20 Days Beijing-Xi’an-Dunhuang-Turpan-Urumqi-Yangtze River-Shanghai

This 20-day comprehensive China tour combines the exploration of Chinese history, culture, Silk Road with enjoyment of the natural beauty by adding the relaxing Yangtze River cruise. It makes an incredible tour for Silk Road culture lovers.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the Old Beijing on your feet, visiting original hutongs and quadrangle courtyards
  • Meet the Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi’an
  • Immerse yourself into the stone carving art of Mogao Grottoes
  • Try your hands at Xinjiang dishes in a local family
  • Uncover the mystery of making the popular crusty pancake – Nang
  • Take an enjoyable Yangtze River cruise
  • Experience the charm of old Shanghai during an in-depth Bund visit

Customizable Tour Itinerary

Welcome to Beijing, welcome to China. After landing, you will meet our guide at the airport arrival hall with your name sign. You will be transferred to the hotel by a comfortable vehicle with private driver. The guide will be ready to help you from the very start to the end of your Beijing tour.

Meals: No meal, advice freely available

  • Hotels: Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, Regent Beijing, Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing, Beijing Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel

As the gate of the imperial city of Ming and Qing Dynasty, Tian’anmen Square plays an important role of guarding. Walking through the square stands the Forbidden City. You can really feel its glory in the past when you are in the elegant and orderly courtyard with high walls.

If you feel regretful not seeing the whole Forbidden City, Jingshan Park is a good choice for you. Go atop to the pavilion, you will get a panorama of Forbidden City. It is said to be the charitable 360-degree observation deck due to its cheap entrance fee. The whole day tour ends with the walking in Hutong area with local family visit.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch in Jindingxuan Dim Sum Restaurant with a la carte menu

Feature Dinner option: Peking Roast Duck(Dadong Peking Duck, Qianmen Quanjude Peking Duck), Fangshan Restaurant, Mei Family Restaurant, Bai Family Restaurant)

Optional evening activity: Kungfu Show or Peking Opera

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Tian’anmen SquareTian’anmen Square

Do you know that the Temple of Heaven is larger than the Forbidden City, with an area of 2,700,000 square meters? It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings. Morning exercise is very popular. Take a Taichi lesson with a master here.

Your China tour is not completed if you do not visit the Great Wall in Beijing. There are several parts of Great Wall in Beijing. The one you will visit today is the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. Cable car, chairlift and toboggan are available here, both for fun or energy-saving. I strongly suggest you to try the toboggan if you want to experience something exciting.

After the tour, your guide and driver will transfer you back to the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven

After breakfast, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, one of the World Heritages in Beijing. You will visit the park with the Garden of Virtue and Harmony and have a 10 minutes' boat cruise on the Kunming Lake if you like. Lunch will be arranged in a local restaurant near the Summer Palace.

After that, drive to the train station in Beijing and take the bullet train to Xi’an, a city tells the history of China.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian, Wyndham Grand Xian South
Summer PalaceSummer Palace

Terra-Cotta Warriors may be just a simple word to you before coming to China. Today you will see it in person. It is a large-scale imperial grave found by a local farmer in 1974.

Return to the city area after lunch to visit Muslim Quarter, where you can search for so many local specialties. Hidden in the Muslim quarter, there is a Great Mosque. With three courtyards, the whole building forms a powerful and magnificent classical building complex.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Terra-Cotta WarriorsTerra-Cotta Warriors

With a history of 650 years, Xi’an Ancient City Wall is the best preserved ancient wall in China. Riding a bike on this non-traffic wall is a special experience. You could see this ancient city from different angles on the wall. Follow on is a visit to a local family and learn to make Chinese dumplings on your own. They are as good, though not better than, as those in the local restaurants I believe. Bid Wild Goose Pagoda is your last stop before leaving Xi’an. It is directed construction by Xuan Zang (a monk in Tang Dynasty) to preserve the Buddhist scriptures brought back via the Silk Road.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Xi’an Ancient City Wall Xi’an Ancient City Wall

A direct flight will take you from Xi’an to Dunhuang. Rest of the day is left for you to arrange.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
  • Hotels: Grand Soluxe Hotel Dunhuang, Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel

The Mogao Grottoes, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site in the city of Dunhuang, is a treasure house of Buddhist art. Despite years of erosion, the murals are still brightly colored, with clear lines. Run or go for sand skiing and ride a camel at the Singing Sand Mountains. Crescent Spring at this area is in a natural lake in the desert with the shape of half-moon, hence the name.

Shazhou Night Market is also unmissable. Feast your taste bud with the local specialties and have a closer view of the night life here.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
The Singing Sand MountainsThe Singing Sand Mountains

Yumen Pass used to protect and ensure the safety and smooth travels for passing caravans, and visitors in and out of China via ancient Silk Road. Now it is just a mud brick gate and an ancient castle with many historical stories.

Continue your tour to Great Wall of Han Dynasty, which was built to defend the invasion of Xiongnu (the Mongol Empire of the time). Go admire the charm of the painted sculpture and murals in Western Thousand-Buddhas Cave.

Afterwards, the guide will take you to the train station in Liuyuan (about 2 hours’ drive). A bullet train travel is arranged for you to Turpan.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
Western Thousand-Buddhas CaveWestern Thousand-Buddhas Cave

Located in the boundless bleak Gobi desert, Gaochang Ancient City is one of the treasures of world religions and cultures and then go to Tuyugou Canyon and Maza Village, which retains many Muslim features with Islamic green-topped mosques towering above the adobe houses.

Step in a local Uyghur family, talk with the locals and learn to cook some Xinjiang dishes with the host. Enjoy the lunch cooked by your own hands. If you travel around the end of August and beginning of September, you will have the chance to pick the sweet and juicy grape in the local family.

