China Tour from Beijing with Avatar Mountain

10 Days Beijing-Xi’an-Zhangjiajie-Shanghai

Statistics show that more than 60% travelers choose to start their China tour from Beijing. Because they can reach almost all the city in China by train or flight from Beijing. Among these cities, from Beijing to Xi’an is the most popular choice. In the following itinerary, you will follow China Tour Star and enjoy the tour from Beijing to Xi’an, Zhangjiajie and Shanghai. We will help you make the best use of your time and energy to see in person where ancient Chinese emperors lived in Beijing; what one of the world’s Ancient Four Capitals-Xian looks like; why the mountains in Zhangjiajie inspired Avatar's Hallelujah Mountain and how Shanghai became the “Magical City” in China. Join us and prepare to be amazed!

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival
You will arrive Beijing.

Welcome to Beijing! Your fascinating China Adventure Tour will begin right here in Beijing. Our guide will hold a welcome board and be waiting for you in a conspicuous position so that you can see us in no time. Upon picking you up, he/she will take you to the hotel, on the way to which you can feel free to ask any questions that interest you, and our guide will be happy to answer them. After you arrive at the hotel, you can then choose to arrange your things or take a look around outside the hotel. Have a good rest and be prepared for tomorrow’s brand-new experience.

Day 2 Beijing
The Summer Palace, Mutianyu Great Wall

After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel. The first stop today is the Summer Palace. This National 5A level tourist attraction is located in the western suburb of Beijing, 15 kilometers away from the urban area, and covering an area of about 290 hectares. The palace was first built in 1153 by Emperor Qianlong to please his mother, and then in 1888, Empress Dowager Ci Xi ordered to rebuild it with a stupendous sum of money. There are more than 3,000 palace buildings of various forms here. In addition, a 728-meter long corridor is the most attractive. More than 14,000 color paintings are painted on this corridor. The content includes flowers and birds, landscapes, stories, etc. Standing in the long corridor, you can not only enjoy the beauty of the Summer Palace, but also feel the exquisite skills of ancient Chinese painters. Except for the buildings, the water area of the Summer Palace is as high as three-quarters of the entire garden area, which is Kunming Lake. There are three islands in the lake, which were once believed to be the place where immortals lived.  

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will head for Mutianyu Great Wall after about 75 minutes’ drive (74 KM) from the Summer Palace. As a symbol of China and of Beijing, the Great Wall is a wonder in human history. Its construction began in the 7th or 8th centuries BC and continued for over 2,000 years to complete with a total length of 50,000 km making it well worth its fame as the longest military defense project in the world. Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the famous and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall with a length of 5,400 meters. The view on the Great Wall is breathtaking as you can see the lush vegetation from a pretty high viewpoint and the Great Wall twisting ahead. If you choose to take the chairlift up to the Great Wall and then you can choose to take a toboggan down from the top to have fun and save energy. After a wonderful time at Mutianyu, you will get back to your hotel.


mutianyu-great-wall, Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer-palace, Beijing
The Summer Palace
Day 3 BeijingXi’an
The Temple of Heaven, Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, from Beijing to Xi'an

After breakfast, you will first be visiting the Temple of Heaven, which was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1998. Covering an area of 2.7 million square meters, the temple was built in 1420 AD and served as the place where emperors worshiped heaven and prayed for good harvests. It is the largest and best-preserved architectural wooden complex for sacrifice in China. Inside the Temple of Heaven, there are many interesting sightseeing points that wait for you to explore. Echo Wall is, for example, a famous place to visit. If you stand at the east of the wall and your friend stands at the west, however little the sound is if you whisper a word, your friend will hear clearly what you say. Isn’t it interesting? The phenomenon utilizes the theory of sound waves.

Then you will visit Tian’anmen Square. Standing at the center of Beijing, it is the symbolical place. Covering 440,000 square meters, which is about the size of 60 soccer fields, the square is spacious enough to accommodate a million people at one time. Along Beijing central axis inside the square from north to the south stand the national flag pole, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, and the Zhengyangmen Tower. Every morning, there are many visitors arriving here early and waiting to watch the national flag raising ceremony. In addition, the celebration of the National Day holiday is also centered here. The scene is quite spectacular when it happens.

