Discovery of Beijing, Xian & Guilin

12 Days, from AU $3,544

Yangshuo landscape, Guilin

Rice Terraces, Guilin

Summer Palace, Beijing

Bell Tower, Xian

Discover Beijing, Xian and Guilin at their best in this twelve day adventure. Starting with Beijing, explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall. Then to historic Xian with its army of Terracotta Warriors and its ancient city walls. Discover the haunting majesty of Guilin's wilderness scenery, Yangshuo and the Dragons Backbone in Longsheng.

Our Discovery itineraries explore a destination in depth, with carefully selected experiences, and ample free time for relaxation. Like all GetAboutAsia trips, Discovery itineraries can be customised to create your perfect holiday. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Beijing

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Beijing, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Beijing has served as the capital of China for over 800 years and is the second largest city by population. Home to the sprawling Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, as well as the most popular spot to visit the world famous Great Wall.

Beijing has many great restaurants and bars. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Itinerary Option: If you’re arriving to Beijing in the morning, discuss additional Day 1 activities with our staff.

Day 2: Beijing

Today you'll visit historic Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Followed by a visit to the sprawling Forbidden City that dominates central Beijing, as it has done since it was it was completed in 1420 AD. This amazing complex is divided into political, living and entertainment areas, and is a highlight of any trip to China.

In the afternoon visit the Summer Palace, with its lush gardens and lakes it is easy to understand why it was a favoured place for emperors to relax.

Tonight you are treated to Beijing's world famous dish, Peking Duck.

Interesting Forbidden City Trivia:

  • The Forbidden City consists of 980 buildings with 8,886 rooms.
  • The city is built on the site of the former Mongol Yuan Dynasty Imperial City that was destroyed following the founding of the Ming Dynasty.
  • In the Second Opium War of 1860 the British and French forces forcefully occupied the city temporarily.
  • From its overall layout to the smallest detail, the Forbidden City was meticulously planned to reflect philosophical and religious principles, and to symbolise the majesty of Imperial power.
  • Your guide will explain why particular colours were chosen, why particular statuettes line the sloping roof ridges, and how numbers influenced the layout and design of the complex.

Day 3: Beijing

Head out to visit the Ming Tombs built for thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) and its Sacred Way, also known as the Way of Spirit. From there travel northeast to the Great Wall built to protect China from invasions from the north, namely the Mongolians and Manchurians. Climb the wall at the Mutianyu section followed by a barbecue lunch at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Beijing

This morning visit China’s largest temple and altar complex as well as the city’s symbol, the Temple of Heaven, built in the Ming Dynasty and surrounded by purpose designed parklands. Afterwards grab a bargain or simply window shop at the famous Hongqiao Pearl Market or Silk Alley.

In the afternoon explore Beijing's hutongs, or old residential laneways, that are slowly disappearing to redevelopment. Visit a family's hutong residence to see how Beijing locals have lived for centuries. Visit Prince Gong’s Palace, followed by the Bell or Drum Tower, which once formed a section of Beijing's city walls, and were used to announce the time of day to residents.

Take an afternoon flight to Xian and meet your guide on arrival. Your guide will provide an introduction to Xian and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Well established two centuries before the founding of Rome, Xian was the capital of China throughout a number of important dynasties. When trade via the Silk Road began in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) Xian was the capital and at the eastern junction of the route. The introduction of exotic Chinese goods to the rest of the world started at Xian.

Having grown progressively through several ruling dynasties, Xian, known as Chang'an in the mid seventh century, was the largest city in the world before it was devastated at the end of the Tang Dynasty. However, the city was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty with the new city wall completed in 1370 based on the inner palace walls of the Tang Dynasty city. The Ming Dynasty walls are well preserved and can be circumnavigated on foot or bicycle.

Xian has plenty of restaurants serving cuisines from all around the world, and the city centre can be explored on foot. Ask your guide for advice and personal recommendations.

Itinerary Option: For the adventurous, you can save money and catch an overnight sleeper train from Beijing to Xian rather than flying. Discuss itinerary options with our staff.

Day 5: Xian

Today you will visit Xian's Muslim quarter to see the Chinese styled Great Mosque which was founded in 742 AD, when Xian was the largest city in the world and home to many thousands of foreigners. In this fascinating area you'll notice that many of the residents come from mixed ethnic backgrounds possibly dating back to the early days of the Silk Road traders. Some of the Islamic-Chinese food you'll see in the market and on restaurant menus is unique to this region.

Explore Xian's ancient city walls. At 12 metres high and 12-18 metres thick they are the best preserved in China.

