Home > China Tours > 19-day China Top Ancient Town Tour

China Top Ancient Town Tour

19-Day, Beijing, Taiyuan, Pingyao, Xian, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shanghai, Tongli, Huangshan, Private Tour (CT-GT-01)

China Top Ancient Town Tour
China Top Ancient Town Tour
Bai Minority in Dali
Bai Minority in Dali, Yunnan.
Tongli Water Town
Sunset at Tongli Water Town, Suzhou
The Bund
The Bund in Shanghai, lights up at night.
Sugar-coated Berry on a Stick
Sugar-coated Berry on a stick is a typical Beijing local snack you can find in the old Hutong.
Dumpling-making Class
Learn to make dumplings during this China holiday.


Peggie Lv,

Tour Manager

Designed uniquely for fans of China's ancient towns.5 well-known ancient towns including Pingyao, Dali,Lijiang, Hongcun and Tongli reflect different aspects of the rural and original lifestyles and cultures that one's never seen before.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Beijing Arrival (Flight not Included)

Destinations & activities: Airport - hotel transfer

Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, your Beijing tour guide will pick you up and take you to hotel for check-in.


- Smart Tips:

  • The drive from the airport to your hotel takes about 1 - 2 hours depending on the traffic.
  • This tour doesn't include international flights. However, we would be happy to help you book the flight. Please contact us for details.
  • Check out our latest deals on Chicago - Beijing round-trip airfare operated by Hainan Airlines the SKYTRAX member honored as 5-star airline!

    Meals: None

    Day 2


    Forbidden City
    Forbidden City

    Destinations & activities: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace

    Today's Beijing tour lists up three must-visit attractions: Firstly, you will walk on Tian'anmen Square. Later, walk into China's long history at the Forbidden City, where you will visit four major parts of the palace: the Hall of Mental Cultivation, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Palace of Heavenly Purity and Royal Garden.

    After lunch, you will visit where the Chinese emperors used to summer: the Summer Palace. Walk along the lakeside pavement and visit the Garden of Harmonious Virtue inside the palace.


    - Smart Tips:

  • For dinner tonight, we would like to recommend a Peking Duck bite at Hua's Restaurant (or Huajia Yiyuan), decorated in a royal mansion style. Check out our "Solo Adventure" tag for more information.


  • Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Baishida Restaurant


    Day 3


    Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
    Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

    Destinations & activities: Temple of Heaven, Great Wall at Mutianyu Section and a cloisonne factory

    Local people like to start their morning at the parks, and Temple of Heaven is one of the most popular ones. This morning, you will pay a visit at this famous site. Later, you will be on the way to the Great Wall at Mutianyu Section. A round-trip cable car ride is included. You will stop by a cloisonne factory before you go back to Beijing.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The distance between downtown Beijing and the Great Wall at Mutianyu Section is 2 hours depending on the traffic. On the way, you will see the rural side of Beijing.
  • If you would like something more exciting, you can choose a slide-way drive downhill. Request with your travel advisor.
  • After today's tour, perhaps you need some rejuvenation. Chinese traditional massage, acupuncture and Spa might be an ideal way to pamper yourself. Check out our tag for more information.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Xinshuangquan Restaurant

    Day 4

    Beijing to Taiyuan, Taiyuan to Pingyao (By Train No. D2003)

    Hutong Visit
    Visit a local family inside the Hutongs.

    Destinations & activities: Hutong visit, the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling and transfer to the train station

    This morning, you will be a part of the daily culture inside Beijing's old Hutong by rickshaw. Also, you will visit the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling, which is also the birthplace of China's last emperor Pu Yi. Have lunch in a courtyard house restaurant.

    At noon, your Beijing tour guide will take you to the train station. An afternoon train will lead your trip to Taiyang. From Taiyuan, your private car will escort you to Pingyao, the charming ancient town of Shanxi Province.

    Check in upon arrival.


    - Smart Tips:

  • Train No. D2003 leaves at 1319 and arrives at 1645.
  • The distance between Taiyuan and Pingyao is about 1.5 hours depending on the traffic.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Courtyard 7 Restaurant

    Day 5


    China Top Ancient Town Tour

    Destinations & activities: Pingyao Ancient Town, Rishengchang Draft Bank, Ancient Mingqing Street and Pingyao Ancient City Wall

    Honored as one of the best preserved ancient towns in China, Pingyao Ancient Town keeps the history alive. Today you will spend a whole day at this great town. You will visit Rishengchang Draft Bank, the first bank in China dating back to 1644. Later, have lunch in a famous old restaurant.

