China Essential Tour with High-Speed Train

11 Days Beijing-Xi’an-Guilin-Shanghai

When you see news about China on TV, do you have the urge to come to China to have a look? If so, don't hesitate to start your trip to China. How can you keep your trip to China from being clichéd? China Tour Star's suggestion is to have a China train tour. Compared with taking a plane, taking a high-speed train is often cheaper. Moreover, the impact of the weather on the high-speed trains is less than on airplanes, which always be delayed or cancelled due to rain and snow. Beijing-Xi’an train tour and Guilin-Shanghai train tour are included in the below 11-day China train tour. Besides experiencing the high-speed train in China, you will not miss all the must-see attractions, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Li River in Guilin and the Yu Garden in Shanghai. Contact us and we are always at your service.

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

Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China! Your wonderful 11-day tour with high-speed train will start here. Our guide will hold your name sign and pick you up at the airport, and then we will transfer you to the hotel. Hope you will have a nice rest to embrace the exciting tour.

Beijing boasts a history of more than three thousand years, which leaves it a precious cultural treasure. Beijing is the national political, cultural, and educational center as well as the most important center in China for international communication and trade. As of November 1, 2020, Beijing has a permanent population of 21,189,095 people, with a total area of 16,410.54 square kilometers. There are countless fascinating attractions and historical sites that are well preserved. Therefore, Beijing has welcomed lots of tourists every year. Hope you will have a good time here.

Free Time Suggestion: In addition to the travel routes arranged by us, you can spend your free time on your own, and we recommend you Wangfujing Street. Wangfujing Street is a commercial street with a long history of hundreds of years, with a total length of about 800 meters. On both sides of the street are a dazzling array of shopping malls and shops. It is fashionable and avant-garde in the bustling city. Wangfujing Street houses many well-known Chinese time-honored brands, as well as world-renowned multinational companies. Many leaders of Chinese and foreign countries also frequent this place.

Day 2 Beijing
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

After breakfast, we will take you to Tian’anmen Square. Located in central Beijing, Tian’anmen Square covers an area of 440,000 square meters. Tian’anmen Square is now the largest city center square in the whole world, which can accommodate 1 million people for grand gatherings. It has attracted worldwide attention for its outstanding architectural art and special political status. Tian’anmen Square also serves as a symbol of Beijing and even the whole of China. There are also many important buildings. With the Monument to the People’s Heroes and Chairman Mao Memorial Hall standing in the center, the Great Hall of the People is on the west, and the National Museum of China is on the east.

Then we will walk to the Forbidden City (closed each Monday), which is next to Tian’anmen Square. Located in Beijing’s central axis, the Forbidden City is also known as the Palace Museum. Built in 1420, it served as the imperial palace of the Ming(1368-1644) and Qing(1636-1912) Dynasties , and 24 emperors at the time lived in the Forbidden City for over more than 500 years in total. The Forbidden City is the largest and most complete ancient royal building complex, and it is an unparalleled masterpiece of ancient architecture. The Forbidden City is also one of the best-preserved wooden structure buildings.

The Forbidden City is divided into two parts, the Outer Court and the Inner Court. The Inner Court is for the imperial families to live and includes three main palaces, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union, the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. The Outer Court is targeted to handle national affairs. There are also three main halls in the Outer Court: the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government has invested a great deal of money and manpower in keeping the three halls retaining their original appearance. There are also lots of other palaces and halls, exhibiting ancient paintings, bronzes, ceramics, handicrafts, and so on. According to statistics, a total of 1,052,653 pieces, accounting for six percent of the total number of Chinese cultural relics, are collected in the Forbidden City. It is one of the museums with the richest collection of cultural relics in China and also a world-renowned museum of ancient culture and art.

After lunch, you will head to the Temple of Heaven. China has been an agricultural country since ancient times. In ancient times, people always longed for an abundant harvest, and the good weather condition was the key factor. As a result, ancestors began to worship heaven in various ways. The Temple of Heaven is the world’s largest building complex for offering sacrifices to heaven. It was built in 1420 and was initially called the Temple of Heaven and Earth. In 1530, the emperor at that time specially built the Temple of Earth to worship the earth, and the Temple of Heaven and Earth was renamed the Temple of Heaven. Occupying an area of 2,720,000 square meters, it is divided into two parts: the inner altar and the outer altar. The Circular Mound Altar is one of the main buildings of the inner altar, which was mainly used as a place for the emperors to hold Heaven Worshipping Ceremony in the winter solstice. You can stand on it just like the ancient emperor did.

