Paradise on Earth

CET-04: 13 Days Beijing - Xi'an - Huangshan - Hangzhou - Suzhou - Shanghai Tour

This combination of historical, cultural and natural sites is our best selection. You will learn China’s thousand-year-old history, get closely in touch with China’s amazing culture, interact with local people and admire the breathtaking landscape.

CET Advantages:

  • Experienced local experts show you the real China
  • Practice Tai Chi at the Temple of Heaven just like the locals
  • Eat at popular local restaurants
  • Visit a well-selected less crowded section of the Great Wall
  • Admire the picturesque view of the Yellow Mountains
  • Enjoy a leisurely boat ride at Tongli Water Town
Price from: USD1671 per person

Full Itinerary

Day 01: Welcome to the Far East

Upon arrival at Beijing International Capital Airport (PEK), you will meet your personal guide and be transferred to your hotel. Tour orientation and rest.

Remarks: There is a lot to discover near your hotel: shopping street, food market or local neighborhoods. Please feel free to ask your guide for more advice.

Day 02:The City Highlights- Imperial Palace (B,L)

Your exciting tour starts from Tian’anmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Hundreds of Chinese people enthusiastically attend the flag raising ceremony at 6am every morning. Tell your guide if you want to join them. Enter The Forbidden City from the south gate across the street. A lot of historical stories will be shared at this imperial palace. The tour is more leisurely in the afternoon. Take a rickshaw ride through the Hutong Alleys. It is a quieter corner of the big city. Visiting a local family and talking with the host provides a great opportunity to learn their life style.

Good to know: Your guide may suggest an early start to avoid crowds but you could ask for a later start if you are exhausted with jetlag.

tianmen square The Tiananmen Square

Day 03:Climb The Great Wall and be a "Haohan" (B,L)

Early morning is the best time to visit The Temple of Heaven, where local seniors do their morning exercise and socialize with each other. Practicing Tai Chi at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is a life-long memorable experience. Head to the renowned Great Wall of China after lunch. Mutianyu is a less crowded and more scenic section of The Great Wall. The included round-way cable car will save your time and energy so that you can explore more on the Wall.

Remarks: Good walking shoes and sunglasses are essential for this day. Advanced notification of any knee problems is highly appreciated.

Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 04: Summer Palace and Speed Train Experience (B,L)

Today you will leave Beijing for Xi’an. Have a leisurely breakfast and be packed. Before going to the train station, you will visit the serene imperial garden of Summer Palace. Suzhou Street, the artistic long corridor and the marble boat. All of these are worth slowly walking around. After a 5-hour train ride with the most advanced railway system, you will be in another ancient capital city of China.

Summer Palace Summer Palace

Day 05: The Highlights of Xi'an (B,L)

The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses is on everyone’s bucket list. You could easily spend 2 or 3 hours admiring the clay figures made thousands of years ago. The City Wall of Xi’an was originally built in the Ming Dynasty. Walking, biking or taking a battery car are the options to explore the big Wall. Your exciting day will end at the Muslim Street, named as a residential area of Chinese Muslims. The street is now famous for a huge variety of Chinese traditional snacks.

Remarks: It is hard to avoid crowds at popular attractions during peak seasons.

the terracotta army Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Day 06: Xi'an to Huangshan (B)

Enjoy a relaxing morning before heading to the airport. Catch a flight to Huangshan city. Visit Tunxi Old Street to have a glimpse of local people’s life style. You will want to save some energy for good hiking in the following days.

Tunxi Old Street Tunxi Old Street

Day 07:The Magnificent Yellow Mountains (B,L)

Enjoy a full day tour to admire the breathtaking view of the Yellow Mountains. It is about a 1.5 hour drive from Huangshan city. The shuttle transfer inside the scenic area and cable car ride is included to save your time. Your guide will lead you along the way to explore the most scenic spots on the mountain. Tonight you will stay on the mountain so that you can enjoy a great moment of sunset and sunrise if the weather cooperates.

Yellow Mountains Yellow Mountains

Day 08: Sunrise and Picturesque Hongcun Village (B,L)

You can get up at 5:00am for the sunrise or just have a small walk. Take a cable car down and go to visit Hongcun Village. The whole scene of the village with the old moat and farmland looks just like a Chinese water-color painting. Lots of artists flock here to draw the quiet and beautiful scenery. Take a public express bus in the late afternoon and you will be in the most beautiful place on earth in 3 hours.