The last stop is the Forbidden City (closed each Monday). It is located on the central axis of Beijing, just next to Tian’anmen Square. Also known as the Palace Museum, it used to be the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912). There are over 8,000 halls and rooms in the Forbidden City, all laid out in a precise manner along the center axis or to its sides. The ancient Chinese knowledge of Fengshui is hidden everywhere in the Forbidden City. If you are interested in this ancient Chinese knowledge, feel free to ask anything that you are interested to your guide. A fun fact is that there are many cats inside that are descendants of cats in the Ming Dynasty. Because of the protection of these cats, there is not a single mouse left to undermine these giant wooden-structural palaces. If you are lucky, you might take pictures with these cats.

After having lunch, your trip to Beijing is going to end for a while but your next stop of this adventure tour will soon start again in Xi’an, one of the four great ancient capitals of China. Our guide and driver will take you to the railway station and you will take the estimated high-speed train G349 15:13/19:42 to Xi’an. When you get off the train, your Xi’an guide will pick you up at the station and take you to the hotel. Have a good rest to restore your energy for the next day.



Forbidden City
Tiananmen-Square, Beijing
Tian'anmen Square
Day 4 Xi’an
Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall

After breakfast, it will take about an hour’s drive (41 KM) from the downtown area to visit one of the Eight Wonders of the World, Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The discovery of it is an accident. A farmer was drilling a water well when he discovered broken pottery figurines and immediately brought them to the experts. The excavation of the Terracotta Warriors started from then on. The museum is in fact the funerary pits of the Emperor Qin Shihuang. The Emperor Qin Shihuang initiated the construction plan when he ascended the throne at the age of 13, burying tons of treasures and sacrificial objects to accompany him in his afterlife. The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. The warriors, chariots, horses, and officials all have varied heights, uniforms, and hairstyles according to their ranks. They are valuable sources for archeologists and a testament to the ancient Chinese sculpture technique.

After lunch, with an hour’s drive back (45KM) to Xi’an, you will first visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is also a symbol of Xi’an. It is located in the Ci’en Temple, 4 KM from the city center. The pagoda was built in 652 AD for the purpose of enshrining and storing Sanskrit scriptures and relics of Buddha. It was designed by the first abbot of the temple, Master Xuanzang, since his return from Tenjiku (ancient India). It is worth mentioning that it was along the Silk Road which started from Chang’an (ancient Xi’an) that Xuanzang had chosen to take in his pilgrimage towards Buddhism. The book Pilgrimage to the West (Journey to the West or Monkey King) in the Tang Dynasty is heard of by many foreigners and it is precisely based on this journey to India.

After learning about the temple and its story, you will then visit the ancient City Wall. Located in central Xi’an, the wall totals 13.9 km, with an average height of 12 meters, and a width of 15 to 18 meters. Among China’s hundreds of ancient city walls, the ancient City Wall in Xi’an is the most complete city wall that has survived in China. The current city wall built in the Ming Dynasty under the order of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang was constructed and enlarged based on the imperial city wall of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). The wall includes moats, drawbridge, building gate, towers, fortresses, parapet, and a series of other military facilities

Optional Activities:

  1. To have a better experience on the wall and gain a nice view of the city, you can rent a tandem bicycle with your friends or families and ride around on the wall.
  2. To spend your night at Xi’an, you can consider it a good option to go to the Muslim Quarter. It is a Muslim community that contains many streets, residential buildings, restaurants, and stores. Walking along the twisted, narrow streets, you can sense the strong Muslim culture and also the smell of tasty snacks. Gathered here are almost all of the local famous dishes: flatbread in mutton soup, Xi’an meat burger, cold noodles, and Biangbiang noodles, etc. You surely can find at least one kind of food that suits your appetite.
  3. Spending time at the Grand Tang Mall is also a good option. It can also be translated as the great Tang city that never sleeps, which exactly depicts how prosperous the Tang Dynasty was back then. Today’s Grand Tang Mall is a 1,500 meters-long pedestrian street. At night, all lights are lit up so you can enjoy a colorfully painted scroll of trees and architecture decorated with LED light strips in various shapes. You may also get a chance to watch tumbler performances or band shows on the street to have real relaxation here. In addition, famous local dishes and snacks are also easily accessible there, making the night even better.
City-Wall, Xi'an
City Wall
Big-Wild-Goose-Pagoda, Xi'an
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 5 Xi’anZhangjiajie
From Xi'an to Zhangjiajie

