Glories of China

11-Day Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Shanghai

The Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, and Shanghai tour takes you on an incredible journey through some of China's most iconic cities and picturesque landscapes.

Tour Includes Beijing’s ancient home of emperors, Xi’an’s army of underground warriors, Guilin’s fabulous natural wonders, and Shanghai’s modern metropolis.

From US$2,339
Based on a private tour for 2 people in a 4-star hotel in off-peak season.


  • Beijing: Explore the vast history and imperial grandeur, and taste the delicious Beijing cuisine, including Peking duck.
  • Xi'an: The highlight of this leg of the trip is undoubtedly the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. 
  • Guilin: Experience the natural beauty of Guilin, a picturesque city surrounded by stunning karst landscapes. 
  • Shanghai: a vibrant metropolis that blends traditional and modern elements. 
map of china tour

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 Beijing Arrival
  • Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing4-star hotel No.3 Jinyu Lane, Dongcheng District, Beijing(or Same Class)
  • None

Your China tour begins in the city of Beijing. After your flight arrives at Beijing Capital Airport, your private Beijing guide will escort you to your hotel. Check-in and recover from jetlag.

Good to Know

  • Your international flights are not included in this tour, only domestic connecting flights.
  • Since this is your first stop in China, your Beijing guide will tell you as much as possible about transportation, currency exchange, customs, and how to avoid tourist traps.

Evening Ideas

  • Your guide will provide you with a map of Beijing, and give you advice about where to eat and shop near your hotel.
Making Tangyuan


I have recommended their services to friends and they were treated with the same quality of service as we have always been treated.


Making Tangyuan, aka Yuanxiao or Glutinous Rice Ball
DAY 2 Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, Hutong Walking Tour in Dongcheng District
  • Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing4-star hotel No.3 Jinyu Lane, Dongcheng District, Beijing(or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Meet your guide in the morning at the hotel lobby at appointment time. We’ll first walk around Tian'anmen Square — the huge square for massive ‘secret’ meetings and political events.

Then cross the street to the famous Forbidden City. There, the complex is awe-inspiring. Your guide will spend 2-3 hours going deep, visiting for example the homes of concubines and eunuchs that big tour groups do not see.

Enjoy lunch at a local roast duck restaurant.

Continue the tour to the Temple of Heaven. Throughout your tour, you can admire the magnificent ancient architecture, beautiful gardens, and vibrant atmosphere of the Temple of Heaven. Additionally, take the opportunity to learn about the historical significance of this place and its importance in Chinese culture.

Take a walk stroll around the Hutong area, you will walk through the narrow alleys, as well as visit a local family to discover the traditional lifestyle and how these unique residential houses and culture are protected. You can also ascend the Bell Tower to have a bird’s-eye view of the hutong area. The total walking distance on this tour is about 800 meters.

Tiananmen Square
Tian'anmen Square
DAY 3 Exterior visit of Beijing Olympic Stadiums (Bird's Nest and Water Cube), The Mutianyu Great Wall, Changling tomb
  • Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing4-star hotel No.3 Jinyu Lane, Dongcheng District, Beijing(or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

To embark on an exterior visit of the Beijing Olympic Stadiums, the Bird's Nest, and the Water Cube, you will get the chance to witness two iconic architectural marvels from the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Then drive 2.5 hours to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a UNESCO site. Mutianyu is less busy than other sections of the amazing wall, which can be seen from space. Sunset views from the wall will make for an unforgettable experience. Take a cable car up the wall and return.

Lastly, head to Beijing Changling, one of the thirteen imperial tombs of the Ming dynasty in China. Start your visit by entering through the Gate of Eminent Favor. Follow the designated paths and signage as you explore the various buildings and structures within the tomb complex.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall
DAY 4Summer Palace, Take a High-speed Train to Xi’an in the Afternoon
  • Eastern House Boutique Hotel3-star hotel 300 meters west of Fanxiang, South Street, Beilin District, Xi'an China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer to visit the Summer Palace (3 hours) before taking the train to Xi'an. The palace was primarily built by Emperor Qianlong as a birthday gift to his mother. It’s a fantastic place for spending a quiet and peaceful time.

