China travel map - Absolute China Journey

This is the round china trip which revealing the amazing landscapes in western China to the ancient capital of north. The journey includes almost all the best things to see in China, from modern Shanghai, to the Wild West Tibet. A long and great China tours for travelers who are interested in this diverse land.

Duration: 42 days & 41 nights

Destinations: Beijing - Datong - Pingyao - Taiyuan - Xi'an - Lhasa - Chengdu - Lijiang - Dali - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Chongqing - Yangtze Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai - Huangshan - Hangzhou - Nanjing - Suzhou - Shanghai

Starting Point: Beijing

Ending Point: Shanghai

Customize Your Tour:
☑  Travel Dates  ☑ Your Interests  ☑ Your Travel Style

Meet your guide at the airport and then transfer to your hotel by private vehicle. Balance of the day at leisure for you to take a rest to recover from jetlag or walk around the hotel to get a glance of the city.

Morning visit the Temple of Heaven, a complex of religious buildings, which was the site of the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest, now you can see the local Beijingers to do morning exercises here.

In the afternoon, go to the Tiananmen Square, the world's largest city center square. Then go to the Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing Municipality, was once the home of the 24 emperors and their households of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the ritual and political center of the Chinese government. Get out of the Forbidden City and we will walk to the Jingshan Park, a beautiful imperial landscape garden on the highest point in Beijing, where people can take a bird’s eye view of the whole Forbidden City.

Meal: B, L

Forbidden City

Private escorted tour to the Great Wall at Mutianyu section, the greatest of the eight ancient architectural wonders in the history of human civilization. Then go to Ming Tomb, about 50 kilometers from the northwest of Beijing, is the best preserved Chinese imperial tombs and have been nominated by UNESCO as world cultural heritage. Connected with the tombs, Sacred Road used to be regarded as "the way leading to Heaven", the highlights are the 12 pairs of animal stone sculptures.

Meal: B, L

Mutianyu Great Wall

Pick up at the hotel and pay a visit to Yonghe Lamasery, originally a prince mansion of Qing Dynasty, it changed to the head office of Lama Administration. Later, go to visit Hutongs by rickshaw, these crisscrossing old narrow paths with courtyard houses are the unique street design in Beijing. Have lunch at local restaurant and then drive to visit the Summer Palace, Qing’s Imperial rulers’ favorite summer residence. UNESCO inscribed Summer Palace a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998. 

Meal: B, L

Summer Palace

Free morning for your own exploration. Our guide will pick you up around noon time and trasfer to the railway station. You will take a bullet train to Datong (2 hours).

Upon arrival, our local guide will meet you at the train station, and transfer to the hotel. For the rest of the day, you may explore the city on your own pace.

Meal: B

After breakfast, transfer to visit Hanging Monastery, also known as Xuankong Temple. It was built in the later period of the Nothern Wei Dynasty (383-534 AD), which is over 1,500 years history. The halls and pavilions were constructed along the contours of the cliff face between 26 to 50 meters from bottom up by using the natural hollows and outcrops. Then transfer to visit the Yungang Grottos, with the wide spread of Buddhism in China in the second century, grotto art was introduced to China from India, developing rapidly between the second and fourth centuries. Nowadays, more than 51,000 statues remain, the largest being 17 meters high and the smallest only few centimeters. Whether huge or tiny, all are meticulously carved.

Meal: B, L

Yungang Grottoes

This morning is free at leisure for your own exploration. Huayan Monastery and the  Nine Dragon Wall are recommended.

You will be picked up at appropiate time and  transfer to Datong rail station and take bullet train to Pingyao. Upon arrival, be met at the rail station and transfer to hotel, overnight at Pingyao Ancient Town.

Meal: B

Pingyao Ancient Town

Pingyao Ancient Town is an outstanding example of city for Chinese Han nationality during the period from Ming to Qing Dynasty (1368-1911). This ancient town itself has a history of more than 2,700 years, and owns more than 300 historical relics and sites. This morning , you will be accompanied by our loal guide to explore this ancient town, including Ming and Qing Street and Rishengchang Draft Bank. Visit the Wang Family Compound in the afternoon. The Wang Family compound is not only an example of residential architecture, but also a museum of architectural art. Our guide will set the scene to help you better appreciate the fancy and exquisite carvings from tile, stone and wood.

