11 Day Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai China tour featuring the main highlights of these areas.
Join our team for this 11 day Classic China Tour including the best things to do in Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Shanghai. The Classic China Tour features three full days in Beijing, two full days in Xi’an, four full days in Guilin and one full day in Shanghai. This 11 day Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Shanghai tour includes the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, the Li River and the Bund as well as other top attractions in each destination!
- Visit China’s most famous (and one of the world’s largest)public square – Tiananmen Square;
- Go inside the walls and go back in time at Beijing’s Forbidden City;
- Overlook the Forbidden City and Beijing city from the peak of Jingshan Park;
- Cruise the alleyways of Beijing’s famous hutongs in your own private rickshaw;
- Discover the largest Tibetan Temple in Beijing at the Lama Temple;
- Explore one of China’s most renowned attractions – the incredible Terracotta Warriors & Terracotta Army;
- Visit a cave dwelling – traditional houses built into the side of mountains that are still home to locals today!
- Walk, Cycle or take a shuttle along Xi’an’s City Wall, which has been protecting Xi’an for the past 600 years;
- Step back and discover the ancient streets of Shuyuanmen Cultural Street or the largest mosque in China – the Xi’an Grand Mosque;
- Discover Xi’an’s famous Muslim Quarter;
- Visit the burial site of the former Emperor ‘Jingdi’s tomb’ at the Hangyangling Museum;
- Taste Xi’an cuisine for lunch at a recommended local restaurant (not included in pricing);
- Discover the Tang Dynasty buddhism Pagoda – the Big Wild Goose Pagoda
- Visit the symbol of Xi’an located in the very center of the city – it’s famous Bell and Drum Tower;
- Look over the views of Guilin city from the peak of Yao Mountain
- Walk through the famous limestone Reed Flute Cave
- See the landmark that represents Guilin – Elephant Trunk Hill
- Embark upon the Two Rivers/Four Lakes Boat Cruise around central Guilin City
- Experience the Longji Zhuang Ethnic Minority Village
- Explore the Longji Rice Terraces and the walk through the trails overlooking stunning scenery
- Visit Ping’an Village with its spectacular viewpoints
- Travel along the Li River on the Deluxe 4 Star Li River Cruise (Upper Deck Reserved Seating)
- See the spectacular views of the Li River from the peak of Xianggong Hill
- Enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants in and around West Street
- Watch the famous Impression 3rd Sister Liu Show held on the banks of the Li River
- Go back in time & experience Old Shanghai with visits to Shanghai Old Town and the Yu Garden
- Walk the back streets of Shanghai – learning about Shanghai and its City Wall leftover from the Ming Dynasty
- Explore Colonial Shanghai and it’s incredible architecture whilst walking along the Bund
- Visit the former French Concession Area, Arts District & more!
- Discover the famous Jade Buddha Temple in central Shanghai
All times outlined below are approximates as the tour is a private tour, time is flexible & subject to train schedules
- 8:00 am (flexible): Meet at your Beijing Hotel Lobby
- 8:00 am – 10:00 am: Transfer to to Mutianyu Great Wall;
- 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Explore Great Wall of China;
- 2:00 pm: Lunch at Great Wall (not included in pricing);
- 2:30 pm: Depart Mutianyu Great Wall of China;
- 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Explore Olympic Stadium
- 5:00 pm: Return transfer to Beijing Hotel
- 8:30 am: Meet at your Beijing Hotel Lobby
- 9:00 am – 10:00 am: Visit Tiananmen Square
- 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Visit the Forbidden City
- 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm: Visit Jingshan Park
- 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm: Visit Old Hutongs via Rickshaw
- 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Enjoy Chinese Lunch at nearby Restaurant
- 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Visit Lama Temple
- 5:00 pm: Return transfer to your Beijing Hotel
- 9:00 am: Meet at your Beijing Hotel Lobby (within 4th Ring Road)
- 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Explore Summer Palace;
- 1:00 pm: Visit Hongqiao Local Markets;
- 1:30 pm: Lunch at Hongqiao
- 2:30 pm: Transfer to Temple of Heaven
- 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Visit Temple of Heaven
- 5:00 pm: Return transfer to Beijing Hotel (within 4th Ring Road)
- DAY AT LEISURE (City Transfer Day)
- Transit from Beijing to Xi’an (we can assist with flights or high-speed train tickets if required)
- 8:30 am: Meet at your Xi’an Hotel Lobby
