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China Golden Triangle Tour

B-101B: 12 Days China Tours from Los Angeles USA to Beijing Xian Shanghai
  • Full Itinerary
Day01 Los Angeles - Beijing
If you are planning a China tour from USA, you may consider traveling to Beijing from Los Angeles as convenient scheduled flights are available between the two cities. For your information, Air China has direct flights CA984 0140/0520+1 day, CA888 1130/1510+1 day and CA988 1420/1800+1 day all with flight time of 12h40m. Delta Airlines also has a flight DL129 1300/1950+1 day flying sometimes. These flights offer relatively good discounted tickets all year round. For those who live in Las Vegas of Nevada, Phoenix of Arizona, Salt Lake City of Utah, Denver of Colorado, Oklahoma City of Oklahoma or New Orleans of Louisiana, you may also connect flight from Los Angeles airport to Beijing.

When booking your international flights ahead of schedule, you also need to know where and how to apply for the Chinese Visa in Los Angeles. For Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles, please click here for more information.

Plenty of preparation guarantees a great trip, so it is advisable to check all your necessary travel documents again including your visa, passports, and related health certificates, before leaving for the airport.
Day02 Beijing
Your China independent tour from Los Angeles formally starts today. Upon arrival in Beijing, you can find the way to your own booked hotel. We suggest you the 4-star Park Plaza Wangfujing, located at No.97 Jinbao Street, Dongcheng District, and about 200 yards from Dengshikou subway station on line 5. A taxi from the airport to the hotel costs approximately CNY 150. Queue up for the official taxi at the gate of the terminal building and request for a receipt when paying. Also you can take the airport shuttle bus line 13 to your hotel at a cost of CNY 24. Take the bus and get off at Jinyu Hutong/Peace Hotel, and walk 200 yards east to enter Jingbao Street and find your hotel on the north side. The rest of the day is for you to take a good rest and recover from the jet lag because of the 15-hour time difference from Los Angeles.

Accommodation Suggestion: Park Plaza Wangfujing
Day03 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing
After breakfast, try to set off from the hotel by 9:00am to avoid the morning rush hours. Take subway line 5 at Dengshikou Station near the hotel and transfer to line 2 at Chongwenmen. Get off at Qianmen Station and leave from Exit B or C. Walk south and pass the Zhengyangmen Arrow Tower, you will arrive at the Qianmen Street, where there are old style buildings and famous local restaurants. Walk further south and find the old block around Dashilar Street to the west of Qianmen Street, you will come across many interesting knickknacks and time-honored shops.

After a lunch in one of the local restaurants, stroll back to Qianmen subway station and explore the famous Tiananmen Square, at the northern end of which lies the splendid Forbidden City. As the palace is large and thus impossible to visit all the attractions, you can rent an audio guide and visit buildings along the main axis. In about three hours, you will reach the Gate of Devine Prowess. We strongly recommend the Jingshan Park facing this Gate, from where you can have a full view of the imperial palace and the center of Beijing on the top of the hill in the park. The best time is around sunset, when the dusk glow tints the golden roofs of the palace.

For today's dinner, try Lanzhou food in the Yanlan Tower Restaurant near the west gate of Jingshan Park, which is highly recommended by visitors. Alternatively, take bus no.5 from the west gate of the park to Denei Ganshui Bridge to have dinner in a restaurant near the Houhai Lake and enjoy the night in a bar in the old hutongs. After enjoying your day out, take a taxi back to your hotel, which costs about CNY 18.
Day04 Beijing
Visiting the Badaling Great Wall is somewhat a must but most of the time, it is filled with a lot of visitors. We recommend the Mutianyu Great Wall in this China Golden Triangle tour, where the scenery is also gorgeous but not that crowded. After your early breakfast at the hotel, take a taxi to Dongzhimen Transport Hub, which takes about 20 minutes and costs CNY 20 or so. Take bus 916 (express) or 916, get off at the terminus Huairou Bus Station or Huairou North Street, and then hire a minivan to reach the Great Wall. The whole trip takes about two hours. You may need to pack some fast food for lunch as there are not many decent restaurants near the attraction. Please put on a pair of comfortable shoes as climbing the wall is quite tiring.

Take the reverse route back to Dongzhimen, and take a taxi back to the hotel for a good rest. Alternatively, take subway line 2 from Dongzhimen to Gulou Dajie, and transfer to line 8 to the Olympic Sports Center. Go out from Exit B2 and you will see the Bird's Nest and Water Cube right in front of you. The taxi fare from the Bird's Nest to the hotel is around CNY 40.
Day05 Beijing
We We suggest you visit the Summer Palace in the morning and old courtyards and hutongs in the afternoon.

