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14-Day North China on Train Tour

North China on Train 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

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Trip Advisor certificate of 2023 Tour Review

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

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.

Day 2Beijing: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong Culture Tour

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.

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 Beijing: Tour to the Great Wall; Temple of Heaven

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.

Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu Greal Wall
Day 4Summer Palace; Train from Beijing to Datong

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.

Summer Palace Summer Palace
Day 5 Datong: Yugang Grottoes and Huayan Temple

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.

Statues at Yungang Grottoes Statues at Yungang Grottoes
Day 6Hanging Monastery and Yingxian Wooden Pagoda; Transfer to Pingyao

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.

Hanging Monastery Hanging Monastery
Day 7Pingyao Ancient Town

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.

Pingyao Ancient Town Pingyao Ancient Town
Day 8Wang Family Courtyard; Bullet Train to Xi'an

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.

Wang Family Courtyard Wang Family Courtyard
Day 9Xi'an: Terracotta Army and Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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.

Terra Cotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 10Bullet Train from Xi'an to Luoyang; Longmen Grottoes and White Horse Temple

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.

Longmen Grottoes Longmen Grottoes
Day 11Shaolin Temple; Luoyang to Shanghai

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.

Shaolin Kungfu Performance Shaolin Kungfu Performance
Day 12Shanghai City Tour

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.

Yuyuan Garden Yuyuan Garden
Day 13Free Time in Shanghai

Today you will have a free day to explore the city on your own.

Day 14Shanghai Departure

Your guide, driver and car will wait for you on time at your hotel, and transfer to the airport for your departure flight to next destination.

Trip Notes

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.

FromUSD 2,750p/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

Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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