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China Itineraries from Hong Kong for 1 Week to 3 Weeks

Written by Chris Quan Updated Jun. 28, 2023

Hong Kong is a favorite tourist spot and China's crucial entry point, making it an ideal starting point for international travelers. This article outlines popular 1- to 3-week China itineraries from Hong Kong to various sought-after destinations.

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China Itineraries from Hong Kong in Around 1 Week

A week or so (7-10 Days) might not seem sufficient for a comprehensive China tour, so we recommend focusing on the country's must-see attractions, especially if it's your first visit.

Alternatively, you could choose to explore the cities around Hong Kong to maximize your itinerary.

Option 1: "Essence of China" Itinerary

This suggested itinerary is perfect for those who are visiting China for the first time. It covers the highlights of major cities, giving you an immersive experience of Chinese culture.

  • Days 1–2: Explore the vibrant city of Hong Kong, including must-visit sites such as Victoria Peak, Aberdeen, where you could witness the local fishing village customs, Stanley Market, and Lantau Island.
  • Days 3–6: Visit Beijing to see iconic landmarks like the Great Wall, as well as immerse yourself in the local culture with a fascinating hutong walking tour, allowing you to observe the everyday life of local residents.
  • Days 7–8: Experience the wonders of Xi'an, including the remarkable Terracotta Warriors, a stroll along the ancient city wall, and visits to museums and pagodas, providing insight into the rich history of the region.
  • Days 9–10: Go to Shanghai, taking in the stunning views from the Bund, ascending the tallest building for a panoramic experience, and allowing free time to discover the city at your own pace.

This itinerary not only allows you to visit the most renowned attractions in these significant Chinese cities but also offers you the chance to delve deeper into Chinese culture. For example, engage in a hands-on activity of crafting a mini clay warrior in Xi'an, and embark on food tours to discover the diverse range of delectable and intriguing Chinese cuisine.

All our tours can be adjusted based on your interests and requirements. Just contact us.

Option 2: Recommended for Families

This itinerary provides a relaxed pace, starting from Hong Kong to Guilin, a family-friendly scenic city, and finally going to Beijing to see the iconic Great Wall and have some interesting cultural experiences.

  • Days 1–2: Explore Hong Kong (Victoria Peak, Ocean Park, Repulse Bay Beach, etc)
  • Days 3–6: Visit Guilin. Explore fascinating caves, enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Li River, experience the thrill of a bamboo raft ride, and take part in cooking classes to learn the secrets of local cuisines.
  • Days 7–10: Beijing exploration (the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, a hutong walking tour, etc)

Throughout this itinerary, you would have many opportunities to create warm and fun memories with your children.

Watch the mesmerizing sunset together while cycling in the fields of Guilin, engage in a hands-on dumpling-making experience at a local family's home in Beijing, and have a blast at Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

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Option 3: Exploring the Vibrant Greater Bay Area

The vibrant Greater Bay Area would take you through dynamic cities and offer a taste of authentic Cantonese culture.

  • Days 1–2:Begin your journey in the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, where you could immerse yourself in the vibrant city streets, visit iconic landmarks, and experience the rich blend of cultures.
  • Days 3–4: Explore Guangzhou. Indulge in Cantonese morning tea, stroll through vibrant markets, visit ancient temples, and marvel at the city's architectural wonders.
  • Days 5–6: Venture into the innovative city of Shenzhen. Enjoy a visit to intriguing theme parks, explore captivating museums, and marvel at the impressive skyline adorned with futuristic skyscrapers.

If you want to travel around Hong Kong, then Guangdong is definitely the first choice.

Beyond the major cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, you could experience more authentic Cantonese culture in cities like Chaozhou, Shantou, and Foshan.

See our 3-Day Chaozhou and Shantou Tour and 3-Day Kaiping and Foshan Tour.

China Itineraries from Hong Kong in Around 2 Weeks

With a travel duration of approximately two weeks, you would have the opportunity to explore not only the major cities but also visit unique destinations such as Chengdu, the hometown of pandas, Tibet, and Zhangjiajie, whose national forest park is said to be the inspiration for Avatar's Hallelujah Mountains.

All our itineraries can be personalized for you or your family's travel goals, available travel days and dates, and other requirements. Just contact us.

Option 1: For Natural Charms

If you seek to go beyond the renowned historical landmarks and want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while enjoying outdoor experiences, this itinerary is recommended.

  • Days 1–2: Hong Kong
  • Days 3–6: Beijing
  • Days 7–8: Xi'an
  • Days 9–11: Zhangjiajie
  • Days 12–14: Guilin
  • Days 15–16: Shanghai

Zhangjiajie and Guilin are emblematic of China's most picturesque cities, offering captivating natural beauty. In Zhangjiajie, you could embark on exhilarating mountain adventures, such as walking across the world's longest glass bridge and witnessing the breathtaking sight of majestic peaks rising before your eyes.

