Great Wall of China

China Golden Triangle Tour

L-101: 9 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Tour, any part of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle

Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army Museum
  • Visit a local Chinese family home, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
  • Try biking on the Ming Dynasty City Wall of Xi'an, or tour by electric car
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
From $2019 per person Free Inquiry
Forbidden CityFamily visitChinese peopleCity WallTerracotta ArmyShanghai Bund
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to Beijing, the first destination of your 9 days China tour. Our guide will meet you or your family outside Customs of Beijing Airport after your check-out procedures are fully completed. You will then be transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to rest or explore.
Day 2 Beijing
This morning, your 9 days guided tours of China starts from the world's largest Tiananmen Square, which is a site where many major historical and celebratory events took place. Walk through the square to the Golden Water Bridge, you will enter the best-preserved imperial palace complex, Forbidden City. Once the palace of twenty-four emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties, it not only exhibits the incomparable architecture arts and precious cultural relics, but also shows how the ancient emperors administered the country and lived their lives 600 years ago. 

It is our routine to arrange quality food whenever we arrange a meal for our guests. Today you will be served an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) of authentic Chinese dishes at a noted local restaurant, not a tourist-oriented eatery. In this trip, you will taste different flavors of Chinese food in different cities, just like a food tour. 

In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Heaven, which is the largest ancient imperial worship architecture complex in the world. After that, take a rickshaw ride through the Hutong alleys to experience the old residential quarters of Beijing and people's life there.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, Olympic Bird's Nest. (B)
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
After a good night's sleep, we hope you are as fresh as a Daisy. Have a hearty breakfast at the hotel and then you will head to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. During the 1.5 hours' drive, you can enjoy the views of the city and suburbs while listening to the guide's explanations on Chinese history and culture, or any topic you are interested in. Now we reach the Great Wall. As one of the greatest wonders of mankind, the majestic Great Wall is always a must for those visitors to Beijing. Mutianyu is one of the most famous and developed existing sections. A round-trip cable car is included to save your energy for later Great Wall hiking. You will have around 2 hours or more to appreciate the amazing views.

Today's lunch is on your own arrangement. Our guide will offer you some suggestions.

On the way back to downtown Beijing, we will drive by the Bird's Nest (the Olympic National Stadium), which is the major venue of the 2008 Olympic Games. Afterwards, we will set aside some time for you to relax at a local market before returning to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an by Flight
Summer Palace, Yonghe Temple, Fly to Xi'an, Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
Family visit
A family visit in Xi'an
Explore the Summer Palace and the Yonghe Temple in the morning. The Summer Palace, built 260 years ago, is an imperial garden with natural scenery of mountains and lakes, as well as a temporary dwelling palace for the imperial family. The Yonghe Temple, also named Lama Temple, is the largest existing Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Beijing. Once the palace of Emperor Yongzheng and the birthplace of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty, it has the style of the royal monasteries. And now it attracts tourists from all over the world with its profound Tibetan Buddhism culture.

Then fly to the famous ancient city - Xi'an and be transferred to the well-selected hotel by our Xi'an guide and driver.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Army, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter. (B)
Chinese people
Local people making clothes in the market
The highlight of today's Beijing Xi'an Shanghai itinerary is the 'Eighth Wonder' of the world, the Terracotta Army Museum, which is a huge underground military museum constructed as an accessory pit of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. In the museum, you will not only appreciate the amazing warrior figures, but also enjoy the display of Chinese ancient weapons, which exemplify the wisdom of the laboring people over 2,200 years ago. Lunch is on your side. You may get recommendation on the proper restaurants nearby from the guide. 

In the afternoon, have a leisure walk at the Jianfu Temple where the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is located inside. With delicate appearance, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is reputed to be the exquisite artistic heritage of Buddhist architecture in the Tang Dynasty. Then continue to visit the Great Mosque, a place where the local Muslims attend worship ceremony. You may have a glimpse of Muslims' life here. The surrounding Muslim Street is also a great place to savor for local food. You will have some free time to explore on your own.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 6 Xi'an to Shanghai by Flight
City Wall Park, Xi'an City Wall, A local family visit and an authentic home-cooked lunch, Fly to Shanghai, Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
City Wall
Bicycle riding on the ancient City Wall
Pay a visit to the City Wall in the morning. Before that, take a stroll in the City Wall Park to see the local people doing morning exercises of different kinds. You may even join them for the activities which would be a great way to interact with locals. Originally built as military defensive systems in the Ming Dynasty, the City Wall is now a must-see tourist attraction for all travelers coming to Xi'an. Standing on it, you may overlook the view of the ancient city, and if you are interested, you can also go cycling or tour by electric car on the wall at your own expense. 

