Endorsed by

The New York Times Travel Supplement has named our company as being in their opinion a large and reliable Chinese travel agency. Details...

Home / Tours / Budget /
Tour Search

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

    + Load More Itineraries

    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
      4.966 Reviews
      Posted on July 02, 2019
      Excellent drivers, very safe! cars nice and clean, meals, hotels in Beijing is a little run down but the location was nice; the hotel in Xian was much nicer and roomier; the one in Shanghai was wonderful - very roomy with a delicious breakfast; the citic in Beijing (airport) was very nice; they gave us an upgrade to a loft room without us even asking (maybe because this company has a good relationship with them) We really want to let them know how much we appreciated that - I was actually surprised that this hotel is considered just a 3-star, since it has so many amenities like a pool, exercise room spa, etc. And the breakfast was definitely 5-star quality; we wished we could have stayed longer! The guides who accompanied us throughout the tour were excellent! We cannot recommend this company highly. ... More
      Eleanor and Amanda
      Posted on July 02, 2019
      Overall, we all had a great time with this company and would definitely recommend their services to friends and family going to Asian countries.
      Rose Wihongi
      Posted on June 27, 2019
      I only had a very positive experience with the travel agent (Vera), who was exceptional at communicating with me on a timely basis. She even called me in Xian to welcome us and check on how we were enjoying the trip. She was warm and friendly, and went "above and beyond" to ensure our trip was tailored to our needs. I would not hesitate to recommend TravelChinaGuide to anyone traveling to China.
      Posted on June 24, 2019
      It was very satisfying personal private tour I have had taken. The guides, Brian in Beijing, Celine in Xian and Miko in Guilin were all professional, knowledgeable and accommodating in the conduct of their responsibilities. So were the drivers. I would like to extend my personal gratitude and warm sincere appreciations to these guys. Should any of you happen to land in Malaysia anytime soon, do give a buzz. Hopefully I can return some of the favors that was accorded to me while I was doing TCG trip. ... More
      Posted on June 20, 2019
      The whole visit was very fantastic, Abbey, thank you for your help, we will definitely recommend you. Your country was absolutely amazing for us, it was very clean everywhere.
      Posted on June 19, 2019
      Many thanks for everything. It was a pleasure for us to be associated with this esteemed company.
      Robert Smith
      Posted on June 17, 2019
      During the guided tours, the guides would answer our questions. They would be sure we saw the important things and did not waste our time on the unimportant. When they thought we would enjoy another visit, they suggested that and if we agreed they would arrange everything. When you say "see you off" in the itinerary that does not tell the half of what you really do. In each case our guide went with us into the train station or airport. They helped us with our luggage. They made sure we got to the right waiting area and helped us through security. Really beyond anything we expected. So thanks for a wonderful trip. ... More
      William Carroll
      United States
      Posted on June 16, 2019
      I did a budget tour to China in May. I liked each of the meals that they recommended for me. The best meal was either the one on the last day in Beijing or the one in Xi'an. The cars were always kept clean and the drivers all seemed friendly. The hotel in Beijing and Shanghai were both excellent. The hotel in Xi'an was not nearly as nice; it had all the necessities, was clean, and had a good location but the atmosphere of the hotel itself wasn't as pleasant as those of the other two, and the breakfast wasn't as nice either. The guides were exceptionally good. This company provide me the tour with affordable price, but their services were of high quality. I highly recommend this company to others. ... More
      Don Mojica
      Posted on June 14, 2019
      In behalf of our group, we'd like to thank you Angela and your company for a very beautiful trip. So happy that we have travelled to China and experienced somehow its culture with the help of your company.
      Posted on June 09, 2019
      I want to thank you so much for putting together an itinerary that was ideal for my children and me. We had an overall excellent experience and it certainly helped to make our trip memorable and exciting.
      Page 1 of 7