Meal: B, L

The Wang Family Courtyard House

Leisure time in the ancient town this morning. In the later afternoon, take bullet train to Xian (about 3 hours). Arrive at Xian. Be met & transferred to your hotel. The rest of day is free for you to explore your new surroundings.

Meal: B

Today, we will first visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. It is known as the eighth wonder of the world and a museum to display terra-cotta warriors and horses in Qin Dynasty. Drive back to downtown area and visit the Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated inside Ci'en Temple (4 kilometers south of Xi'an City), it is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China. Later have a visit for the exterior of Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the symbol of Xi'an and of significant importance in Xian history.

Meal: B, L

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

This morning learn more about Chinese history by visiting the Shaanxi History Museum. It is one of the most important museums in China, the best representative of the region, a feast for your eyes,. Afterwards, learn how to make Chinese dumplings at a local family’s house. At the end of your experience you will get to enjoy your creations for lunch. This afternoon you will be taken to see the Old City Wall of Xian which form a circumference of 9 miles with a gateway and watchtowers on each side. Then visit the Muslim Street, get close to Muslim people and their life. Besides, on this popular food street, you’ll find traditional dishes and special snacks.

Meal: B, L

Ancient City Wall

Take a morning flight to Lhasa - the holy city of Tibet and a mysterious but spiritual heart of all Tibetan people. Upon your arrival, you will be warmly welcome by our local guide, and will be transferred to reserved hotel in downtown. Have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude in the afternoon.

Meal: B

After breakfast, we will set out for today’s exciting tour. The tour will start from the splendid Potala Palace, which is the first must-visit attraction for every visitor to Lhasa. Standing in the center of Lhasa, Potala Palace is not only an iconic landmark of the city, but also a symbol of the snowy Tibetan Plateau and a museum of Tibetan culture. In the afternoon, visit the Sera Monastery. It is famous for the excellent Buddhist debating among lamas. The debating takes place from 3:00 pm everyday in a garden next to the central assembly in the center of the monastery.

Meal: B, L

Potala Palace

This morning , you are going to visit the Drepung Monastery which is located in the west suburb of the city. Drepung Monastery was the largest one of all Tibetan Monastery. All the halls are magnificent. There are 183 pillars in the main assembly hall and the carvings on the pillars are so exquisite. Afterwards, we come to Jokhang Temple, which is 1300 years old and one of Tibet’s holiest shrines. It is Jokhang Temple that makes Lhasa the holy city. Outside Jokhang Temple is the famous bazaar of Barkhor Street. With a history of more than 1,300 years, the Barkhor is essentially a pilgrim circuit, which is followed clockwise round the periphery of the Jokhang.

Meal: B, L

Jokhang Temple

This morning, you will be transferred to see the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.Yamdrok Lake is one of the “Three Holiest Lakes”, also known as one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. The scenery en route is really charming. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Be met & transferred to your hotel.

Meal: B

Drepung Monastery

After breakfast in hotel, you will be picked up from hotel and go to see lovely panda at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center. Pandas are most active in the morning, especially having their bamboo breakfast and play together after the meal. After lunch pay a visit to Renmin Park, a good place to experience local people’s life and entertainment. If you are interested, our guide will tell you some basic rule of Mahjong. Afterwards, have a stroll at Jinli Ancient Street, where you will have chance to taste many local snacks, as you know, Chengdu is famous for Sichuan food.

Meal: B, L

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

Take a morning flight to Lijiang. Upon your arrival, be met and transferred to reserved hotel. After a shot break you will be guided to explore Lijiang Old Town.Walk around to discover many historical streets, structures, sites, schools and secret corners. Enjoy a bird view of the old town on the Lion Hill after getting to the Wangu Tower. If weather permits, watch the sun slowly sets.

Meal: B

Drive to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the soul of Lijiang and the holy mountain of local Naxi People, and take a cable car to Yak Meadow. Then go to the Yuhu Village, pay a visit to the Former Residence of Dr Joseph Rock, an adventurer and geographer who traveled through Yunnan and lived in Lijiang for 27 years. On the way back, take a walk in Baisha, another Naxi Village near Suhe old town.

Meal: B, L

Lijiang Old Town

Enjoy the day at leisure in Lijiang to explore independently. You can take your camera to record some interesting facts about Naxi people or sit in the unique local bars to have a drink.

Meal: B

Private transfer to Qiaotou and start the 1.5 days hiking adventure on high way of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Today's hiking is around 5hrs and the most difficult section is called 28 Zigzags before reaching the highest place of this route. Overnight at local guesthouse, which sits opposite  the snow peaks on the other side of the gorge.