After that, you will have a local family visit and an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) will be arranged at the visited home to taste the authentic home cooked dishes. If you are interested in learning to cook Chinese food, you can choose your preferred dishes in the menu of our Chinese food cooking class. The host will prepare the ingredients beforehand and then teach you step by step when you come to the home. You do not need to pay any fee for this. Then you will take a flight to Shanghai. Our local guide and driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Have a good rest tonight.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch
Day 7 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, A la carte farewell lunch, the Bund and Huangpu River cruise, Tianzifang Cultural Street. (B+L)
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
In the morning, you will visit Shanghai Museum first. Then, proceed to the Yu Garden, which is a famous classic garden of the south region. The beautiful scenery and quiet atmosphere here make it a peaceful place in the bustling city.

Around noon, you will have an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a fancy and famous local restaurant, which offers authentic Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines.

In the afternoon, we will transfer you to the Bund area for a one-hour cruise on the Huangpu River. Standing on the boat, you will see many western-style buildings from Shanghai's colonial days in Puxi area. While on Pudong side, rows of skyscrapers will come into view. The utterly different buildings are the best records of the development of the city. You will explore the Bund area and then visit Tianzifang cultural and art zone before returning to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 8 Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Shanghai-Suzhou transfer, Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou Museum, Tongli Water Town, Drive back to Shanghai. (B)
Shanghai Bund
Shanghai Bund
Today, accompanied by our guide and driver, you will have a one day excursion to Suzhou to appreciate the charms of private gardens and ancient water towns in the southeast region of China. Drive for around 2 hours you will arrive at the Humble Administrator's Garden, one of the four great gardens in China. It is so ingeniously designed that every step you move, you will see a different view. If observed carefully, you will find that the porches in the garden, the stone walls with hollow patterns, the pavilions, and the carved flowers in the windows are all different. What is more surprising is that these seemingly dead things actually correspond to the surrounding view of flowers and trees.

Then, after a brief stop at the nearby Suzhou Museum, we drive about one hour to Tongli, one of the most prestigious water towns in the southern region of China. Relatively speaking, Tongli still retains the simplicity of the ancient town. And it is the only ancient water town with a world cultural heritage - Tuisi garden, which makes it a very unique place to visit. When you finish the tour here, we will transfer you back to the hotel in Shanghai.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Departure from Shanghai
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off, A pleasant trip home! (B)
Your private 9 days China tour package ends today. Our guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel and escort you to the airport for your homeward flight. We wish you a pleasant journey home.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2509 $2258$2279 $2051$2009 $1808
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2259 $2033$2019 $1817$1759 $1583
  • 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
  • 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
    4.863 Reviews
    Teresa Muszak
    Posted on March 17, 2020
    We just returned to Canada from our lovely trip in China. The meals they arranged on our tours were absolutely fabulous. I liked the variety of atmosphere and food. I think the best restaurant was the last one, the Western style...unfortunately it closes to prepare for dinner in the early afternoon so we were rushed a bit, but not sent away, they did accommodate nicely. All three of the guides were very special in their own way. We enjoyed each and every guide and recommend to use them frequently in the future. The guides were all knowledgeable and friendly. We felt they were all three more our friends than guides. Sherise, in Shanghai was the most knowledgeable, we would ask a random question about a building we drove by and she knew what it was. Coco was the most loving and we felt that she was like family. She knew her stuff and she took care of us like we were family. Brian and Mr. Bye were fantastic in their knowledge and their ability to bend over backwards to accommodate us for our personal needs. The best driver was in Beijing with Brian Ma...Mr. Bye. He was as much a part of our experience as our guide Brian was. The drivers in Xi'an and in Shanghai did a great job driving and left the guiding up to the guides. All vehicles were as warm and comfortable as we requested. I requested to stay at the Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong in Beijing. This hotel met every expectation. Although the breakfast was similar every morning, there were enough significant changes as to not make it boring. Our room was very comfortable and the service of staff was sufficient. Our guide Brian Ma helped to check us in, making this easy. The maid service was sufficient. We went with the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel in Shanghai and it was not as successful. Although we appreciate the fact that they had no problem changing our reservation and adding a couple extra nights to accommodate my son visiting, it is expected as well being off season for tourists. Although this hotel is lovely on the outside and the front entrance and halls look wonderful, it seemed everything in our lovely room was broken. The breakfast was similar to the one in Beijing but there were not enough changes to keep it from being boring. We were very disappointed with this hotel. I would truly encourage anyone who is visiting China to take the headache out of the experience and leave all of the responsibilities to TravelChinaGuide and their capable staff. My memories include the ease to get to China, the experience and now I feel sad that it is over. ... More
    Xavier E.
    United States
    Posted on March 17, 2020
    Meals: All were excellent. I liked each and every one of the restaurants I went to, especially the lunch restaurant. A suggestion I would like to give is that one of the meals be a Cantonese Dim Sum (Dien Xin) meal.
    Guide: Maggie was an excellent guide and would recommend her anytime to anybody traveling to Beijing. Very attentive, knowledgeable, and provided great service. She had excellent domination of the English language.
    Hotel: The hotel was excellent and comfortable. It was in a good location with a shopping mall next door.
    In terms of the tour itself I would like to offer the following suggestion. It would be nice to include a day trip to Gubei Water Town.

