Cheap Family Adventure Vacation

10 Days Beijing-Xi’an-Zhangjiajie-Shanghai

On this 10 days cheap China tour, we have arranged cities with long history and filled with cultural relics, places with spectacular landscapes, as well as places that represent the new China. Your tour will start with the capital of China-Beijing, with visits to cultural relics like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace. Then you will have a budget Xi’an tour, with visit to the world’s No.8 wonder—terra cotta warriors and horses. Afterwards, you are going to Zhangjiajie, one of the most beautiful places in China that is known to the world after the movie Avatar is on. Finally, you will have a budget Shanghai tour and visit the must-see places at a great price. Contact our staff to know more about this tour!

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
You will arrive in Beijing and your guide will take you to the hotel for a good rest

Welcome to Beijing! Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport. Then, we will drive you to your hotel so that you can have a rest after your long international flight. On the way to the hotel, you may have a first impression of Beijing from the street scenes and the things your guide tells you.

Located in northern China, Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing was the capital of six dynasties, and its over 2,000 years history left it with a large number of imperial palaces, gardens, temples, and tombs. 

Day 2 Beijing
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Summer Palace

After breakfast, we are going to visit Tian’anmen Square, which will be the first stop of your China trip. Located at the center of Beijing, Tian’anmen Square is noted for its outstanding architectural art and special political status. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912), Tian’anmen Square was a palace square outside the main gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing. In the center of the square stand the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall; on the west side of the square is the Great Hall of the People; on the east side of the square is the National Museum of China; on the south side of the square are two ancient city towers.

Then we will move on to the Forbidden City (closed each Monday). Located in the center of the central axis of Beijing, the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum, used to be the royal palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China. Taking the Forbidden City of Nanjing as the model, the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing began in the 4th year of Emperor Yongle’s reign (1406) in the Ming Dynasty and was completed in 1420. As the palace of 24 emperors of the two dynasties, the Forbidden City has more than seventy palaces and more than nine thousand houses of different sizes. And it is surrounded by 10-meter-high walls on all sides as well as a 52-meter-wide moat outside the wall. 

Jingshan Park is the next place your guide will take you to. Jingshan Park is located on the central axis of Beijing and used to be the backyard garden of the imperial families during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Now, it is a popular place for local people to gather and socialize.

After these three places, you will enjoy your lunch and ready yourself for the afternoon trip. After your lunch, we will take you to the Summer Palace, a royal palace in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). Except for the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace was the most important place for the supreme ruler to hold political and diplomatic activities as well as spending some leisure summertime. There are more than 3,000 buildings in various forms, which can be roughly divided into three functions: holding political events, living, and sightseeing. The Long Corridor (728 meters long) with the colored paintings on its beams is a must-visit place for you to better appreciate Chinese culture, as each painting represents a traditional Chinese element, like the plots in Chinese novels, scenes of Chinese folk legends…

Jingshan Park
Forbidden City
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube

After breakfast, we are going to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall. We will drive toward the northeast for about one and a half hours (about 75 KM) to visit it. Mutianyu Great Wall is the longest section of the Great Wall in China with a length of 5,400 meters. Mutianyu Great Wall was built in 1368 on the site of the Great Wall of the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577). There are various types of transportation you can choose to go up and go down Mutianyu Great Wall: round trip cable car, round trip chairlift, going up by chairlift and down by toboggan.

Then we will go back to the city center. On the way back, we will pass by the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube. They were both important venues during the 2008 Olympic Games. You will have the opportunity to admire these two buildings and take some pictures of them from a distance.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Water Cube
Day 4 BeijingXi’an
Temple of Heaven, Hutong, Silk Street Market, and take a train to Xi'an

The first spot of today is the Temple of Heaven. Located in the south of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven is a World Cultural Heritage Site. Originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the temple was later reconstructed during the reign of Emperor Qianlong and Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. It was built for the emperors to worship heaven and pray for the good harvest of the coming year. 

