Take a great trip to China and experience the country's most famous attractions. Trek the Great Wall, explore the world's largest palace, the Forbidden City, view the amazing 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors, and visit Hong Kong and Macau on this comprehensive trip.

Highlights

  • Take a tour of Hong Kong and Macau
  • Explore Shanghai and the water towns of Suzhou and Tongli
  • See the 2,200-year-old Terracotta Army in Xi'an
  • Hike along a section of the iconic Great Wall
  • Visit Beijing's 9,999-room Forbidden City

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Beijing Beijing
Day 2 Great Wall Hiking - Mutianyu Beijing
Day 3 Beijing City Tour: Famous Historical Sites Beijing
Day 4 Beijing - Xi'an by Train Xi'an
Day 5 Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Tour Xi'an
Day 6 Xian to Shanghai by Plane Shanghai
Day 7 Shanghai City Tour Shanghai
Day 8 Suzhou and Tongli Water Town City Tour Shanghai
Day 9 Shanghai to Hong Kong by Plane Hong Kong
Day 10 Hong Kong City Tour Hong Kong
Day 11 Macau City Tour Hong Kong
Day 12 Farewell from Hong Kong  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Beijing's Forbidden City has 9,999 rooms
Beijing's Forbidden City has 9,999 rooms

Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, a private driver will pick you up from the airport, welcome you to China, and transfer you to your hotel.  

Time and energy permitting, you can take a guided evening visit to Wangfujing Street, a vibrant shopping area with a variety of shops, eateries, and boutiques that is also home to one of Beijing's famous night markets. Despite the multitude of modern shops and luxury brands, there are also a slew of traditional shops, which have been here for hundreds of years.

Day 2: Great Wall Hiking - Mutianyu

The hilly Mutianyu section dates to the Ming Dynasty
The hilly Mutianyu section dates to the Ming Dynasty

Today is an especially exciting day for those who have dreamed of experiencing the Great Wall of China, which stretches over 3,852 miles (6,200 km) through deserts, plains, hills, and oceans. Drive one-and-a-half hours to the Mutianyu Great Wall, a restored section of the wall that boasts majestic views of the Chinese countryside.

Located in Huairou District within the city limits of Beijing, Mutianyu served as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. There are 22 watchtowers on this 7,381-foot (2,250 m) section. When you arrive at Mutianyu, you can ride the cable car or take a chair lift up and then walk back down along the wall or take an adrenaline-fueled toboggan ride down from the wall for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Great Wall remains an unmissable part of the overall China experience. 

From Mutianyu, you'll drive to Beijing's Olympic Park to see the exterior of a number of modern masterpieces built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, including the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube

Conclude the day with the Legend of Kungfu Show at Beijing's Red Theatre.

Driving time: 90 minutes
Driving distance: 36 miles (58 km)

Day 3: Beijing City Tour: Famous Historical Sites

Visit iconic sights like Tian'anmen Square
Visit iconic sights like Tian'anmen Square

The Beijing city tour begins with an early morning visit to the Temple of Heaven, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped. As you wander around the temple, it's not uncommon to see local residents doing taichi outside the temple.

Visit the impressive Tiananmen Square where most of China's national ceremonies are held. From the iconic square, you can walk to the splendid Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is a walled city filled with national treasures. This UNESCO-listed site is not only China's largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings but also the largest palace complex in the world. Prepare to be wowed by the sheer number of buildings with red walls and golden roofs.

See how locals live via a rickshaw hutong (alleyway) tour and local family visit. Hutongs, comprised of siheyuans (courtyard homes), once made up the majority of Beijing’s old city planning. The rickshaw ride takes you on an immersive tour to get a wonderful glimpse into traditional Beijing culture while also witnessing the dramatic changes the city has undergone in the last century.

Following the tour, return to your hotel, The evening is free for you to enjoy as you wish. We recommend dinner and a show; options include Peking opera, the breathtaking acrobats, or a kung fu show.

Day 4: Beijing - Xi'an by Train

Three-quarters of the Summer Palace is water
Three-quarters of the Summer Palace is water


In the morning, you will drive to visit the Summer Palace to admire the peaceful lakes, gardens, and palaces dating back to the Qing Dynasty. This was the royal family’s formal residence during the hot summer months, and you'll quickly see why they chose this beautiful area in northwest Beijing to escape the heat. During your tour, you will take a boat ride on the picturesque Kunming Lake.

After a leisurely tour of the Summer Palace, you will transfer to the train station to catch a high-speed train to Xi'an. More than RMB220 billion was spent to build China's high-speed rail system—the largest in the world—that crisscrosses four provinces.

Travel time: 5 hours
Travel distance: 661 miles (1,065 km)

Day 5: Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Tour

The 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors are a sight to behold.
The 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors are a sight to behold.

One of modern history’s most magnificent archaeological sites, the Terracotta Warriors is an army of at least 7,000 soldiers, each with unique facial expressions and poised for battle, The army, part of a massive mausoleum to Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor, is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210-209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. 

After a visit to the Terracotta army northeast of Xi'an, you will visit the Xian Historical Museum to see Little Goose Pagoda and take a calligraphy class.

The day culminates with a visit to Muslim Street in the Muslim Quarter of the city. Located next to the Drum Tower, Muslim Street has a vibrant local market that offers a wide selection of Chinese and Muslim food, goods, and gifts.

Driving time: 45 minutes
Driving distance: 25 miles (40 km)

Day 6: Xian to Shanghai by Plane

Walk or bike along the 8.7-mile (14 km) Xi'an city wall Old City Wall
Walk or bike along the 8.7-mile (14 km) Xi'an city wall Old City Wall
Begin the day with a visit to the South Gate of Xi'an's Old City Wall, one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Walk or bike on the wall, the most complete city wall that has survived in China, while taking in panoramic views of the entire city.

