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33-Day Hong Kong, Guilin, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xi'an, Silk Road, Beijing and Shanghai Tour

China Tour Blend of Silk Road, Hong Kong, Tibet and Guilin

33-Day Private China Tour: Hong Kong–Guilin–Chengdu–Lhasa–Xi'an–Lanzhou–Xiahe–Zhangye–Dunhuang– Turpan– Urumqi–Beijing–Shanghai

Start your journey in the dynamic city of Hong Kong, then immerse yourself in the surreal beauty of Guilin. Encounter adorable pandas in Chengdu, explore the mystique of Lhasa, and uncover the ancient treasures of Xi'an. Follow the historic Silk Road through cities rich in history and culture. Conclude your adventure in the historic capital of Beijing and the modern metropolis of Shanghai. This comprehensive itinerary offers an ideal blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, providing an unparalleled exploration of China's most captivating destinations.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Explore the Awe-inspiring Longji Rice Terraces

Longji Rice Terraces

Experience Taking Care of a Cute Panda

make panda cakes

Witness the Famous Potala Palace

Potala Palace

Experience the Thrill of Riding a Camel Across the Singing Sand Mountains

Riding a Camel

Marvel at the Famous Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye

Rainbow Mountains

Climb up the Great Wall on the Cliff of Jiayuguan

Great Wall on the Cliff

Find the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City

the Forbidden City

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1Hong Kong Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Hong Kong. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

DAY 2 Hong Kong | The Victoria Peak

Aberdeen: Step back in time as you visit Aberdeen Harbor, a living testament to the traditional fishing villages of the 1800s. Here, the enduring spirit of hundreds of fishermen thrives as they continue their age-old way of life aboard junks. Immerse yourself in this maritime world by embarking on a tour of the harbor, where you can choose between sampans expertly maneuvered by local fishermen or modern, luxurious tourist ships. As you explore, don't miss the opportunity to dine at one of the two renowned floating seafood restaurants, offering a unique culinary experience.

Victoria Peak Cable Car (One Way): Embark on an iconic journey aboard the Victoria Peak tram, a cherished piece of Hong Kong's history and the city's most trusted mode of public transport. Dating back to 1888, this funicular railway scales the steep 373-meter ascent up the lush mountainside. In just 7 minutes, you'll be transported from the bustling city center to the breathtaking vistas of The Peak, offering panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

Stanley: Once the largest settlement on Hong Kong Island a century ago, Stanley carries echoes of its British colonial past. It served as the base for the Hong Kong contingent of British troops during the colonial era. Today, it has transformed into a favored destination for city dwellers seeking respite from the urban hustle and bustle. Stanley beckons with uncrowded beaches and vibrant free markets. Don't miss the exhilarating Dragon Boat races held here during the annual Dragon Boat Festival.

Lantau Island: Embrace the tranquility of Lantau Island, a vast expanse that spans twice the size of Hong Kong Island. Since the 1970s, this island has been a cherished escape for Hong Kong residents seeking a change of pace on weekends and holidays. Explore its picturesque hilly walking trails, bask in the serene beauty of its less-crowded beaches, and relish the pure, invigorating air that surrounds you. Lantau Island offers a refreshing contrast to the vibrant energy of the city.

DAY 3 Hong Kong to Macau | The Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral

Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral: Perched atop a hill near Macao's bustling Daba Street, the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral stand as an iconic testament to the city's rich heritage. This captivating landmark, adorned with intricate architectural details, is not only Macao's most famous symbol but also a window into its storied past.

Monte Fort: Adjacent to the Ruins of St. Paul's, Monte Fort beckons with its historical significance and captivating allure. This formidable structure, dating back centuries, is a must-visit attraction in Macao. As you explore its well-preserved ramparts and interiors, you'll be transported back in time to an era of strategic fortifications and panoramic vistas.

Barra Temple (A-Ma Temple): Nestled on the southeastern shores of Macao, facing the serene Haibei Hill, lies the Barra Temple, also known as A-Ma Temple. With a history spanning over 500 years, this sacred site is one of Macao's three oldest temples. Immerse yourself in its spiritual ambiance as you discover its intricate architecture and rich traditions.

Macau Tower: Reach for the skies as you ascend the Macau Sky Tower, an architectural marvel that officially opened its doors on December 19, 2001. Soaring to a towering height of 338 meters from ground level to its zenith, the tower offers an exhilarating journey to its observation platform. From this vantage point, you'll enjoy a mesmerizing bird's-eye view of Macao, a true feast for the senses. Beyond its role in tourism and entertainment, the Macau Tower serves as a hub for telecommunications and broadcasting, earning its place among the esteemed members of the World Federation of Great Towers.

