11-Day Classic Wonders

Classic Wonders

11-Day Tour: Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai

Day 1-3 Beijing

Forbidden City, Great Wall night tour

Day 4-5 Xi'an

The Terracotta Army, Cave dwelling

Day 6-8 Guilin

Li River cruise, Yangshuo rural fun

Day 9-11 Shanghai

Awesome skyline, Ancient garden

This 11-day China top cities tour covers the most popular four destinations and five World Heritage sites in China. It makes an ideal tour for first-time visitors.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Tell us your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Highlights

  • Discover the hidden halls in the Forbidden City.
  • Visit a top-ranked part of the Great Wall.
  • Taste crispy Beijing roast duck.
  • Admire the Terracotta Army, and make your own warrior figurine.
  • Enter Einstein's hotel room on the Bund in Shanghai.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1Beijing Arrival
Penta Hotel Beijing (4-star)/ Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)

Welcome to majestic Beijing! To ensure your arrival is stress-free, your private tour guide will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer you to your hotel in a private car. Your luggage and hotel check-in will be taken care of.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

  • Worried about jet lag? You may start the tour with a relaxing free day to adjust.
  • If you are an energetic person, we can fill your first day with activities you enjoy.

Just send us your preferences on the form to the right.

Hotel options:
Penta Hotel Beijing
Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town

Day 2The Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City
Breakfast & Lunch

Start your journey at the Temple of Heaven, a dignified complex of religious buildings, symbolizing the relationship between Earth and Heaven. There you will see local people doing morning exercise in their unique ways. Lunch is served in a popular local restaurant with authentic local food. Your guide will help you to order the dishes you like.

Walk through Tian'anmen Square to explore the mysterious Forbidden City, which has fewer visitors in the afternoon. Being the largest imperial palace in the world, it consists of 980 buildings. While most tour groups only visit the six halls on the central axis, your private guide will take you to the hidden halls for a deeper understanding of the history and dodge the crowds.

Ask your guide about any topic you like, such as the palace's architecture, the Fengshui design, and anecdotes about the emperors.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Do you want to discover more about the life of Beijingers? Take a rickshaw tour through the hutongs, make dumplings in a local family's home, or experience a local market — let us know what you would like to do on the form to the right.

the Temple of HeavenThe Temple of Heaven
Day 3Day and Night Tour of the Great Wall
Breakfast & Lunch

After breakfast, travel to the Simatai section of the Great Wall. You may take the cable car up and walk down slowly around the lakeside to appreciate the view or take the cable car back down.

Spend the afternoon wandering around the Guibei Water Town, which is at the foot of the Great Wall. You can also enjoy a soak in a hot spring if you want to.

When it gets dark, your guide will accompany you to take the cable car up to the Simatai section again to enjoy the stunning night views, which is a different experience from the day version. It's the only section that's open and lit up at night.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Would you like a more romantic experience? Go there between April and October to enjoy a nice dinner at a special restaurant, from where you can see the Simatai section of the Great Wall lit up all along the mountain ridges at night.

Hotel options:
William Edgar Hotel
Beijing Water Town Hot Spring Resort

Visit the Great Wall at NightVisit the Great Wall at Night
Day 4The Summer Palace and High-speed Train to Xi'an
Breakfast & Lunch Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)/ Wyndham Grand Xi'an South (5-star)

Enjoy breakfast and travel back to Beijing city to explore the Summer Palace, a royal masterpiece of Chinese landscaped gardens.

After lunch, your guide will escort you to take the High-speed train to Xi'an.

Your Xi'an Guide will be waiting for you and will transfer you to your hotel.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

  • Do you love hiking? We can arrange a 2-hour, 4-hour, or even multi-day wild Great Wall hiking experience for you.

Hotel options:
Somerset Xindicheng Xi'an
Wyndham Grand Xi'an South

The Summer PalaceThe Summer Palace
Day 5The Terracotta Warriors and a Traditional Cave Dwelling
Breakfast & Lunch

In the morning, uncover the mystery of the underground army that dates back thousands of years at the Terracotta Army Museum.

Then discover a local craftsman's cave dwelling and learn how to make a mini terracotta warrior.

After lunch, return to the city area and visit the ancient city wall that has been guarding the inner city for 600 years.

Walking along the wall provides a good view of the city. You can also rent a bike to cycle around the wall.

the Terracotta ArmyThe Terracotta Army
Day 6Xi'an City Highlights and Flight to Guilin
Breakfast & Lunch

Discover more of Xi'an and China's ancient history at Shaanxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alleys to taste the local Muslim cuisine.

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Your Guilin guide will collect you and escort you to your hotel where you can have a good rest.

Hotel options:
Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel Guilin

The Big Goose PagodaThe Big Goose Pagoda
Day 7Longji Terraced Rice Fields and Ethnic Minority Culture
Breakfast & Lunch

Wake up to the sound of the birds singing and begin your day by exploring the Longji Terraced Rice Fields.