Each warrior, horse and chariot of the famed Terracotta Warriors is unique, having been intricately created by hand in 209 BC, over two thousand years ago, and rediscovered by accident in 1974. We've all seen them on television, but nothing can prepare you for the awesome scale of over 8,000 life-sized models, complete with armour, weapons, and individual facial features. Truly something that has to be seen to be appreciated.

To complete your introduction to Xian, enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show in the evening.

Day 6: Xian

Visit the Provincial Museum to learn the history of Xian and the ancient Silk Road. Visit both the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which were initially built in the seventh century to house Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by pilgrims.

Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 7: Xian to Guilin

Enjoy free time in Xian this morning until your flight to Guilin in the afternoon.

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Guilin and the Li River area, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Guilin is one of the most picturesque areas in China, famous for majestic karts of limestone towering above the crystal clear waters of the Li River. With its inspirational natural beauty, this is a must-see region of China.

Your guide will suggest personal restaurant recommendations for this evening.

Day 8: Guilin to Yangshuo

Head off early on your 83 kilometre Li River cruise, gliding majestically through the most picturesque section of river. As you wind through the rising and falling hills, an impossibly rich tapestry of natural beauty unfolds before your eyes. Terraced rice fields, green bamboo shoots, grazing water buffalo and cormorant fisherman working from bamboo rafts. Make sure your camera is fully charged!

At the end of the cruise you arrive at the ancient river town of Yangshuo. Your guide will introduce you to Yangshuo, including the waterfront and markets on the way to your hotel.

Itinerary Option: Attend the Yangshuo Impression of Miss Liusanjie light and sound show with the Li River as the backdrop. Discuss itinerary options with our staff.

Day 9: Yangshuo

Enjoy a sleep in today and relax to the beautiful scenery of Yangshuo. Mid morning, enjoy a short cycle through Yangshuo’s laneways and into the lush countryside.

Enjoy the rest of the day free in Yangshuo.

Day 10: Guilin

Today visit the interesting limestone formation of Elephant Trunk Hill, followed by Reed Flute Cave enhanced with multicoloured lighting. Graffiti in the cave has been dated back to 792 AD indicating that the complex has been an attraction for over 1,200 years.

A short climb up the solitary Fubo Hill provides a panoramic view of Guilin and another chance to frame the perfect photo.

Lastly, visit Seven Star Park with its seven limestone peaks, waterways and gardens.

Day 11: Longsheng

Travel by road to the county of Longsheng and walk along the ridges of the most striking rice terraced valleys in the world - seeing is believing. The main ridge is known locally as the Dragons Backbone for the way it resembles the armoured ridges of this mythical creatures back.

Longsheng is also home to ethnic minorities such as Zhuang people whose colourful dress and hair style is unique to their culture.

Day 12: Guilin

On your last day enjoy free time until your departure transfer.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $3,544
Superior:from AU $3,759
Deluxe:from AU $4,586

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
  • All airport transfers.
  • All Internal airfares and transport on tour.
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
  • Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
  • Lunch provided on day 2 through day 12.
  • Dinner as indicated on trip notes. We do not include dinner where it is practical for you to make your own choices, as we find that GetAboutAsia customers prefer the freedom of eating what they want, which is one the of joys of travelling.
Notes:

This trip package includes 2 internal flights (Beijing - Xian and Xian - Guilin) which retail at about 200AUD per flight.

Visas for China
Almost all nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. Give yourself at least 3-4 weeks. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be very difficult to obtain outside your country of residence.

Hong Kong and Macau are not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities (please check) do not require a visa.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"We had always looked forward to enjoying the history and culture of China and Tibet but our 28-day experience through GetAboutAsia was so much more than we had anticipated. Very memorable. " — Mr and Mrs Whimp, , November 2017

"China should be on your travel list, if you want the wow factor, enjoy history, culture, diversity and wonderful people & food. Getabout Asia will exceed all expectations with planning your trip. Here is a picture at the Longsheng rice fields - fantastic!" — Mr & Mrs Jones, Darwin , September 2017

"Thanks for organising the tours in China. We did enjoy the entire experience > travel & sightseeing. We loved the mountains near Guilin, high speed trains were efficient and all guides helpful. The Bravo hotel in Guilin was the best." — Mr and Mrs Fernandez, Sydney, NSW, November 2015

"It is not very often we go to the trouble to write a review on our holidays however we felt in this instance we should make a few comments. The service and assistance both here and whilst away provide by GetAboutAsia was excellent and could not have been any better. Also the guide was excellent and we can definitely recommend GetAboutAsia for anyone wishing to travel to China." — Steve Potter, Western Australia, June 2015

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