China History and Culture Tour
15-Day Private China Tour: Xi'an– Luoyang– Dengfeng–Zhengzhou–Beijing–Nanjing–Shanghai
Explore the ancient city of Xian, home to the magnificent Terracotta Army, before uncovering the cultural treasures of Luoyang and Dengfeng. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Zhengzhou and discover its fascinating landmarks. In Beijing, marvel at iconic sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Continue your adventure in Nanjing, where ancient heritage blends harmoniously with a modern atmosphere. Conclude your tour in the cosmopolitan metropolis of Shanghai, where the past and present intertwine seamlessly.
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
Witness the Famous Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Kungfu
Make a Mini warrior with a Local Artisan Family
Enjoy a Peaceful Boat Ride Through Zhujiajiao Water Town
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Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
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- No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
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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 Xi'an. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.
Discover the astonishing Terracotta Warriors and Horses, an army of over 7,000 intricately crafted figures guarding Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. Marvel at the ongoing excavations in 3 carefully protected pits and explore the accompanying museum and film. Don't forget to wear comfortable walking shoes and feel free to take photos (without flash).
Visit a local artisan's cave dwelling family workshop and learn how Terracotta Warriors were made in ancient times. Engage in an interactive experience, witnessing the detailed steps involved in their creation.
Indulge in Xi'an's unique and distinctive cuisine during a food experience at the lively Muslim Quarter. Sample a variety of dishes highlighting flour as a key ingredient. Immerse yourself in the vibrant streets and savor the flavors of this ancient city.
Experience the profound spirituality of White Horse Temple, nestled between Mangshan Mountain and the Luohe River. As the birthplace of Buddhism in China, it has welcomed esteemed monks seeking enlightenment and has been revered as the "Home of Sakyamuni" and the "Court for Ancestors." Explore the rich cultural heritage and serenity of this historic site during your journey in China.
Embark on a journey to the awe-inspiring Longmen Grottoes, located just west of Luoyang. This monumental complex of grottoes, among the largest in China, nestles amidst picturesque green mountains and flowing rivers. Discover the mesmerizing Buddhist sculptures that adorn the cliffs, representing a remarkable cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the serenity and magnificence of this UNESCO World Heritage site during your exploration of China.
Embark on a journey to the legendary Shaolin Temple, nestled at the base of Mount Songshan. Discover the origins of martial arts and immerse yourself in the mystique surrounding this renowned temple. Enjoy the exhilarating Shaolin Kungfu Show and explore the picturesque beauty of Mount Songshan, with the opportunity to visit the Meditation Cave of Bodhidharma. Experience the rich cultural heritage and natural splendor during your exploration of these iconic destinations in China.
Located approximately 30 kilometers south of the urban area of Zhengzhou, explore the native place of Emperor Huangdi. Highly praised by the ancient Chinese saint Zhuangzi, this triple node scenic zone holds great significance as a sacred place for Chinese people, both domestically and abroad. Designated as a major historical and cultural site under the protection of Henan Province in 2000, it stands as one of the top ten tourist attractions in Zhengzhou city.
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of China by visiting the Yellow River Scenic Spot. Known as the cradle of Chinese culture, the Yellow River carries historical and symbolic importance. In this picturesque area, experience the grandeur and vastness of the Chinese "Mother River." Let the majestic views and serene atmosphere leave a lasting impression during your visit.
Step into the grandeur of the Forbidden City, nestled in the heart of Beijing. For centuries, it served as the imperial residence, housing 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy the opulence of the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial complex worldwide. Explore the fascinating halls, exquisite gardens, courtyards, and living quarters. Uncover the treasures of ancient China displayed in both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Prepare for an enriching two-hour walk filled with history and cultural immersion.
Ranked as the top section on TripAdvisor, the Mutianyu Great Wall offers picturesque scenery and restored architecture. Take a chairlift up to the Wall for a leisurely walk through watchtowers with superb views. Enjoy the exciting toboggan ride down, suitable for all ages.
Visit the Temple of Heaven, a Ming dynasty complex where emperors prayed for good harvests. Explore Taoist buildings and witness the vibrant park atmosphere with locals practicing tai chi. Take an easy walk through the area, completing the experience in about 1-1½ hours.
Indulge in the beauty of the Summer Palace, a magnificent royal park situated just a short distance from downtown Beijing. Discover its well-preserved grandeur, which has earned it the title of the largest royal park in China. Immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes and cultural riches that have influenced Chinese horticulture. Explore the renowned Garden of Virtue and Harmony, and cruise on the tranquil Kunming Lake. Enjoy a serene walk for approximately two hours, covering around 2 kilometers, and witness firsthand the splendor of this historical and natural gem.
Embark on a journey to honor Dr. Sun Yat Sen at his revered mausoleum nestled at the foot of the majestic Purple Mountain. Experience the solemn atmosphere permeating this historical site, characterized by glazed torii, a challenging ascent of 392 steps, and a memorial hall commemorating the great deeds of this remarkable leader.
Discover the President Palace, a fascinating Ming Dynasty relic later utilized as the headquarters for Dr. Sun Yat Sen's government. Uncover the rich history behind this site, renamed the "Heavenly King Palace" during the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
Immerse yourself in culture and arts as you visit the Confucius Temple, originally built in 1034. Explore the temple's vibrant surroundings, filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. Marvel at the impressive Dacheng Hall, boasting the largest figure of Confucius in China, while the nearby Qin Huai River adds to the picturesque landscape.
