This packed itinerary checks off China's top cultural and natural highlights. Visit Beijing to see the Forbidden City and hike along the Great Wall, then take the bullet train to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors. Visit Guilin to see the world's tallest Buddha and enjoy Yangshuo's serene countryside. Tour Chengdu's panda research station before finishing your trip in metropolitan Shanghai.
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September and October are the best months to visit China, when weather is predictably sunny and mild. One exception is the first week of October, when the National Day holiday closes businesses and brings domestic tourists out in droves to popular vacation spots. Spring (April-June) also brings pleasant weather to most of the country, but keep in mind that this is the rainy season for southern China. Winter travel can also be lovely—in January and February, travelers will enjoy ice & snow sculptures in Harbin and many celebrations of the Lunar New Year all over the country.
Where should you go?
For first-timers, a comprehensive tour of China's top sites is recommended—this might include Beijing, Xian, Guilin, and Shanghai. With extra time (see below), you can observe giant pandas and try traditional Sichuan cuisine in Chengdu. The southwestern Yunnan Province is another gem, where you can discover ancient towns hidden in the region's remote corners.
Travelers wanting a deeper dive will have no shortage of options for getting off the beaten path. Consider a cultural excursion to visit the minority community of Guizhou or take a historical journey into Pingyao and the Shanxi Province of northern China. Other places of interest include Shangdong Province, where you can visit Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, and the many heritage sites of Henan Province. For instagram-worthy pictures, beeline to Yellow Mountain and Zhangjiajie, two of China's most photogenic spots.
How many days do you need?
Five days is enough for a whirlwind of China's urban highlights. You can pay quick visits to Beijing and Shanghai, China's political capital and commercial center respectively. If you're more interested in history, combine Beijing with cultural treasure trove Xian instead. A 10-day tour offers a more reasonable pace and many more options—you can easily cover Beijing, Xian, Guilin, and Shanghai (or swap Guilin for Chengdu). Even more ideal is spending 2 weeks or more, allowing for deeper dives into areas of interest and extra time for hidden gems. Add a trip to Suzhou, take a Yangtze River cruise—options are endless, and trips can be tailored to your interests.
Go on an adventure at the top of the world and let ancient Tibetan myths and mysteries enchant you. This 6-day tour includes a thorough cultural and historical exploration of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, and surrounding areas. You'll also get a taste of nature with a trip south to the pristine freshwaters of Yamdrok Lake.
Make the most of your time in Chengdu in Southwest China on this 4-day itinerary. See the Giant Leshan Buddha and Mt. Emei Buddhist sites, then wander through the historic city to see local life and catch a performance at the Sichuan Opera. End your trip with a visit to the Panda Research Base to see the famous animals up-close.
This packed itinerary checks of China's top cultural and natural highlights. Visit Beijing to see the Forbidden City, historical Tiananmen Square, and the nearby Great Wall of China. Take the bullet train to Xi'an to see the Qin Terracotta Warriors, then head to Guilin for nature and local culture. End your trip in the metropolitan Shanghai and explore its busy Nanjing Road and The Bund waterfront, as well as peaceful Yuyuan gardens and artsy Tianzifang neighborhood.
Experience the ancient capitals of China, regarded as the cradles of Chinese civilization. You'll also explore the longest river in Asia on a luxurious river cruise which takes you to one of the world's largest dams. This tour is a great balance of history, breathtaking views, and insight into Chinese culture.
This 8-day tour to Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai shows off China's highlights at a relaxed and comfortable pace. Start in Beijing to see Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, then continue to Xi'an to see the Muslim Quarter and the Terracotta Warriors. End your trip in metropolitan Shanghai to see the modern Bund waterfront, ancient Yu Gardens, and historic French Concession.
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48hours in xian, china, China - Dec 26 - Dec 28, 2018
As a picky and non-speaking Mandarin traveller, I did spend some time searching for the right guide for our Xian trip.
Fortunately, I found KimKim website by chance.
With some basic itinerary in mind already, I emailed KimKim my inquiry to which Max promptly replied within 24 hours. Right after, Max arranged for Eric, our designated local Xian guide, to touch base with me.
Although using the KimKim app was sufficient, I would definitely recommend using the WeChat app as well, which I used... read more
Our trip to china to celebrate our 25th weddind anniversary, China - Oct 10 - Oct 23, 2018
Max, the local specialist, did an outstanding job planning our two week tour through China. We moved around alot during the two weeks (planes, trains, boats, etc) and everything went smoothly. We were always met by local tour guides who ALL did a fantastic job showing us around China. Max put together a fantastic itinerary and even called us in China to make sure everything was going well. We will definately use KimKim again for future travels. (This will be our second trip using KimKim - my family visited Iceland in the summer of 2017). Iceland trip was outsanding too.
China - beijing to shanghai, China - Aug 24 - Sep 12, 2018
We had 20 days in China booked but no time to plan the actual trip so we asked Max from kimkim to choose and book the whole trip for us. We mentions that we are fit and like to walk and want to spend extra time on the Great Wall of China and that we like to experience local activities. Max organised a most amazing tour around China for us, starting in Beijing and ending in Shanghai - exactly to our wishes and needs. The visiting to the Great Wall of China was amazing, we walked in a secluded... read more