And then you will go to visit the Summer Palace. As a royal garden of the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace is situated in the northwest suburbs of Beijing, 15 kilometers away from the Forbidden City. The Summer Palace is a large-scale landscape garden, applying traditional Chinese gardening techniques. It is also the best-preserved imperial garden, known as the “Royal Garden Museum”. The Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake are two main parts of the Summer Palace. The Kunming Lake has taken up three-quarters of this royal garden, which makes this place a summer resort. The stunning scenery with mountain and lake make you feel at a fairyland. One of the most famous attractions here is the Long Corridor, which enabled the emperors and empresses to enjoy the garden view no matter on rainy or snowy days. 

Tian’anmen Square
Summer Palace
Day 3 Beijing
Hutongs, Mutianyu Great Wall, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube

This morning, you will have breakfast and go for a walk in Hutongs. Hutong, an ancient city alley unique to Beijing, originated in the Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368), boasting a history of more than 750 years. Walking through hutongs is the best way to understand Beijing’s traditional culture and customs. There are many rickshaws in the hutongs. What used to be a means of transportation has now become a feature of tourism and sightseeing. You will also have the opportunity to take a rickshaw passing through the old hutongs. Besides, a visit to a local family here is also included. Walking into a local house, talking with the Beijingers, experiencing their daily life, you will have an in-depth understanding of Chinese culture.

After lunch, your guide will take you to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall. We will drive northeast for about one hour and 20 minutes to get there. The Mutianyu Great Wall is about 70 kilometers away from the city center. The Mutianyu Great Wall is regarded as the essence of the Great Wall constructed in the Ming Dynasty. The scenic area boasts a vegetation coverage rate of over 90%. It is also one of the sixteen famous Beijing sightseeing spots. With a total length of 5,400 meters, the Mutianyu Great Wall is the longest section of the Great Wall. Many foreign leaders have also paid a visit here, like the former British Prime Minister Major and the former US President Clinton. If you expect to experience some challenging activities more than climbing the wall, taking toboggan down will be a good choice.

On the way back to your hotel, you will also glimpse at the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube. The two buildings are located on both sides of the northern end of Beijing’s central axis. We will have a stop to take pictures of the two buildings.

The Bird’s Nest refers to the National Stadium situated at the southern part of the Olympic Green in Beijing. Covering an area of 204,000 square meters, the Bird’s Nest has witnessed the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and it can accommodate 91,000 spectators. The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, track and field competitions, and football finals were all held here. After the Olympic Games, Bird’s Nest becomes a large professional venue for the Chinese to participate in sports activities and enjoy sports entertainment. It is also a recognized landmark of sports architecture and Olympic heritage in Beijing and even China. Many large-scale theatrical performances are also held there.

Located opposite the Bird’s Nest, Water Cube is also known as the National Aquatics Centre. As one of the landmark buildings in Beijing, the Water Cube serves as the main venue of swimming contests for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was designed referring to the arrangement of cells and the shape of soap bubbles, making its outward appearance unique. After the Olympics, the National Aquatics Center is also open to the public, with swimming pools, water playgrounds, and ice entertainment facilities inside, becoming a water paradise for people to have fun.

Free Time Suggestion: If you want to go shopping by yourself, you can go to Silk Street. Silk Street is located in the city center, close to the CBD business district, with convenient transportation. It is the most influential international tourist shopping market in China, which is as famous as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Many heads of state and their spouses used to buy gifts for their families here, such as former US President George W. Bush, former Afghan President Karzai, Greek Prime Minister's wife, Pakistani Prime Minister's wife, Turkish President's wife, and so on.

Water Cube
Bird Nest
Day 4 BeijingXi’an
Beijing Zoo, from Beijing to Xi'an by train

This morning is your last morning in Beijing. You will have a delicious breakfast and then go to visit the Beijing Zoo. The Beijing Zoo covers an area of about 90 hectares and is one of the largest zoos in China. The zoo is home to over 7,000 creatures of 600 different species, and it receives over 5 million domestic and foreign tourists every year. It is divided into three areas: East Area, West Area, and North Area. Beijing Aquarium is in the North Area, where you can see the lovely marine animals. Besides, golden monkeys, Siberian tigers, red-crowned cranes, the American leopards, Australian kangaroos, jaguars, and Mexican manatees can all be seen here. Last but not least, you will visit the Panda House in the East Area, where you can see the cutest creature in the world, giant pandas. A chubby body with a shape typical of bears, black and white fur, and flocky ears make people want to hug them and give them a big kiss. If you are lucky, you may see giant pandas eating bamboos or drinking milks. I believe you will have a good time with these lovely animals.

After lunch, you will take an estimated train G87 14:00/18:19 to Xi’an. Your Xi’an guide will pick you up at the railway station. After your arrival, your guide will lead you to the hotel and help you to check in. You could have a good rest and prepare for exploring Xi’an.

