This 20 days Grand China Tour is a great way to travel and sightseeing China if you have plan a long time for your vacation. The tour covers all the highlights of China while letting you discover the splendid Chinese history at world heritage sites like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the home of the Terracotta Warriors. You will visit the famous buddhist grottoes in Datong. A pilgrim's journey to the Mt. Wutai in Taiyun; Adventure the charming natural of Zhangjiajie Nantioanl Forest and Karst landscape in Kunming Stone Forest; Experience the real of Chinese in each city with your tour guide. Slow down your travel pace and get a real feel the magical country of China!
Duration: 20 days, 19 nights
Beijing, Datong, Taiyuan, Pingyao, Xi'an, Luoyang, Zhangjiajie, Kunming, Lijiang
Beijing International Airport
Lijiang International Airport
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Available: Daily (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Day 1 Arrive in Beijing
Day 2 Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Jietai Temple
Day 3 Beijing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Bird's Nest, Water Cube
Day 4 Beijing: Temple of Heaven, Beijing Hutong, Shichahai Area, Lama Temple
Day 5 Beijing to Datong by Bullet Train
Day 6 Datong: Huayan Monastery, Nine-Dragon Screen, Yungang Caves
Day 7 Datong: Hanging Temple, Wooden Pagoda of Ying County
Day 8 Datong to Taiyuan: Wutai Mountain
Day 9 Taiyuan to Pingyao: Jinci Temple, Shuanlin Temple, Qiao's Compound
Day 10 Pingyao to Xi'an: Pingyao Water Town
Day 11 Xi'an: Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter
Day 12 Xi'an to Luoyang: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Historical Museum
Day 13 Luoyang: Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang Museum, White Horse Temple
Day 14 Luoyang to Zhangjiajie by Flight
Day 15 Zhangjiajie: Glass Cliff Bridge, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Day 16 Zhangjiajie to Kunming by Flight: Stone Forest
Day 17 Kunming to Lijiang: West Hill
Day 18 Lijiang: Lijiang Ancient Town
Day 19 Lijiang: Joseph Rock's Former Residence, Baisha Mural,Shuhe Old Town
Day 20 Lijiang Departure
Welcome to China! After arrived in Beijing, You will be greeted by our local guide at the exit of the airport with a welcome signage, then you will be escorted to your hotel immediately. The rest of the day is flexible for your will, have a rest or take a walk near the hotel.
Today Your memorable tour starts! After having breakfast at hotel, you will visit the Tiananmen Square, the biggest urban city square in the world. Many constructions of great historical importance have been built on and around it. From there you will enter the Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City to explore its fascinating halls and pavilions. Here, you will not only learn how the emperor handled political affairs and lived their lives, but also appreciate numerous ancient art treasures.
After lunch in a local Chinese restaurant, you will be driven to appreciate Chinese featured royal park - Summer Palace, which boasts of typical Chinese architecture and splendid landscapes. It is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China serves as a popular tourist destination and recreational park as well.
Afterwards, move to Jietai Temple (1 hour visit), one of China's most famous ancient Buddhist sites. Its four main halls occupy terraces on a gentle slope up to Ma'an Shan (Saddle Hill).
Drive you back to your hotel.
In the evening, Beijing Opera show or Kungfu show can be optionally appreciated for you.
After having breakfast at hotel, you will have an excursion to the Badaling Great Wall, which is regarded as the most popular section of China Great Walls. It is also the best-preserved section, built during the Ming Dynasty.
Having lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.
Then you will go to the most famous tomb of Ming Tombs, which was originally built only as Changling, the tomb of Emperor Zhuli and his empresses. This is the most magnificent of the tombs. The succeeding twelve emperors built their tombs around Changling. We feel that it is necessary to remind visitors with heart problems to consider carefully whether they should enter the underground chambers. Also you will visit the Sacred Road of the tombs, was originally built to lead to the Changling mausoleum.
Later while driving back to downtown Beijing, you will stop by the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium) and Water Cube (National Aquatics), to view the unique constructions and take some photos.
In the morning, you will head for the Temple of Heaven, where you can see the local people do morning exercise. The Temple of Heaven is the emperors worshipped the heavens in hopes of good harvests. As the dwelling of the God of Heaven, it covers an area even larger than the dwelling of the emperor, Forbidden City.
After lunch in a local Chinese restaurant, later you will explore Beijing Hutong by rickshaw. People say that the real culture of Beijing is the culture of Hutong and courtyard. Gossiping in these lanes is a common scene as it is the main way for people to strengthen their relationship. These lanes have witnessed the development of Beijing. Where there is such a lane, there is a story.
Head to the Shichahai Area - the old part of Beijing and visit a century-old courtyard and learn about its history, layout, Fengshui, and its traditional Chinese culture involved. Then take a pedicab and drive through the zigzag and narrow alleys or hutongs.
Finally you will visit to Lama Temple, which is the most handsome and impressive Buddhist temple in Beijing. It is the only temple in Beijing to have its own subway stop. It was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng before his ascending to the throne as well.
Afterwards, drive you back to your hotel.
