Best of China
SAVE UP TO $100 on this tour

This trip blends the perfect mix of Chinas major metropolises with priceless time experiencing traditional rural life. Explore hidden corners of Beijings Forbidden City. Cycle through remote villages and learn about Xians famed terracotta soldiers. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the gorgeous Li River. Meet and interact with Shanghais celebrated acrobats and watch them train. Our local CEO knows just where to take you for the best highlights of this incredible country.

Duration: 12 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, History, Wildlife Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Moderate% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 155163
Starts: Beijing, China Finishes: Shanghai, China
You will visit
  • Beijing
  • Shanghai



Day 1: Beijing (1D)

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a Peking Duck welcome dinner.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Private Vehicle


Day 2: Beijing (1B)

One of the greatest structures ever built, the Great Wall was constructed in stages over 2,000 years. This massive structure stretches 6,000km (3,728 mi) westwards from the sea to western China. The section we visit is called Mutianyu and is one of the best preserved Ming Dynasty sections reachable from Beijing.

Included Activities:
Great Wall Mutianyu visit

Private Vehicle (2.00-4.00 hours)


Day 3: Beijing (1B)

Today we delve into the history of Beijing, visiting the dramatic Forbidden City and the immense Tiananmen Square. Hear tales of emperors and their concubines, a long crafted culture and rich tradition. Witness how ancient Chinese customs are still valued today, while also blended with modern technology and western influences. Visit the Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds, full of locals whiling the hours away practicing water calligraphy and Tai Chi, playing cards, and walking pet crickets, all with the colourful Temple of Heaven in the background. Take a walking tour featuring some of Beijing's traditional alleyways and backstreets known as hutongs.

Additional Notes:
Please note that the timing of included activities can change and will be spread out over the course of days 2-4.

Included Activities:
Tiananmen Square Guided Tour
Forbidden City
Temple of Heaven Visit
Hutong Walk

Private Vehicle


Day 4: Beijing/Xi’an (1B)

Accommodation this evening will be in Soft Sleeper train cars which have 8-9 compartments per cabin. Each compartment includes 4 beds (two upper and two lower beds) and a sliding door which can be locked.

Overnight train (beds) (12.00-14.00 hours)


Day 5: Xi’an (1B)

Arrive in the ancient Chinese capital and traditional silk road terminus, Xi'an, in the morning. We will be met and transferred to our hotel. After settling in, we will gather for an inner city bike ride along the 14km (9 mi) of ancient city walls.

In the evening, explore the multicultural feel of the Muslim Quarter with shopping lanes and street-side food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and a fine array of sweets. Opt to try some of the best street food in China – the spicy beef and lamb kebabs are always a favourite.

Included Activities:
Cycling Xi'an City Walls
Muslim Quarter Orientation Walk


Day 6: Xi’an (1B, 1L)

Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors the archaeological wonder built over 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Afterwards, visit a Village and enjoy lunch. Opt to enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner banquet in the evening.

Included Activities:
Terracotta Warriors Visit
Village visit and lunch

Private Vehicle


Day 7: Xi’an/Yangshuo (1B, 1D)

Fly to Guilin and continue on to China's lush southwest to experience the rural culture and unique limestone karst scenery of the Yangshuo area. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Li River.

Included Activities:
Li River Cruise

Plane (1.75-2.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (1.75-2.00 hours, 75km)


Day 8: Yangshuo (1B, 1D)

Trek through the beautiful countryside, passing through villages and rice and fruit fields. Later, try preparing local cuisine at a cooking school and enjoy the results for dinner.

Included Activities:
Countryside Walk
Cooking Class

Private Vehicle


Day 9: Yangshuo (1B)

Embark on a day of easy cycling and rural discovery, venturing from Yangshuo out into the Dragon River area to take in the montage of rural scenes.

Return to Yangshuo for a free evening, which you can choose to spend relaxing or experiencing some of Yangshuo's vibrant nightlife.

Included Activities:
Tai Chi Class

Private Vehicle


Day 10: Yangshuo/Shanghai (1B)

In a great day of contrasts, you'll awake overlooking the rural countryside and finish the day in the heart of China's bustling metropolis, Shanghai.

Cosmopolitan Shanghai is a mesmerizing array of old and new, from the 19th century Asian-infused Victorian and early 20th century Art Deco architecture to the bold 21st century futuristic skyline additions.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk of the Bund

Private van transfer to airport and private bus from airport to hotel.
Plane (2.00 hour(s))


Day 11: Shanghai (1B)

Enjoy free time to explore on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens or the Shanghai Museum. This evening, get a behind-the-scenes peek at famed Shanghai acrobats, visiting their training room, interacting with the artists and learning about this ancient tradition, which will be followed by an awe-inspiring performance.

Included Activities:
Behind-the-Scenes with the Shanghai Acrobats & Performance


Day 12: Shanghai (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

    • Arrival transfer
    • Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven
    • Visit Beijing's traditional hutongs
    • Excursion to the Great Wall
    • Xi'an Muslim quarter orientation walk
    • Cycle along the Xi'an city walls
    • Terracotta warriors tour
    • Lunch in a local village
    • Li River boat ride
    • Bicycle ride through the countryside with village visits
    • Cooking class and dinner in Yangshuo
    • Tai Chi class
    • Shanghai orientation walk
    • Shanghai acrobats show and behind-the-scenes tour
    • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Hotels (10 nts), soft-sleeper train (1 nt)
    Meals Included
    • 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    • Private bus, plane, boat, train
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Walk the Great Wall and cycle along the Xi'an city walls
  • Explore Beijing's traditional alleys and backstreets known as hutongs
  • Enjoy an awe-inspiring Shanghai acrobats show
  • Face the Terracotta Warriors and visit the farming community where they were discovered
  • Learn to cook local specialities at a rural cooking school