Classic China

E-402: 14 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Partially-guided Tour, any part of the itinerary other than Yangtze River cruise can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide & experienced driver for specified guided tours
Accommodation: 3-star decent hotels, also be open to your own choice
Tour Features:
    With essential parts to be guided tours, like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Terracotta Army Museum, plus some open free days for easy sightseeing in downtown, our itinerary is particularly designed for clients who are on a limited budget and enjoy a measure of independent travel with our professional suggestions.
From $1919 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Entry Beijing
Upon your arrival at Beijing Airport today, our guide will await you outside the Arrival Hall of the airport after you retrieve your luggage and clear Customs. A comfortable drive will take you to the downtown district, where you will check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to rest or explore the locality on your own.

Accommodation: Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
Day 2 Beijing
Our clients at the Temple of Heaven
Your guided tour this morning starts from the world's largest central city square, the Tiananman Square, which is an important venue for many national celebrations. Stroll around the square and walk northward to today's highlight, the Forbidden City. This imperial palace is a masterpiece in the world. It is a combination of palace construction, Chinese Fengshui theory and the feudal hierarchy of ancient times. Lunch will be on your own. Your guide is happy to give you some suggestion about good restaurants.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Summer Palace. As the largest royal garden, it earns its fame from the splendid imperial buildings, exquisite gardening constructions of corridors, bridges, pavilions and artificial hills, and the beautiful natural landscape of mountains and lakes.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 3 Beijing
The Great Wall
Photo by our clients Mr. James Owens & Ms. Linda Owens
In the morning, you will be accompanied on an excursion to one of the greatest world heritage sites - the Great Wall at Mutianyu section. We have included a round trip cable car for you. You will see the solid wall, like a soaring dragon, winding its undulating way up and down the rolling mountains; you will also see the gorgeous landscape when standing on top of the wall. Lunch is self-arranged. Since the Great Wall is in a mountainous area, we kindly suggest you have a big breakfast at the hotel and eat some fast food there for lunch.

In the afternoon, we will transfer you downtown and pass by the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium). We will make a short stopover for you to take photos of this world-famous stadium. After that, you will visit the Temple of Heaven, which was a royal temple for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to worship for good harvests from 14th to early 20th century. One of the most important buildings is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Qi Nian Dian in Chinese), which was designed in harmony with the sky and ground.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an by Overnight Soft Sleeper Train
Today is free for your individual activities. Since the overnight train to Xi'an leaves in the evening, you will have a whole day free to explore the capital city on your own. After checking out of the hotel, you can deposit your luggage with the concierge of the hotel and then visit the Yonghe Lamasery, Imperial College and the Confucius Temple on your own.

From the hotel, walk eastward for 40 meters and turn right to get into the South Riverside Avenue (Nanheyan Avenue). Walk along the street for 200 meters and turn left, then go for 20 meters and turn left again to the East Chang'an Avenue. You will get to the Wangfujing station after a few minutes. Take subway Line 1 (Si Huidong direction) for one stop to arrive at Dongdan station, transfer to Line 5 (Tiantongyuan North direction), get off at Lama Temple station after 5 stops, exit from northeast at exit B, and then walk along the Andingmen East Street for 170 meters, and you will get to the first destination, Yonghe Lamasery. If you prefer to take taxi, then the fare is around CNY17. But please note that the rush hour is from 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning and from 17:00 to 19:00 in the afternoon, when the taxis are difficult to get.

After visiting the temple, you can go south for 400 meters to the Imperial College, which was the highest educational institution in feudal times. Then you may continue to the Confucius Temple, which is just next to the college. For your lunch today, we would like to recommend Jindingxuan in the area, a well-known restaurant with 24-hour service. After that, take subway Line 2 at Lama Temple station and get off at the second stop, Gulou Street Station. Then walk for 990 meters to Houhai area and experience the old history and special culture of Hutongs by rickshaw or on foot. After a short walking, you will get to the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street (Yandai Xiejie), go through the street and take bus No. 82 or No. 60 at Drum Tower Station to get back to the hotel. Please get off at South Riverside (Nanheyan) Station and keep moving for 40 meters, then turn right and go on for 40 meters, and the hotel will be on your right. After fetching your luggage, you can head to Beijing West Railway Station to catch the overnight soft sleeper train to Xi'an. Since it is not convenient to go there with your heavy luggage by subway or bus, we suggest you take a taxi and the fare is about CNY24.

