China travel map - Cheap China Tour for Young Adventurers

An independent travel to China might be a big challenge for a first timer due to language barrier. Though transportations like metro, public bus, shuttle bus and train in/between main cities are convenient, booking tickets and choosing the best vehicle is not easy. This cheap China tour itinerary, a semi-independent trip, is specially designed for young adventurers aged 20 to 35. Transportation information and travelling suggestions can save your time and train tickets will be pre-booked to make sure the trip goes smoothly. Want to learn the real China? Take this challenging but safe, wonderful but cheap China tour with us!

Best for: Young people, Student, bagpackers

Duration: 21 days & 20 nights

Destinations: Beijing - Xian - Chengdu - Dali - Lijiang - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo - Hong Kong

Travel Type: Private guided tour - FlexibleFree to customize

• Can't be missed Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Terra-cotta Warriors, Victoria Peak
• Experience local people's life by take local metro, bus and train
• Walking and biking at scenic Erhai Lake, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Yangshuo 
• Free time for you to flexibly arrange your own activities

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


Fly to Beijing from your city, check which airport your plane will land, Beijing Capital International Airport or Daxing International Airport. Both airports can be accessed by Airport Express Trains and airport shuttle bus.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Metro or Subway
- Stations of Airport Express Train are at T2 (B2 of Parking Garage No. 2) and T3 (2F of Parking Garage No. 3). If you land at T1 from other China cities, take shuttle bus or walk 600 meters to T2. The train takes you to Sanyuanli or Dongzhimen Station, where you can transit to Line 10 (outer loop) at Sanyuanli Station and to Line 2 (inner loop) & Line 13 at Dongzhimen Station.
Operating hours: 06:22 – 23:10
Ticket price: RMB25

Airport Shuttle Bus – 10 lines operating in day time plus 2 night lines to downtown. Stations are at T2 (Gate No. 11 on 1F) and T3 (Gate No.7 on 1F).
Ticket price: RMB20 / 25 / 30 / 50
Check more line details at http://en.bcia.com.cn/jcbs.html

Taxi – Stations at T2 is at Gate 5-9 on 1F. Follow the instruction in T3. Estimated price to downtown is around RMB100.

Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX)
Metro or Subway
– Station is at B1 floor of the terminal. The subway is between Daxing Airport and Caoqiao Station. At Caoqiao Station, you can transit to Line 10 to get to your hotel.
Operating hours: 06:00 – 23:00
Ticket price: Ordinary ticket - RMB10 / 25 / 35  Business ticket -RMB50

Airport Shuttle Bus – 6 lines operating in day time plus 2 night lines to downtown. Station is at the east side of the terminal, near Gate No. 20 on 1F.
Ticket price: RMB30 / 40
Check more line details at https://www.bdia.com.cn/#/airportBus

Taxi - Station for taxi to downtown is on 1F, at the west and east sides of the terminal. Estimated price from airport to downtown is around RMB200.

To get more local history and culture knowledge, a professional local guide is no doubt a great help, especially when you get to an unfamiliar place. Meet your guide at the lobby of your hotel and then go to station for metro to Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO heritage site featured in traditional Chinese architecture and famous for presenting local people’s lifestyle. Later, head to Panjiayuan Antique Market, Beijing’s biggest and best-known arts, crafts and antiques market. In the afternoon, visit Dongjiao Minxiang, the longest hutong in Beijing. You will also walk in department store named Dafang which still keeps its style in 1980’s. Tour ends at Wangfujing Snack Street to try different local foods.

Meal: B

Temple of Heaven

Today you will explore the Forbidden City, the imperial palace in Ming and Qing dynasties. We will book the ticket for you on the online ticket system with your passport info. Show your passport at the entrance to enter the museum. You can rent an audio guide at the entrance (Wumen) and Shenwumen at RMB40 to help your visit in the museum. For a full day visit, you are suggested to refer to this visiting route of the Forbidden City.
After the visit, you can walk to Houhai, either walk in Hutongs to learn more of local people’s lifestyle, or have a coffee at Houhai bar street.

Meal: B

The Great Wall is a must-see site and you will take the most convenient and cheap way to visit Mutianyu Great Wall. Make your own way to the meeting point at Beijing Swiss Hotel, near Dongsishitiao Station of Metro Line 2 (50 meters east to Exit C). Return bus ticket and entrance ticket for Mutianyu Great Wall will be booked for you in advance. An English speaking guide is at your service should you have any question. After around 5hrs sightseeing on the Great Wall, take the shuttle bus back to downtown and arrives at meeting point at around 16:30.
You will be picked up from hotel at 6pm by the driver and transfer to Beijingxi Station and take overnight train to Xian. You’re suggested to have dinner before boarding the train or take food onto the train.

