12 Days China Train Tour with Cultural and Natural Highlights
Tour Code: CTT15
Tour Duration: 12 Days
Destination: Beijing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Xi'an, Yangshuo
Tour overview: China is a surprisingly affordable destination, and by choosing to take a train between destinations, it is even more so. This itinerary takes you through some of the most important cultural and natural sites in all of China. You will see incredible historic sites such as The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. You will also see the incredible scenery that has made Guilin a favorite destination for millennia. In Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Beijing, you will see the hopping modernity that China has.
- Tour Summary
- Day by Day Itinerary
|Tour Dates||Destinations||Services Provided||Meals Included|
|Day 1||Beijing||Arrive in Beijing, be met and transferred to hotel. Details...||/|
Full day visit The Temple of Heaven , Tiananmen Square , Forbidden City .
Full day visit Badaling Great Wall , Ming Tombs , The Sacred Way .
|Day 4||Beijing/Xi'an||In the morning, take a Hutong Tours in Rickshaw , visit Xiushui Street and Summer Palace .Then be transferred to railway station to take Overnight train to Xi'an. Details...||B,L|
Arrive at Xi'an in the morning, be transferred to your hotel. Visit Ancient City Wall , Bell Tower , Big Wild Goose Pagoda .
Morning visit The Terracotta Army and Horses and Huaqing Palace .Then be transferred to airport and take flight to Guilin. Arrive in Guilin, be met and transferred to hotel.
Full day tour for Li River cruise and West Street .In the afternoon, you will take car or bike to the countryside, visit the local farmer's family. Stay overnight in Yangshuo.
|Day 8||Yangshuo/Guilin/Guangzhou||Drive back to Guilin, visit Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill . Then be transferred to railway station to take overnight train for Guangzhou. Details...||B,L|
Arrive in Guangzhou, be met and transferred to hotel, then visit Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall , Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family .
|Day 10||Guangzhou/Hong Kong||
Visit Yuexiu Park , Temple of Six Banyan Trees , Western Han Nanyue King Tomb Museum . Then be transferred to railway station to take train to Hong Kong. Arrive in Hong Kong, be met and transferred to your hotel.
|Day 11||Hong Kong||
Half day tour to Victoria Peak , Aberdeen , Repulse Bay .
|Day 12||Hong Kong||Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details...||B|
Price Inclusions and Exclusions
Price IncludeA. Entrance fees：To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Price ExcludeA. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Then you will spend the rest of the day exploring the nearby streets, or resting and catching up on your jet lag.
Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing. In the park nearby local people practice Tai Chi or sing and dance relaxingly. They will invite you to join in with these activities which will become a very worthwhile and unforgettable experience.
After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. (Also Bertolucci's film "The Last Emperor" was produced here). Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way
After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer - although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!
In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs.
You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. Finally, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors and visit one of the spectacular tombs, indeed an underground palace.
Day 4 Beijing / Xi'an (B, L)
Transfer via: Overnight train (soft sleeper class)-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Hutong Rickshaw Tour, Xiushui Street, Summer Palace
We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a men-driven rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people. We will make stops to visit a local family and experience how the people of Beijing live.
Then we will visit the Xiushui Street, which is a market located nearby the embassy area where you can find a number of duplicates of clothing in traditional Chinese style. Here you will mingle with Beijing people, overseas and local art dealers as well as farmers who import goods from the countryside. Therefore you may find some interesting things and enjoy your bargaining with shopkeepers.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, you can spend the whole afternoon to visit the famous royal garden-Summer Palace. In 1888, the notorious Empress Cixi used the money intended for the Chinese Navy to build this opulent summer retreat for herself. Have a lakeside cruise on the lovely Kunming Lake and enjoy the magical views of the temples, pavilions and covered corridors around. Late in the evening you will be transferred to the railway station for your overnight train to Xi'an.
Day 5 Xi'an (L)
Sightseeing: Ancient City Wall, Bell Tower, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
This morning you will arrive in Xi'an, one of the most important cities in China's history. Being the first stop on the Silk Road, Xi'an was the first Chinese city which opened up its doors to the Ancient world since Tang dynasty. You will be met at the railway station and then visit the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall. The wall was built in the Tang dynasty (618 -907) and enlarged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Then we will go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the best-preserved and best-known one among many. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early mornings of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, hence called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.
Our last stop today will be the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xi'an city, it is one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple-Da-Ci-En Temple. There, the well-known Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of Xi'an.
Afterwards you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 6 Xi'an / Guilin (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Huaqing Hot Springs
Today you will experience the highlights of Xi'an. After breakfast you will depart from your hotel and visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the "8 th Wonder of the World", the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire. More than 7000 vivid figures in full battle array are formed for battle in several large pits.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit Huaqing Hot Springs. The Tang Emperor Xuanzong used to spend his wintertime in company of his favorite concubine Yang Guifei here. Entering the West Gate of Huaqing Hot Springs, you will see the delightful gardens of Nine-Dragon Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall with Tang style.
In the evening you will be transferred to the airport and take the flight to Guilin. After your arrival in Guilin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, to enjoy some leisure time for the rest of the day.
Day 7 Guilin / Yangshuo (B, L)
Sightseeing: Li River Cruise to Yangshuo, West Street
Guilin is famous for its picturesque scenery, and the best way to see it is from the deck of Li River Cruise ships. In the morning you will depart from your hotel and be transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise. You will enjoy the unique mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank.
