Classic China & Guilin Landscape

CET-03: 11 Days Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin/Yangshuo - Shanghai Tour

The natural landscape along the Li River is the defining moment and a highlight of this combined tour. To see the authentic Chinese countryside, the small town of Yangshuo surrounded by rice fields and then visit some local farmers' homes will present a very real China to you. Add the histories of Beijing and Xi'an along with modern Shanghai and you have the best that the signature China can offer.

CET Advantages:

  • Jump right onto the less crowded section of the Great Wall.
  • Learn Dumpling Making in a local restaurant.
  • Trek among rice terraces to experience Minority people's life.
  • Escape from the big city in the backpacker heaven of Yangshuo.
Price from: USD1566 per person

Full Itinerary

Day 01: Beijing – Arrival

Welcome to the Far East! Meet your local expert at Beijing International Airport (PEK) and be transferred to your hotel.

Day 02:Beijing- Step into the Emperor's Life

The Forbidden City is an enormous palace showing the way that the emperors and empresses lived a life of compulsory ritual. The buildings are well preserved, large and impressive. The tour gives insight into practices that continue to influence China today. After the Palace Museum, stroll around Tiananmen Square and take in the history and majestic size of the centre of the Chinese government. Visit a local family in the Hutongs and riding in a rickshaw you will see people's life in a traditional Chinese courtyard.

the forbidden city The Forbidden City

Day 03:Beijing-Walking on the Great Wall

We recommend the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, as it has all of the watchtowers and renovated wall within a couple of kilometres of each other.

If you get there as early as you can to avoid the crowds, and be one of the first to arrive while the mists were still shrouding the hills around the area, your first view of the Wall will make you feel so proud that you climbed all the way up from the bottom. Standing on the top of the Watch Tower, the Wall will then flow across the crest of the hill, allowing you stunning views into both Inner Mongolia and China proper.

the mutianyu great wall Mutianyu section of the Great Wall

Day 04: Beijing to Xi'an-See the Imperial Garden

The Summer Palace is one of the outstanding outdoor wonders of imperial China. It retains a liveliness and beauty that stems directly from its location on the shore of the manmade Kunming Lake. The shoreline offers countless beautiful views and vistas for casual strollers or day visitors, as well as opportunities (April to October) to take a boat ride on the Lake.

The temple is at the summit of many stairs, so you feel as if you are climbing towards Heaven. Temple of Heaven is round, with huge gold columns and red painted walls inside. The outside is decorated with a blue background and intricate patterns. It's awesome and makes you feel very spiritual. After lunch, you will visit a Kindergarten and test your Chinese perhaps even discover a little of China's Education System before take the bullet train and leave for Xi'an.

the temple of heaven Temple of Heaven

Day 05: Xi'an - Ancient Capital City for Six Dynasties

As one of the reasons you travel to China, to see the Terracotta Warriors has to be the highlight. More than 8000 soldiers, chariots and horses have each been individually carved centuries ago. Housed in four buildings to protect the antiquities, archaeologists still labour to uncover more from this dig site. There is a multi-language movie that explains the history of how this impressive site was created and why. This is a world treasure.

After lunch in a local restaurant, you will drive about one hour back to downtown Xi'an. For those who have watched the Legend of the Monkey God in The Journey to the West – It's a humbling experience to come face to face with the Monk who travelled for almost two decades to bring the Buddhist Scriptures back to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The determination of a single person to do this is most revered.

the terracotta worriors Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Day 06: Xi'an to Guilin - See Chinese History Alive

Shaanxi History Museum is an excellent museum of artifacts from primarily the Tang dynasty, worth seeing for visitor, revealing the rich history of China that goes well beyond the Terracotta Warriors.

Later, pay a visit to the City Wall where you will be impressed by biking on the Wall and seeing the classic red lanterns that tell you the history of the Wall. The wall has Stunning views at night, like a shining golden necklace that doctorates the whole city. The South gate was newly renovated and has the best views of all the four main gates.

Then you will, continue your journey to a local family in Xi'an for Dumpling Making. Make dumplings with your host and enjoy your own fruit of labour for your lunch. After lunch you will drive to the airport and fly to Guilin.

cycling on the ancient city wall Cycling on the City Wall

Day 07:Guilin-Explore Minority Village and Terraced Fields

Discovering the beautiful Guilin begins with the Terraced Fields and Zhuang Minority Village. The Longji village is one of the classic villages you can see --- beautiful wooden houses, tasty local food, and above all the amazing views over the rice terraces once you get to the top of the mountain. No industry or machinery appears in the village, everything is made by hand. You can watch the farmers working in the fields with their water buffalo and plough. Each Minority tribe maintains their distinguished and outstanding traditional living style by the way they dress and even their hair style. You will see Zhuang, Dong and Yao People in this day trip.

Longji Rice fields Longji Rice Fields

Day 08:Guilin to Yangshuo - Appreciate the Solitary Peaks along the Li River

Take a boat trip along the Li River and see the natural beauty that represents 'old' China at its best. This is a real highlight for your Guilin Trip. The boat meanders slowly and if you are lucky enough to experience great weather you can stay on the open deck throughout the 4-hour trip. You are going to see water buffalo, mountain goats, rice paddies, and people fishing and washing their clothes in the river. It's not only a cruise, but a great chance to experience the authentic countryside of China.