After breakfast, take subway line 5 for one stop from Dengshikou to Dongdan, transfer to line 1 to Xidan, and then transfer to line 4 to Beigongmen. Follow Exit D and you will be at the north gate of the Summer Palace. Get yourself a bilingual map of the palace, if you like, and visit the main attractions. Exit the palace from the north gate. If you are interested in local food, try the Beijing hot pot. Donglaishun Hot Pot Restaurant is one of the favorites among locals. Take subway line 4 from Beigongmen to Xizhimen. Take Exit C and Donglaishun Hot Pot Restaurant is just outside the subway station.

After lunch, start your visit to the Prince Gong's Mansion and the Shichahai Area. Take subway line 4 from Xizhimen to Ping'anli and exit from Exit B. Turn to Huguosi Street and walk east for about 15 minutes to the Prince Gong's Mansion. After one hour's stay in this mansion, continue to head east to the lakeside and walk northward along the bank to have an in-depth tour of Shichahai Area. Stop by a bar or a café and turn into a narrow hutong to get a closer look at local people and the original life of old Beijing.
Day06 Beijing - Xian
Local retired people playing Tai-chi in the City Wall Park, Xian
Before taking train to Xian this afternoon, check out of the hotel after breakfast but deposit your luggage at the reception desk. Visit the last sight in Bejing - Temple of Heaven. From your hotel, you can take subway line 5 to Tiantan East Gate Station. Leave from Exit A2 and walk to the east gate of the temple. Spend about three hours here and then leave from the east gate. Try authentic Beijing roast duck at Bianyifang Restaurant, 800 yards south of the east gate on Tiantan East Road. Then, return to take subway line 5 to get back to the hotel and fetch your luggage. Pay about CNY 50 to hire a taxi to Beijing West Railway Station in about 50 minutes. We suggest you take a bullet train that departs from Beijing at around 14:00 and you will arrive in Xian by supper time. You can use our China train search to find the exact schedule.

Please arrive at the station at least one hour before the train's departure time. The train will arrive at Xian North Railway Station in five hours. You are recommended to stay at the 4-star Grand Noble Hotel, which is conveniently located in the city center, close to the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and Muslim Quarter. You can easily access to other attractions by bus, subway, or taxi. There are many restaurants, too. You can take subway line 2 from the North Railway Station and get off at Bell Tower Station. Leave from the Exit C and walk east about 800 yards along the East Street to find the hotel on the south side. If taking a taxi, it costs CNY 40 around. Have a good rest in the hotel or just walk around to get familiar with the nearby environment.

Accommodation Suggestion: Grand Noble Hotel
Day07 Xian
After breakfast in the hotel, you can take bus 201, 251, 258, or 611 at the hotel's door to the Xian Railway Station directly. If taking a taxi, it would cost about CNY10. Take tourist bus no.5 on the east square of the train station to the Terracotta Army Museum. You may want to stop by at Huaqing Hot Spring to see the Tang Dynasty imperial hot spring pools, and also learn about the moving love story of Tang Xuanzong, one of the outstanding emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), and his concubine Yang Yuhuan. After that, hop back onto tourist bus no.5 at the stop where you get off earlier and continue onwards to the Terracotta Amry Museum. Recommended visiting time in the museum is about three hours. Take note that the last bus back to the train station departs at 19:00.

When you get back to the train station, you can take bus no. 251 in front of KFC to Bell Tower. Then head to the Muslim Quarter, which is about five minutes' walking distance. The 500-yard-long street behind the Drum Tower is loved by both locals and tourists for delicious snacks and interesting souvenirs. You can have a taste of local snacks as your supper. Then walk eastwards back to your hotel.
Day08 Xian
Visit the Hanyangling Museum, tomb of the emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) Liu Qi and his empress. The underground museum unveils the mysterious Chinese imperial tomb. Walk from the hotel to the Bell Tower Subway Station. Take subway line 2 towards the North Railway Station and alight at City Library (Shi Tu Shu Guan) after five stops. Go out from the Exit C to the Tushuguan bus stop to take the tourist bus no.4 to Hanyangling Museum. Buses are scheduled to depart at 8:30, 10:20, 12:00, 13:40, 15:20, and 17:00, and return to the city from the museum at 9:30, 11:10, 12:50, 14:30, 16:10, and 18:00. As the museum is far from the city and there are no restaurants around, we suggest that your prepare yourself some snacks during the visit.