DAY 4 Hong Kong to Guilin | Night Cruise on Guilin's Four Lakes

Experience the Enchanting Night Cruise on Guilin's Four Lakes: After a day of exploration or a flight to Guilin, there's no better way to relax and soak in the city's stunning nightscapes than with a tranquil night cruise on the 'Two Rivers and Four Lakes' in the heart of downtown Guilin. This picturesque evening excursion unfolds over approximately one hour, offering a perfect opportunity to unwind and create lasting memories.

The 'Four Lakes' you'll leisurely sail across are Fir Lake (Shanhu), Banyan Lake (Ronghu), Osmanthus Lake (Guihu), and Wooden Dragon Lake (Mulonghu). As you glide on the gentle waters, you'll be treated to the mesmerizing beauty of Guilin's night scenery. It's a serene and enchanting experience that adds a touch of magic to your journey.

DAY 5 Guilin to Longsheng | Longji Rice Terraces

Discover the awe-inspiring Longji Rice Terraces, often referred to as 'Dragon's Backbone,' owing to their appearance as dragon-like ribbons on steep mountainsides. Crafted by local minority communities 600 years ago, these terraces stretch over 66 square kilometers.

Our journey takes us to Ping'an Zhuang Village, home to over 50 families and 200 residents. The village's rice fields span elevations from 300 to 1,100 meters above sea level. Be prepared for a moderately challenging hike, with cars parking outside the village and an hour-long ascent up a series of steps to the summit, offering panoramic views of the breathtaking rice terraces.

For those preferring a leisurely option, sedan chairs are available for hire from the parking area to the mountaintop (approximately CNY 350 per person for a round trip). Alternatively, if you have mobility concerns, we can arrange a car to transport you directly to the mountaintop (please request this in advance, noting that it may not be available during Chinese national holidays).

Don't miss the chance to learn the art of crafting Bamboo Stuffed Rice, a local culinary delicacy with a delightful bamboo essence. Engage with a local family and gain hands-on experience in making this delectable dish.

DAY 6 Guilin to Yangshuo | Li River Cruise

Li River Cruise: Guilin to Yangshuo (4-Star Boat). Embark on a memorable four-hour Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. Enjoy picturesque views around every river bend, from majestic limestone peaks to serene bamboo groves and rural landscapes. Witness farmers at work, water buffaloes, and traditional fishermen. Our choice is a newly operated 4-star boat for up to 80 passengers, featuring a buffet or semi-buffet lunch.

Discover the stunning countryside of Yangshuo, famous for its enchanting karst peaks, lush rice fields, and tranquil rural life. Admire the breathtaking natural beauty, including clear waters and vibrant bamboo forests, while also delving into local village life. Your guide will accompany you for a 1.5-hour journey covering 10-12 kilometers by bike. Alternatively, you can opt for an electromobile or private car at no extra cost.

Impression Liu Sanjie Show: Experience the spectacular Impression Liu Sanjie show, directed by renowned filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Set along a 2-kilometer stretch of the Li River, this performance brings to life the legendary folk heroine Liu Sanjie. Enjoy a captivating tale of love, intrigue, and tragedy, complemented by music, lights, dance, and the river's natural beauty. Showtimes may vary by season, typically at 19:45-20:55 or 21:20-22:30.

DAY 7 Guilin to Chengdu | Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave: Just 5 kilometers northwest of Guilin lies the magnificent Reed Flute Cave, named after the reeds found at its entrance used for crafting flutes and pipes. As Guilin's largest and most impressive cave, it stretches 240 meters in length, with a 550-meter tour showcasing a surreal world of vividly colored stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains, and unique rock formations. The 40-minute guided visit involves navigating several steps, so watch your step as the cave is dimly lit, with guides using electric torches to illuminate the way.

Marvel at Elephant Trunk Hill: Elephant Trunk Hill, standing proudly at the confluence of the Li River and Peach Blossom River, serves as Guilin's iconic symbol. Its 55-meter height earned its name due to its striking resemblance to an elephant sipping water from the Li River through its trunk. The hill features numerous caves and a charming small pagoda at its peak.

Discover the Charm of Daxu Ancient Town: Situated approximately 18 kilometers southeast of Guilin along the Li River's banks, Daxu Ancient Town boasts well-preserved historic buildings, weathered bluestone pathways, and a rich traditional culture. It was a bustling hub for water transportation between Guangdong (Canton) and Guangxi, once counted among Guangxi's four renowned ancient towns. Enjoy a two-hour exploration of this picturesque old town.

