Chinese Culture and Natural Wonders Tour
22-Day Private China Tour: Shanghai– Zhangjiajie– Guilin–Lijiang–Hangzhou–Huangshan–Beijing–Xi'an
Immerse yourself in the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultures of these iconic destinations. From the futuristic skyline of Shanghai to the ancient terracotta warriors in Xian, every moment is an adventure. Discover the mystical beauty of Zhangjiajie's Avatar Mountains, cruise along the picturesque Li River in Guilin, and wander through the charming streets of Lijiang. This comprehensive journey offers a perfect blend of history, nature, and culture.
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
Find the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City
Explore the Famous Yellow Mountain in Huangshan
Marvel at the Famous Hallelujah Mountain in the Movie "Avatar"
Explore the Awe-inspiring Longji Rice Terraces
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Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.
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Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
- Less crowded
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- No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
- Free changes
Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day
2. Work out your unique plan with 1 to 1 expert advice
Olivia Tian, a sunshine tour guide!
In October, my friend Amy booked a tour with Chinahighlights, Olivia Tian was our guide in Beijing, she is such a sweet n happy person to be around, not only she gave us the best guide service, also very accommodating, alter the plan as per our interest, took us to very local shopping n food district. Above all, she takes awesome pics, very patient!! Thank you so much for such pleasant 5 days in BJ, look forward to see you when we are back in China, Olivia!!more
Dec 2023, Venture216019
One whole of a good experience !
Kevin was always making flexible arrangements for us making sure we meet our needs. Kevin also walked us to our desired restaurant daily making sure all are well before he left. Kudos to the whole team. Highly recommend ?more
Dec 2023, Cornelius C
China is Amazing Wonders that do not stop coming at you.Great country
Great job,Loved every minute of it,Ethan did an amazing job,True Ambassador of China,Just like the Chinese people,Friendly, dignified and hardworking,Very happy.China Highlights exceeded expectations and then some,I will never even think of travelling with another company.more
Dec 2023, Philip Sardar /Maps10321171537
Wonderful trip to Beijing and Xian
Had a great trip to bejing n xian. Our guide lily liu is so well versed in english and we have no worry here at all. We managed to dine in great halal restaurants though out our trip. Highly reccomended to all muslims travellers.more
Dec 2023, Efen Reyes
Great experience, highly recommended!
Additionally, she helped me with all my personal needs like getting a SIM card, finding an ATM, shopping, dining, checking in at the train station, hotel, suggested a couple additional very entertaining art events. Was also punctual and spoke good English.more
Nov 2023, Wayne S.
Excellent tour with Tom from China Highlights
We used China Highlights for the 3 days of our Beijing trip. Tom was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgable with excellent English. He was able to accommodate changes to our tour at short notice, allowing us to make the most of our limited time. Couldn’t recommend highly enoughmore
Nov 2023, Ross
Wow this tour was honestly the best tourI have ever taken! Our guide Simon Yao was simply superb! His English was excellent and he was very easy to talk to. He was personable and friendly but not overpowering or overbearing. Very knowledgeable about history. Thankfully the weather was good so we were not super hot !Finally at the wall we were amazed by it's beauty and grandeur. It really is something and pictures don't do it justice.more
Nov 2023, Annika M
Excellent two day visit to Great Wall
Our guide ‘Mark’ was incredible. So friendly, knowledgable and funny. The itinerary was perfect, we got to see two different parts of the Great Wall (one of which at night which was magical) and our hotel stay in Gubei was wonderful. Highly recommend to anybody visiting Beijingmore
Nov 2023, James_Wolstenholme
Great Experience from start to finish!
Jack was my guide and his local knowledge and English skills were fantastic. He was punctual, friendly and willing to flex as we went about our tour. Couldn’t recommend China Highlights more!more
Nov 2023, Scott Smith
Helen in Beijing - thanks for paying great attention to details, for your small surprises for the children every day, for selecting amazing restaurants, and leading wonderful walking tours. Your cheerfulness added to our enjoyment.more
Nov 2023, Kamila
Great day out with Mark, thanks China Highlights!