Hongcun Village Hongcun Village

Day 9: Hangzhou -The Paradise on Earth (B,L)

West Lake, a shining pearl, decorates Hangzhou with its fabulous view. Walking around the lake and having a boat ride is just enjoyable as it is. Bike rent is available for any who are energetic. Lingyin Temple and Flying Peak are two combined spots. Buddhism is the main religion in China and Lingyin Temple is the sacred place to learn Hangzhou history and Buddhism stories.

Strolling in the tranquil park with the temple, your heart is at peace. Then it is time to learn some basic knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine by visiting Huqingyu Museum. It has a large collection of all types of Chinese medicine.

Good to know: Impression West Lake is a good choice to spend your night. Check with your guide the availability and cost.

West Lake The West Lake

Day 10: Suzhou-the Collection of Gardens (B,L)

Suzhou is less than two hours away by speed train from Hangzhou. The exquisite gardens are well reputed both at home and abroad. We have selected the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden and Lion Grove Garden for you. These gardens are similar but different in settings, decorations and design.

Good to know: A night tour to Master-of-Nets Garden is highly recommended if you are traveling from April to October. Check with your guide for the possibility.

Humble Administrator's Garden Humble Administrator's Garden

Day 11: Tongli Water Town (B,L)

Tongli is representative of many water towns in eastern China. It is a well preserved historic village that was built on a canal approximately 1,000 years ago. The dwellings in traditional Chinese style and stone bridges across the canal are so idyllic that they make it a perfect combination of old and new China. You will fully enjoy the town by walking and having a 20-minute boat ride through the canal. In the late afternoon, your guide and driver will escort you to your hotel in Shanghai, an international metropolis.

Tongli Tongli Water Town

Day 12: Shanghai, the Future China (B,L)

Start your day from Shanghai Museum as it is quiet in the morning. It is one of the best museums in China with a phenomenal collection of ancient ceramics, ancient bronzes, and paintings. You will then visit Yuyuan Garden and Yuyuan Bazaar where you can explore some old parts of Shanghai. Enjoy a panoramic view over the skyscrapers at Pudong District on the glass deck of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Strolling along The Bund, you can learn Shanghai’s history.

Good to Know: Evening in Shanghai is never boring. Enjoy a magnificent Acrobatic Show, admire night lights or have a drink at one of the exquisite restaurants along The Bund.

the bund The Bund

Day 13: Shanghai Departure (B)

The morning is free for you to do some shopping and packing before being transferred to Pudong International Airport (PVG) for your flight home.

Hotel Options:

  Standard Accommodation Comfortable Accommodation Deluxe Accommodation
Beijing King Parkview Hotel Beijing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing
Xi'an Grand New World Hotel  Grand Noble Hotel Xi'an  Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square 
Huangshan City Xinan Country Villa Hotel Huangshan International Hotel Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng
Yellow Mountain Beihai Hotel Huangshan Beihai Hotel Huangshan Xihai Hotel
Hangzhou  Enjoyor Hotel  Haihua Hotel Hangzhou Sofitel Westlake Hangzhou 
Suzhou Garden Hotel Holiday Inn Jasmine Suzhou Pan Pacific Suzhou
Shanghai Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai The Bund Hotel Shanghai Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World

What's Included:

  • 12 nights' accommodation at centrally located hotels
  • Authentic Chinese food for included meals
  • Entrance fee to the attractions listed
  • Experienced and knowledgeable local experts
  • Specified flights, trains, and express bus


1. When is the best time to visit China?

The best season to come to China is autumn, late September and October. The weather is optimal in most of China at this time. The summer rain and heat has passed so it's relatively dry with a nice, mild temperature. The major Chinese attractions in Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin, Hong Kong and Chengdu are comfortable to visit.

2. I heard hotels in China always ask for a large deposit when I check-in, is this true?

Yes. It’s been noted that hotels in China often require a cash deposit from you upon check in. It will be refunded or used for any of your expense when you check out.

3. Why are the beds in China so hard?

Except for the international-chain hotels, the beds in most Chinese hotels are hard for westerners. Chinese people believe that hard beds are good for your health due to the theory of Chinese Medicine. You can always ask for an extra blanket from the housekeeper to make it softer.

4. Do hotels in China provide free Wi-Fi access?

Yes, 90% hotels in China have free Wi-Fi access in the rooms and in public areas, such as the dining room and lobby. However, some hotels below 3-star ranking may only have Wi-Fi in the rooms.

5. Is the price the same for all seasons? What is the definition for high season and low season?

Prices are a bit different in different seasons due to the various rates of hotels and flights. It is usually more expensive to travel in high season, which is from March till the end of October. Winter, from November to February of the next year, is low season due to the cold temperature and less charming natural scenery. Traveling in low season is a good way to gain an affordable trip as airfare and hotel rates are a lot lower.