17 Day China Budget Tour with Cultural, Natural and Ethnic Discovery
- Tour Code:CBT07
- Tour Duration: 17 Days
- Destination:Beijing, Dali, Guilin, Kunming, Lijiang, Shanghai, Xi'an, Yangshuo
- Tour overview:During this tour you will see the sharp contrast between the ancient culture and the present-day modernization in the big cities of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, and will glut your eyes with incredible natural beauties and colourful Chinese ethnic customs.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
You will be greeted by our local guide upon your arrival in Beijing and then be transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. We will leave the rest of the first day free for you to recover from the jet lag or explore the city by yourself.
Day 2 Beijing (B)
Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
We start today's highlights with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, The temple of Heaven was where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.
After lunch, we go on our city tours to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience ancient Emperor's daily life. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and it was indeed a forbidden place limited to commoners for 500 year in the past. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 3 Beijing (B)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way
After experience of the royal lifestyle, today we will spend about 1.5 hours to be transferred outside the city to the surrounding countryside for a visit to the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon saw it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views.
This afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, The Ming Tombs are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13Ming emperors buried there, there are also called the 13 Ming Tombs. Passing though the Sacred Way, a road guarded on both sides with stone statues by which the ancient emperors went to hold a memorial ceremony for the ancestors, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.
Day 4 Beijing / Xi'an (B)
Transfer via: Overnight Train (soft sleeper) –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Hutong Rickshaw Tour, Summer Palace, Yonghe Lamasery,
We experience an unique Hutong tour by taking rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane that is typical in Beijing. Most of them are found around the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.
We continue to visit the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. It is up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China. You may regret it if you come to Beijing without visiting this grand imperial garden.
Also, we will have a visit to Yonghe Lamasery. The YongHe Palace (Yonghe Gong) is Beijing's biggest Lama temple and is globally renowned.
In the evening, you will be transferred to railway station to take overnight soft sleeper train to Xi'an. Please note that four berths (two upper and two lower) are held in each compartment in the soft sleeper carriages. If you are reluctant to share with the strangers, you need to pay for the extra charge of the left berths except the one you occupied.
Day 5 Xi'an (B)
Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower
Arrive in Xi'an in the morning, your local guide will greet you at the exit of the railway station and transfer you to the hotel. Depart from your hotel after breakfast. You will visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang in search of immortality, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors and buried with him to protect his empire after his early death.
Another highlight today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated at south of the Xi'an city, as one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple-Da-Ci-En Temple, where Famous Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his well-preserved collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of the Xi'an.
Then we go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the most well-preserved and best-known one among many ancient cities of China. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early morning of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, so it is called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.
Day 6 Xi'an (B)
You will have a free day today and we do not arrange anything for you except for the hotel with breakfast. For your free time in Xi'an, you may explore the downtown area. The Bell Tower - the center of this historical city is just 5 minutes walking to the north of your hotel. Nearby you will find the Islamic Flavor Street and the Drum Tower. Please click Xi'an day trip for referrence.
Day 7 Xi'an / Chengdu / Lijiang (B)
Tranfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
You can take a shuttle bus (CNY 26, the bus stop is quite near to your hotel) or a taxi (about CNY150) to the airport and board the flight to Chengdu by yourself. Then, take your flight to Lijiang at the Chengdu airport.
Upon arrival in Lijiang, your local guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is for you to have a stroll in Lijiang by yourself.
Day 8 Lijiang (B,L)
Today we have six attractions to visit:
- Yulong Snow Mountain (visit it in a distance): It is the southernmost marine glacier in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Altogether there are 13 peaks along the range, stretching for over 35km from south to north. The summit, Shanzidou, is 5596 meters above sea level. Viewed from afar, the snow-capped range resembles a silver dragon with snow curling up its middle. Rich forest, herb and animal resources thrive on the mountain.
- Jade Peak Temple: shows a distinctive architectural style of Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism and the local Naxi Dongba Religion as a result of the cultural fusion between different minoritiesin the Qing Dynasty.
- Lijiang Mural: It is located in the Baisha Village on the plain north of Lijiang. It is a mixture of artists of Chinese Taoist, Tibetan and Naxi Buddhists and local dongba shamans. This rich fusion had resulted in a tremendously powerful art.
- Black Dragon Pool: The park holds the Black Dragon Pool and got it's name because of it. The pool is listed in the Collections of Famous Pools in China because of its beauty.
- Dongba Village: it is located in Yushui Stockade, which is built completely according to the traditional life style of Naxi Minority. You can feel the traditional atmosphere of national culture from the layout of its yard, building facilities, tools and details of life.
- Lijiang Ancient Town: It is also known as Dayan Town in Lijiangba and was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1997. It was first built in the Southern Song Dynasty and in 1253 and became larger during Ming and Qing dynasties.