DAY 8 Chengdu| The Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project: Embark on a journey through time as you visit the awe-inspiring Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. This ingenious system, meticulously crafted over 2250 years ago, serves as a testament to ancient engineering prowess. Its purpose was to nourish the fertile Chengdu Basin, and for over two millennia, it has dutifully irrigated this lush landscape. Experience the living history of this remarkable project, which continues to sustain the entire basin to this day.

Mount Qingcheng (Front Mountain): Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Mount Qingcheng, a haven of Taoist temples and historical sites nestled amidst meandering pathways. This verdant landscape, adorned with thick fog and lush moss-covered roofs, served as the direct inspiration for the Panda Village in the beloved movie "Kung Fu Panda 3." Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Mount Qingcheng beckons with its serene grandeur. Ascend and descend with ease via a cable car ride, leaving the bustling cityscape far below. Explore Front Mountain, reminiscent of the breathtaking scenery in "Kung Fu Panda 3," and pay homage to the grand Taoist temples that grace this sacred place.

DAY 9 Chengdu| The Panda Breeding and Research Center

Panda Breeding and Research Center: Just 6 miles north of Chengdu City lies a sanctuary for China's beloved giant pandas, as well as red pandas and other endangered species. At the Panda Breeding and Research Center, venture into a world where these captivating creatures thrive. Stroll among the bamboo groves and shaded walkways, where you can witness the center's highly successful breeding program. Marvel at the pandas at rest or play in their specially designed habitats. Enhance your understanding of these remarkable animals at the on-site panda museum.

Local Tea House in People's Park: Find solace in the heart of the city at People's Park, a serene oasis amidst the urban hustle and bustle. Meander through bonsai gardens, admire tranquil lakes, and contemplate ancient rockeries and historical monuments. Amidst this scenic backdrop, you'll discover traditional tea houses, where Chengdu's residents gather to savor the simple pleasures of life. Partake in this cherished local custom by enjoying a cup of tea. Here, retirees often congregate, spending hours chatting and socializing while paying only a nominal fee. You can even treat yourself to a local massage, making it a true immersion in Chengdu's leisurely pace of life.

Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane: Explore the charming and culturally rich neighborhood of Kuan-zhai Lane, whose name translates to "Wide and Narrow Alley" in Chinese. This historic quarter of Chengdu has been meticulously restored and renovated, offering a glimpse into the city's bygone era and traditional way of life. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of old Chengdu as you wander the narrow lanes and wide alleys. Here, you'll encounter a delightful fusion of Western cuisine, artisanal coffee, and local street food. Kuan-zhai Lane is not just a place to dine; it's a canvas of art and culture that promises a sensory journey through time. Enjoy a taste of the past and the present in this enchanting district.

DAY 10 Chengdu to Lhasa | Wu Hou Temple

Wu Hou Temple: Step into history at Wu Hou Temple, a serene sanctuary dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the revered military strategist celebrated in "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms." Surrounded by peaceful gardens, this complex offers insights into Zhuge Liang's life and legacy. Explore halls honoring him and his emperor, Liu Bei, view impressive statues, and visit a small museum. The iconic red wall leading to Liu Bei's tomb adds to the charm.

Wenshu Monastery:Discover the tranquility of Wenshu Monastery, a vast Zen Buddhist temple with a lively atmosphere. Explore beautifully adorned halls showcasing artworks and statues. Don't miss the vegetarian restaurant and teahouses, where you can enjoy a meal or soak in the ambiance of devoted worshippers. Experience both serenity and vibrancy at this remarkable complex.

DAY 11 Lhasa | The Sera Monastery

Norbulingka - The Jeweled Garden: Kick off your day at Norbulingka, meaning "Jeweled Garden." Originally built as a summer palace for the Dalai Lama, this magnificent complex later played a crucial role in the government administration. Crafted by the 7th Dalai Lama, it seamlessly blends both administrative and religious significance. Wander through its lush gardens and ornate structures, and delve into the rich history that surrounds you.

Sera Monastery - Debates and Devotion: In the northern suburbs of Lhasa, discover the Sera Monastery, a complex consisting of the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges. Founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, the name "Sera" translates to "wild roses" due to the monastery's charming surroundings. Here, you'll witness the famous daily debates among the monks, a crucial part of their learning process. Join the monks in the tranquil monastery grounds for these enlightening debates, held every day (except Sundays) at 15:00. Remember to keep a respectful silence during the debates, and although cameras are prohibited, you can capture the moments with your cell phone.

