Forbidden City

Oriental Delights

105: 12 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Shanghai - Xi'an - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Hong Kong
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 11 western buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches with some being a la carte style

  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army
  • Experience the Bund, classical garden, modern and old in contrast in Shanghai
  • Feel the vibrant atmosphere & explore bustling markets freely in Hong Kong
  • Enjoy the breathtaking landscape along Li River & escape from the bustling city life
From $2679$2411Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival at Beijing Capital Airport, you will reclaim your luggage and clear the customs first. Our guide will meet you outside the customs, holding a sign on which your name is written. A comfortable private transfer will take you to check in the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and prepare for your 12 days China tour. 

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Beijing
Tiananmen Square
Today's visit starts from the world's largest city square, Tiananmen Square, which is an important venue for most of the national ceremonies. Walking northwards across the square, you will come to today's highlight, the Forbidden City, namely the Palace Museum. It is the existing largest and best-preserved cluster of imperial palace of the country. The typical imperial architecture of red walls and golden roofs and thousands of exquisite historical relics will show you a vivid picture of the royal life of 600 years ago.

► Forbidden City Tidbit: Did Imperial Concubines Get Paid in Ancient Times?
The imperial concubines did have salaries according to the hierarchy, paid with gold or silver in the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 AD). The empress dowager got 20 liang (35.3 oz) of gold and 2,000 liang (220.5 lb) of silver every year, while the annual payment of the concubines with the lowest rank was 30 liang (52.9 oz) of silver. The concubines would also get rewards of red packets, silk, jewelries, etc. on their birthday, holidays, and more special days. They utilized their salaries for social activities, to make friends with other concubines and madams of government officials, and reward the eunuchs and maids. Besides, the emperor also had a monthly pay of 1.2 million copper coins (13.2 lb of gold) from the Internal Affairs Department, which managed the finance of the imperial family.

Around noon, as is our practice to avoid the cheap tourist restaurants, you will enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a noted local restaurant to taste the authentic Chinese food. Usually our a la carte meal price for each client is three to four times higher than that of the tourist restaurants. In the afternoon, continue the visit to the Temple of Heaven, which is the imperial altar of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to worship for the gods of heaven.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Chinese people smoked in their long-steamed pipes
Chinese people smoked in their long-steamed pipes
After the breakfast, you will start your Mutianyu Great Wall excursion, and the round-trip cable car is included. 'He who does not reach the Great Wall is not a true man', as the famous saying comes, it may be a little bit exhausted when climbing the steps, but the unique Chinese history and culture as well as the beautiful scenery will make all your efforts worthy. Today's lunch is not included. Our guide will recommend some proper restaurants to you upon request. To round off the day, we will take you to a famous local market and leave you some time to explore it. On the way to the market, we will drive you by the Bird's Nest, where you will have a short stay to take some photos with the huge nest. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Shanghai
The first stop of your 12 days tour of China today will be the Summer Palace, which is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden of the nation, and where garden design perfectly merges into the natural beauty. The best way to know about “the culture of courtyard” is by visiting Hutongs. Then a classic Hutong tour passing Shichahai, Yinding Bridge, Yandaixiejie, Drum tower or Bell tower is arranged for you to feel the original old Beijing Culture. In the afternoon, you will take a high speed train to Shanghai. Our local guide will meet you at Shanghai Railway Station and then a comfortable private transfer will take you to check in the hotel. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Shanghai
Pudong New area
Pudong New area
Your private city trip starts from Shanghai Museum this morning, where you will learn more about the splendid history of our country from the vast storage of bronze wares, chinaware and Chinese paintings. Then to the Yu Garden, an elegant private garden built 400 years ago. At noon, an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) will be served at a fancy and famous local restaurant, which offers authentic Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines. After lunch, take a cruise on the Huangpu River. You will be deeply impressed by different scenes along the both banks of the river - rows of skyscrapers on the east showing the modernness of the city while old western buildings on the west illustrating the history. Continue to have some free time to explore the Bund area and then visit an old street. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 6 Shanghai - Xi'an
We intend to leave the whole morning free for you to explore the city. As our luxury series hotel is quite close to the Yuyuan Garden and its dazzling market, if feel interested, clients may walk eastward along Fuyou Road to the market, where there are many local flavored snacks, souvenir stores, traditional fashion shops and popular restaurants. Here we recommend the well-known Lv Bo Lang restaurant for your lunch, which specializes in the featured Shanghai-style dim sum and the delicate Shanghai cuisine. Our standard series hotel is close to the subway station of Line 12, so it is easy for clients to go out to do some individual activities that you are interested. In the afternoon, you will take a flight to Xi'an. Our local guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and then a comfortable private transfer will take you to check in the hotel. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 7 Xi'an
Cairns' family cycling on the Xi'an City Wall
The morning will be devoted to the best-known city attraction, the Terracotta Army. You will be taken back to the Qin Dynasty of over 2,200 years ago to see the orderly ranged warriors and horses as well as the exquisite Bronze Chariots and Horses and weapons. Lunch is not offered today. In the afternoon, proceed to the best museum in China, the Provincial History Museum.Today's itinerary of your 12 days China tour will be ended with a visit to Xi'an Museum, where you will visit the exhibition hall with more than 130,000 valuable historical and cultural relics, the ancient Jianfu Temple built in the Tang Dynasty and the elegant and exquisite Small Wild Goose Pagoda with its primitive features. All these make the museum a historic park for local people's leisure activities and tourists' cultural appreciation.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 8 Xi'an - Guilin
Our consultant Lydia with her clients
Our consultant Lydia with her clients
Today, we will drive you to the City Wall Park to see the local people doing morning exercise, and our Tai Chi master will teach you how to play Tai Chi. Afterwards, we will climb up the City Wall. Standing on it, you can not only learn about the history of ancient Xi'an, but also have a bird's eye view of the modern city. If time permits, you can also walk or rent a bicycle to ride on the wall by yourself. Then you will visit the Great Mosque, an Islamic mosque, and the surrounding Muslim Quarter.

