12 Days China Exploration Tour of Shanghai -Zhangjiajie- Guilin – Beijing

The 12-day natural wonders discovery tour covers China’s most stunning scenic destinations as well as its most extraordinary historical sites. Taking Shanghai and Beijing as the starting point and ending point respectively, you can experience the charm of Chinese humanities and history in these two destinations. Guilin and Zhangjiajie are undoubtedly the most popular destinations to enjoy the stunning Karst scenery.

Highlights:
1. Find out the different beauties of bustling cities between Shanghai, the world’s first-tier city, and Beijing, the capital of China.
2. Appreciate the marvelous Avatar mountain at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
3. Take an exhilarating walk on the highest and longest glass bridge in the world.
4. Experience Bailong Elevator, the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world.
5. Visit the magnificent Longji Rice Terraces with thousands of years of history and get a glimpse of the culture and daily life of local ethnic minorities.
6. Cruise along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the green hills, rivers, lakes, and fields.

  • Private tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Tickets entrance fee + Lunch + Train ticket + Flight ticket + Hotel with breakfast
  • Yes
12 Days China Exploration Tour of Shanghai -Zhangjiajie- Guilin – Beijing
 
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  1. Day 1: Shanghai Arrival (no meal )

    Upon your arrival at Shanghai airport / train station, our local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to downtown hotel for checking-in. Free and easy on your arrangement for rest of the day.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Shanghai

  2. Day 2: Shanghai
    Yuyuan Garden, Yuyuan Market, Shanghai Museum, People Square, Former French Concession, Shanghai World Financial Center, the Bund, Huangpu River Cruise ( B, L)

    AM: At 08:30, our English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the downtown hotel. Your exploration in Shanghai begins with the famous Yuyuan Garden, which is a representative of classical Chinese gardens with elegant pavilions, old bridges, artistic rockeries, small ponds, etc. It was originally built by Pan Yunduan in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty for his parents to enjoy their old age in peace. The garden has gone through a lot in the over 400 years’ history. It was once deserted at the death of Pan Yunduan, restored by new owners, badly damaged during the Opium War, and reopened in 1961 after a lot of repairs.

    Nearby is the lively Yuyuan Market, wonder around here you can get everything from traditional Chinese crafts like chopsticks, fans, and pottery to local delicacies such as steamed buns, crab shell cake, and pork chop with rice cakes. Don’t forget to haggle for a better price.

    After that, move on your visit to Shanghai Museum ( closed on every Monday ). The museum houses millions of collections and especially features bronze wares, porcelain works, paintings and calligraphy works.  Finish the exploration of history, stroll on People Square to have a glimpse of the daily life of the locals. The square now is most famous for its match-making corner where parents try to seek partners for their children.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    Shanghai Museum

    PM: Afterwords, come to the Former French Concession, the largest and most prosperous concession among all the four French concessions in old China. From 1849 to 1943, this area was ruled by France for almost a century. Here your tour guide will reveal a history of humiliation and you will see many old beautiful European style buildings which look very charming hidden in the shade of French parasol trees.

    Next stop will be Shanghai World Financial Center. It is said that the building looks like a bottle opener from outside. You will have chance to see for yourself and go up to the 100th floor to have a marvelous panoramic view of the Huangpu River. Walking on the 55-meter long transparent sightseeing corridor will be an exciting experience.

    Last, enjoy your sightseeing in one of the landmarks of Shanghai - the Bund. You may not know that the area used to be a desolate tidal flat, but turned into British settlement and Shanghai’s financial center in the late Qing Dynasty. It is the perfect place to take great photos of amazing skyline. Make sure to bring your camera!

    Huangpu River Cruise would be a not-to-miss activity for travelers to Shanghai! The river separates Shanghai into two parts, Pudong and Puxi. Cruising on the river will give you an unparalleled view of the city’s skyline and an unforgettable traveling experience.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Shanghai

    The Bund

  3. Day 3: Shanghai - Zhangjiajie Tour by Flight ( B)

    Free and easy on your own in the morning! We won’t arrange any activity in the morning considering you may want to explore somewhere on your own.