Day 9 Lijiang / Dali (B)
Transfer via: Express Bus - on our arrangement
In the morning you be see off at bus station and take the express bus to Dali.
Arriving in Dali, you will be met by your local guide and then transferred to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.
Day 10 Dali / Kunming (B,L)
Transfer via: Overnight train (only hard sleeper available)-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Erhai Lake, Ancient City of Dali, Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
First we will visit Erhai Lake. Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, 'sea shaped like an ear', in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali.
The next stop will be the Ancient City of Dali, which is a magnificent ancient city with a perimeter of 6 kilometers. Its former city wall is 7.5 meters high and 6 meters thick. There used to be four city gates, each on one side. On the gates were the gate towers. While Xiaguan, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Dali, depicts you an scene of prosperity and bloom, the Ancient City of Dali will give you a simple, unsophisticated and quiet impression.
Finally you will see the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. It is a symbol of the history of Dali City, and a record of the development of Buddhism in the area. As its name implies, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China.
In the evening, be transferred to the Dali railway station to take the overnight train to Kunming.
Day 11 Kunming (B,L)
Sightseeing: Stone Forest, Flower and Bird Market, Yuantong Temple
Upon your arrival in Kunming, be met by the local guide and be transferred to your hotel. After short rest, drive about 78 kilometers to Yi Autonomous County to visit the mysterious Stone forest. Due to a process of weathering and erosion, nature has created an art gallery of stone sculpture here. This typical Karst physiognomy seems like a forest of stone pillars and boulders. You will see fascination natural creations like Lion Arbor, Sword Peak Pond, Lotus Peak, Moon Lake, Jade Lake, and Dadie Waterfall.
Then we will go back to Kunming to visit the Kunming Flower and Bird Market. The market is made up of traditional wooden houses with grass growing from their roofs line the streets where a variety of products are sold, including of course a small alley devoted to flowers and cage birds.
The last stop today is the Yuantong Temple. The temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Kunming, with the history of 12000 years. Its architecture is one of the best classical styles in Yunnan province.
Day 12 Kunming / Guilin (B)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Today you will take a shuttle bus or a taxi to the airport and board a flight to Guilin by yourself. Upon arriving, be met by your local guide and then be transferred to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.
Day 13 Guilin / Yangshuo / Guilin (B, L)
Sightseeing: Li River Cruise
Guilin is famous for its picturesque scenery, and the best way to see it is from the deck of Li River Cruise ships. We suggest a big breakfast at your hotel since the lunch on the Li River Cruise is not up to the normal standard. Be transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise.
The follwing Li River cruise tour and a half-day Yangshuo trip will be handled on your own. You will enjoy the unique mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank. Disembark at the old town Yangshuo in the afternoon around 14:00pm. Then, you can stroll aling the famouse West Street, which is the oldest street in Yangshuo with a history of more than 1,400 years. You can have a short exploration to the old town's lovely attractions. Also, you could rent a bicycle or an electric car to tour around the countryside, which is not far away from the town and usually it will take one and a half hour. you will enjoy the wonderful rural scenery.
In the late afternoon, it's about time to go back to Guilin. You could go to the bus station to purchase the bus ticket (CNY14 per person) and then take the bus back to Guilin (it will take around 1.5 hours). Upon arrival, it's easy for you to take a taxi to the hotel in Guilin by yourself.
Day 14 Guilin / Shanghai (B)
Transfer via: Flight - on our arrangement
Today you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival at the Shanghai airport, take a taxi to the reserved hotel in Shanghai and handle the check-in procedure on your own.
Day 15 Shanghai (B)
Today is a free day is for you to explore this international metropolis by yourself. It is advised to walk around the famous Shanghai Bund and see the towering buildings scattered near and far, a perfect mixture of the eastern and western cultures. Visit the symbolistic scenic spots as Shanghai museum, Yuyuan Garden Take a boat tour on the Huangpu River and have a great view of the Pudong district on your own. The boat usually runs from the Zhongshan Dong Lu (East Zhongshan Road) to the Wusongkou dock every one hour in the day time.
Day 16 Shanghai (B)
One more free day for you in Shanghai so that you could savor the international metropolis flavor further. You could refer to Shanghai Day Trip to choose your favourite tour schedule.
Day 17 Shanghai Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight –on your own arrangement
Today you will check out the hotel and arrange the way to airport to board the flight leave Shanghai by yourself. There are two airports in Shanghai, one is Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and the other is Shanghai Pudong Airport. Please confirm the right one to take your flight 2 hours ahead of the schedule.The taxi fare to the Shanghai Hongqiao airport is around CNY80 and the fare to Shanghai Pudong airport is around CNY200.