First Time China

8 Days, from AU $2,730

Great Wall of China

Forbidden City, Beijing

Terracotta Warriors, Xian


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Jetset through China visiting the must-see attractions in eight days flat! If you're on a tight schedule and you want to be whisked around without any fuss, this is the China itinerary for you. Our guides and support staff will do all the hard work to ensure that you get the most out of China in this fast paced trip.

Our Express itineraries cover the must-see attractions with a priority on enjoyment and convenience. All itineraries can be customised to suit your personal tastes. 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 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. 

Take an afternoon flight to Xian where you will meet your guide on arrival. Your guide will provide an introduction to Xian, answer any questions you have, 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.

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 followed by a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which were initially built in the seventh century to house Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by pilgrims.

In the afternoon you fly to Shanghai and meet your guide on arrival. Your guide will provide an introduction to Shanghai and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Shanghai is China's largest and most prosperous city, consuming countryside and ancient villages in its relentless growth outwards and upwards. Coming to prosperity as a trading concession for European and North American merchants, today the city is one of the world's greatest trading hubs and financial centres. If Beijing and Xian are China's living museums, then Shanghai is an insight into the future of this amazing country.

Shanghai has a multitude of restaurants and bars and some of the world's best shopping. The centre of Shanghai is accessible, safe and fun to walk around, if not a little crowded during the day. Ask your guide for advice and personal recommendations.

Day 7: Shanghai

Following breakfast, accompany your guide for a visit to China's premier museum, the Shanghai Museum, which covers the history of China from ancient times to the modern age. Afterwards visit to the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Yu Garden and Bazaar.

Walk the streets of the former British and French concessions established under the Treaty of Nanking, following the first opium war in 1842. The settlement was established north of the original Shanghai city walls and today makes up part of the riverfront referred to as the Shanghai Bund, or embankment, still home to many grand buildings from that period.

Directly across the river is Pudong, the contrasting new Shanghai which serves as the modern financial and commercial centre. The CBD in Pudong sprang up in the 1990s where agricultural villages once stood. Growing at a stagging pace, Shanghai is the largest city centre in the world and is still the fastest growing city in the world too.

Leaving the former British and French concessions, travel to Pudong and ascend the Shanghai World Financial Centre. Enjoy the panoramic views of Shanghai and the Bund back across the river.

To complete your introduction to Shanghai, in the evening, enjoy the world famous Acrobatic Show.

Day 8: Shanghai

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

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Ideas to upgrade your itinerary:

  • Beijing: Attend a martial arts show at the Red Theatre.

Ideas to extend your itinerary:

  • Xian: Spend longer in Xian and cycle around the city walls and further explore the Muslim quarter.
  • Shanghai: Spend extra days in Shanghai to enjoy the waterfront, restaurants, night life and shopping, and better gain an insight into the China of tomorrow.
  • Shanghai: Travel to one of China's famous water towns on a day trip from Shanghai.
  • Shanghai: Travel to the ancient town of Suzhou, famous for its silk, gardens and canals; and take a short cruise along the Grand Canal, one of the ancient wonders of Chinese engineering.
  • Shanghai: China's most dramatic mountain wilderness scenery, Mount Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is close to Shanghai.

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 $2,730
Superior:from AU $2,912
Deluxe:from AU $3,614

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


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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Beijing may use the new airport from Sep, 2019 which is more far, so quote the additional charge for that.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

Ask Us a Question


"China was fun, we enjoyed the tour and the bullet train. Accommodation was great, no issues, the Guides were very informative. Had a blast on the luge at the Great Wall, I think the girls loved that and yes there are great night clubs in Beijing to stop and have a boogie at. The food was fantastic, especially when we were taken to local restaurants and also when we ate with local family in Beijing in the Huatong. Thanks again " — Dannyel, Eva, Ainsley and Michelle, Brisbane, October 2019

"Even though we have been to China we found Getaboutasia’s private tour for Shanghai was fantastic. They had a great guide and everything went so smoothly. Thank you very much for all of your help and assistance with this booking." — Ron and Sue, Adelaide, July 2019

"Our trip was amazingly wonderful. We loved our travels through China. We experienced such diverse culture, history, architecture and scenery. Our guides were excellent...friendly, informative and attentive. Too many highlights to choose just one, but glad you included Tang Dynasty show which was superb. The Wang Family Compound and Pingyao were certainly a photographer’s delight as were the gardens we visited at Beijing’ summer palace and in Suzhou, and the canals in Suzhou and Tongli. We enjoyed Beijing especially the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven. The immensity of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square and the thousands lined up to visit Mao’s mausoleum were mind boggling, as were the terracotta warriors. Leshan is certainly worth visiting and we were glad we took the day to do so, rather than rush by including the pandas as well in one day. At all times we felt safe and in good, expert hands. Thanks for all the organising you did, Nicole. We would certainly recommend you and your company. " — Mr and Mrs Bradley, Caloundra, April 2019

"Our guide, Li, in Beijing was exceptional, so knowledgeable, caring, helpful, a pure delight. We had the most exquisite Peking Duck banquet for our 50th Wedding anniversary, just delightful. Our guide, Maggie, met us in Xian with lovely red roses for our anniversary. Our guide, Summer, in Guilin met us with a Mr and Mrs toy Panda, which was lovely. The staff had made the towels into two beautiful swans on our bed and strewn rose petals in the shape of an heart around them, also lovely. We loved Beijing. We loved Xian and the Terra Cotta Warriors. We thought Guilin was beautiful and loved the location of our hotel, The Bravo. We absolutely loved Hangzhou. Overall we were really happy, and will never forget our trip to China. " — Mr and Mrs Harrison, Mooroolbark, VIC, September 2018

"It is one of the best trips we ever had and that we could not fault anything. At my age it’s hard for anything to wow me but this trip definitely did. We were impressed with the trip in China and drivers and guides." — Mr and Mrs Harris, Gold Coast, April 2018

"We loved China for its history & diversity of sightseeing (Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Pandas, 3 Gorges etc). The planning process was excellent resulting in a truly outstanding vacation to China, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam tailor made for us - a significant achievement & very impressive! Thanks to GetAboutAsia’s recommendations we visited places off the beaten track which really made it feel like an adventure rather than just a holiday. Many thanks - we'll definitely be booking our return trip with GetAboutAsia! " — Nigel & Annie Dale, Berkshire UK, April 2016

"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

"The trip was fantastic! We really enjoyed every place we have visited. The best was Xian in terms of high quality hotel, food and the guide was incredibly good. I will definitely recommend GetAboutAsia to my family and friends. " — Patricia Berlioz , Sydney, NSW, April, 2015

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