Compared with a hard sleeper, the soft sleeper is much more comfortable with a private compartment which can accommodate four people. However, we would like to suggest you prepare some snacks for dinner. Moreover, due to the space limitation in the compartment, we invite you to consult China train baggage allowance for more information.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Warriors
The train journey takes about 11 hours and you will arrive in Xi'an at around 08:00 in the morning. Your local guide will meet you at the railway station and transfer you to the hotel. Breakfast is not included, but it is easy for you to buy some fast food or have a local breakfast with the guide's assistance. This morning, you will visit the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which is known as the eighth wonder of the world. In the three excavated pits, you will see over 7,400 pieces of warriors and horses of distinct facial expressions and positions. The Bronze Chariots and Horses and weapons exhumed here are among the finest bronze wares in the world. Still lunch is on your own today.

After lunch we will visit the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, where there are basic theme and temporary exhibitions to introduce the historical essence of Shaanxi from various angles. Our next stop is the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Unlike the magnificent Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda looks pretty and exquisite. With a height of 43.4 meters, this thirteen-storey pagoda is not only a 1,300-year-old well-protected ancient structure, but also a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture.

Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 6 Xi'an to Guilin by Flight
Our travel consultant Sophie with her clients
The activities in Xi'an today will be arranged on your own. After checking out of the hotel, please walk southwards to get to South Street. Keep going along the street for 520 meters and you will see the South Gate in front of you. Here you will find the tickets office of the City Wall very easily. Protected by broad deep moat and dense woods, the time-honored City Wall was built in the early Ming Dynasty, so it has seen the great development of the city over the past 600 years. You can also rent a bicycle to ride on the wall. Then walk along South Street back to the city center, also the Bell and Drum towers area, where there is a famous Muslim Street, a good place for you to taste local foods and buy souvenirs.

From the Bell Tower Hotel, you can take an Airport Shuttle Bus to Xi'an Xianyang International Airport for your afternoon flight to Guilin. The bus is available every 30 minutes and the bus fare is CNY26 per person. Please make sure that you get on the bus 2.5 hours prior to the flight departure. After the flight lands in Guilin, your local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Universal
Day 7 Guilin - Yangshuo
Picturesque Li River scenery
Another highlight of your journey comes today - you will cruise down to Yangshuo along the Li River, where you will see picturesque scenery of limpid water, elegant hills and green fields all the way. We will only reserve the cruise ticket and transfer you to the pier today. Then the following activities will be handled by yourself. The most famous attraction along the Li River is the Mural Hill, one side of which is blazoned with yellow, white, black, grey and green colors, resembling nine horses in various poses. The cruise journey will last about four hours.

Upon arrival at Yangshuo, please make your way to the 4-star New Century Hotel, which is not far away from the dock. After checking in and settling down, you can take an electric car along the country road to enjoy the beautiful and serene scenery. Nearby the hotel, there are Yangshuo Park and West Street for you to wander around and eat something or drink coffee leisurely. For your information, you can also take an electric car to Lijiang Theater from West Street to enjoy the “Impression Sanjie Liu”, which is a famous show directed by Zhang Yimou and highly recommended by former clients.

Tips: Since the simple Chinese box lunch served on the cruise today may not be satisfactory, it is advisable that you have a hearty breakfast at the hotel in the morning.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: New Century Hotel
Day 8 Yangshuo - Guilin
Farmers ploughing a field in Yangshuo
After breakfast, please check out of the hotel and make your own way back to Guilin city. You can take a bus at Yangshuo Bus Station, which is located beside the West Street. The Bus tickets can be purchased on the spot at the station, and the bus runs about every 20 minutes. It will stop at Guilin Railway Station, from where you can take bus No. 10 or No. 11 and get off after 5 stops (Jiefang Bridge Station). Then walk for 40 meters to the Hotel Universal we have arranged for you. After a short break at the hotel, we would recommend the nearby attractions for your independent exploration. First, you can walk to Fengqingyuan Station and take bus No. 58 to the Reed Flute Cave (the fourth stop). After that, take the same bus return from Reed Flute Cave Station to the Seven Star Park (five stops), where you can see gorgeous karst caves, splendid mountains, clear water, a serene valley and ancient bridges, temple and stone tablets. The bus No. 58 also takes you to the Elephant Trunk Hill, which is the emblem of Guilin City. It will be memorable to take photos in front of the huge elephant. Since the Elephant Trunk Hill is very near to your hotel, you may walk back after the visit.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Universal
Day 9 Guilin to Chongqing by Bullet Train
This morning, you will head to the Guilin West Railway Station for a 5-hour bullet train journey to Chongqing by yourself. We will book train tickets for you in advance. From the hotel, you may walk to Lequnlukou Station and take bus No. 22 to the railway station. The bus fare is CNY 2 per person. Alternatively, you are also recommended to get to the railway station by taxi directly and the fare is around CNY 35.