After finishing visit to the museum and getting back to the City Library, take subway line 2 to Yongningmen station. Use Exit A1 and enter the City Wall from the South Gate. You can either walk or hire a bike to go around the wall. Cycling a whole circle takes about 80 minutes. After seeing the beautiful sunset on the wall, take a taxi to from the South Gate to your hotel, which only takes about 10 minutes.
Day09 Xian - Shanghai
Check out of the hotel today but leave your luggage there, as you will catch the overnight train later this evening in the Xian Railway Station. For the rest of the day, you are suggested to visit the Shaanxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Take subway line 2 to Xiaozhai and use Exit D. Turn east and walk along the East Xiaozhai Road for about 700 yards to the museum. After 2 to 3 hours spending in the museum, walk further east along the East Xiaozhai Road for another 700 yards, you will see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. You are recommended to enjoy some local dishes in the nearby Ci'en Town before visiting the pagoda. There are also fascinating musical fountain shows on the northern square. Take a taxi back to the hotel at a cost of CNY 18 or so when you finish your visit there. Collect your luggage, and then hire a taxi or take a bus to Xian Railway Station for your overnight train to Shanghai. As for the train tickets, we suggest you book in advance and collect the tickets on the Day 06 when you first arrived at Xian Railway Station.

Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day10 Shanghai
Huangpu River, Shanghai
Our recommended hotel in Shanghai is the 4-star Grand Mercure Shanghai Central which is on the east of the south square of Shanghai Railway Station. Major attractions of the city can be easily accessed from the hotel for the nearest metro station is within five minutes' walking distance. You can go through the check-in procedure and get some rest in the hotel first, and then set off for a self-exploration of Shanghai.

We suggest you visit the Shanghai Museum first. From the hotel, take subway line 1 at the nearby metro station, Shanghai Railway Station, to People's Square. Go out from Exit 1 and walk to the museum. The museum opens to the public without entrance fee, but visitors still have to queue up for an entry ticket. If you are interested in Chinese history and culture, this is a great place for you. After that, you may have lunch in any one of the Chinese and western restaurants on Fuzhou Road facing the People's Square. You can find KFC and Pizza Hut too.

After lunch, take subway line 2 to Lujiazui and leave the station from Exit 1 to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Or, go out from Exit 6 and walk to the World Financial Center. Take a lift to the viewing platform, which overlooks the Huangpu River and gives visitors a panorama view of Shanghai City. After that, you can walk to the riverside and enjoy a cup of leisurely afternoon tea in one of the decent restaurants. Then take subway line 2 to East Nanjing Road and exit from Exit 7. Enjoy your time and explore this bustling commercial street and probably do some shopping; it is also easy to find a restaurant for dinner there. We strongly recommend you walk to the Bund after dinner to witness the colorful neon lights spread across the modern and old buildings on both sides of the Huangpu River. You will surely be deeply impressed by the startling night scene on the Bund. After all the excitements, hire a taxi to go back to the hotel.

Accommodation Suggestion: Grand Mercure Shanghai Central
Day11 Shanghai
This morning, visit one of the most famous gardens in Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden. To go there, you may walk north towards the South Square of Shanghai Railway Station to find the stop of bus no. 930. Take that bus and get off at Xinbeimen Station. Walk 300 yards south along Anren Street, you will find the elegant Yuyuan Garden, the Old City God's Temple, and the bustling Yuyuan Market. Try some local delicacies, such as the Nanxiang Steamed Stuffed Buns and plum-shape rice cakes. In the afternoon, take subway line 10 from Yuyuan to Xintiandi. Use Exit 1 to go out and enjoy a leisurely afternoon in these old but fashionable alleys. Bars, cafés, and restaurants are easy to find there. After that, walk to the South Huangpi Road subway station to take subway line 1 back to your hotel.
Day12 Shanghai - Los Angeles
Pick-up point of airport shuttle bus line 5
Your impressive Shanghai tour from Los Angeles comes to an end today. Please make your own way to the airport for your flight home. There are two airports in Shanghai, the Pudong and Hongqiao Airports. To fly back to Los Angeles directly from Shanghai, you should go to Pudong Airport, where more than five direct flights are available daily. The flight MU583 1300/1005 from China Eastern Airlines, AA182 1650/1340 from American Airlines, HU8904 1820/1510 from Hainan Airlines, DL186 1930/1650 from Delta Airlines and UA199 2010/1720 from United Airlines have more frequent schedules. As Los Angeles time is 15 hours slower than Beijing time, you will get back home intraday if taking the above flights.

You can get on airport shuttle bus line 5 opposite Shanghai Railway Station to reach Pudong Airport. The journey would take about 1.5 hours. To catch one of the above departure flights, you will need a careful timing beforehand. Once onboard, you will arrive home after about 12 to 13 hours' flight over the Pacific Ocean.
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