Glories of China

11-Day Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Shanghai

Explore the iconic ‘must-see’ destinations of China from north to south. Including Beijing’s ancient home of emperors, Xi’an’s army of underground warriors, Guilin’s fabulous natural wonders, and Shanghai’s modern metropolis.

You’ll have some free time in each city to explore more in-depth. Choose from among the fun activities we recommend. You can stay a longer or shorter time at each site, depending on your own interests.

From US$
Per person for 2 travelers

Contact us via WeChat

for any inquiry

Scan ChinaTravel QR Code



Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 Beijing Arrival
  • Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, 5-star) / Sunworld Hotel Beijing (in the center of Beijing, 4-star) / Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)
  • None

Your China tour begins in the city of Beijing. After your flight arrives at Beijing Capital Airport, your private Beijing guide will escort you to your hotel. Check-in and recover from jetlag.

Good to Know

  • Your international flights are not included in this tour, only domestic connecting flights.
  • Since this is your first stop in China, your Beijing guide will tell you as much as possible about transportation, currency exchange, customs, and how to avoid tourist traps.

Evening Ideas

  • Your guide will provide you with a map of Beijing, and give you advice about where to eat and shop near your hotel.
DAY 2 Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, Hutong Rickshaw Ride
  • Breakfast and lunch

After one night’s rest, do you know what you might expect to see today? We’ll first walk around Tian'anmen Square — the huge square for massive ‘secret’ meetings and political events.

Then cross the street to the famous Forbidden City. There, the complex is awe-inspiring. Your guide will spend 2-3 hours going deep, visiting for example the homes of concubines and eunuchs that big tour groups do not see.

Enjoy lunch at a local roast duck restaurant.

Good to Know

When you take your rickshaw ride, the hutong alley will be quite busy with people walking to and fro, but don’t worry, you’ll be in safe hands.

Evening Ideas

Watch the famous acrobatics show at Chaoyang Theater. You may have watched some acrobatics on TV, but seeing it live might just take your breath away. Feel free to ask for your guide’s help in booking tickets.

forbidden city
Forbidden City, Beijing
DAY 3 Temple of Heaven, Great Wall at Mutianyu with Return Cable Car
  • Breakfast and lunch

Glean interesting details about the royal temple at the Temple of Heaven. Emperors went to the beautiful temple grounds to pray for good harvests.

Later, visit the Olympic Stadium where the 2008 Olympic Games were held, to see the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.

Have lunch at an authentic local restaurant on the way to the Great Wall. Then drive 2.5 hours to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a UNESCO site. Mutianyu is less busy than other sections of the amazing wall, which can see from space. Sunset views from the wall will make for an unforgettable experience. Take a cable car up the wall and return.

Good to know

  • There are alternatives to using toboggan for coming back down the Great Wall (Extra fees are needed), and if you’d like to avail yourself of these, just tell your guide.
  • There’s a lot of climbing steps and walking today, so comfortable shoes are required.
Great Wall of China
Mutianyu Great Wall of China
DAY 4 Beijing Free Day, Take a High-speed Train to Xi’an in the Late Afternoon
  • Sofitel on Renmin Square (5-star) / Grand Noble Hotel (4-star) / Titan Times Hotel Xian (3-star).
  • Breakfast

In the late afternoon, we provide a private transfer for you to Beijing West Railway Station, where you will take a high-speed train to Xi’an (5 hours and 50 minutes). Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver in Xi’an.

Beijing Free-Day Ideas:

  • Summer Palace (3 hours): an emperor built this complex as a birthday gift to his mother. It’s a fantastic place for spending a quiet and peaceful time.
  • 798 Art District (1-2 hours): for modern-art lovers, this is an amazing district of galleries, creativity shops, ceramics, art, and fashion.
  • National Museum of China (1-2 hours): no entrance fee, great historical collections of ceramics, bronze, and paintings, and most exhibits have English explanations as well as Chinese.
  • Temple of Confucius and the Guozijian Museum (40 minutes): the temple presents the history of Confucian thought, and how it influences Chinese society today. The museum explains how emperors chose their ministers, by having them take the Chinese imperial civil service examinations.
DAY 5 The Terracotta Army, Xi'an City Wall, Muslim Quarter
  • Breakfast and lunch

Your guide will escort you to avoid the crowds and have the best experience possible.

A massive army of underground warriors, the Terracotta Army, provides a wonderful context for learning about the first emperor of China and his never-say-die ambition for immortality.

Later, ride a bike on the Xi'an City Wall. Built during the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City, and surrounding the city center, the city wall is a major landmark and the best preserved, oldest and largest city defense system in China.

Then walk through the Muslim Quarter to visit some souvenir shops and local snack shops. In the heart of the Muslim Quarter is one of the largest mosques in China, remarkable for its combination of Chinese architecture and Islamic practice.

Good to know

To customers who prefer not to ride a bike, we recommend walking around the wall or taking a scooter club drive round (for an extra fee).

Free-Time Ideas

  • Learn to make terracotta figurines (1 hour): learn how to make a terracotta figurine in person in a pottery factory. You can take it back home as a souvenir.
  • Tang dynasty show (1 hour): a performance from China’s golden age of the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), with a traditional dress for ladies and gentlemen, performing traditional song and dance.
Make Terracotta Warriors
Make Terracotta Warriors
DAY 6 Free Time to Explore Xi’an, Fly to Guilin in the Late Afternoon
  • Shangri-la Hotel Guilin (5-star) / Guilin Waterfall Hotel (4-star) / Guilin Park Hotel(3-star)
  • Breakfast and lunch

We’ll organize a private transfer for you to Xi’an airport, to catch your flight to Guilin. Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver at Guilin airport.