If the day tour is not enough, you may take a local carriage and visit the local night market, where you will experience the local life.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Gaochang RuinsGaochang Ruins

‘Jiaohe’ refers to the two rivers that join together in the southern part of the town. The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe is the largest, oldest and best preserved raw earth building city in the world and is also the most complete urban relic preserved in China for more than two thousand years.

Suleiman Minaret was built by Duke Suleman to honor his father, Duke Emin, who had traveled to Mecca and helped to defeat a rebellion in the Qing Empire. Be amazed by Karez Well, the crystallization of wisdom of the ancients. It is a special irrigation system in desert area, which is widely used in Turpan area of Xinjiang, China.

On the way to Urumqi, you will pass through the Flaming Mountain, one of the hottest places in China.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Hilton Urumqi Hotel, Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
The Karez WellsThe Karez Wells

Heavenly Lake is a natural scenic spot with high mountain lake as the center. The surrounding snow-capped peaks are magnificent. Appreciate the beauty of the Heavenly Lake in a different way by taking a relaxing boat cruise.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Heavenly LakeHeavenly Lake

After breakfast, go gain some knowledge of Xinjiang history, culture and trade by visiting Xinjiang Museum. Bazaar means a fair or a market in Xinjiang area. In Xinjiang, the most famous Bazaar should be Erdaoqiao Bazaar, a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and many antique items. Besides, you can also see grand ethnic songs and dances performances, and the folk street furnished with a miniature landscape of Xinjiang's attractions.

Continue to visit a Nang local shop and unveil the secret of making this special crusty pancake. It is a great chance to know the local life and culture by chatting with the shop owner. Have the whole city of Urumqi before your eyes on the top of Red Hill Park.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Xinjiang MuseumXinjiang Museum

Meet the guide at the hotel lobby and be ready to depart to the airport for the flight to Chongqing, where you will board the Yangtze River cruise ship.

Upon arrival, a warm smile from the guide is waiting for you. Before boarding the ship, you will do some exploration in Chongqing city. Start from Chongqing Monument for Liberation, the only national monument in China commemorating Chongqing's great contribution to the country for the victory of the Chinese nation's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Besides, you could feast your stomach here with various local specialties. Continue to Ciqikou Old Town, the epitome and symbol of the ancient city of Chongqing and is praised as "Little Chongqing".

After the tour, you will head to the dock to board the cruise ship.

Accommodation: We will choose the ship based on your schedule and your preference.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Century Legend
Yangtze RiverYangtze River

You will enjoy a free morning appreciating the scenery along the river. In the afternoon, take a short excursion to Shibaozhai - a marvelous red pavilion with a walkway to the top of a solitary hill, where you could enjoy the panorama of the surrounding area.

An optional tour to Fengdu Ghost City awaits those who are interested in mysterious things.

The whole day will end with a welcome banquet dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
Yangtze River cruiseYangtze River cruise

Three Gorges Dam Site is the highlight of the day, and even the whole Yangtze River cruise. Go atop to Tangziling Ridge, where you have the best photography opportunity of the dam.

After the tour, take the flight to Shanghai. 

Notes: On your departure day from the Yangtze Cruise tour, you need to prepare to check out and disembark in Maoping Port before 8:00am. The cruise company will take care of your luggage transfer from Maoping to the Yichang Sanxia Tourist Center (No. 9 dock, face to Wal-Mart). The cruise company will provide the luggage voucher which you need to show later when you can collect your luggage in Yichang. You will take a bus from Maoping Port to visit the famous Three Gorges Dam Site at 08:00am-10:30am, and then take the bus (90mins) to Yichang Sanxia Tourist Center (No. 9 dock, face to Wal-Mart). Bus fee is included.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: The Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel, Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai, Central Hotel Shanghai

Yuyuan Garden of Shanghai is a pearl of classical gardens in southern area of the Yangtze River built in 1559 in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) with a history of more than 400 years. Stroll in it and feel its tranquility and history. City God Temple is a holy land for praying with a long history, where people can feel the local religious culture. Feel the rich culture mixed with local Shanghai features and French flavor and appreciate the various types of buildings at French Concession before lunch. 

With the fastest lift which can send passengers up to the 546 meters (1,791 ft) high sightseeing deck from street level within one minute, Shanghai Tower is a world record holder and a good place for a panoramic view of the Bund. 

The Bund is suitable for visit both at daytime and night. Here you can see locals walking, jogging, practicing Tai Chi or flying kites. Getting up early and joining them is a pleasant thing to take in the real lifestyle of locals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Din Tai Fung with a la carte menu

Feature Dinner Option: Nan Xiang Mantou Dian, Green Wave Gallery, Lost Heaven-Yunnan Restaurant Bund Branch

Optional evening activity: Era Time or Shangcheng Acrobatic Show

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower

Enjoy a leisure free day on your own before going back home.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
the Bundthe Bund

This is the end of your Silk Road tour plus the relaxing Yangtze River cruise. Be ready with your packed luggage and wait for the guide at the hotel lobby. The guide will take care of the airport check-in. See you next time.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
Shanghai Shanghai

Price Includes

  • In-country transportationas noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses as noted in the itinerary.
  • Luxury or boutique hotels centrally located.
  • Meals in local restaurants as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water.
  • Your own English-speaking guide service.
  • Your own chauffeur and vehicle service.

Price Excludes

  • International transportation.
  • Chinese tourist visa. (which enquired for most foreign passport holders)
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • Meals, snacks, alcohol, etc. apart from those included in the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Sights, excursions and activities not included in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to guide and driver.


This tour is tailor-made and we can tailor to meet your reqeusts. Your personal travel consultant will contact you within 24 working hours!


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

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