In the afternoon, the boat disembarks at Yangshuo. A walk through the West Street is the ideal place to buy souvenirs. A bike ride in the country side is highly recommended. The roads are surrounded by rice paddies and Karst hills. The educational part will be visiting a local family during the bike tour when you can talk to the local people.

li river Li River Scenery

Day 09: Guilin to Shanghai - Investigate the Unique Cave

Drive about 1.5 hours from Yangshuo to Guilin, and continue your journey by exploring the Reed Flute Cave. The cave itself is impressive, and the coloured lights make it romantic and dramatic. Listening to the beautiful stories about every stalactite and stalagmite, you will be amazed by how capable Mother Nature is. The tour is followed by a photo stop at Elephant Trunk Hill, the landmark of Guilin city. Drive to the airport after having lunch in a local restaurant nearby.

the elephant trunk hill Elephant Trunk Hill

Day 10: Shanghai - Immerse Yourself in the Thriving China

Shanghai is the economic centre of China. Standing on the 100th floor of the World Financial Centre, you will be surprised how fast China has been developed. The Bird's-eye view from the sky bridge tells you that the city never ends. After that, see the rockeries, ponds and "relaxation rooms" in Yu Garden. This is an education in Chinese Culture. A tour to Cao yang New Neighbourhood will give you a chance to experience the real life of Shanghainese. You will visit a local food market and be amazed by the amazing variety of food. Having tea and talking when visiting one of the homes, you can learn more about their daily life.

the yuyuan garden The Yuyuan Garden

Day 11: Depart for Home

Your personal guide meets you in the hotel lobby and take you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) at least four hours before your flight departure. The guide will help you with check-in and see you off at the security check.

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
Guilin Hotel Universal Guilin Guilin Bravo Hotel Sheraton Guilin Hotel
Yangshuo Aiyuan Hotel Aiyuan Hotel Green Lotus Hotel
Shanghai Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai The Bund Hotel Shanghai Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World

What's Included:

  • Airfare from Xi'an to Guilin and Guilin to Shanghai
  • Bullet train from Beijing to Xi'an
  • 10 nights central located hotel accommodation
  • Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo
  • Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Meals as included in the itinerary
  • Private English speaking tour guide


1. Will we be taken to any shopping traps during the tour?

All our tours are shopping free! Unlike some other tour operators in China, who hire guides that earn commission by taking tourists to the shopping outlets, China Educational Tours pay our guides a fair salary and bonus so that they have a steady income. Our guides will pay all their attention to guide you, serve you and make your trip a fulfilled memory.

2. What’s the difference between 3, 4 and 5 Star hotel?

Hotels in China don’t usually match the same standard as in western countries. We choose hotels based on their location, feedback and best value for money. Five-star hotels are usually well facilitated with spacious lobby and comfortable rooms. International chain hotels can meet western standards, while local brands may not. Four-star hotels are well-equipped but with not as much luxury as Five-star ones. Hotel staff in Four-star hotels speak limited English. Three-star hotels can usually meet the standard of most westerners, but breakfast is without many choices and hotel staff speak no other language.

3. Is tipping expected and is there a usual amount?

Tipping is not mandatory however the guides and drivers, as in many other countries, will usually expect a tip. Our suggestion would be: 1 person RMB 150-200/day, 2 people in a group RMB100 day/person, 3-5 people in a group: 50-70 RMB /day/person, 6-9 people in a group:40-50 RMB /day/person, ≥10 people in a group: 20-30 RMB /day/person. The driver would be half the amount, and a separate offer to each is best. Of course, only tip if the service has truly satisfied you.

4. Do we get the same guide for the entire trip?

To make sure that your tour guides are the local experts for each destination, you will have a different tour guide in each city. Upon arrival in a city, you will be greeted by your personal tour guide at the airport/train station. He/she will accompany you till your tour is completed in that city by saying goodbye to you at the airport/train station. All our tour guides are well selected and trained based on CET service standard. I will ensure excellent tour guides for you to make your trip worry free.

5. Can I see what your previous customers say about their China tour with China Educational Tours?

No problem. Please follow the link below to see our Trip Advisor Page. Here you can find more reviews from our customers. We can also send you email address of some of our customers if you need a referral.

What Our Customers Say On This Tour

Michael, I am Laura's father. You have been communicating with Laura over the past year and I thought it was time to express my appreciation to you. My wife, Jo Ann, and I join with Laura to thank you for all the work you have accomplished to make our trip an enjoyable one. We look forward to experiencing the beauty of both China and its wonderful people. - Emanuele
Our tour guide in Guilin is Foster. He knows every corner of all the area (Guilin, Yangshuo and Longji), even the back roads to hike and bike. We were thrilled with the combination of sightseeing that Foster provided. The pace was brisk, but he was careful not to push my old knees. However, we got to push the pace a bit harder and enjoyed all Foster had on the agenda.. - Carol Brooks