Best of China, Private Tour
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Join this fascinating 12- day tour of China starting in Beijing and explore some of the country’s greatest landmarks. Visit the Forbidden City and hike along the Great Wall at Jinshanling. Visit the Terracotta Army Museum, then meet the explorer who discovered these world-famous figures and learn his fascinating story. Get up close to China’s national treasure, the giant panda, and learn about their conservation at the Giant Panda Research Base. Admire the spectacular views of the amazing Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces as you hike from Ping’An to Dazhai, and discover a life far removed from the metropolises with a laidback river cruise through stunning natural scenery of the Li River.
Forbidden City: Discover the majesty of the walled imperial palace which was reserved for China’s royalty for centuries.
Great Wall: Hike one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall in an area of outstanding natural beauty with a private photographer.
Terracotta Army: Pay homage to the immortal clay warriors unearthed after 2,000 years guarding China’s first emperor in the afterlife.
Giant Buddha in Leshan: Visit the tallest and most impressive Buddha in the world carved into the side of Mount Lingyun.
Li River Cruise: Admire breathtaking scenery among the Karst Mountains on this unforgettable cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo.
- Operated with English-speaking local guide
- 11 nights’ accommodation
- 11 breakfasts
- 8 lunches on Day 2,3,5,6,7,9,10 and 11 (1 bottle of soft drink included)
- 2 dinners on Day 4 and 8 (1 bottle of soft drink included)
- Private transfer from Beijing Airport to hotel in Beijing
- Air-conditioned private transport throughout the tour
- Train ride from Beijing to Xi´an on Day 4, from Xi´an to Chengdu on Day 5 and from Xi’an to Guilin on Day 8 with 2nd class soft seat
- Shuttle bus from Longsheng to Ping´an Lodge on Day 9
- Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yanshuo on Day 11
- Private transfer from hotel in Yangshuo to Guilin Airport
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary; Forbidden City tour (excl. exhibitions) and rickshaw ride on Day 2; Jinshanling Great Wall tour with private photographer on Day 3; Temple of Heaven Tour, Tai Chi activity and Xi’an night tour on Day 4; and Terracotta Army Museum tour, farmer´s house visit and Xi’an city wall tour on Day 5; Leshan Giant Buddha tour on Day 6; Giant Panda Research Base visit on Day 7; Reed Flute Cave tour on Day 8; Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces tour on Day 9; hike from Longji to Dazhai on Day 10; Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo on Day 11.
- Meet & Greet at Beijing International Airport on Day 1
- International flight tickets and airport taxes or China visa fees (if any)
- Travel insurance
- Expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses or items not stated explicitly in the programme
- Any visit not mentioned in the programme
- Optional tours and activities
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Forbidden City is closed on Mondays
- Surcharge of overweight luggage (in case of exceeding 20 kilo per piece)
- Please check the China visa requirements with your local embassy or authorities
- Set menu lunches/dinners specified (as per itinerary) in local Chinese restaurants with 1 bottle of soft drink (coke, sprite or mineral water) per person per meal
- No refund for unused services. Splitting the package is not allowed
- No guide service on trains
- Trains are subject to change due to the adjustments of the schedule
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the contents of the tour without prior notice, including possible change of hotels and/or itinerary
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and light clothing is best suited to travel in the warm months and warm clothing in the colder months in China. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or sparse clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses and a hat can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-3 Beijing:
- Superior Hotel Category = Penta Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = The Presidential Hotel or similar 5*
Day 4 Xi´an:
- Superior Hotel Category = Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Sofitel Renmin Square Hotel or similar 5*
Day 5 -7 Chengdu:
- Superior Hotel Category = Xinliang Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Tibet Hotel or similar 5*
Day 8 and 10 Guilin:
- Superior Hotel Category = Guilin Bravo Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Sheraton Hotel or similar 5*
Day 9 Longsheng:
- Superior Hotel Category = Ridge Inn Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Longji Tianjiange Hotel or similar 5*
Day 11 Yangshuo:
- Superior Hotel Category = Yangshuo New Century Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Green Lotus Hotel or similar 5*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL BEIJING
Arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport. Upon arrival, a representative will be waiting to greet you at the airport and accompany you on the transfer to the city. The private transfer will take you directly to your hotel in Beijing. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure in the city. Take the opportunity to rest and recover after the flight or head out into the city for your first glimpse of life in China’s sprawling capital city.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 2 : BEIJING (Forbidden City Tour and Rickshaw Ride)