Note: the overnight train is in “hard sleeper” class, meaning carriages are sectioned off with six-sleepers per compartment in tiers of three. It’s not luxury, but it’s efficient and a good way to spend time with local travellers. If you would prefer more comfort, please let your travel consultant know and we can upgrade it to “soft sleeper” (2 tier/4 berth compartments with lockable doors) at extra cost of around US$30. Please visit our website for more about China train travel.

Meal: B

Mutianyu Great Wall

Your train arrives at Xian Station at 8.30am. Walk or take Metro Line 2 to your hotel. Free at leisure for rest of the day.
You’re suggested to visit the Muslim Quarters with Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Grand Mosque in or nearby. Ancient City Wall is easy to access with eight entrances (Gates) and it is great to walk or bike on it. Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous sites of Xian. The Music Spring Show at its north square is on at 12:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 21:00 every day. You can take a walk at nearby Grand Tang Dynasty Ever-bright City for light shows, shopping, dining before or after the Spring Show.

Meal: no meal

Take Metro to visit Terracotta Warriors Museum at Lintong, 45km east to downtown Xian. Take Metro Line 1 to Fangzhicheng Station and transit to Line 9 to Qinlingxi Station (RMB6). Shuttle bus No. 617 to the museum is available out of the metro station. The shuttle bus operates from 6.30am to 8.30pm and ticket is RMB2. Buy museum ticket with your passport and you can rent an audio guide at RMB40 or hire a guide at around RMB150.

1. ID card like passport is a must to buy museum ticket. Make sure you take your passport for the trip!
2. Opening hour: 8:30am–5:30pm (Mar. 16 – Nov. 15); 8:30am–5pm (Nov. 16 – Mar. 15)
3. Ticket price: RMB120
4. Ticket office to the museum is about 10min walking distance. You can take shuttle bus at RMB5.

Meal: B

Terra-cotta Warriors Museum

Go to Xian North Station for high speed train to Chengdu in the morning. A 2nd class seat will be booked for you and it takes around 3.5-4hrs. When arrive in Chengdu Dong Station, take metro Line 2 to your hotel. Afternoon is free at leisure to explore this so-called “relaxing city” of China. Suggested sites are Broad & Narrow Alleys and Renmin Park, which are easy reached by Metro Line 2. Jingli Street is an ancient style area, good for a walk, shopping and dining. Want to kill the time in a bar? Jiuyan Qiao and Lan Kwai Fong may your choice, which is close to Dongmen Daqiao Station of Metro Line 2.

Meal: B

You will be met by your guide at around 8am and take metro to Chengdu East Station for high speed train to Leshan (1hr). Take local taxi to Leshan Giant Buddha when arrives at Leshan Station. Step down the plank on the cliff beside the Buddha to the foot to view the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. You can also take the cruise to view the Buddha from the boat (optional and paid locally). Back to Chengdu in the afternoon.

Note: This guided tour has included guide fee, metro & train tickets, taxi fare, and admission fee.

Meal: B

Leshan Giant Buddha

Early getting up today and take metro to visit lovely panda in the morning. As pandas are active in the morning, it is suggested to arrive at the Center before 9am, before pandas finishing their breakfast. Buy ticket with your passport and enter the park. It is suggested to take the tourist car in the park, unless there are too many people and need to take 10min to wait. Take the car or walk 15 minutes to the Moonlight Nursery House directly and start your time with panda from there. Moonlight and Sunlight Nurseries, No. 1 and No. 2 Enclosures, Panda Museum are the priorities. Here is the tourist map of the Panda Breeding Center and the places marked with star are the best to view giant pandas.

Take public transportation from downtown to Chengdu Panda Breeding Center
Take metro Line 3 to Panda Avenue Station (around 30min) walk out from Exit Cross the main street to the opposite bus station Take bus No. 198 (interval Line) to Panda Breeding Center Station (20min) Walk forward and cross the street to get to the Panda Breeding Center on the left side of the road.

Take public transportation from Chengdu Panda Breeding Center to downtown Chengdu
1. Take Panda Express Bus Line 5 back to downtown, stop at Beidajie Station, Kuanzhai Alley Station, Chunxi Road Station.
2. Take Panda Express Bus Line 5 or Line 4 to Panda Avenue Station and then take Metro Line 3 to your hotel.

After the visit, back to hotel for luggage and take metro Line 3 to Chengdu East Station for high speed train to Dali. Upon arrival, walk out of the station and turn left, walk another 200 meters to Shuttle Bus station for bus to Dali Ancient Town.