We did a 1 day private tour with China Highlights to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Communication was great throughout - from trip planning/booking with Roger and from our guide Mark who contacted us the day before to confirm meet up time/location. Avoided a lot of the queues and definitely learned quite a bit of history from our guide Mark…thanks again! No language barriers/issues…highly recommended.more
Nov 2023, ykeezy
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain. The tour guides ensured I got the most out of my time I stayed in the various cities Beijing, Chengdu and Zhangjiajie.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
13 days in China
We booked a 13 day’s tour of China with China Highlights. Our travel advisor, Ms Leah Zhou organised an itinerary that suited what we wanted. She was really helpful and patient will all our needs. Leah helped us organised our 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner and my 60th Birthday celebration?? in Beijing. For this to be possible, she had to liaise with our guide in Beijing. The flowers and cake were a real surprise. My husband and I, were really touched at the good service provided by China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou. Thank you China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou for your constant care of your customers. I will certainly recommend China Highlights to my friends.more
Nov 2023, Eda Adams
Perfect Beijing experience
Covering all major sights our exploration of Beijing and surroundings was flawless guided by Lily, along with her knowledgeable and balanced information on Chinas culture and history. In particular, Lily was able to adjust the tour according to personal preferences, e.g. focus on photography, as well as suggesting additional activities like an impressive authentic artistic show. I highly recommend China Highlights as China tour operator and Lily Liu as excellent guide regarding the Beijing area.more
Nov 2023, Perfect Beijing experience
Our first trip to Beijing
Our tour guide was Lucy Yubo. She was awesome. Very friendly, informative and passionate about her job. We really enjoyed her company and guidance.more
Nov 2023, Sreelatha Reddy
Anne and Bob’s tour of Beijing
We did the China Highlights tour of Beijing with our excellent guide Mark and his driver. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Beijing highlights including the Lama Temple, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. The Summer Palace with the boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony were memorable also and the Mutianyu Great Wall was a highlight. We were impressed with Mark as a guide. He knew his history and he was kind and thoughtful. He took us to some excellent restaurants and we were introduced to some beautiful food. We enjoyed his company and will always remember him.more
Nov 2023, BendigoBob
Excellent end to end service
Helen is a positive, full of knowledge, experienced guide.She provided us an implacable service abd experience for 3 days .Highly recommendedmore
Nov 2023, Sariel Engel
Amazing Beijing Tour with Risa!
Risa gave us a wonderful tour of the city! She thoroughly explained the cultuaral importance of each exhibit while also educating us on the Chinese culture. Appreciated having this wonderful Beijing trip with Risa:)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M.
Amazing Beijing Tour With Risa!
We were very kindly received in Beijing by our tour guide Risa. She gave us a very thorough tour of the city and showed us wonderful places, while also explaining the important history/culture of China! Very beautiful city filled with many things to do and full of culture! This was very well planned and made it very easy for us to visit the city and foreigners:) Thank you Risa!more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
Do Beijing like a local
They organised my trip very quickly and efficiently. On the day, Anna was very friendly to me, my mum and my baby. Very accommodating to our needs. The car was immaculately clean and very comfortable. We visited everything we initially wanted and more. Also, Anna took us to the best meal we had in China. It makes a difference to have a local choosing the dishes!more
Nov 2023, Natali A
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
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.
Experience the allure of The Bund, a historic embankment along the Huangpu River. Marvel at the well-preserved European-style buildings that line its promenade, offering a glimpse into Shanghai's trading past. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that now defines The Bund, with its modern developments, chic restaurants, upscale shops, and lively bars. Be sure to visit in the afternoon or evening to witness the enchanting lights that illuminate the area.
Visit the impressive Shanghai World Financial Center, a soaring skyscraper that serves as a symbol of Shanghai's prosperity. Take in awe-inspiring views from its observation deck, the highest in the world, and explore the diverse offerings within the building, including hotels, apartments, restaurants, shopping malls, and offices.