Drepung Monastery - Majestic Spiritual Retreat: Embark on a journey to Drepung Monastery, nestled in the western part of Lhasa beneath the imposing Mt. Gambo Utse. This monastery, constructed in 1416, is one of the largest within the Gelu Sect in China. Explore its grand white buildings glistening under the Tibetan sunlight. Drepung Monastery once served as the residence of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of the Potala Palace. If you're visiting in early August, don't miss the vibrant Shonton Festival, a bustling and culturally enriching event that provides a unique opportunity to soak in the festival's lively atmosphere.

DAY 12 Lhasa | The Potala Palace

Jokhang Temple - Sacred Center: Start your day at the revered Jokhang Temple, the heart of Tibetan spirituality. Inside, you'll find a precious life-sized statue of a young Sakyamuni adorned with jewels. Surrounding the temple is Barkhor Street, a bustling hub for pilgrims and visitors.

Barkhor Street - Tibetan Life: Explore Barkhor Street, an ancient circuit encircling the Jokhang Temple. Watch pilgrims embark on their unique "one-step-one-bow" pilgrimage. Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture as you shop at colorful stalls or relax at local coffee shops or tea houses. Always seek permission before taking close-up photos of pilgrims.

Potala Palace - Royal Splendor: Visit the magnificent Potala Palace, the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Explore its labyrinthine corridors, grand halls, and mausoleums adorned with precious treasures. Ascend from the White Palace to the Red Palace, where pilgrims make offerings. Don't miss the iconic golden roof group atop the Red Palace. Be prepared for stair climbing; good physical fitness is required.

DAY 13 Lhasa to Xi'an | The Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery: Nestled in the northern outskirts of Lhasa, the Sera Monastery is a fascinating complex comprised of four distinct structures: the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges. Its rich history dates back to 1419 when it was founded by Jamchen Chojey, a devoted disciple of Tsongkhapa. The name "Sera" derives from the surrounding wild roses that once enveloped the monastery. As one of Lhasa's three major monasteries, Sera Monastery is renowned for hosting the famous daily debates among its monks. These lively and enlightening exchanges on Buddhist doctrines are held every day, except Sundays, at 15:00 within the monastery's grounds. Visitors are welcome to observe these spirited debates; however, it's important to maintain a respectful silence during this sacred practice. Please note that cameras are not allowed in the debate field, but taking photos with your cell phone is permitted.

Yamdrok Lake: On clear days, Yamdrok Lake glistens with a mesmerizing shade of deep turquoise, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The lake's pristine blue waters are framed by majestic snow-capped mountains, forming a picturesque backdrop. With its dozen islands and abundant natural resources, Yamdrok Lake stands as the largest habitat for waterfowl in Tibet, attracting numerous swans and gulls. During the autumn and winter months, the lake's shores and islands transform into a remarkable scene as thousands of white birds gracefully glide above the water, tending to their precious offspring. A visit to Yamdrok Lake offers a chance to witness the harmonious coexistence of stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife in this pristine Tibetan landscape.

DAY 14 Xi'an | The Terracotta Warriors

Visit the majestic Terracotta Warriors, an army of over 7,000 soldiers guarding Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. Each figure is unique, and you can witness ongoing excavation in three protected pits. Don't miss the museum and film showcasing the vaults' history. Wear comfortable shoes and take photos (no flash).

Terracotta Warrior at a Cave Dwelling Experience: Visit a countryside cave dwelling family workshop to learn the ancient art of making Terracotta Warriors. Interact with local artisans and discover the intricate steps involved in crafting these life-sized figures.

Xian City Wall with Bicycle: Cycle along the historic Xian City Wall, one of China's oldest and best-preserved city defenses. Enjoy a thrilling ride around the 13.74-kilometer perimeter. If biking conditions are unfavorable, visit the Bell Tower instead. Bike rental fees are included, and guides provide route suggestions. Club cars are available for those who prefer not to bike.

DAY 15 Xi'an to Lanzhou | Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich history of China at the Shaanxi History Museum, widely regarded as one of the nation's best museums. Housed in grand Tang-style buildings, explore four major galleries filled with an extensive and impressive collection beautifully presented. While most item labels are in English, some additional information may not be, but your guide will be there to assist. Don't forget to wear comfortable walking shoes for your visit.

Dumpling Cooking Experience: Delve into the culinary delights of China by learning to make Jiaozi or dumplings with meat and vegetable fillings. Experience the warmth of local hospitality as you are welcomed into a local home for this hands-on activity. Discover the art of dumpling making and gain insight into the local culture. The entire process takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Muslim Quarter: Step into the vibrant atmosphere of the Muslim Quarter, located just 100 meters west of the Bell tower in downtown Xi'an. Stroll along the 500-meter-long avenue adorned with bluestone pavement, and explore the unique stalls, souvenir shops, cafes, and bars predominantly run by Muslim locals. This bustling area is a popular destination for tourists, offering a variety of shopping experiences.

