The Classic China Tour

BeijingXi'anGuilinLi River CruiseYangshuoShanghai
The Ming TombsThe Ming Tombs in Beijing Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a quotation 13 Days As you request TCG-164 Want to go to China, but don’t know where to start? This tour is the one for you. Covering six incredible destinations, the Classic China Tour offers everything from mountain getaways, to a ride on the fastest train in the world!

As soon as you arrive in the capital, Beijing, you will be thrown into the unique culture of the city. You’ll jaunt around the local neighborhoods in a rickshaw; witness astonishing acrobatic performances and feast on exceptional, authentic Chinese cuisine.

Before you leave Beijing, you can choose to attend any of these Chinese cultural activities and we gladly accompany you: a tai-chi class, a massage, a Peking Opera face painting class, a cooking class, or a tea ceremony.

In Xi’an, you will finally find out what the big fuss is about, after seeing Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Warriors for yourself. You can take a bike ride around Xi’an’s celebrated city walls, and imagine what the ancient capital would have looked like 600 years ago, when the walls first went up.

Guilin is famous for its stunning scenery, which you will take in from the comfort of the Li River cruise. But Guilin’s breathtaking landscape is only the first example of natural phenomena that you will witness. You’ll also get to know the real Yangshuo County, by exploring caves full of crystals and river rafting.

The final leg of your tour will take you to the futuristic city of Shanghai. After your escape to nature, the city’s famous waterfront may look like something from science fiction movie; but Shanghai is also home to peaceful traditional gardens, Buddhist temples, and the quaint French Concession.

As always, we can customize your tour to suit to your individual preferences, simply ask your agent!
day 1
  • Pick up from the Beijing airport
  • Check into your hotel
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Penta Hotel Read more about Penta Hotel
    Standard room-double bedroom / twin bedroom
Pick up from the Beijing airport
Pick up from the Beijing airport
Penta Hotel
Penta Hotel
day 2
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Penta Hotel Read more about Penta Hotel
    Standard room-double bedroom / twin bedroom
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
Jingshan Park
Jingshan Park
Hutong Rickshaw Tour with local family visit
Hutong Rickshaw Tour with local family visit
Walking at Houhai lake
Walking at Houhai lake
The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show
The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show
Penta Hotel
Penta Hotel
day 3
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Penta Hotel Read more about Penta Hotel
    Standard room-double bedroom / twin bedroom
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
The Sacred Way
The Sacred Way
The Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs
Olympic Venues (outside view)
Olympic Venues (outside view)
Penta Hotel
Penta Hotel
day 4
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Penta Hotel Read more about Penta Hotel
    Standard room-double bedroom / twin bedroom
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven
Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Lama Temple
Lama Temple
798 Arts District
798 Arts District
Penta Hotel
Penta Hotel
day 5
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Cultural activities - Taichi / Chinese Massage / Peking Opera Face Painting / Cooking Class/ Chinese Tea Ceremony
Cultural activities - Taichi / Chinese Massage / Peking Opera Face Painting / Cooking Class/ Chinese Tea Ceremony
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Pick up from the Xi'an Airport
Pick up from the Xi'an Airport
day 6
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner
Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner
day 7
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall
Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall
Bell Tower
Bell Tower
Shaanxi Museum
Shaanxi Museum
Great Mosque of Xian
Great Mosque of Xian
Muslim Street
Muslim Street
day 8
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Drop-off at the Xi'an Airport
Drop-off at the Xi'an Airport
Pick up from the Guilin airport
Pick up from the Guilin airport
Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill
Two Rivers Four Lakes parkland walk
Two Rivers Four Lakes parkland walk
Guilin Bravo Hotel
Guilin Bravo Hotel
day 9
  • Meals: breakfast
West Street in Yangshuo Village
West Street in Yangshuo Village
Impression Liu Sanjie Night Show
Impression Liu Sanjie Night Show
Mountain Retreat
Mountain Retreat
day 10
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Biking in the Countryside
Biking in the Countryside
Bamboo River Rafting on Yulong River
Bamboo River Rafting on Yulong River
Silver Cave
Silver Cave
Mountain Retreat
Mountain Retreat
day 11
  • Meals: breakfast
Drop-off at the Guilin airport
Drop-off at the Guilin airport
Tianzifang / Old French Concession
Tianzifang / Old French Concession
Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road
The Bund
The Bund
Pick up from the Shanghai Pudong airport
Pick up from the Shanghai Pudong airport
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai (former SSAW Hotel)
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai (former SSAW Hotel)
day 12
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden
Liujiazui New Area
Liujiazui New Area
World Financial Center
World Financial Center
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai (former SSAW Hotel)
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai (former SSAW Hotel)
day 13
  • Meals: breakfast
Drop-off at the Maglev train station
Drop-off at the Maglev train station
Maglev train ride to the airport
Maglev train ride to the airport
  • Get a free quote
  • Tour price
  • Our advantages
  • Included
  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

