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Highlights of China: Beijing, Xian and Guilin

11 days from £3,085pp

Includes flights
What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • Beijing
  • Xian
  • Guilin
  • Yangshuo
  • Longji
  • See the home of the emperors for centuries, The Forbidden City.

  • Get away from the crowds and walk along The Great Wall.

  • See the Terracotta Warriors at Xian.

  • Take a relaxing cruise down the River Li, among beautiful limestone karst scenery.

  • Get a taste of rural life in China in the village of Longji.

Audley Travel specialist Duncan

What our specialists say...

This itinerary is ideal for those with limited time looking for a thorough introduction to the Middle Kingdom. Starting in Beijing, you'll see the city’s main highlights, including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, before heading out to walk a section of the Great Wall. You’ll then take the bullet train to Xian, home to the Terracotta Warriors. You’ll finish with a river cruise and time spent exploring the area around Guilin, with its limestone karst towers and rice terraces. You’ll be accompanied by knowledgeable private guides and most travel will be via private car transfer, with your own driver.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Beijing
  • Xian
  • Guilin
  • Yangshuo
  • Longji
  • Guilin

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Beijing.

Day 2 Beijing


Arriving in Beijing, you're met at the airport by your guide and driven to your hotel by private transfer. In the afternoon, explore the modernist expanse of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City with your guide. As you wander around the city's complex of ancient buildings, your guide will explain its fascinating architecture and how the emperors would have lived. You're driven back to your hotel at the end of your visit.

Accommodation options

Day 3 Beijing


Today explore the Temple of Heaven with your guide. This is an ancient Confucian-designed site in the middle of a tranquil park. We can arrange for you to get there early in order to see Beijing's older residents performing Tai chi. In the afternoon, visit the Summer Palace with your guide, walking around the lakes, gardens, walkways and quaint buildings of this expansive park. In the evening, try dining and strolling around the traditional backstreets of the Hutong district.

Accommodation options

Day 4 Beijing


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 is a section of the wall that's 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. The take your private transfer back to Beijing.

Accommodation options

Day 5 Xian

Beijing , Xian

Today take a private transfer to Beijing West train station to catch the bullet train to Xian. The journey lasts around five and a half hours. On arrival in Xian you're met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Your guide then takes you for a walk around the city's Muslim Quarter, a frenetic but atmospheric corner of the city, packed with street food stalls.

Accommodation options

Day 6 Guilin

Xian , Guilin

This morning, take a 40 minute private transfer to Xian's star attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. This 8,000-strong model army, created to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife, was discovered by a local farmer in the 1970s. In the afternoon, take the two hour flight to Guilin. You'll have time to explore this southern city on arrival. We recommend visiting under your own steam the pretty lakeside Sun and Moon Pagodas, which are illuminated at night.

Accommodation options

Day 7 Yangshuo

Guilin , Yangshuo

This morning take a cruise down the River Li to the town of Yangshuo, sailing amid farmland, bamboo plains and towering limestone karst outcrops. You'll be part of a larger group of 120 people but your guide will accompany you. Arriving into Yangshuo at lunchtime, you're met by a private driver and taken to your hotel. You then have the afternoon free to explore the market stalls and cafes of this relaxed town.

Accommodation options

Day 8 Yangshuo


A day at leisure in Yangshuo. We suggest you explore the surrounding paddy fields and countryside by bicycle, go bamboo rafting, or take a local cookery class. In the evening, head to the banks of the Li to enjoy the Liu Sanjie lightshow illuminating the karst peaks, choreographed by the man responsible for directing the 2008 Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony.

Accommodation options

Day 9 Longji

Yangshuo , Longji

You leave the town of Yangshuo this morning and head to the village of Longji via a three hour private transfer. The village is set around centuries-old rice terraces, and a visit here gives you a small taste of rural life in China. Go on a walk between villages with your guide, or take shorter walks to various viewing platforms over the terraces.

Accommodation options

Day 10 International return flight

Longji , Guilin , International return flight

This morning continue your explorations of the rice terraces with your guide, and learn about the area's Zhang minority culture. In the afternoon, catch a private transfer back to Guilin's airport that takes just over one and a half hours. From Guilin, take a one and a half hour flight to Hong Kong or Shanghai where you'll catch your onwards flight.

Day 11 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Nick
Audley Travel specialist Sophie

Contact a 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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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