    In the afternoon, our driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer to airport for your flight to Zhangjiajie. Upon arrival, our local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to local hotel for checking-in. Have a good rest for tomorrow!

    Accommodation: Hotel in Zhangjiajie

  4. Day 4: Zhangjiaijie
    Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yellow Stone Village, Golden Whip Stream, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge ( B, L )

    AM: Today, you’ll start your adventure with Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. It’s the first national forest park in China and was included in World Natural Heritage List in 1992 for the queer forest of quartz sandstone peaks. You will see the pillars rise hundreds of meters into the sky, stroll along tranquil valleys and feel rejuvenated by the fresh air.

    Then, head to Yellow Stone Village. With an altitude of more than 1200 meters, it’s the largest and best observation deck to overlook the quartz sandstone peak forest. You can hear the story of Zhang Liang being saved by Huang Shi from your guide while you are walking, and you may come across the cute monkeys on the way.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After that, move on to Golden Whip Stream, one of the most beautiful sites in Zhangjiajie. The stream winds its way through the hills and valleys and got its name because of passing by the Golden Whip Rock. Just listen to the murmurs of the stream, stroll along the valley and stop to watch the fish swimming in the crystal clear water.

    After the relaxing hiking, take the sightseeing bus to exit the forest park and drive around 40 minutes to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Move on to challenge yourself at the longest and highest Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in the world with a length of 430 meters. You can have a panoramic view of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon while walking on the transparent glass floor. You may be scared to step on the bridge at first, but once you take the first step, you will enjoy the magnificent view of flying waterfalls, lush forests, running streams.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Zhangjiajie

    Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

  5. Day 5: Zhangjiajie
    Tianzi Mountain, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, Hallelujah Mountain, Bailong Elevator ( B, L )

    AM: Today’s first stop is Tianzi Mountain. There is a saying that you will not want to see any other mountains after visiting Tianzi Mountain. One of the spectacular sights is the sea of clouds after rain if you are lucky. You will witness rugged rocks and a forest of stone peaks which looks like a group of warriors listening to orders.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After that, continue to explore Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, the inspiration for Hallelujah Mountain in the super famous movie Avatar. You also can experience Bailong Elevator, the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. You will be amazed by the speed of the elevator, only 1 minute and 58 seconds up to Yuanjiajie. When you step out of the elevator, a magical landscape painting will unfold in front of you. The massive quartz-sandstone pillars are just towering over you or next to you.

    Finish all the activities, transfer to Zhangjiajie downtown area for overnight.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Zhangjiajie

    Bailong Elevator

  6. Day 6: Zhangjiajie - Changsha - Guilin by High-speed Train ( B )

    In the morning, our driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer to Zhangjiajie West Train Station for your high-speed train to Changsha ( train rides around 3.5 hours ).

    Arrival at Changsha Station, our local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name, drive around 40 minutes to Changsha South Station for another high-speed train to Guilin ( train rides around 3.5 hours). You can have a simple lunch at Changsha south train station on your own.

    Upon arrival at Guilin North Station, meet our local driver at the exit gate and transfer to local hotel for checking-in.

    Friendly Tips: Today, you will spend most of time on the train and needs train -transit in Changsha. You are suggested to prepare some food / snack before your departure from Zhangjiajie.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Guilin

  7. Day 7: Guilin - Longji - Guilin by Car
    Longji Rice Terraces, Long Hair Show (B, L )

    AM: After breakfast, drive to the painting-like Longji Rice Terraces, which has thousands of years’ history. It is hard to believe that the minority people were able to bring the remote mountains under cultivation by the slash-and-burn method over 2,000 years ago. Now the rice terraces not only feed the local people but also provide the people around the world a retreat from everyday life.