Tour price
Guests TourHotelsFlights Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-164
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » We offer many hotel options to suit your style and budget. For families we can suggest hotel suites and serviced apartments. If breakfasts are shown in the itinerary, then those are assumed to be part of the hotel package.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Flexible schedules and itineraries. Our tour itineraries are just suggestions. Our agents will help you design the perfect trip.
  • » Handpicked guides. Our experienced guides do more than just recite the guidebook.
  • » Meals in quality local restaurants. The best way to experience the local culture is often through the food.
  • » Passion for China, Western-style travel sense. Our multilingual team of native speakers is available 24/7.
  • » Experience working with families. Pick a dedicated family tour or customize an itinerary with family-friendly activities.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Domestic flights, economy class as listed in the itinerary
  • » Accommodation as specified - our American staff selects the hotels we use
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » We do not provide international travel insurance, however, we are happy to offer advice on where and what kind of travel insurance to purchase. We highly recommend our trusted partner Compass Benefits; read more about their plans here: http://www.compassbenefits.com/client/thechinaguide


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Tiananmen Square   天安门广场

Most people visit Tiananmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City, both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Chinese citizens from around the country descend on Tiananmen to take their photos in front of the portrait of Chairman Mao. When there is a breeze you can buy a kite and fly it on the square.

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is a tourist site everyone tends to visit on their trip to Beijing. A vast desert of paving stones, the square can hold over one million people. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.

Expect to go through airport level security when going onto the square, with metal detectors and x-ray machines. There is also a high level of police presence. Nonetheless people are very friendly and its on most Beijing itineraries.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
5:00am - 10:00pm

The Forbidden City   故宫

The Forbidden City was the former imperial palace which was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911. The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors.

Wear comfortable walking shoes as the palace is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide. It has 9,999 rooms - a room being the space between four pillars.

The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide. Intruders were discouraged by guards in watchtowers with bow and arrows.

There are five entrances to the gate - the central one reserved for the emperor. The empress was allowed through it only once - on her wedding day.

As well as walking through the wide open courtyards along its central axis, the sides offer some museum exhibits and small courtyards worth exploring.

An excellent view of the Forbidden...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Jingshan Park   景山公园

Jingshan Park was a part of the Forbidden City until the early 1900's when the walls were pulled down and a road cut through it destroying several gates and buildings between the park and the rear entrance of the palace. The hill in Jingshan Park was made with the earth removed to create the palace moat. It is well worth the climb on a clear day for spectacular views of the Forbidden City and Beijing.

The best view of Beijing is from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wanchun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak, which used to be the highest point in the city. Northwards, one can see the Drum and Bell Towers, a traditional feature of old Chinese cities. To the northwest, the two slabs of water of the Shichahai and Beihai Lake are intersected by Di’anmen Dajie. To the south, the golden roofs of the Imperial Palace can be seen stretching into the distance.

Just north of the Imperial Palace, the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:30am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:30pm

Hutong Rickshaw Tour with local family visit   胡同游

Hutongs are the old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes which once covered all Beijing. Many still survive today and are pleasant to walk or bike through. Not much has changed and you can see how people lived in the past.

The China Guide's Hutong Tour starts with a cycle rickshaw ride through the hutongs. Cycle rickshaws are a traditional means of transportation in the old narrow streets.

We take you into a traditional family courtyard home. The family will greet you, serve tea and show you through their home. Your guide will explain the cultural and historic significance of various aspects. For instance, the layout of the courtyard, who lived where and how to tell the importance of the people living in a home.

