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B-102A: 12 Days China Tours from London UK to Beijing    Xian Guilin Shanghai
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Day 1 London - Beijing
Today you will head to the Heathrow Airport to start your China tours from London to Beijing. Besides British Airways BA039 1635/0930+1, Air China also has two direct flights to Beijing. One is CA938 2025/1310+1 and the other is CA856 2240/1600+1. The flight time lasts around 10 hours and you will arrive in Beijing the next day. Travelers taking China tours from Manchester, Edinburgh, and Leeds are able to transfer to Beijing at London.

It is suggested that you may exchange and take a small amount of Chinese currency before leaving. Most four-star and five-star hotels in China offer exchange service for their guests. Also it is quite easy to exchange money in China's banks.
Day 2 Beijing
When you get to the Capital Airport, head to the recommended 3-star Hotel Ibis Jianguomen, which is in between of two subway stations along line 1, Jianguomen and Yong'anli. If your luggage is not so heavy, you can take the subway Airport Express Line to Dongzhimen Station, and then transfer to line 2 to reach Jianguomen. Exit from Exit C and walk east along Jianwai Street for 900 yards. Then, turn right to South Jianhua Road to find the hotel on your left. Or, take a direct taxi from the airport to the hotel and the fare is around CNY90. There are many nice restaurants around your hotel; you may find one to have a big meal to refresh yourself from the tired air travel and then get ready for your Beijing tour from London UK tomorrow.

Accommodation Suggestion: Hotel Ibis Jianguomen
Day 3 Beijing
Temple of Heaven, Beijing
It's advised to get up early, as your today's self-exploration might be a little bit tight with Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Temple of Heaven on the list. To the first destination - Tiananmen Square, you can have a morning walk 700 yards westwards along Jianwai Street to take subway line 1 at Jianguomen. Leave from Exit D of Tiananmen East Station to get to the Tiananmen Square. Use the underpass to reach the Tiananmen Tower after 30-40 minutes' sightseeing of the square. You may want to take some pictures there. Then, go through the tower to reach the south gate of the Forbidden City, Meridian Gate, where you can buy tickets and store luggage. Audio guides, tour guides, strollers, wheelchairs, and umbrellas are all available for the convenience of visitors. The Forbidden City is very large, so we suggest you go along the central axis from the south to the north accordingly. It will be around lunch time when you reach the Gate of Divine Prowess, the north gate of the Forbidden City.

In the afternoon, Temple of Heaven, about three miles southeast of the Forbidden City, should be a good place to spend the rest of the day. When you get out of the Divine Prowess Gate, it's advisable to take a taxi to save both time and energy for a fare of CNY22. Or you can walk a few yards westwards to take bus no. 685 at Gu Gong Station and get off at Fahuasi to reach the east gate of the Temple of Heaven. After you finish the visit, you can get back to Fahuasi Station to take bus no. 43 to Ritan Road, and then walk back to your hotel. Hiring a taxi would be more convenient and it costs CNY25 or so.
Day 4 Beijing
Today you will visit the Badaling Great Wall, which is 37 miles away from the city center. We advise you prepare some food for the lunch, since most of the restaurants there offer low-quality food but ask for a high price. It will take a lot of physical energy to climb the wall, so make sure you take some high-calorie snacks, such as chocolates and dried beef. From the hotel, you can take subway line 2 at Jianguomen Station to Jishuitan. Get out from the Exit B2 and go east to Deshengmen Arrow Tower, where you can take bus no. 877 to Badaling with the duration of around one hour and a cost of CNY12. The ticket office of the Great Wall is about 10 minutes' walk from the drop-off point.

