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Budget China Tours

We designed 2019/2020 cheap China tours for travelers who are on a limited budget so they may enjoy the fun of a hassle-free trip that is affordable. In our budget friendly tours, we offer guided tour services to some must-see sights that are not easily accessible in each city, and arrange some free days for you to explore the urban scenic spots at your own pace. Our well-located hotels provide great convenience.

Cheap China Tours for Budget Travelers

China In-depth Budget Tours

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    Budget Group Day Trips

    Independent Travelers

    With practical advice on places to go and the appropriate means of transport, our China backpacking routes tell you how to take cheap local bus, taxi, subway and even a certain exit of a metro. We are also ready to support you with our service for flight/ train bookings!

    Independent Train Travel

    Traveling in China by train can be the cheapest and the best way to experience the real China with a lower budget.

    More Cheap China City Tours

    FAQs on Independent Travel

    Is it possible to travel in China without a guide, especially for first-time visitors? Is it safe?

    An independent tour to China is totally workable. With our comprehensive information, hundreds of thousands of independent travelers have successfully taken budget tours to China from US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, German and many others. You can arrange the itinerary based on your own preferences and the convenient public transport can make your trip easy and efficient. China is one of the safest countries in the world, but you still need to avoid taking private cars or going to undeveloped sites.

    Can you recommend top 3 independent tour itineraries?

    B-101: Beijing - Xian - Shanghai
    B-103: Beijing - Shanghai - Xian - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guangzhou - Hong Kong
    B-106: Beijing - Xian - Lijiang - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin

    Are the above routes all self-guided? Can you help me book train tickets or flights?

    You can travel on your own following any of our independent cheap tours to China, and we can book train tickets or flights, and do airport and train station pick-up for you with minimum service fee. If you want guided day trips, you can also feel free to contact us.

    Which is more convenient for intercity travel, train or flight?

    It is suggested you take a high speed train if the travel time is less than 5 or 6 hours, as the trains between major cities are frequently scheduled and the railway stations are usually in the downtown area with easy access. However, for a longer journey, a flight is more convenient to save you from the long-time fatigue you may experience on a train.

    How far in advance should I book the tickets for trains, flights, or buses?

    For train tickets, the answer is 'as early as possible', for there is usually a ticket shortage especially during holidays. If you book with an agency like us, you can submit the reservation once your travel date is decided; even if it is months or a year later. If you want to buy the tickets on your own, note that sales on the official website starts 30 days before the train's departure date, and at the railway stations 28 days before.
    It is suggested that flight tickets are bought one month before when there is usually a discount. Generally, bus tickets are easy to buy at the bus station, so a reservation is not necessary.

    How about the urban public transport? Which is better, subway or bus? Are taxis convenient and affordable?

    Public bus is a common vehicle reaching every corner of the city. In big cities, subway is more convenient to avoid traffic jams and save time. Sometimes when there is no direct bus or subway to your destination, taxi is a wise and affordable choice – CNY8-15 for the first 2 or 3 kilometers and about CNY2 for each extra kilometer.

    Is it easy to find a hotel or should I book in advance?

    It is quite easy to find star-rated hotels, chain hotels, hostels, and inns in most cities. Even in some rural areas, you can find family hostels to spend the night. A reservation is not a must on ordinary days, but you can book one week in advance to ensure a room with satisfactory conditions. An early reservation is terribly necessary during holidays, especially the National Day Holiday from Oct. 1 to 7.

    I cannot speak Chinese. Is it ok? Do Chinese people understand simple English?

    It is ok for non-Chinese speakers. You can see English instructions at airports, train stations, subway stations, road signs, and scenic areas. Most young people in China can speak simple English. You can ask them for help if needed. Some translation apps can also be helpful.

    How much does it cost to travel in China? Where can I exchange money? Is it common to pay by cash or credit card?

    For a budget independent traveler, a daily cost of USD120-150 is needed to cover the expense of sightseeing, dining, transportation, and accommodation. It is suggested you exchange for CNY at Bank of China or airports as attractions, hotels, and restaurants in China don't accept foreign currency. You can withdraw cash either at the bank counters or ATM machines which have the same symbols as your card. Union Pay credit cards are widely used in China. In some large shopping malls in major cities, credit cards of Visa and MasterCard are acceptable.

    Where are the best shopping places, for clothes, electronic devices, and specialties like silk?