Nanluoguxiang is a trendy hutong area with fun restaurants and cafes, nice to visit during the day for a coffee or lunch, or return in the evening for dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Walking at Houhai lake   后海

Houhai is a lake north of the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. It is surrounded by hutongs (alleyways) and old Chinese style courtyard houses. It's within walking distance from the subway and the Drum and Bell Towers.

Houhai is always bustling with Chinese people and foreigners alike. It is a great place to walk around during the day and go out at night. The area around the lake is chock full of places to eat and shop. There are many tea shops where they will let you try the tea before you buy and of course many other souvenir shops. All along the lakeside there are bars and cafes from which you can choose from to have lunch or dinner. Make sure whichever one you end up choosing has a rooftop bar so you can get a good view of the Drum and Bell Tower.

Please note the cost of boating is not included in the price as you will be charged by hour and needs to pay deposit.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 12:00am

Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car   慕田峪长城

For those who want to see a restored section of the wall which is more fun and less touristy than Badaling and not as far as Simatai or Jinshanling, then Mutianyu is a good choice. Just over an hour from Beijing in normal traffic, it is possible to see in a morning or afternoon and combines well with the Ming Tombs.

Mutianyu has some good options. You can take the cable car up, have a little stroll on the wall then come back down the cable car. Or you can take the cable car up and walk for about 45 minutes on the wall, down hill mostly, to the toboggan sled. Its pretty long run on the toboggan track down the hill from the wall. There are double cars for parents with kids as well as the usual single cars. Fun and safe, everyone seems to enjoy this.

In Mutianyu village there are fish farms and restaurants, so you can fish out your own trout from the pond and have it cooked up for your lunch.
Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

The Sacred Way   神路

The Sacred Way, the road leading to heaven, is a long, straight path flanked by statues first of ancient government officials and then by animals.

Located close to the tombs this is a stop made on the way to the tomb by the emperor. We also try and put it as a stop on your itinerary (but not on your way to heaven). Out of the city, its best done in conjunction with a visit to the Great Wall.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

The Ming Tombs   定陵

Of the 16 emperors who ruled during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), 13 are buried in a canyon. Most of the tombs are not open to the public. We take you to the underground Ding Ling tomb, an underground palace rediscovered in 1956. It was the burial place of the Wanli emperor (reign 1572-1620), his wife, and his favorite concubine. Construction of the burial chamber commenced before the emperor was 20 years old.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Olympic Venues (outside view)   北京奧林匹克公園

The Olympic Swim Cube and the Bird's Nest Stadium on the Olympic Green are two of the major architectural achievements of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. You can walk around the Swim Cube whose skin is modeled on soap bubbles and the Birds Nest Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies occurred as well as many broken olympic records.

This tour takes you around the outside of these two venues. It is also possible to arrange a visit to the inside of the stadium or Swim Cube at additional cost, please select this in advance with your agent. You can even swim inside the Swim Cube.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven  

Visit the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven and see the wide range of physical activities and games people do. From taichi to dancing and activities you have never seen before, its an eye opener to see how the elderly stay active in China.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Temple of Heaven   天坛公园

The Temple of Heaven is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for a good harvest.

The grounds are part of a huge parkland and in the morning you can see the locals practicing martial arts and other exercises. Located nearby is the Hongqiao Market and Toy Market as well as the Legend of Kungfu show in the Red Theater.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
6:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Lama Temple   雍和宫

Lama Temple Beijing (Yonghegong), or Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple or Yonghegong Lamasery, a renowned lama temple of the Yellow Hat Sect of Lamaism, is situated in the northeast part of Beijing city.

Lama Temple features five large halls and five courtyards with beautifully decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details. It houses a treasury of Buddhist art, including sculptured images of gods, demons and Buddhas, as well as Tibetan-style murals.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 4:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

798 Arts District   798艺术区

A visit to the 798 community is recommended for travelers with an interest in modern art. This district has become a trendy area for local artists and contains numerous galleries, shops and cafes making for a pleasant stroll. Travelers looking to see the modern culture of Beijing should spend an afternoon browsing through the 798 art district's warehouses and alleyways. Whether you want to buy art or just look and enjoy a coffee along the way, the 798 art district is really a window into modern China and how it is embracing yet another aspect of western culture with its own Chinese twist.

