Beijing Great Wall
Home China Tour China Small Group Tours 9 Days China Golden Triangle Tour: Beijing, Xian, Shanghai Highlights

Tour Overview

Taking this 9-day China group tour, you will visit the Golden Triangle Cities of China – Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai which are also the top 3 must-visit cities especially for the first-time visitors to China. It takes the hassle out of travel planning even before your departure from home, you will only enjoy yourself on the Great Wall, at Terracotta Warriors, and at the Shanghai Bund effortlessly…

Highlights of this tour:

1. Enjoy your hike on the most beautiful part of the Mutianyu Great Wall.
2. Follow the traces of history, wandering through imperial sites such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.
3. Take a rickshaw to explore the typical architecture of old Beijing.
4. Pay a visit to Silk Market to learn about Chinese silk culture.
5. Explore the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites – Terracotta Warriors and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and hear the rewarding stories behind them.
6. Take a stroll through Zhujiajiao Water Town to capture snapshots of charming alleys and ancient stone houses.
7. Join a city tour of Shanghai to some classic sights such as Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Xin Tian Di, and The Bund.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Upon your arrival at Beijing airport or train station, our driver will wait for you at the exit of arrival hall or train station by holding a sign with your name and transfer you to downtown hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free at your disposal.

    Hotel: Beijing local 3* hotel

  2. AM: You will be collected by the tour guide from hotel lobby around 7am and then drive to the Mutianyu Great Wall. The tour guide will introduce you the history and travel notes of the Mutianyu Great Wall in the coach.

    On the way, you will have a short visit to Jade Carving Factory which belongs to the scenic spot. There you will visit some famous special Chinese Jade carving crafts which not only show the excellent skill on carving, but also contain Chinese traditional culture to the jade carving.

    You will arrive at the Mutianyu Great Wall at about 9:30, the site appraised as the World Best of Beijing Tourism in 1992.  It was built in the early Ming Dynasty in 1368. 90 percentage of the Mutianyu is covered by vegetation, hence the title of “the most scenic part of Chinese Great Wall”. If hiking is too much for you, cable car is available and optional. Enjoy 4 hours of free time at the Mutianyu Great Wall (We suggest you to prepare some food and water in advance as lunch. You can enjoy your food at the beacon tower while appreciating the beauty of the Mutianyu Great Wall around here, which will be an impressive experience).

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: Ending exploration of the Great Wall, you will be transferred back to hotel.

    Hotel: Beijing local 3* hotel

    Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall
    Mutianyu Great Wall

  3. AM: Today’s trip starts from Tiananmen Square, the heart and symbol of Beijing and the largest city square in the world. The spacious square has been used for many public celebrations, ceremonies, and demonstrations for over a hundred years.

    Walking through the square, you will come to Forbidden City, one of the largest and most completely preserved palace complex built of wood. It functioned as the imperial palace in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912). There were 24 emperors of the two dynasties once lived here.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After lunch, we will go to Temple of Heaven. Located at southern part of Beijing, it serviced as a complex of sacrificial building where emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties prayed for peace and harvest. Today’s last scenic site will be Summer Palace. It is located at the west skirt of Beijing and covers an area of 290 hectares. In the Qing Dynasty during the Qianlong Era, the Summer Palace was built by imitating the layout of the West Lake in Hangzhou. Now it is the largest and most completely preserved imperial garden in China.

    Today you will also stop by Chinese Herb Medicine Market to learn about traditional Chinese pharmacy and meet many kinds of herb medicine, and Pearl Market to appreciate some nice pearl artworks.

    After the tour, you will be escorted back to hotel at about 5:00 pm.

    Hotel: Beijing local 3* hotel

    Beijing Forbidden City
    Forbidden City

  4. AM: After hotel pickup, you will be transferred together with the guide to visit traditional Hutong, where you will try to take Rick Shaw. Next go to Jingshan Park, opposite a street from the Forbidden City. In ancient time, Jingshan Park and its ancillary buildings not only served as a royal garden for visitors, but also had multiple functions such as learning shooting, offering sacrifices to ancestors, official learning, opera and regional activities, ect.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After a Chinese style lunch, we drive to Yonghe Palace (also called Lama Temple), the birthplace of the Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. In the middle and late period of Qing dynasty, it was transformed into a Buddhist temple with the highest level throughout the country. When finishing visit here, we take you to Panda House in Beijing Zoo to see lovely Chinese treasures. Last, we will drive to and make a stop at Bird’s Nest and Water Cube to pay an outer visit and take some pictures. Visitors can stay around 50 minutes to enjoy the outer look of the buildings in which the 2008 Olympics was held. Today we will also pay a visit to Silk Market to learn about Chinese silk culture and meet some nice silk products.

    After the whole day tour, your will be transferred to the train station for the overnight train to Xian (suggested: Z19/20:40-08:31 or train with similar schedule).

    Hotel: Overnight Train (A cabin shared with four berths)

    Beijing Yonghe Palace
    Yonghe Palace

  5. AM: When your train arrives in Xian, our guide and driver will wait for you at the exit of the train station by holding a board with your name. After get collected, go to the Terracotta Warriors. On the way, you will have a short stop at Xian Terracotta & Lacquer Furniture Art Factory where you can appreciate some fine warriors products and have opportunity to pruchase as souvenirs.