    Meals: The meals were OK, but I definitely liked the food in other cities better.
    Guide: Roger's service was very good. His English and knowledge of the sites was excellent.
    Hotel: It was OK.
    The sites at Xi'an are charming. The landscape on Huashan is so unforgettable.

    I would recommend this tour to anybody.
    ... More
    William B
    Posted on February 23, 2020
    Abbey made excellent arrangements and was always quick to respond to any questions. So far our tour plan was smooth. Well done Abbey. We look forward to our upcoming trip.
    Caspar L
    Posted on February 10, 2020
    We were back from our tour. On the whole things were pretty well organized although there appears to have been an internal lack of communication. It had been our clear indication that we wanted to spend a maximum time at the Imperial palace and not to be rushed through. When we went there it was very soon clear that this would not be the case and that the driver had been arranged to pick us up at 11:00 at the northern gate. Earlier we had indicated to our guide that we wanted to see the permanent exhibitions at the palace only to be told that there werent any. On the day itself we had to adamantly insist that this was what we wanted to do and which exhibitions we wanted to see. This was reluctantly agreed to because she was not sure whether a deviation of the standard tour was permitted. Generally if we wanted something that was not preprogrammed down to the level of having a cup of coffee when the opportunity presented itself, opposition was encountered. The visit to the The Oriental Pearl Tower did not eventuate as the guide did not find out where the museum was nor whether it was open or not. This lead to further frustration so we had to reorganize our schedule and went that afternoon to the Bund and the next day to Shanghai Museum which was interesting within itself and we would otherwise not have seen, however that does not alter the fact that the organization left something to be desired. Similar rigidity we experienced with the venue for the lunches in Shanghai. These were not chosen with respect to the itinerary to be taken and we would have to back track after lunch to visit the next part of the tour. Such additional unnecessary travel is not appreciated particularly when the restaurants are typical tourist stations with little Chinese character, we could eat in such establishments in any country in the world. The only lunch that was memorable was the one that we had at the Beihai Park but this was after we made our feelings about the chosen venues clear. In a situation where one organizes what is in effect a private tour, we do expect flexibility and to have our expectations met and it would be advisable that after arrival in China the local office takes the trouble to go through the schedule in detail to know exactly what is expected such that it can make the appropriate arrangements. Our observation is that these were not quite to our expectations. Having lived in overseas countries for many years now, we know that it is often difficult to get staff that is proficient in English and in this case also we would suggest that the guide in Beijing needs to put in a concerted effort to improve her language proficiency as often questions were not understood and answers did not give the required details. ... More
    Arlen &. Lindsay
    United States
    Posted on January 29, 2020
    It is a great joy to have Emily arrange our China holiday. The meals were all very good. We liked having some choices, for example at the lunch in the local condo in Xi'an (this was one of the highlights) and we liked that the guides explained the dishes so we could chose things we may not like to eat. Hotel breakfasts were outstanding. All restaurants were clean and service was very good. Amazed at how well the service people got so many people fed at the evening performance in Xi'an. Our favorite is the lunch prepared by local family in Xi'an. Our guide Roger in Xi'an was our favorite. His English was very good; he went out of his way to satisfy all our requests. He had so many facts on the area and attractions we visited, it was very hard to keep up with him. He was fun to talk with about how Chinese people lived and what they thought. We did not feel he was pushing any of the "souvenir shops" which we appreciated. Peter in Shanghai was also very good. Our flight was 2 hours late but he met us with a smile at the airport. His attitude was equally as good as Rogers. Our guides overwhelmed us with relevant knowledge. It's clear that they were trained to NOT just answer our questions, but to provide a rich background of the historical aspects of the cities. In fact, I now am planning to study areas of Chinese history that they brought