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Best of China

12 days, Beijing to Shanghai

The group cycling through the countryside in China
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Peak season notice: Golden Week falls between October 1st and 7th, 2019/2020/2021. Please note that Golden Week is a semi-annual 7-day or 8-day national holiday for the people of China. This is a very busy time of the year for domestic tourists, so expect some crowding at major attractions. We recommend booking these dates well in advance as accommodations and transportation availability is extremely limited.

Combine the hustle and bustle of China’s booming cities with the tranquility of rural life on this unforgettable adventure. Explore hidden corners of Beijing’s Forbidden City; trek atop the majestic Great Wall; and sample street food in Xi’an, home to the incredible terra-cotta army. Then venture into the countryside, enjoying a paddle on the scenic Li River and learning to cook up regional specialties in Yangshuo. Along the way, discover ancient customs that contrast with rapidly modernizing lifestyles, revealing China’s true allure.

12 days - Beijing to Shanghai

From$2899USD
Valid on Mar 21 2021
Trip Code: ACBNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to Beijing from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Combine the hustle and bustle of China’s booming cities with the tranquility of rural life on this unforgettable adventure. Explore hidden corners of Beijing’s Forbidden City; trek atop the majestic Great Wall; and sample street food in Xi’an, home to the incredible terra-cotta army. Then venture into the countryside, enjoying a paddle on the scenic Li River and learning to cook up regional specialties in Yangshuo. Along the way, discover ancient customs that contrast with rapidly modernizing lifestyles, revealing China’s true allure.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 15, Avg 10.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visa Requirements

Countries visited during this trip have special visa requirements applicable to many nationalities.

View Visa & Entry Requirements

12 days - Beijing to Shanghai

From$2899USD
Valid on Mar 21 2021
Trip Code: ACBNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to Beijing from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Creating ripples that change lives

The Ripple Score is an honest evaluation of how often we use local businesses and services to create each tour. With this score you can see the percentage of our local expenses that stay in the communities you visit. Learn more

Ripple Score

100

China’s history is a captivating chronicle that reaches deep into the past to dim and obscure origins.” —Damian Harper, National Geographic Traveler: China guidebook, 2012

Map of the route for Best of China

Places visited

Itinerary

Day 1Beijing

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included. Enjoy Beijing’s famed Peking duck at our welcome dinner tonight.

Meals included:

Dinner

Day 2Beijing

Today, we discover one of the most iconic wonders of the world—the Great Wall of China. This impressive series of fortifications was built between the 3rd century BC and the 17th century AD along China’s northern border, and spans more than 20,000 kilometers. We’ll explore the less-visited Mutianyu section, taking in sweeping views of the countryside from the ancient watchtowers. Opt to ascend a section of the wall by cable car; then hike up to Mutianyu’s highest point and choose to slide back down to the entrance in a toboggan.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 3Beijing

Delve into the fascinating history of Beijing on a full-day tour. Visit the palaces and elegant galleries of the Forbidden City—seat of the Ming and Qing dynasties for more than five centuries—and walk across vast Tiananmen Square, where some of China’s most significant political events have taken place. Venture to the elegant Temple of Heaven, where the emperor would come to pray and perform sacrificial rites, and watch locals practice tai chi in the surrounding gardens. Later, we’ll take a walk through the hutongs or hidden alleyways of Beijing’s old neighbourhoods.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4Beijing/Xi'an

Continue to explore Beijing today and enjoy some free time on your own. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Xi'an, one of China’s four ancient capitals and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5Xi'an

Explore Xi'an like a local this morning, hopping on a bike to ride along the city’s well-preserved 14th-century walls. Later, hit the streets of the vibrant Muslim Quarter, known for its mouthwatering street food, and enjoy a visit to Gao’s Grand Courtyard. This beautifully restored mansion belonged to a Ming-era official, and offers an insight into traditional Chinese family life. Round off your visit with a performance of shadow puppetry, an ancient Chinese folk art.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Chinese Shadow Puppetry

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 6Xi'an

Visit the famed terra-cotta army, fashioned more than 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. We’ll spend half a day learning about this archaeological treasure and admiring the artistic detail of the thousands of life-size sculptures. Afterward, enjoy lunch in a nearby village, where local farmers first discovered the terra-cotta warriors in 1974. Opt for a dumpling banquet this evening, getting a chance to taste traditional northern Chinese cuisine.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 7Yangshuo Countryside

Fly to Yangshuo in China's lush southwestern region, situated at the meeting point of the Li and Yulong Rivers and ringed by dramatic limestone peaks. Float down the Li River on a traditional vessel, winding around karst towers and gliding past terraced rice fields and local fishermen on bamboo boats. Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner at a G Adventures–supported restaurant, which provides rural women with opportunities to become self-reliant.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your G for Good Moment Jia Community Restaurant

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8Yangshuo Countryside

Venture further into the scenic countryside this morning, trekking through peaceful rural villages, fruit orchards, and rice paddies. Later, delve into the region’s cuisine on a visit to a Yangshuo market, where we’ll learn about the ingredients used to prepare typical dishes. Then try your hand at whipping up some of these local specialities at a cooking class, and enjoy your creations for dinner.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Foodie Moment Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 9Yangshuo

Rise early for a private tai chi class with a local expert and learn about the health benefits of this ancient Chinese exercise, practiced by millions around the world. Later, travel to the town of Yangshuo and wander through its quaint, café-lined streets. Spend the afternoon at leisure, and opt to enjoy a stunning theatrical performance over the Li River.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Tai Chi Class

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 10Yangshuo/Shanghai

Fly to Shanghai, one of China’s most bustling metropolises. Set off on a stroll of the Bund, the downtown riverfront district, and take in Shanghai’s colonial architecture and futuristic skyline—a mesmerizing mix of old and new. Explore the city on your own time this evening.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 11Shanghai

Spend the day soaking up vibrant Shanghai on your own. Opt to visit the Shanghai Museum, home to a world-class collection of ancient Chinese art; roam the beautiful Yuyuan Garden, a classical Chinese garden dating to the Ming era; enjoy a spectacular acrobatic show; ascend to the top of the iconic Oriental Pearl, one of the tallest TV towers in the world; and much more.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 12Shanghai

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast
View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Chinese Shadow Puppetry, Xi'an
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tai Chi Class, Yangshuo
  • Your G for Good Moment: Jia Community Restaurant, Yangshuo
  • Your Foodie Moment: Central Chinese Cooking Class - Yangshuo, Yangshuo
  • Your Discover Moment: Shanghai
  • Arrival transfer
  • Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven
  • Visit Beijing's traditional hutongs
  • Excursion to the Great Wall
  • Xi'an Muslim quarter orientation walk and Gao’s Grand Courtyard
  • Cycle along the Xi'an city walls
  • Terracotta warriors tour
  • Lunch in a local village
  • Li River boat ride
  • Walk through the countryside with village visits
  • Shanghai orientation walk
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (10 nts), Soft-sleeper train (1 nt)

Meals

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Allow USD325-425 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private bus, plane, boat, train, bicycle, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Available extras (Add these to your tour when you book)

Beijing Kung Fu Show - From $39.00

Follow the tale of a young boy on his journey to becoming a kung fu master through six gripping scenes told through traditional Chinese art and live modern dance. (Don’t worry; there are subtitles above the stage). Developed by some of China’s top stage directors and designers, the performance showcases the skills of its talented cast, most of whom are just 17 years old.

My Own Room - From $929.00

If you're travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.

Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure - with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour - for any group, big or small (even just one traveller).

Best of China

| 12 days - Beijing to Shanghai - from $2899 USD
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