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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|