12 Days Beijing - Xian - Chengdu- Guilin - Shanghai Tour

Trip name:

12 Days Beijing - Xian - Chengdu- Guilin - Shanghai Tour

Trip code:

LCT - BXCGS - 12D-01

Trip length:

12 Days

Trip overview:

Arriving in the capital city of China, you will pay a visit to the most noted sites like the Forbidden City’s hidden halls and Great Wall in the first two days. Take a high-speed train southward to Xian, another ancient capital city, where you will dive into the culture of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses and take an interesting bike ride on the City Wall. Hop on another train and head for Chengdu, for an experience mixed with fun and food. Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center whilst you enjoy the local Sichuan cuisine, which tastes nothing like the so-called Sichuan food back home. Take a flight to Guilin, a beautiful natural city. Enjoy a Li River Cruise and leisure time. Before heading back home, stop off in Shanghai to discover its tranquil temples and get a glimpse into local people’s lives.

LCT - BXCGS - 12D-01-Ask for a quick response

  • Group size

* Note: This price is per person.

1. Get close to cute Giant pandas and learn about the breeding program.
2. Take a cruise on the picturesque Li River and learn from locals how this paradise was formed.
3. Scrutinize the appearance of each Terracotta Warrior with a telescope and learn how they were made.
4. Access the newly opened halls in the Forbidden City palace to discover more secrets of ancient Imperial lives.
5. Be dazzled by the modern charm of Shanghai by getting a view from the World Financial Center.
6. Be amazed by the scale of the Great Wall of China.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Beijing

    Your driver will be ready at the airport when you arrive and transfer you to your hotel. You are advised to use this half day to recover from jet lag.

Day 2 Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutong Walking Tour

    09:00: Meet your Beijing tour guide and start your China tour. This day tour will mainly take place in Beijing city, after which we recommend you enjoy a Peking Roast Duck banquet.

    09:30-10:30: Visit Tiananmen Square. With a history of over 500 years, Tiananmen Square is the largest city square in the world. Located on the south side of the Forbidden City, it functioned as the gate for the Imperial Palace in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.. It was here that the founding of the New People’s Republic of China was proclaimed. In the following years, several historic events occurred here that made it a political idol for the Chinese people.

    10:40 - 13:00: Visit the magnificent Forbidden City, the largest Imperial Palace in the world. We’ll spend a couple of hours wandering around this amazing example of Imperial architecture and learning about the history of the palace. Enclosed by long scarlet walls extending 3.5km, the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City was the very centre of power of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This large palace witnessed the prosperity and the decline of feudalism. Here you will directly experience how royals lived and how they ruled.

    13:00 - 14:00: Enjoy local food in a nice restaurant popular with Beijingers (Lunch is for your own account).

    14:30 - 16:00: Head for the Temple of Heaven. Situated in the southeast of the central city, the Temple of Heaven was originally constructed in the eighteenth year of Yong Le (1420) in the Ming Dynasty. The Ming and Qing emperors conducted annual ceremonies praying to Heaven for a good harvest. It combines the architectural technology of the Ming and Qing Dynasties together, which is rare in ancient Chinese architecture and it is the largest sacrificial complex in the world. Charmed by its size, colorful meaning and importance in China's history, the site was classified into the "Directory of World Heritage" by UNESCO in 1998.

    16:10- 17:00:  Walk in the tranquil Hutongs. In those interlaced Hutongs, one can experience the life of the ancient Beijing people. With public toilets available, shops and vendors selling all kinds of goods to satisfy local people's daily needs, and people gossiping along the lanes to strengthen their relationships, one can walk through history and savour the unique culture. Thus, we say that where there is a lane, there is a story.

    17:00: End of this day tour and return to hotel.

    Forbidden City    Temple of Heaven

Day 3 Mutianyu Great Wall, Summer Palace

    07:30: Greeted by your tour guide in your hotel lobby, commence your day tour.

    09:00 - 12:30: Drive around 1.5 hours to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and have a quick lunch at the Subway at the foot of the Mutianyu Wall. This is one of the most famous and idyllic sections of the Great Wall. You will have a choice of taking the cable car or chair lift up the breathtaking wall and spend a leisurely 1 to 2 hours walking up and down the various sections exploring the Watch Towers and marvelling at the construction and beauty of the renowned and legendary Wall. You then have the option of an exhilarating toboggan ride back down or simply return the way you came with cable car.

