China Culture Relics Classic Tour
9-Day Beijing, Datong, Pingyao and Xi'an Tour
This tour include the most important historical sites in China- Great Wall, Yungang Grottoes, Pingyao Ancient Twon and Terra-Cotta Warriors. Connected by flight/bullet train, enjoy this culture relics tour by the most efficient way.
- Experience the most authentic ancient parts of China — the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and Pingyao Ancient Town.
- Walk into one of the "world's top ten most odd and dangerous buildings" — the Hanging Temple, which was built 1,500 years ago and is hanging on a cliff.
- Explore one of the biggest ancient grottoes in China — the Yungang Grottoes — a real art treasury for Buddhism.
- Roam in Pingyao Ancient Town and enjoy the age-old charms of China as it was in the Middle Ages.
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!"
Staycations for expats in Beijing
We are expats living in Beijing, and due to the current epidemic prevention rules, we had to cancel our original plans for a long weekend at the last minute. We contacted China Highlights and they planned a great last-minute staycation for us near the Great Wall. more
Your private tour guide will be waiting for you at the airport. You will have a comfortable private vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver. The guide will help you to check-in at your hotel.
You will visit the royal palace that was once home to 24 emperors and see the traditional residential area of the local people. First, go to the world's biggest square, Tian'anmen Square, and then visit the Forbidden City; climb to Jingshan Park (Coal Hill) to have a bird's-eye view of the Forbidden City; have a rickshaw ride in the hutongs, and visit a local family.
You will have lunch in the hutong area and taste the most authentic local food.
Good to know:
Things to do in the evening include acrobatic shows, a kung fu show, and a Beijing opera show.
The Temple of Heaven was the place for emperors to pray for a good harvest, and now is it also a place for the locals to take their morning exercise. Visit the Temple of Heaven in the morning and join in with the tai chi if you want to.
Among the three sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, the Great Wall at Mutianyu is less crowded and most suitable for walking. A round-trip cable car has been arranged so that you can put your energy into walking through the watchtowers and taking photos of the superb scenery.
Lunch is in a garden-style restaurant near the Great Wall.
Good to know:
A Peking duck dinner will be a great reward for conquering the Great Wall. The Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant is the most famous restaurant for Peking duck; it was founded in 1864 and now has many branches in Beijing.
Built in 1750, the Summer Palace was the royal garden. Although it was destroyed several times during periods of war, you can still see its magnificence from what remains of it. The visit includes the Garden of Virtue and Harmony, which was the garden that emperors used to enjoy shows in. This garden has several sections that have different functions.
Buddhism is the main religion in China, and the Lama Temple was the top Buddhist temple during the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).
Lunch will be arranged in a local restaurant near the Summer Palace.
In the late afternoon, you will be driven to the airport in order to fly to Datong.
The formation of the Yungang Grottoesbegan in the year 460, and there are now 45 grottoes housing over 51,000 Buddhist statues. It is one of the biggest ancient grottoes in China and a real art treasury for Buddhism. A golf cart will be available so that you do not need to walk the long distances between the grottoes, and will have more time to see the statues.
The Hanging Temple is the only temple in China that combines Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Built on a cliff, the Hanging Temple is listed as one of the "world's top ten most odd and dangerous buildings".
The Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, is the oldest and tallest surviving wooden structure in China.
In the late afternoon, you will drive to Taiyuan and spend a night there. Have a good rest and prepare to enjoy the breathtaking ancient culture the next day.
You will start the tour from Taiyuan, visit the Jinci Temple, and then drive for one hour to Pingyao.
Pingyao Ancient Town is the best preserved walled ancient town in China. You will spend half a day there and visit the main sites, such as the Rishengchang Former Bank, the Armed Escort Company Museum, and the Ancient City Wall.
The Shuanglin Temple is considered to be the "unrestored glory" of Pingyao Ancient Town. Over 2,000 colored mud sculptures are preserved under the humble-looking roofs. Every sculpture has its own face and expression, and each of them is a rare treasure.