After breakfast at hotel, you will be transferred to Beijing Train Station for the high speed train to Datong, with comfortable soft-sleeper, the whole journey takes around six hours.
After arrived in Datong, our local guide will meet you at the exit of Datong Railway Station, later escorting you to check in at Datong downtown hotel.
After dinner at a local Chinese restaurant, the rest of the day is free on your own and you could have a rest.
In the morning, your first stop is Huayan Monastery of Datong, which is the largest and best preserved monastery of the Liao Dynasty in existence in China. It was built according to the Huayan Sutra Sect of the Huayan School and is unique in that it faces east instead of south. It was named after the Huayan sect of Buddhism. And it is the largest and most perfectly preserved temple of the Liao (916-1125) and Jin (1115-1234) dynasties in China.
Then you will go on to visit a must-see in Datong - the Nine-Dragon Screen, which is three times larger than the one in Beihai Park, Beijing. The Nine-Dragon Screen was erected during the late reign of Emperor Hongwu (1368-1398) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). And there is an interesting story behind this screen, awaiting you to discover.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, continue your tour to the stunning Yungang Caves. Of the numerous artistic masterpieces that Buddhism has created in China in the past 2,000 years, the caves at Yungang are among the most profound. So there are few words for you can find to describe the overwhelming feeling when you just stand in the front of these giant Buddha statues.
After that, you will be taken back to your hotel.
After breakfast, our guide will take you to visit one of most famous highlights of Datong, Hanging Temple, which is definitely an architecture wonder in the world. It is the only existing temple in China where you can see the Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism in one place. Hanging Temple got its name as it is situated on the west cliff of Jinlong Gorge more than 50 meters above the ground.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, then you will shift to visit to Wooden Pagoda of Ying County, another construction miracle, called the Pagoda of Fogong Temple. It is the highest ancient timber-framed tower building within China. The tower is 67.31 meters in height, standing on the north-south axis. It lies between the gate and the temple, a typical "tower in the front; temple in the back" layout.
After finished that, drive you to Mt. Wutai by car (around 3 hours). After reached the hotel, you would have a good rest and make full preparation for the next day's visit.
After breakfast, today you will visit Wutai Mountain, known as Qingliang Shan, literally meaning "Five Terrace Mountain", is a Buddhist sacred site located at the headwaters of river Qingshui, in the Chinese northeastern province of Shanxi, surrounded by a cluster of flat-topped peaks (North, South, East, West, and Central). The North Peak, called Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng, is the highest (3,061 m) of these, and is also the highest point in northern China. And you will be surprised and impressed by its breathtaking sceneries and strong Buddhist cultural atmosphere. It is a must-go place combining beautiful landscapes with Buddhist culture.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, it takes around 3 hours from Mt. Wutai to Taiyuan city. Then our guide will help you to check-in and arrange other things for you.
Today your first stop is Jinci Temple, which is China’s oldest classical ancestral hall, preserving 98 buildings, 110 sculptures, 300 blocks and 37 cast arts which are all over 300 hundred years. It is rare that so many fine relics are preserved in one cultural heritage.
Then you will pay a visit to Shuanlin Temple, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Reputed to be the "ancient painted sculptures museum", Shuanglin Temple houses more than 2,000 colorful sculptures reflecting the exquisite skills of the artisans of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, you will visit Qiao's Compound, where offer you a whole picture of what Chinese rich family's life was like in old times.
Then transferred you to Pingyao. After arrived at water town in Pingyao, our guide will help you check in a featured guesthouse. The rest of the day is for you to relax or stroll around the town with your camera.
After breakfast, firstly, you will start the tour with Pingyao Old Town, There are three Key National Protected Relics in Pingyao, namely Pingyao City Wall, Shuangxiu Temple and Zhenguo Temple. Due to its sound preservation of the urban landscape in China's Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, Pingyao was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List on December 31st, 1997. "The Ancient City of Pingyao is an outstanding example of a Han Chinese city of the Ming and Qing Dynasties that has retained all its features to an exceptional degree, and in doing so provides a remarkably complete picture of cultural, social, economic, and religious development during one of the most seminal periods of Chinese history."- World Relics Committee of UNESCO.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, you will be transferred to Railway Station for your train to Xi'an. It takes about 8.5 hours with comfortable soft-sleeper, your will meet by our local guide once arrived and drive you to your hotel.
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel, you will head for the world-famous Terracotta Warriors to start wonderful Xi'an tour, one of the most significant archeological finds in 20th century. 6000 life-size terra soldiers and horses in battle formation have guarded Emperor Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum for 2200 years.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, you will set foot in the Muslim Culture at the Great Mosque, savoring the special blend of Chinese & Muslim cultures and feel the soul of the broad-minded ancient Xi'an. Hanging around the Muslim Quarter nearby the Drum Tower is another way to experience the local Muslim life. Various featured snacks & crafts shops are surely a great feast.
Option: At night, Xi'an Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show plus Chinese dumpling banquet can be optionally tried.
After breakfast at hotel, the first spot you will visit is Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang. In ancient time, successful candidates in the highest imperial examinations always left their signature in the tower which was called Superscription of the Wild Goose Tower. In addition, many celebrities left poems or some other literature works.