Then, we are going to visit Hutong near Shichahai (a historical and cultural tourism scenic area in Beijing, also one of the largest and best-preserved historic districts in Beijing). Hutong refers to a relatively narrow street or alley between the main streets and leads to the interior of a residential area. It is an integral part of the local traffic. You will visit the Hutong by rickshaw. And you will also visit a residence in Hutong to get up close to authentic Chinese culture.

In the afternoon, we will take you to the Silk Street Market. As the earliest free market in China, the Silk Street Market has a history of several decades. The main focus of the Silk Street Market is on Chinese culture. It tries to attract consumers from all over the world with goods that contain Chinese cultural characteristics. You can find silk, tea, porcelain, handicrafts, and folklore masterpieces, to name just a few. Over the past several years, hundreds of world dignitaries went to the Silk Street Market, showing its unique position as the first foreign market in China.

Then, it is time to say goodbye to Beijing and head to Xi’an. You will take the estimated train T231 18:35/07:36+1 to Xi’an. There are hard sleeper and soft sleeper coaches on the train. We will arrange the soft sleeper coach for you. Compared with hard sleepers, soft sleepers offer you more space, because fewer beds are set here. There are four beds per cabin in the soft sleeper coaches, and six beds per cabin in the hard sleeper coaches. The beds in soft sleeper coaches are wider, and each soft sleeper cabin has a door to isolate it from the corridor. After a night’s sleep on the train, you will arrive in Xi’an.

Temple of Heaven
Day 5 Xi’an
Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter

In the morning, our guide and driver will pick you up once you arrive at the railway station in Xi’an. As the capital city of Shaanxi Province, Xi’an is one of the most important cradles of Chinese civilization. As the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an was the capital city of more than ten dynasties. Xi’an is also one of the best tourist places in China.

The first stop of today is Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. We will drive toward the northeast for about one hour (about 45 KM) to get there. The terra cotta warriors and horses are collectively regarded as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Terra cotta warriors and horses are burial objects made by the pottery firing method. There are 3 burial pits of terra cotta sculptures open to tourists so far. The first burial pit is the largest one, with more than 8,000 terra cotta warriors and horses.

In the afternoon, we are going to visit the 64.7-meter-high Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the earliest and largest four-sided pavilion-style brick pagoda of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Xuanzang (a prominent monk in the Tang Dynasty, one of the four major translators of Buddhist scriptures in China) presided over the construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to preserve the sutra scrolls and statues he brought back to Chang’an (the ancient name of Xi’an) through the Silk Road from Tianzhu (ancient India).

Then we will visit the Great Mosque, one of the world-famous mosques. The mosque was built in 630. The walls, steps, and passages in the mosque are all paved with white marble. It is the place where many religious events are held.

The last place we will visit today is the Muslim Quarter. It is a famous food district in Xi’an, and is the collective name of many streets. You can find Rougamo here. Rougamo is considered the Chinese hamburger, with meat stuffed inside a steamed bun. The meat inside is usually stewed for hours in a soup containing over 20 spices and seasonings. Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup is also worth trying. The traditional way of eating it is fun. You will be given a pita bread and an empty bowl. Then you will tear the bread into small pieces, and put them in the bowl. The waitor will then collect your bowl and fill it with thick lamb soup together with some vegetables as well as several pieces of lamb. When it’s returned to your table, you can start eating! But some restaurants now usually skip the part where you tear the bread and just serve the well-done one to save some time. Then we will take you back to the hotel.

Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 6 Xi’anZhangjiajie
Xi’an City Wall, and take a flight to Zhangjiajie

After breakfast, we are going to visit the Xi’an City Wall. Xi’an City Wall is the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. With a total length of 13,700 meters, the existing wall was built in the third year during Emperor Hongwu’s reign (1370) in the Ming Dynasty and completed in 1378. Located in the center of Xi’an, the wall is 12 meters high, 12-14 meters wide at the top and 15-18 meters wide at the bottom, with a closed rectangular outline. Now, it contains 18 gates that were built at different times. 