Beijing Zoo
Beijing Zoo
Day 5 Xi’an
Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Street

After breakfast, we will drive northeast for about 1 hour (40 KM) to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum which is reputed as the No. 8 Wonder in the world. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is situated 1.5 kilometers east of China’s first emperor-Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum in Lintong County of Shaanxi Province. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses was built to be the subordinate tomb of the Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum. It was included in the World Heritage List in 1987. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum has 3 pits named Pit 1, 2, and 3. The three pits cover a total area of more than 20,000 square meters, and there are nearly 8,000 pottery figurines and horses similar in size to real people and real horses. The terra cotta warriors and horses in the pits are the burial objects of Emperor Qin Shihuang after his death which mirror the country’s military power at that time. There are different types of troops: chariot soldiers, cavalry, and infantry, and all of them are arranged orderly. How amazing it is! 

We will have lunch in a local restaurant. Then you will visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (closed each Tuesday). The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built during the reign of Emperor Zhongzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It stores Buddhist scriptures brought back from Tianzhu (ancient India) by the monk Yijing. It serves as an important cultural relic and one of the remaining symbols of ancient Chang’an (Xi’an in the Tang Dynasty). There will be a Chinese Calligraphy Class in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. There will be a teacher to teach you the ancient art of writing Chinese characters, Chinese calligraphy.

And then you will have a walk around Muslim Street. Muslim Street is a famous snack and culture street in Xi’an. As one of the representatives of Xi’an, the Muslim Street is about 500 meters long and runs north-south. It is characterized by bluestone-paved road and green trees. The buildings on both sides of the road are imitating the architecture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This place is exactly heaven for food lovers. Various snacks will intrigue you to have a taste, such as cured beef and mutton, pancakes, Rougamo (marinated meat in baked bun), and cold noodles.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Day 6 Xi’anGuilin
City Wall, from Xi’an to Guilin by flight

This morning, you will visit the old City Wall, which is the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Located in central Xi’an, the wall is 12 meters high and has a closed rectangular outline with a circumference of 13.74 kilometers. The existing Xi’an City Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty from 1374 to 1378 on the base of the city wall of the Tang Dynasty. The wall has undergone several renovations in history. The City Wall International Marathon was also held here every November. It has attracted marathon enthusiasts from more than 60 countries and regions since its launch in 1993. Standing on the wall, you will see a river outside the city wall. This is the moat of Xi'an. The Xi'an city moat has a history of more than 600 years and was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is an important defense for preventing military attacks.

We will have lunch in the local restaurant, and then you will take an estimated flight 3U3269 15:45/18:10 to Guilin. Your Guilin guide will wait for you at the airport on time and then escort you to the hotel. Hope you will have a good rest and continue your journey tomorrow.

Guilin is a world-famous scenic city and an important political, cultural, and technological center in Guangxi Province. Guilin City has a total area of 27,800 square kilometers and a permanent population of 4.93 million. Guilin’s water and mountains captivate the world. Guilin is situated along the Li River. The lucid water and the towering mountains have attracted millions of travelers every year.

City Wall
City Wall
Day 7 Guilin
Li River Cruise, Yangshuo West Street

After breakfast, we will drive southeast for about 50 miuntes(35KM) to Mopanshan Pier. Your journey will start with a Li River Cruise. Every traveler in Guilin could not miss the Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Li River cruise is over 83 kilometers long, and the journey is supposed to be approximately 4 hours for you to view the impressive landscapes along the Li River. Guilin Li River Scenic Area is a national AAAAA-level (the highest level in the levels of attractions) tourist attraction, and it is also the world’s largest and most beautiful karst landscape tourist area. On both sides of the river, you can see many strange-shaped mountains. For example, you might see a mountain shaped like an old man with a hunchback, or a girl with a flower basket. The water of the Li River is crystal clear all year round, and the fish in the water is visible. There are fishermen fishing in the distance. People will greet you enthusiastically when they see you passing by. You will have your lunch on your boat while enjoying the eye-feasting scenery. 

Upon arrival in Yangshuo, you will have a visit to Yangshuo West Street. Yangshuo West Street is the oldest and most prosperous street in Yangshuo, with a history of more than 1,400 years. Yangshuo West Street is nearly 800 meters long, and the entire street is S-shaped. It is paved with native marble, dark blue and shiny. The buildings on both sides are mostly old houses from 60 to 70 years ago, and some of them are from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. You can also hang out in the restaurants and pubs here. More than 1.5 million Chinese and foreign tourists are received in Yangshuo every year.

Then you will be driven back to Guilin and have a rest for your next destination.

Li river
Yangshuo west street
Day 8 GuilinShanghai
From Guilin to Shanghai by flight

After breakfast, you will take an estimated train G1502 11:52/21:13 to Shanghai. Your Shanghai guide will pick you up at the train station and then transfer you to the hotel. With an area of 6340.5 square kilometers and a permanent population of 24,870,900, Shanghai is an international city located in the southeast of China. Owning many world-famous landmarks, such as Jin Mao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Shanghai Tower, Shanghai has become a popular tourist destination.

