As for China escorted tours, China Tour Star professes to be an expert. We have professional English-speaking travel guides, who are considerate and kind-hearted while escorting you to different cities for sightseeing. If you choose this 11-day escorted China leisure tour, you will be escorted by different guides in different cities. During this escorted tour, you will start from Shanghai, one of China’s metropolises, to witness China’s modern development. Then, you will go to Suzhou and Hangzhou, the two cities with the honor of “Heaven on the Earth”, to appreciate the classic beauty of southern China. After that, you will go to Guilin and take a Li River Cruise to admire the picturesque landscapes along the Li River. Finally, you will leave for your Beijing escorted tour to explore the royal palace and the royal garden in this ancient capital. This itinerary will be one of the best escorted tours to China for you. You are welcome to discover the charm of China with China Tour Star!
Welcome to Shanghai! This is your first stop in China. Our guide will wait for your arrival at the airport and drive you to the hotel downtown. We believe this escorted tour to China will definitely bring you an unforgettable experience!
Shanghai has been a center of international business and a symbol of wealth for more than 100 years. Shanghai is also a city influenced by foreign cultures. From one of the earliest cities in China to the prosperous “Shili Yangchang (meaning “booming market” in Chinese)”, the cultures of various countries have been integrated into this amazing city. Here you can visit the old-fashioned Western architecture and appreciate the modern skyscrapers in the meantime; you can taste the local delicacies as well as French cuisine in the century-old restaurants. You can have a full taste of the combination of Chinese and Western cultures, each of which has its own highlights.
After breakfast, our destination is Yu Garden (closed on Monday). It seems incompatible with this international financial center for its unique ancient charm. It is a classical-style garden in the south region of the Yangtze River, covering an area of about 20,000 square meters. Slowly savor the exquisite design and carvings of the garden with a laid-back pace, and then stroll along the creek in the garden to feel the tranquility. It is worth mentioning that every year during the Lantern Festival, the surrounding area and the interior of Yu Garden are decorated with colorful lights and red lanterns. If you happen to come here during the Lantern Festival, it would be more attractive at that time.
Then, you will go to the Jade Buddha Temple, built in 1882 with a history of 120 years. The Jade Buddha Temple is famous for the two jade Buddha sculptures in the temple. One is a seated statue of Sakyamuni known as the “Treasure of the Temple”, and the other is a reclining Buddha. Both Buddha statues are made of jade, beautifully carved and lifelike. The Jade Buddha Building is the essence of the Jade Buddha Temple. The seated Jade Buddha in the middle of the hall is extremely eye-catching. The eyebrows of the Jade Buddha are inlaid with diamonds. The decorations of its hat and cassock are pearls, gems, and gold leaf. The nine dragons behind the statue are made of gold foil. When you see the Jade Buddha, you will be amazed at its sumptuous appearance.
After lunch, we will go to the Shanghai Tower, currently the tallest building in China and the second tallest building in the world. The Shanghai Tower goes beyond traditional architectural concepts and is committed to creating a “vertical city” that integrates office, bar, exhibition, commerce, and tourism. The super-high-speed elevator in Shanghai Tower can reach 18 meters per second. It only takes 55 seconds to reach the Top of Shanghai Observation Hall on the 118th floor with a vertical height of 546 meters and an area of more than 1,000 square meters. It will bring a unique sightseeing experience to tourists at home and abroad. You can also purchase postcards at the Air Post Office. Each postcard records the beauty of the skyline of Shanghai. Pick some for yourself, your relatives and friends. The postcards with messages from the top of Shanghai sent here would be eternal gifts worthy of collection.
Next, you will come to the Bund. As a symbol of Shanghai for more than 100 years, the Bund has been one of the top ten tourist attractions in Shanghai since the 1990s. On the Bund stands a variety of Chinese and Western buildings. Stretching from the Waibaidu Bridge in the north to Jinling East Road in the south, the 1.5-kilometer-long Bund is lined with 52 classic buildings of various styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism, and Renaissance. Accompanied by the loud bell rings, the Customs House is always the first building on the Bund to attract the attention of visitors. The big clock on the top of it is made in the style of Big Ben in London. On the east side of the Bund is the Huangpu River and the beautiful new embankment of the Bund. Here, you can appreciate the charm of Shanghai’s mother river—Huangpu River and look up at the skyscrapers on the opposite bank.