Indulge in a Zhujiajiao Boat Ride, where you can peacefully glide along the water and admire the town's scenic highlights. Discover historical attractions such as the ancient pharmacy, Post Office, art galleries, temples, museums, and gardens during the 20-minute ride. Allow the intimate setting of the boat to provide a personal experience of this charming water town.
Explore the enchanting Yuyuan Garden, a meticulously designed private garden showcasing classic Chinese architecture. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance as you admire the rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Don't miss the bustling marketplace surrounding the garden, offering a blend of culinary delights, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
Visit the revered Jade Buddha Temple, home to invaluable Buddha statues carved from precious white jade. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as worshippers and visitors gather, immersing yourself in the spiritual energy the temple offers.
Take a leisurely stroll through Shanghai's Old Street, where well-preserved traditional houses and narrow lanes transport you to the bygone era of the city. Engage with local life and explore the various shops and stalls, filled with antiques, crafts, and souvenirs, allowing you to discover unique treasures.
Experience the distinctive Shikumen style of housing and witness its evolution from residential neighborhoods to modern gathering places filled with bars, tea houses, and entertainment centers. Don't miss the opportunity to glimpse into the past at Wu Li Xiang, an exhibition that showcases the furnishings and essence of traditional Shanghainese homes.
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.
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.
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.
Reed Flute Cave: Just 5 kilometers northwest of Guilin city lies the Reed Flute Cave. Named after the reeds at its entrance used for crafting flutes and pipes, it's Guilin's largest and most impressive cave. Spanning 240 meters, the tour covers 550 meters of stunning stalactites, stalagmites, stone formations, and unique flora and fauna in various shapes and colors. The guided tour lasts 40 minutes, involving some steps and dim lighting, with your guide illuminating the way using an electric torch.
Elephant Trunk Hill: Elephant Trunk Hill, a Guilin symbol, stands 55 meters tall at the junction of the Li River and Peach Blossom River. Its distinctive shape resembles an elephant sipping water from the Li River with its trunk. The hill features numerous caves and a quaint small pagoda.
Discover Longji Rice Terraces and Ping'an Zhuang Village: The Longji Rice Terraces, known as 'Dragon's Backbone,' are a captivating manmade wonder near Guilin. A scenic 2½-hour drive from Guilin takes you to these terraces, covering 66 square kilometers and built over 600 years ago by local minority communities. We'll explore Ping'an Zhuang Village, home to over 50 families and perched at elevations ranging from 300 to 1,100 meters above sea level. A moderate uphill walk takes you to the summit for panoramic views of the rice terraces. For those seeking an easier option, sedan chair rides are available for a fee, or we can arrange a car transfer upon request.
Learn Bamboo Stuffed Rice with Locals: Indulge in the local specialty, Bamboo Stuffed Rice, and discover its delicious flavors with a local family. Engage in conversation with the family and explore their traditional wooden house, gaining insight into the local culture.
Explore Yangshuo's Picturesque Countryside: Venture into the serene countryside of Yangshuo, renowned for its enchanting landscapes featuring striking karst peaks, lush rice fields, crystal-clear waters, and verdant bamboo groves. Embrace the idyllic local farming life as you immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to gain insights into local life by visiting a charming village with the guidance of your knowledgeable local guide. This captivating excursion spans approximately 1.5 hours, covering a distance of 10-12 kilometers by bike. If cycling isn't your preference, you can opt for an electromobile or private car ride at no extra cost, ensuring you explore Yangshuo's countryside at your comfort.
Li River Cruise: Guilin to Xingping - Skip the Crowds: Embark on an unforgettable Li River cruise through the mesmerizing limestone peaks, where you'll be enchanted by the sight of graceful bamboo groves, rice paddies tended by local farmers, and water buffalo leisurely cooling off in the river. Your journey commences from the east suburb of Guilin and concludes at Xingping, marking the end of the popular section of the river. By skipping the touristy onboard lunch and the less scenic final 1½ hours of the standard cruise, you'll enjoy a more authentic experience.