DAY 16 Lanzhou to Xiahe | Bingling Temple Grotto

Bingling Temple Grotto: Discover the awe-inspiring Bingling Temple Grotto, a remarkable complex of caves stretching over 200 meters. These ancient caves boast a rich history dating back to various dynasties, including the Western Qin, North Wei, Sui, Tang, and Song, as well as the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, spanning from the 3rd to the 18th centuries. Not only are these caves architectural marvels, but they are also invaluable treasures for shedding light on the history of Chinese painting and the dissemination of Buddhism during their eras.

DAY 17 Xiahe to Lanzhou | Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery: Explore Labrang Monastery, a vital center of Tibetan Buddhism outside Tibet. Housing over a thousand monks, it offers guided tours led by English-speaking monks at 10:15 AM and 3:10 PM. Discover its rich history, including a unique exhibit of intricate sculptures made from yak butter, used in Tibetan New Year celebrations.

Sangke Grassland: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Sangke Grassland in Xiahe. Ride through lush meadows, adorned with vibrant wildflowers, and enjoy the serene Tibetan nomadic culture against a backdrop of endless blue skies.

DAY 18 Lanzhou to Zhangye | Mati Temple Grotto

Mati Temple Grotto: Discover the enchanting Mati Temple Grotto located in Su'nan, Gu Minority Autonomous County, just 65 kilometers north of Zhangye City. This scenic spot beautifully showcases the art of grottoes, the panoramic views of Qilian Mountain, and the rich culture of the Yugu minority. Immerse yourself in the renowned grottoes, explore small monasteries, and experience the authentic villages and folk customs of the Yugu minority group. Mati Temple Grotto is a must-visit destination, offering a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

DAY 19 Zhangye to Jiayuguan | Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park

Giant Buddha Temple: Explore the Giant Buddha Temple (Dafo Si), located in the southwest corner of Zhangye city. This temple houses China's largest indoor reclining Buddha, a true marvel to behold. Take your time to admire the grandeur of this religious site and appreciate the spiritual significance it holds.

Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park (Rainbow Mountains): Venture to the stunning Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, also known as the Rainbow Mountains. Located approximately 40 kilometers from Zhangye, this park showcases the remarkable Danxia landforms, which are unique to the arid areas of Gansu and Qinghai provinces. Enjoy the captivating beauty of Qicai Danxia Landforms, featuring colorful hills that resemble undulating waves. Marvel at the spectacular rock strata, beautifully blending various hues in a magnificent display. This geopark has become a beloved destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

DAY 20 Jiayuguan | The Great Wall on the Cliff

The Great Wall on the Cliff: Located 11 km northwest of Jiayuguan city center and 7 km north of Jiayu Pass Fort, the Suspended Wall is an impressive section of the Great Wall. Perched on a ridge with a steep 45-degree gradient, it appears to defy gravity as it clings to the side of the mountain range. Marvel at this remarkable engineering feat and its breathtaking location.

The Fresco Tombs of Wei and Jing Dynasty: Journey to the remote Gobi Desert, approximately 20 km from Jiayuguan City, to explore the ancient Fresco Tombs of the Wei and Jing Dynasty. Discover over 1,400 tombs scattered across the desert, providing a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the region.

The Jiayuguan Pass: Experience the "First Pass Under Heaven," an imposing fortress located at the western end of the Ming Dynasty's Great Wall. Regarded as the most magnificent and well-preserved pass among over a thousand, Jiayuguan Pass commands a strategic position between two mountain ranges in the Gansu corridor. Visit the adjacent Great Wall Museum, which showcases artifacts tracing the history of this awe-inspiring structure.

DAY 21 Jiayuguan to Dunhuang | The Singing Sand Mountains

The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring: Venture to the Singing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan), located 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang, and discover the enchanting Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan). This oasis in the desert showcases a crescent-shaped lake formed by natural spring water nestled between towering sand dunes. Surprisingly, despite the arid surroundings, the pool remains filled with water. Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of this unique sight in a captivating video.

Camel Ride: Embark on a camel ride through the desert of the Singing Sand Mountains for a truly memorable experience. Marvel at the mesmerizing wavy patterns of the golden dunes against the backdrop of the deep blue sky. Transport yourself back in time to the days of the ancient Silk Road, imagining the journeys of traders and explorers. As you dismount from the camel, listen closely for the magical singing sound produced by the shifting sand.