Then transfer to Xi'an Xianyang International Airport for a flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, your local guide will pick you up and transfer to the hotel.

Travel time: 2.5 hours
Travel distance: 844 mile (1,359 km) 

Day 7: Shanghai City Tour

Stroll through the ancient Yuyuan Garden
Stroll through the ancient Yuyuan Garden

Spend the morning touring Yuyuan Garden. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Yuyuan Garden was owned by a government officer named Pan Yunduan who built the garden for his parents. Today, this tranquil, picturesque garden with charming pavilions and peaceful ponds attracts visitors and locals alike who come for the manicured gardens, handicrafts and souvenirs, and restaurants serving traditional items like Shanghai-style fried noodles, xiaolongbao (steamed soup dumplings), and shengjian bao (steamed buns). 

Then, visit the Shanghai Museum, which specializes in ancient artworks of China, The museum's highlights include bronze ware, china, calligraphy, and paintings. Renovate in 1996, the museum is considered one of China's first world-class modern museums. 

Afterward, take a walking tour of the iconic Bund, a waterfront walkway populated with colonial buildings in central Shanghai, and Nanjing Road, the city's main shopping street and one of the world's busiest shopping areas. 

End the day with an elevator ride to the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower for an amazing bird's eye view over Shanghai.

Day 8: Suzhou and Tongli Water Town City Tour

Tongli is one of the most photogenic places in all of China
Tongli is one of the most photogenic places in all of China

In the morning, you will drive to Suzhou, "the Venice of Asia" a short drive west of Shanghai. Suzhou is an ancient city founded in 514 BCE that sits on China's Grand Canal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will visit the Humble Administrator's Garden; the garden demonstrates Chinese garden designers' adept skills for synthesizing art, nature, and architecture to create unique metaphysical masterpieces. 

Next, you will be transferred to the peaceful Tongli Water Town for a boat ride along the tree-lined canals that are flanked by old homes, ancient bridges, and flourishing gardens. 

Driving time: 1.5 hours
Driving distance: 70 miles (112 km)

Day 9: Shanghai to Hong Kong by Plane

Hong Kong offers luxury shopping, Michelin-starred dim sum and more
Hong Kong offers luxury shopping, Michelin-starred dim sum and more

Enjoy free time in Shanghai before transferring to the airport for a flight to Hong Kong, the former British colony at the mouth of the Pearl River

Once you arrive in Hong Kong on the coast of southern China, your local guide will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel.

Travel time: 3 hours
Travel distance: 1,237 miles (1,990-km)

Day 10: Hong Kong City Tour

A tram whisks travelers 1,811 feet (552 m) to the top of The Peak
A tram whisks travelers 1,811 feet (552 m) to the top of The Peak

After breakfast at your hotel, you will embark on a five-hour guided bus tour of the city. 

The fun excursion starts with a classic ride on the Peak Tram to visit Victoria Peak for extraordinary views over the city. There will plenty of time for photos from this vantage point. From here, you will visit Aberdeen Fishing Village (also known as Old Hong Kong) situated on the south side of the island along a naturally-protected harbor. Famous for its colorful floating seafood restaurants, you can choose to ride a sampan, a small, flat-bottom boats operated by locals. 

Next, you will visit the Stanley Market. Located in a quaint village on Hong Kong Island’s south coast, this market is a huge hit with locals, expats, and tourists thanks to its enormous selection of brand-name clothing items, accessories, home furnishings, souvenirs, ornaments, and knick-knacks sold at reasonable prices, not to mention a dizzying array of great eateries to grab a bite. 

Before heading back to the hotel for free time, transfer to Repulse Bay, located in the southern part of Hong Kong Island. Named for a 19th century battle in which the British army repulsed attacking pirates, Repulse Bay is a spectacular place for photos.

Day 11: Macau City Tour

The Venetian Resort is one of many opulent casinos on the Cotai Strip
The Venetian Resort is one of many opulent casinos on the Cotai Strip

Take a high-speed ferry from Hong Kong to Macau for a half-day tour of the former Portuguese enclave mere minutes from Hong Kong.

First, stop to admire the Lotus Flower in Full Blossom, a bronze sculpture of a lotus flower that commemorates the 1999 transfer of the sovereignty of Macau from Portugal to China. You'll also visit A-Ma Temple, a temple in honor of the goddess of fisherman and one of the oldest temples on the island, and the Statue of Kum Lam, which is dedicated to the goddess of mercy. More highlights include the Macau Museum, which showcases the port's origins and traditions, and the ruins of St. Paul, a Spanish-style church that burned in 1835 and all that remains is its iconic façade.

The tour continues over the Macau-Taipa Bridge, which connects the peninsula of Macau and the island of Taipa. After a stop at The Venetian Macao on the Cotai Strip, you will have time to stroll Fisherman's Wharf, an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex along Macau's waterfront.

The tour includes a return via ferry and transfer to your hotel.

Travel time: 1 hour
Travel distance: 37 miles (60 km)

Day 12: Farewell from Hong Kong

Hong Kong is comprised of more than 200 islands, including Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, Lantau Island, and the Kowloon Peninsula
Hong Kong is comprised of more than 200 islands, including Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, Lantau Island, and the Kowloon Peninsula

You will have some free time in the morning before being transferred to Hong Kong International Airport to fly to your next destination.

Map

Map of Discover China, Hong Kong and Macau - 12 Days
Map of Discover China, Hong Kong and Macau - 12 Days