China Tour from Manchester

SG02-INTL: 15 Days Tour of Manchester - Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Shanghai - Manchester
Tour Type: Independent Travel
Accommodation: 13 nights, nice 5-star hotels
Meals: 13 western buffet breakfasts

  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army
  • Take a Li River cruise down to Yangshuo & admire the essence of Guilin landscape
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
Day 1 Flying from Manchester
There is one direct flight from Manchester to Beijing on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday weekly and the journey takes about 10.5 hours. Today, you will take a flight to Beijing on your own.
Day 2 Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival at the Capital Airport, follow the signposts to the taxi stand or bus stop outside the terminal building and take a taxi or airport shuttle bus to check in the recommended hotel Crowne Plaza Wangfujing. Take Airport Bus Line 13 and alight at Wangfujing Street. Walk 140 yards northwards and you will see the hotel on the east. You can also take a taxi there with the duration about one hour and a cost of CNY 150. The hotel is near the prosperous business block and is only 15 minutes' walk from the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park. You can spend the remaining of the day to rest or stroll around the Wangfujing Street.

Accommodation Suggestion: Crowne Plaza Wangfujing
Day 3 Beijing
Our clients visiting the Forbidden City
Our clients visiting the Forbidden City
Explore Tiananmen Square in the morning. You can take a morning walk south along Wangfujing Street and turn right into East Chang'an Street. You will see the Tiananmen Square the moment you turn the corner. The whole route would take around 30 minutes. Or you can take a taxi to get there in 15 minutes for a fare of CNY15. Tour around the square for half an hour, you may head for the Tiananmen Tower via an underpass and then, get to the Forbidden City behind the tower. When visiting the Forbidden City, rent an audio guide at the entrance and follow the instructions to the main palaces as well as galleries displaying bronze ware, jade, porcelain, clocks and watches, and other rare items. Leave from the Gate of Devine Prowess and have lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon, you can take a taxi to the Yonghe Lamasery at a charge of CNY20. Or you can also go there by bus. Take bus no. 124 at the Gate of Devine Prowess to Fangjia Hutong Station. Walk 120 yards northwards and turn right into Guozijian Street. Walk through it and you will find the Yonghe Lamasery at the eastern end of the street. Amid the busy and bustling streets of this city, it offers you a quiet and peaceful getaway from the rushing city life. You may also pay a visit to the Temple of Confucius and the Imperial Academy along the Guozijian Street.

Have dinner at a nearby restaurant and get back to your hotel via taxi at CNY15. Or you can kill the night by visiting Houhai, a hutong area highly praised by backpacking travelers. Take subway line 2 from Yonghegong to Jishuitan; leave from Exit C and walk southwest along the bank of Xihai Lake to enter the hutong area. Then, turn into a narrow alley to have dinner and spend a leisure evening in a bar. After that, take a taxi back to your hotel for a fare of CNY20.
Day 4 Beijing
Great Wall of China
A visit to the Great Wall must be one of the most memorable parts of your trip. Here we provide two suggestions for you.

The first one is the hiking route from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall. Spring or autumn is the best time of a year to set out. You can have a look at the original wildness of the Great Wall following this route. Built along steep ridges, some segments even hold a nearly vertical slope. Most ramparts and stairs are at Jiankou dilapidated due to lacking of renovation work, making the climbing even difficult. Some mountaineering equipment will be helpful for you to conquer the Great Wall. You are not recommended to explore it on your own. Find some companions and rent a car to get there together. A local guide is also necessary if you are not familiar with the route. There is no booth selling food on the wall. Make sure you prepare some bottled water and snacks. As you have only one day, you can start from the Wofo Mountain Villa and hike eastwards on the wall to Zhengbei Tower. When you reach the tower, continue heading east for 1.5 hours to the Mutianyu Great Wall and you can take a cable car to go downhill.
Day 5 Beijing
Our suggestion for today is to visit the Temple of Heaven in the morning and the Summer Palace in the afternoon. On leaving the hotel, walk east along Dengshikou Street to North Dongdan Street. Turn right and head 140 yards south to take subway line 5 at Dengshikou Station. After four stops, get out from Exit A2 at Tiantan Dongmen, the East Gate of the Temple of Heaven. After three hours' visiting, leave the imperial temple from the east gate and have lunch. In the afternoon, take subway line 5 to Chongwenmen to transfer to line 2. You will get to Xizhimen after eight stops, then change to line 4 and get off at Beigongmen Station. Use Exit D leading to the north gate of the Summer Palace. When you finish the visit, leave from the east gate of the park and spend CNY60 taking a taxi to get back to your hotel in around one hour.
Day 6 Beijing - Xi'an
Terracotta army
Terracotta army
We suggest you take a morning high speed train to Xian, so please check out of the hotel after breakfast and take a taxi to Beijing West Railway Station, which would take around 40 minutes. Make sure you get to the train station at least one hour prior to the train's departure time. As the train runs in daytime, you won't be boring during the nearly six hours' journey, for it will pass many cities and towns and you can view the joyful rural scenes along the way.