Xi'an Free-day Ideas

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta,1hour): built during the Tang dynasty, a pivotal site in China's Buddhist culture.
  • Shaanxi History Museum (1 1/2 hours): located next to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. The museum houses many collections from the Bronze Age, along with original statues from the Terracotta Army and some pottery.
  • Bell Tower (30 minutes): situated in the city center, waiting to see a performance of Chinese traditional instruments there at 9:10;10:30;11:30 in the morning, 14:30;15:30;16:30 in the afternoon every day.
DAY 7 Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Yaoshan Mountain
  • Breakfast and lunch

Today’s tour starts from Elephant Trunk Hill, an iconic site in Guilin, providing a great photo opportunity.

Then, take an open chair lift up and down Yao Mountain, feeling the fresh breeze, with the splendid mountain range all around. Panoramic views of karst peaks from the mountain top are simply awesome.

Have lunch at the delightful local restaurant, McFound’s, which serves healthy wheat dishes.

Do you know who first discovered Reed Flute Cave and the fun story about the cave? Find out from your guide.

Good to Know

  • Inside Reed Flute Cave has up and down stone steps; the floor is wet cause of the dropping water from the top of the cave, should mind your steps once you walk around there.

Evening Free-Time Idea:

  • Two River and Four Lakes (1 hour): an ancient circular water system that people refer to as little Venice. A boat tour lasts an hour and permits breathtaking colorful views of life on bridges and river banks, as well as a chance to see fishermen demonstrating how to catch fish using their pet cormorants.
Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave
DAY 8 Relax on the Li River Cruise, Cycle to the Idyllic Yangshuo Countryside
  • Breakfast and Lunch

The Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is unforgettable. Stay on the top deck to see the picturesque views, which vary as you move along the river. Do reserve a 20 RMB note if possible, to compare the hill view on the note with the view you see from the river.

A simple lunch provides on the cruise, we arrive in Yangshou at about 2 pm. Later, afternoon cycling in Yangshuo countryside. With us, you’ll ride around rice paddies, and visit a local farming family halfway through the bike trip.

Good to Know

  • We will arrange for you to take a new three-story cruiser with a deck. The new seats are wider and better than the old ones.
  • Bamboo rafts are another popular way to see the river. If you like, we can arrange a bamboo raft experience for you on the Yulong River.
  • Don’t worry about your luggage. We will transfer it from Guilin to your Yangshuo hotel.

Evening Ideas

  • Night Show – Impression Sanjie Liu (1 hour 10 minutes): Directed by the famous Chinese director, Zhang Yimou, who was in charge of the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and a lot of world-class movies, the show has a great set up and backdrop — 3 massive peaks which light up when the show is on.
cycling in yangshuo
Cycling in Yangshuo Countryside
DAY 9 Free Time to Explore Guilin, Fly to Shanghai in the Late Afternoon
  • Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai (5-star) / SSAW Boutique Hotel The Bund (4-star) / Kingstown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (3-star)
  • Breakfast

We’ll organize a private transfer for you to Xi’an airport, to catch your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver at Shanghai airport.

DAY 10 World Financial Center, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Tianzi Fang, Former French Concession Area
  • Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, go to the World Financial Center, a skyscraper in Lujiazui. At a height of 492 meters, it has 100 floors, including sightseeing floors from 94 to 100. The glass bottom observatory on the 100th floor is well worth a visit.

The riverfront pavement on The Bund has witnessed many changes in Shanghai. It is a great place to walk for a good appreciation of how the old Shanghai still co-exists alongside the new modern, bustling, high-tech city.

Then visit the classical Yuyuan Garden where you will see how the concept of harmony has been applied in garden design.

After lunch, go to the Former French Concession area and Tianzifang for a taste of Chinese-style petty bourgeoisie.

Evening Ideas

The ERA Acrobatics Show is guaranteed to give you a wow night. Our Shanghai tour guide will help you book tickets.

The Bund
The Bund, Shanghai
DAY 11 Shanghai Departure
  • Breakfast

Your Shanghai guide will escort you to board your onward flight.

What's Included

About This Tour

Meet your guide at the airport/train station upon arrival.

You will have a private driver and a private English-speaking guide in each city during the tour. They serve your group only. Our guide and driver will pick up you from the airport or train station on your arrival, then transfer you to your hotel and assist you with hotel check-in.

Travel at your own pace

The guide will confirm the pick-up time for the following day's tour. You could tell the guide if you prefer to start the tour earlier or later. The guide and driver will be with you during the tours each day. You can control the tour pace according to your interest.

For the private tour, the tour guide will skip up the long line and go through the express pass in most of the major sites, you will have more time to go in-depth and explore place that big groups never get there.

Local approval restaurants and best value for money hotels

We normally include breakfast and lunch for the tour day, a western and Chinese buffet breakfast provides by your hotel, and a-la-cart lunch arranges at local approved restaurants, which are ranked on top by our customers.

To choose a great value hotel for our customers, our staff in the local office hang out for inspection every year, they stay in the hotel that we choose for customers or the new one we are ready to recommend, evaluate the comfort of the room, breakfast, service, and English level of hotel stuff.

Extend Your Tour

Inquire This Tour

from US $ p/p

Need Help?

Request a custom itinerary today and get one step closer to your personalized trip

Create Your Trip