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B-102B: 13 Days China Tour from Washington US to Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai
  • Full Itinerary
Day01 Washington - Beijing
There are a number of major US cities having direct flights to Beijing, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington. For travelers who plan China tours from Washington, USA, we would like to recommend UA807 1235/1440+1, which is operated by United Airlines and available every day. Alternatively, you may choose to take Air China CA818 1635/1815+1. You will arrive in Beijing after 14 hours' flying. 

Some cities in USA like Philadelphia of Pennsylvania, New Orleans of Louisiana, Portland of Maine, Cleveland of Ohio, Norfolk of Virginia or Providence of Rhode Island have no direct flights to Beijing. Travelers from these places can make fight transfers at Washington Airport. 

Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai are the most visited cities in China, which are suitable for traveling all year around, among which spring and autumn are the best travel time. In order to avoid the big crowd, we suggest you travel at usual time instead of coming to China during busy holidays such as Labor Day (May 1st), National Day holiday (Oct 1st to 7th) and Spring Festival. For more suggestions on the best travel time, you can check this page.
Day02 Beijing
Badaling Great Wall
On your arrival at the Beijing Capital Airport, you can either take a taxi, subway or bus to downtown. We recommend the four-star Novotel Beijing Xinqiao, just outside the Chongwenmen subway station on line 2 and line 5. A taxi from the airport to the hotel costs around CNY100 and takes about 40 minutes. Alternatively, if you want to avoid the traffic jams in rush hours, you may also take Airport Express Train to Dongzhimen, change to subway line 2 to Chongwenmen. Take the Exit B2, you will see the hotel. The 40 minutes journey costs CNY28 per person. After the check in, you are advised to walk around the hotel to familiarize yourself with the surroundings, such as the subway stations, bus stops, roads and streets.

Accommodation Suggestion: Novotel Beijing Xinqiao
Day03 Beijing
Your Beijing tours from Washington start with nearby attractions - the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. Take the subway line 2 from Chongwenmen Station to Qianmen, and then take the Exit A, you will see the Tian'anmen Square. Stroll in the world largest city square and have a full view of the Tian'anmen Tower. 

If you are interested, you may also pay a visit to the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao and the National Museum of China on the square. Afterwards, walk across the tower gate all the way to the north, you will reach the entrance of the Forbidden City - Meridian Gate. On both sides of the gate there are ticket offices, guides center, left-luggage offices and lounges. You can buy a map of the palace or rent an audio guide by paying CNY40 and a deposit fee of CNY100 at the entry, so that you won't lose the way in the huge architectural complex. An ordinary visit along the central axis takes 2-3 hours. When finishing the visit and exiting from the Gate of Divine Prowess, you can have some food in a nearby restaurant. Afterwards, take a taxi to the Dianmen Outer Street and experience the local life in the old hutongs, such as the well-known South Gong and Drum Lane to the east and Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street to the west. The taxi fare is around CNY15. 

In the evening, the superb acrobatic shows in Chaoyang Theater shouldn't be missed. There are three shows at 16:00, 17:30 and 19:00 every evening. From Nanluo Guxiang (South Gong and Drum Lane), you can take the subway line 6 to Hujialou Station. Get out from Exit C2, you will see the theater. Finally, take a taxi back to your hotel, with a cost of around CNY25. If you are not too tired, you may go back by taking subway line 6 to Chaoyangmen and transfer to line 2 to Chongwenmen to reach your hotel.
Day04 Beijing
Old Hutong
Great Wall is a must-visit spot for both group and backpacking travelers to Beijing. So far, over 370 world-known figures have been to Badaling Great Wall, including previous US President Nixon and Mrs. Thatcher. We advise you have enough breakfast at the hotel and prepare some take-away food or snacks of high calories like chocolates and dried beef for lunch, since the restaurants at Badaling mostly sell food at a very high price but with low quality. If you don't want to take food, you can also have fast-food lunch at the KFC near the Great Wall Museum. When everything is ready, you may take subway line 2 from Chongwenmen to Xizhimen. Take Exit A2 and walk to the North Railway Station. Train S2 leads to the Badaling Railway Station directly, with 12 schedules everyday from 6:12 to 22:36. The train ticket is CNY6 per person, and the journey takes around 80 minutes. 