This artistic community is located in the Dashanzi district and gets its name from the Soviet-style factories that used to operate there. Artists and gallery owners work in redesigned factory buildings which provide an industrial backdrop that enhances the atmosphere of the area. The abandoned factory district originally brought local...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
10:00am - 5:00pm

Cultural activities - Taichi / Chinese Massage / Peking Opera Face Painting / Cooking Class/ Chinese Tea Ceremony  

Summer Palace   颐和园

Time allowing, the Summer Palace is well worth a visit for its historical significance and to enjoy strolling its spacious grounds. You may take a boat ride across the lake if you prefer not to walk. Located 15 km northwest from the central city and occupying an area of about 300 hectares, the Summer Palace is associated with the Qing dynasty's dowager empress Cixi, but has a history of more than 800 years as an imperial garden dating back to the 1150s.

The name in Chinese, Yiheyuan, means "garden of restful peace." It served as a suburban pleasance for emperors, a place in the countryside yet near the capital.

The Yiheyuan in its present form dates from Manchu rule over China, 1644-1911. In the 1750s the emperor Qianlong commanded the creation of the lake and redesigned the temple atop Longevity Hill. Severely damaged during the punitive Anglo-French expedition of 1860 the Empress Dowager ordered...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Terracotta Warriors   兵马俑

The buried army of Qin Shihuang is one of the largest and most stunning archaeological finds of the 20th century. Discovered in 1974 at Lintong, 35 kilometers east of Xi'an, the warriors and horses have deservedly become known as a Wonder of the World. Now exhibited in situ, the life-size terracotta figures so far excavated testify to the power of the man for whom they were moulded to protect in afterlife.

This site is an archaeological find on a monumental scale. Literally an army of sculptured warriors, it is a stunning display that every visitor to China should see.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Big Wild Goose Pagoda   大雁塔

The Big Goose Pagoda, perhaps the most beautiful building left standing in Xi'an today, is one of the city's most distinctive and outstanding landmarks. Completed in 652 CE, the pagoda was built at the request of Tang dynasty monk Xuan Zang, whose pilgrimage to India is immortalized in the 16th-century Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’ (more often known in English as ‘Monkey’).

Xuan Zang asked Emperor Gaozong to build a large stone stupa like those he had seen on his travels. The emperor offered a compromise of a five story brick structure, about 53 meters high, which was completed in 652 CE. Originally called the Scripture Pagoda, it is said to be where Xuan Zang translated the Buddhist scriptures he brought back from India into Chinese. Its present name, Big Goose Pagoda, has never been satisfactorily explained.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner   唐歌舞饺子宴

The Tang Dynasty Dinner Show combines a Chinese traditional dumpling banquet with the fabulous dance and music of the Tang dynasty. The Tang dynasty (618 - 907AD) was the most prosperous dynasty in Chinese history and also the climax of China's development in music and dance.

You begin with a dumpling banquet before the show. Dumplings come in various artistic shapes and sizes, all handmade, and are filled with different combinations of meat and vegetables. If you've ever experienced dim sum in the west then you might want to give this variation a try.

After dinner, sit back, digest, and watch a show fit for an emperor!

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:30pm - 9:30pm

Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall   城墙

Xi'an's 14th-century wall still stands, although today it is intersected by a few modern roads. The high, wide wall is topped by a smooth, peaceful road, which is wide enough to walk or even cycle. You can bike the entire circuit (around 14 kilometers) in 1-2 hours or just cruise along part of it then come back. Construction on the wall began during the reign of Hongwu, the first Ming emperor, and took eight years to complete. Repairs and renovation have been carried out by the local government to restore the wall to its original splendor and the structure is now once again completely connected.

Please note that the bike experience is only available for children above 10 years old.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm with last admission at 5:30pm

Bell Tower   钟楼

Every Ming-era city in China had a bell tower and a drum tower. If you are in Xi'an for more than a brief stop then the Bell Tower is worth a visit. It is located adjacent to the Drum Tower and close to Muslim Street. The structure of the tower itself is an imposing 27.4 meters high.

The original great bell inside the tower no longer exists, but a small replica bell is kept in a corner of the brick platform for visitors to strike.