DAY 22 Dunhuang to Liuyuan and Turpan | Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves: Prepare for a mesmerizing journey through the renowned Mogao Caves. Guided tours of the caves are available, with English, German, French, and Japanese-speaking guides at your service. During the tour, you will join other travelers and have the opportunity to explore approximately 30 caves, though the selection shown typically consists of 10 caves that provide a representative glimpse of the entire collection. The specific caves visited will be determined by the knowledgeable guide.

Local Vineyard Visit: Explore Turpan's renowned grape cultivation with a visit to an authentic, family-run vineyard. Unlike the bustling Grape Valley, this intimate experience offers a glimpse into the daily lives of locals. Stroll through the vineyard, interact with residents, and gain insights into their traditional farming methods, all while supporting a vital source of income for the community.

DAY 23 Turpan | The Ruins of the Jiaohe Ancient City

The Ruins of the Jiaohe Ancient City: Explore the captivating ruins of Jiaohe, originally constructed by the ancient Cheshi people during the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty. Located in the Yarnaz Valley, just 8 km (5 mi) west of Turpan, this ancient city was carved and built from the yellow-gray parched earth of a narrow, vertical-sided island in a river. From this vantage point, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, encompassing vineyards, orchards, desert, and mountains.

The Karez Wells: Discover the remarkable Karez Wells, an ancient irrigation system consisting of interconnected wells and underground channels. Considered one of China's great ancient engineering projects, these wells have played a vital role in sustaining the fruit and vineyards of the hot and dry desert communities near Turpan. Visit the Karez Wells Folk Garden and Museum located 3 kilometers west of the city center for an intriguing insight into the history and construction of these wells. Take the opportunity to descend below ground for a firsthand view of this impressive irrigation system.

Suleiman Minaret: Marvel at the majestic Suleiman Minaret, also known as Sugong Tower, Xinjiang's largest ancient tower and the country's sole surviving Islamic minaret. Located 2 kilometers southeast of Turpan's city center, this architectural gem is a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage.

Visit a Local Vineyard: Delve into Turpan's fame as a grape-growing region with a visit to a local family-run vineyard. While the Grape Valley can be touristy, we're committed to providing an authentic experience. Explore the vineyard planted behind the family's house, gaining insights into the daily lives of the locals who rely on grape cultivation as a significant source of income. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the farm, engage in conversations with the friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the charm of rural life.

DAY 24 Turpan to Urumqi | The Red Hill

Red Hill: Red Hill, known as "the eyes of Urumqi," stands as a prominent symbol of the city. Composed of aubergine rock, this 1.5-kilometer-long, one-kilometer-wide hill rises 910 meters above sea level. When the sunlight bathes the hills of Hongshan, the rocks reflect a vibrant red color, giving the mountain its name. Explore the natural beauty and cultural significance of this iconic landmark.

Erdaoqiao Market: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Erdaoqiao Bazaar, the largest market in Urumqi. This bustling market offers a wide range of goods, including fruits, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets, and much more. Sundays are particularly lively, with additional stalls and an abundance of items to browse and purchase. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the charming old streets surrounding the bazaar, offering a glimpse into the local culture. For the ladies, this market is especially popular as a place to find traditional Yugu makeup and cosmetics.

DAY 25 Urumqi to Kashgar | Xinjiang Museum

Xinjiang Museum: Explore the fascinating Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum, featuring a diverse collection of art, artifacts, and historical items, including a well-preserved collection of 4,000-year-old corpses along the Silk Road.

Id Kah Mosque - Video: Experience the iconic 15th-century Id Kah Mosque, one of China's largest and busiest mosques. Witness the devotion of worshippers during the midday Friday prayers and admire the beautiful Islamic architecture.

Abakh Khoja Tomb: Step into history at the Abakh Khoja Tomb, a tiled mausoleum holding the tomb of revered Sufi preacher Abakh Khoja. Visit the resting place of 'the Fragrant Concubine' and explore the preserved tombs, providing insight into Kashgar's intriguing past.

DAY 26 Kashgar | Karakuli Lake

Karakuli Lake: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Karakuli Lake, a glimmering glacial lake nestled at the base of the majestic Muztagata Mountains, known as "the Father of Glaciers." As you approach, you'll catch sight of the lake's crystal-clear waters reflecting a range of captivating hues, from light to dark. A railway connecting China with Pakistan runs alongside, adding to the allure of this stunning location.

Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the renowned Kashgar Bazaar, attracting locals and merchants from across Xinjiang and nearby countries like Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. This ancient market is a treasure trove of diverse commodities, including dried fruits, delicacies, clothing, shoes, leather goods, textiles, rugs, carpets, scarves, souvenirs, and much more.