    12:30 - 13:30: Enjoy a typical Beijing lunch near the Mutianyu Great Wall (Lunch for your own account).

    14:30 - 16:00: Visit the Summer Palace. As the largest imperial garden in China, the Summer Palace was a summer resort for the royal families. There are huge lakes, bridges, corridors, pavilions, and various kinds of flowers and many rooms radiating the natural beauty and the grandeur of imperial gardens. With arched bridges and glittering ripples, pretty promenades and flowers in blossom, decorated corridors and ancient doors, and "breezeways" (a kind of hallway that allows the passage of a breeze between structures),  tourists are enchanted by the ever-changing scenery.

    16:30: Arrive back at your hotel.

    Summer Palace    Great Wall

Day 4 Leave for Xian by G571 (09:22- 15:03), Hanyangling Museum

    07:30: Your Beijing driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the Beijing West Train Station.

    15:03: Your Xian guide will be waiting for you at the Xian North Railway Station.

    Greeted by your guide, you will go directly to the Hanyangling Museum. Located about 20 mins from the train station, this mausoleum is said to be the most underrated tomb in China. Dating back to 2100 years ago, this tomb is the burial site of Emperor Jingdi and his wife Empress Wangzhi.  You will see some of the funeral goods such as pottery figurines dating back to the Han Dynasty, Luojing Stone that was used for measurement, and all kinds of stele inscribed with words.

    18:00: Drop off at your hotel.

    Hanyangling Museum    Xian Food

Day 5 Terracotta Soldiers Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall

    09:00: Greeted by your tour guide, your exploration to this great city begins.

    09:50: You will arrive at Terracotta Warriors Museum. Your tour guide will take you through all important figures, horses and weapons. By examining the terracotta figures discovered here, you can imagine how the Qin soldiers looked 2000 years ago. From the horse cart and weapons displayed, you will have an idea how these soldiers used to fight. If you look closely enough, you will discover that each figure has different facial expressions, which is astonishing considering how many figures there are. Then, you will appreciate how great this work is and why the Terracotta Warriors Museum is regarded as the Eighth Wonder in the world.

    12:00: Time to find lunch which will be for your own account. Your tour guide will be happy to cater to your needs and find a suitable restaurant for you. Here are some local foods you might be interested in: Chinese Hamburger, Baozi (steamed stuffed bun), Spicy Soup, Tofu Jelly, Deep-fried dough sticks, Pita Bread Soaked in Mutton Soup, Biang Biang Noodles, Guokui, etc..

    13:00: Depart the Terracotta Warriors and return to the city. It takes about 50 minutes to transfer back to the City from the Terracotta Warriors Museum, during which time you can have a little rest and be prepared for the afternoon tour.

    13:50 - 15:20: Your afternoon tour will start with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Located inside the Da Ci En temple, it was built in the Tang Dynasty to store all the Buddhist Sutra and Buddhist figures that Xuan Zang brought back from India. It’s the largest and oldest square pagoda ever built. Today, it has been remodeled and enlarged into a large park where local people come to relax on sunny days.. If you come here at night, you will see local people dancing and singing, children running, fountain show performances and various small stalls selling local snacks.

    15:30 - 17:00: Visit the Ancient City Wall in a style that suits your preferences. You can either walk or ride a bike, or even take a golf cart (golf carts and bikes for your own account). This City Wall is the best preserved and most complete wall that has survived through China’s long history. It is about 12 meters high, 12 to 14 meters wide across the top and 15 to 18 meters thick at the base. The entire circumference is about 13.7 kilometers. It can take a while if you choose to walk the whole way around.

    17:00: Your will be dropped off at your hotel and your tour comes to an end.

    City Wall    Terracotta Warriors Museum

Day 6 Shaanxi History Museum, Bell Tower, Muslim Quarter, head for Chengdu by train D1943, 16:16 - 20:33

    09:00: Be ready to be picked up by your friendly tour guide.

    09:10 - 12:00:  Visit the grand Shaanxi History Museum. Xian was the ancient imperial capital of China, having been the seat of more than 13 feudal dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties. The province is rich in cultural relics. With the completion of the Shaanxi History Museum, over 370,000 precious relics unearthed in Shaanxi Province are on display, including bronze wares, pottery figures and mural paintings from the Tang tombs.

    12:00 - 13:00: Enjoy a Chinese lunch where locals prefer to eat. Lunch will be for your own expense and you could try something different from the previous day.