Upon arrival in Xian, we recommend you check in the hotel Crowne Plaza, which is ten minutes' walk from the nearest subway station. From Xian North Railway Station, take subway line 2 to Tiyuchang Station. Exit from Exit B and go south to the Second South Ring Road. Turn right and walk 500 yards west to a roundabout and find the hotel on your right side. Or, spend CNY50 to hire a taxi to get to your hotel from the railway station.

After a short rest, you can visit the nearby Jianfu Temple, which houses both Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum. Walk northwards for about 850 yards from your hotel to the west gate of the temple. Spend your afternoon strolling around the old temple. You can either have dinner in your hotel or find a nearby restaurant to try some local food.

Accommodation Suggestion: Crowne Plaza
Day 7 Xi'an
Today, the suggested independent itinerary includes the Terracotta Army Museum and the Huaqing Hot Spring both in the eastern suburb of Xian City. You can walk 240 yards north from the hotel to find the bus stop Tiyuchang Ximen, and take bus no. 258 or tourist bus no. 7 to Xian Railway Station. Upon arrival, you may walk to the eastern square in front of the station to take the tourist bus no.5 (306) to the Huaqing Hot Spring. It is better for you to hire an English guide so that you can learn more story of this Tang Dynasty site.

Around noon, you can have lunch at the nearby Great Tang Huaqing Mall, where both local snacks and western food are available. After lunch, walk westwards along Qintang Avenue to take the tourist bus no.5 to the Terracotta Army Museum. You can spend the whole afternoon in the museum and learn interesting stories about the warrior figures. Tourist bus no.5 is still available for a return trip. Please note that the last tourist bus no.5 leaves the museum at 19:00. When you reach the Xian Railway Station, take a taxi to go back to your hotel.
Day 8 Xi'an
You will have a full day to explore Xian City and your first sight is Shaanxi History Museum. To get there, walk east down the Second South Ring Road and turn left to find the bus stop of Sheng Tiyuchang near the subway station. Take bus 521, 701, or tourist bus no.8 (610) to Cuihua Road, and you will see the museum across the road. The museum opens to the public for free, but visitors still need to wait in line to get the entry ticket. You can choose to buy the ticket for the special exhibition for a fare of CNY 20 and then, you can enter the museum without queuing.

After that, walk westward along the Xiaozhai East Road in front of the museum for about 700 yards to Xiaozhai Commercial Area to have lunch. From Xiaozhai Subway Station, you can take subway line 2 to Yongningmen. Leave from Exit D1 and walk northwards through the South Gate of the City Wall and you will find the Shuyuanmen Street just at the foot of the Wall. Strolling along the street, you will see many interesting knickknacks of Chinese characteristics, such as painted fans, bamboo brushes, Chinese seals, and traditional musical instruments.

For today's dinner, we strongly recommend you have a taste of the local snacks in the famous Muslim Quarter. After getting out from Shuyuanmen Street, you can walk north along the South Street towards the Bell Tower, and then go through an underpass to the Drum Tower, and finally find the Muslim block to the north. Most street food vendors open to late night, so you have much time feasting yourself with gourmet meals. When you are full, take a taxi back to your hotel at a cost of CNY13.
Day 9 Xi'an - Guilin
Li River
Li River
Spend the morning exploring Xian's landmark, City Wall, on your last day in Xian and take an afternoon flight to Guilin. You can either take bus 203, 204, 258, or tourist bus no. 7 from Tiyuchang Ximen to Nanmen, or take subway line 2 from Tiyuchang to Yongningmen to get to the South Gate of the City Wall. Renting a bike to cycle around the wall is a must for visitors and it provides you a time-saving way to feel the historical atmosphere of the city. Generally, it takes about 80 minutes to finish the whole circle by bike. After that, either take the subway or hire a taxi for a charge of CNY10 to go back to check out the hotel. Then, head to the airport for your flight to Guilin. A taxi to the airport travels around one hour with a cost of CNY120.

Upon arrival in Guilin, go to the recommended Shangri-La Hotel which is located on the Second North Ring Road and on the eastern bank of the Li River. You can either take a shuttle bus at the airport to Civil Aviation Mansion, and then take a taxi to the hotel at a cost of CNY20+15, or hire a taxi to go straight to the hotel, which costs about CNY140. When everything is settled, you may have a leisurely stroll along the river.

Accommodation Suggestion: Shangri-La Hotel
Day 10 Guilin
Begin your journey with the famous Reed Flute Cave. Take a taxi to get to the scenic area from your hotel for a charge of CNY20. Spend two hours exploring the splendid karst caves of peculiar lime stones. Then, hire a taxi to the Seven-Star Park in around 30 minutes at a cost of CNY25. You can have lunch around the park and then start your visit there. After that, go back to the west end of the Jiefang Bridge and walk south along the riverbank to the Elephant Trunk Hill Park.