DAY 27 Kashgar to Beijing | Kashgar Old Town

Kashgar Old Town: Step back in time as you explore the ancient streets of Kashgar's Old Town. Experience the ambiance of this legendary Central Asian hub during the peak of the Silk Road era. Marvel at the 500-year-old remnants of the city wall, wander through narrow lanes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant multi-ethnic atmosphere that makes Kashgar's historic district a captivating highlight of your visit.

Handicraft Street: Located near the Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street offers a glimpse into the artistry and craftsmanship of local artisans. Explore this charming old street where a wide range of handmade goods are crafted, from traditional cookware to exotic musical instruments. Marvel at the intricate copper, metal, porcelain, and wooden creations, as well as stunning jewelry. You'll be fascinated by unique items like wooden devices designed to prevent bedwetting. Everything you encounter is either meticulously handmade or imported from distant places, showcasing the rich artistic traditions of Kashgar.

Kashgar Old City Opening Ceremonies: Start your day immersed in the cultural festivities of Kashgar Old City. Witness the captivating opening ceremonies each morning, featuring performers dressed in traditional Uyghur costumes, warmly welcoming tourists from all around the world. Take in this cultural spectacle, lasting approximately 20 minutes, before continuing your exploration of Kashgar.

DAY 28 Beijing | The Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square: Start your journey at Tian'anmen Square, the heart of Beijing. It's the world's largest city square and a symbol of China's history, surrounded by significant landmarks.

Forbidden City Emperor's Tour: Explore the immense Forbidden City, home to 24 emperors over the centuries. Our in-depth tour covers 12 carefully selected locations, unveiling the secrets of Ming and Qing dynasties. It's a 2-hour easy walk through this historic masterpiece.

Mutianyu Great Wall with Round-Trip Cable Car: Ranked as the top Great Wall section on TripAdvisor, Mutianyu offers a picturesque and well-restored experience. Just 1.5 hours from downtown Beijing, it's also the most child-friendly section. In 1986, a 2½-kilometer stretch was fully restored. To maximize your time, we've arranged a round-trip cable car ride instead of a 40-minute climb. Your guide will provide insights, and you'll have free time to explore. The cable car takes you to tower 14, the starting point for "the golden route," a stunning 2-hour hike between the 14th and 23rd watchtowers. Afterward, descend and take a bus back to our vehicle.

Exterior Visit of Beijing Olympic Stadiums (Bird's Nest and Water Cube): Situated at the north end of Beijing's central axis, this 1215-hectare area includes the National Museum, an exhibition area, the Olympic Village, and competition venues used in the Beijing Olympics, such as the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) and the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube). While you'll explore the park's exterior, please note that this tour doesn't include entry to the Bird's Nest and Water Cube.

DAY 29 Beijing | The Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven: Journey back to 1420 during the Ming dynasty as you step into the awe-inspiring Temple of Heaven. This Taoist complex served as a sacred place where Ming and Qing emperors performed annual ceremonies, offering prayers for bountiful harvests. The Temple's sprawling park teems with life, especially in the morning when local seniors gather for communal singing, exercise, and tai chi. Covering 273 hectares in the southern heart of Beijing, the park invites you to stroll leisurely for about 1-1½ hours (1½ kilometers), a pleasantly easy walk.

Summer Palace with Boat Ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony: Venture to the northwest of Beijing, where the magnificent Summer Palace awaits, a mere 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the city center. This expansive royal park, China's largest and best-preserved, has profoundly influenced Chinese horticulture and landscape design. Renowned for its natural beauty and cultural significance, it's often referred to as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens.' Wander through its enchanting grounds for approximately 2 hours (covering 2 kilometers), a splendid way to immerse yourself in history and nature.

Dongcheng District Hutong Tour: Embark on a captivating one-hour exploration of the historic Hutong alleys nestled in Dongcheng District. Traverse these winding lanes aboard a rickshaw, taking in the quaint single-story traditional courtyard houses. These architectural gems are a vanishing heritage, and your tour offers a glimpse into their unique thresholds. You'll also have the opportunity to visit a local family, gaining insights into the courtyards' diverse histories and significance.

DAY 30 Beijing to Shanghai | The Temple of Confucius

The vibrant Yonghe Lamasery stands as the largest and most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It remains a vibrant center of devotion, drawing worshippers seeking blessings and good fortune. Explore its captivating halls and courtyards, often bustling with devotees. Here, you'll encounter the world's largest wooden statue, the Matreiya Buddha, and intriguing Tibetan exhibitions.