Built into the hillsides, the terraces are beautiful when the sun reflects on the water of the paddy fields, and the fields glow when the harvest is ripe.

The Zhuang minority have lived there for generations in wooden houses, and the people eat their own unique food, such as bamboo rice and oil tea.

Sit around a bonfire in a traditional kitchen, make bamboo rice and taste some oil tea with the host.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Are you very active and love hiking? Then you'll love the 5-hour hiking trip between the villages of Ping'an and Dazhai through the Longji Terraced Rice Fields.

 Longji Terraced Fields Longji Terraced Fields
Day 8Li River Cruise and Fan Painting
Breakfast & Lunch

A cruise along the Li River is an unforgettable experience. Between spectacular limestone peaks, you will see graceful bamboo groves, farmers tending rice paddies, and lumbering water buffalo cooling off in the river.

Different from the 4½ hours cruise, we cut out the dozy afternoon and touristy lunch onboard, combine the most essential section with local life experience, and enjoy authentic local lunch in a quiet resort hidden in a picturesque town.

It is nice to get off the beaten path here to walk along the cobblestones of the riverbank and to feel the embrace of the surrounding peaks.

After lunch, your driver will pick you up and drive you to an ancient town, where you can learn from a local artist how to paint a traditional landscape on a paper fan.

Enjoy a quiet evening in a boutique hotel in the countryside.

Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour

Yangshuo offers a relaxing atmosphere and various activities: a cooking class, a tai chi lesson, a farming experience, and even rock climbing.

Tell us what you want to try in the right form so that we can enrich your tour.

Hotel options:
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Yangshuo Ancient Garden Boutique Hotel

The Li RiverThe Li River
Day 9Countryside Lifestyle and flight to Shanghai
Breakfast & Lunch

To experience the daily lifestyle of the local farmers will allow you see the real countryside of China.

In the morning, you will experience what it's like to be a local villager working with a water buffalo. Then you will take a ferry and a local farmer's taxi (a kind of motorbike with three wheels) to the local market.

After lunch, head to the airport for your flight to the modern city of Shanghai.

Hotel options:
Sunrise On The Bund
Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai

Experience of countryside LifestyleExperience of countryside Lifestyle
Day 10Shanghai Highlights with Bund Discovery
Breakfast & Lunch

Do you just want to take one or two selfies in the Bund as most tourists do? Let's travel back in time to the golden age of the Bund in the 1920s during our In-depth Bund Culture Discovery Tour.

Go into some of the old buildings and listen to their stories. Peep into the room that Albert Einstein stayed in.

Enjoy lunch and ascend to the highest building in China, Shanghai Tower, where you will not only enjoy a panoramic view of Shanghai but will also see the future of China.

Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience

After traveling in China for around 10 days, you might want to do something different at the end of your tour. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In the magic city of Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true!

Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen. Just tell us what you’re interested in.

If you don't know what you want, just let your guide make the arrangements. You will not be disappointed!

Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower
Day 11Shanghai Depature
Breakfast & Lunch

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide and driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your flight home.

Trip Notes

Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.

Extend the tour:

  • Suzhou and/or Hangzhou: add 1–4 days — water towns, gardens, the Grand Canal, and West Lake
  • Chengdu: add 2–3 days — a panda keeper program, have your photo taken next to a panda, and the Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, and a day-tour of Macau
  • Free days: Yangshuo and Shanghai are popular destinations to add one or more free days to explore on one's own.
  • More destinations: Zhangjiajie, Huangshan, and Tibet... Inform us of your interests and we will offer you some recommendations.

2. Accommodation

Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region. Whatever your accommodation preferences are, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect one for you.

Most hotels in China allow at most three people in one room. If there are more than three people in your group, we will check if there is a family room available or do our best to arrange interconnecting rooms or adjoin rooms.

3. Transportation

China is a huge country, so to make your travel experience more efficient, we usually arrange flights to connect to your destinations.

China's high-speed rail network is a fast-paced way to travel. We recommend taking high-speed trains for journeys of less than 6 hours to interested customers — please tell us if you are one of them.

4. Meals

Lunches at popular local restaurants are included for you so you can taste authentic Chinese food. Your guide will assist you with ordering the dishes.

Vegetarian, halal, kosher, Indian, or gluten-free — all your dietary requirements can be taken care of by our experienced private guides. Let us know if you have any of these dietary requirements during your booking.

Tour Price

FromUS2,819 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

About China Highlights

travelers' choice 2021

Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"

china highlights' wechat code
Quickly inquire about this tour via our WeChat: chinahighlightstour

Or Submit an Inquiry Below

*

*

*

Contact us via WeChat
Account: chinahighlightstour
SCAN THE QR CODE
We are here to help you...
start planning your tailor-made China tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip
China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
Featured on
info template feature on