In the afternoon you will disembark at the old town Yangshuo. Having a history of more than 1,400 years, West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo. You will have some time to explore the old town's lovely attractions.
Stay tonight in Yangshuo.
Day 8 Yangshuo / Guilin / Guangzhou (B, L)
Transfer via: Overnight train (soft sleeper class)-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill
This morning we will drive back to Guilin. Start off with visiting the Reed Flute Cave, which is a vast and very impressive cave system. Known as "the Palace of Natural Arts" where you can see beautiful stalactites & stalagmites, it is one of the most famous attractions of Guilin.
Later we'll head for Fubo Hill. There, you can see lots of rock stone carvings & Buddha statues from Tang Dynasty. If you climb to the summit, you will have a wonderful bird's-eye view on Guilin city.
We will continue our tour and visit Elephant Trunk Hill. Located at the conjunction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River, the hill looks very much like a giant elephant with a long trunk drinking out of the river; it is the symbol of Guilin city.
After the tours, you will be transferred to railway station to take overnight train for Guangzhou.
Day 9 Guangzhou (B, L)
Sightseeing: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family
Upon your arrival at the airport you will be met by your local guide. Then you will start your sightseeing tour by visiting Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. It is a magnificent building in the shape of octagon and an important place for large scale meeting and performance. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was built in order to commemorate the contributions of Sun Zhongshan, the great predecessor of Chinese revolution for democracy. It is a memorial construction donated by the people in Guangzhou and the overseas Chinese and is listed as one of the first class cultural relics in Guangdong Province.
Afterwards you will visit the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family which is also called Chen Clan Academy. It is a place both for offering up sacrifices to ancestors and for study. Now the Chen Clan Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou City, the Ancestors' Temple in Foshan City, the former Residence of Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan City and the Opium War Memorial Hall in Dongguan City are regarded as the four major cultural tourist sites in Guangdong Province.
Day 10 Guangzhou / Hong Kong (B, L)
Transfer via: train (soft seat ticket) on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Yuexiu Park, Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Western Han Nanyue King Tomb Museum
In the morning we will start off to Yuexiu Park, the biggest comprehensive sight-seeing park. Yuexiu Park consists of seven hummocks and three artificial lakes. Yuexiu Park is well-known for beautiful hills and waters and plenty of antiques which you can enjoy at ease in the park. There are verdant grasses and trees, birds' singing, and fragrant flowers all through the year. Travelers will lose themselves in the elaborately engraved and Linnan-styled pavilions, platforms, towers, and corridors; and the rippling water of the lakes.
Then you will head to the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. It has a long history in Guangzhou and is an ancient monastery famous at home and abroad. There are majestic towers, dense trees, plenty of antiques and valuable heritage from those famous people in the history. It is one of the four Buddhism temple complexes in Guangzhou is an important unit for the preservation of antiques.
Finally you will visit Western Han Nanyue King Tomb Museum, which is the oldest and largest Han tomb with the most funerary objects in Lingnan (South of the Nanling Mountain) Area. As one of the 80 famous museums in the world, the museum covers 14,000 square meters (150, 699.6 square feet) with 10 exhibition halls.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to railway station to take train to Hong Kong. Arrive at Hong Kong, you will be met by local guide and then be transferred to your hotel.
Day 11 Hong Kong (B)
Sightseeing: Aberdeen, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Abrdeen
Today we will start to explore Victoria Peak first. The Peak is Hong Kong's number one tourist destination. It features the city's oldest mode transport, the 112-year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building and icon, The Peak Tower where you will find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Then you will visit lovely Repulse Bay: Primarily an exclusive residential area, Repulse Bay has a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere. You will find statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen.
The tour will continue with a visit to Aberdeen fishing village where you will enjoy a Sampan Ride on the harbor to get a close-up look at this unusual way of life.
For the rest of the day you will have leisure time to explore Hong Kong on your own.
Day 12 Hong Kong Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
You will have the last hours in Hong Kong for yourself until our guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.
Hello Sandy, Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190214-S Tour Starting Date: Thursday, 14 February 2019
Client's information: Annette Esselborn, Germany
We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.
The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.
Our heartfelt thanks!
Hi Sandie! Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! We are ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190105-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 5 January 2019
Client's information: Nancy Tuksaudom,USA
Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you!
We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.
We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par.
We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc.
I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you.
The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs.
Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)
Hello Sandy, Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip. Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planne... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20181012-S Tour Starting Date: Friday, 12 October 2018
Client's information: Gracie Chan, USA
We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.
Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!
Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.
I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!
My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.
We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.
The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.
Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.
My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.
My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.
The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.
We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?
Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.
We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.
Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?
I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.
Dear Sandy, Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180924-S Tour Starting Date: Monday, 24 September 2018
Client's information: Sergey Shunailov, Russia
It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot. If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot.
If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Hi Sandy, It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang.... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180922-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 22 September 2018
Client's information: Thomas Anthony Lucker, USA
It was great and the guide was tremendous!
It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang. :)
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China an... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180908-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 8 September 2018
Client's information: Robert William Miller, USA
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique.
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China and other countries as well. We didn’t take lunch but asked rather to see another grotto. Would recommend going to the small grotto and then the larger one and then museum in that order.
Custom Tailoring: Design your own tour with our help to meet your unique interests. You don't have to compromise. Do exactly what you want to do! Let us assist you to tailor-make your own China experience.
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What Our Customers Say
Thank you for your request. We had a
wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall.
The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of
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