10 Days Classic China Tour with Best Highlights
Beijing / Xian / Guilin / Shanghai
1. This price is based on a group (2 to 5 travelers) accommodated in 3-star hotel in lower seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your group members and traveling time. Usually more travelers, lower the price; higher price in high seasons, lower in low seasons.
3. This price is valid until February 28th, 2024.
Beijing (3 nights), Xian (2 nights), Guilin (2 nights), Shanghai (2 nights)
Highlights of the Trip
- Discover the greatest cultural heritages of Beijing and Xian - Forbidden City, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors...
- Enjoy relaxing cycling on Xian Ancient City Wall
- Cruise on Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo
- Get amazed by the incredible contrast of Shanghai's modern and tradition, past and present
Day 1-3: Beijing Arrival & Beijing
Your lifetime China tour begins with welcome from your local guide at the Beijing airport. Explore the classic historical sites like Great Wall of China, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven etc.
Day 4-5: High Speed Train to Xian & Xian Visit
Enjoy the exploration in Temple of Heaven and Beijing Hutongs before leave. Fly to Xian and Have nice tour by visiting Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, and Muslim Quarter.
Day 6-7: Fly to Guilin & Yangshuo Visit
Enjoy the exploration in Shananxi History Museum and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda before leave. Fly to Guilin and Have nice tour by cruising Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo, wandering along West Street, and exploring freely in Yangshuo countryside.
Day 8-10: Fly to Shanghai & Shanghai
Take half day to visit Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave before transfer to Shanghai. In the metropolis Shanghai, you'll visit Shanghai Museum, Shanghai World Financial Center, Yu Garden and its Bazaar, the Bund and more sites.
Full Itinerary Day by day
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
Ni Hao! Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China as well as a city combining both modern and traditional architecture. You’ll be met by our local guide at the arrival hall of Beijing airport / train station and escorted to your hotel in Beijing downtown by a private, comfortable and non-smoking vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore this ever-changing megacity.
Tips: If you want to explore near your hotel, please feel free to ask practical suggestions from our experienced tour guide.
Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Today, you’ll deeply explore the rich history and culture of imperial Beijing. Enjoy a brief visit to the most important landmark - Tian’anmen Square where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The square is surrounded by grand buildings including the Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Monument to the People’s Martyrs and the Forbidden City.
Walking through the Tian’anmen, you’ll visit one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of Qing Dynasty (1420 to 1912) with 24 emperors lived. The complex is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world which consists of 980 buildings with 9,999 rooms. You’ll follow the central axis to visit Meridian Gate, Gate of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Supreme, Hall of Middle Harmony, Hall of Preserving Harmony and other gates, halls and gardens.
After lunch, you’ll drive to the western outskirts of Beijing to Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Listed as World Heritage Site, Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, pavilions, halls, temples, gardens and bridges. Spend some enjoyable time strolling around Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake and Long Corridor and feast your eyes with beautiful landscape.
Optional activities: 1) In the evening, you can watch a fascinating Kung Fu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater during 19:30~21:00.
Forbidden City with Yellow-glazed Tile Roofs
Enjoy Panoramic View of Summer Palace
Tian'anmen Square, the Landmark of Beijing
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)
In this morning, drive about 70 kilometers to the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu section, the longest but less crowded great wall in China. Mutianyu Great Wall is regarded as the “Essence of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty” for its imposing and very solid characters. You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40-minute walk to set your feet on the historic great wall. Climbing up its rising towers, you’ll be impressed by the breathtaking scenery with abundant vegetation and know the profound culture of great wall and wisdom of ancient Chinese people.
After the exciting tour, continue your trip to Ding Tomb, one of the tombs at the Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty. Being the only Ming tomb to have been excavated, Ding Tomb is for Wanli Emperor and his two empresses. Walk through the Sacred Way and pass the doorways to visit the two exhibition rooms and Underground Palace.
Then, drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view the famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
Optional activity: In this evening, treat yourself a hearty dinner at Quan Ju De to taste the famous Peking Roast Duck.