Meal: B, L

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Continue the hike to Tina's House, which is most on a level path and you will pass a waterfall on the side. Lunch at Tina's House and then transfer to Shaxi ancient town (Sideng Street). You will make a stop to see some ancient Buddhist carvings at Shibaoshan. The Stone Treasure Mountain Grottoes here offer a fine example of 9th century Bai carvings.

Meal: B, L

This morning you will be free to walk around the town and nearby villages. Driven to Dali at around 1pm and en route visit the Bai people’s residential houses in Xizhou. These traditional houses are decorated with woodcarvings, coloured patterns, marble and wash drawings. The tour finishes with a gentle walk alongside Erhai Lake, with a magnificent setting fringed by mountains and ancient temples. Overnight in Dali ancient town.

Meal: B, L

Dali Ancient Town

Full day free at leisure today in Dali. Dali Old town is one of the most famous ancient towns in China, and it is a major stop of Ancient Tea Horse Road. You can spend a few hours wandering at the charming town, sample their local foods and buy some souvenirs. Other suggested activities include bicycle riding around Erhai Lake, or walking on the nearby Cangshan Mountains.

Meal: B

Erhai Lake

Today you travel from Dali to Kunming by 2-hour high speed train, passing cities and villages. 

Upon arrival in Kunming you will be met and transferred to visit the Stone Forest, which is a massive collection of grey limestone pillars, split by rain water and eroded for millions of years to their present fanciful forms. After time to explore the Stone Forest you will return to Kunming and check in your hotel.

Meal: B, L

Stone Forest

Today you will take bullet train from Kunming to Guilin (7 hours). Upon arrival at Guilin rail station you will be met by your guide, and transferred to your hotel to check in. Then you will have some time free at leisure to relax and explore the charming riverside city of Guilin at your own pace.

Meal: B

Depart from Guilin on a leisurely 4 hour cruise down the picturesque Li River to Yangshuo. There is stunning scenery on the way as your boat meanders between the dramatic forested peaks and past bamboo fishing villages. Arrive at the small town Yangshuo at between 12:30 to 1:00pm. Check in your hotel and free afternoon for your own exploration, perhaps strolling or shopping for some souvenirs along the West Street.

Meal: B, L

Li River Cruise

Today, you will have 2 hrs cycling tour to explore the countryside of Yangshuo. After breakfast, your tour guide will rent bikes, and start biking along Yulong River (especially recommended in March, as it is the blossom season of rape flower). Bike through Shilihualang, where the Moon Hill, Big Banyan tree are located. After lunch, transfer back to downtown. You can explore the Yangshuo City on your own.

Meal: B, L

Biking in Yangshuo

Pick up at the hotel and transfer to Guilin rail station, take bullet train to Chongqing (4.5 hours). On arrival in Chongqing you will be met and taken for a short city tour. You will visit the Hongya Cave, a popular destination for visitors to experience Bayu culture (a Chinese ethnic culture), gaze over the river, and taste delicious food. And you will enjoy a hotpot dinner before transfer to the pier and board the cruise ship.

Meal: B, D

On board, shore excursion to "the Ghost City" Fengdu or Shibaozhai depending on the schedule of the cruise companies. Since 2010, some cruise companies offer optional shore excursions during your cruise, please kindly check with your travel consultant for more information.

Meal: B, L, D

Today you'll get a close look of the enchanting landscape as you board a small boat and cruise along a tributary to the Yangtze to explore the exceptionally beautiful Goddess Stream or Lesser Three Gorges depending on the arrangement of the cruise company.

Meal: B, L, D

Shennong Stream

Shore excursion to the amazing Three Gorge Dam, the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW). Later, disembark at Yichang and meet your guide. Transfer to airport and fly to vibrant Shanghai.

Meal: B

Today's tour begin with a visit to the Shanghai Museum. It is widely recognized as one of the best collections of ancient art in China. And then you will visit the Tianzifang-a narrow lane dotted with local style Shikumen Houses. After lunch you will explore the Bund, Shanghai's famous waterfront area on the western bank of the Huangpu River. At last, transfer to the Pudong area and visit the Shanghai Tower, which is the tallest building in China and the 2nd tallest building in the whole world.