    13:10 - 13:50: Visit the symbol of Xian city - Bell Tower (Or Drum Tower). In ancient times, the bell and the drum were used to strike time in the morning and at dusk because people didn’t have clocks or watches, so there is a saying ‘Morning Bell and Dusk Drum’ in Chinese. The two towers are icons of Xi’an, as they are the best preserved all around China.

    14:00 - 14:40: Wander in the Muslim Quarter. This block is famous for its various foods and is regarded as a tourist spot for the tourists coming from all around the world, but is especially popular with the locals in the summer where you will find them gathering for snacks and amusement. In fact, all the “Huifang” area is filled with restaurants and various Muslim food stalls, in which you can find the widely-renowned old shops. Enjoy a local lunch here.

    15:20: Drop off at Xian North Railway Station and take D1943, 16:16 - 20:33 heading for Chengdu.

    20:33: Your Chengdu local driver will be waiting at the Chengdu East Train Station and transfer you to your Chengdu hotel.

    Shaanxi History Museum    Bell Tower

Day 7 Giant Buddha, Huanglongxi Ancient Town

    07:30 a.m: Get up early and be prepared to visit the Giant Buddha.

    09:30 - 11:00: Visit the Giant Buddha in Leshan city. It’s located at the river outlet of the Min River, Qingyi River and Dadu River, over 160km north of Chengdu city. Built on a cliff on the Xixia Peak of the Lingyun Mountain, the Giant Buddha is the largest stone-carved Buddha in the world with a height of 71 meters. There are two ways to admire this giant Buddha. The ordinary way is to enter the site and come down to the foot of the Buddha. The other way is to take a cruise and observe it in the  distance, which provides better views.

    11:00 - 12:00: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near to the Giant Buddha (Lunch for your own account).

    13:30 - 15:30: Visit the Huanglongxi Ancient Town. Named after Huanglong River that runs through it, the Huanglongxi Ancient Town has a history of 1,700 years. Most of its buildings date back to the Qing Dynasty and feature cobbled streets, wooden buildings, tranquil tea houses, tall old trees and temples. Coming here will make anybody calm and peaceful and that is why it attracts many producers to shoot movies here.

    16:30: Transfer back to your Chengdu hotel.

    Giant Buddha    Huanglongxi Town

Day 8 Panda Breeding Center, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Street, fly to Guilin by CA19:15 - 20:55

    09:00: Greeted by your Chengdu guide, you will set out to explore this amazing city.

    09:30 - 12:00: Visit the Panda Breeding Center. Visiting the Pandas (a “National Treasure of China”) is a must-see activity when visiting Chengdu. Situated on the Futou Mountain 10 km away from the city center, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a huge replica of a natural habitat created for the preservation and breeding of pandas to prevent their extinction. Founded in 1987, the Chengdu Panda Base has rescued many wild pandas and helped over 100 other kinds of wild animals survive, including the red panda, the white stork, the white swan, the black swan, the mandarin duck, the Grus nigricollis etc.. Besides the rare animals, the base is also abundant in rare-bred plants. You will enjoy observing the pandas’ behaviour.

    12:00 - 13:00: Find a local restaurant to enjoy the authentic Sichuan cuisine (Lunch for your own account). We all know that Sichuan cuisine is world famous, now it’s time for you to try the real dishes.

    13:30 - 15:00: Travel to the Wuhou Memorial Temple. As the “Shrine of the Three Kingdoms”, the Wuhou Memorial Temple is mainly composed of three sightseeing parts, the Cultural Relics Area, the Garden and Jinli Street. In the Cultural Relics Area, visitors can appreciate Du Fu’s couplets (a great poet in the Tang Dynasty), exquisite carvings, sophisticated stone inscriptions, calligraphy works and paintings, as well as the rooms Zhuge Liang lived in and statues of famous people from the Three Kingdoms Period.

    15:20- 16:30: Stroll along the old Jinli street. It is said that Jinli was one of the oldest and most commercially-featured streets in the Western Shu Kingdom. It was famous nationwide in the Qin and Han Dynasties and the Three Kingdoms Period. As part of Wuhou Street, Jinli street incorporated the cultural legacies of the Qin and Han Dynasties and Three Kingdoms Period, enriched itself with old folk customs of the western Sichuan people and then absorbed elements of the Ming and Qing Dynasties’ style. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn about the old Sichuan people’s way of life by enjoying a cup of tea in the tea house, watching some Sichuan Opera in the theater, tasting traditional snacks and appreciating some beautiful art works.