Lijiang Ancient Town: Nestled in the heart of the county and perched at an impressive altitude of over 2400 meters above sea level, Lijiang Ancient Town beckons with its enchanting scenery and rich historical and cultural heritage. Remarkably well-preserved, this minority ancient city is a rare gem in China, offering a glimpse into its vibrant past. While the old town comes alive in the afternoons and evenings, adorned with lively lights and bustling crowds, consider embarking on an early morning visit for a more tranquil experience, away from the crowds.
The Black Dragon Pool: This serene park is home to the renowned Black Dragon Pool, aptly named for its striking beauty. Listed among the prestigious "Collections of Famous Pools of China," the pool's charm is simply captivating.
Jade Dragon Mountain Expedition (via Large Cable Car from Ganhaizi): Prepare for an awe-inspiring adventure aboard the highest tourist cable car in China! The Large Cableway will whisk you away on a remarkable journey to Shanzidou, the majestic pinnacle of the Jade Dragon Mountain. This remarkable cableway spans an impressive 2,914 meters, ascending to an astounding altitude of 4,506 meters with a sheer ascent of 1,150 meters. As you ascend, you'll find yourself ascending into the clouds, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life to discover a pristine paradise. Many travelers use this cableway as their gateway to explore Ganhanzi, Baishuihe (White Water River), and the Glacier Park, each offering its own unique charm and natural wonders.
Baisha Village Murals: Step back in time as you explore the ancient Baisha Village, home to murals that have gracefully adorned its walls for over a millennium. Painted over a thousand years ago, these murals beautifully blend the cultural influences of the Han, Tibetan, and Naxi people. They vividly depict the life stories of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, offering a captivating glimpse into the rich tapestry of these ancient traditions. Stroll through Baisha Village at a leisurely pace, immersing yourself in the local way of life and absorbing the fascinating local culture.
Blue Moon Valley Excursion: Embark on a scenic shuttle bus ride to the enchanting Blue Moon Valley, nestled near Lijiang. This stunning valley boasts pristine waters sourced from the melting snow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The valley's crowning glory is its breathtaking natural white water terraces, an absolute must-see spectacle.
Tiger Leaping Gorge Adventure: Prepare for an extraordinary journey to Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and most breathtaking gorges in the world. Located in the charming Hutiaoxia Town, just 105 kilometers from Zhongdian/Shangri-La County, this natural wonder is at its prime during the spring season. Witness the powerful spectacle of melting snow cascading down from the mountains, creating turbulent river currents that define this magnificent gorge.
First Bend of the Yangtze River Discovery: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the First Bend of the Yangtze River, where rivers and mountains create a mesmerizing landscape. Situated at an elevation of 1850 meters above sea level, this location offers picturesque scenery that will leave you in awe. Beyond its natural charm, it holds historical significance as a crucial junction connecting the inland regions with the old trade route for tea and horses to Tibet.
Lingyin Temple: Explore the magnificent Lingyin Temple, one of China's most significant and affluent Buddhist temples. This ancient sanctuary is adorned with pagodas and Buddhist grottoes, bearing a rich history dating back to 328 AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Founded by the Indian monk Hui Li, the temple once comprised nine multi-storey buildings, eight pavilions, 72 halls, and over 1,300 dormitory rooms, serving as the national center for worship. In front of the temple stands the remarkable Feilai Feng (Flying Peak), a site adorned with numerous engraved Buddha images. Legend has it that this peak, originally from India, miraculously flew to Hangzhou overnight, showcasing the omnipotence of Buddhist law. Don't miss other captivating attractions within the temple grounds, including the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Grand Hall of the Great Sage, Hall of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra Library, and Hall of the Five Hundred Arhats.
West Lake and the Island: Embark on a tranquil journey to West Lake, spanning 5.6 square kilometers and serving as the emblematic symbol of Hangzhou. This picturesque oasis exudes serenity and offers a quintessential escape from the bustling city. A visit to Fairy Island, home to the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, considered one of the Ten Best Views of West Lake, is a must. The occasional pagodas and Chinese-style arched bridges add a charming ambiance to the tree-lined pathways, verdant islands, and rolling hills, making West Lake an unforgettable part of your China experience.