    Beside branded products in big department stores, it is also a good choice to go to shopping streets, such as Wangfujing Street in Beijing, and Nanjing Road in Shanghai. Guangzhou is a famous wholesale center for clothes, shoes, and bags; Yiwu has China's largest small commodity market; Shenzhen and Hong Kong are best places to buy electronic products; Hangzhou abounds with traditional Chinese silk products.
    • Customer Reviews
    • Questions & Answers
      4.851 Reviews
      Posted on May 13, 2019
      All our journey leaned on the website of Travel China Guide. With this information all the elements of trip we were able to accomplish.
      Patricia Harms
      Posted on May 10, 2019
      Everything was just fantastic. Our guide Oscar, was excellent in every way. He met us at the train and from then on provided a thoroughly professional service. We could not have wished for more. He paced all the tours to suit us and understood our needs immediately and accurately. He was friendly, efficient and very well informed. In addition, he recommended and organized two additional activities, both of which were excellent. Thank you travelchina for all they have done to make our trip an outstanding experience. I certainly will recommend this company highly to anyone thinking of visiting. ... More
      Posted on May 07, 2019
      Lexi, thank you for organizing this trip. Our hotels were all very clean and comfortable, with helpful staff and good facilities. All had fantastic locations (particularly in Beijing, Xian, and Lijiang). This made it very easy for us to simply take a short walk from our hotels, and do some sight-seeing ourselves. In most cases, breakfast was fine. The best was in Beijing. Breakfast in Kunming was served cold; so too was one of the breakfasts in Guilin. But it wasn't a major problem. Most of our lunches were also pretty good - although the one in Kunming was a bit 'bland'. Our best was probably the one in Beijing - the one at the rice terraces near Guilin was also very good. And the lunch on the Li River cruise was fine (despite the warnings from Lexi!). I have no complaints about all our guides who were very nice and had good English language skills

      I will be recommending this organization to all --- and would have no hesitation at all in using it again. :-)
      ... More
      Natalie and Kurt Stoeckl
      Posted on May 03, 2019
      We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in China. In fact, I have never had such a well-run holiday. All went absolutely wonderfully. The guides and drivers were always there to greet us - exactly when and where they said they would be. All were exceptionally courteous, gracious, and very good guides; although I think that our absolute 'favorite' was Candy in Beijing. She is not JUST a good guide - she was warm, friendly, and went out of her way to make us feel welcome. She is a wonderful ambassador for both TCG's business and for China. In fact, I would like to send Candy a small book from Australia, and a few photographs, as a way of saying thank you. Keep up the good work, Candy! ... More
      Parintosa Atmodiwirjo
      Posted on April 30, 2019
      We had a great time with TCG during our time in China. Beijing with Kitty was good. We had a good time with her at the Great Wall and Temple of Heaven. The most of all was Xi'an, Jacky was really great. I already wrote a review about him at TripAdvisor. We have a comment about our driver in Xi'an. He drove a little bit recklessly, actually we were a little bit worry but we didn't say anything.

      For the feedback, both of our guides gave us privacy to fill out the form. They didn't interfere at all. Finally, we would like to thank our private agent Cindy for her kind attention and help! ... More
      Jennifer Heath
      United States
      Posted on April 28, 2019
      I enjoyed my visit very much. The guides were outstanding- pleasant, professional and helpful. I had an especially good time with Tina in Beijing- she seemed very interested in sharing pertinent historical facts about China as they pertained to the sites we were visiting. As I am a history buff, that was greatly appreciated. Susan did a nice job describing the culture of Xian city. Everyone was prompt. I had no problems understanding my guides. The food was outstanding and I wish I could have some more Kung Pao chicken. I was traveling alone and never felt unsafe. ... More
      United States
      Posted on April 25, 2019
      I would like to make a brief summary of my travel experience. The hotels, meals, air travel between cities was excellent. The drivers were knowledgeable and very safety minded. I am sorry I do not know the name of the driver in Beijing as he knew ever road and back road and was able to avoid any traffic problems we had. All guides were very knowledgeable and spoke very fluent English. This company and their personal service was outstanding.
      Posted on April 24, 2019
      We wish you great success with your service. From the first day I visited your web-site to the day we returned home, we felt protected, well advised, and confident that the next day was going to (somehow) be better than the last. You greatly exceeded our loftiest expectations in every regard. We look forward to another chance to take your service around more cities in China.
      Judith James
      Posted on April 24, 2019
      We enjoyed our guide, Steven, very much. He knew exactly what to show us as a family with young children. He was not pushy, relaxing to be with. He let us set the pace. We will remember our time in Chongqing because of him. Thank you Steven for a memorable tour!
      Illiam Phillips
      United States
      Posted on April 22, 2019
      We were just back from our vacation and still excited about all the seeings. Chinese people are really friendly and the culture is great. We appreciated Vera’s efforts in organizing a great tour. Thanks for our tour counsellors Vera, who responded all the mail timely and patiently.

      All the guides have a good working attitude, knowledgeable, very good pronunciation. Our exception guide in Xian- Judy, she had a great personality plus exceptional knowledge. She definitely made that part of the tour unforgettable. The meals served were all very good...on three occasions I had a steamed fish which I enjoyed very much...twice in Xian and once on Shanghai. I would highly recommend it.

      If we plan to visit next time, this agency is definitely our first choice.
      ... More
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