Temple of Confucius: Located on Guozijian Street in Dongcheng District, the Temple of Confucius has long served as a venue for honoring Confucius and hosting ceremonial rites during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Its construction, finalized in 1306, underwent numerous repairs and expansions throughout its history. Beijing's Temple of Confucius ranks as the second-largest of its kind in China, following the one in Qufu, Shandong Province.

Guozijian: The Guozijian, often referred to as the "Imperial Academy" or "School of the Sons of State," held a prominent role as the national central institute of learning during the Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD). Dating back to 3 CE, during the reign of Emperor Ping of Han (9 BC – AD 6), when a standardized nationwide school system was established, it was known as the Taixue. In the traditional Chinese educational system, this school represented the highest level of learning and was a fundamental part of Confucian education for future government officials. In 1898, during the Qing Dynasty reform, the central schools of Taixue were dissolved, eventually giving rise to the Imperial Capital Academy, which later evolved into Peking University.

DAY 31Shanghai | The Bund and Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden: Nestled in the heart of Shanghai's historic district, Yuyuan Garden is a captivating oasis steeped in Ming Dynasty history. This private garden, crafted in 1559, boasts quintessential Chinese classical architecture and design. Spanning 2 hectares, it enchants visitors with its intricate rockeries, picturesque pavilions, serene ponds, and meandering corridors. Surrounding the garden is a bustling market, offering a delightful array of local treats, handicrafts, antiques, souvenirs, and the chance to savor renowned traditional dining.

The Bund: Stretching along the western bank of the Huangpu River, the 1.5-kilometer-long Bund presents an enchanting "architecture gallery" adorned with 52 meticulously preserved European-style buildings. Once the bustling epicenter of trade and commerce in old Shanghai, the Bund has seamlessly blended its historical charm with modern vitality. By day, explore its futuristic developments, chic restaurants, upscale boutiques, and vibrant bars. By night, witness its transformation into a mesmerizing spectacle.

Yuyuan Market: Adjacent to Yuyuan Garden, the Yuyuan Market beckons with a lively shopping experience. Explore an eclectic array of tea, jewelry, scarves, souvenirs, and local delicacies. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you savor a variety of tempting snacks.

Shanghai Tower: Standing tall as the world's second-tallest building, the Shanghai Tower reaches a staggering height of 632 meters (2,073 feet) with 128 stories above ground and 5 below. This iconic Shanghai landmark invites visitors to ascend its heights and experience its exceptional features. Marvel at the world's highest observation deck at 561 meters, stay at the second-highest hotel globally, and ride the world's fastest elevators. The Shanghai Tower promises an unforgettable experience on your Shanghai journey.

DAY 32Shanghai | Shanghai Old Street

Former French Concession Precinct: Explore the enchanting legacy of the former French Concession, a captivating district encompassing iconic streets like Huaihai Road, Fuxing Road, and Ruijin Road. Stroll through history as you encounter significant landmarks, including the former residences of luminaries like Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlai. Along the way, discover treasures like Fuxing Park, Moller Villa, Lilac Garden, Notre Dame Cathedral, and a wealth of charming French colonial-style buildings, many of which have stood for over a century. When the sun graces the clear skies, the romantic ambiance is heightened by the Chenar tree shadows. By night, the district comes alive with the inviting aromas of coffee from its cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Shanghai Old Street: Step into the heart of Shanghai's old quarters, where well-preserved historic homes and narrow alleyways provide a glimpse into the daily lives of local residents. As you wander these ancient lanes, you'll be transported back to the Shanghai of yesteryears. Explore a variety of shops and stalls offering antiques, crafts, and souvenirs, immersing yourself in the city's rich heritage.

Zhujiajiao Boat Ride: Embark on a delightful river cruise through the ancient town of Zhujiajiao, a tranquil journey that unfolds over 10-15 scenic minutes.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town: Fan-shaped and steeped in centuries of history, Zhujiajiao Water Town boasts a wealth of Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture lining its picturesque lakeshores. As you explore, you'll encounter the fascinating Tongtianhe ancient pharmacy, the historic Post Office, Yuanjin Temple, and the serene Kezhi Garden. Meander across the town's 36 stone bridges, each exuding its unique ancient charm.

Jade Buddha Temple: Dating back to 1918, the Jade Buddha Temple stands as a beloved Buddhist sanctuary among locals. Its most cherished treasures are two rare statues of Buddha, both hewn from single blocks of precious white jade adorned with exquisite gemstones, brought to Shanghai from Burma by sea. Immerse yourself in the temple's bustling atmosphere, where monks, devout worshippers, and curious visitors converge in reverence.

DAY 33 Shanghai Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Shanghai Pudong Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

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Tour Price

FromUS9,900 p/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

Tour code: cht-cx-80

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