12 Days Shanghai -Zhangjiajie – Guilin – Beijing Exploration Tour

What do you expect from 12 days in China? This tour will take you to 4 must-visit destinations on your first trip to China: Shanghai, Zhangjiajie, Guilin, and Beijing. In this trip, you will ascend the majestic Great Wall, explore the Forbidden City and Summer Palace, and the stunning natural scenery of Guilin and Zhangjiajie, also to appreciate the metropolitan Shanghai. Follow us to experience ancient Chinese tradition and modern art.

Highlights of this tour:
*Visit Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace to know more about traditional China.
*Conquer the top Wonder of the World – the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu.
*Stroll on People Square and Nanjing Road to have a glimpse of the local lifestyle.
*Enjoy the charming night scenery of Shanghai on The Bund or taking a Huangpu River Cruise.
*Marvel at the magical nature masterpiece of God—Longji Rice Terraces.
*Discover the wonderland of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
*Challenge yourself from the 999-step to the amazing Tianmen Cave.
*Appreciate the picturesque Fenghuang Ancient Town with minority culture

  • Private tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Tickets entrance fee + Lunch + Hotel with breakfast + Train ticket + Flight ticket
  • Yes
12 Days Shanghai -Zhangjiajie – Guilin – Beijing Exploration Tour
 
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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 check-in. Free and easy on your arrangement for rest of the

    day.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Shanghai

  2. Day 2: Shanghai
    Yuyuan Garden, Yuyuan Market, Shanghai Museum, People Square, Former French Concession, Nanjing Road, the Bund ( 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 at local restaurant.

    PM: Next, 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.

    Afterwords, come to the earliest shopping street in Shanghai-Nanjing Road. Your tour guide will point out the four time-honored department stores, Yong’an Company, Xianshi Company, Xinxin Company and Daxin Company, from which you can get a bit history of this commercial street. If you want to try some delicious food, the street definitely will not disappoint you.

    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!

    Accommodation: Overnight in Shanghai

    Shanghai Museum

  3. Day 3: Shanghai - Zhangjiajie by Flight
    Zhujiajiao Water Town ( B, L )

    AM: Today you will enjoy and relax yourself in one of the most famous Water Towns in China - Zhujiajiao Water Town.

    Dubbed “the Venice of Shanghai”, Zhuajiajiao Water Town has a history of more than 1,700 years. Walking around the ancient water town, you will feel like traveling back to the Ming and Qing dynasties with elegant stone bridges across the rivers and plenty of old buildings around you. You can stroll around the streets to see as many things as possible, and you can optionally have a relaxing gondola ride to truly experience the charm of water town.

    Friendly Tips: Taking a boat cruise along the river is available and excluded. If you would like to take a cruise, please feel free to ask your tour guide for assistance ( optional ).

    Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    PM: After that, taking afternoon 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 hotel for check-in. Have a good rest for tomorrow!

    Accommodation: Overnight in Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Area

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

    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.

    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: Overnight in Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Area

    Yellow Stone Village

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

    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.

    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: Overnight in Zhangjiajie Downtown Area

    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 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, our local driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to local hotel for check-in.

    Friendly Tips: There is NO direct train between Zhangjiajie and Guilin. 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: Overnight in Guilin

  7. Day 7: Guilin
    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 at 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.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Guilin

  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.

    Noon: 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.

    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.

    West Street

    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 Liu Sanjie and learn something about Zhuang people's culture.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Yangshuo

    Impression Show of Liu Sanjie

  9. Day 9: Yangshuo - Guilin by Car & Guilin - Beijing by Flight
    Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill ( 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 at local restaurant.

    PM: Last, saying goodbye to Guilin and taking evening flight to Beijing. Upon arrival, our local driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to local hotel for check-in. Have a good rest for tomorrow’s historical exploration!

    Accommodation: Overnight in Beijing

    Elephant Trunk Hill

  10. Day 10: Beijing
    Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutongs ( B, L )

    AM: 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 at local restaurant.

    PM: After lunch, continue your visit to Temple of Heaven, famous for its meticulous layout, unique architecture and magnificent decoration, this grand complex was built for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to offer sacrifices to the heaven and pray for good harvests. It was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1998. You will definitely marvel at the craftsmanship and learn more historical facts about ancient China.

    Beijing Hutongs are full of history which attracts many worldwide tourists! Today your tour guide will take you to feel the charm of the hutongs in Shichahai scenic Area. Taking a rickshaw to ride along the ancient alleys, you will know more about the background information of the Hutongs, experience authentic old Beijing life, and witness the blending of tradition and modernity.

    Optional Night Activity: Kungfu Show

    Chinese Kung Fu has a very wide influence in the world, and most foreigners know Kung Fu from Jackie Chen and Bruce Lee’s films. Today you are going to enjoy a superb Kung Fu show at a nice theater. The entire cast is very professional and talented which combines fantastic martial arts, challenging acrobatics and a wonderful story. You will totally immerse yourself in the show from start to finish and may want to do it again.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Beijing

    Kungfu Show

  11. Day 11: Beijing
    Mutianyu Great Wall, Summer Palace ( B, L )

    AM: Today will be the highlight of your Beijing tour as you will be hiking on 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 at local restaurant.

    PM: Finish the amazing hiking, you’ll have an exterior visit of the marvelous Bird's Nest and Water Cube on the way back to Beijing, 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.

    You’ll end today’s tour by a visit to the amazing royal garden - 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).

    Accommodation: Overnight in Beijing

    Summer Palace

  12. Day 12: Beijing Departure ( B)

    Free and easy on your own until the pickup time for departure. Our driver will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer to Beijing airport / train station to see you off.

    Accommodation: N/A

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 )
  • 9 Chinese style lunch as listed in itinerary
  • Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
  • 3 star boat for Li River Cruise
  • 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 / international flights
  • Any dinner
  • Boat cruise in Zhujiajiao Water Town
  • Impression Show of Liu Sanjie / Beijing Kungfu Show
  • Cable car on Mutianyu Great Wall or Longji Terrance
  • 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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