- 8:30 am – 9:30 am: Transfer to Terracotta Army Museum
- 9:30 am – 11:30 am: Explore Terracotta Army Museum
- 11:30 pm – 12:30 pm: Visit a Traditional Cave Dwelling
- 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch (not included in pricing)
- 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda
- 4:30 pm: Return transfer to Xi’an Hotel
- 8:30 am: Meet at your Xi’an Hotel Lobby
- 9:30 am – 11:00 am: Visit Jingdi Tomb at Hangyangling Museum;
- 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lunch (not included in pricing)
- 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Visit the Xi’an Ancient City Wall
- 2:00 pm on-wards: Transfer to Xi’an Airport
- Transit from Xi’an to Guilin (we can assist with flights or high-speed train tickets if required)
- Arrive at Guilin Airport and transfer to Guilin Hotel
- 9:00 am (flexible): Meet at your Guilin Hotel Lobby
- 11:00 am: Arrive at Longji Rice Terraces
- 11:30 am: Visit & Walk-up to Longji Zhuang Village
- 12:30 pm: Traditional Lunch at Longji Zhuang Village
- 1:30 pm: Visit & Walk-up to Ping’an Village
- 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Afternoon activities at Longji Rice Terraces
- 4:00 pm: Depart Longji Rice Terraces
- 5:00 pm: Return transfer to Guilin Hotel
- 07:40 am: Meet at your Guilin Hotel Lobby
- 09:00 am – 1:00 pm: Transfer to Guilin Pier
- 09:30 am – 1:30 pm: Deluxe 4-Star Li River Cruise
- 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Visit West Street
- 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Yulong River Countryside Walking Tour
- 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Visit Jiuxian Ancient Town & Fuli Bridge
- 07:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Impression 3rd Sister Liu Show
- 9:00 pm: Transfer to Yangshuo Hotel
- 09:00 am: Meet at your Yangshuo Hotel Lobby
- 09:00 am – 10:00 am: Yulong River Scenic Drifting
- 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Visit & Walk-up Xianggong Hill
- 1:30 pm onwards: Transfer to Guilin Airport
- Transit from Guilin to Shanghai (we can assist with flights or high-speed train tickets if required)
- Arrive at Shanghai Airport and transfer to Shanghai Hotel
- 9:00 am: Meet at your Shanghai Hotel Lobby
- 9:30 am – 11:30 am: Visit City God Temple of Shanghai and Yu Garden
- 11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Visit Shanghai City Wall, Off-the-beaten track streets and the Bund
- 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch at Local Restaurant (not included)
- 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Shanghai Afternoon City Tour including Former French Concession Area, Tianzifang Arts Area and the Jade Buddha Temple
- 5:30 pm: Return transfer to your Shanghai Hotel/END OF TOUR
- All petrol/gas, van rental, highway tolls, parking fees & driver’s fees throughout entire tour route as above;
- All entrance tickets per the above activities requiring entrance fees;
- Professional (Fully-licensed) English speaking tour guide on days listed;
- For this private tour, no meals are included within the tour pricing but our guide will assist you with options and recommendations based on your preferences;
- Please note, we don’t require ‘x’ amount to be paid by clients on a daily basis to tour guide/driver or force tipping. However, gratuities are greatly appreciated at the conclusion of tour by guide/driver only if service is excellent.
- Accommodation, flights, travel insurance and any other person expenses during tour;
Detailed Tour Itinerary:
Pre-Tour – Stay overnight in Beijing
Arrive into Beijing the day before your tour is scheduled to begin as the tour commences in the morning. Alternatively, we can also schedule the tour to being from Beijing Airport or Beijing Railway Station upon your arrival.
Day 1 – Stay overnight in Beijing
To begin the first day of the tour, your tour guide and driver will meet you at your Beijing Hotel at 8:00 am (time is flexible based upon your preferences) for the day tour to the Great Wall. We will travel to the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall of China, which is located in Huairou County (approximately 1.5 – 2 x hours drive from Beijing).
After arriving at Mutianyu, we till board a chairlift to the top of the Great Wall where spectacular views overlooking the Great Wall and surroundings await you. The time spent at the Great Wall of China is very flexible and today’s activity’s are less so you can choose to spend more or less time exploring the wall, based upon your preferences. The Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the most famous sections of the Great Wall near Beijing and less visited than the Badaling Great Wall section. Visitors have the option to take the chairlift to the peak and either a toboggan (extra fee) or chairlift back to the base of the wall.
