train. Bring toilet tissues as it is not provided onboard.
Keep your train ticket in place. It might be checked again during the ride and at the exit of train station.
Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.