After getting off the train, you may get to the entrance of Badaling Great Wall by following the direction boards in 10 minutes. Climbing the Great Wall is physically challenging, so we advise you slow down your pace for a leisure sightseeing on the day, but please remember that the last train back to Beijing departs at 21:33. When you are back at the North Railway Station, you may take subway line 2 back to your hotel.
Day05 Beijing - Xian
Today you are advised to visit the Temple of Heaven, and go for a short shopping at the popular Silk Street if time permits, and finally catch an afternoon high-speed train to Xian. Check out after the breakfast, and store your luggage at the front desk. Then walk to Chongwenmen Subway Station to take the line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen, the East Gate of Temple of Heaven. Take the Exit A1, you will see the entrance of the park. After 1.5 to 2 hours' visit, you are advised to head for the next destination, Silk Street for shopping. Take the subway line 5 from Tiantan Dongmen to Dongdan, and transfer to line 1 to Yong'anli Station. Take the Exit A1, you will get to the street. The street is scattered with various restaurants and cafés, such as Quanjude Peking Roast Duck, Subway and coffee chains like Lavazza & SPR. You can have your lunch at one of those restaurants. 

In the end, you should walk back to Yong'anli subway station to take line 1 to Dongdan, and transfer to line 5 to Chongwenmen. Return to your hotel to pick up the luggage and then take subway line 5 and line 7 from Chongwenmen to Beijing West Railway Station with a transit at Ciqikou Station. A taxi ride to the West Railway Station may cost you about CNY35. 

You are supposed to reach the railway station about two hours before the train's departure so that you still have time to collect the ticket and queue for check-in. It takes 5 to 6 hours from Beijing West to Xian by high-speed train, so you are advised to take the train departing at 14:00 or 15:00 in the afternoon. When you reach Xian, it will rightly be  the  dinner time. Upon arrival at Xian North Railway Station, you can either take subway or taxi to the downtown hotel. We recommend the four-star Holiday Inn Big Goose Pagoda which is conveniently located near Shaanxi Stadium (Tiyuchang) subway station. Take subway line 2 from Xian North Railway Station to Tiyuchang, which is about 15 minutes' walking from your hotel. The walking route is simple: Take the Exit C and walk south for 200 yards to reach the south side of the South 2nd Ring Road, turn east to enter the road and walk another 1,000 yards forward, you will find the hotel on you right side. If by taxi, it takes about 1.5 hours and costs CNY 50. Check in and have a good rest. 

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Big Goose Pagoda
Day06 Xian
Our Clients in Terracotta Army Museum
In the morning, you can take taxi for a 15 minutes' driving and a cost of CNY15 to Xian Railway Station. At the east square in front of the station building, you can take Tourism Bus No. 5 (306) to Terracotta Army Museum. The bus ticket is CNY7 per person and the ride is about one hour. Recommended visit time for the museum is 2-3 hours. 

Coming out of the museum, please head for your next destination of the day - Big Wild Goose Pagoda by Bus No. 307 directly (CNY8 per person). After getting off the bus, you may replenish yourself with a heavy lunch and a short break in one of the restaurants around the North Square of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Then you can visit the music fountain show & Grand Garden of Shaanxi Folk Customs on the north square, and the Daci'en Temple, statue of Xuanzang on the south square one after another. There are many pavilions and stone benches built in this area for the convenience of visitors. You may stay until the evening to enjoy the brilliant night scene, have a drink in a bar on the north square, and finally take a taxi back to your hotel at a cost of CNY10.
Day07 Xian
Calligraphy and Painting Sold in Shuyuanmen Street
Our recommendation for today is Shaanxi History Museum, Shuyuanmen Cultural Street, Forest of Stone Steles, City God Temple and Muslim Quarter. Shaanxi History Museum is about 10 minutes walking from your hotel, and you can just walk south along the Cuihua Road on the west side of your hotel for 700 yards, you will reach the museum. The admission of the museum is free of charge, but you still have to queue up for the free tickets with your passport. If you don't want to wait long, we'd like to advise you pay CNY 20 for a ticket of the Exhibition Hall for Treasures of Great Tang Dynasty to enter the museum. Usually, two hours are enough for the visit. 