Following your guide, you will come to Nanjing Road, one of the most prosperous commercial streets in Shanghai, which is known as the “First Commercial Street in China”. There are many commercial buildings on both sides and more than 600 shops gather here. In recent years, Nanjing Road has undergone tremendous changes. New commercial buildings and hotels have sprung up. Some commercial buildings are occupied by famous brand flagship stores, specialty shops, and restaurants. Modern high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and hotels make Nanjing Road more majestic and prosperous. The night view of Nanjing Road is very charming. The road with colorful neon lights and crowded people seems that it never rests. It can rival the Champs Elysees in Paris and the Fifth Avenue in New York.
After breakfast, we will drive west to the neighboring city Suzhou. The whole journey is 101 kilometers, and it will take about 100 minutes. The first stop of this Suzhou trip is the Humble Administrator’s Garden. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is the largest existing classical garden in Suzhou, covering an area of 12.8 acres (approximately 5.2 hectares). The whole park is centered on water, along with mountains and rivers, exquisite halls and pavilions, luxuriant flowers and trees, full of poetic and picturesque scenery. In autumn, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is quite different from what it is in spring and summer. Red maple trees are the best decorations for the garden in autumn. Bright red maple leaves sway in the autumn breeze. At the same time, there are also ancient ginkgo trees in the Humble Administrator’s Garden, which are fascinatingly golden yellow in the autumn sun. The golden yellow along with bright red adds infinite charm to the garden in autumn.
After lunch, we will take you to visit Tiger Hill. Tiger Hill is located in the Tiger Hill Scenic Area in the northwest corner of the ancient city of Suzhou. It has a long history of more than 2,500 years. Every spring, a flower fair is held at Tiger Hill, displaying a large number of flowers, such as peonies, tulips, Belgian rhododendrons, and lilies. What’s more, folk temple fairs with various folk customs and performances are held in autumn. One of the most famous attractions at Tiger Hill is the Yunyan Temple Tower with a history of over 1,000 years. It is the second leaning tower in the world. Looking simple and majestic, it has become a landmark of Suzhou.
After Tiger Hill, you will visit Shantang Street. It is a famous commercial and cultural street in Suzhou and is regarded as “the epitome of old Suzhou and the window of Suzhou culture”. The old street runs parallel with the Shantang River. There are many ancient bridges across the river. On both sides of the street stand thousands of old houses with white walls and black tiles. Shantang Street has revived the prosperity of old Suzhou, with many shops and guild halls. There are snack shops such as Caizhizhai, Wufangzhai, and Qianshengyuan; there are also specialty shops such as tea houses, wood carving stores, stone carving stores, and embroidery stores. You can stroll along Shantang Street and buy something you like.
Some people say that there are two national business cards in Chinese history: porcelain and silk. Suzhou is the hometown of silk. Today’s Suzhou Silk Factory is the only red brick building in Suzhou that has completely preserved the Suzhou silk culture. It is a living museum of Suzhou silk. The traditional way of silk production including silkworm breeding, silk reeling, and silk is well preserved in the Silk Factory. You will also see a lot of silk products like scarves, shirts, and pajamas are on display in the Silk Factory.
After breakfast, we will drive south to Hangzhou, which takes about two and a half hours (about 160 kilometers). Upon arriving in Hangzhou, we will go to the West Lake for a visit. The West Lake has been a well-known tourist attraction since ancient times. Locals who have lived here for many years and travelers who have visited here are all overwhelmed by this unparalleled beauty in the world. Walking on the embankment of the West Lake, you will also be amazed by the scenery in front of you, wondering if you have entered a paradise. About the origin of the West Lake, there is a legend. A long time ago, the golden dragon and the jade phoenix found a piece of rare white jade on a fairy island. They treasured it very much. The Queen Mother in the heaven also wanted the rare jade, so she snatched it away one day. The jade dragon and the golden phoenix rushed to recapture the jade and there was a scramble. Suddenly, the Queen Mother relaxed her grip and the jade landed in the mortal world, thus forming the West Lake. Is it interesting?
Next, you will visit the Lingyin Temple on the west side of the West Lake. It is one of the most famous ancient temples in China. The must-visit attraction at Lingyin Temple is the Feilai Peak, which is most famous for its stone carvings. The Feilai Peak stone carvings are fabulous works of southern China’s grotto art. There are 335 intact stone Buddha statues with magnificent appearances. The most well-known statues are the big-bellied Maitreya and the 18 Arhats. The statue of the big-bellied Maitreya is the earliest Maitreya statue in China. It sits cross-legged in the niche, with its hands holding Buddha beads and laughing happily.
Then, you will go to Six Harmonies Pagoda by the Qiantang River. The pagoda’s eaves shrink from bottom to top, and 104 iron bells are hung on the corners of the eaves. It is the best place for visitors to overlook the Qiantang River. Stepping up to the top floor of the pagoda, you can see the magnificent Qiantang River Bridge, sailing boats on the river, and lush mountains around the pagoda.