Panoramic View of Ding Tomb
Summer Scenery of Mutianyu Great Wall
Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Xian (B, L)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex visited by the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Know the symbolism of “Heaven” and “Earth” and explore the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar. Enjoy the vivid life by visiting the surrounding park to see locals playing Taichi, flying kite, dancing, writing water calligraphy, and others.
Next, get back to the traditional part of Beijing to hop on a rickshaw to explore Beijing Hutongs and the culture of quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing lifestyle, pass various antique shops and different boutiques and truly feel the historical change of Beijing.
After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train to Xian (about 5hrs). The local guide will pick you up at Xian North Railway Station and escort you to your hotel. The rest of today is free on your own to explore this ancient capital of China for 13 dynasties.
Bird Eye's View of Temple of Heaven
Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock
Day 5 Xian (B, L)
In this morning, drive about 40km to the Eighth Wonder of the World - Terracotta Warriors and Horses which was founded in 1974 by local farmers and later listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Get into the living historical classroom to witness one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world. Visit the three pits containing more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses and know the history of Qin Dynasty (221-207BC), the emperors and the funerary art.
Next, drive back to Xian downtown for some leisure time on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved existing ancient city wall in China. This rectangular city wall is 13.75km in length, 12m in height and 15-18m in width which takes about 4 hours’ walking for the circuit. Standing on the ancient wall, you can enjoy panoramic view of Xian City. Then, you’ll be followed a trip to Muslim Quarter where you can taste different local food and snacks and explore Muslim culture.
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling trip on the Ancient City Wall (about 2 hours); 2) Enjoy a brilliant Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 20:00 to 21:00) after a hearty dumpling dinner.
Witness the Magnificent Terracotta Warriors Army
Relaxing Cycling on Xian Ancient City Wall
Day 6 Xian & Flight to Guilin (B)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll head to Da Cien Temple with a history of 1350 years. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda with seven-story at a height of 64.5 meters is the famous building in the temple. This pagoda was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuan Zang (the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”) to preserve precious Buddhist relics, scriptures and figures of Buddha he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. (Please note: It charges extra 30 Yuan to visit or climb up the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.)
Next, take an educational trip to Shaanxi History Museum with more than 370,000 pieces of cultural relics. Ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate the relics such as bronzes, porcelains, terracotta armies, paintings, murals, currencies dating back from the Zhou to the Tang Dynasty period (1100BC to 907AD).
After tour, your guide and driver will escort you to Xian Xianyang Airport for your flight to Guilin (about 2hrs). Upon arrival, you will be met by local tour guide at Guilin Liangjiang Airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Guilin City. The rest of today is at your leisure to have fun.
Shaanxi History Museum
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 7 Guilin Li River Cruise to Yangshuo ( B, L )
“East or West, Guilin’s landscape is the best”. After breakfast, you’ll begin today’s sightseeing by taking the 84-kilometer relaxing Li River cruise to Yangshuo County. Cruising on the Li River, you’ll be like sailing along a hundred-mile scroll with numerous green mountains, cliffs, waterfalls, oases, shoals as well as idyllic countryside views. You won’t miss the gorgeous karst scenery depicted at the back of the new edition 20 Yuan banknote.
After the 4-hour cruise, you’ll disembark in Yangshuo Town. Check in your hotel and take a short break. Then, immerse yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxing atmosphere and be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green hills and near the mirror-like river, with farmers cultivating the soil with their water buffalos.
Next will be a wonderful stroll along the oldest street in Yangshuo - West Street with a history of more than 1400 years. On this 800-meter-long “Foreigner’s Street”, you’ll experience the perfect collision of Chinese and Western culture as well as taste some delicious local snacks and enjoy the cool atmosphere in a bar if you like.
Optional activity: In this evening, enjoy a spectacular open-air show “Impression Sanjie Liu” directed by the famous director – Zhang Yimou in a vast amphitheater with the stage being the river and mountains in front of you (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).
Heaven-like Scenery in Yangshuo
Li River, Human and Nature Integrated Together
Day 8 Guilin & Flight to Shanghai (B, L)
In the morning, you’ll be transferred back to Guilin in a comfortable vehicle (about 1.5~2hrs). Then, take a trip to visit the symbol of Guilin - Elephant Trunk Hill. It is named after its unique shape of a giant elephant stretching its trunk to Li River and boozing. You’ll spend some time appreciating the green mountains, clear water, fantastic caves and beautiful rocks in this park.