Spend half a day climbing the Great Wall. After that, also take bus no. 877 for your return trip. Upon arrival at Deshengmen, walk west to Jishuitan to take subway line 2 to Jianguomen. Then, walk to your hotel and have supper at a nearby restaurant.
Day 5 Beijing - Xian
A woman knitting at the doorway
Our suggestion for today is to visit the Summer Palace in the morning and catch an afternoon high-speed train to Xian. So you can check out the hotel after the breakfast, and take a taxi to Beijing West Railway Station to store your luggage at left-luggage office which charges about CNY 10–15/per day for each piece. Then you can take subway line 9 to National Library. Change to line 4 and leave from Exit D at Beigongmen (North Palace Gate) Station to find the north gate of the Summer Palace. Spend half of the day there and also get out from the north gate to have some meals. After lunch, you may walk to Beigongmen Station to take subway line 4. Transfer to line 9 at National Library Station and get off at West Railway Station to catch the high-speed train to Xian. We suggest you take a train leaving before 16:00 and arriving in Xian by 21:30. For more specific information, please check the real-time China Train Schedule. You will arrive at Xian North Railway Station in about five hours. We recommend you stay at the 3-star Xian Ibis Hotel. You can take subway line 2 at Xian North Railway Station and get off at Beidajie. Use Exit B to take bus no. 606. Alight at Huaxia Bank Station and walk 200 yards north along Heping Road to find the hotel. You can also take a taxi to your hotel at a cost of around CNY 45.

Accommodation Suggestion: Ibis Hotel
Day 6 Xian
Our suggestion for this morning is to visit the Terracotta Army Museum. After breakfast, you can take bus 25, 30, or 40 at Huaxia Bank Station in front of your hotel to Xian Railway Station, and then catch the Tourist Bus No. 5, also marked 306, on the east square of the railway station to the museum. It takes around one hour and the ticket price is CNY7 per person. After 1-2 hours' visit, you may have lunch in a nearby fast food restaurant. Take Tourist Bus No. 5 to go back to the railway station and then hire a taxi to get back to the hotel. After a short rest at your hotel, take bus no. 606 to the Bell Tower. After taking enough shots of the tower, cross the street through the underpass to the Bell and Drum Tower Square. Behind the square, there is a line of ancient buildings, housing some time-honored brand restaurants in Xian, such as Defachang Dumpling Restaurant and Tongshengxiang Restaurant. You can have dinner in one of them, or go to taste local snacks at the Moslem Quarter behind the Drum Tower. You can also buy some souvenirs and antiques there. In the end, take a taxi back to your hotel at a fare of about CNY15.
Day 7 Xian - Guilin
Li River Cruise, Guilin
We suggest you get up early to leave enough time to explore more before heading for Guilin in the evening. It is recommended that you list the Shaanxi History Museum and the City Wall on today's independent tour itinerary. Check out the hotel before you set out but store the luggage at the front desk. Then, go across the Heping Road and head south for 100 yards to catch bus no. 30. Get off at Cuihua Road to find the Shaanxi History Museum. Be sure you have passport in hand to get the free tickets. If there are too many people waiting in line, you can buy a CNY20 ticket for the theme exhibition so that you can enter the museum without queuing. You are recommended to spend two hours there. After having lunch in a nearby restaurant, take bus no. 26 at the gate of the museum to Nanmen, the South Gate of the City Wall. You can either take a walk or cycle around to experience the profound historical and cultural background of the ancient city. You are suggested to stay there for one hour. Get down from Heping Gate and walk 300 yards north back to the hotel to collect your luggage.

Make sure you go back to the Ibis Hotel at least three hours before the departure time of your flight to Guilin. Take a taxi to go directly to the airport, which would take around one hour at a cost of CNY120 or so. After two hours' flight, we recommend you check in the 3-star Guilin Hotel Universal, which is located by the beautiful Li River. You can take the airport shuttle bus at the exit of the arrival hall to Civil Aviation Mansion, and then take a taxi to your hotel. The bus fare is CNY20, and the taxi costs about CNY10. Or you can hire a taxi to go straight to your hotel from the airport with a fare of about CNY120.

Accommodation suggestion: Guilin Hotel Universal
Day 8 Guilin
Explore the scenic spots around the city on your first day in Guilin. After breakfast, head to your first destination, Reed Flute Cave. Walk 900 yards westwards along the East Jiefang Road in front of your hotel to Shizijie to catch bus no. 3. Get off at Lu Di Yan (Reed Flute Cave) after 16 stops to find the south gate of the scenic area. It may take around an hour to get there by bus. You can also take a taxi from the hotel at a cost of around CNY25. Stay there for about one hour and then take a taxi to visit Seven-Star Park and Elephant Trunk Hill one after another.