After breakfast at the hotel, prepare for pick-up at 8:00 in the morning for a visit to the site that witnessed the founding of the People’s Republic of China: Tiananmen Square. This is one of the most impressive public plazas in the world and it is located right in the heart of Beijing. After visiting Tiananmen Square, take a leisurely stroll to the Forbidden City (closed on Mondays), the largest ancient palatial structure in the world and the best preserved imperial palace in China. Spend around 1.5 hours exploring the halls and gardens of the complex and observe the traditional palatial architecture that has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and beyond (entrance to exhibitions not included). Drive to a local restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy a rickshaw ride around Beijing’s Hutong area. While modern construction has replaced most of the traditional way of life in Beijing, the alleyways of Hutong and their courtyards, markets and shops provide a glimpse into what life would have been like in the Imperial City. You will arrive back to the hotel at about 17:30.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 3 : BEIJING (Jinshanling Great Wall Tour)
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel, then be ready for pick-up at 8:00 for your Great Wall hike. We will spend around 3 hours exploring one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken. With sections dating back 2,000 years, the Great Wall is a testament to Chinese engineering, a monument to human endeavour set against a backdrop of stunning scenery. The Jinshanling section is the most beautiful and best-preserved stretch of the Great Wall. Located on the junction of Miyun County of Beijing and Luanping County of Hebei province, Jinshanling is 10.5 km in length and has 5 passes, 67 watch towers and 3 beacon towers. This section stands out for its ruggedness, dilapidated walls and unique structures. This can make the walk a little more difficult, but it adds to its beauty and it is why this is the preferred section of the Wall among photographers. At the end of the hike, the driver will take you to a restaurant near to the Great Wall. Enjoy a well-deserved lunch before transferring back to your hotel for the evening at approximately 17:30.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 4 : BEIJING – XI’AN (6 hrs by train)
Rise early for breakfast at the hotel, then prepare for collection from the hotel at 5:00 in the morning. to visit the Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of religious buildings originally used by emperors to pray for good harvests. You will meet there with the Tai Chi teacher who will teach you about this fascinating martial art. Then, transfer to the railway station and take the high-speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival in Xi’an, transfer to a local restaurant for a well-deserved dinner, then take a night tour: First, you will pass the Square of Bell Tower & Drum Tower to Muslim Street. Enjoy the colorful sights and enticing aromas of street food stalls and sip a bottle of sweet plum juice as you watch candies being made. Head to walk along the street. You can learn about the living environment and habits of the local Muslim people, as well as taste various local delicacies and snacks, such as roujiamo, Liangpi, persimmon cake, rice wine, Jiasanguan Tangbao, etc., then transfer to hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Xi´an.
Day 5 : XI’AN – CHENGDU (4 hrs by train)
Wake up to breakfast at the hotel, after which you will be collected at 8:00 for a visit to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors Museum. Praised as the eighth wonder of the world, this collection of terracotta warriors, as well as horses, chariots and weapons, were made by an army of artisans and buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, who died in 210 BC. Around 2,000 warriors have been excavated since their chance discovery in 1974, but it is estimated that there may be up to an impressive 8,000 in total. This silent army is a fascinating highlight to any tour. After visiting the Terracotta Army museum, take a trip to Xi’an local farmer family to learn about the Yaodong, cave houses and experience their way of living. After lunch at local restaurant, transfer back to Xi’an downtown to visit the Fortifications of Xi’an. Built by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty, this 600-year-old wall is now one of the oldest, largest and best preserved of all Chinese city walls, it is also one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Enjoy a nice walk along the wall. It will give you a bird’s eye-view of modern-day Xi’an. From your vantage point up on the wall you will notice that the city is a blend of old and new with modern buildings mixed with traditional temples, mosques and pagodas. Then, transfer to the railway station to catch the train to Chengdu. Upon arrival in Chengdu, transfer to your hotel and check in.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 6 : CHENGDU (Giant Buddha in Leshan Tour)