Meal: B, L

the Bund

Free at leisure in the morning for your own exploration. Transfer to the rail station and take bullet train to Huangshan. Be met and transferred to your hotel in downtown - Tunxi. The rest of the day is for your own exploration on Tunxi Old Street.

Meal: B

In the morning, drive to Yellow Mountain for 80 kilometers (1.5 hours). Take the cable car at Yungu Station to the top of the mountain. After checking into your hotel and have lunch, you will start this walking tour and savor up all the highlights on the mountain. You can walk around Celestial Capital Peak, Lotus Peak and Bright Top where they are the ideal places to gaze over the breathtaking seas of clouds. And visit the outstanding West Sea Grand Canyon. Stay overnight on the top of Yellow Moutain.

Meal: B, L

Yellow Mountain

You will have chance to enjoy the sunrise in the early morning (according to weather condition) before get down the Yellow Mountain. Later, transfer to Hongcun Village, with 900-year existence, it was listed into UNESCO as World Culture Heritage in 2000. The morning mist, gray tiles, white walls, stone bridge, lotus ponds, hills are all perfect elements selected to Chinese painting. Then our guide and driver will escort you to the rail station for your train to Hangzhou. Be met and transferred to the hotel.

Meal: B, L

Boating at the West Lake, which is a large freshwater lake, bordered on three sides by hill. Then we will go to the Lingyin Temple - one of the most prestigious Buddhist monasteries in China. Walk further to Feilai Peak. It is a pure limestone hill with many ancient carvings and Buddhist sculptures, looking very distinctive from the sandstone mountains around it. Afterwards, go to explore Meijiawu tea culture village, away from the busy city, here is the origin place of the best Dragon Well Tea. In the late afternoon, take bullet train from Hangzhou to Nanjing. Be met and transferred to the hotel.

Meal: B, L

West Lake

Go to Zijinshan (Purple Mt.) and you will visit the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the burial site of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang. After that, visit the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the last resting place of the "Father of Modern China" both in mainland China and in Taiwan. Lunch in local restaurant. Afternoon visit Fuzi Miao (Confucius Temple), and take a walk on the Ancient City Wall. The area around the city wall is the most popular walking street. Enjoy the life style and view of Qinhuai River.

Meal: B, L

Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum

Free at leisure in the morning. Take high speed train to Suzhou in mid-afternoon. Be met and transfer to hotel.

Meal: B

After breakfast, you will be met and transfer to visit Garden of Net Master - the smallest among the four most famous classic gardens in Suzhou, yet it is the most impressive one. Later, you will go to explore the Tiger Hill. Different from classical gardens, Tiger Hill is not only a garden, but also a combination of pagodas, temples, bonsai garden, springs and pools. After that, transfer to visit the only remaining ancient city gate in China with both a lower water entrance and an upper land entrance - Pan Gate. It was built at a time when a canal moat surrounded Suzhou.

Meal: B, L

Suzhou Museum

This morning, you will visit Tongli, one of the most famous water towns in China. Visit the bridges and gardens in the town and take a gondola style boat ride to experience local people's life. Take high speed train to Shanghai in the afternoon.  

Meal: B, L

Full day free at leisure.

Meal: B

Transfer to the airport and fly to your next destination.

Meal: B

End of service

What's included

  • 1-on-1 Travel Consultant

    Your China based expert listens to your wishes carefully, provides professional advice, ensures unlimited itinerary revisions before done and 24/7 helpline service while traveling.

  • Private Local Guide and Driver

    Your guides are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and your drivers are professional, polite and patient. They are very flexible to accommodate your personal needs and happy to show you the local attractions, history, culture, foods and real life. 
    Private transfers from hotel to attractions, airport or train station are also included.

  • Accommodation to Suit Your Preference

    In each place, we hand pick hotels ranging from luxury 5 star, superior 4 star to comfortable 3 star. Luxury or cozy boutique hotels and budget guesthouses are also among your choices. You could decide where to stay to meet your taste and budget.

  • Gourmet Meals

    Most of the hotels we select offer both Western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner included are arranged in selected restaurants to taste authentic Chinese cuisine and local specialties. Thus you may also have a unique food tour.
    Meals specified in itinerary as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.

  • Attractions and Activities Listed on the Itinerary

    Our China tour packages have included the (first/main) entry to all attractions and the expenses of activities on the itinerary (except the optional activities).

  • Internal Transportation

    Based on your needs, we could make bookings of internal transportation, including domestic flights, inter-city trains, long-distance bus, etc.

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