Highlights of China - 11 Days
SEMI INDEPENDENT: Discover China’s bustling cities and idyllic landscapes in just 11 days. Explore the Forbidden City and Tiananman Square in Beijing, hike along the best-preserved section of the Great Wall, walk along Xi’an’s ancient city walls and marvel at the Terracotta Warrior army, cruise along the river soak up the karst landscape in Yangshuo and witness a spectacular acrobatic performance in Shanghai.
Welcome to China! On arrival to Beijing International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to start exploring this iconic capital. Be sure to try Peking duck, a must try!
This morning we embark on a guided tour of China’s capital. The famous portrait of Chairman Mao, who turned China from an imperial to communist country, looks out over Tiananmen Square from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. We take a walk on the square, a vision of grandeur with its imperial yellow roofs and vermilion walls before making our way through the gates to the Forbidden city, which was forbidden to those not conducting imperial business until 1911, when Emperor Puyi was overthrown. We enjoy a stroll through the city’s many temples, courtyards and grand halls. This afternoon we explore the Hutongs of Beijing on a rickshaw ride and enjoy a lunch hosted by a local family before spending the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Beijing | Breakfast, Lunch
No trip to Beijing is complete without seeing its major highlight -the Great Wall of China. We head to the Mutianyu section of the wall, the longest and best-restored section of the wall, to walk along the pristine parapets which line the sloping hillsides and flourishing forests that dominate the landscape. We also visit a Jade Carving Factory and enjoy lunch in a local farmer’s restaurant before returning to the city, where we explore the 798-art zone, a vibrant art space, boasting galleries, art centres and studios. Return to the hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Beijing | Breakfast, Lunch
Beijing - Xi'an
Beijing – Xi’an. Spend the final morning in Beijing exploring the colourful Summer Palace, a pristine imperial garden used by emperors to escape the heat of the summer. Walk through the landscape which appears to have been taken from a traditional Chinese painting, along the man-made Kumming Lake admiring the temples, gardens, pavilions and bridges. Entry to the complex of Summer Palace is included, for those that would like to further discover the area, why not opt to explore longevity hill and hall of dispelling clouds or enjoy a short leisurely cruise along Kunming Lake (book/payable locally).
Later, we board the bullet train with our lunch box, to Xi’an where we will be met by a local guide and transferred to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Lunch
Today we explore the ancient city of Xi’an. We begin visiting one of the greatest archaeological finds in the world – the Terracotta Warriors. Comprising over 8000 life sized warriors standing ready in battle formation, were built to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. Be sure to visit the Terracotta Warrior Factory to learn about the ancient production process which has remained the same since the Qin dynasty. After lunch, we return to the city centre and walk along the ancient city walls, one of the world’s largest ancient military defensive systems (there is also the option to rent a bicycle or tandem bike to explore the walls for an additional fee).
Next, we continue to the Great Mosque, a spectacular blend of Islamic and traditional Chinese architecture, where we have time to walk through the serene gardens of China’s oldest and largest mosque. We end the day with a stroll through the Muslim Quarter to Yongxingfang, sampling the local street food and admiring locally handmade crafts.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Lunch
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
We have the morning at leisure to continue exploring or relax. This afternoon we make our way to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of China’s most famous Buddhist pagodas, soaring 64 meters high and housing ancient religious artefacts taken from India. This evening we try our hand at making some traditional Chinese dumplings and enjoy the fruits of our labour for dinner. Evening is at leisure. Be sure to witness the incredible light fountain show.
Overnight: Xi'an | Breakfast, Dinner
Xi'an - Guilin
Xi’an – Guilin. Depart Xi’an this morning and board our flight to spectacular Guilin. On arrival we are met by a local guide and transferred to our hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Guilin | Breakfast
Guilin - Yangshuo
Guilin – Yangshuo. Yangshuo, famous for its lime stone peaks and karst landscape is ours to explore today. We enjoy a lunch cruise along the silky waters of the Li river taking in the spectacular scenes of rural life of farmers tending rice paddies, locals washing their clothes in the river and fisherman meandering downstream in their bamboo rafts. This afternoon is yours to explore, continue to explore the river and hire your own bamboo raft, or visit the incredible Moon Hill caves for a dip in the mud baths.
Overnight: Yangshuo | Breakfast, Lunch
Reed Flute Caves
Yangshuo – Guilin – Shanghai. This morning we return to Guilin to visit the famous Reed Flute Caves, named after the reeds that grow at the entrance to the cave which are collected to make into flutes. We walk through the 500-meter-long cave which features stalactites and tall stone columns which have taken millions of years to form and glisten in an array of neon lights. This afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our onward flight to Shanghai. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast
Today we explore futuristic Shanghai! We walk along the Bund to Yu Gardens where we take time to explore the beautiful scenery of the gardens dating back to 1559, taking in the classical Suzhou design which holds more than 40 traditional halls, pagodas and pavilions. After lunch, visit a Silk Factory to learn about the process of making this popular fabric before returning to the city to explore the cobblestone alleys of Xintiandi, where classical architecture meets modern, fashionable trends. This evening enjoy a spectacular acrobatics show.
Overnight: Shanghai | Breakfast, Lunch
Our China adventure comes to an end after hotel check out and some free time today. An airport departure transfer is not included but can be booked upon request. Additional night’s stay in Shanghai can be arranged if you’re not quite ready to go home.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
5L Beijing Hotel , Beijing
Well located in the Chaoyang district, the Beijing 5L Hotel enjoys access to the China World Trade Centre and 30 minutes from Beijing International Airport. Each modern guestroom features complimentary WiFi and a flat screen TV. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily in the onsite restaurant as well as Chinese dishes. The hotel also features a spa, wellness centre and garden so guests can unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xi'an
Located a stone’s throw away from the Ancient City Wall and Islamic Mosque, is Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel offers modern comforts in the heart of the city. Each air-conditioned guestroom features WiFi, minibar, and satellite TV. There is an onsite restaurant which serves a daily buffet or a la carte breakfast as well as a variety of Asian and Western dishes. During their free time, guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or work up a sweat in the fitness centre.
Grand Bravo Hotel, Guilin
The colossal Grand Bravo Hotel seamlessly combines modern comfort with traditional decor to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay. The exterior of the building is an excellent example of classical Chinese architecture and is sure to dazzle visitors. Each room follows a neutral colour scheme, giving guests a calm and serene living space. There are multiple dining choices available, each serving tantalising dishes from numerous different countries. The hotel is perfectly located for exploring the region's top attractions such as Reed Flute Cave.
Days Inn Frontier, Yangshuo
The Days Inn Frontier Yangshuo is conveniently located beside the picturesque Li River, with easy access to all the attractions of Yangshuo, including historic West Street with its plethora of shops and cafes. The friendly hotel staff are always on hand to provide assistance and guests can be assured of a comfortable stay in the spacious guest rooms, where they can enjoy 24 hour room service and complimentary wifi.
SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund, Shanghai
Located a stones throw from the Bund and Yu Gardens, the SSAW Boutique hotel is the perfect hotel for those looking to explore Shanghai. Each air-conditioned guest room features a minibar, safe and flat screen TV. Guests can borrow books from the hotel library or work up a sweat in the fitness centre. The hotel offers complimentary Italian tea and coffee which can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio which boasts stunning skyline views.