After your arrival in Chongqing, your local guide will greet you at the railway station and take you to have a brief city tour of Chongqing. Your first stop is Jiefangbei CBD - a busy street with modern shopping malls and snack bars where you may take a walk and relax yourself from the tiring train trip. Then you will visit Ci Qi Kou (Porcelain Village), an ancient village not far from downtown. You will find many teashops, outlets for craftwork and groceries in the Ming and Qing-dynasty Style Street. Afterwards, your guide will transfer you to board the Yangtze River cruise ship. Your wonderful cruise experience starts at 22:00.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Cruises: President No.7/No.8 with balcony
Day 10 Yangtze River Cruise
Following the schedule of the cruise company you will have your breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard, and join their specially arranged cultural activities. Be sure to explore the ship and enjoy the various entertainments.

Today at around 12:30, you will disembark and visit Fengdu Mount Shuanggui Scenic Region, where you can see the Chinese classical pavilions and temples dotted with different species of rare trees and flowers. When embarking again, you will have the rest of the day to relax on deck and appreciate the gorgeous landscape of the river. Tonight, there will be a Captain's Welcome Party inviting you to participate.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 Yangtze River Cruise
Today you will experience the most memorable part of your cruise tour - the unique scenery of the three gorges. Ranked among the top ten resorts, the three gorges are reputed as a landscape gallery. You will see the shortest but the grandest Qutang Gorge, the Wu Gorge with lofty peaks and mountains, and the longest and most elegant Xiling Gorge. When sailing to the border between Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge, you will take an exciting adventure along Shennong Stream. You will sit on the special wooden boat and drift along the winding stream. Picturesque scenery of grotesque rocks, clear water and verdant plants as well as the trackers' folk songs will accompany you all the way.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 Yichang to Shanghai by Bullet Train
Shennong stream excursion
The final onshore excursion is to visit the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydropower project in the world. In the scenic area, you will see the gigantic dam and learn about the culture of engineering and water conservancy. The natural landscape there is very impressive. After that, your cruise experience will end as they will transfer you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang city, where your local guide will meet you and transfer you to Yichang East Railway Station to take a 7.5-hour bullet train to Shanghai. Upon arrival in Shanghai, you will need to find your own way to the hotel we have booked for you.

Please note that you may arrive at either Shanghai Railway Station or Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. The taxi fare from Shanghai Railway Station to the hotel is about CNY20, while the fare from Hongqiao Railway Station is about CNY70. Or you may take the subway Line 1 (Xinzhuang direction) at Shanghai Railway Station and get off at the Hanzhong Rd. Station. Exit from Exit No.4 and then walk to the hotel. From Hongqiao Railway Station, you can take subway Line 10 (Xin Jiang Wan Cheng Direction) and transfer to Line 12 at South Shaanxi Road Station. The subway Line 12 will take you to Hanzhong Road, from where the Golden River-view Hotel is about 500 meters away.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 13 Shanghai
Pudong new area
We leave the whole day free for you to explore this prosperous city at your own pace. In the morning, we recommend you to visit the Yu Garden, the Bund area and Nanjing Road. You may walk to the Hanzhong Road Station to take subway Line 12 (Jinhai Road direction) and get off at Tiantong Road Station after 2 stops, then transfer to Line 10 for two stops. After getting out of the Exit 1, walking for 150 meters, you will arrive at the Yu Garden. The taxi fare is around CNY23. After that, go ahead to the Bund area along the Huangpu River by taxi and it costs about CNY14. You can also get there on foot in half an hour while exploring the nearby old market. Standing on the Bund, you will see totally different scenes on the two banks of the river: on the east bank, rows of modern skyscrapers demonstrate the city's development; while on the west, the old-style western buildings tell you its glorious past. Move on to north from the Bund, you will get to the famous commercial street Nanjing Road. Take your time to stroll along Nanjing Road to Nanjing East Road and enjoy your lunch at a restaurant on the way. From the road, you can take subway Line 10 to Xin Tian Di (Exit 6). The taxi fee is around CNY20. This is a very famous and popular place for young people. You can also sample some tasty food or just have fun at the bars there to spend an exciting evening. For your information, the taxi fare from Xin Tian Di to your hotel is about CNY26.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 14 Shanghai Exit
Today, you will need to arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport by yourself. You may follow the same way back to the airport by taxi or subway as we've suggested for you the day before yesterday. Should you take subway Line 2, please note that the two airports are in opposite directions in Line 2, eastwards to Pudong Airport and westwards to Hongqiao Airport. If your flight leaves late, you can deposit your luggage at the hotel and stroll around on your own. We hope our 24/7 service provides you a pleasant trip!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Tour Prices
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfare & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Private guides and drivers on guided tours
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites on guided tours
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Transfers and entrance fees for free days
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
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