There is an exhibition of ancient instruments on the first floor, and traditional musical performances every hour from 9am to noon, and from 2-5pm. On the second floor there are exhibitions of Chinese calligraphy, art, and porcelain.

While the Drum and Bell towers are closed in the evening, they are illuminated by lights. The pedestrian square surrounding them is a nice area to walk and people watch.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Shaanxi Museum   陕西历史博物馆

The National Museum of Shaanxi History opened in 1991, eighteen years after Premier Zhou Enlai first suggested that such an establishment was needed to exhibit the province's archaeological treasures. Occupying a large site in Xi'an's southern suburbs close to the Big Goose Pagoda, the museum, housed in a complex of striking Tang dynasty style pavilions, is popular with visitors to the city.

The exhibits here represent the very best of the museum's collection, the greater portion of which remain stored in its underground warehouse. The permanent exhibition on the ground and first floors is supplemented by touring exhibitions, usually two, in the basement. Included elsewhere in the museum are lecture theaters, conference rooms, a library, research laboratories and an extensive restoration centre. A new unit for restoration has been funded by an Italian Antiquities Department donation of US$4 million.

For...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Great Mosque of Xian   西安大清真寺

The Great Mosque of Xi’an is located down an alley off of Muslim Street. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is built in a completely Chinese architectural style, having neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.

The Great Mosque of Xi’an is the largest and best preserved of the early mosques of China. Built primarily in the Ming Dynasty when Chinese architectural elements were synthesized into mosque architecture, the mosque resembles a fifteenth century Buddhist temple with its courtyards and pavilions aligned along a single axis.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Muslim Street   穆斯林街

While touristy, Muslim Street is genuinely local too. It is a great place to stroll around and see traditional Muslim culture alive and well in China. One of the best things about this area is the food; you can try all manner of authentic snacks, from sweet cakes and pastries to spicy beef and lamb noodles.

The early Muslims in China came from what was known at Xiyu, or 'the west', areas usually identified as Arabia or Persia. These people were much different from the Chinese in terms of their language, culture, and physical appearance. Like other foreigners in China, they were labeled 'foreign sojourners'. Islam was first introduced by Arab merchants during the Tang dynasty, and flourished during the Yuan (1279-1368). The Muslims gradually became concentrated in the northwestern part of the walled city, where they remain to this day. The community now numbers more than 60,000, or about one percent of the city's...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:00pm

Elephant Trunk Hill   象鼻山

Elephant Trunk Hill, located at located at the intersection of the Taohua River and the Lijiang River, is the symbol of the city of Guilin. If you are in Guilin it is one of the places you "must" see. However if you are not a fan of Chinese cultural history, you may not find it all that exciting. If you are there, by all means visit it for 20 minutes, its right in the city center, but if you are bypassing Guilin and going straight to Yangshuo, you will see much more dramatic scenery there.

It is called Elephant Trunk Hill because it looks like an elephant drinking water. The gap that is under the elephant’s trunk is called the Water-Moon Cave because at night the reflection of the moon can be seen through the arch. It is said to look like it is under the water and floating on the surface of the water at the same time.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm

Two Rivers Four Lakes parkland walk   两江四湖

The area in Guilin where two rivers and four lakes come together is a beautiful parkland. There are boats, arched marble bridges, pagodas and other uniquely Chinese scenery. Take a walk in the evening to see the area lit up with lights.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Embark on the Li River Cruise and enjoy the Li River scenery  

As you cruise down the Li River you can photograph the scenes which have inspired Chinese painters for centuries. Traditional fishing methods can be seen in some areas.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4

Buffet Lunch on board  

A wide selection of Chinese dishes to enjoy as you cruise down the river.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

West Street in Yangshuo Village   西街

West Street in Yangshuo village is a pedestrian area full of shops, restaurants, bars and tourists. The shopping and eating options are pretty endless. Its easy to find good Chinese food and even pizza or a sandwich. Even McDonald's has made its way here. As a tourist its an easy place to navigate, shop, eat and explore.

If you are staying at a hotel outside the village its easy to get dropped off here and call to be picked up again later or arrange a pickup time.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 10:00pm

Impression Liu Sanjie Night Show   印象刘三姐

Created by famous film director Zhang Yimou (who also did the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies), Impression Liu Sanjie is a sensational night show performed in the largest natural theater in the world. With the sky and rows of mountain peaks along Li River the stage is pure nature.