    Arrive at Longji Terraces Scenic Area, you will enjoy the one-of-a-kind Long Hair Show performed by Yao Minority women in Huangluo village, which was awarded the “World’s Longest Hair Village” by Guinness World Records. Famous for their long and shiny hair, the women of Huangluo cut their hair only once in their lives upon turning 18. In addition to that, you can also have a glimpse of the Zhuang and Yao minority peoples lifestyle through this visit.

    Noon:Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After enjoying the spectacular rice terraces, the fragrant bamboo-tube-cooked rice will be waiting for you. The soaked rice is put inside a fresh bamboo tube, and the mouth of the tube is plugged with fresh leaves. The rice will be ready after cooking over a fire for about half an hour. When you cut open the bamboo tube by using a knife, the delicate fragrance will greet your nostrils.

    Finish the sightseeing, transfer back to your hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Guilin

    Longji Rice Terraces

  8. Day 8: Guilin - Yangshuo by Cruise
    Li River Cruise, Yangshuo West Street ( B, L)

    AM: Today is the highlight of your Guilin tour as you will embark on a ship to cruise down the picturesque Li River!

    Taking the cruise on the Li River, you will admire the picturesque scenery of this land with a harmonious combination of the green hills, rivers, lakes and fields. But its beauty is not like a still painting, it’s alive when vivid – brisk bamboo rafts leaving wrinkles on the water and cormorants hovering under the working fishermen… Our guide will uncover the hidden history and culture behind the natural screen before you during your cruise. You will learn from the local expert about how the city formed and developed and how local people manage their life along the famous Li River.

    Friendly Tips: The Li River Cruise takes around 4 hours, and you will be staying on the boat to enjoy the scenery for most time, so 3-star boat as included would be  adequate according to most tourists’ experience. Besides, you are suggested to have a good breakfast at your hotel and take some snack as there will be only simple box lunch be provided on the boat.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After the 4 hours’ cruise, you will disembark at Yangshuo. Follow your guide to explore the famous Yangshuo West Street to admire the antique buildings and local crafts, hanging out in bars and coffee shops, and try some delicious local snacks.

    Last, transfer to Yangshuo local hotel for overnight.

    Optional night activity: If you are looking for a worth-to-visit activity tonight, the wonderful Impression Show of Liu Sanjie will be waiting for you! The stage is set on the Li River, most of 600 performers are fishermen from nearby villages. Through this amazing show, you will know the legendary Sanjie Liu and learn something about Zhuang people's culture.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Yangshuo

    West Street

  9. Day 9: Guilin - Beijing Tour by Flight
    Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven Star Park (B, L )

    AM: After breakfast, take all your belongs and check out the hotel as you will be departing Guilin at end of the tour.

    Driving around 1.5 hours from Yangshuo to Guilin city, start your exploration with the amazing Reed Flute Cave. The cave got its name because there were reeds at its entrance and people can make flutes by using the reeds. Walking into the cave, you will be surrounded by all kinds of stalactites, stalagmites, stone columns, flowers, and curtains created by water erosion and carbonate deposition day after day and year after year.

    After that, move on to the Elephant Trunk Hill. The hill got its name from the shape of an elephant sipping water by the riverside. You will see a round opening between the elephant’s trunk and legs, and it has a beautiful name of Water Moon Cave. You can take beautiful pictures to record the pleasant time at this extraordinary place.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: Later, walk around the Seven Star Park to indulge yourself in the natural and cultural beauty of Guilin. The park is called Guilin’s green lung and has become the epitome of Guilin’s landscape and culture integrating mountains, water, caves, stones, courtyards, buildings, and cultural relics.

    Last, saying goodbye to Guilin and transfer to Guilin airport / train station for your departure.