On this day, you will leave this ancient city of Xi’an and head for another wonderland, Zhangjiajie. After breakfast and having all things sorted out, your guide will take you to the airport and you will take the estimated flight 3U3271 14:35/16:05 to Zhangjiajie. When you arrive at Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport, your guide there will also hold a welcome board and wait for you there. He/She will then take you to the hotel. The rest of the time is all yours.

Located in the northwest of Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie boasts of world-renowned natural scenery and thus is famous for its thriving tourism. There are many attractions worth visiting like Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve. The terrains here are so varied including mountainous regions, upland areas, plains, and Karst rock areas that people who have visited it are all fascinated by its unique landscape.

Day 6 Zhangjiajie
Yuanjiajie, Bailong Elevator, First Natural Bridge, Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, Fascinate Platform, Backyard Garden, Tianzi Mountain, Ten Miles Gallery

After breakfast, you will first visit Yuanjiajie. Situated in the north part of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiajie covers a total area of about 1,200 hectares and has an average elevation of 1,074 meters. To arrive at the Yuanjiajie Scenic spot, you will take Bailong Elevator. It is magnificent, with a vertical height of 335 meters and a running height of 326 meters. Dubbed “the world’s highest outdoor elevator” by the Guinness World Records, the elevator shows a perfect combination of natural beauty and man-made wonder. Thanks to it, what would take more than five hours’ drive is shortened into just 92 seconds; it is a miracle itself. Its construction began in September 1999 and the elevator was completed and put into trial operation in April 2002.

When arriving at the main zone of Yuanjiajie, you will see a series of interesting scenes including the First Natural Bridge, Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, Fascinate Platform, and Backyard Garden. They will be introduced to you one by one. The First Natural Bridge is a 350 meters-high natural stone bridge that Nature’s uncanny workmanship has created by using a piece of 5 meters-thick natural stone to connect the east and west peaks. Walking on the bridge, you will be amazed by the rolling water under your feet and the magnificent mountains around, and yet your body will inevitably tremble and your legs may shake because of the height and adventure. Avatar Hallelujah Mountain was originally named the Southern Sky Column. Its current name derives from the American sci-fi blockbuster Avatar. The Hollywood photographer Hanson took many landscape images in Zhangjiajie that later became the prototype for the elements of “Planet Pandora” in Avatar. Millions of Avatar fans are thus drawn to Zhangjiajie, the original home of the Hallelujah Mountains. This vertical quartz-sandstone pillar is peculiar in shape and stretches into the air as high as 1,080 meters, exuding a sense of mysterious and indomitable spirit. Fascinate Platform is an observation platform where you can have a panoramic view of the stunning landscape surrounding you. You will be fascinated by what you will see, and that is how its name comes from. Backyard Garden is a typical Wulingyuan composite landscape. Here you can see many peaks in different shapes: some have the appearance of towers, or pavilions, or stools, or chairs, while others resemble bonsais or statuaries.

Having visited the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, you will then go to Tianzi Mountain by taking an environmentally friendly bus. The word “Tianzi” means the Son of Heaven. It comes from the leader of the Tu ethnic group who led a revolution and called himself Tianzi. The Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve with an area of 100 square kilometers is formed by 318-million-year-old sedimentary rocks. As time passes by, these rocks are eroded by water and wind, and slowly turned into quartz stones, thus offering you a stunning view of mountain peaks. Here you can enjoy various interesting scenes including Fairies Presenting Flowers, He Long Park, Imperial Brush Peak, and Terrace for Mustering Officers, etc. Our guide will introduce them to you and tell you why they are called in this way. After appreciating these views and learning about these stories, you will take a cable car to get off the mountain. The aerial tramway is 2,084 meters in length. While sitting in the cable car, you will have a thrilling and exciting experience again during the cable car ride especially when the fog is around.