    Dedicate your afternoon to Ancient Mingqing Street and Ancient City Wall.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The major color tone in Pingyao Ancient Town is black and dark green. White shirt or light-colored clothes might cause overexpose while taking photos.
  • Tap water in Pingyao is pumped up from wells that are mostly over 200-meter-deep, thus the boiled water you drink at the hotel or retsuarant is a bit salty. We suggest you drink bottled water if you don't like the taste. (FYI, Nongfu Spring is one of the best brands for bottled water.)
  • There are many stores and vendors selling Pingyao Beef and claim themselves to be the most authentic. How to spot good beef? Make sure you buy the beef that is pink but not red and bagged in kraftpaper bags. Guanyun is one of the best brands to choose.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Dejuyuan Restaurant

    Day 6

    Pingyao to Xi'an (By Overnight Train No.1095)

    Wang Family's Grand Courtyard
    Wang Family's Grand Courtyard in Pingyao.

    Destinations & activities: Shuanglin Temple, Wang Family's Grand Courtyard and transfer to the train station

    Aging about 1,500 years old, Shuanglin Temple is known for its well-presvered clay sculptures and color paintings. Later, you will visit the impressive Wang Family's Grand Courtyard.

    At the evening, your tour guide will take you to the train station. An overnight train will take you to Xi'an.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The drive from Pingyao to Shuanglin Temple is within  30 minutes, to Wang Family's Grand Courtyard is within one hour.
  • Train to Xi'an leaves at 2047 and arrives at 0700 next morning (* Note: train delay happens sometimes) Train travel in China can be new for you. We arrange soft sleeper train for your comfort and it's wise to keep an eye on your stuff.


  • Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch


    Day 7


    Terracotta Warriors & Horses

    Destinations & activities: Train station - hotel transfer, Terracotta Army and Big Wild Goose Pagoda

    Arrive in Xi'an in the early morning. Check in hotel and have some breakfast.

    Later, you will visit the wonderful site of Terracotta Army. Get back to downtown Xi'an, you will climb up the famous Big Wild Goose Pagoda and enjoy superb views of the ancient city.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The drive from downtown Xi'an to the Terracotta Site is within one hour.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant

    Day 8

    Xi'an to Kunming (Flight No.MU2125)

    China Top Ancient Town Tour

    Destinations & activities: The Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter and transfer to the airport

    Morning and sunset is the best time for a wide-open view of the charming ancient city at its Ancient City Wall Later, blend in with the locals at a yummy hunt at the Muslim Quarter.

    The flight to Kunming leaves at 1650 and your Xi'an tour guide will escort you to the airport.

    Check in upon arrival.



    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch


    Day 9

    Kunming to Dali (Flight No.8L9903)

    Stone Forest
    Stone Forest in Kunming

    Destinations & activities: Stone Forest, Green Lake Park and Yuantong Temple, land transfer

    In the morning, we will drive to Stone Forest. Countless limestones spring up from the earth and form the land of over 4,000 Km2 a forst of stone. Have lunch and be back to the city.

    After a relaxing walk in the Green Lake Park, we will get to one of the oldest Buddhism temples in Yunnan: Yuantong Temple.

    The flight to Dali is late at night (2100 - 2140). Your Kunming tour guide will escort you to the airport.

    Check in upon arrival.


    - Smart Tips:

  • If you have some free time in Kunming, why not visit the bustling tea wholesale market at Kangle Tea Culture Market? You can find more information on the right tag.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Ashima Restaurant

    Day 10


    Erhai Lake
    Fisherman in Erhai Lake, Dali, Yunnan.

    Destinations & activities: Boat trip in Erhai Lake, Xizhou Bai Village and Dali Ancient Town

    The vast Erhai Lake is home to several minority groups in Dali. Today you will take a pleasant boat trip on the lake. Later, drive to Xizhou Bai Village, where Bai people live. Have lunch and then we will be back to Dali.


    Afternoon, you will take a free walk in Dali Ancient Town and experience the exotic lifestyle and culture.



    - Smart Tips:

  • Cycling around Erhai Lake is an adventureous challenge that can amp up your China holiday. Ortherwise, get around the nearby countryside on wheels. Ask your Dali tour guide for advice and help if you're interested. (* Note: We wouldn't recommend elderly people go for this trip.)
  • Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Kaiyi's Kitchen


    Day 11

    Dali to Lijiang

    Lijiang Ancient Town
    Lijiang Ancient Town

    Destinations & activities: Land transfer, Lijiang Ancient Town, Lion Hill and Wangu Tower

    This morning, you will enjoy a scenic drive to Lijiang.

    Arrive in the afternoon. Check in upon arrival.

    A free walk in Lijiang Ancient Town is neccessary for you to learn about its Badong and Naxi cultures that are different from what you've seen in Dali. Later, get on the Wangu Tower on the Lion Hill to view the whole lovely town.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The distance from Dali to Lijiang is about 4 hours.
  • Please note: No lunch arrangement for today but we will make a stop in the middle of the road for simple food (your expense). You can take some snacks and water.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 12


    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    Destinations & activities: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Shuhe Ancient Town

    After breakfast, we will visit the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain at its Yak Meadow.

