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13-Day Riches of China

Riches of China

13-Day Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Hangzhou - Suzhou – Shanghai Private Tour

There is a Chinese saying goes: In heaven there is paradise, on earth there are Suzhou and Hangzhou. This 13-day private tour includes the popular Chinese classic wonders and the highlights in Suzhou and Hangzhou.

Enjoy the deep-rooted cultural and historical sites in Beijing and Xi'an, relax at breathtaking karst scenery in Guilin and Yangshuo, taste the exquisite life style by wondering in beautiful gardens, along the West Lake and water town in Suzhou and Hangzhou. Immerse into the rich and diverse China.

Visit six cities in 13 days to touch the diverse Chinese culture and real people' life at your own travel pace. We understand that our customers do not need to be herded.


  • Enjoy the less-crowded part of the Great Wall by combining moderate hiking and effort-saving cable car
  • Explore the mystical Forbidden City leaded by our expert guide in history and architecture
  • Experience minority people's life at the incredible Longji rice terrace fields and cycle through Yangshuo's stunning countryside
  • Capture the unique Fengshui pictures on a boat ride in the West Lake of Hangzhou
  • Lingering in the best representative of Chinese classical gardens: Suzhou
  • Discover the modern and traditional Shanghai lifestyle

About China Highlights

Since 1998 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!"

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel:Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)(TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)

Private Transfer from Airport to Hotel
After your flight lands at Beijing airport, you will be met by your tour guide at the arrival hall, and will transfer you to your hotel by private car and driver. They will assist you with your luggage, hotel check-in, and ensure your trip in Beijing will go smoothly and worry-free.

Exploring Beijing
We leave rest of the day free for you to recover from your long-distance flight. If you are up to it, you can stretch your legs and explore what is nearby your hotel. Feel free to ask your tour guide for recommendations of what is around.

Day 2 Beyond the Ordinary, Visit the Forbidden City with a Local Expert

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Usually people spend 2 hours in the Forbidden City and walk along the central axis which is the same with the crowds. To give a much better experience, China Highlights expert escort you 5 hour in the emperors' house and show you some interesting places you would never find by yourself in the Forbidden City and guide you away from the noisy parts and crush of other tour groups. What you can see no longer only empty rooms in the Forbidden City but also pictures of emperors, concubines and eunuchs in the expert's ipad, stories brings it to life.

In the afternoon, the expert accompany you to visit the Tian'anmen Square that is very close to the Forbidden City and have a easy climbing to the Jinshan Hill in Jinshan Park to take a birds' eye view of the golden roofs, see it from a new angle.

Good to know
To ensure good timing, the local expert does the day tour once a day. So on this day, you have a small group tour with maximum of eight people. Interaction with the expert and group members add more fun. According to previous customers' feedback, people who love history and family with kids who are over 7 years old are like the tour.

forbidden city The Forbidden City
Day 3 The Temple of Heaven and the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

Hotel:Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Early Bird at the Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was the place that emperors went to worship heaven for good harvests. Nowadays It becomes an ideal place that local people do morning exercises, such as Tai Chi, playing shuttlecock, ball-room dance. Everybody have smiles and enjoy the life. What a nice picture!

The Great Wall of Mutianyu
This less-crowded section of the Great Wall is about 2.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing. A cable-car takes you to a good section (avoiding a very steep climb), where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can return by cable car, walk down or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift or toboggan. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.

Good to Know
If you prefer three hours hiking, just tell your travel advisor to change the arrangement according to your needs.

mutianyu great wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 More Highlights of Beijing and Flight to Xi'an

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

Enjoy a full day visiting classic highlights of Beijing – the Summer Palace and Hutongs. Have a pleasant stroll at luxury garden of royal family. Different kinds of pavilions and long corridors give you full flavor of China. Then hop on a rickshaw and ride through the maze of Hutongs to see old Beijing neighborhoods, and chat with a local family. To make your hutong experience special, we stop at a private Chinese aged Baijiu Museum in small alley. Thousands of baijiu in different bottles are shown to tell you Chinese baijiu history and culture. Try a small cup of baijiu, wow, strong!For lunch, order dishes with the help of your guide at a small restaurant hidden in the Hutong alley.