The last stop of today is the Ten Miles Gallery, one of the must-visit attractions in Zhangjiajie. It is like a seductive meandering forward extension gallery stretching for 10 li. Li is a Chinese measurement unit that is translated into miles. You will take the mini train and enjoy lush green mountains, red flowers, clear waters and the blue sky. They form a picture just like a Chinese painting. Along the trip, you will see a series of attractions with interesting names including an old man gathering herbs, three sisters, etc. They are either related to an ancient Chinese story or resemble some peculiar shape and thus got their names.

Bailong-Elevator, Zhangjiajie
Bailong Elevator
Tianzi-Mountain, Zhangjiajie
Tianzi Mountain
Day 7 Zhangjiajie
Baofeng Lake, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

After breakfast, you will be first appreciating the beauty of Baofeng Lake on a boat. Listed as the world natural heritage and the national 5A level tourist attraction, the lake is 72 meters deep and 2,500 meters long and is the only water-themed scenic area in Zhangjiajie. The widely-known Chinese TV series Journey to the West has its many shots taken here, including the splendid view of Baofeng Waterfalls pouring down to the floor. Water Curtain Cave, home of the Monkey King, is located here. A Chinese poem goes that Baofeng Lake is like a mirror, embellished around with green hills and deep caves of enchanting beauty. Enjoying the scenery of Baofeng Lake on a boat ride is a leisurely experience and you could also enjoy the reflection of the marvelous stone peaks and lush trees around. It will make you once again awed by the nature’s mighty ability to create such a marvelous picture. You may have a chance to see the beautiful girls of the Tu ethnic minority singing songs on a raft.

The next place you will visit is Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a natural wonderland incorporating mountains, streams, caves, cliffs, and forests that covers a total area of over 60 square kilometers. The lush vegetation, refreshing air, and visible mist on the streams will help you get rid of all the unhappiness in the world. In the canyon, you can experience many fun activities such as walking through a Strip of Sky, a narrow valley, and enjoying the unique karst landform. As you walk, you can see that the world’s highest and longest glass bridge is suspended over the canyon. That is Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, a well-known exciting scenic spot at home and abroad. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is 430 meters long, 6 meters wide, and 300 meters high, hanging over the two ends of the valley. Standing on it is like floating in the air, your legs may uncontrollably shake and body trembling. It definitely will be counted as one of the most thrilling things you have done if you can just walk on the transparent glass from the beginning to the end. Heart beating as the experience is, it will award you by offering you a bird’s-eye view of the entire canyon and inducing you to feel how marvelous the primeval natural environment is and how brave you are to feel it at such a height.

Baofeng-Lake, Zhangjiajie
Baofeng Lake
Zhangjiajie-Glass-Bridge, Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiejia Glass Bridge
Day 8 ZhangjiajieShanghai
From Zhangjiajie to Shanghai

On this day, you will say goodbye to the wonderland of Zhangjiajie for a while. Do not worry though, the next place waiting for you to explore is another totally different situation. After breakfast, your guide will take you to the airport and you will head for Shanghai by taking the estimated flight MU5196 12:30/14:30. Your Shanghai guide will wait for you at the Shanghai airport and take you to the hotel after picking you up. You can arrange your free time as you wish.

Shanghai, in contrast with the natural environment in Zhangjiajie, is full of modern atmosphere. It is an international city located in the east of China with many world-famous landmarks such as the Jin Mao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Lujiazui Financial Center. Already being well-known for its wide openness and role as the economic, financial, and innovative center, it is now drawing much attention for its strength in tourism.

Day 9 Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Garden, Shanghai Tower, the Bund, Nanjing Road

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at the hotel. The first stop of today is the Jade Buddha Temple. Situated in the bustling downtown area of Shanghai is a tranquil place famous for its Buddhist culture. The temple was rebuilt on the present site in 1928 and renamed the Jade Buddha Temple. Inside the temple, there are many Buddha figures and artifacts that convey the valuable essence of Buddhism. Nowadays, it has been an important window for the city’s friendly exchanges with the world. Almost all foreign visitors to Shanghai go to the temple including some government dignitaries and well-known people, such as the wife of former US President Reagan, the wife of the President of Brazil, and the UK Princess Margaret.