After lunch, you will take the estimated flight 3U3271 14:35/16:05 to Zhangjiajie. Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport, and then you will be sent to the hotel.

Xi'an City Wall
Xi'an City Wall
Day 7 Zhangjiajie
Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Bailong Elevator, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain, Golden Whip Stream, Ten-Mile Gallery

After breakfast, we will take you to Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Wulingyuan Scenic Area is known as a labyrinth of nature, a museum of geology, a kingdom of the forest, a beautiful garden of plants, and a paradise of wild animals. You can find many karst caves and springs here. More than 400 species of wild animals and 850 species of plants grow here and the forest coverage rate in this scenic area is 67%. You can also have the opportunity to take Bailong Elevator, the highest outdoor elevator in Guinness World Records. The elevator is built vertically on the mountain, with a building height of 335 meters and a running height of 326 meters. It will only take about 66 seconds to reach the top.

By Bailong Elevator, we arrive at Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. Located in the northern part of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area has huge mountains that are mainly composed of quartzite. One spot in the scenic area, The World’s No.1 Bridge, is two meters wide and four meters thick, with a span of more than 20 meters and a height of more than 300 meters, making it the highest natural stone bridge in the world. Another site that is worth visiting is the Southern Sky Column, later also known as Hallelujah Mountains in the movie Avatar. The altitude of the Southern Sky Column is 1,074 meters, and the vertical height is about 150 meters. 

In the afternoon, we will take you to Tianzi Mountain. The highest elevation of Tianzi Mountain is 1262.5 meters and the lowest is 534 meters. Its landscapes and attractions are all natural, without any artificial traces. There are not only beautiful mountains and water, but also peculiar folk customs and unique ethnic food waiting for you. The water there flows out from the surface of sandstone at a height of about 1,000 meters above sea level in all directions, forming countless springs. The colorful waterfall flowing from the red sandstone is also an excellent view.

The next scenic spot is Golden Whip Stream. It is the golden tourist area of Zhangjiajie, with a total length of 5,700 meters. The stream got its name because of a rock on its side, the Golden Whip Rock. The whip-shaped Golden Whip Rock rises more than 380 meters from the ground, and the whole rock is made of quartz, reflecting a glittering golden light in the sunlight. The scenery along the stream is breath-taking.

Then we will visit the Ten-mile Gallery. The Ten-mile Gallery has winding canyons and deep valleys. The deep valley stretches forward with countless beautiful scenes like a nature’s gallery. The rocks on the mountains along the stream form about 200 stone scenes that look like people, objects, and animals. For example, entering the Ten-mile Gallery and walk about 30 meters, you will see a stone that looks like an old man. His face is with distinctive features, and he has short hair. His left hand is raised high, seemingly greeting visitors from afar. After visiting, we will send you back to the hotel.

Bailong Elevator
Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Day 8 Zhangjiajie-Shanghai
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Baofeng Lake Scenic Area, and take a flight to Shanghai

After breakfast, we are going to visit Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. There is a secluded creek in the canyon, and along the side of the creek is a walkway built with wooden planks. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon not only has beautiful natural scenery but also has a collection of historical and humanistic landscapes of three dynasties. You may have an impressive memory of this trip by walking through the Glass Bridge here. It is 536 meters in length and 6 meters in width. The transparent glass makes the whole bridge blend with the surrounding environment.

In the afternoon, we will take you to Baofeng Lake Scenic Area. Located at the core area of Zhangjiajie, Baofeng Lake Scenic Area is a scenic area that combines the natural landscape with the folk culture. It was opened to the public in 1984. The core scenic area is 2,500 meters long and the average depth of water is about 72 meters. There are more than 20 well-known attractions in the scenic area. You will enjoy the beautiful scenery by boat.