Evening Flight to Xi'an
Transfer to Beijing airport for late afternoon or evening flight to Xi'an. Upon arrival, your Xi'an guide will be waiting for you at arrivals, and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

The Summer Palace The Summer Palace
Day 5 Xi'an – the Hometown of the Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Today we will take you to see the famous Terracotta Warriors buried more than 2,200 years ago. A must visit while in Xi'an. After lunch at a popular local restaurant, we will head back to the city. There you can walk on the Ancient City Wall, or if you prefer, we can rent a bike and cycle along the city wall for a good view of the city.

Did you know …
The First Emperor, who unified China 2,200 years ago, Emperor Qin, is where China got its name, ordered the creation of this army!

Good to know
In the evening, you can walk around your hotel to see the Bell Tower which is lit up at night or enjoy a Tang Dynasty Dancing and Singing Show.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Xi'an Highlights Tour – Flight to Guilin

Hotel: Shangri La Hotel Guilin (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

Xi'an, a place of significant importance in history with many historical sites and relics. Get to know more of this city's splendid history with a visit to Shaanxi History Museum. Nearby, we will also see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of China's most famous Buddhist pagodas built during the Tang Dynasty. Jiaozi or dumplings are a staple food in North China, therefore we will arrange a small dumpling making class for you to experience local culture. Then visit the Muslim Quarter, walk around the many stalls and sample some of their local delicacies.

Flight to Guilin and Private Transfer to Hotel
Transfer to Xi'an airport for your evening flight to Guilin. Upon arrival, your Guilin tour guide will meet you at the airport, with a private car and driver to transfer you to your hotel.

Big Goose Pagoda The Big Goose Pagoda
Day 7 Enjoy Unique Longji Terraced Fields and Meet Yao Minority

Hotel:Shangri La Hotel Guilin (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

If you are an early bird, you are suggested to walk along the Li River bank where just outside of the Sheraton Hotel in the morning. Your guide and driver are ready to escort you to the Longji Terraced Fields that are built into the hillsides, and look like great chains or ribbons as they wind round the contours in tiered bands. Beautiful when the sun reflects in the water of the paddy fields and glowing with yellow ears when the harvest is ripe, Longji (Dragon's Back) is a feast for the eyes.

Yao minority live there for generations in wooden house. Yao women have long black hair but their never use shampoo, they have their own mysterious method to keep hair clean and shinning, even for ladies who are over 50 years. To find the answer, discovery there with your guide.

It takes about 2.5 hours drive from Guilin to Ping'an Village of Longji. After the day tour, you will get back to hotel in Guilin.

Longji Rice Fields Longji Rice Terraces
Day 8 Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo

Hotel: Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

One Day Karst Scenery Tour
Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of karst mountains, bamboo groves, buffaloes bathing in the river during summer and the sound of children swimming along the river banks. The boat will pass the scenery that printed on the Chinese 20 Yuan bank note. The trip along the Li River is a must. You will have a Chinese buffet lunch on the boat. To ensure a better quality of food, we also prepare western lunch box for you which include sandwich, French Pastry, salad.

Arrive at Yangshuo at about 13:30, walk through the West Street, your guide help you check-in at hotel. Take a short break and start the cycling along the Yulong River.

Good to Know
As the evening is free, our suggestion for you is to see the Impression San Liu Jie Show that is performed on the Li River with the karst mountains as a background. Ask your tour guide if you need help to get tickets.

Li River Cruise The Li River Cruise
Day 9 Cooking Class in Yangshuo and Daxu Ancient Town

Hotel: Sofitel Hangzhou Westlake (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

For this day, we arrange a Chinese cooking class, which lasts for about 3 hours. It begins with going to the local food market to buy materials and ingredients for your cooking class, and then cook 2 or 3 popular Chinese dishes with guidance of a tutor, and taste fruits of your labor in the end.

Wrapping up your Yangshuo holiday, drive directly to Daxu Ancient Town that near Guilin. The high way is called one of the most beautiful roads in China because you can enjoy karst landform along the way. After one hour, you arrive at Daxu Ancient Town. Daxu means ‘big market'. It was an important ferry connecting Canton and Guilin thousand years ago. The English-speaking local scholar accompany you to discover its' glory and ordinary people's life by visiting some local family and talked with senior there.