On the other hand, Guilin presents a distinct style of scenic splendor. There, you could indulge in a tranquil and charming countryside setting, perfect for spending quality time with your family members. Explore the fields by bike, relish a serene bamboo raft ride along the river, and savor a romantic dinner by the riverside.

Option 2: Encounter with Pandas

Chengdu cannot be missed if you want to see those adorable pandas. Here goes the itinerary suggestion for a panda tour from Hong Kong:

  • Days 1–3: Hong Kong
  • Days 4–6: Guilin
  • Days 7–8: Chengdu
  • Days 9–10: Xi'an
  • Days 11–14: Beijing

Most travelers would go to Chengdu Panda Base to see pandas. It houses the largest population of pandas. There you could also see many lovely panda cubs.

If you want to have a closer encounter with those cute creatures, we could help you arrange a panda volunteer program. In the program, you could make panda cakes, clean their enclosures, watch them being fed at a closer distance, and get a volunteer certificate.

Option 3: A Trip to Tibet

Tibet is one of the destinations on many people's bucket lists. Here is the suggested itinerary from Hong Kong including a trip to Tibet:

  • Days 1–2: Hong Kong
  • Days 3–6: Beijing
  • Days 7–8: Xi'an
  • Days 9–13: Tibet
  • Days 14–15: Shanghai

Lhasa serves as the main destination for this journey in Tibet. You could explore the sacred Potala Palace, catch a glimpse of the buzz of local Tibetan life and see devout Buddhists praying in Barkhor Street, enjoy a picnic by Lake Yamdrok, and visit renowned monasteries to gain insights into the region's religion.

If you want to go to Everest Base Camp, it is advisable to allocate an additional three or four days to your itinerary. All our tours can be customized based on your requirements. Just contact us.

Tibet Entry Permits, which are a must for foreign travelers, are best applied for 2 weeks in advance. We can handle it for you when booking a tour with us.

China Itineraries from Hong Kong in Around 3 Weeks

A 3-week trip offers many possibilities.

You could combine popular destinations from the aforementioned 1- and 2-week itineraries, including Hong Kong, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Chengdu, Tibet, and Shanghai.

Alternatively, you could opt for a more off-the-beaten-path route and visit destinations such as the Silk Road and Yunnan.

Option 1: China Tour of the Silk Road

In contrast to the elegant scenery and modern urban style found in the top cities, embarking on the Silk Road journey reveals a mystical side of China with awe-inspiring desert landscapes, ancient grottoes adorned with intricate artwork, and diverse and exotic ethnic cultures.

  • Days 1–2: Hong Kong
  • Days 3–6: Beijing
  • Days 7–8: Xi'an
  • Days 9–10: Zhangye
  • Days 11–12: Dunhuang
  • Days 13–18: Xinjiang
  • Days 19–20: Shanghai

Traveling along the Silk Road, you would be treated to a diverse range of breathtaking views, from the otherworldly and vibrant Zhangye's Danxia landforms, also known as the "rainbow mountains," to the pristine expanses of desert in Dunhuang.

A visit to Dunhuang's Mogao Caves provides an opportunity to witness the fascinating history of Buddhism's entry into China. The intricate murals and Buddha figures displayed within these caves offer insight into the rich artistic and religious heritage of the region.

Another highlight of the Silk Road journey is the chance to experience the captivating Uygur culture in Xinjiang. Visit China's largest mosque, explore the ancient and ingenious Karez Well System, a remarkable underground water project, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local bazaars, where you can witness the exotic and bustling life of the city.

Option 2: A Classic Itinerary with Yunnan

Nestled in the southwest of China, Yunnan offers a captivating blend of romantic landscapes, tranquil ancient towns, and vibrant minority cultures.

  • Days 1–2: Hong Kong
  • Days 3–6: Beijing
  • Days 7–8: Xi'an
  • Days 9–11: Guilin
  • Days 12–19: Yunnan
  • Days 20–21: Shanghai

Yunnan's top cities to visit include Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La, with each city typically requiring 2 to 3 days.

In Kunming, you could venture into the unique and mesmerizing dark karst landscapes of the Stone Forest, where you would also have the opportunity to learn about the local culture and way of life of the people residing there.

Dali offers a more relaxed experience, where you could enjoy a leisurely tour along the lakeshore of Erhai Lake. Take the time to visit the traditional houses of the Bai minority in Xizhou Village, and perhaps learn to make Yunnan's famous flower cake at a flower farm.

In Lijiang, a trip to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a must. Take a stroll around Lijiang Ancient Town. You could further immerse yourself in the mysterious Naxi culture by visiting a shaman's house.

Explore the magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is one of the world's deepest and most marvelous gorges in Shangri-La. Immersed yourself in the holy religious atmosphere of the unspoiled Songzanlin Lamasery.

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