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

Vicky Wen
Tour designer

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.

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

Tour Itinerary

DAY
1
Beijing Arrival
  • Activities: Airport/Train Station/Port to Hotel Transfer
  • Meals: No Meals
  • Hotels: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town 5-star hotel  |  Sunworld Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Dongfang Hotel Beijing 3-star hotel

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!
  • DAY
    2
    Beijing
    • Activities: Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace with the Garden of Virtue and Harmony, Pearl Store
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Bai Shi Da Restaurant
    • Hotels: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town 5-star hotel  |  Sunworld Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Dongfang Hotel Beijing 3-star hotel

    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.
  • Tiananmen Square

    DAY
    3
    Beijing
    • Activities: The Mutianyu Great Wall(with round way cable car), Temple of Heaven, Shahe Cloisonne Factory
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Xin Shuang Quan Restaurant
    • Hotels: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town 5-star hotel  |  Sunworld Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Dongfang Hotel Beijing 3-star hotel

    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.
  • Mutianyu Great Wall

    DAY
    4
    Beijing to Taiyuan by Train No. D2003 (Beijing Xi West Railway Station - Taiyuan Railway Station) Dep 13:19 - Arr 16:45
    • Activities: Hutong Tour by Rickshaw in Xicheng District, Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Beijing), Train station Transfer (Taiyuan), Our guide and driver will escort you from Taiyuan to Pingyao
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Courtyard 7 Restaurant
    • Hotels: Yunjincheng Folk Hotel  5-star hotel  |  Dejuyuan Inn 3-star hotel  |  Dejuyuan Inn 3-star hotel

    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.
  • DAY
    5
    Pingyao
    • Activities: Pingyao Ancient Town, The Mingqing Street, The Rishengchang Draft Bank, Ancient City Wall
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Dejuyuan Folk-Style Guesthouse
    • Hotels: Yunjincheng Folk Hotel  5-star hotel  |  Dejuyuan Inn 3-star hotel  |  Dejuyuan Inn 3-star hotel

    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.
  • Pingyao Ancient Town

    DAY
    6
    Pingyao to Overnight Train by Train No. 1095 (Pingyao Railway Station - Xian Railway Station) Dep 20:47 - Arr 06:56
    • Activities: Wang Family Courtyard, Shuanglin Temple, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Pingyao)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    • Hotels: No

    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.
  • DAY
    7
    Xian
    • Activities: Train station Transfer (Xian), The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts center
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant(Qinling Branch)
    • Hotels: Sofitel on Renmin Square Xian 5-star hotel  |  Xian Garden Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Xian Skytel Hotel 3-star hotel

    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.
  • DAY
    8
    Xian to Kunming by China Eastern Airline MU2125 Dep 16:50 - Arr 19:00
    • Activities: Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarters, Hotel to airport Transfer (Xian), Airport Transfer (Kunming)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Qianzhou Restaurant (Xiao Yanta Branch)
    • Hotels: Grand Park Hotel 5-star hotel  |  Kunming New Era Hotel  4-star hotel  |  King World Hotel 3-star hotel

    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.

    DAY
    9
    Kunming to Dali by Flight No. 8L9903 Dep 21:00 - Arr 21:40
    • Activities: Green Lake Park, The Stone Forest, Yuantong Temple, Hotel to airport Transfer (Kunming), Airport Transfer (Dali)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Chinese Restaurant of Stone Forest Ashima Hotel
    • Hotels: Gurong Hotel 5-star hotel  |  Dali Landscape Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Dali Landscape Hotel 4-star hotel

    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.
  • Stone Forest

    DAY
    10
    Dali
    • Activities: Cruise on the Erhai Lake, Houses of Bai People in Xizhou, Ancient City of Dali
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Kaiyi's Kitchen
    • Hotels: Gurong Hotel 5-star hotel  |  Dali Landscape Hotel 4-star hotel  |  Dali Landscape Hotel 4-star hotel

    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.)
  • DAY
    11
    Lijiang
    • Activities: Our guide and driver will escort you from Dali to Lijiang, Lijiang Ancient Town, Wangu Tower
    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Hotels: Intercontinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort 5-star hotel  |  Hexi Hotel 3-star hotel  |  Sanhe Hotel Lijiang 3-star hotel