Then you will take the estimated flight MU8457 20:40/22:50 to Shanghai. Our guide is waiting for you at the airport arrival hall. After meeting you, we will drive you to the hotel. Located in the eastern part of China, Shanghai is the economic, financial, trade, shipping, as well as science and technology innovation center of China. Shanghai is famous for its aged villa, nong tang (alleys), Shikumen (a local-style building), and Qi Pao (cheongsam). The dim-sum in Shanghai like soup dumplings is also worth having a try.

Baofeng Lake Scenic Area
Zhangjiajie Glass Canyon
Day 9 Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Garden, Shanghai Old Street, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Bund, Nanjing Road

The first place we will take you to today is the Jade Buddha Temple. As one of the top ten tourist attractions in Shanghai, it is so called because the temple was originally built to enshrine jade buddhas. The architecture of the Jade Buddha Temple is in the style of the Song Dynasty temples. It has also exhibition rooms for cultural relics. Many precious Buddhist scriptures and other relics are preserved here. The Jade Buddha Temple is described as a piece of pure land in the downtown area. 

Then we are going to visit Yu Garden (closed each Monday). Owning a history of over 400 years, the Yu Garden was built in the Ming Dynasty. As a well-known Jiangnan (south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River)  style classical garden, it was originally a private garden. The Yu Garden is formed with six main areas including the Sansui Hall, the Wanhua Chamber, the Dianchun Hall, the Huijing Hall, the Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden. You can have a good look at the rockeries, ponds, pavilions, towers, and ancient trees here. There are also many large bonsais here.

Getting out of the Yu Garden, you will visit Shanghai Old Street. The street was originally an important venue for foreign trade and small commodity trading in Shanghai. It also witnessed the economic and social development of Shanghai. With Yiguan Street as the boundary, the Shanghai Old Street can be divided into two sections: the eastern section and the western section. The eastern section has been decorated and renovated. The characteristics of the residential houses of the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China are retained, with lattice windows on both sides of the old street. Houses in the western section highlight the folklore of old streets in Shanghai, with diaphanous tiles, red columns, and cornices.

In the afternoon, we will firstly enjoy the view of Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Built in 1994, it is one of the landmark buildings in Shanghai, integrating urban sightseeing, dining, shopping, entertaining, displaying, touring, and performing. The tower has a height of 468 meters and a total construction area of 100,000 square meters. As a giant high-rise skyscraper, the tower is one of the best places to see the panorama of Shanghai.

The next stop is the Bund. Located at the center of Shanghai, the Bund is 1,500 meters long. There are dozens of buildings of various Western classical and modern styles standing on the Bund, which are important historical sites and representative buildings of modern China. You can also visit other great attractions on the Bund. For example, the Huangpu Park is the first public park in China. The Garden Bridge of Shanghai is a well protected historic bridge in Shanghai. 

Then, we will take a walk at Nanjing Road. Located in the city center, Nanjing Road includes Nanjing East Road and Nanjing West Road. With a length of 1,599 meters, the Nanjing East Road serves as a commercial zone and a tourist area. As for Nanjing West Road, it is the most upscale shopping place in Shanghai. Nanjing Road is one of the ten most beautiful pedestrian streets in China. After visiting, we will send you back to the hotel.

Yu Garden
Nanjing Road
Day 10 Shanghai Departure
Your guide will send you to the airport, and you will fly back to your sweet home

After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport according to the time of your flight. It is worth mentioning that we are glad to arrange the Maglev Train to take you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport if your flight leaves Shanghai from this airport. It is time to say goodbye to your guide and your new foreign friends. It is surely our pleasure to serve you and we are looking forward to seeing you again!


Author: Guo Changmei

Proofreading: Li Yiwen

This tour ends here
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Beijing Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing
Xi'an Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an Sunworld Dynasty Hotel
Zhangjiajie Hotel Pullman Zhangjiajie Zhangjiajie Huatian Hotel
Shanghai Ocean Hotel Shanghai Ambassador Hotel
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