Pay tribute to the victims of the Nanjing Massacre at the Memorial Hall, an emotional and powerful site embodying the horrors of World War Two. Let the exhibits and somber atmosphere inspire a heartfelt appreciation for peace and remembrance. Engage with a knowledgeable expositor who will provide a deeper understanding of the historical context.
Savor the authentic flavors of Huaiyang cuisine at the renowned Hongxinglong Restaurant, offering an unforgettable dining experience infused with local culinary traditions.
Experience the captivating allure of the Qinhuai River, a historical waterway that holds fascinating tales from the city's past. Meander along its banks to discover traces of both the joyous comedies and tragic events that unfolded during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, particularly in the notorious red-light area.
Visit the esteemed Imperial Academy, where ancient scholars diligently studied the profound Confucian classics in preparation for the highly challenging Imperial examinations. Witness the architectural splendor of the walled building complex, standing as a reminder of the rigorous nature of these exams. Immerse yourself in the profound educational traditions of ancient China as you explore this revered site.
The Bund: Stroll along the iconic Bund, a 1.5-kilometer-long waterfront promenade that hugs the western bank of the Huangpu River. Marvel at the "architecture gallery," showcasing 52 meticulously restored European-style buildings. Once the thriving center of trade and commerce in old Shanghai, the Bund now exudes a captivating blend of old and new. Explore futuristic developments, trendy restaurants, upscale shops, and lively bars that breathe new life into this historic district. After sunset, witness the enchanting transformation of the Bund into a mesmerizing spectacle.
Shanghai Tower: Don't miss the opportunity to marvel at the architectural wonder of the Shanghai Tower, the world's second tallest building. Rising to a height of 632 meters (2,073 feet) with 128 stories, it is a breathtaking sight that showcases Shanghai's soaring skyline. As a premier tourist highlight, this skyscraper offers panoramic views of the city, providing a truly unforgettable experience.
Shanghai Chic: Indulge in the flavors of authentic Shanghai cuisine at Shanghai Chic, a popular local restaurant located near the exquisite Yuyuan Garden. Immerse yourself in the elegant ambiance as you savor traditional dishes crafted with finesse. Be sure to try their highly recommended stewed pork with brown sauce, a delicacy that captures the essence of Shanghai's culinary heritage.
Shanghai Old Street: Step into the charming Shanghai Old Street, where well-preserved old residential houses and narrow lanes offer a glimpse into local life in days gone by. Take a leisurely walk along the lanes and be transported back to the historical ambiance of old Shanghai. Explore the various shops and booths lining the street, offering antiques, crafts, and souvenirs for a memorable shopping experience.
Shikumen: Discover the unique architecture of Shikumen, also known as "stone gate," which embodies the living environment of 80% of Shanghainese people until the 1990s. As the city's economy developed, Shikumen transformed into a vibrant area filled with bars, tea houses, and entertainment centers. Get a glimpse into the past by visiting Wu Li Xiang, a small exhibition showcasing the furnishings of old Shanghainese homes, providing a fascinating window into history.
Former French Concession Precinct: Embark on a captivating walking tour in the former French Concession, encompassing Huaihai Road, Fuxing Road, Huashan Road, Ruijin Road, Yandang Road, Taikang Road, and Sinan Road. Immerse yourself in the rich history of this area as you encounter significant landmarks, including the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlai, Fuxing Park, Moller Villa, Lilac Garden, Notre Dame Cathedral, and countless French colonial-style buildings. Many of these architectural gems are over 100 years old. Enjoy the romantic ambiance created by the shadows of the chenar trees during clear and warm days. Experience the allure of the region's café culture, where coffee fragrances entice visitors to explore the numerous bars and restaurants.
Yuyuan Garden: Transport yourself to the heart of Shanghai's old quarter at Yuyuan Garden, a privately-built masterpiece from 1559 during the Ming Dynasty. Admire the intricate Chinese classic architecture and traditional style of this 2-hectare complex, complete with enchanting features such as rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Surrounding the garden is a lively marketplace where visitors can discover popular local snacks, handicrafts, antiques, souvenirs, and renowned time-honored restaurants.
Jade Buddha Temple: Immerse yourself in spirituality at the popular Jade Buddha Temple, a Buddhist temple cherished by the local community. The main treasures of the temple are two Burma-imported Buddha statues carved from rare, single blocks of white jade adorned with precious stones. Witness the vibrant activities within the temple's walls as monks, worshippers, and visitors come together to engage in spiritual practices.
Zhujiajiao Boat Ride: Enjoy a peaceful boat ride through Zhujiajiao Water Town, a picturesque ancient town. The cruise lasts for approximately 10 minutes, allowing you to take in the beauty of the surroundings from the river.
Zhujiajiao Water Town: Explore Zhujiajiao Water Town, known for its fan-like shape and centuries-old history. Marvel at the well-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture and the 36 ancient stone bridges. Visit notable attractions such as the historic Post Office, Chenghuang Temple, and Shanghai Handicraft Exhibition Hall, among others.
Zhujiajiao Guqiao Renjia: Experience the charm of Zhujiajiao Guqiao Renjia, a unique spot hanging over the water. Enjoy a delicious meal with stunning views, accompanied by the soothing melodies of traditional wooden instruments and the sounds of nature.
- 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-1