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Backroads to Beijing - 8 days map

Take the road less travelled from Shanghai to Beijing. Explore the scintillating city of Shanghai and cultural Qufu, birthplace of Confucius. Cruise the picturesque waterways of Suzhou and admire the views from the summit of holy Mt Tai Shan. Visit a local village, meet the children of a kindergarten school, have lunch with a local family and more on this fascinating 8 day tour.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Shanghai - Shanghai Plaza Tower, The Bund and Old Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden, Huang River skyline of Pudong City
Qufu – UNESCO listed Confucius Mansion, temple and forest
Jinan – UNESCO listed Mt Tai Shan (Peaceful Mountain). Heaven Street, Cloud Bridge, Jade Emperor’s Temple
Suzhou - UNESCO listed gardens, Grand Canal and waterways, Silk factory, Lingering Garden
Bu Yung village – village, homestead and kindergarten
Beijing - extend your stay to explore the capital


Shanghai Airport arrival transfers on day 1 and departure transfer on day 8 from Beijing Capital Airport
6 nights 3 - 4 star hotels, 1 overnight train: Shanghai - Qufu (4-berth soft sleeper cabin)
Shanghai - Huangpu River cruise
Return cable car journey – Mt Tai Shan
English speaking specialist guides at local sights
7 breakfasts and 3 lunches
Touring of Shanghai, Suzhou, Qufu and Jinan
Suzhou - historic Grand Canal cruise
Tour Guide escorted for groups of 6 or more
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa
Laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature
Tipping Kitty: USD$50-60pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide is not included in the Tip Kitty. We suggest USD$3-5 per day, per traveller for a job well done, however the amount is up to you
Entrance Fees: USD$110-120pp, paid in local currency


Day 1


Saturday. Arrive into Shanghai airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Shanghai

Day 2

City tour

Today we explore the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. On our guided tour of the city we'll visit the iconic Oriental Pearl TV tower, Shanghai’s Bund, where on and around the waterfront promenade are a vast series of grandiose pre-1949 buildings, the picturesque Yuyuan Gardens and the Old City. This evening enjoy a cruise on the Huangpu River and admire Shanghai's incredible illuminated skyline.
Overnight: Shanghai  |  Breakfast

Days 3-4

Suzhou & Shanghai

Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai - Qufu. Today we visit the picturesque and ancient city of Suzhou, which is reminiscent of Venice with its series of canals and pretty waterways. Here we enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal and visit a silk workshop.

There’s plenty to see and do in Shanghai and day 4 is free for you to venture to the Old City, French Quarter or opt to shop along the famous Nanjing road. This evening we bunk down in our soft sleeper train cabins en route to Qufu.
Overnight: Shanghai (1) Sleeper Train to Qufu (1)  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1

Day 5

Remarkable Confucius Temple

This morning we arrive into Qufu, birthplace of Confucius and home to the remarkable Confucius Temple. With 466 rooms and over a kilometre long, the complex was built and dedicated to the Kong clan, descendants of the great sage, who lived here continuously for more than 2,500 years, spanning 77 generations. Today we explore the mansion and temple before taking a rickshaw ride around the city wall with a visit to the eerie Confucius forest. The forest is studded with tombs and graves of Kong family members dating back some centuries. This evening we take a stroll through the colourful night market.
Overnight: Qufu  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Traditional Bu Yang Village

Qufu – Bu Yang Village - Mt Tai Shan – Jinan. This morning we take a short drive to Bu Yang Village. In this traditional village the principles of Communism, communal work and land ownership are somewhat still in place. Here's we'll enjoy a light lunch at Mr Peng’s (one of the party officials) home. Seated around the family’s low to the ground lazy Susan, Mrs Peng serves up local dishes and copious bottles of beer. This is a real taste of village life! A short stroll leads us to the village prep-school, where we'll visit the classroom to meet the children who will all be vying for our attention.

After our visit to the school we travel on to Mt Tai Shan, perhaps the holiest of the five Chinese holy mountains devoted to Taoism. Whilst flocks of pilgrims climb the 6000 or more steps to the summit, we will take the cable car. With stunning scenery and many ancient temples dotting the slopes we will visit Heaven Street, Cloud Bridge and the Jade Emperor’s temple. A short drive takes us to Jinan where we spend the night.
Overnight: Jinan  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Sightseeing Tour Of Jinan

Jinan - Beijing. Today we embark on a short city sightseeing tour of Jinan, capital of Shandong province in Eastern China, and enjoy a fabulous Hotpot lunch. Afternoon express train journey to Beijing.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Beijing - China's bustling capital

Saturday. Tour ends after breakfast and included onward transfer to Beijing Capital Airport. Or consider extending your stay to explore China's bustling capital.


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.

Ramada Encore Shanghai Hotel , Shanghai

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Ideally located close to several plazas and shopping centres, this modern hotel offers you a comfortable stay in one of China’s fastest growing cities. Guestrooms are equipped with all the essential amenities, with free WiFi and access to the breakfast buffet included. The onsite Dakang Restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, and you can expect a tasty menu featuring both Western and Chinese cuisine. Other amenities include a fitness centre, coffee shop and small convenience store.

Queli Hotel, Qufu

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

The Queli a sublime hotel that combines excellent service with a great location to ensure each guest a fantastic stay. Designed in traditional Shandong style, the beautiful complex blends with the ancient town of Qufu and boasts modern amenities including a business centre and a bar. Rooms are spacious and comfortable and have been decorated with a neutral colour scheme. The hotel is in the city centre, adjacent to the Confucius Temple and 16 km from the railway station.

Shungeng Hillview Hotel, Jinan

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Situated at the foot of a mountain, this modern hotel sits amongst wonderful landscapes and offers splendidly decorated rooms with an array of mod-cons. The hotel has several restaurants, a bar, a health club featuring a sauna and fitness centre, and a number of other recreational facilities including bowling, tennis and billiards. Upon entering guests can marvel at the magnificent lobby before making their way to their spacious room. The hotel is 3km from the city centre, 6km from the railway station and 38km from the airport.

Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Beijing Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven is an elegant and comfortable hotel with well-furnished and spacious rooms. Practical in design, the guestrooms feature internet access and the hotel also boasts a range of restaurants and bars, as well as an indoor swimming pool. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Temple of Heaven, the hotel is the perfect base from which to explore this fascinating city.

Holiday Inn Express Beijing Minzuyuan, Beijing

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Located just a stones throw from the Beitucheng Subway station, with access to Line 10 & Line 8, the Holiday Inn Express Beijing Minzuyuan is a perfect base to explore the many amazing highlights of Beijing. Within walking distance of the hotel you'll find the famous Birds Nest Olympic Stadium. The hotel boasts a stylish restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In Brief

Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 3
Click to play videoThe view across the Huangpu River to the modern cityscape of Pudong in Shanghai
View of Suzhou lit up at night from across the water
Pastel pink archyway at the end of a bridge in Qufu
Beautiful autumn colours surrounding the water in Jinan
Click to play videoBeijing cityscape with a view of the sprawling Forbidden City palace complex from above
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