Good to Know:

  • The boat rides on Kunming Lake may be limited or even suspended during the winter months (the middle of November to March next year) due to freezing temperatures or icy conditions.
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
DAY 5 The Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarters, Ancient City Wall
  • Eastern House Boutique Hotel3-star hotel 300 meters west of Fanxiang, South Street, Beilin District, Xi'an China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, escort to Xi'an City Wall, Which was built during the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City, and surrounding the city center, the city wall is a major landmark and the best preserved, oldest and largest city defense system in China.

After that, you will go to see a massive army of underground warriors, the Terracotta Army. Give yourself ample time to explore the entire site. The three excavation pits are extensive, and it's recommended to spend at least half a day to fully appreciate the details and understand the scale of the army.

Evening Ideas - Additional Tour

  • Tang dynasty show (1 hour): a performance from China’s golden age of the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), with a traditional dress for ladies and gentlemen, performing traditional song and dance.
Terracotta Army
Xi'an Terracotta Army
DAY 6Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Forest of Stele Museum, Muslim Quarters, Flight to Guilin in the Afternoon
  • Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel3-star hotel No. 1 North Shanhu Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin, Guangxi, China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagodaoffers not only a glimpse into Chinese history and architecture but also provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich Buddhist heritage of the region.

Satisfy your taste buds in The Muslim Quarter, which is known for its vibrant streets filled with shops, food stalls, and bustling markets. Don't miss out on specialties like roujiamo (a type of Chinese burger), yangrou paomo (crumbled unleavened bread in lamb soup), and various skewers of grilled meat. Keep an eye out for popular local snacks like pomegranate juice and sweet pastries as well.

Lastly, visit the Forest of Stele Museum. It is renowned for housing a vast collection of ancient stone steles, which are upright stone slabs inscribed with texts.

Transfer to Xi'an Airport for boarding your onward flight to Guilin.

The Muslim Quarter
The Muslim Quarter
DAY 7Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Discover the Folk Culture in Daxu Ancient Town
  • Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel3-star hotel No. 1 North Shanhu Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin, Guangxi, China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s tour starts from Elephant Trunk Hill, an iconic site in Guilin, providing a great photo opportunity.

Then, takes 1 hour drive to Guilin's urban Daxu Ancient Town, which allows you to experience the authentic local culture. Interact with locals, visit traditional shops, and try local street food. The town has a vibrant market where you can buy handicrafts, traditional medicines, and other local products.

Enjoy lunch at the delightful local restaurant.

Do you know who first discovered Reed Flute Cave and the fun story about the cave? Find out from your guide.

Evening Idea - Additional Tour

  • Two River and Four Lakes (1 hour): an ancient circular water system that people refer to as little Venice. A boat tour lasts an hour and permits breathtaking colorful views of life on bridges and river banks, as well as a chance to see fishermen demonstrating how to catch fish using their pet cormorants.
Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill
DAY 8 Li River Cruise(by 4-star boat), Yangshuo Countryside Cycling
  • Yangshuo Mountain Retreat3-star hotel Yulong River Rd, Gaotian Town, Guilin, China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch Onbroad

The Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is unforgettable. Stay on the top deck to see the picturesque views, which vary as you move along the river. Do reserve a 20 RMB note if possible, to compare the hill view on the note with the view you see from the river.

A simple lunch provides on the cruise, we arrive in Yangshou at about 2 pm. Later, afternoon cycling in Yangshuo countryside. With us, you’ll ride around rice paddies, and visit a local farming family halfway through the bike trip.