Impression Liu Sanjie is a large-scaled show with 600 plus actors and actress involved. The show lasts approximately 70 minutes combining the classical Sanjie Liu's folk songs and traditional fishing culture themes reflecting the harmony between human beings and the nature. The scale and quality of the performance are unique, it is well worth spending the time and money for this evening activity.

As the stage is so spread out we suggest you just buy ordinary tickets, the view is good from everywhere.

The show lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes. There are two shows in the summer and one in the winter. We can...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
7:30pm - 8:30pm

Biking in the Countryside   自行车

Yangshuo is a lovely place to bike among the rice fields, follow the meandering river and even stop for a cool swim. You will see lots of traditional agriculture and livestock including sedate water buffalos.

We can arrange for you to bike 1 hour up river and then take a bamboo raft ride back down the river for about 2 hours as part of your tour.

The children need to be above 7 years old.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Bamboo River Rafting on Yulong River   遇龙河竹筏漂流

This rafting activity is a real hands-on experience! It will take you along a section of the Yulong River. Each bamboo raft sits two guests and a personal raftsman.

The scenery is spectacular and the raft takes you much closer to the water, allowing you to row wherever you wish.

You can combine your 40-minute bamboo river rafting adventure with a 1-hour bike ride. We can arrange for you to bike to the top of the river, and then gently raft down.

The Children need to be above 1.2 meter.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
10:00am - 5:00pm

Silver Cave   银子岩

From the outside, the Silver Cave looks like any other normal mossy karst peak in Guilin. However, take one step inside this spectacular network of underground caves and crystal formations and it is clear that this place is truly something special. Cascading stalactites pour like liquid silver from the roofs of these impressive caves, and the milky crystal deposits that cling to protruding rocks are a miraculous feat of nature.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Tianzifang / Old French Concession   田子坊

Tianzifang is a historical area of traditional alleys and shikumen homes with over 200 diverse small businesses including cafes, restaurants, art galleries, craft stores and studios.

Even with all the businesses selling souvenirs, the area does not have the look of having been overly developed. It is distinctly different from Xintiandi, another redevelopment in the vicinity, in that it has managed to preserve its residential feel, adding to its appeal.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.6

Nanjing Road   南京路

Starting at the Bund and going to People's Square, Nanjing Road is Shanghai's most famous shopping street. Much of it is a wide pedestrian street where you can stroll, shop or dine. Colorful by day or night, its popular with tourists for a stroll.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

The Bund   外滩

A must see on every tour itinerary to Shanghai, the Bund is the historic row of banks built before World War II by the major foreign powers at the time. Situated on the banks of the Huangpu River the Bund has a long pedestrian riverside promenade which both Chinese and foreign tourists like to stroll for the panoramic view and people watching. Most of the buildings still stand in their original style and some are even used as banks again, others trendy shops, restaurants and offices.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Yuyuan Garden   豫园

Yuyuan Garden gives visitors a preview of what they will see if they visit the historic gardens of Suzhou. Finely cultivated with an eye for style and detail rarely seen in modern gardens, Yuyuan Garden is a peaceful retreat from the crowded city streets. It can get a bit crowded inside the garden lanes itself when tour groups go through, but there are lots of little areas where you can retreat to a corner if you want.

Outside the garden itself are hundreds of shops and stalls selling tourist souveniers. The area also hosts quite a few restaurants where you can find a decent lunch, and even a Starbucks and a Häagen-Dazs if you need some western comfort food or drinks.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Shanghai Confucius Temple  

The only complex in Shanghai dedicated to Confucius, this temple was originally built between 1368 and 1398 to worship Confucius.

Rockbund Art Museum  

The Rockbund Art Museum is a contemporary art space with no permanent collection. The building, in Art Deco style, was restored by British architect David Chipperfield.

Liujiazui New Area   陆家嘴新区

Common on a lot of tour itineraries, it is really an area you pass through than something specific to see. It is the new business district on the Pudong side of the Huangpu river. You can see it on your way to one of the tall buildings to catch the view.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

World Financial Center   环球金融中心(100层观光厅,最高处)

Opening hours:
8:00am - 11:00pm with last admission at 10:00pm

Maglev train ride to the airport   磁悬浮

The Shanghai Maglev Train is a magnetic levitation train that and is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. The train line connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the Shanghai city center.