Next will be a visit to Reed Flute Cave, the Art Palace of Nature! Getting into the majestic underground cave, you’ll see a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations as well as enjoy the light and sound show.
After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you the Guilin Liangjiang Airport for your flight to Shanghai (about 2hrs and 20mins). Upon arrival, you’ll be met by our local guide at the arrival hall of the airport and escorted to your hotel in downtown area by a private vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore the “Pearl of the Orient”.
Reed Flute Cave, the Art Palace of Nature
The Famous Elephant Trunk Hill
Day 9 Shanghai (B, L)
After breakfast, you’ll take a full day to explore the west-meet-east, modern-blend-tradition culture of Shanghai. First, take an educational trip to Shanghai Museum, one of the Four Greatest Museums in China. From outside, you’ll appreciate the beautiful appearance in the style of “Ding” which symbolizes “a round heaven and a square earth”. While entering into the exhibition rooms, you’ll treat your eyes with large number of collections of historic relics from Bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphic works to jades, coins, furniture, seals, sculptures, etc.
Then, head to Yu Garden, a typical ancient Chinese garden in Jiangnan area similar to the classical Suzhou Gardens! This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works.
Next, drive to Pudong New District to the third tallest building in China - Shanghai World Financial Center. Stand on the 100th floor (474 meters) to have panoramic view of Shanghai downtown, Huangpu River as well as nearby towering buildings. Later, take a wonderful stroll along the Bund with a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. Feel the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time take in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes! (Note: If time and energy permits, you can have a nice walk along Nanjing Road to experience the modern atmosphere of Shanghai.)
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes); 2) Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres (usually performs during 19:30~21:00).
Have Panoramic View on the Top of Shanghai World Financial Center
Walk through the Zigzag Bridge of Yu Garden
The Bund - An Exhibition of International Buildings
Day 10 Shanghai & Shanghai Departure (B)
Want to deeply know the past, today and future of Shanghai? This morning’s visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will show you everything about Shanghai. You will see the amazing transformation of Shanghai that was originally a small fishing village and now surprisingly a super modern world metropolis. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.
Then you will be followed a trip to Jade Buddha Temple, a famous Buddhist Temple peacefully situated in the bustling Shanghai downtown. It is famous for the two pieces of Jade Buddha - one is the sitting Jade Buddha of 1.95 meters tall and the other is the smaller reclining Jade Buddha of 0.96 meters tall. Besides appreciating the Jade Buddha, you can have a basic understanding about Chinese Buddhism by visiting the Buddhist halls.
After the tour, your guide will escort you the airport / train station for your flight to next destination or home.
See the Future of Shanghai in Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Jade Buddha Temple
Recommended Add-on Options
+ 3 more days to immerse in the spiritual city on the Himalaya - Lhasa
Deep in the spectacular Himalayan Mountains, Lhasa is a jewel of a destination. Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama, is a major attraction, but you’ll also find numerous Tibetan Buddhist sites like Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka Park, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery where you’ll get touched by the devoted pilgrimage culture of local Tibetan people...
+ 2 more days Chengdu Leisure Life Experience & Giant Panda Visit
Immerse yourself in the Land of Abundance and Hometown of Giant Pandas!
You’ll totally enjoy the ancient culture and slow pace of living when having close contact with the cute pandas in Chengdu Panda Base, sipping tea in the hundred-year-old teahouse in Renmin Park, seeking for Three Kingdom culture in Jinli Old Street, exploring Ancient Shu Civilization in Jinsha Site Museum...
+ 4~5 more days to cruise on the magnificent Yangtze River
Taking a relaxing cruise sailing on the Yangtze River is a popular way to get a short break during your China tour. You’ll not only enjoy many colorful cultural activities and entertainment programs onboard, but also enjoy three to four shore excursions to deeply know the authentic life along Three Gorges and witness the world-famous Three Gorges Dam.