Thereafter, you may have lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, and then continue your sightseeing to Shuyuanmen and Forest of Stone Steles inside the South Gate of the City Wall. Take a taxi to Shuyuanmen directly and the fare would be no more than CNY15. You may see the ancient archway, and learn about the four treasures of study, buy calligraphies and paintings, jade articles and handicrafts in the stores along the street. Wander to the end of the cultural street, you will arrive at the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. If you are interested in Chinese calligraphy, it is recommended to stay one hour in the museum. 

Your next stop is the City God Temple on the West Street, to which you can take a taxi at a cost of CNY10. For today's dinner, we advise you stroll to the Muslim Quarter to the north of the Drum Tower. The local snacks there are well-known among the independent tourists to Xian, and you can enjoy your supper in one of those restaurants. There is also a narrow and twisted lane to the north of the main street aligned with stores for handicrafts on both sides. Too much walking during the day, so please take a taxi back to your hotel. The taxi fee is around CNY15.
Day08 Xian - Guilin
We suggest that you pay a visit to the City Wall in the morning and take a flight to Guilin later this day. Please check out in the morning and store your luggage at the front desk. Take a taxi to the South Gate, one of the entrances to ascend the City Wall, and the fare would be CNY15. After buying the ticket at the foot of the wall, you can climb up to the wall for a relaxing stroll. You may walk on it for some distance to enjoy the ancient city's vicissitudes. Or you may rent a bike to have a circle tour around the city center, which may take 1.5-2 hours. The rental fare is CNY 45/2 hours for a single bicycle, CNY 90/2 hours for a tandem bike, and you have to pay an extra deposit fee of CNY 200 each. 

Based on the departure time of your flight, you are advised to get back to your hotel at least 3.5 hours ahead to pick up your luggage by taxi. Then take a taxi from your hotel to the airport directly, which costs around CNY130. When you land at Guilin Airport, you can take an airport shuttle bus or taxi to your hotel. We recommend the four-star Guilin Bravo Hotel, which is located by the Li River and enjoys favorable landscape of the river. From the airport, you can take a taxi, costing CNY100 and taking about 40 minutes. 

Accommodation Suggestion: Guilin Bravo Hotel
Day09 Guilin
Li River Cruise, Guilin
We'd like to advise you start your self-exploration from the Yao Mountain Scenic Area in the eastern suburb. Due to its picturesque landscape and well-preserved tomb relics, it enjoys a high popularity among foreign tourists. Taking a taxi to reach the mountain will cost you about CNY25. We suggest you take cable car up and hike down the mountain, which will be less physically challenging than hiking all the way. After three hours sightseeing, you should head for your next destination, Reed Flute Cave. As there is no direct bus running from Yao Mountain to the cave, you'd better take a taxi with a cost of around CNY30. Please wear a pair of comfortable waterproof shoes with projections on the soles, since the steps in the caves are very slippery. Normally, 2-3 hours are enough for you to enjoy the spectacular stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations. Then take a taxi to visit the Elephant Trunk Hill Park at a cost of about CNY25. The park is about one mile from your hotel. You can either walk back to the hotel or take a taxi at a cost of CNY10.
Day10 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
West or East, Guilin is the best! The essence of Guilin landscape lies in Yangshuo County. Therefore, Yangshuo is a must-see in China Guilin tours. You are advised to take a cruise to Yangshuo from Zhujiang Dock while enjoying the eye-feasting scenery on both sides of the Li River. To leave enough time for your exploration in Yangshuo, please book the cruise ticket in advance through the hotel on the day before. Since there is no direct bus or other public transport ways, taxi may be your best choice to get to the dock from your hotel, and the fare would be about CNY100. The cruise normally takes around 4.5 hours. That is to say, if you board the cruise at around 9:00, you are expected to arrive in Yangshuo at around 14:00. After the disembarkation, you may walk to the well-know West Street to have some food, and then hire a bicycle to the Ten Miles Gallery with idyllic scenery. 