to my attention. We really think that is a positive of this company and all the three guides did great in this area. Our last day in Shanghai, Peter gave us several options on what to do. It was a little hard choosing as we had no concept of the choices. Perhaps a more structured itinerary that day would have been better for us, although other people might like the open choices. This is not a "disappointment" at all, just an observation. The drivers were great, always where they were supposed to be. Vans were clean and we had plenty of room. The hotels exceeded our expectations. Frankly, I was worried about what level of quality we would have in the "Standard" category, but all were exceptional. Breakfasts were exceptional in terms of quantity and quality. Service and room hygiene great...equal to most Western hotels.
    In three days with Roger, we felt we got to know each other very well. He is someone I could be friends with. He changed my perception/stereotype of Chinese people as being withdrawn and unhappy... Roger is an outgoing, happy, personable man and being a tour guide seems to be a great fit for his personality. He is a credit to his company. We would very definitely recommend this company to any of our friends who might be planning a trip to China in the future.
    ... More
    Dr. Kalman
    Posted on January 14, 2020
    I just returned from my China trip 3 days ago. After I finished the tour, I went to Putuoshan on my own. I had a marvelous time in Putuoshan. It is fascinating, the food is good and the trip is not very difficult. Also, the hotels are quite nice. I had 3 guides on my trip. My guide in Shanghai was a delightful young lady named Si-Si ( not her real name, but the name I called her). She was extremely knowledgable and very friendly. The lunch was just adequate. Dinner was very good and in fine restaurants. There was only one problem- I had to eat alone. The hotel in Xian was fine. The rooms were beautiful, large and the view from my room -1501 was pectacular! The location at Renaissance Shanghai was so convenient! By the way, I ran into a neighbor and his family from Glendale, California while in Yu Yuan Garden: it truly is a small world! ... More
    Posted on January 14, 2020
    The vacation was an interesting experience and I enjoyed it very much. My guides and drivers took good care of me and were very cooperative. I will recommend TravelChinaGuide as everything went smoothly and without difficulties.
    Harry Starr
    Posted on January 10, 2020
    Our guides in China went out of their ways to make our trip comfortable & fun. They shared a lot about local culture & helped to make it one of the best tours we have taken. We definitely will use this company again!
    Posted on December 26, 2019
    Great experience. Carol in Xian was extremely well-informed and very pleasant to be with, very professional. Mr Liu in Shanghai was a very careful and courteous driver. We enjoyed them very much. We were very comfortable in Mr. Liu's nice new clean car!
    Posted on December 24, 2019
    We took a private tour of Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai, and our group consisted of my husband, my 20 year old son, and me. Our son is studying Chinese in college and studied abroad in Shanghai this semester. We met him at the end of his semester in December to begin our tour. We normally travel independently but felt that our tour of China would be too complicated to plan and carry out on our own. We greatly enjoyed our experiences on the tour. All of the sights and shows on the planned itinerary were worthwhile. We did not feel at all rushed by our guides and we had sufficient time to see the sights. If we wished to wander off the standard path to see something that caught our attention, the guides were more than glad to do this. Since our tour was a private tour, we were very pleased that we had great flexibility to modify our itinerary as we wished, both before the tour and during the tour. Our son did not join us until the last day of our tour in Shanghai, as he was finishing his exams and packing, and we received a refund to compensate for this.We added a free day in Shanghai at the end of our tour so that my husband could meet with his business colleagues there, and also opted to return to Beijing by train instead of by plane. The guides were also very flexible during the tours, since it was a private tour. For example, we were able to leave our hotel in Xian early on our departure day and rent bicycles to cycle around the city wall, which we greatly enjoyed. We also had time to add a visit to the 88th floor observatory in Shanghai to our itinerary, which was not in the original plan. We had great fun when in China. ... More
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