Once you arrive at the base, choose from a simple lunch (not included) before traveling back to Beijing. Upon arriving back into Beijing, explore the Beijing Olympic Center, which is Bird’s Nest before being transferred back to your Beijing Hotel to enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 2 – Stay overnight in Beijing
Today, our tour guide and driver will meet you at your specific Beijing Hotel Lobby at 8:30 am. Meeting time is flexible as it is a private tour so please discuss beforehand if you have a preferred starting time. You’ll commence the tour by being transferred to Tiananmen Square – Beijing’s enormous public square and the world’s largest open square space.
Around Tiananmen Square there are various sights which we will visit and some nice photo opportunities as well. Some of these sights include the Great Hall of People in the West, which is China’s National Congress Hall (also known as China’s ‘White House’).
After exploring Tiananmen Square, we’ll walk across the road to the Forbidden City – the largest and best preserved Imperial Palace in the world. The Forbidden City houses a large number of buildings with inspiring architecture and incredible history.
Following the Forbidden City visit, we’ll keep walking to Jingshan Park, which is a nearby park providing panoramic views overlooking the Forbidden City. It takes approximately 10 x minutes to walk from the base of the hill to its peak but visitors are rewarded with fantastic scenery of the surroundings and Beijing city.
Following the visit to Jingshan Park, travel approximately 15 x minutes to the Old Hutong Area (Houhai Hutongs). The Hutongs in Beijing have a history of over 700 years and whilst a number of these hutong houses have now been restored, many people still live in these areas. The Hutong visit is undertaken by a licensed rickshaw driver, making this a unique and enjoyable experience which is popular by visitors from all over the world.
Please note, some of the rickshaw drivers speak English but it can be limited – although they do know lots of local history. Overall, you’ll spend 1 x hour in and around the hutongs with time on the rickshaw as well as walking.
In the afternoon, we’ll depart the Beijing Hutongs and travel approximately 15 x minutes to a local Chinese Restaurant. Lunch isn’t included in the tour pricing and if you have any specific preferences for restaurants or cuisine type, please let us know and we can arrange accordingly. Following lunch, we’ll travel to the Lama Temple, which is located 20 x minutes away from the scheduled restaurant.
The Lama Temple is a famous Beijing temple, whereby the Gelug school of Buddhism is taught. It’s located in Dongcheng District in central Beijing and is a famous attraction for visitors to explore during their Beijing tour. We’ll spend approximately 1 x hour at the Lama Temple, before you’ll be transferred back to your Beijing Hotel to enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 3 – Stay overnight in Beijing
Begin the morning by meeting your tour guide and driver at your Beijing Hotel Lobby. The tour will begin with a visit to the Summer Palace in Beijing.
The Summer Palace is located approximately 15 km from the city center of Beijing and is adjacent to the Old Summer Palace. Known as the “Royal Garden Museum”, the palace is also the most preserved royal palace in Beijing. Built by the design method of gardens in the south of the Yangtze River, it is a large-scale landscape garden.
Afterwards , we’ll travel to the Hongqiao Market, which is a local market featuring restaurants, cafes and basically anything and everything you can think of to buy at a market! You can enjoy an early lunch (not included within tour pricing) at one of the many restaurants/eateries, before traveling to Railway Station.
Following the Hongqiao Market, visit the Temple of Heaven, which was constructed in the 1400s during the Ming Dynasty with multiple renovations of the years throughout the different dynasties. The Temple of Heaven is a major Beijing landmark and enjoyable way to explore during the morning.
At the conclusion of the visit to the Temple of Heaven, return transfer to your Beijing Hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 4 – Stay overnight in Xi’an
The day is at leisure whereby visitors need to get from Beijing to Xi’an – either via high-speed train (multiple trains departing daily) or via flight (multiple flights departing daily). Wendy Wei Tours can include either flight or train tickets, based upon preferences and we can also include transfers to/from the airport or train station. Please advise during tour booking of your preferences.
Day 5 – Stay overnight in Xi’an
To begin the Xi’an part of the tour, our tour guide and driver will meet you at your Xi’an Hotel Lobby. We’d recommend a 9:00 am meeting time but because it’s a private tour, this can be flexible so please advise your preferences. Thereafter, depart for the Terracotta Army, which is located on the outskirts of Xi’an City.
