Highlights of China

10 Days, from AU $3,810

Terracotta Warriors, Xian

Ancient City wall, Xian

Great Wall of China

Rice Terraces, Guilin

You are here

Experience the Highlights of China as you travel from Beijing to Shanghai. Starting with Beijing, explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall. Then to historic Xian with its army of Terracotta Warriors. Discover the haunting majesty of Guilin's wilderness scenery. End your trip in Shanghai with its contrast of colonial-styled buildings and modern skyscrapers.

Our Highlight itineraries cover the key attractions at a relatively quick pace. Enjoy them as they are or extend them 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: Xi'an

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 express train 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.

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: Xi'an

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: Guilin

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

In the afternoon you fly to Guilin and meet your guide on arrival. 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 7: 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. Explore the waterfront and markets on foot, before heading back to Guilin.

Itinerary Option: Before leaving Yangshuo enjoy dinner and the Impression of Miss Liusanjie Show which is a light and sound musical that uses the natural geography of the river as part of the show. Discuss itinerary options with our staff.

Day 8: Shanghai

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. This is your last chance to enjoy the otherworld like scenery of Guilin before departing on your afternoon flight to Shanghai.

Your guide will provide an introduction to Shanghai, answer any questions you have, 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 9: 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 China's tallest building, 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 at the Centre Theater.

Day 10: Shanghai

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

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Ideas to upgrade and extend your itinerary:

  • Beijing: Attend a martial arts show at the Red Theatre.
  • 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.
  • Guilin: Day trip to mountainous Longsheng county with its spectacular rice terraces and colourfully attired hilltribe villagers.

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.

Superior:from AU $3,810
Deluxe:from AU $4,486

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.
  • Dinner as indicated on trip notes. Other than cultural dinners, 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 3 internal flights (Beijing-Xian, Xian-Guilin, Guilin-Shanghai) which retail at about 300 AUD 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


 

"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 all went well and was a most enjoyable trip. Every day in China was an eye opener and such a dramatic change since I worked there back in 1980. All arrangements, hire cars, guides and hotel bookings all went perfectly. Very impressed with service and experience. " — Mr and Mrs Clark, Bribie Island, May 2018

"The non-restored old parts of the wall were by far the most amazing part of the trip! I think even one day trekking an old section is totally worth it for anyone going to the Great Wall of China . It’s such a different feel to the touristy restored sections. The trek was amazing and we loved everything about it. Calf muscles were happily burning!!!" — Catherine & James, Sydney & Scotland, October 2017

"We really enjoyed GuiLin and Ning was a wonderful guide. Everything was good from accommodation close to the lake, dinner at McFound, wine from the supermarket that we took to the restaurant each night. Then there was the Li River cruise and light show and the rice terraces - all so memorable. Ning suggested an evening cruise in the lake which we did and really enjoyed. Very colourful. The city tour day (Reed Flute Cave, etc) was good and welcome after two rather longish days. GuiLin is a place we could have spent an extra day wandering around by ourselves. Great adventure!" — Mr and Mrs Cumming, Sydney, October 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

"GetAboutAsia could not have been more responsive and helpful in planning our China touring adventure. Everything from the quality of the hotels, the personal transfers and the local tour guides was excellent. The local tour guides were outstanding. Their knowledge was exceptional, they were friendly and each one went beyond the expected realms of providing for our needs. Ww would definitely recommend using this company! " — China Mrs Joanne McKenzie, Mrs Jackie Johnson and family, Mornington Peninsula, August 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

We’re proud to be

Go to top of page