Day 9 Shanghai
Yu Garden, Jing’an Temple, Shanghai Tower, The Bund, Nanjing Road

After breakfast at the hotel, you will pay a visit to the Yu Garden (closed each Monday), a famous garden of the classical style in Southern China. Initially built during the reign of Emperor Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty, it now has a history of over 450 years. Yu Garden once was a private garden of the Pan family. The founder Pan Yunduan invited the famous designer to build this garden for his parents as a tranquil place to spend their remaining years in comfort and happiness. The garden contains all elements of a classical Chinese garden concerning pavilions, rockeries, ponds, and corridors everywhere. Great Rockery, Exquisite Jade Rock, and Dragon Wall are all attractive spots that you cannot miss. 

Then you will continue to visit the Jing’an Temple. Jing’an Temple is one of the national key Buddhist temples in China. As a pure land in the prosperous metropolis of Shanghai just as its name implied (Jing means quiet and An means peaceful), Jing’an Temple has attracted many people to visit. People pray for blessings here and express their hope that their families will keep healthy and their careers will go smoothly. The temple has a total construction area of 22,000 square meters. It consists of three main buildings: the Mahavira Hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, and the Hall of Three Gods. You can also be fortunate to have a look at the biggest jade Buddha in China, which has a height of 3.87 meters, a width of 2.6 meters, and a weight of 11,000 kilograms. 

After lunch, you will visit the Shanghai Tower. Located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Pudong New District, Shanghai Tower is a huge high-rise landmark skyscraper in Shanghai. The Shanghai Tower has a total construction area of 578,000 square meters, with 127 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, with a total height of 632 meters. “Top of Shanghai Observatory” on floor 118 of the Shanghai Tower is also a must-see place for you. You can take the fastest elevator to board a 546-meter super-high observation deck to have a bird’s eye view of Shanghai in 360 degrees and enjoy the unique experience of being on the top of Shanghai.

The Bund is another spot that you should not miss. The Bund is located on the west bank of the Huangpu River in the Huangpu District. The Bund is about 1.5 kilometers long. It faces the Huangpu River in the east. In the west stand 52 buildings of various styles, including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Chinese and Western styles, thus being reputed as the “World Architecture Exposition Group”.

The last stop for today, Nanjing Road is the No.1 shopping street in Shanghai. Here you can have a taste of various authentic Shanghai dim sums, like longevity cakes and crabmeat dumplings. There are marble stools along Nanjing Road, which is very convenient to rest when you are tired.

The bund
Nanjing Road
Day 10 ShanghaiHangzhouShanghai
From Shanghai to Hangzhou by bus, West Lake, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Six Harmonies Pagoda, from Huangzhou to Shanghai by bus

This morning, you will have your breakfast at the hotel and then drive southwest for about 2.5 hours to Hangzhou. Hangzhou is about 200 KM away from Shanghai, so we need to get off early. Upon arrival in Hangzhou, you will take a boat to travel around the West Lake. Like a brilliant pearl, the famous West Lake covers an area of 5.6 square kilometers. Around the West Lake, there are also many other attractive spots, such as the Wine-making Yard and Lotus Pool in Summer, Remnant Snow on the Bridge in Winter, as well as Moon and Candlelight Mirrored in the Lake. All these have attracted lots of tourists at home and abroad.

We will have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will go to the Meijiawu Tea Plantation. Meijiawu is an ancient village with a history of more than 600 years, covering an area of more than 1,500,000 square meters of tea plantation. There you can have a taste of the well-known Longjing Tea. Also, you can learn some basic knowledge about how to make tea. That must be a memorable experience for you. 

Then you will go to another must-see place, Six Harmonies Pagoda. The pagoda is the most significant building characterized by the Song Dynasty (960-1279) style in Hangzhou. Six Harmonies Pagoda was built on the bank of the Qiantang River. This pagoda was built to suppress the tides of the Qiantang River. In ancient times, when the Qiantang River experienced a big tide, ships would be overturned and houses along the bank would be flooded. Later, a Buddhist master suggested to build a pagoda here to suppress the Qiantang River, and then there was Six Harmonies Pagoda.

At the end of the day, you will be transferred back to Shanghai. 

West Lake
Six Harmonies Pagoda
Day 11 Shanghai Departure
You will be transferred to the airport and fly back to your sweet home

Today, our guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and take you to the airport ahead of your flight time. You will go back to your sweet home and your memorable China tour will end here. We hope you have enjoyed your journey and look forward to serving you again!

Editor: Hao Ami

Proofreader: Summer Hou

This tour ends here
Tour Map
City Five Star hotel list Four Star hotel list
Beijing Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing
Xi'an Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an Sunworld Dynasty Hotel
Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel Guilin Bravo Hotel
Shanghai Ocean Hotel Shanghai Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
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