Meal: B

Dali is a great town to relax. Get up late and take a walk in the ancient town in the morning. After lunch, you can take a biking tour to Xizhou Village. Ride the bike eastwards out of ancient town to Caicun Village, which is now a wetland park by Erhai Lake. Then ride along West Ring Road of Erhai northwards to Xizhou, visit ancient Xizhou Village and Haishe Eco Park. Ride back in the late afternoon to enjoy sunset on Erhai Lake. The ride is around 25km single way on paved road.

Meal: B

Erhai Lake

Free at leisure in the morning. After lunch, take pre-booked express van to Lijiang Ancient Town (around 3 hours). In most cases, the van can pick you up at hotel or somewhere near the hotel. You will be dropped off at the South Entrance or Bailong Square of Lijiang Ancient Town and walk to your hotel.

Meal: B

Any young adventurer to Lijiang cannot miss the Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking trip. The adventure starts from taking the public bus to the starting point of the hiking, Hutiaoxia Town (or Qiaotou town, which is more familiar by hikers). Please read our detailed tips for Hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge. Today, you will walk from Qiaotou to Tea Horse Guest House and overnight.

Meal: B

Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge

Continue the hiking to Tina’s House this morning. Transfer back to Lijiang by pre-booked car in the afternoon.

Meal: B

Today is free at leisure to explore the ancient town on your own. Top of Lion Hill is the best place to have a bird view of the town. And you can join in local Naxi people’s gathering at the Square, which takes place at around 9am every day.
If you want to take another adventure tour to explore more of local culture, a biking tour to Yuhu Village at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mt. may satisfy your curiosity (18km single way). Rent a bike in Lijiang Dayan Ancient Town and ride along Yuquan Road with Snow Peak in front of you. In this Naxi village, you can view local Naxi people’s lifestyle in their unique Stone houses, and visit Yufeng Monastery, Joseph Rock's Former Residence and Jade Lake. On the ride back to ancient town, you can stop at Baisha Village and Shuhe Ancient Town for more exploring.
Take taxi to Lijiang Train Station for overnight train to Kunming – a berth in a soft-sleeper cabin will be pre-booked for this train journey.

Meal: B

Naxi People in Lijiang Ancient Town

Arrive at Kunming Station at around 6.30am, you will be picked up by the driver and transfer to hotel. Early check-in might not be available, but you can store your luggage in the hotel and have breakfast before taking metro Line 3 to Kunming East Bus Station. Take direct bus to Stone Forest and back the same way. The bus drive is about 1.5hrs and better take early bus at 08:30 or 09:30 for more time to explore the Stone Forest. In peak season, you’re suggested to buy return ticket upon arrival. Back in the afternoon, you can take a walk at the Green Lake or Kunming Old Street at city center.

Meal: no meal

Picked up by the driver and transfer to Kunming South Station for high speed train to Guilin. Be met by the driver upon arrival in Guilin West Station and transfer to hotel. Free at leisure in the afternoon to explore the city: Walk around the Central Lakes, shopping and dining at Zhengyang Pedestrian Street or Dongxi Alleys, wander from Fubo Hill to Elephant Trunk Hill along Li River.

Meal: B

Take a join-in bus tour to Longji for rice terraces. You will be picked-up and dropped-off at hotel and English-Mandarin guide service is included. Detailed itinerary and services please click here.

Meal: B

Longji Rice Terraces

Take a join-in bus tour for Li River Cruise to Yangshuo today. You will be picked up from hotel and transfer to pier for cruise downstream to Yangshuo, luggage taken by the bus. Arrive in Yangshuo at around 1.30pm, take a walk at the West Street and under the guide’s help, you can then go to you hotel in Yangshuo. More details on Li River Cruise Bus Tour.

Meal: B, L

As one of the earliest tourist destinations opened to foreigners, Yangshuo is famous for its breathtaking Karst landscapes, relaxing lifestyle, delicious foods and varied tourist activities. Mud bath, rock climbing, kayak, biking, walking, classes for cooking, Taichi, painting are easy to take via hotel service. There must be something you’re interested in. We leave it up to you.

Meal: B

Transfer to Guilin and take high speed train to Hong KongYou will be picked up by the driver and transfer to Guilin North Station for high speed train to Hong Kong, which takes around 3.5hrs. When arrives at Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station, take metro or taxi to your hotel. Free at leisure for rest of the day.

Meal: B

Hong Kong Panoramic View

Take MTR Airport Express or Airbus to Hong Kong International Airport. Please click here to get detailed schedule.

Meal: B

End of the 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.

  • Professional 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 included unless specified.

  • 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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