History Study & Students Participation

ST02: 13 Days China Tour from Boston USA to Beijing Xian Guilin Yangshuo Shanghai
  • Itinerary
Day 1 Boston - Beijing
There are more than 100 direct flights between some major American cities and popular cities in China every week. Among them, the China Hainan Airlines flight HU482 1710/1905+1 flies daily from Boston to Beijing, which makes it fairly easy for people take China tours from Boston, USA. For those who live in Philadelphia of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh of Pennsylvania, Jacksonville of Florida, you can also get to Boston first and then fly to Beijing.

As a large country, China is endowed with abundant tourism resources. You may need to start your travel plan by choosing destinations. We would like to suggest you visit Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai, which are the most favored tourist cities. Both Beijing and Xian are renowned for their profound history; the landscape in Guilin tops that elsewhere in the country; and Shanghai boasts vigorous cosmopolitan atmosphere, all the four cities truly deserve your visit. You can follow our below itinerary to carry out your tour.
Day 2 Beijing
On landing in Beijing, your guide will be waiting for you outside the customs area of the airport. Then a comfortable tourist bus will transfer you to the 3-star Holiday Inn Express Beijing Temple of Heaven.

The Temple of Heaven Park is only 7 minute walk from your hotel, and it is a place where many local people play shadow boxing, dance, and write Chinese calligraphy in the early morning. You can apply to visit the park the next morning if you are interested in the local life.

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Beijing Temple of Heaven
Day 3 Beijing
Our group at Tiananmen Square
The hotel's breakfast starts at 07:00, so those who want to visit the Temple of Heaven Park need to get up early and set out by 07:30. Your guide will walk with you to the park and introduce you to Chinese morning exercises. The admission fee is CNY 10 per person (this is not included in this itinerary and you need to buy the ticket upon arrival). Today's Beijing student group tour from USA starts with the Tiananmen Square. Located in the center of the city, the square witnesses many important events of the country and now is still the venue for significant ceremonies and celebrations. Walking across the square, you will find yourself in front of the Forbidden City. Visiting the imperial palace will take the whole morning.

You will proceed to the Temple of Heaven after lunch. The Chinese emperors in ancient times believed that they were the sons of heaven and they worshiped the god of heaven. The temple was built for the emperors to hold praying ceremonies, so the architecture was built in accordance with the theory that man is an integral part of nature. This evening, a fantastic Kung Fu Show is waiting for you at the Red Theater. Definitely not being simple moves, the Kung Fu show combines modern arts including dance, ballet and acrobatics, telling an interesting story about Chinese Kung Fu. Today you will learn some simple Chinese greetings, such as Hello (ni hao) and Thank you (xie xie) and expressions to introduce yourself. The guide will teach you in the spare time, like lunch and on the way to an attraction. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 Beijing
An old man practicing calligraphy in the Temple of Heaven
The morning excursion takes you to the Mutianyu Great Wall. You will have free time (2 hours and 10 minutes) to climb the wall. You can also take the cable car up and cable car or slideway to get down (the fare of cable car or slideway is not included). Then the tourist bus will take you back to the city for lunch. Today's lunch may be a little late than usual (13:30-14:00), so we suggest that you bring some snacks along with you.

After lunch, continue your visit to Beijing Olympic Stadiums (Bird's Nest and Water Cube). You will have a closer look at the exteriors of two famous stadiums (the admission to enter the two stadiums is not included) which are used to hold all kinds of ceremonies and events after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympic Park, including the stadiums and the forest park in the north, has becomes one of the important landmarks in the city. If weather permits, your guide will teach you to fly kites at the park.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 Beijing - Xian
This morning, you will visit one of the best gardens in China, the Summer Palace. Lunch will be arranged at a nice restaurant. In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to the 798 Art Zone. The area was covered by some abandoned electronic factories built by Russian and German construction companies in the 1950s. Since 2002, art companies, galleries and studios began to move into the factories and turned those old workshops into modern art zones. Over the past decades, 798 has developed into a famous art zone creating both Chinese and international modern arts. 300 artists from all over the world live or work here.

The visit will then proceed to the residential areas of old Beijing to take a rickshaw through the old hutongs and courtyards. You will also visit a local family. Before boarding the overnight train to Xian, you will have dinner on your own. The train leaves at around 20:00 and arrives in Xian after 12 hours the next morning. It is not very convenient to take things out of your bags or suitcases after you put them on the luggage racks in the carriage, so we suggest that you take your toiletries and other items you may use along with you.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Overnight soft-sleeper train
Day 6 Xian
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
The train arrives in Xian early the morning. You can have a simple breakfast on the train or in a restaurant at the railway station, and then starts today's journey to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The clay soldiers and horses, each with different facial expressions and positions, form an underground army to protect their emperor after his death.

We will transfer you back downtown for lunch. Then continue on to visit the Great Mosque, one of the most famous mosques in China. Not far from the mosque is the Muslim Street, which is a favorite destination for tourists and locals. Walking down the street, you will be dazzled by all kinds of Muslim food and souvenirs. Some free time is given to you to have a taste of those delicacies and buy some interesting knickknacks. Today's Chinese learning section is about shopping. During spare time, your guide will teach you some useful expressions, such as "How much" (duo shao qian) and "Can you make it cheaper" (pian yi yi dian). If you do not want to be bothered by the venders, you can just say "bu yao" (No, thanks) or "mei you qian" (I don't have any money).