The Terracotta Army Museum, is the Eighth wonder of the world and largest on-site museum in China. It features thousands of Terracotta Warriors and Horses that were made over 2,000 years ago. Visitors are taken aback by the sheer number and size – making this visit a the highlight of many visitors’ trip to China.
Afterwards, you’ll travel to an ancient cave dwelling where you’ll be able to see and visit these traditional homes. Modern farmers still live within these dwellings and most cave dwellings are carved out of the mountains – their homes are easy to keep warm in winter and cool during the summer.
In the late morning, you’ll depart from this area of Xi’an and travel to a nearby restaurant. Lunch will follow (not included in pricing) and your tour guide can assist you with where to eat/food recommendations based upon your specific preferences.
Following lunch, we’ll travel to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of Xi’an most famous ancient buildings. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a Tang dynasty Buddhism temple with a history dating back over 1,300 years. Aside from the impressive architecture of this pagoda, our guide will also explain some historical facts and famous stories about the pagoda.
After visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, you’ll be transferred back to your Xi’an Hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Day 6 – Stay overnight in Guilin
In the morning, your tour guide and driver will meet you at your Xi’an Hotel at 9:00 am (being a private tour meeting time is flexible so please advise if you have other meeting time preferences). Thereafter, you’ll be transferred to the Hangyangling Museum, which is also known as Jingdi’s Tomb.
The Hangyangling Museum is located near Xi’an Airport, approximately 30 kilometers north of Xi’an City. This is a famous burial site for the Emperor Jingdi and his wife, Empress Wangzhi with the tomb dating back over 2,100 years. This is the only underground museum in all of China and a popular place to explore, especially for visitors interested in ancient Chinese history.
Following lunch, you will visit and spend time atop Xi’an’s City Wall. This incredible city wall has protected Xi’an from invaders for over 600 years since it was first constructed. The Xi’an City Wall is the best preserved and most complete wall that has survived throughout China’s long history. It stands 12 meters high and 12 – 14 meters wide across the top with 15 – 18 meters width at the base of the wall.
The entire length of the wall is over 13 kilometers around the city and visitors can choose to cycle, walk or even board a golf cart shuttle to sight-see and experience life along Xi’an’s City Wall.
Day 7 – Stay overnight in Guilin City
To commence the Guilin part of the tour, visitors will spend the first day in and around Guilin City, visiting the different highlights within the city and its surroundings. Start the day off by travelling to Yao Mountain, which offers spectacular views overlooking Guilin City as well as the karst scenery surrounding the city.
Thereafter, visit the Reed Flute Cave which is a famous limestone cave located on the outskirts of Guilin city. During the late afternoon, travel to Elephant Trunk Hill – the landmark of Guilin, which resembles and Elephant drinking directly out of the Li River! After Elephant Trunk Hill, explore the local walking streets and finish the evening with the Four Lakes Cruise. After the Cruise, you’ll be transferred back to your Guilin Hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 8 – Stay overnight in Guilin City
Meet your tour guide in the morning and depart to the Longji Rice Terraces, which takes approx. 2 x hours from Guilin or 3.5 x hours from Yangshuo. Upon arrival, you will walk to the Longji Zhuang Ethnic Minority Village, which is a quieter village. During your time at the village, experience firsthand local’s daily lives and see the traditional architecture featured on both the older and newer buildings .
For lunch, our client’s are warmly invited into a local family’s traditional house for a more unique experience. The meal consists of a ‘bamboo chicken’ dish, and a variety of different vegetable and meat dishes. Vegetarian meals can be catered for and all food is cooked in a licensed restaurant to ensure hygiene.
Following lunch, walk from the Longji Zhuang Village to Ping’an Village along a quieter path offering views overlooking the terraces and usually, very few other people! This walk usually takes between 40 x minutes to 1 x hour and is on a winding uphill path, although not very steep.
After arriving at Ping’an Village, walk to the different Rice Terraces scenic lookouts (such as ‘7 Stars with the Moon’ or ‘9 Dragons/5 Tigers’) and further explore the Longji Rice Terraces, depending upon your preferences. The tour will conclude upon returning to Guilin, where you will enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Day 9 – Stay overnight in Yangshuo
Meet your Wendy Wei Tours private tour guide at 7:40 am sharp in the morning at your Guilin hotel lobby. Please note, because the boat is a large boat shared with other visitors, it’s important to be waiting in the lobby in the morning as the boat doesn’t wait if visitors are late!