The last bus from Yangshuo to Guilin departs from North Coach Station at around 20:30, so you may have a short rest at one of the bars, cafes or tea houses in the West Street before heading back to Guilin. Yangshuo North Coach Station is just located 0.8 miles from the entrance of the West Street, you can take a taxi to the bus station at a cost of no more than CNY10. The bus ticket to Guilin costs CNY25. It takes about 1.5 hours on the way. When you get to Guilin Bus Station, please take a taxi back to your hotel for CNY10.
Day11 Guilin - Shanghai
Local people playing Tai-chi in the Bund area, Shanghai
Please check out after the breakfast and take a taxi to the airport for a morning flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Pudong airport, please find your own way to a hotel. We recommend the hotel Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central on the Hengfeng Road, close to Hanzhong Road subway station and Shanghai Railway Station. You can take the subway line 2 from the airport to People's Square, and then change to line 1 to Hanzhong Road. Take the Exit 4 and walk north for 500 yards, you will reach the destination. If you choose to take a taxi, it costs CNY180.

After the check in, you may walk to Hanzhong Road to take the subway line 1 to People's Square. Take the Exit 19 and walk all the way to the east, you will reach the famous Nanjing Road. The road is clustered with shops and restaurants, and you can choose one for your lunch. Afterwards, you can continue to wander east to the Bund. There are many attractions at the Bund area, including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Tower, World Financial Center and the exotic building clusters. In the evening, you may take a night cruise on the Huangpu River to have a panorama of the distinct architectures in the colorful nights on the east and west banks. At last, take a taxi back to your hotel in 10 minutes and at a cost of CNY25.

Accommodation Suggestion: Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
Day12 Shanghai
Have seen too many buildings on the former day, you are suggested to visit something different this day. To have a better understanding on this modern city, the Shanghai Museum should not be missed in your Shanghai tour from Washington. Walk to Hanzhong Road subway station to take subway line 1 to People's Square. Take the Exit 1 and you will reach the museum. Two hours are quite enough to scan the museum. Then take a taxi to Yuyuan Garden at a cost of CNY15. After the sightseeing in the garden, the surrounding Old City God Temple and Yuyuan Tourist Mart are good places to have a taste of the local snacks, shop souvenirs and witness what a local market is like. Lastly, we advise you take subway line 10 from Yuyuan to Tiantong Road, and change to line 12 to Hanzhong Road. Take the Exit 4 and walk about 250 yards to the hotel.
Day13 Shanghai - Washington
Your independent China Tour from USA is completed today. Please check out the hotel after breakfast, and head for Pudong or Hongqiao Airport for your homeward flight schedule. For international flights, you are advised to get to the airport at least three hours ahead.

There is no direct flight from Shanghai to Washington. You can connect flight at Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, Istanbul of Turkey, Los Angeles or Chicago of USA. Flights transferring at the above cities depart from the Pudong Airport. Some flights stopping at Beijing or Seoul of South Korea leave from Hongqiao Airport.

To Pudong Airport: You can walk to the nearby railway station to take the shuttle bus line 5 to the airport directly. If taking a taxi, the fare would be about CNY180 and the duration would be around one hour.
To Hongqiao Airport: walk to Hanzhong Road to take the subway line 12 to South Shannxi Road, and change to line 10 to the airport. A taxi ride from the hotel to the airport will cost you about CNY60 and take 40 minutes.
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