    Drive to Shuhe Ancient Town for a quieter moment.


    - Smart Tips:

  • The distance from Lijiang to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is about 1.5 hours.
  • Please note: Yak Meadow is 3,800 meter from sea level and there might come an altitude change while the cable car goes up the mountain, however, most people won't feel any physical uncomfort. Please let your tour guide know if some phyiscal problems occur.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Misi Restaurant

    Day 13

    Lijiang to Shanghai (Flight No. FM4950)

    Destinations & activities: Hotel - airport transfer

    Today you will take a 5-hour flight to Shanghai. Check in upon arrival.



    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 14


    Shanghai History Museum
    Wax work at Shanghai History Museum

    Destinations & activities: The Bund, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yuyuan Garden, the Former French Concession, Tianzifang and Xintiandi

    Today you will see Shanghai in different faces: firstly, a city full of colonial tinge as you walk along The Bund. Later, a thriving big city as you get a bird's view at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and visit Shanghai History Museum. Have lunch in a gracefully-set restaurant.

    Shanghai can also be as elegant as a Suzhou-style garden, this afternoon, you will visit Yuyuan Garden. Later, walk on the Former French Concession and get to the shopping paradise at Tianzifang and Xintiandi. Today you will also stop by a silk store.



    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Home's Restaurant


    Day 15

    Shanghai to Tongli and Back

    Tongli Water Town
    Tongli Water Town

    Destinations & activities: Land transfer, Tuisi Garden and boat trip in Tongli Water Town

    Unlike other ancient towns you've seen in this tour, Tongli Ancient Town is more like a docile and lovely lady. This morning, we will drive down to Tongli.

    Visit the classic Suzhou-style garden in Tongli: Tuisi Garden and take a boat trip along the canel. At the end of today, you will be back to Shanghai.


    - Smart Tips:

  • Highly ranked as the No.4 attraction on Trip Advisor, ERA Legend of Time Acrobatic Show brings you an awesome night. Ask your Shanghai tour guide for ticket booking with great price.
  • As a memento from the good old days, Jazz Bar at Peace Hotel is a place to be after a free walk along The Bund.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Tongli Nanyuan Tea House

    Day 16

    Shanghai to Huangshan (Flight No.FM9267)

    Destinations & activities: Free time in Shanghai, hotel - airport tranfer

    Today you will enjoy a free morning in Shanghai. In the afternoon, you will fly to Huangshan. Check in upon arrival.



    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 17


    Yellow Mountain
    Yellow Mountain

    Destinations & activities: Huangshan

    Today you will spend a whole day at Huangshan, aka Yellow Mountain. Have lunch in a restaurant on the top of the mountain.

    Legend has it that Huangdi, the famous Emperor from ancient times, used to live at Huangshan as a supernatural being. Doubtlessly, today you will unfold the legend by yourself.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch


    Day 18

    Huangshan to Shanghai (Flight No.FM9266)

    Hongcun Village
    Hongcun Village

    Destinations & activities: Yellow Mountain, Hongcun Village and transfer to the airport

    Ever wonder what the life is like if living in Huangshan? Today you will pay a visit to Hongcun Village. Have lunch in a local restaurant.

    Later today, you will take a flight to Shanghai. Free night after check-in.

    Meals: Breakfast and Chinese Lunch at Leigang Restaurant


    Day 19

    Shanghai Departure (Flight not Included)

    Destinations & activities: Hotel - airport transfer

    How time flies! Today your Shanghai tour guide will escort you to the airport. Hopefully you had a great time with us. See you next time!



    Meals: Breakfast

    Terms & Conditions (More...

    Price Inclusion

    • Entrance fees.
    • Meals listed in the itinerary.
    • Private transfers.
    • Private English-speaking guide and driver.
    • Hotels listed in the itinerary.
    • Service Charge & Taxes.
    • China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
    • Luggage Transfers.

    Price Exclusion

    • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China.
    • China Entry Visa Fees.
    • Excess Baggage Charges.
    • Personal Expenses.
    • Any meals that are not mentioned in the tour itinerary.
    • Single Room Supplement.

    Special Terms

    • Price may change during some Chinese festivals.
    • Price is subject to change based on exchange rate.
    • We accept both on-line payment (by Paypal® and Moneybookers®) and wire transfer.
    • A deposit of 10% ot the total cost is required when you confirm your booking.
    • For Cancellation Refunds, please click here.

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    Tour Highlights

    • 5 top ancient towns in China with different styles
    • 19 days of delight by visiting all the key sites in 9 destinations
    • Comfortable hotel and nice local food
    • Try out train travel and boat trip

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