After that, you will take a flight to Guilin. Our local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. With wonderful natural scenery, Guilin is the perfect place for family holiday or honeymoon vacations. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
Guilin Li River cruise
Guilin Li River cruise
Your 12 days tour of China in Guilin will begin with the Li River Cruise from Guilin to rural Yangshuo. During the four to five hours' cruise downstream to Yangshuo, you will see the best scenery along the charming Li River. The limpid river under blue sky, water buffalo patrolling the fields, peasants reaping rice paddies, fisherman floating by on bamboo rafts, all these will let you completely escape from the bustling cities, and have a closest touch with the pristine nature. After disembarking, you will follow our guide to visit the countryside of Yangshuo. You will be invited to visit a local farmer's home on the way. After finishing the journey in Yangshuo, we will drive you back to Guilin.

Tips: Here we would like to remind you the lunch on the cruise is not that good. It is the simple box lunch provided by the cruise company. We can only say it is edible but far from delicious. We suggest you have a big breakfast at the hotel this morning.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Guilin - Hong Kong
Rural life in Yangshuo
Rural life in Yangshuo
After breakfast, you will visit one of the most famous attractions in the city, the Reed Flute Cave, which is well-known for the exquisite stalagmites and stalactites in variety of shapes. Later, our guide will see you off at Guilin West Railway Station for your high-speed train to Hong Kong. 

As Hong Kong is an international metropolis with easy transportation system, it is quite convenient for you to explore the city by yourself. In this case, we only reserve the hotel accommodation with breakfast for you there. Upon your arrival at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, please take the MTR West Rail Line to the Regal Kowloon Hotel or free shuttle bus to InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong by yourself.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 11 Hong Kong
Our clients at the Victoria Peak
A full day is free for you to visit Hong Kong on your own. For our luxury series clients who stay at the 5-star InterContinental Grand Stanford, you could walk westward along the hotel's Mody Road and turn to left at Chatham Road South, finally get to the waterfront of the Victoria Harbor. Along the Harbor, there are the Avenue of Star, Space Museum, Museum of Art, Cultural Centre and finally the westmost Star Ferry Terminal. We highly recommend you take the time-honored Star Ferry to Central on Hong Kong Island. Not far from the pier, at the bus terminus on the Exchange Square, you could take bus No. 6, 6A, 6X, 60, and 260 to Stanley on the south of the island. You will be interested in the bustling Stanley Market and having lunch at an elegant restaurant. 

For our standard series clients who stay at the 4-star Regal Kowloon Hotel, you could walk down to the Avenue of Stars, which is located in Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront of Victoria Harbor. To the west of the Avenue, there is the terminal of the Star Ferry, by which you will get to Central on Hong Kong Island via Victoria Harbor. It is suggested that you walk to the nearby bus station at Exchange Square and take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 60, and 260 to Stanley on the south of the island. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 12 Departure from Hong Kong
Today your memorable 12 days in China itinerary comes to an end and you will head to the airport for your homebound flight by yourself. Please take free bus K3 to Kowloon station, from where you can transfer to the Airport Express directly. Alternatively, you can take a taxi to the airport. Whatever, we suggest you go to the airport at least three hours before your flight departure to avoid any traffic jam. Wish you a nice trip back home! 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
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Special Deal
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
$3359 $3023$3099 $2789
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
$2939 $2645$2679 $2411
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 10% discount.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
    5.04 Reviews
    Steven Stirt
    Posted on February 12, 2019
    I would like start by saying that our visit to China was one of the best adventures both I and Cindy have ever taken! This trip was wonderful, and we would like to thank all of the guides, drivers, hotels, and office staff that made this trip come together... We were treated like family, and have made some great new friends, met some fantastic people and learned many wonderful things about Chinese culture. We would like to do this trip again next year... China is an amazing country, with wonderful people that taught us many wonderful things, and shared experiences that we will remember and share through our photographs and memories. We have been telling our friends and families about this wonderful trip, the service of TravelChinaGuide, and the beauty of this country... ... More
    Richard Keegan
    Posted on January 30, 2019
    I appreciate the prompt response to emails and the explanations provided.
    Savitri Rao
    Posted on December 18, 2018
    Thanks a bunch to Angela for the wonderful trip that she has arranged for us. The travel arrangements were put together smoothly through Internet communications. The transfers from and to the airports were very smooth and hassle free. The guides and drivers were professional and pleasant and contributed to making our stay an enjoyable one. The hotels arranged by Angela were of fine quality with modern amenities. The restaurants were accommodating to our dietary requirements. In this respect, the guides were extremely helpful in directing the staff at the restaurants as to our needs. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our wonderful guides: Maggie in Beijing, Fred in Xian, Jessica in Guilin and JJ in Shanghai. Without any hesitation or reservation, we will recommend the agency to our colleges and friends. We look forward to using services of Travel China on our next return visit. ... More
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