Planning a China Tour in 2017
Home China Tours Planning a China Tour 2017

China’s main draws exceed other countries in size, depth, and variety. It has the world’s richest breadth of culture, most varied and spectacular natural wonders, and most impressive architectural feats.

In 2017 it’s time for even more creative China tours. There are more attractions, more high-end hotel options, and more high-speed rail options than ever. Below our travel specialists provide some smart travelers' tips to help you plan your China trip in 2017…

Start planning your tailor-made China tour by contacting one of our specialists… Create My Trip

The Top 6 Places to Visit in China in 2017

We suggest these six places to visit in 2017 according to our travel experiences, and our customers’ choices and feedback.

#1 Beijing — China’s Ancient and Modern Capital

Beijing, China's capital city for over 700 years, is a vibrant blend of historic grandeur and impressive modernity. It is home to some of the finest remnants of China’s imperial past, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City… Beijing is a must for a first trip to China.

#2 Shanghai — China’s Most Prosperous City

Shanghai is China’s largest and richest city. It offers you a glimpse of the future of China. The impressive skylines and colonial architecture of the Bund display an atmosphere of vitality rivaling New York and London.

#3 Xi’an — Window on China’s Ancient Civilization

Xi’an is to China as Rome is to Europe in ancient civilizations. China’s ancient culture focused around Xi’an for a thousand years. As capital of nine ancient dynasties, Xi’an has many ancient attractions, from the Terracotta Army (206 BC) to medieval Tang Dynasty feasts and entertainment.

#4 Guilin — Idyllic Mountain and Water Scenery

Guilin’s karst landscapes are the Chinese conception of the most beautiful place on earth. The ever-green limestone hills, sparkling rivers, and traditional villages are the inspiration of China’s landscape paintings. “I have found that no city can surpass the beauty of Guilin.” — Former US President Nixon

#5 Chengdu — Hometown of Giant Pandas

Although you may see a giant panda in your country, the place to see more of them and grow a deep understanding of them is Chengdu. Only in Chengdu can you hold a panda, or take care of pandas by joining a panda keeper program.

#6 Zhangjiajie — Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountains

Zhangjiajie was thrust into foreign travelers' eyes through the alien planet movie Avatar. The Hallelujah Mountains were inspired by Heavenly Pillar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Zhangjiajie is famous for its dense precarious peaks, deep gorges, limpid streams, and biodiversity.

How Many Days to Stay — We Recommend at Least 8

China is multi-layered, and we understand you won’t want your China trip to only scratch the surface of China’s grand civilization. We suggest you take at least 8 days for your first China trip to see a spectrum of the highlights of the country: the majestic Imperial Palace, awesome Great Wall, spectacular Terracotta Warriors, and stunning Shanghai skyline.

To discover more of China, like its magical natural landscapes, you will need a few more days. Click here and contact China Highlights about creating your own itinerary.

When to Visit China — Best Times, and Times Our Specialist Suggest to Avoid

We understand scenery and outdoor experiences particularly are affected by the seasons, and travel at a bad time may ruin your holiday. Our travel specialists advice is as follows:

Dates We Suggest You Avoid

China’s major holidays are definitely not a good time to visit (unless you want to take part in the celebrations) as your will see ‘people hills, people sea’ everywhere on attractions. And prices for hotels at least double.

China’s Major Holidays:

  • July and August are the busiest times as they are the holiday months for China’s schools and universities.
  • The two weeks either side of Chinese New Year holiday (Jan. 27– Feb. 2, 2017)
  • Labor Day week (May 1–7)
  • National Day week (October 1–7)
  • Lesser holidays cause some transport crowding and price increases, e.g. Tomb Sweeping Day (April 3–5, 2017), Mid-Autumn Festival (October 4, 2017)

Your Travel Style

You can travel alone (independently), in a tour group, or on a private tour in China.

Travel in China on a private tour means:

  • Discovery your way Explore your interests at your own pace.
  • FlexibilityYour own choices for schedule, sights, hotels, food, etc.
  • Better service Your own transport, driver, and guide are at hand to help.
  • Best value You can discover more of China.
  • It costs more (understandably)

Travel in a tour group in China means:

  • The easiest and cheapest option
  • Lack of flexibility Fixed itinerary, fixed dates, fixed destinations
  • Low-value Rushed affairs, herding you from place to place

Independent travel in China means:

  • Adventure and learning lots of it!
  • Language problems Most Chinese people don’t speak English
  • Culture shock From unpredictable traffic to unrecognizable food
  • Inefficiency You may waste your time and miss some highlights
  • Many hassles From tourist traps to figuring out bus schedules

Our Most Recommended Trips for 2017

Here are the most popular tour formats being booked for 2017. Remember, you can customize our tours to your destinations, schedule, and areas of interest. Our suggested itineraries are to help you to get your trip planning started.

temple of heaven

China’s Classic Wonders

11 days in Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, and Shanghai

This is a private tour that takes you through China’s ancient glory to its ambitious modernity, and through China’s spectacular landscapes. Get to know China in 11 days!

Fobidden City

China History and Scenery Discovery Tour

Our 14-day Beijing, Xi'an, Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Shanghai private tour

Explore China’s classic sights in exceptional ways, which many tourists fail to try: hiking on a wild Great Wall section, biking alongside Yangshuo’s idyllic paddy fields, exploring China’s culinary culture with a cooking class…

panda tours

Wild Panda Tracking Trip

A 4-day Wolong panda keeper and habitat exploration tour

Explore the habitat of wild giant pandas and experience being a panda keeper for a day in Wolong Panda Center, China’s largest giant panda habitat reserve. The reserve was devastated by the 2008 earthquake, but has just reopened at the end of 2016. Be one of the first travelers to Wolong in 8 years.

China Highlights – Discovery Your Way

China Highlights specialize in discovery: finding out new and exciting things about China…

Hug a panda — You will find how lovely they really are when one is in your arms.
Try minority embroidery — Learn the art of this cultural heritage hands on.
Discover oil tea — Try it and watch it being made in a Yao mountain village.