In the afternoon or at night, head to the Guilin airport for your flight to Hangzhou. Upon arrival, meet your Hangzhou guide at the arrival hall, and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

The Bund Yangshuo Cooking Class
Day 10 Hangzhou Highlights and HSR to Suzhou

Hotel: Pan Pacific Suzhou (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch

Wake up with birds singing, Hangzhou is a pleasant city with both modern elements and leisure flavor. Only walking distance, you reach the West Lake that has an area of 5.6 square kilometers (2.2 square miles) and is the symbol of the city and is a place of tranquility. Then visit to the Linyin Temple which is one of the most important and wealthiest Buddhist temples in China, it boasts plenty of pagodas and Buddhist grottoes. In the afternoon, climb to the Six Harmonies Pagoda to take a birds' eye view of the city.

Catch HSR at night to Suzhou at about 19:50 and arrive at your sweet hotel at about 21:50.

west lake The West Lake
Day 11 Suzhou – Garden and Tongli Ancient Water Town

Hotel: Pan Pacific Suzhou (Deluxe Room)
Breakfast & Lunch

Suzhou Landscape Garden – The Soul of the City
Enjoy a peaceful walk through the Humble Administrator's Garden that is the best representative of Chinese classical gardens, constructed in the Ming dynasty, which focuses on a central pond with pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers located nearby.

You will then head to the Tongli Water Town to get a glimpse of the lives of the locals. Relax on a wooden boat as you are winding through waterways and under many stone bridges. We will make a stop for you to enjoy Chinese tea and lunch at a tea house along on the water bank.

the Humble Administrator's Garden The Humble Administrator's Garden
Day 12 Suzhou to Shanghai – a Unique Fashion of East and West / Colonial Architecture and Modernistic Buildings

Hotel:Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai (Bund Studio River View) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017)
Breakfast & Lunch

After a hearty breakfast, it's time to leave the garden city and head to China's metropolis city – Shanghai. The HSR only takes about 30 minutes!

Shanghai's colonial legacy combined with Chinese culture has created a unique fusion of East and West, and ancient architecture to modernistic buildings. You will visit the Yuyuan Garden, located in the center of Shanghai's old city! The garden built during the Ming Dynasty. From there, you will head to Shanghai Tower, where you can get a magnificent view of the city's ever-changing modern skyline.

Take a look at Shikumen which means "Stone Warehouse Gate", is a traditional Shanghainese architectural style building combining Western and Chinese elements that first appeared in the 1860s.

Then relax at the Bund to look at the high buildings on the other bank of the River.

Did you know …
At the height of their popularity, there were 9000 shikumen-style buildings in Shanghai, comprising 60% of the total housing of the city, but today the proportion is much lower as most Shanghainese live in large apartment buildings.

the bund The Bund
Day 13 Shanghai Departure

Transfer directly to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight. Your guide will accompany you till the point of security check and wave goodbye.

Trip Notes

Extension based on the tour

Extend the tour:

  • Yangtze River Cruise: add 4–5 days (Chongqing to Yichang or vice versa)
  • Chengdu: usually add 2–4 days —visit a Panda research center, the Giant Buddha, Mt. Emei, Panda Keeper Program and Jiuzhaigou natural scenery. Choose your favorite.
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — visit Victoria Peak, Disneyland, and day tour Macau

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong are China's major entry cities.

Optional Activities

It must be clearly understood that enjoying these extras is your own decision. They are not included in the itinerary or tour price, so you will need to pay separately. The ticket price depends on seating. Ask your guide to book tickets if you want to see any of the following.

  • Beijing — Legend of Kungfu Show
  • Xi'an — Tang Dynasty Cultural Show plus Dumpling Banquet
  • Yangshuo — Impression Third Sister Liu Night Show on the Li River (outdoor)
  • Hangzhou —Impression the West Lake (outdoor)
  • Shanghai — Chinese Acrobats Show

More Trip Information

Want to learn more about this trip? Please click here to see details about traveling in China, booking, payment and responsible travel.

FromUSD 3,150p/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

Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.




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The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
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