It was constructed between 2001 and 2004. The top operational speed is 431 km/h (268 mph), making it the world's fastest train in regular commercial services. It is faster than TGV in France and also faster than the latest CRH conventional wheel train in China at 350 km/h (217 mph). During a non-commercial test run on 12 November 2003, the maglev train achieved a Chinese record speed of 501 km/h (311 mph). The top operational speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) is faster than the top speed of any Formula One car and MotoGp prototype.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:45am - 9:40pm

Beijing 北京

Beijing is an enormous municipality abundant in culture, history, beautiful landscapes, and fine cuisine.

The first sight is one of a sprawling city, dotted with towering buildings with only the giant, red Chinese characters atop to show visitors they have arrived in China. This is when it becomes important to look a little closer in order to find out what Beijing has to offer. The real gems in this city are the low-rise, narrow alleyways known as hutongs, which give you an exciting glimpse into the local culture and history. Strolling into a hutong, with its grey brick walls and upturned ‘artichoke-leaf’ roofs, you disappear into the Beijing of old. The noisy city melts away and is replaced by sleepy seniors sitting and watching the world go by, people going about their daily business, and the curious and delicious smells of truly authentic restaurants. It is a view of old Beijing before modernization, and represents...   Read more

Xi'an 西安

Xi’an, the first imperial capital of China, is considered a must-see for people the world over. The large wall that encloses the city dates to the Ming dynasty and is thoroughly well preserved, allowing visitors to stroll or cycle around its entirety. Within the walls, the city has a special atmosphere

The city has hosted a human settlement for at least 6,000 years. The preserved settlement of Banpo east of the walled city provides an interesting look into the Neolithic Yangshao Culture. Since then, people have come and gone and left their mark on the city. This is most obvious in the Muslim Quarter, an area with distinct Chinese Islamic architecture and cuisine. Make sure you come to this area with an empty stomach, as the food is superb, especially if you love spices and cooked lamb. Highlights are mutton dumplings; roujiamo, a slow-cooked, pulled-beef sandwich; and paomo, a delicious mutton and bread soup. Don’t...   Read more

Guilin 桂林

Guilin is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and has been an inspiration for many Chinese artists over the past thousands of years. Guilin is the capital of Guangxi province and makes a great base for visiting the more attractive travel destinations in the surrounding area, such as the Longsheng Rice Terraces and Yangshuo.

Guilin city itself has a few sites, such as Reed Flute Cave, Fubo Mountain (a steep hill with a good view of the city) and Elephant Trunk Hill, a natural rock formation that is said to look like an elephant dipping its trunk into the water to take a drink. However, in order to fully appreciate the Li River and the unusual karst mountain formations along it, travellers should take a five-hour river cruise south to Yangshuo. Dramatic atmospheres are created on days when fog and mist rises from the river and up to the peaks of the karst mountains. It is on this river too, where local fisherman...   Read more

Li River Cruise 船游漓江

Yangshuo 阳朔

Down the river from Guilin, Yangshuo is a highlight of any China tour. It is a small, lively town, mostly pedestrianized, with a wealth of activities to get stuck into. Activities include: river rafting, hiking, cycling around the countryside, caving, and mud wrestling. As a result of this laid-back lifestyle, Yangshuo has a large expat community. Many have opened restaurants, pubs and rooftop bars. One exceptional place to eat is an Indian restaurant with all ingredients imported from Northern India.

For those looking for a quieter experience with the same scenery, there are small towns just around the river bend that are more like Yangshuo from over a decade ago. One such town is Xingping. Here the local specialty is duck or fish that has been slow cooked in the province’s beer, Liquan. There is also a steep (slippery and dangerous) mountain to climb that gives a great view over the Li River and its Karst Mountains....   Read more

Shanghai 上海

Shanghai, China’s largest city, visually and culturally represents the relationship between China and the West. Although that history may be tainted with war and oppression, the results of this arrangement can be seen in the architecture and local culture of this city. An example of this is the qipao (cheongsam), the tight-fitting Chinese dress we are all familiar with. Its modern form was born in Shanghai, influenced by Western styles, and it exhibited a new fashionable style of clothing for local Chinese. Many Chinese today still view Shanghaies as displaying more cultural openness and as having experienced globalization on a greater scale.