ChenghuangGe Pavilion: Perched on the peak of Wu Mountain, the ChenghuangGe Pavilion boasts breathtaking scenery that rivals renowned pavilions like Huanghe Pavilion, Yueyang Pavilion, and Tengwangge Pavilion. These four pavilions are celebrated as the "Four Pavilions in Jiangnan," offering captivating vistas and historical significance.
Former Residence of Hu Xueyan: Step into history at the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan, a splendid structure built during the 11th year (1872) of Emperor Tongzhi's reign in the Qing Dynasty. This grand residence, located in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, sprawls over 10.8 mu (equivalent to 0.7 hectares) with a vast floor space of 5,815 square meters, providing a captivating glimpse into China's rich historical heritage.
Tea Village and Cultural Immersion Experience: Begin your day with a morning pickup from your hotel as we embark on a journey to the birthplace of the finest Dragon Well tea, the Meijiawu Tea Village. Here, a local tea expert will warmly welcome you with bamboo baskets, setting the stage for an unforgettable cultural encounter.
Tea-Picking Adventure: Your adventure begins with tea leaf selection and proper picking techniques, guided by the expert. Feel the connection with the tea as you carefully select the leaves, ensuring they are harvested just right. After your tea-picking experience, you'll be invited into the specialist's home, where you'll witness the intricate process of stir-frying tea leaves. This critical step not only dehydrates the leaves but also preserves their vibrant green hue. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at this process, but do exercise caution – the substantial iron pot can get quite hot.
Discover the Majestic Yellow Mountains: Located in the picturesque south of Anhui Province, the Yellow Mountains span an expansive area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers. Often referred to as "the loveliest mountain in China," this natural wonder is renowned for its breathtaking beauty throughout the year. Prepare to be captivated by a landscape featuring granite peaks that pierce the sky, uniquely shaped rock formations, ancient gnarled trees, rejuvenating hot springs, cascading waterfalls, awe-inspiring viewpoints, and an impressive array of over 1,500 plant species.
Yungu Cable Car and West Sea Grand Canyon Exploration: Upon arriving at the south gate of the Yellow Mountains, you'll transfer to a shuttle bus that will take you to the Yungu Cable Car, a scenic 20-minute journey. The cable car ride itself is a spectacular experience, lasting about 10 minutes as it ascends the mountain. Your guide, with extensive mountain expertise, will tailor the route to match your preferences and fitness level.
West Grand Canyon Monorail (One-Way): For added convenience, a monorail option is available to conserve your time and energy. The monorail conveniently shuttles between the bottom of the canyon and the primary peak area, situated about 300 meters (0.2 miles) from the Baiyun Hotel. The 893-meter (0.6-mile) journey takes less than five minutes, ensuring you make the most of your visit.
Early Morning Sunrise at Refreshing Terrace: Begin your day early with a remarkable opportunity to capture the breathtaking sunrise at Refreshing Terrace, a favored spot highly recommended by our previous travelers who have explored the enchanting Yellow Mountains. After savoring breakfast at your hotel, set out for an exploration of the North Sea area. Your journey will take you to Lion Peak, where you can admire the Dawn Pavilion, Stone Monkey Watching the Sea, and the mesmerizing variety of pine trees that line the route. You also have the option to ascend to Beginning-to-Believe Peak, offering panoramic views of the iconic Mushroom Pavilion. Concluding your Yellow Mountains adventure, you'll descend via the Yungu Cable Car.
Hongcun Village Exploration: Located approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Yixian County, Hongcun Village is a captivating ancient settlement with a history spanning over 800 years. Nestled amidst the ethereal mist of the Yellow Mountains, it resembles a natural landscape painting. This village is renowned for its stunning beauty and served as a backdrop for parts of the famous film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Hongcun Village also offers access to various halls, dwellings, and an old school for visitors to explore.