Getting Around in the Pingyao Ancient Town:
There is no taxi or public transportation within the tiny town. You can use the following available means of transportation for getting around:
Rickshaw: This man-driven vehicle is the main means of transportation here. It is very easy to find one that can take you for a stroll around the old streets.
Electro Mobile: It's a kind of sight-view storage battery car which can accommodate 1-20 people.
Bicycle: It is maybe the easily way to tour around. Bicycles are available for rental just In front of your hotels. This is a popular means of transportation for many tourists to explore the ancient city wall when visiting there.
The Zhenguosi Temple is the third oldest wooden architectural structure in China. There isn't a single nail in the entire temple; the whole structure has been made from mortise and tenon joints. Twelve kilometers away from the ancient town, there is a little-known tourist site at the Zhenguosi Temple, and it is like an undiscovered gem.
The Wang's Family Compound has a nickname — the Forbidden City in Folk. Different from the famous Qiao's Family Compound, the Wang family was an official family, having had a higher social status. The family's generations lasted for over 300 years and built the compound that is about 250,000 square meters in size, among which 45,000 square meters (one fifth) is open to tourists. The area is comprised of 123 courtyards and 1,118 rooms. You will spend about two hours there.
Lunch will be arranged on the way. After the trip, your tour guide and driver will escort you to the train station, and you will take the bullet train to Xi'an.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are one of the "Eight Wonders of the World". Each of the life-sized warriors has its own face and expression.
The arranged lunch will let you experience some traditional Hunan and Sichuan cuisine.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the 7th century and was used to store the Buddhist scriptures and relics that the monk called Xuanzang brought from the West. The Fountain Square in front of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is recommended in the evening.
Riding a bicycle on the Xi'an City Wall will be a good start to the day. The Ancient City Wall of Xi'an is a great place to have a view of the city, and you can experience the age-old charms from on top of the bricks.
Shaanxi History Museum has four major galleries housed in a large, Tang-style building. It has a vast and impressive collection, which is beautifully displayed.The Muslim Quarter is not far away. It is the most bustling area in Xi'an that is full of local snacks and souvenirs.
Lunch will be arranged in a nearby local restaurant. After the trip, you will be taken to the airport where your tour guide will assist you with the check-in process and wave goodbye at the security gate.
1. Hanging Temple Tips:
Comfortable shoes and a light backpack are suggested, as for all excursions.
The stairs to the Hanging Temple are narrow, only allowing one person to pass, and the rail is short, so be careful. It is 60 to 90 meters above the ground, so people who fear heights should consider this before going up.
Continuing heavy rain might cause rock falls, so for safety the temple will be closed in bad weather.
The viewing platform that under the mountain and opposite the river is a great place to have a full view of the Hanging Temple. People can take pictures from the square if they don't plan to go up, or when the temple was closed due to bad weather.
Note: Due to the continuing rain and large area rock falls, tourists are not allowed to climb the mountain and go into the Hanging Temple since 13th Oct. 2015. People can still have a full view of the Hanging Temple at the viewing platform that under the mountain and opposite the river. We will continue to watch the situation and update the information.
2. Accommodations in Pingyao Ancient Town
Most hotels and hostels in the ancient town are in traditional Chinese style, you will see antique courtyard and wooden furniture, and even have a chance to experience sleeping on a "kang"-- heatable brick bed that popular in North China. Extra quilt can be required to soften the bed.
3. Easy Trip Planning
Our 1 to 1 private travel advisors will give you professional suggestions, 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.
4. Payment Methods
We now offer 3 payment methods: PayPal, credit card authorization via fax and wire transfer. PayPal is recommended for its safety and efficiency. You can pay USA dollars, Australian dollars, European dollars and Great Britain Pound directly with your credit card or debit card, even if you don't have PayPal account.