Today, after breakfast at the hotel, prepare for a tour of the Leshan Giant Buddha. You will be collected from the hotel at 7:30, as the transfer to Leshan will take approximately 3 hours. Leshan Giant Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, in Sichuan Province, at the confluence of the Min River, the Qingyi River and the Dadu River. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the Buddha is the most famous and scenic spot in the city. The statue is an impressive 71 metres tall, carved out of a red sandstone cliff. It was built between 713 and 803, during the Tang dynasty, and it is the largest stone Buddha statue in the world. The statue depicts Maitreya, which is a bodhisattva, or a person on the path to becoming a Buddha. The statue is in sitting position, has a smile on its face and a bare breast and paunch. After a 3-hour tour, transfer to a local restaurant for lunch. Later, transfer back to the hotel for an approximate 18:00 arrival.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 7 : CHENGDU (Dujiangyan Giant Panda Research Base)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Be ready for collection at 8:00 for a visit to the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Research Base, a conservation and research centre dedicated to giant panda disease prevention and control, wild rescue, international cooperation and public education. Listen to an informative speech by a panda expert and watch the pandas as they eat bamboo, play and sleep. Giant pandas are not only China’s national treasure, they are loved all over the world. However, unfortunately, they are an endangered species and there are fewer than 2,000 left in the Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces of China. Visit a local restaurant for lunch. Arrive back at the hotel at around 16:00.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 8 : CHENGDU – GUILIN (7 hrs by train)
After breakfast at the hotel, check out of your room and take a train to Guilin. Upon arrival in Guilin, you will be greeted in the airport by your guide and transferred to one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions, the Reed Flute Cave. This natural limestone cave has been eroded by the water, leaving behind a spectacular display of stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations. It was named after the type of reeds that grow inside the caves which can be used to make flutes. The cave is now lit with a beautiful display of multi-coloured lighting that illuminate the different rock formations, creating a wonderful spectacle all along its 240-metre length. As you walk around the cave, you feel as though you are being transported to the realm of the gods, and it is impossible not to be absorbed by the enchanting beauty. After the approximately 1-hour tour, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Check in at the hotel at around 18:00.
Overnight in Guilin.
Day 9 : GUILIN – LONGSHENG (85 Km – 1.5 hrs)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before leaving at 8:00 in the morning for Longshen. Upon arrival in Longsheng, change vehicle to a shuttle bus and travel a further 30 minutes to reach Ping’an Lodge. Located approximately 27 kilometres southeast of Longsheng County, a vast region of rice terraces, known as the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, that coil around from the base of the Longji Mountain all the way to its summit. These are certainly the most impressive terraces in China. Construction began during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when the terraces were completed. The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labour of the Zhuang people. Visit a local Yao/Zhuang minority family. Join the family for lunch and learn how they make traditional straw sandals. After the tour, at around 14:00, check in to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Longsheng.
Day 10 : LONGSHENG – GUILIN (85 Km – 1.5 Hrs)
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel, then check out of your room and be ready at 8:00 for your morning hike from Longji to Dazhai. Start the hike in Ping’An town. Ascend the hill to two viewpoints: Viewpoint 1, Nine Dragons and Five Tigers; and Viewpoint 2, Seven Stars with Moon. Both viewpoints offer spectacular views of the town and surrounding rice terraces. Trek from Ping’An to Zhongliu – this takes approximately 2 hours. Continue over the back of the mountain, along a dirt road into a lovely valley. The path continues past a lake and finally takes you to Zhongliu. From here, there is roughly another 2 hours’ walking to reach Dazhai. After reaching Dazhai at around mid-day, make one last ascent to a restaurant, where you can enjoy a lunch of local cuisine. After lunch, enjoy the stroll downhill for your transfer to the hotel in Guilin for check-in. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure in Guilin.
Overnight in Guilin.
Day 11 : GUILIN – YANGSHUO (85 Km – 1.5 Hrs)
This morning, after breakfast at the hotel, check out of the room and be ready at 8:00 to transfer to the port. Today we will take a 4-hour river cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. Named by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 Watery Wonders in the World, a cruise along the River Li is a centrepiece to any trip to the north-eastern Guangxi Province. Stunning karst peaks provide a different surprise around every corner as you wind your way through the countryside on the calm, clear waters. See water buffalo patrolling the fields, local inhabitants working in the rice paddies and wave to school children and fisherman as they float by on bamboo rafts. Far from the concrete metropolises, the breathtaking scenery and laid-back way of life here have made this river one of China’s top tourist destinations. Upon arrival in Yangshuo at approximately 13:30, enjoy a stroll around the town before transferring to the hotel for check-in. Spend the evening at your leisure in Yangshuo.
Overnight in Yangshuo.
Day 12 : DEPARTURE YANGSHUO
Wake up to breakfast at your hotel. Then prepare to check out of your room at the scheduled time and transfer to the airport for your onward or return flight. Although this is the last day of your 12-day tour through some of the most fascinating cultural, architectural and natural wonders of China, we are sure that your memories of this fascinating country will last you a lifetime.