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19-Day Shanghai, Huangshan, Hangzhou, Yiwu, Zhangjiajie, Guizhou, Tibet and Xi'an Tour

Classic China Natural and Culture Tour

Begin your adventure in the vibrant city of Shanghai before immersing yourself in the majestic Huangshan Mountains and the picturesque West Lake in Hangzhou. Discover the commercial hub of Yiwu and marvel at the towering sandstone pillars of Zhangjiajie. Explore the ethnic villages and stunning landscapes of Guizhou before embarking on a spiritual journey to Tibet, where ancient monasteries and breathtaking landscapes await. Conclude your trip in Xian, home to the iconic Terracotta Warriors.

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 Famous Yellow Mountain in Huangshan

Yellow Mountain

Step Into the Rich History of Fenghuang Ancient City

Fenghuang Ancient City

Marvel at the Famous Hallelujah Mountain in the Movie "Avatar"

Hallelujah Mountain

Climb Up to the Famous Fanjing Mountain in Guizhou

Fanjing Mountain

Witness the Famous Potala Palace

Potala Palace

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Itinerary Quick Look

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

DAY 1 Shanghai Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Shanghai. 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 Shanghai| Shanghai Museum and Yuyuan Garden

Shanghai Museum: Visit the renowned Shanghai Museum, displaying ancient Chinese art across eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. Explore a wide range of treasures, including bronzes, sculptures, paintings, ceramics, and Ming-Qing furniture. Don't miss the rare "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.

Jade Buddha Temple: Experience the revered Jade Buddha Temple, known for its two statues of Buddha carved from white jade. Witness the temple's vibrant atmosphere as monks, worshippers, and visitors gather.

Yuyuan Garden: Immerse yourself in the beauty of Yuyuan Garden, a Ming Dynasty private garden. Explore its classic Chinese architecture, rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Don't forget to explore the bustling marketplace surrounding the garden.

DAY 3 Shanghai to Huangshan| The Hongcun Village:

Hongcun Village: Tucked 10 kilometers northeast of Yixian County is the 800-year-old Hongcun Village. Pierced by fog from the surrounding Yellow Mountains, this picturesque hamlet served as a backdrop in the famed "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Artists frequent this UNESCO World Heritage site for its lush landscapes, unique buffalo-like layout, and traditional homes. Visitors find tranquility exploring the local halls, dwellings, and an ancient school.

Tunxi Ancient Street: At the heart of the old city is the historic Tunxi Ancient Street. Here, hundreds of vintage shops stand, meticulously preserved, bearing testimony to a bygone era. A leisurely stroll down this lively street offers a unique retail experience amidst the charm of antiquity.

DAY 4 Huangshan | The Yellow Mountains

The Yellow Mountains Expedition: Explore the awe-inspiring beauty of The Yellow Mountains, nestled in the south of Anhui Province, spanning an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers. Revered as "China's loveliest mountain," this natural gem is renowned for its striking scenery - granite peaks that pierce the clouds, hot springs, waterfalls, extraordinary vistas, and over 1,500 plant species. No matter the season, the landscape here never ceases to impress. Your private tour begins with a pick-up from your hotel, railway station, or airport. From there, you'll be escorted to the South Gate of the Huangshan Scenic Area, roughly an hour's drive away.

The Yungu Cable Car & West Sea Grand Canyon Adventure: Upon arrival at the South Gate, hop onto a scenic area shuttle bus for a 20-minute ride to the Yungu Cable Car. From there, a 10-minute cable car ride will take you into the heart of the mountains. Let your experienced guide, who spends over 200 days annually exploring these mountains, customize the ideal route based on your fitness level.

DAY 5 Huangshan to Hangzhou | The North Sea and Yungu Cable Car

North Sea and Yungu Cable Car Adventure: Start your day early and seize this golden opportunity to witness and capture the spectacular sunrise at the Refreshing Terrace, a location highly acclaimed by our previous visitors to the Yellow Mountains. Following breakfast at the hotel, embark on a scenic walk towards Lion Peak. Here, you'll encounter landmarks like the Dawn Pavilion and the iconic Stone Monkey Watching the Sea, along with witnessing an intriguing array of indigenous pines adorning the North Sea area route.

DAY 6 Hangzhou to Yiwu | The West Lake

Leifeng Pagoda: Explore the scenic Leifeng Pagoda, originally built in 976 AD on the southern bank of the renowned West Lake. Although it collapsed in 1924 due to the removal of "lucky" bricks, it was rebuilt in 2002 to its former glory. The octagonal, five-storied structure is a stunning combination of brick, wood, reinforced steel, and copper parts. As one of the "Ten Scenes of the West Lake," the pagoda offers a magnificent view at sunset when observed from across the lake.

Jingcisi Temple: Visit Jingcisi, a national important temple chosen through public appraisal in 1983. This notable temple is one of the most renowned scenic spots in Hangzhou, second only to West Lake.