Capture Huangshan Memories with Postcards: Experience a unique and enjoyable way to document your journey in Huangshan. We've carefully selected key signature spots, including the Yellow Mountains and Hongcun, and transformed them into stunning postcards. With the help of your knowledgeable guide, you can take captivating photos at these picturesque locations. These postcards serve as memorable souvenirs, and your guide will ensure you receive digital copies of your pictures to cherish forever.
Tunxi Ancient Street Stroll: Conclude your adventure in Tunxi with a visit to the charming Tunxi Ancient Street, situated at the heart of the old city. Here, you'll discover hundreds of well-preserved rows of shops that transport you to a bygone era. The architecture is simple yet elegant, creating a delightful ambiance. Take a leisurely walk through this historic district, where you can browse for unique treasures and soak in the atmosphere of this captivating place.
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.
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.
Explore the Forbidden City: Located in the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City served as the imperial residence for 24 emperors during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. This magnificent complex is the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial architecture in the world. Marvel at the grand square, halls, and gates, as well as the intricate gardens, courtyards, and living quarters. The Forbidden City houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions, offering a glimpse into the treasures of ancient China. Expect about 2 hours of moderate walking (2 kilometers). Please note that starting from April 1st, 2013, the Imperial Palace is closed every Monday afternoon.
Visit Jingshan Park: Once a part of the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park underwent changes in the 1900s. Portions of the park were demolished to make way for a road, resulting in the loss of several gates and buildings between the park and the palace's rear entrance. However, the hill within Jingshan Park was created using earth excavated to construct the palace moat. On a clear day, climb the hill for breathtaking views of the Forbidden City and Beijing. It's a perfect spot to capture spectacular panoramic vistas.
Visit the Temple of Heaven: Built in 1420 during the Ming dynasty, the Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors held annual ceremonies to pray for good harvests. The temple's park is lively, especially in the morning when local elderly people gather to sing, exercise, and practice tai chi. Covering 273 hectares in the southern part of central Beijing, you'll explore the park for about 1-1.5 hours (1.5 kilometers) with an easy-grade walk.
Explore the Mutianyu Great Wall: The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is highly rated on TripAdvisor for its picturesque scenery and beautifully-restored architecture. It is particularly popular among families due to its child-friendly facilities and multiple visiting options. Located about 1.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing, this section offers a fully restored 2.5-kilometer stretch.
To save time, we arrange a round-trip cable car ride for you instead of climbing the stairs (which takes about 40 minutes). Once on the Wall, you'll have free time to walk around and take in the stunning views. We recommend hiking the "golden route" between the 14th and 23rd watchtowers, recognized as the most beautiful and interesting section by avid hikers. The hike typically takes approximately 2 hours. Afterward, descend and take a bus back to our vehicle.
Tips: If visiting the Mutianyu section, we recommend using walking sticks, especially for those with weaker legs or balance, as it can be helpful on some parts of the wall.
Take a Hutong Tour in Xicheng District: Explore the historical maze of Hutong, a network of old alleyways with traditional single-story courtyard houses. Hop on a rickshaw for a ride through the narrow alleys and visit a local family. Then, take a walk on the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge) and discover the unique thresholds of the courtyards. It's a fascinating glimpse into Beijing's traditional neighborhoods.
Learn to Apply Facial Makeup for Peking Opera: Experience the art of applying facial makeup for Chinese traditional opera. This intricate art form showcases exquisite patterns of vibrant colors and delicate lines, achieved through brush painting and hand techniques. Under the guidance of an expert teacher, try your hand at applying makeup to a mask, and even choose the makeup for your favorite character. It's a truly immersive cultural experience.
Discover the Summer Palace with Boat Ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony: Located about 9 miles (15 kilometers) from downtown Beijing, the Summer Palace is China's largest and best-preserved royal park. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural wonders that have earned it the title of 'The Museum of Royal Gardens'. Explore the park on foot for approximately 2 kilometers (2 hours). Please note that certain areas, such as Longevity Hill and the opera recital area, may require an additional fee for entry.
Tips: Keep in mind that specific areas within the Summer Palace, such as Longevity Hill and the opera recital area, may require an additional payment for entry.
- 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-59