Today you will take the estimated flight JD5547 13:05/15:15 to Guilin. Our guide in Guilin will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
You can go to Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas. The twin pagodas are located in the beautiful Shanhu Lake in Guilin. The Sun Pagoda is 41 meters high with 9 floors. The whole pagoda is decorated with fine copper and it is the highest coppery pagoda in the world. You can take the sightseeing elevator to the top of the pagoda. On the top, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful lake and mountains around it. The Moon Pagoda is decorated with colored glaze, looking solemn and elegant. The two pagodas are connected by a 10-meter-long underwater tunnel at the bottom of the lake. The best time to visit the two pagodas is in the evening. The lights of the twin pagodas will be beautiful, the Sun Pagoda with golden light and the Moon Pagoda with silver-white light, just like the sun and the moon.
This morning, you will visit Elephant Trunk Hill. It is named because it resembles a giant elephant standing by the river with its trunk outstretched into the water. The Elephant Trunk Hill is famous not only for its unique shape but also for a spectacular scene, named “Water Moon at Elephant Trunk Hill”. There is a semicircular cave between the “trunk” and the “legs” of the “elephant”, which has been called “Water Moon Cave”. The Li River flows through this cave. It seems like a bright moon rising from the water and floating on the water, hence the name.
After the Elephant Trunk Hill, we will drive to Longji Rice Terrace. The whole journey is about two and a half hours (about 200 kilometers). You can enjoy the scenery along the way, and you can also take a break. There are terraces everywhere at Longji Rice Terrace. The terraced fields encircle the undulating and towering mountains, like a huge ladder up to the blue sky. Every tourist who sees this scenery will be deeply shocked by the majesty of nature and the mighty power of humans.
After that, we will drive back to Guilin.
In the morning, you will take the Li River Cruise to Yangshuo. The scenery on both sides of the Li River is wonderful including mountains, water and shallows. For thousands of years, it has been an important part of Guilin’s landscape. By taking the Li River Cruise, you will see the essence of Li River scenery. Cruising along the Li River is like being in a charming natural gallery, making people infatuated. There are two types of Li River Cruise ships: three-star ships and four-star ships. Lunch is included on the ship. The ticket for the three-star ship is cheaper than the ticket for the four-star ship. Of course, the four-star ship provides passengers with better services. There is an abundant buffet lunch on board. Therefore, we usually arrange a four-star ship for you to give you a better cruise experience.
In the afternoon, the cruise ship will arrive in Yangshuo and then, Yangshuo West Street is waiting for you. Yangshuo West Street is a collection of keywords such as foraging, shopping, and clubbing. It’s a must-visit in Yangshuo. The street less than one kilometer long is paved with grey stone slabs in a curved S-shape. The houses on both sides are simple and elegant in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in northern Guangxi Province, with small blue tiles, sloping roofs, whitewashed walls, and hanging balconies. The shops on both sides are a combination of Chinese and Western culture. The waiters can serve foreign tourists in fluent foreign languages. When you come to West Street, you must taste the beer fish, which is the most famous dish in Yangshuo. There are also many bars here. When the night falls, it is livelier than the day. After the tour, the tour guide will take you back to your hotel in Guilin.
After breakfast, we will drive to the Reed Flute Cave, known as the “Palace of Nature and Art”. It is a typical karst landscape in Guilin. The dazzling array of stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, and other stone objects of different shapes in the Reed Flute Cave are vivid, forming more than 30 wonderful attractions in the cave. The entire cave, created by nature, is like a magnificent underground palace decorated with emeralds, gems, and corals.
In the afternoon, you will take the estimated flight CA1544 14:50/18:05 to Beijing. Upon arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel.
Beijing, the capital of China, is a charming city with small alleys, trendy bar streets, and prosperous business districts. The infinite modern elements blend in the authentic Beijing flavor, making Beijing orthodox and eclectic. You can make diversified choices according to your personal preferences. Whether you are traveling for couples or traveling with your children, you can always find the most suitable places in Beijing.
After breakfast, we will head to Tian’anmen Square in the city center. Tian’anmen Gate Tower, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, and many other national symbolic buildings are located here. Various large-scale celebrations have been held here. The flag-raising ceremony every morning attracts countless tourists to come and pay their respect. Tian’anmen Gate Tower in the north of the square is the most magnificent gate tower in ancient China. The ceiling and beams of the gate tower are carved and painted with traditional golden dragons and other auspicious patterns. There are five gates at the bottom. The gate in the middle is the largest and is located on the central axis of Beijing. In the past, only the emperors could pass through it. You can see the portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong is hung above this gate and the National Emblem is hung on the gate tower. Now, Tian’anmen Gate Tower is regarded as a symbol of China.