For today's dinner, we suggest that you leave the Elephant Trunk Hill Park from its North Gate and walk west to Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, where you can find both local snacks and western food. It is also a good idea to sit in one of the bars along the street and enjoy the beautiful night scene.
Day 11 Guilin
Our suggestion for today is a full day trip to the Longsheng Rice Terrace. To save time, you can just visit the rice terrace in the Ping'an Village which is closer than other terraces. You need to take a bus from the Guilin bus Station to Longsheng County then a bus to Ping'an Village. Starting from your hotel, please walk east and turn right to the Zhongshan Middle Road to take bus No. 5 or 16 to the Guilin Bus Station. As the Ping'an Village is far from Guilin city, we suggest you get up early to catch the 08:00 bus to Longsheng County (about two hours, CNY 15 per person), and change to the 11:00 bus to Ping'an Village (one hour, CNY 6.5 per person). Then walk for 20 minutes to the rice terrace. There are restaurants in the area or you can take some fast food with you if you are not used to the local food. Reverse the trip back to Guilin. Please note that the last bus from Ping'an Village to Longsheng County runs at around 16:00, and the last bus from Longsheng County to Guilin departs at 19:00.
Day 12 Guilin - Yangshuo
The Li River is the essence of Guilin's scenery, and the cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is always on visitors' must-do list, so we suggest you take the Li River Cruise today to view the picturesque hills and water of Li River and stay one night in the small old town, Yangshuo. You can ask your hotel to book the ticket for the cruise in advance or buy the ticket when you reach the Mopanshan Dock. The ship sets off at 9:00 and arrives in Yangshuo at 13:00, so you may need to get up early in the morning to check out the hotel and take a taxi to the dock, which takes about one hour at a charge of CNY70. 

For an overnight stay in Yangshuo, we recommend Green Lotus Hotel, which is very close to the dock and is only ten minutes' walk to West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo and also the best place to taste the local culture. After a short rest in the hotel, you can rent a bike and ride southwards along the Kangzhan Road to the famous Ten Miles Gallery to explore the rural landscape.

Accommodation Suggestion: Green Lotus Hotel
Day 13 Yangshuo - Guilin - Shanghai
Shanghai Bund
Today, you have the whole morning to stroll along West Street and browse the small shops. On the street you can also find all kinds of restaurants selling local snacks and western food. Check out the hotel before 12:00 and take a battery car to get to the Yangshuo North Bus Station in five minutes. A coach from the station to Guilin Airport takes around two hours. Then take a flight to Shanghai, the last destination of your China two weeks itinerary. There are several flights from Guilin to Shanghai daily. We suggest you book the one leaving by 16:30, so that you will reach Shanghai Pudong Airport by dinner time in about two hours.

Our recommendation for your two night stay in the city is Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre, which is located in the downtown area and very close to the People's Square Station of subway lines 1, 2, and 8. You can take subway line 2 to People's Square Station from the airport. Use the Exit 7 and the hotel is a few yards north ahead. Just a hint: you need to get off at Guanglan Road Station and walk to the opposite platform to continue the trip. Or take the maglev train from the airport to Longyang Road, and transfer to subway line 2 to the People's Square Station. You can also hire a taxi to get to the hotel from Pudong Airport, which takes about one hour and costs CNY170.

Have a good rest and prepare for your Shanghai tour tomorrow.

Accommodation Suggestion: Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre
Day 14 Shanghai
After breakfast in the hotel, you may start your tour with Shanghai Museum, where many ancient artworks are on display, such as bronze wares, porcelains, calligraphy and painting works. Take a morning walk south along Middle Xizang Road for 850 yards and you will get to the museum. It is free to access but visitors have to queue to go through security check. There won't be too many visitors in the early morning, so you will have a quick enter into the museum.

After staying there for 2 to 3 hours, you may head to your next destination, Yuyuan Garden, a classical private garden of more than 400 years of history. You can take bus no. 930 at People's Square (Guangdong Road) Station on the east of the museum and get off at Xinbeimen. After alighting, walk south along Anren Street and Yuyuan Garden is 200 yards in front of you. You may taste some local snacks in the food plaza outside the garden, and also stop by the neighboring Old City God's Temple and shopping mall.

The next destination is the Nanjing Road, which is regarded as the shopper's paradise. Take a taxi directly to the entrance of the pedestrian street. Strolling east along the street, you will find big shopping malls, time-honored local stores, and decent restaurants. The famous Huangpu River and the Bund are at the east end of the road. You can take a Huangpu River Night Cruise to enjoy the charming views on both banks. After that, take a taxi to get back to your hotel at a cost of around CNY15.
Day 15 Shanghai - Manchester
Today, your China tour from Manchester comes to an end and you will take your homeward flight by yourself. Wish you have a good memory and a nice journey home!
This trip can be customized to meet your individual needs!
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