After that, we recommend you take a night cruise to enjoy the charming scenery along the Two Rivers and Four Lakes. You can board at Wenchang Bridge Dock, which is near the western entrance of the Elephant Trunk Hill. The alighting point is at Jiefang Bridge Dock, opposite your hotel across the river. Walk over the Jiefang Bridge and you will see the hotel a few yards ahead.
Day 9 Guilin - Yangshuo
Today, take the Li River cruise at Mopanshan Dock to admire the picturesque landscape along the way. As there is no direct bus from the city to the dock, get up early and take a taxi at a cost of CNY70 to reach there in one hour. You are recommended to get on the ship departing at 9:00 to arrive in Yangshuo at around 13:00. You can either buy the tickets by yourself upon arrival, or book it beforehand at your hotel.

Upon arrival, check in a local hotel first, and we recommend the New Century Hotel, which is about 1,000 yards west to the dock. You can either walk or take a battery car to the hotel. When everything is settled, have some food in the hotel or a nearby restaurant. Then rent a bike from the hotel to explore the breathtaking scenery and local people's simple life in the countryside. Our advice for the evening is to watch the performance of 'Impression Sanjie Liu', which usually starts at around 20:00. An ordinary ticket costs CNY198. You can either book it at your hotel in advance or at the entrance of the theater. Walk east from your hotel to Yangshuo West Street to catch a battery car for a five minutes' driving to the theater.

Accommodation Suggestion: New Century Hotel
Day 10 Yangshuo - Guilin - Shanghai
Our advice for today is to spend the whole morning exploring the famed Yangshuo West Street, which is full of souvenir stores, cafes, and bars selling food of all over the world. The street is only 10 minutes' walk from your hotel, so you may have much time enjoying yourself there. After that, check out the hotel and fetch your entire luggage to catch your flight to Shanghai. The shuttle bus at Yangshuo North Bus Station to Guilin Airport costs CNY50 and travels for about two hours. You can take a battery car to get to the bus station.

Your direct flight will land at Shanghai Pudong Airport in about two hours and we recommend the 3-star Ibis Xujiahui for a two-night stay. Taking a taxi is the most convenient way to get to your hotel from the airport. It should take about 1.5 hours and cost approximately CNY170.

Accommodation Suggestion: Ibis Xujiahui
Day 11 Shanghai
The Bund
Your first stop of independent Shanghai tour from London is suggested to be the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where you can get an overview of the city in the minimum amount of time. To get there, you may walk 15 minutes to find the nearby Hongqiao Road Subway Station to take subway line 10. Transfer to line 8 at Laoximen Station and get off at People's Square. Go through Exit 2 to the Basement 1 of the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall - Shanghai Traditional Street in 1930s, and start your visit. After about one hour, take a taxi at a cost of about CNY15 to Yu Garden. Or, you can take bus no. 930 from People's Square (Guangdong Road) stop on Middle Xizang Road to Xinbeimen and head 240 yards south to Yuyuan Garden. Normally, you will spend two to three hours there for sightseeing, shopping, and tasting local snacks. Then, hike to the terminal of today's self-exploration, the Bund, which is regarded as the symbol of Shanghai. Go northwards from Yuyuan Garden to reach Renmin Road. Then, head east to the Bund on the western bank of the Huangpu River. Continue walking north along the river and you will see various buildings of different architectural styles. You don't want to miss the Huangpu River cruise, which can make you fully experience the marvelous night scene of the city. Take a taxi to head back for a fare of CNY 35 or so when you are fully gratified at the Bund.
Day 12 Shanghai - London
Your memorable China tour from UK to Beijing, Xian, Guilin, and Shanghai ends today. Virgin Atlantic Airways and China Eastern Airlines operate regular direct flights from Shanghai to London daily. You can take either VS251 1140/1720 or MU551 1300/1840 to get back home after 12.5 hours' flying. Besides, British Airways also has non-stop flights to London, which are BA160 0040/0615, BA1168 0730/1300 and BA168 1100/1630.