At noon, after lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, continue your tour to Shaanxi Historical Museum, where you can learn more history about this ancient city through the valuable bronze wares, jade, potteries, and murals from the Prehistory Period to the Qing Dynasty exhibited there.
After finished that, you will be transferred to train station for your train to Luoyang. Our local guide will meet you at the exit taking you to your hotel.
After breakfast, first you will visit the Longmen Grottoes. It is situated on the Yihe River bank, about 12 kilometers from Luoyang city. It is one of the three most valuable Buddhist cave and rock carvings in China. The grottoes were first carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), when the rulers relocated their capital from Datong to Luoyang at the end of the 5th century. The Longmen Grottoes were listed as a World Heritage Site in Nov, 2000.
After lunch, continue to visit Luoyang Museum. The Luoyang Museum is a city-level historical museum of China. The first floor is dedicated to the basic exhibition depicting the Heluo Civilization (Luoyang’s history and culture). The second floor is mainly designed for 7 exhibition rooms for 7 themed exhibitions – Exhibition of Calligraphy and Painting, Exhibition of Ancient Treasure of Luoyang, Exhibition of pottery figurines of Han and Tang dynasties, Exhibition of tri-colored earthen wares of Tang Dynasty, Exhibition of Qing Imperial cultural relics and Exhibition of ancient fresco Art.
Then head to the White Horse Temple. The White Horse Temple in Luoyang is the first Buddhist temple in China, the important cradle of Chinese’s Buddhism, which was introduced into China from India in 68AD in Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD – 220 AD), the same year when the white horse temple was built.
After that, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Luoyang.
In the morning, free on your own until our guide pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the train station for the train to Xi’an and go to Xi’an Xianyang International Airport directly for your plane to Zhangjiajie.
Upon arrival, our guide meet you at the exit and you will be escorted to your hotel. The rest of the day will be on your own.
After breakfast, first you will visit Glass Cliff Bridge at Tianmen Mountain, which is hanging Tianmen top West line, length 60 meters, width 1.6 meters, the highest elevation of 1430 meters. Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie scenic spot is following the path along the cliff overhanging Guigu cliff, projecting glass gazebo out of thin air.
After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.
Then continue your tour to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, visit Huangshi (Yellow Lion) Village by cable car, which rises 1,080 meters above the sea level. In fact, it is a vast platform, consisting of tremendous steep cliffs, covering an area of 16.5 hectares. The scenery is one of the elite routes, accumulating lots of wonders and interests, including Heavenly Books and Treasure Chest, Sea Calming Needle, Single Pole in the Southern Heaven, Golden Tortoise Popping over the Sea, and so on. There is a famous saying “He who does not reach the Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie.” Cable cars are available for visitors to take up and down the village. A trail is also waiting for you to hike about five hours. Golden Whip Stream is about 7.5 kilometers (about 4.7 miles) long and is known for its pristine waters, steep cliffs and green mountains.
Afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel.
In the morning, pick up from your hotel lobby taking you to the airport for your flight to Kunming. After arrived in Kunming, our guide will pick you up at the exit of the airport. You will be greeted by our local guide with a welcome signage.
First of all, you will visit the Stone Forest, a typical formation of Karst topography-- the most famous tourist attraction in Kunming. Then proceed to Jiuxiang Caves, it is known as "the Museum of Karst Caves", which boasts its caves as the largest in scale and number in China. On the way, go to a minority village and get close to the local people's life.
Drive you back to your hotel and check in, the rest of the day for you to explore the city nearby your hotel with your camera.
After breakfast, pick up from your hotel lobby. Today our guide take you to visit West Hill, take a cable car up and see the Dragon Gate. You will have a panoramic view of the Dian Lake. Then visit Golden Palace to appreciate its special and grand designs. Have a stroll around Green Lake.
Have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant
After finished West Hill, transfer to board overnight train to Lijiang.
Upon arrival, be met by our guide and you will be transferred to check into your hotel.
Then our guide will take you to explore the famous Lijiang Ancient Town, originally called Dayan, it is a very well preserved old town built by Naxi people with unique cultural background. It was listed as the World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1997. Pay a visit to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy the stunning view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from it. Then proceed to visit Dongba Museum, which has more than 10000 Dongba cultural relics and various other historical relics and offers the "Dongba Culture Exhibition".
After that, drive you back to your hotel.
In the morning, our guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. First, Joseph Rock's Former Residence at Yuhu Village, where you can know more about Joseph Rock and his life there.
Then go to Baisha Mural, it was painted in Baisha Town in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), an interesting co-existence of Buddhism, Taoism and Lamaism in the artworks.
Have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.
Then continue your tour to Shuhe Old Town. Shuhe is the earliest settlement of Naxi people in Lijiang when their ancestors first moved to this region. Compared with Lijiang, the town is less touristy and polished with more original characters.
Drive you back to your hotel.
Today free on your own until our driver drive you to the airport for your flight back home or your next destination. Your wonderful 20 days China Tour comes to ends. Have a pleasant trip!
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