    Elephant Trunk Hill

  10. Day 10: Beijing
    Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, South Luogu Lane, Houhai ( B,L)

    AM: At 08:00, our English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the downtown hotel. You will start today’s tour with the largest city square in the world - Tian'anmen Square. The square has a very important role in China’s history and visiting it is a dream for many generations of Chinese people. So don’t be surprised when you see the square is teeming with Chinese people. You can just wander around the square and take in the rich history.

    Then you will follow your tour guide into the incredible Forbidden City, which was once the royal palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties with more than 70 big and small palaces and over 9,000 rooms. It is one of the largest and most well-preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Walking into the grand and majestic complex, you will steep in China’s long history and marvel at this architectural masterpiece.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    Forbidden City

    PM: After lunch, move on to Summer Palace. With an area of 2.9 square kilometers, this palace was the best place where the emperors of the Qing Dynasty spent their summers. Here you will enjoy the amazing lake view, explore the exquisite long corridor, appreciate precious cultural relics, step on the elegant stone bridge, see high old trees, etc. You will love every minute here with so much to see. You also can take the option of boat ride to enjoy the stunning Kunming Lake ( optional).

    Afterwords, come to explore the time-honored South Luogu Lane( also called Nanluoguxiang). It is the only traditional residential area in China that has completely preserved the checkerboard-style layout of hutongs exclusively to the Yuan Dynasty. Walking around the alleys with your tour guide to feel the hidden culture and check out the bars, souvenir stores or cafes if you would like to.

    Houhai, known as Beijing’s bar street, is a large man-made lake which can date back to the Yuan Dynasty. Today your last scenic site will be here! In ancient times, the place was only for royal family. Now there are many bars, restaurants, cafes and shops along the lake. You can just walk around, do people watching, and try some snacks.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Beijing

    South Luogu Lane

  11. Day 11: Beijing
    Mutianyu Great Wall, Bird's Nest, Water Cube, Summer Palace ( B,L )

    AM: Today will be the highlight of your stay in Beijing as you will be visiting the famous world’s heritage - Mutianyu Great Wall. It would be around 2 hours’ driving, you can take this chance to see the urban and suburban scenery of Chinese capital on the way.

    Mutianyu Great Wall is the most scenic part of Chinese Great Wall. It was built in the early Ming Dynasty at 1368 and stretches for 5400 meters. 90 percent of the Mutianyu is covered by vegetation. So in each season this part of the Great Wall will treat visitors with its unique scenery. If pure-hiking is too much for you, there are also options of cable car and toboggan to see the spectacular scenery from different angles ( optional).

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: On the way back to Beijing city, you could have an exterior visit of the marvelous Bird's Nest and Water Cube which were built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Walking around the outside of the building to appreciate the unique design and take some pictures would be perfect.

    Last, come to Summer Palace to enjoy the royal garden. With an area of 2.9 square kilometers, this palace was the best place where the emperors of the Qing Dynasty spent their summers. Here you will enjoy the amazing lake view, explore the exquisite long corridor, appreciate precious cultural relics, step on the elegant stone bridge, see high old trees, etc. You will love every minute here with so much to see. You also can take the option of boat ride to enjoy the stunning Kunming Lake ( optional).

    Accommodation: Hotel in Beijing

    Summer Palace

Price includes

  • 11 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
  • Shanghai - Zhangjiajie flight ( economic class )
  • Zhangjiajie - Changsha high-speed train ( second class seat )
  • Changsha - Guilin high-speed train ( second class seat )
  • Guilin - Beijing flight ( economic class )
  • 8 Chinese style lunch as listed in itinerary
  • Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
  • Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai
  • 3-star boat for Li River Cruise in Guilin
  • Excellent English-speaking tour guide
  • Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
  • Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
  • Government taxes

Price excludes

  • China Visas or international flights
  • Any dinner
  • Cable car on Mutianyu Great Wall or in Longji Terrance
  • Impression Show of Liu Sanjie
  • Any optional activity / battery car / shuttle bus inside the attraction
  • Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance
  • Any item beyond “Price Includes”
  • Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)

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