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Li River, Yangshuo

Highlights of China: Beijing, Xian, Guilin & Shanghai

11 days from CAD5,845pp

Li River, Yangshuo
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Tour highlights

  • See China’s famous sights including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors and the Li River.

  • Travel by high-speed bullet trains and on Shanghai’s maglev train.

  • Enjoy a cycling tour through Shanghai’s French Concession.

  • Explore Xian’s lively Muslim Quarter on a street food tour.

  • Relax in the laid-back town of Yangshuo.

Price includes:

  • Domestic flights in destination
  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival in Beijing, your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

  • Start your discovery of Beijing this morning with a visit to the historic Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City with your private guide. Surrounded by the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, and Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest and each day, thousands of locals come and pay respects to Chairman Mao’s statue from all over China. Continue to the imperial Forbidden City, a vast site of ancient buildings that was once off-limits to all but the emperor and the imperial family. In the afternoon explore the scenic Summer Palace, the largest and most well-preserved royal park in Beijing, taking in its lakes, gardens, walkways and teahouses.

  • Leave Beijing today to visit China's Great Wall. After a drive by private transfer, which typically lasts around two hours, you arrive at Jinshanling. This section of the wall is a little further from the city, making it much quieter and less crowded. Your guide leads you on a four-hour circular walk along the wall and back through a green valley. Then, take your private transfer back to Beijing.

  • This morning, tour the Temple of Heaven with your private guide. This Confucian-designed temple is technically an altar and stands in the middle of a leafy park. Afterwards, enjoy a walk in the surrounding park to see locals exercising, practising their dancing or just socializing. Later you will be taken to Beijing West railway station by private transfer to catch the high-speed train to Xian, home of the Terracotta Warriors, a five-and-a-half-hour journey. On arrival, you're met by a private guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.

  • Today, you will see Xian’s most famous sights with your private guide and driver. Begin with a visit to Xian's star attraction, the Terracotta Army. Nothing can prepare you for their sheer scale and number, even if you have read about these ancient models. Discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well, it is now one of the main tourist attractions in China and one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Enjoy lunch at a local family’s home with a chance to chat with them and gain insight into their lives. Return to the city and take a short cycling tour on Xian’s Ancient City Wall. Originally built during the Ming dynasty, the city wall has been restored to its former glory, and you can marvel at the sheer scale of the construction as you make stops along the ramparts that provide magnificent views of the city. To end the day, head out to explore Xian's Muslim Quarter on a private street food tour. You will sample the delicacies from the many food stalls: the barbecued meat dishes are particularly delicious.

  • You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport for your flight to Guilin, where, on arrival, your private guide and driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Guilin independently. You may wish to visit Elephant Hill, regarded as the symbol of Guilin. The site is located in a park in the center of the city and is the most famous hill formation out of the many that rise straight out of the ground throughout the city. Bicycles are the ideal way to get around, being easy and inexpensive to hire. Alternatively, you can wander on foot, taking in the atmosphere, sights and sounds at your leisure.

  • This morning, accompanied by your private guide, you will embark on a boat journey to cruise down the Li River to the town of Yangshuo. You'll sail past bamboo forests and limestone karst mountains. Look out for water buffalo and farmers working in the fields. On arrival in Yangshuo, you're met by a private driver and taken to your hotel. You then have an afternoon to explore the town at leisure. We suggest ambling around its markets and cafés. In the evening, you can enjoy Impression Liu Sanjie show, a riverside lightshow illuminating the karst scenery, designed by Zhang Yimou who directed the 2008 Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony.

  • A day at leisure in Yangshuo. We recommend cycling around the surrounding paddy fields and countryside, or even trying a local cookery lesson. The more energetic can even try bamboo rafting.

  • This morning, transfer by private car with your guide to Guilin airport and fly to Shanghai. On arrival in Shanghai, you will be met at the airport by your guide and taken to your hotel by private car. Alternatively, you may wish to take a ride on the super-fast maglev train into the city and continue by private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to soak in the atmosphere of China’s exciting modern city. You may wish to take a walk along the Bund and admire its colonial architecture or take a leisurely cruise on the Huangpu River in the evening to see the bright lights of Shanghai’s Pudong District.

  • Today, you will explore the vibrant city of Shanghai by bike in the morning. This shared cycling tour takes you through the French Concession quarter, with its elegant Art Deco villas, before plunging you into the backstreets and alleyways of off-the-beaten-path residential areas and the maze of narrow streets that make up Shanghai’s old town to see the daily life of local people. You’ll also see the plethora of activities that take place in one of the city’s main public parks and visit a Buddhist temple. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the city independently. We suggest visiting the Shanghai Museum. Rated among the best museums in Asia, the museum boasts a comprehensive collection of Chinese cultural artifacts and art. You may wish to visit Yu Gardens, where you'll have the chance to explore the gardens, bazaars and maze of narrow lanes lined with traditional houses or take a walk along the historic Bund to admire its colonial architecture and soak up the views of the famous Pudong skyline on the opposite bank of Huangpu River. We can also arrange a leisurely boat trip along the river for a relaxing way to see old and new Shanghai instead.

  • Today you will be taken to the airport by private transfer in time for your return flight.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Contact a China specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to China will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

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