Architecturally, The Bund is a visually impressive example of the aforementioned West’s interaction with China. On one side of the Huangpu River are old and beautiful colonial buildings, including great consulates and exquisite hotels. At night, gazing across the river to the...   Read more

Penta Hotel   北京贝尔特酒店
★ ★ ★ ★

Part of the German hotel group, the Penta Hotel Beijing is sleek and modern. Rooms are simple, bright, and very clean. The hotel has two restaurants and a game room on the first floor. The trendy lobby/lounge area is a great place for guests to get work done, enjoy Sunday brunch, and get late night drinks. The Penta is also conveniently located near the subway and a few minutes drive from the Beijing Train Station.

Grand Mercure on Renmin Square   西安豪华美居人民大厦
★ ★ ★ ★

This large luxury hotel complex is well located between the shopping strip with fast food outlets just 10 minutes walk to the left or the Drum and Bell Tower which is 15 minutes to the right. There is also a large market near the Bell Tower and an ancient Mosque. Rooms are compact but comfortable.

Guilin Bravo Hotel   桂林宾馆
★ ★ ★ ★

The Guilin Bravo Hotel is our recommended hotel for guests seeking quality four or five star accommodation at a reasonable price. While it is not an international branded chain, we visited the hotel and viewed the rooms to assure it meets our standards. Its clean, fresh, has good service and facilities. It has a nice outdoor swimming pool for use by all guests, a great way to cool off after a day of travel or sightseeing.

The hotel has two wings, one four star and one five star. You can judge from the photographs we took and the prices which suits your needs.

Another benefit of the Bravo hotel is its central location. Its easy to walk along the waterfront, to the night market and the cities pedestrian district with shops and restaurants.

There are many different types of rooms from which to choose, including lake view rooms. The hotel has two different restaurants, Western and Chinese, and a lobby bar. There are also facilities for lectures and business meetings.

Other services include: 24-hour Room Service, Baby Sitting / Child Care, Facilities for the Physically Challenged, Hair / Beauty Salon, Laundry /Valet Service, Safety Deposit Box, Wired & Wireless Broadband Internet Access.

Mountain Retreat   阳朔胜地渡假山庄
★ ★ ★ ★

The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is a quiet hotel situated on the banks of the Yulong River about 20 minutes drive outside Yangshuo. It blends well into the surrounding karst scenery. The hotel is geared towards the needs of foreigners and as such is a quiet and relaxing place to stay and an ideal location for river rafting, biking and strolling the countryside. The bamboo rafting can be done right up to the back of the hotel. It is great place for families to stay, being clean, friendly, efficient and with a garden away from the road. It's a small and popular hotel which during the busy season gets booked out far in advance so reserve early.

Hotel facilities: There are a variety of rooms in this hotel and the rooms are generally large so extra children can be easily accommodated. There is a rustic restaurant serving Western and Chinese meals and snacks and real coffee. Games, toys for children staying and books can be found here. Bikes of different sizes and multiple seats can be rented here and a grassy garden with tables to sit out and eat is quiet and backing on to the river. A small docking area for the temporary stopping of bamboo rafts is nestled amongst the hedge bushes.

Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai (former SSAW Hotel)   上海中星君亭酒店
★ ★ ★ ★

Recently remodeled, this stylish hotel near the Yu Yuan Gardens is a great choice for people looking for a classy place at a reasonable price. Rooms are bright and nicely furnished. SSAW also offers a great breakfast and is walking distance from the subway.

The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show

The Chaoyang Acrobat Show is in our opinion one of the best shows to see while on tour in China. It appeals to all ages, from young children to adults. It is very visual and the show is not made of "tricks" but is feats of skill and fitness. It is comparable to many international Cirque style shows but at a price much lower and an opportunity to sit much closer. Having seen all the acrobat shows in Beijing and Shanghai, we consider this one to be the best of the lot.

Duration:
60 minutes

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.

Drinking Water

Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.

Children and Special Diets

Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.

Drinking Water

Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.

Children and Special Diets

Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.

Drinking Water

Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.

Children and Special Diets

Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

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