Embark on an 18-day overland train tour from Laos to China and enjoy the hidden charms of unspoilt Laos, as well as the grandeur of China’s rich cultures and landscapes. 

Starting your epic Laos China tour in the capital city of Vientiane, you’ll experience some of Laos’ highlights, including the iconic Buddhist stupa of Pha That Luang, the traditional Tak Bat alms-giving ceremony, and the most important temple in Laos - Wat Xiengthong.

Continuing overland to China, you’ll not only explore the world-famous sites of the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army, and the Avatar Hallelujah Mountains, but also get to know the impressive Buddhist art of Longmen Grottoes, the epic Guilin karst mountain landscape, and Chinese kung fu.

Best for: First timers, Family, Seniors

Duration: 18 days & 17 nights

Destinations: Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Kunming – Guilin – Zhangjiajie – Zhengzhou – Dengfeng – Luoyang – Xian – Beijing

Travel Type: Private tour - FlexibleFree to customize

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Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to the hotel.

Visit the oldest temple in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. Next, we visit Wat Simuang, a Khmer temple that is very popular by the locals. Later go and take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. 

Continue onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon, and most important religious building the golden stupa of That Luang. The final visit of the morning will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem of unexploded ordnance during the Vietnam War area.

In the afternoon, we visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the banks of the Mekong River. By no means historic – Buddha Park was built in the 1950’s, which features some very photogenic and unusual sculptures. Later, you will have an optional shopping stop at the Lao Disabled Women’s Centre, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos.

Meal: B, L

Patuxai Monument Laos

Transfer to take a morning train to Luang Prabang.

After arrival, visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum that provides a fine overview of the culture and history of this ancient city. Then head to the beautiful Heuan Chan Heritage House on foot. Explore the house and its historical items and architectural charms while learning about the connection it has with the Royal Palace. 

In the afternoon, drive to take a private boat for a cruise up the Mekong River. Enjoy the tranquil countryside, and visit Pak Ou caves, which were crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various sizes. During the return trip, making a stop at Wat Done Khoun Temple, a unique temple situated on an island in the Mekong. At sunset, you will arrive back in Luang Prabang.

Meal: B, L

Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang Laos

In the early morning, you can decide whether to partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks (around 5:30am). Then visit the local farmers’ market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast. 

Explore the country’s most historic and enchanting temple, Wat Xiengthong. Then cross the road to Wat Khili where this temple’s charming traditional library building houses an historic photo exhibition of Buddhist heritage. Pay a visit to the ‘Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre’, which gives a great insight into the rich and diverse ethnic and cultural blend of Laos, we continue to Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape.

In the afternoon, drive out of town to the stunning Kuang Si Waterfall, where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescu Centre, which does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. Afterwards, you have the option to stop at Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving center.

Meal: B, L

Tak Bat Morning Alms Giving Ceremony in Laos

After breakfast, transfer to board the train to Kunming (1057/1834). Be met by the guide and driver and transferred to the hotel.

Meal: B

Today you will explore an essential part of South China Karst (UNESCO world heritage site) - the Stone Forest (around 80km south-east of Kunming), which is a massive collection of grey limestone pillars, split by rain water and eroded for millions of years to their present fanciful forms. Besides, you will visit a primitive village to meet Sani people - one branch of Yi minority, which is with the largest number of population in Yunnan minorities’ family. Transfer back to Kunming. Have a stroll around the Green Park.

Meal: B, L

Stone Forest Kunming

Take a morning train to Guilin (4.5 hrs). Upon arrival, your guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to the hotel. Visit the Reed Flute Cave, which is praised as “Natural Art Gallery”. Inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition and illuminated by colored lighting. Have a short walk around the central lakes in the city center. 

Meal: B, L

After breakfast, transfer to board a leisurely 4-hour cruise down the Li River, in the early afternoon, disembark the boat and head to the hotel for check-in. Go for a 1.5-hour cycling trip in the countryside to see the spectacular Karst landscape. 