    10-min driving later, you will get to Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The museum was accidentally discovered in 1974 by a farmer who was digging wells and listed by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 1987. It includes three pits, among which Pit 1 is the largest, as well as the exhibition hall of the chariots and horses.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After lunch, let’s head to Banpo Museum. This New Stone Age site, dating from approximately 5,000 to 4,000 B.C. is one of the most complete examples of a Neolithic agricultural settlement in the world, and the largest ruins of the Neolithic Age in China discovered by now. Your tour will conclude with dropping off at your Xian downtown hotel.

    Hotel: Xian local 3* hotel

    Xian Terracotta Army
    Terracotta Warriors and Horses

  6. AM: The first stop today is Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark building in Xian, which was initially built to preserve the Buddhist sutras and statues brought back from ancient India by Monk Xuanzang in Tang Dynasty. You will listen to its interesting stories from your knowledgeable guide. Then you will move on to visit the Ancient City Wall, a military defensive system in old times. You can optionally ride a bike on the top of city wall and enjoy the amazing view of the entire area inside the City Wall. The last stop is the famous Muslim Street, which is a paradise for food lovers where you will find all kinds of delicious local snacks such as Biang Biang Noodle, Roujiamo (Chinese Hamburger), and Yangrou Paomo (Mutton and Bread Pieces in Soup).

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    PM: After lunch, you will head to the Xian North Railway Station for the train to Shanghai (G1938/15:13-21:46 or similar one). Upon your arrival in Shanghai, our driver will greet you at the exit of the train station by holding a board with your name and transfer you to your hotel.

    Hotel: Shanghai local 3* hotel

    Xi'an Big Wild Goose Pagoda
    Big Wild Goose Pagoda

  7. AM: You’ll be free to relax in the morning before your Zhujiajiao Water Town in the afternoon. Meet your guide and driver in your hotel lobby at around 2:00 pm and drive to the ancient Zhujiajiao Water Town. You will stroll along the old-time town while listening to the guide’s introduction about the its history. The town could be dated back to even 1700 years ago, as early as the time of Three Kingdoms. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, the village grew into a town and got the name “zhujiacun village”. The appearance of the town we see today was left from the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays the ancient town is best known for its bridges, old streets, and gardens built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The highlight things to see here are: Fangsheng Bridge, Baoguo Temple, Town God’s Temple, and Zhuxi Garden. Capture snapshots of charming alleyways and ancient stone houses. You can also take the optional boat cruise here if you are interested in it.

    Noon:Lunch on your own.

    PM: After the tour ends, we will transfer you back to your downtown hotel.

    Hotel: Shanghai local 3* hotel

    Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town
    Zhujiajiao Water Town

  8. AM: Our guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in the early morning after the breakfast and transfer you to Jade Buddha Temple. This more than 100-year-old temple was built to keep two jade Buddha statues brought back from Burma by a monk named Huigen. Then you will pay a short visit to a Fresh Water Pearl Gallery to appreciate some fine pearl artworks. Afterwards, you will 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. Next, you will head to Shanghai Museum which houses millions of collections and especially features bronze wares, porcelain works, paintings and calligraphy works.

    Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.

    Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple
    Jade Buddha Temple

    PM: After lunch, you will move on to Yuyuan Garden. It is a famous classical garden which was originally built by the owner as a place for his parents to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age. Then you will wander around Shanghai Old Street which combines sightseeing, shopping, entertainment and cultural exhibition. The next stop is the Bund. You will admire buildings of various styles, enjoy the beautiful Huangpu River, and listen to your guide explaining its history. After a leisure walk at the Bund, you will visit a Silk Factory to see how the silk is processed. Then you will visit former French Concession, a perfect place to learn the history of Shanghai from 1849 to 1943. The last stop of today is Xin Tian Di, a walking street converted based on the old Shikumen building district, where you can find nice bars, cafes and square. After all the activities, the guide and driver will escort you back to your hotel for a good rest.

    Hotel: Shanghai local 3* hotel

    Shanghai the Bund
    the Bund

  9. You will say farewell to Shanghai today. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport or train station for your departure flight or train.

Tour Price Per Person ($=USD)

The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel. Please contact us for a specific price.


Special Note

  • The tour departs on each Wed, Thu and Sat except for Chinese public holidays like the Chinese National Holiday and China Spring Festival.
  • Minimum 2 people required to operate the tour. If you travel alone, and there is no other traveler to book the tour, we reserve the right to cancel the tour and will contact you in advance.
  • 2 people of same gender share one room. If you prefer better privacy, or there is no fellow traveler with same gender to match, you need to pay single supplement.

Price includes

  • Beijing-Xian overnight soft sleeper (4 berths in one cabin)
  • Xian-Shanghai 2nd class seat of bullet train
  • 3 nights Beijing hotel, 1 night Xian hotel and 3 nights Shanghai hotel (3 star economy hotels including breakfast)
  • All admission fees (except for the optional activities)
  • Comfortable transfers in air-conditioned vehicles with experienced driver
  • Professional and friendly English-speaking tour guide
  • 5 Chinese style lunches
  • Fuels, tolls and parking charges
  • Government tax
  • Tips to guides and drivers

Price excludes

  • Visa fee and travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Arrival & Departure flight/train on the first & last day
  • Guide service on the train
  • All personal expenses and additional hotel services
  • Tips to the tour guide/driver
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