    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.
  • DAY
    12
    Lijiang
    • Activities: The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain(Yak Meadow), Shuhe ancient town
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Misi Restaurant
    • Hotels: Intercontinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort 5-star hotel  |  Hexi Hotel 3-star hotel  |  Sanhe Hotel Lijiang 3-star hotel

    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.
  • DAY
    13
    Lijiang to Shanghai by Shanghai Airlines FM9450 (Lijiang Lijiang Airport - Shanghai Hongqiao Airport T2) Dep 12:40 - Arr 17:30
    • Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Lijiang), Airport Transfer (Shanghai)
    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Hotels: Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel  5-star hotel  |  The Bund Hotel Shanghai 4-star hotel  |  Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai 3-star hotel

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

    DAY
    14
    Shanghai
    • Activities: Oriental Pearl TV Tower(INCL Shanghai History Museum), The Bund, French concession region, Yuyuan Garden, Xintiandi, Tianzi Fang, Jiangnan Silk Shop and Workshop
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Home's Restaurant
    • Hotels: Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel  5-star hotel  |  The Bund Hotel Shanghai 4-star hotel  |  Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai 3-star hotel

    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.

    Shanghai the Bund

    DAY
    15
    Shanghai
    • Activities: Our guide and driver will escort you from Shanghai to Tongli, Tuisi Yuan, Tongli Water Town, Tongli Boat Ride, Our guide and driver will escort you from Tongli to Shanghai
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Tongli Nanyuan Tea House
    • Hotels: Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel  5-star hotel  |  The Bund Hotel Shanghai 4-star hotel  |  Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai 3-star hotel

    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.
  • DAY
    16
    Shanghai to Huangshan by Shanghai Airlines FM9267 (Shanghai Hongqiao Airport T2 - Huangshan Tunxi Airport) Dep 14:20 - Arr 15:25
    • Activities: Free time, Hotel to airport Transfer (Shanghai), Airport Transfer (Huangshan)
    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Hotels: Xinan Country Villa Hotel(in the city) 4-star hotel  |  Xinan Country Villa Hotel(in the city) 4-star hotel  |  Xinan Country Villa Hotel(in the city) 4-star hotel

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

    DAY
    17
    Huangshan
    • Activities: Yungu Cable Car (up) and West Sea Grand Canyon, The Yellow Mountains
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    • Hotels: Xihai Hotel(in the mountains) 5-star hotel  |  Beihai Hotel Huangshan  4-star hotel  |  Beihai Hotel Huangshan  4-star hotel

    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.

    Yellow Mountain

    DAY
    18
    Huangshan to Shanghai by Shanghai Airlines FM9266 (Huangshan Tunxi Airport - Shanghai Hongqiao Airport T2) Dep 22:40 - Arr 23:35
    • Activities: Yungu Cable Car (up) and West Sea Grand Canyon, Hongcun Village, Hotel to airport Transfer (Huangshan), Airport Transfer (Shanghai)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Leigang villa, Dinner
    • Hotels: Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel  5-star hotel  |  The Bund Hotel Shanghai 4-star hotel  |  Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai 3-star hotel

    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.

    DAY
    19
    Shanghai Departure
    • Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Shanghai)
    • Meals: Breakfast

    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!

    Prices (Go Solo Private Tour)

    $ USD
    Apr.1- Nov.31 Superior Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class Single Room Supplement
    1 person -
    2-5 persons / /
    6-9 persons / /

    * The price may change during some festivals including the Spring Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Labor Day (1st May), Mid Autumn Day and National Day (1st Oct.).

    * The price is subject to change based on exchange rate.

    What's Included & Excluded

    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.
    Vanessa Zheng

    Tailor-make a China tour based on your needs.

    Key sites in the three major cities Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai are all included in this 8-day China tour. Plus, No hidden fees and No tourist traps at all!

    Vernessa Zheng - Travel Advisor

    800-9337181 (Free in US & CA)

    Tour Type : Private Tour

    Best Season :All seasons

    Is this trip for you?

    from US $4,939 p/p

    Price details