Meal: B, L

Guilin Li River Karst Landscape

Free morning for your own exploration until the driver picks you up at the hotel lobby. Transfer to the train station to head for Zhangjiajie (7.5 hrs). Be met at the train station and transferred to the hotel. 

Meal: B

In the morning, you will be escorted to enter the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The first scenic area is Yunanjiajie. Take Bailong Outdoor Elevator up to the top for an exciting experience and spectacular scenery. Bailong Elevator is the fastest and also the tallest outdoor elevator in the world, it takes only 1.5 minutes from the valley bottom to the pillar peak. Hike around to discover “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” and “world’s No.1 Bridge”.

After lunch, be transferred to visit Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, another highlight attraction in Wulingyuan Area. Take cable car up and down to save your time and energy. On the top, marvel at Zhangjiajie’s greatest concentration of stone peaks.

Meal: B, L

Zhangjiajie Avatar Hallelujah Mountains

Today you will take an excursion to Tianmen Mountain, another magnificent National Forest Park in Zhangjiajie. First, transfer to take Tianmen Mountain Cable Car (about 30 mintues) from city downtown to the peak of the Mountain, this 7455 meters cableway is the longest one in the world so far. The stunning sites include Tianmen Cave, the 99 Bends, the glass skywalk and so on. 

On the mountain, your guide will take you to have a challenging walk on the glass skywalk along the cliff. Later, transfer to the train station to board the overnight train to Zhengzhou (2140/0943, at soft sleeper class). 

Meal: B, L

Our guide will meet you at the train station. He/she will take you to a local McDonalds or other restaurant to have a quick breakfast and freshen up on your own expense, then drive 1.5 hrs to Shaolin Monastery, which is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu. You will not only visit the Buddhist temple, but also the Pagoda Forest, where the ashes of outstanding monks of this monastery are placed after their passing. 

 Later, go to Zhongyue Taoist Temple, it is considered as the "Center of Taoist Activates of the Central Plains Region". Later, proceed to Luoyang for overnight stay.

Meal: L

Shaolin Monastery Pagoda Forest

Explore Longmen Grottoes, which are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China. There are over 2100 niches, more than 100,000 statues, some 40 pagodas and 3600 tablets and steles in the caves of Guyang, Binyang and Lianhua. 

Later, have a stroll at the old quarter of Luoyang. Then take an afternoon train to Xian (1.5 hrs). Be met at the train station and transferred to the hotel. 

Meal: B, L

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. 

Then go to the Muslim Street, located at the heart of ancient city of Xian, next to the Drum Tower. It is the hub of the Muslim community in Xian City, and offers a variety of local snacks.

Meal: B, L

Terracotta Warriors from the mausoleum of emperor Qin Shihuang

After breakfast, transfer to climb the Ancient City Wall, the best-kept and biggest city walls in China--13,912 meters in circumference, 12 meters in height, and the foundation is 18 meters in width and the top of the wall is 15 meters wide. Pay a visit to a local family, and learn to make dumplings or noodles. 

In the afternoon, take high speed train to Beijing (4.5 hrs). Be met and transfer to hotel check in.

Meal: B, L

After breakfast, the Temple of Heaven visit will let you be amazed by its architecture and landscape design which was used to pray for the God's bless of the whole nation. After lunch, go across Tiananmen Square first--it covers an area of 100 acres, which makes it the largest public square in the world. 

Then go to the Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing, 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. 

Meal: B, L

Forbidden City Beijing

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 drive back to the city and explore the Yonghe Lamasery, it used to be a prince mansion of Qing Dynasty. After he ascended to the throne, here was developed into a Lamasery and the national head office of Lama Administration. At night, a famous and delicious Peking Duck Banquet is included. 

Meal: B, L, D

Pick up at the hotel and pay a visit to the Summer Palace, Qing’s Imperial rulers’ favorite summer residence. UNESCO inscribed Summer Palace a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to the next destination. 

Meal: B, L

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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 Suite Your Preference

    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 city tour packages have included the (first/main) entry to all attractions and the expenses of activities on the itinerary (except the optional activities). Short camel riding fees in the Gobi and 1 hr motor boat renting fee at Khuvsgul Lake are included.

  • 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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