    17:15: Drop off at Chengdu airport. You will fly to Guilin.

    20:55: Guilin airport pick up and Guilin hotel drop off.

    Giant Panda    Jinli Street

Day 9 Longji Terraces

    07:30 : Meet your tour guide and head for the Longji Terraces Rice Fields.

    09:30- 15:00: Enjoy the amazing natural views of the Longji Terraces and taste the authentic Zhuang nationality food. Situated about 27 kilometers southeast of Longsheng County, there is a vast region of rice terraces stretching layer upon layer. Known as the Longji Rice Terraces (Dragon Backbone’s Rice Terraces), the grandest terraces in China! Construction began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and the terraces were only completed in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It represents the great accomplishment of profound wisdom and the strenuous labor of minority people in Southern China.

    Varying scenes put on their display with the passage of four different seasons, as nature displays its grandeur. The terrace presents a picture of chains or ribbons hung on the hillsides in the spring due to the irrigation systems. With the coming of Summer, massive green shadows cast from the heavens, float across the terraces. With the commencement of Autumn, ripened millet bends the stems, giving people hope of harvest. In winter, the whole terrace is covered with white snow like a playful dragon that has been rolling in the snow.

    Wandering in the terraces, one can not only enjoy the natural beauty, but also experience the unique culture of ethnic minorities. There are several minorities, including Zhuang, Miao and Yao. One can visit their wooden buildings, learn their beautiful dances and appreciate their costumes and Longji tea.

    17:00: Guilin Hotel drop off at the tour end.

    Longji Terraces    Guilin Terraces

Day 10 Li River Cruise, West Street and Yangshuo countryside, flight to Shanghai

    09:00: Meet your tour guide and start your Guilin tour.

    09:00 - 13:00: The Li River Cruise is the highlight of a trip to Guilin. Surrounded by the unusual rock and mountain formations on both sides, the Li River meanders through slowly and peacefully. Picturesque natural views present themselves at every turn interspersed with swimming ducks, napping fisherman, and buffalo blissfully eating grass. You will feel like you have wandered into  a fairyland. Note that lunch is included on your cruise and your journey will end in Yangshuo.

    14:30 - 16:00: As you disembark the ship, you will you will find yourself in another splendid picture. Brooks gurgle all around and proud, lush trees dance with the wind. Birds are singing and the mountains fade into a water-colour distance. Such a relaxed and picturesque place is best explored with a bike ride along scenic paths. With the guidance of our representative, you can also learn some facts and history of Yangshuo.

    16:00 - 17:00: Wander along West Street, a street built in western style. It’s a unique cultural symbol in Yangshuo, and makes foreigners feel welcome and at home. As the first western-style street, West Street has been a model for other tourist cities to clone from. Here you will see various kinds of western stores as well as shops selling traditional Chinese decorations like small embroidery pouches, Chinese knots and lucky bags.

    17:50: Drop off at Guilin airport and take a flight to Shanghai.

    22:05: Shanghai driver pick you up at PVG airport and drop you off at Shanghai hotel.

    Yangshuo Countryside    Guilin Mountains

Day 11 Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, Huangpu River Cruise, the Bund

    09:00: Greeted by your tour guide at your hotel lobby, you will set out for the Shanghai Museum.

    09:20 - 12:00: Visit the Shanghai Museum. As one of the renowned ancient art museums, the Shanghai Museum has collected about 140,000 cultural relics. There are 10 classes of relics currently displayed. To appreciate the most spectacular relics in such a limited time period, our tour guides will introduce to you some of the historic ones. You will see ceremonial wares like a battle-axe and tripod, daily necessities in ancient life like pottery and porcelain, calligraphy works like the Oracle, and various jade ornaments.

    12:00 - 13:00: Lunch for your own arrangement under the recommendations of our tour guide.

    13:00 - 14:30: Visit Yuyuan Garden. Dating back 400 years ago, Yuyuan Garden was a private garden. It was built in the style of most of the classic Jiangnan gardens. You will see Yu Linglong - a unique stone listed as one of the 3 famous stones in Jiangnan. The other two refer to Guan Yunfeng in the Liu Garden of Suzhou and Zhou Yunfeng in the Zhusu Garden of Hangzhou. Our guide will also brief you about the local cuisines you may come across.