The West Lake (including Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, cruise, Mid-Lake Pavilion, and Xiaoying Island): Discover the tranquility of the symbol of Hangzhou, the West Lake, covering an area of 5.6 square kilometers. Begin by visiting the Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, considered one of the Ten Best Views of West Lake. Stroll along the lakeside while marveling at the graceful koi fish swimming beside you. Embark on a leisurely cruise to enjoy captivating views and listen to fascinating stories about the lake's landmarks. Don't miss the Mid-Lake Pavilion and Xiaoying Island during your West Lake experience.

Six Harmonies Pagoda: Witness the architectural marvel of the Six Harmonies Pagoda, a famous ancient pagoda located on the north bank of the Qiantang River. Dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), this brick-and-wood structure forms a significant part of Hangzhou's picturesque scenery. Marvel at this masterpiece, which represents the six Buddhist ordinances, symbolizing the harmonies of heaven, earth, east, west, south, and north.

DAY 7 Yiwu to Hangzhou for Zhangjiajie | China Commodity Wholesale Center

China Commodity Wholesale Center Exploration: Uncover the hustle and bustle of the China Commodity Wholesale Center, originally established in 1982 in Yiwu, making it one of the earliest professional marketplaces in the country. Presently, it spans an impressive business area exceeding 400 million square meters. This mammoth establishment comprises of three significant sections: the International Trade City, Huangyuan Market, and Binwang Market. Lauded by the United Nations as "China's largest commodity export base" and "the world's largest small commodity wholesale market," the center offers a unique shopping experience, brimming with an astounding variety of goods.

DAY 8Zhangjiajie | The National Forest Park

In Zhangjiajie, you will visit the National Forest Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the unique pillar-like formations shaped by erosion over time. Explore the park's vast forest-covered area, including Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie, Jinbian Stream, and Wulongzhai. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting nearby villages inhabited by Tujia, Bai, Miao, and Hui people.

Please note that accommodations and meals in mountain areas like Zhangjiajie and Huangshan are simple. Adjust your expectations accordingly for the best experience. Get ready to be captivated by the breathtaking landscapes of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

DAY 9 Zhangjiajie| The Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge

Today, our guide will lead you to visit Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, which is a stunning natural attraction that has recently been developed into a wonderland for visitors. It offers a combination of majestic mountains, flowing streams, intriguing caves, towering cliffs, and lush forests. One of the highlights of this scenic area is the world's longest and highest glass bridge. Imagine the thrill of walking on this bridge, suspended 300 meters above the ground! It's definitely an experience you wouldn't want to miss during your tour.

If walking on the glass bridge isn't your cup of tea, don't worry. We have an alternative route that allows you to still enjoy the attraction without stepping on the glass bridge. However, if you decide to take on the adventure, please note that for safety reasons, carrying a camera on the bridge is not allowed. You can, however, bring your cellphone or GoPro to capture those unforgettable moments.

DAY 10 Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang | Tianmen Mountain

Visit the Tianmen Mountain, the awe-inspiring heart of Zhangjiajie! As the highest peak in the area, this majestic mountain offers unrivaled views of ancient trees, stunning karst formations, and scenic roads carved into cliff sides. Hop on the world's longest cable car ride, a thrilling 30-minute journey from the city center, and ascend to the mountain's summit.

At 1430 meters above ground, you'll find the renowned Tianmen Mountain Glass Walkway, a remarkable observation platform that extends from a sheer cliff. This narrow 1.6-meter-wide, 60-meter-long glass walkway offers brave souls not only breathtaking views of the mountains below but also the exhilaration of treading nervously above such heights. Some have even likened this experience to the famous 'skywalk' at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.

Don't miss the chance to explore this remarkable natural wonder in China. Savor the beauty and thrill of Tianmen Mountain, an experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Evening at Fenghuang Ancient Town: Nestled by the Tuo River, the age-old town of Fenghuang transforms from a peaceful hideaway by day to a vibrant lantern-filled spectacle by nightfall. Immerse yourself in this contrasting experience, witnessing tranquil seclusion by day and vivacious energy by night.

DAY 11 Fenghuang to Tongren | The Fanjing Mountain

Fanjing Mountain Exploration: Noted as "a sacred Buddhist site" and "a rewarding destination for hikers" by a well-regarded magazine, Fanjing Mountain beckons travelers with its peculiar rock formations and mesmerizing cloud scenery. Beyond the impressive aesthetics, this mountain is also a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and rare plants.

Encompassing no less than 382 species of vertebrates - from the elusive pangolin to mysterious clouded leopards - it is also home to the world's largest population of gray snub-nosed monkeys. The rich biodiversity harbored here has indeed been recognized globally and granted Fanjing Mountain a revered spot on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Visiting such a unique and diverse site ensures a memorable experience for nature lovers and curious explorers alike.

DAY 12 Tongren to Anshun | The Huangguoshu Waterfall

Huangguoshu Waterfall and Tianxing Qiao Scenic Area: Explore Huangguoshu Waterfalls, one of China's largest clusters, located near Anshun City in Guizhou Province. Experience the splendor of 18 aboveground and 4 underground waterfalls. Nearby, behold the Tianxing Qiao Scenic Area, an aquatic stone forest showcasing an enchanting blend of stones, trees, and water.