Evening Idea - Additional Tour

  • Night Show – Impression Sanjie Liu (1 hour 10 minutes): Directed by the famous Chinese director, Zhang Yimou, who was in charge of the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and a lot of world-class movies, the show has a great set up and backdrop — 3 massive peaks which light up when the show is on.
Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise
DAY 9Xianggong Hill, Flight to Shanghai
  • Sunrise On The Bund3-star hotel No.168, Gaoyang Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai, China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Grab a view of Xianggong Hill before going to the airport, at the peak of Xianggong Mountain, visitors are treated to a breathtaking vista of the Li River winding through the verdant valleys and the dramatic karst hills rising from the ground. The scenery is particularly captivating during sunrise and sunset when the soft light bathes the landscape, creating a magical atmosphere.

Transfer to Guilin airport for your onward flight to Shanghai

Xianggong Mountain
Xianggong Mountain
DAY 10 The Bund, Yuyuan Garden, French concession region, Tianzi Fang, Shanghai Tower
  • Sunrise On The Bund3-star hotel No.168, Gaoyang Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai, China (or Same Class)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, go to the Shanghai Tower, a skyscraper in Lujiazui. Take the elevator to the observation deck located on the 118th floor. The elevator ride itself is quite remarkable, as it is known for being one of the fastest elevators in the world.

The riverfront pavement on The Bund has witnessed many changes in Shanghai. It is a great place to walk for a good appreciation of how the old Shanghai still co-exists alongside the new modern, bustling, high-tech city.

Then visit the classical Yuyuan Garden where you will see how the concept of harmony has been applied in garden design.

After lunch, go to the Former French Concession area and Tianzifang for a taste of Chinese-style petty bourgeoisie.

Evening Idea - Additional Tour

The ERA Acrobatics Show is guaranteed to give you a wow night. Our Shanghai tour guide will help you book tickets.

The Bund
The BundXianggong Mountain
DAY 11 Departs Shanghai
  • Breakfast

Your guide and driver will escort you to Shanghai airport to board your onward flight.

What's Included

  • Entrance fees.
  • Meals are listed in the itinerary.
  • Private transfers.
  • Private English-speaking guides and drivers.
  • 4-star Hotels with good locations as listed in the itinerary.
  • Transfers are listed in the itinerary.
  • Service Charge & Taxes.

LiPing best guide for Guilin

I visited Guilin for the first time in October 2023 and only had a 2-day window. My plane landed past midnight in Guilin. LiPing was waiting with a big welcoming smile. Accompanied me to the hotel, taking full advantage of the 30-minute ride to give me an overview of my itinerary and a brief history of the region, peppered with personal anecdotes...


Dan C

Happy to travel with China Travel

China Travel is a very professional agency. Our tour was perfectly organised and planned. The guides were amazing - involved and always ready to help. We enjoyed every single day of our trip and definetely would recommend China Travel to everybody. We had an individual tour including Guilin, Yangshuo, Longshen, Fenghuang and Zhangzhiazhie. These places are incredible...


Анна К

China Highlights is the best organized tour available.

I have used CH for over and ten years and they do not disappoint. Our tour adviser is dedicated and diligent with all travel inquiries and necessities. Our private tours always get safe drivers and transport and excellent tour guides in the places we visit...



I definitely recommend and will rebook

I live in Shanghai and decided to go to Guilin during one of my weeks off of work. I chose a 5-day private tour and had a great time. My tour guide, Lily, was very kind and spoke good English. She helped translate for me at all the stores and restaurants...




Trip Note

1. The tour plan above can be tailored according to your interests and preferences. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to amend them.

2. Price varies depending on itinerary, activities, travel season, number of people, and chosen hotel. We offer accommodations at all levels for our tours including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, and good value 3-star hotels in the travel destinations.

Inquire This Tour

Price is based on a 2-person tour with 4-star hotels in low season.

from US $ p/p

*How Many People In Your Group?

*What's Your Hotel Preference?

I prefer to be contacted via:

Inquire This Tour

Your travel consultant will reach you within 1 working day.

Need Help?

Request a custom itinerary today and get one step closer to your personalized trip

Create Your Trip