You can take: 1) 4 Days & 3 Night Downstream Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang; 2) 5 Days & 4 Nights Upstream Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing.
- Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Meals as specified in the itinerary.(Exceptions: If the western breakfast is not available in some of the hotels, breakfast would be either Chinese breakfast or Chinese and western breakfast.)
Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with
or a king size
bed; All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or
Please note double bed room is on request basis which is subject to Hotel's
and re-confirmation upon check-in.
Service, room facilities and breakfast might be not up to standard in some remote areas.
- Transportation: Flights or train as listed in the itinerary.
- Sightseeing As listed in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide;
Service of local guide and van is for a maximum of 8 hours
the full day individual
* Please note that our English-speaking guide and driver provided for you in each city or area will not fly with you from one city to another.
- Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide as listed in the itinerary.
- Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & Government Taxes.
- Luggage Transfers between airports, trains and hotels.
- Flights (Economy class) not as listed in the itinerary.
- Accommodation not as listed in the itinerary.
- Visa Fees: Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. We can send you a free official invitation letter to assist you in obtaining your visa after the reservation deposit is received.
- Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary.
- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
- Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
- Life Tourist insurance. Please kindly note that the full coverage travel insurance from your country of origin should be purchased in advance on your own.
- Optional activities.
Essential China Travel Information & Service
To help you have a further understanding of your tour, we provide some essential travel information like your tour guides, drivers, private cars/vans, accommodations and meals that you could know more about how is your China Yangtze cruise tour going. All the experience will be vivid and memorable in any time in any destination.
Your Private Tour Guide
The tour guides in all destinations are qualified, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsible!
All of our guides in every destination are locals. They will be greeted you punctually upon arrival at airport, train stations or cruise ports. And escort you to your hotel and tourist attractions and make you have full understanding about the local life, scenic spots as well as show you the fun places for more featured activities and things to do according to your time and interests.
“All our guides, especially those who we had a chance to spend more time with (Guilin, Chengdu, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie) were great. Always very accommodating, punctual and attentive.” - Review from Zane, Canada
Your Private Driver & Car
Taking our private transportation will make you comfortable, relaxed and worry free!
All our drivers are licensed with many years’ driving experience. They are always polite, friendly and helpful, glad to offer more service you may need during the transfer. Our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and expertly maintained. We use different types of cars/vans to guarantee your comfort. Besides, there is need to worry about your luggage for we use vehicles with extra space for your luggage.
"With respect to the drivers, we can state that they are excellent drivers and very friendly. They are pleasant with smiling face and helpful too." - Review from Pedro Corro‚ USA
Comfortable & Homelike Hotel
In each destination, we guarantee you a comfortable stay!
The hotels we choose are based with star rating, great location, well-pointed facilities and high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot and you could decide where to stay on your own. When taking a Yangtze River cruise, you are guaranteed a comfortable cabin or suite with private balconies to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
“All the hotels were comfortable and in good locations. The food was generally good with a wide choice of both western and Chinese choices for breakfast. The room sizes even with the extra bed for Jessica were also fine.” - Review from McHale, USA
Dining, Meal & Local Food
On Yangtze River cruise, you are offered three meals (usually buffet with western and Chinese dishes) each day. In other cities of China, breakfast and lunch usually are included in your tour packages. You’ll dine in local restaurants, follow local customs and enjoy local dishes. The food quality and dining environment will suit for your taste. If you have any suggestions or special requirements (vegetarian or food allergies), just let your travel consultants and guides know. They will arrange the suitable food and restaurants for you. Recommended evening dining options are: Peking Roast Duck in Beijing, Dumpling Dinner in Xian, and Hot Pot in Chengdu etc.
“We had very good breakfasts in all the hotels and were given a substantial lunch every day.” - Review from John, United Kingdom
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If you have some ideas or suggestions for this tour, please feel free to talk with our professional, experienced and enthusiastic travel consultants now.
They’ll help you modify the China Yangtze cruise tour and itinerary from time to time until you are totally satisfied.
What travelers said about Yangtze cruise tour
-April 11, 2023
It was an experience. Thank you for all your efforts! It was great! Thank you.
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