    14:50 - 15:20 p.m: Our guide will take you to “climb” the Shanghai World Financial Center. With the height of 492m, Shanghai World Financial Center is ranked as the 3rd tallest tower in the world. You can view the whole city standing on the tower.

    15:40-16:40:  Walk on the Bund. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, the Bund was originally a pathway for boatmen and hard laborers; while nowadays, the Bund has become the most characteristic view and the most recognized symbol of the city with its rich cultural connotations of hundreds of years. For the Europeans, it was like the Wall Street in the east, where prosperous trading took place and massive fortunes were made and lost. Other famous Shanghai landmarks like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Jinmao tower stand proudly across the river from the Bund creating a stark contrast between the old and the new Shanghai, and a must see on your tour.

    17:00: Your tour comes to an end and you will be transferred back to your hotel.

    Recommended activity: Huangpu River Cruise

    In the evening, we suggest you enjoy the Huangpu River Cruise. All the essence of Shanghai  unfolds along the Huangpu River. Taking this cruise will be a most memorable experience for you! You will take a 3-storey cruise ship, a replica of a typical ancient Chinese boat with two magnificent dragon heads standing upright on the stern. With the explanation of a guide, you will enjoy the mild breeze, smell the unique water, and view the colorful buildings lining the river, while listening to the old Shanghai stories.

    Shanghai Museum    Yuyuan Garden

Day 12 Zhujiajiao Water Town, Departure Shanghai

    09:00: Meet your Shanghai guide in your hotel lobby and start your Shanghai tour.

    09:50-12:00: Visit the Zhujiajiao Water Town. As the best preserved water town in Shanghai, Zhujiajiao has a history of 1700 years. It’s also the nearest water town to Shanghai. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with courtyards attached, all transport people from the hustle and bustle of modern city living to a world filled with antiquity, leisure and tranquility. The boat riding fee is not included.

    Drop you off the Shanghai airport and bid you farewell!

    Zhujiajiao Water Town    Zhujiajiao Water Town

Additional Information

What’s included:

Air-conditioned vehicles with experienced driver.
Licensed Chinese- English bilingual speaking tour guide.
Entrance fee for sights mentioned, including cable car up and toboggan down the Great Wall.
Bottled water.
2nd class train tickets between Beijing, Xian, Chengdu.
Economy class air tickets listed above.

What’s not included:

Meals, except lunch on the Li River Cruise
Personal expenses or private entertainment items at sights.

Tips or gratuities for guide and driver if we did a good job (recommended)


What to take:  smile and a relaxed enthusiastic attitude.

Good to know:

1. As our customer, your time is very valuable to us. We will never take you to any factories or shops for shopping.
2. For lunch, we will take you to a nice local restaurant, where you can enjoy the local food at a fair price. Please inform us about your food preferences in case you have any allergies.
3. A regular day tour will last 8-9 hours. If you want a tour with a duration exceeding the working period of our tour guide and driver, we need to charge you for your extra hours at the standard rate of 100 RMB per hour.
4.The tour we provide you is based on days, not the hours. A regular day tour will last 8-9 hours. In case you only need our service for between 6 hours to 8 hours in one day, we will consider it a day tour.
5. Please be aware that your itinerary can be changed at anytime. Whenever you want to adjust it, we will help you with that.
6. What we provide are high-quality private tours, you will only be with your families or friends. There are no other people joining your tour.
7. Wheelchairs are available, please advise prior to your trip in case you need any.
8. Please advise in advance in case you want to enjoy the Acrobatic show, Kungfu Show, Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, Sichuan Opera, or Impression Liusanjie Show.
9. Please advise prior to your trip if you want to do some activities such as painting, calligraphy, exercising Tai Chi, watching opera, paper cutting, etc..
10. The air tickets between Chengdu and Guilin tend to sell out very quickly. We will change your itinerary and quote in case you have to take train instead.
11. We will book your air tickets 4-5 months in advance, before that you will be requested to pay for the train tickets and air tickets. If you need to cancel the trip for some reason, we will do our best to get a refund on the tickets and return the money to you. Any loss or money not refundable will be for your own account.


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In case of any unexpected issue that you have to cancel this booking, your deposit is non-refundable. You are free to use it for your next trip with Lilysun China Tours or grand it to anyone else who travel with us.

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