With strategic planning you can cover China´s highlights, like Beijing, Xi´an, and Shanghai, in a week. In those three cities alone you´ll find the Great Wall, Terracotta Army, and Yu Garden, a centuries-old green space. Or, if you´re thristing for an off-the-beaten path adventure, consider a sampan ride down the Li River or head to Yunnan, near Tibet, for nature excursions to mystical mountain peaks. Consult the itineraries below to find out which journey is right for you.
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In 10 days you can see China's highlights plus embark on an active adventure, like cycling around rural villages in Guangxi. If you're a history buff, consider a greatest hits tour of Beijing's Forbidden City, a hike along the Great Wall, and a visit to the Terracotta Army in Xi'an. To go off the beaten path, combine the highlights with a cruise down the Yangtze River—and if you're really adventurous, travel from Beijing to Tibet and continue on to Mt. Everest.
With two weeks you can plan a diverse vacation that covers every major area China, plus the Tibetan Plateau. A highlights tour would include the historic sights of ancient capitals like Beijing, Xi'an, and Luoyang. A more rounded itinerary would feature not only historic sights like the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, and Terracotta Army, but you could spend time with giant pandas in Chengdu and experience Tibetan culture in Lhasa. The five itineraries below offer all these options and many more.