The Dragon Palace: Just outside Anshun or Guiyang, discover the Dragon Palace's vast karst cave network. Only a portion of this 15-kilometer-long labyrinth, featuring over ninety caves, is open for exploration. Marvel at its striking stalactites from a 30-minute boat ride on the underground river that flows from Tianci Lake.

DAY 13 Guiyang to Xining | Qingyan Ancient Town

Qingyan Ancient Town: Immerse yourself in the history of the Ming Dynasty with a visit to Qingyan Ancient Town, located just 29 kilometers from Guiyang. Established in 1738, this cultural gem overflows with architectural riches, boasting 9 temples, 2 shrines, a palace, and other well-preserved ancient constructions demonstrating the impressive craftsmanship of yore. Recognized for its historical significance, it was designated a national cultural relic in 1995. Plan for an hour's exploration to journey back in time in this bastion of traditional Chinese culture.

DAY 14 Xining to Lhasa | The Qinghai Lake

Taer Monastery: With over 150 years of history, the Taer Monastery is a state-protected cultural relic in Qinghai Province. Housing thousands of cultural artifacts, this monastery offers a significant glimpse into Buddhism through its statues, sutras, and inscriptions. Featuring over 9,300 rooms in 52 halls, its Tibetan-style architecture creates a harmonious blend of palatial buildings, Buddhist halls, and courtyards.

Qinghai Lake: Experience the enchanting beauty of China's largest inland and saline lake, Qinghai Lake. A tapestry of blue sky, clear water, striking green grasslands, and vibrant yellow rape flowers lures tourists yearly. They can reach the lake via cable car, or opt for cycling or hiking. The annual International Road Cycling Race in June or July is a sight to see. Optimal visiting times are May for migratory birds, June and July for rape flowers, and July to September for lush grasslands and autumn views.

DAY 15Lhasa | The Potala Palace

Your exploration begins at the stunning Potala Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This formidable fortress-like structure, also known as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, stands majestically at an elevation of 12,139 feet. As you navigate its 13 stories, take in the grand views and be amazed by the collection of over 1,000 rooms filled with centuries-old statues, stupas, murals, and artifacts, each echoing tales of Tibet's vibrant history and spiritual traditions.

Move next to another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jokhang Temple. Arguably the most revered spiritual site in Tibet, this temple resonates with the devotions of innumerable devotees and stands as a humbling testament to Buddhism's enduring influence on Tibetan culture.

Adjacent to the temple is the bustling Barkhor Street, ringing with the chants of circling pilgrims and the lively chatter of street vendors. Engage your senses as you browse through a myriad of stalls offering traditional Tibetan arts and crafts such as prayer wheels and jewelry.

DAY 16 Lhasa to Xi'an | The Drepung and Sera Monastery

Your day commences with a visit to Drepung Monastery in the morning. Once one of the "three great" Gelug monasteries of Tibet, Drepung was founded in 1416, making it an important keystone of Tibetan history and religion. Explore the Ganden Palace nestled within the monastery, previously the residence of the Dalai Lama before the Potala Palace assumed that role.

In the afternoon, your adventure continues at Sera Monastery. Another of the "three great" Gelug monasteries, it dates back to 1419 and resounds with historical and spiritual significance. The tour's unique highlight is the opportunity to witness the lively Monks' debate, a long-standing tradition held daily from 3 to 5 pm. It's an unforgettable spectacle of lively, animated discourse on Buddhist doctrines, further adding to the insight towards practicing faith.

DAY 17 Xi'an | Terracotta Army

Discover the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army, accidentally unearthed in 1974. This incredible army consists of over 7000 unique soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array. Guarding Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC, these life-sized figures are an incredible sight. Explore the three protected excavation pits, housed inside massive hangars, and learn about their history at the excellent museum nearby. Photography is allowed (without flash), so don't forget your camera. Wear comfortable walking shoes for the journey.

Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to visit a local family workshop in the countryside. Learn firsthand from skilled artisans the intricate process of creating Terracotta Warriors. Have a chance to interact with the locals and discover fascinating details about how these life-sized warriors were made in ancient times. Gain insight into the most challenging steps of the production process while enjoying a unique cultural experience.

DAY 18 Xi'an | The Ancient City Wall

Explore the Ancient City Wall: The impressive city walls, ramparts, gates, and watchtowers date back to the 13th century and offer a captivating glimpse into ancient China's city defense. Built on the foundation of the original Tang Forbidden City, this well-preserved structure encloses the city center. You can choose to walk or rent a bike or electric cart (additional cost) to enjoy a 14km circuit with stunning views of the city on both sides.

Experience China's Traditional Costume (Hanfu): Immerse yourself in Chinese culture by wearing Hanfu, the traditional clothing of the Han Chinese. Discover the rich history and significance of Hanfu during a one-hour guided tour in an ancient academy. Learn about different Hanfu styles and ancient etiquette. Afterward, take a break, sip a cup of tea, and even try your hand at movable type printing. It's a unique opportunity to indulge in something special and memorable.

DAY 19 Xian to Shanghai Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Xi'an Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Tour Price

FromUS5,700 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-52

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