After clearing the security check and boarding the Li River Cruise, you’ll be escorted to your Upper Deck reserved seats, which offer excellent views from the second level of the boat. Visitors can also choose to upgrade to VIP seating (which is at the very front of the upper deck seating) for an additional fee. Please note, if you’d like to upgrade, contact us as this needs to be arranged in advance.
During the Li River Cruise, you will see incredible views of karst scenery, rural life and famous mountains throughout this scenic stretch of water. Generally, it takes approximately 4 x hours to travel from the Guilin Pier to Yangshuo but depends upon season/water flow speed.
There is a buffet lunch served on-board during the Li River Cruise and this consists of approximately 8 different Chinese cuisine dishes including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. If you have any specific cuisine or food restrictions please contact us about specifics so we can arrange accordingly.
Upon arriving into Yangshuo and disembarking from the cruise, explore West Street before traveling to the Yulong River for a countryside walk (or cycle). Visitors can also visit the nearby scenic bridge (Fuli Bridge) and enjoy the afternoon in and around Yangshuo. In the evening, watch the famous Impression 3rd Sister Liu Show held on the banks of the Li River from your VIP B1 Seats.
This show is a grand performance featuring over 700 actors and actresses and was directed by Zhang Yi Mou – the director and choreographer of the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. At the conclusion of the Impression Show, be transferred to your Yangshuo Hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Day 10 – Stay overnight in Shanghai
Meet at your Yangshuo Hotel Lobby and commence the day with a transfer to the Yulong Valley Scenic Area. Upon arriving, board some bamboo rafts and slowly travel downstream with a rafts-man at the rear of the raft paddling. This is a peaceful and scenic drifting experience with different scenery and landscape compared to the scenery along the Li River.
After disembarking, you’ll travel approximately 1 x hour to Xianggong Hill, which is considered to be the mountain offering the best viewpoints overlooking the Li River and surrounding karst mountain scenery. From the base of the mountain to the peak, it usually takes between 10 – 15 x minutes to hike up and the views (as well as photo opportunities) are very rewarding!
In the afternoon, be transferred to either Guilin Railway Station (high-speed train) or Guilin Airport (flight) for a connection to Shanghai. Upon arriving into Shanghai, our team will transfer you to your Shanghai Hotel where you will enjoy the late afternoon/evening at leisure.
Day 11 – Stay overnight in Shanghai/END OF TOUR
In the morning, your private guide will meet you at your Shanghai Hotel lobby to begin your tour focusing on the four different kinds of Shanghai. The first stop is in Old Shanghai, where visitors will visit the City God Temple of Shanghai. This temple is a folk temple located in the Old Shanghai section of the city, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.
Thereafter, travel to the Yu Garden, which is a Suzhou style garden built in 1539. We visit the Yu Garden in the morning as it’s usually quieter with less tourists around, ensuring a peaceful experience. In addition to these attractions, you’ll also visit the Old City Wall for a walk, which was first built in the 1600s.
After experiencing Old Shanghai, prior to lunch, you’ll get the opportunity to explore Colonial Shanghai with a Bund Walking Tour. The Bund features colonial buildings and architecture as well as overlooks the Pudong New Area providing an incredible contrast of colonial and new China.
Your guide will discuss how Shanghai developed from a fishing village into one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities, provide an insight into the impact of the opium war as well as other local stories. Following the visit to colonial Shanghai, you’ll be transferred to a popular local restaurant where lunch awaits!
For lunch, you can choose from a variety of different cuisine options based upon preferences. Our guides are locals in Shanghai and can show you the best Xiaolongbao, dumplings, international cuisine or more! Lunch isn’t included within the tour pricing so please discuss with the guide you preferences and they’re happy to be of assistance.
Following lunch, continue exploring the former French Concession Area via vehicle as well as walking – a throwback to Shanghai in the wild 1930s. You’ll also visit Tianzifang Arts Zone and there’s an option to visit either the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall (additional fee), Propaganda Museum (additional fee) or one of Shanghai’s famous temples. The Jade Buddha Temple is the final stop of this Private Shanghai Day Tour. At the conclusion of your Shanghai tour, you’ll be transferred back to your Shanghai Hotel to experience the evening at leisure and conclude the tour. END OF TOUR.