Then, you will come to the Forbidden City (closed on Monday). The Forbidden City is located in the very center of Beijing. The palace complex is the largest and most complete ancient building cluster in China, which is extremely spectacular. A central axis runs through the entire Forbidden City, which is also a part of the central axis of Beijing. On the central axis, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest wooden structure in the Forbidden City and even the largest wooden structure in China. In the middle of the hall is the symbol of feudal imperial power—the golden lacquered throne. It is set on a 2-meter-high platform in the hall. This hall is the place where the emperors held major ceremonies. For example, the emperor’s accession, birthdays, weddings, and New Year’s Day were all celebrated here.
In the afternoon, you will go to the Temple of Heaven. It is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped the heaven and prayed for a good harvest. Its rigorous architectural layout, peculiar architectural structure, and magnificent architectural decoration make it the most exquisite and beautiful ancient worship architecture in China. The Temple of Heaven is vast, four times the size of the Forbidden City. Green pines and verdant cypresses are planted here, of which more than 1,500 cypresses are over 300 years old. These towering old trees make the Temple of Heaven very solemnly. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, pines and cypresses were regarded as ceremonial trees. Therefore, pines and cypresses are often seen in ancient altars, temples, and mausoleums in China.
Then, you will go to the Summer Palace for sightseeing. It is located in the Haidian District, the northwestern suburb of Beijing with beautiful landscapes. It is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China. The Summer Palace is a collection of Chinese traditional art of gardening, which truly embodies the gardening principle that although it is made by man, it seems to be created by nature. The Summer Palace is centered on Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. Based on different topography, exquisite artificial buildings such as palaces, pavilions, corridors, and bridges are scattered in the garden. A 728-meter-long corridor at the foot of the Longevity Hill and along the lakeside allows visitors to appreciate the fabulous sceneries on the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake at the same time.
This morning, you will explore the Great Wall, the largest and longest military project in the world. This time, you will go to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall in the north of Beijing. It will take us about 70 minutes (60 KM) to get there by car. With a total length of 5,400 meters, it is currently the longest part of the Great Wall in China, which is also the essence of the Great Wall. The Mutianyu Great Wall is surrounded by mountains with luxuriant plants and the vegetation coverage rate is over 90%. In spring, the mountains are full of colorful flowers; in summer, all the plants on the mountains are luxuriantly green; in autumn, there are fruits and red leaves on the trees; in winter, the snow is white, covering everything. The Mutianyu Great Wall is equipped with first-class cable cars and toboggans. Therefore, it’s very convenient to climb up to the Mutianyu Great Wall for sightseeing.
After lunch, we will return to the downtown for a tour. At the last stop in Beijing, we will take you to visit Beijing Hutong. Hutong is an old alleyway in Beijing, where ordinary people live. In the Hutongs, you can always hear rickshaw bells and see the coachmen riding rickshaws. Only by taking a rickshaw can you experience its unique charm. Passing through different Hutongs in a rickshaw will be a wonderful trip. You will feel the vicissitudes of Beijing in the past and the prosperity of today when you visit the Hutongs. In front of the Chinese-style quadrangle dwellings, you will see local people playing cards or chatting with each other to kill time. What’s more, you can also visit a local family here and get in-depth knowledge of the authentic Beijing life in the Hutongs.
Good time always goes fast. Today our tour guide will escort you to the international airport and see you off there. Then, you will take your flight back home. We sincerely welcome you to other cities of China and hope to serve you again.
Author: Chunhui LV
Proofreader: Vivian Zhou
|City||Five Star hotel list||Four Star hotel list|
|Shanghai||Ocean Hotel Shanghai||Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central|
|Suzhou||Grand Trustel Aster Hotel Suzhou||Suzhou Garden Hotel|
|Hangzhou||Landison Plaza Hotel||Best Western Plus Meiyuan Hotel Hangzhou|
|Guilin||Lijiang Waterfall Hotel||Guilin Park Hotel|
|Beijing||Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing||Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing|
About your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.
We started with a few days in Beijing & ended in Shanghai, from where we visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall. In between we visited Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Panda Base, Shanghai Disneyland.
We had a wonderful holiday in China which will remain long in the memory. China is a breathtakingly beautiful country full of splendid temples and palaces, mountains and rivers, peaceful rural scenes and bustling shopping streets.