The above flights all depart from Shanghai Pudong Airport. You are suggested to take a taxi to get to the airport from your hotel.
Need detailed infomation on train, flight or bus/ metro schedule? Use the search tool below.
If the above route does not meet your requirements, you could DIY an itinerary by choosing daily guided tours, free days, hotels, trains and/or flights freely. Our estimated quotation can be a reference for your independent travel.
For this itinerary, we have designed different ones to cater for your time availability.

 Similar Guided Itineraries:

China Delights: 11 Days Small Group Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Shanghai starting from $1329
China Delights: 10 Days Private Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Shanghai starting from $1419

Questions & Answers
Asked by Connor Egan from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 22, 2017 17:26Reply
collecting train tickets

I am traveling to China next October and plan on travelling by train. The problem is that I've never visiting China before and would like to know exactly where I collect my tickets from at Beijing West Station?

Answers (1)
Answered by Karen | Sep. 25, 2017 00:49

If you book the train tickets online and collect the tickets at the station on your own, you are suggested to get to the railway station at least 1.5 hour before departure.

For foreign passengers, you can only collect the ticket from the regular ticket counters of train stations instead of the self-service ticket machines as the machines only recognize Chinese IDs. There is also English counters at Beijing West Station, you can find the counter 16 at east ticket hall of north square. Just remember to take your valid ID certificate like passport for the collection.

For your reference, you may also consider booking the tickets through an agency and ask them to delivery the tickets to your hotel.
Asked by Lisa from CANADA | Feb. 22, 2017 22:14Reply
Accomodation for family of 5
We are a family wanting to travel to china at the end of march. We have 3 children 14, 11, and 9. What do you recommmend for accomodation for a family of 5.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lee | Feb. 23, 2017 00:06

I think two twin rooms with an extra bed is proper for your family. What kind of hotels do you want? There are many hotels in Beijing with different levels. If you want a more economical one, the Hotel Ibis Jianguomen is a good choice.
Asked by SHUBHRO from BANGLADESH | Jun. 19, 2016 21:50Reply
Beijing Tour
I want to stay in Beijing for 4 days.
I need some info.
1. Which hotel should I stay that is cheap and center of BJ and very close to all transportations (I like subway)?
2. From that hotel how can I go to Badaling Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beijing Aquarium, Tianmen Square.
(plz tell the subway line no with station name)
3. Give some shopping streets name with subway line no and station name.
4. How to arrange my 4 days trip with this destinations?
thanks in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Evelyn | Jun. 20, 2016 22:04

Here are some suggestions for your reference:
1. There are various kinds of hotels in BJ. You may consider 3-star Days Inn Forbidden City or other chain hotels with competitive price and good location.
2. If you stay at Days Inn Forbidden City, you can walk to Tiananmen Square within 15 minutes and visit the Forbidden City in the morning. Then take bus no. 103 to Chongwenmen, change to bus no. 60 and get off at Fahuasi Station, you will find the East Gate of Temple of Heaven after walking for about 100 meters. On the second day, make your own way to Deshengmen and take bus 877 or 919 to Badaling Great Wall. Visit the Summer Palace and Beijing Aquarium on the third day. The Summer Palance can be reached by subway line 4. After sightseeing, you can take subway line 4 and get off at Zoo Station, exit A and get to the aquarium.
3. As for shopping, Wangfujing Street, Xidan, Ladies' Street, Xiushui Market are all very famous and popular places for shopping.
4. Three days are enough to cover the attractions you mentioned. If you are interested, you may explore some other places, such as Hutong, National Stadium, Beijing Zoo on the last day.
Asked by Stephen | Sep. 24, 2013 15:23Reply
Is August OK to travel to China
School holidays are in August and travelling out of August is difficult.
Answers (1)
Answered by Susan | Sep. 24, 2013 21:17

Although school holiday is in August, it is no problem for you to travel during this period. However, I would like to remind you that the train tickets will be in great demand duing holidays, so you may take flights instead if there is no train ticket available.
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