Meals: Lunch
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 7 Xian
Our guests on the ancient City Wall of Xian
After breakfast in the hotel, you will visit a local college to learn what a Chinese college is like. You will play a short basketball game with the Chinese students and communicate with each other. The Chinese students may present you some fantastic performances and you are also welcomed to show your special talents. After lunch, continue your journey to the City Wall. In ancient times, high walls were built around a city to protect it from wild animals and enemies. This tradition traces back to over 6,000 years ago. The City Wall in Xian was first built in the Tang Dynasty and restored in the Ming Dynasty. Standing on the wall, you can overlook the city. You will have some free time to either walk or take a bicycle riding on the wall (the rental is on your own). This evening, we have arranged for a local restaurant to prepare traditional Chinese dumplings. At the same time, you will enjoy a wonderful Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.

Tips: Groups visiting in December, January and February will have dinner at other restaurant this day, since the theater for Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show will not be open at that time. Besides, the college visit in Xian can only be arranged for large groups (10 people & above). For private one, we will arrange another activity for you instead.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dumpling Dinner
Day 8 Xian - Guilin
The morning sightseeing takes you to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was constructed in the Tang Dynasty to house the Buddhist scriptures brought back from India. Now the pagoda is located in Xian Museum, which also exhibits many precious relics. Around noon, visit a local family and enjoy authentic home made Chinese food for lunch. The enthusiastic hostess will also teach you to make traditional Chinese dumplings. Though you have had the dumpling dinner last night, you can taste the dumplings you made yourself. After lunch, we will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Guilin. The local guide in Guilin will pick you up at the airport after you claim your luggage and transfer you to the 3-star Universal Hotel. The remainder of the day is for you to rest.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Universal Hotel
Day 9 Guilin
Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin
Guilin is famous for its picturesque sceneries of hills, rivers and karst caves. Our trip today will cover all the beautiful sceneries in the city. In the morning, you will first visit the Reed Flute Cave which is famous for various shapes and colors of stalactites and stalagmites. The scenery in Guilin is always compared to a Chinese ink painting. Thus, after seeing the natural scenery, your next stop today is to learn to paint it on the paper. You will visit the Guangxi Normal University Art shop where a teacher will teach you some basic skills of Chinese painting. In the afternoon, enjoy more beautiful sceneries in the Seven Star Park and the Elephant Trunk Hill.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Guilin - Yangshuo
People's leisure life in rural Yangshuo
After breakfast, your guide will help you check out of the hotel and transfer you to the Wharf where you will start the Li River cruise.  The Li River has the best scenery in Guilin. You will appreciate the beautiful river and the charming landscape along the banks. As the cruise company offers box lunch on the ship. It may fail to meet with your approval. TravelChinaGuide is aware of the shortcomings and suggests you prepare for the cruise with a generous breakfast at the hotel.

Upon arrival in Yangshuo, your guide will help you check in to the 3-star New Century Hotel. You can walk along the well-known West Street and explore the sidewalk shops. The rest of the day is for you to refresh yourself.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: New Century Hotel
Day 11 Yangshuo - Shanghai
You may or may not have seen the local farmers working in their fields yesterday. Today you have a chance to visit a local farmer's home and experience some of his work. You will first visit the vegetable fields and orchards, and then the host will teach you how to pick fruits and vegetables. The host also prepares lunch for you to enjoy the local homemade food. After lunch, the tourist bus will take you to Guilin Airport for your fight to Shanghai. Upon landing in Shanghai, the local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Golden River-view Hotel for a two night stay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 12 Shanghai
Yangshuo rural scenery
In the morning, visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall which is only a 10-minute drive from your hotel. There you can learn the history, development and future planning of the city. Then proceed to the Yuyuan Garden to appreciate one of the most famous ancient gardens. Your guide will also show you around the Yuyuan Market outside the garden, where you can find many unique souvenirs. 

After lunch, we will transfer you to the landmark attraction in Shanghai, the Bund area, and leave you some free time to enjoy the charming view of Huangpu River. Standing on the Bund, you can see the city's past from the old buildings on the western bank of the river and its modern beauty from the skyscrapers on the eastern bank. Then visit an old street to experience what is produced when old Shanghai meets modern and western cultures.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 Shanghai - Boston
Your Shanghai student tour from USA ends today. We will transfer you to the airport for you homebound flight. You can book the Hainan Airline flight HU7961 1225/1435 back to Boston if you are going to travel on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. The flying time of this flight is 14 hours & 10 minutes. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday, you can book the Air Canada flight AC088 1555/1745 to Toronto, have a stopover for 3 hours & 10 minutes, and then transit to the flight AC7678 2055/2225 back to Boston. In this case, the total flight journey takes 18.5 hours. We wish you a nice trip home and hope you will return to China!

Meals: Breakfast
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