About half an hour’s drive from the temple, you will next visit Yu Garden (closed each Monday). Covering an area of 20,000 square meters, it was originally a private garden built in the Ming Dynasty by the Pan family. Yu means peace and happiness in Chinese, so the garden was designed to ensure that the elderly in the family could have a peaceful, satisfying life in their remaining years. Yet this garden also went through a lot of trials and turbulence before it was opened to the public in 1961 after renovation. The whole garden is characteristic of the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty, as can be seen from the chambers, pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds, and cloisters. There are 48 masterly partitioned scenic spots in the garden, providing visitors a different scene at every step.

After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will head for Shanghai Tower as the first stop in the afternoon. As China’s tallest building, Shanghai Tower is located in the center of Pudong District and is a local landmark that can be found in every tourist’s itinerary. It is 632 meters high with 127 floors above ground, 5 basement levels, and 5 podium floors. From the exterior, you can see that it is quite bizarre because the building soars into the sky in a spiral way. That is because typhoon is not a rare thing in Shanghai and this kind of design is to offset the wind effect on floors in higher altitude. When taking the elevator to the 118th or 119th floor, you will gain access to the world’s highest indoor observation deck. It provides you with the kind of height that allows you to have all of the sceneries in Shanghai included in your eyes. The Huangpu River, the Bund, and the many skyscrapers under the sunset constitute a splendid modern city picture.

Having enjoyed the beauty of this city in a panoramic view, your next stop is the Bund to see this city in a closer way. As a display card known to people all over the world, the Bund is a waterfront with a length of 1.5 kilometers in total. It is also one of the best places to enjoy the night views of Shanghai and feel the real charm of the city as a metropolis. Standing in the Bund are 52 classical buildings in different architectural styles, due to which it earns itself a reputation of the museum of international architecture. Strolling along the Bund, you will see the attractive sight that the city is radiating and illuminating at night.

Starting at the Bund, Nanjing Road is the next stop to visit. As one of the ten commercial centers in Shanghai, it consists of East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road. Most of Shanghai’s oldest and largest department stores are located here. Yet nowadays a lot of domestic and international fashion brands have opened their stores here. The convergence of conventional and contemporary styles has added a unique charm to this century-old street. Strolling on the street, you will be in a lively mood amid the open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and beautiful melody from street musicians. The night view here is also marvelous with flashing neon signs illuminating the magnificent buildings and exposing the night skyline of this vigorous city.

Optional Activities:

  1. While you are around the Bund at night, why not have a Huangpu River Night Cruise to further explore the charm of this city and enjoy 60 minutes’ leisure time on the water? It is different, though, to watch the night view around on a cruise than on the deck. You will see the reflection of the dazzling lights from the far side of the river floating in the river as well as the reflection of those magnificent building groups. Together, they make up the best night scene of Shanghai.
  2. In Shanghai, there is a famous Acrobatic Show: ERA - Intersection of Time (19:30-21:00) that is worth spending some time and energy on. Chinese acrobatics is a two-thousand-year-old art that lights up the treasure house around the world. It is a highly demanding type of art in that performers, in acrobatic shows, must acquire accurate and precise strength, daring movements, and clever balance in motion to bring the audience a perfect show. This Intersection of Time show uses many high-tech means to create amazing and magical effects and will surely blow your mind about what an authentic Chinese acrobatic show looks like.
nanjing-road, Shanghai
Nanjing Road
the-Bund, Shanghai
The Bund
Day 10 Departure
You will fly back your home

Your China Adventure Tour will eventually be close to an end on this day. Your guide will take you to the airport and it is time that you fly back to your sweet home. We are sure that this ten-day’s visit to China has refreshed your recognition of China and brought you more knowledge about this country. Any suggestion you would like to put forward during this trip will be readily listened to by us. As a country with over 5,000 years’ history and 9.6 million square kilometers, China has so many distinctive cultures and landscapes worth to be further explored. If curiosity and adventure spirit once again direct you to visit here, we will be very happy to serve you and meet any demand you have during the trip. We wish you a nice and safe journey back home and we are looking forward to meeting you again.


Editor: Jingjing Liu
Proofreader: Betsy He

This tour ends here
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