Explore China in the comfort of its outstanding high speed train network, visiting Beijing, Pingyao, Xian and Shanghai. Start your tour in Beijing and visit your China bucket list highlights. Forbidden City, Summer Palace, the Mutianyu Great Wall and much more await. Experience a different China when you arrive in Pingyao, once a commercial capital. Synonymous with stunning ancient architecture and commercial pedigree, Pingyao will surprise and delight. From here you’ll board the bullet train to Xian, home of the famous Terracotta Army, China’s best preserved City Wall, and some of China’s most exciting food. Prepare yourself for hotpots and street food that inspires. The final stop on this 10 day high speed train adventure is Shanghai, a thriving international city that balances the blend of history, culture, and contemporary commercial pursuits to make for enlightening exploration. Visit The Bund, Shanghai Museum, and Yuyuan Garden among many other highlights. Providing ample free time and the chance to enjoy a relaxed travel pace, this bullet train tour includes all accommodation at a choice of four and five star hotels, one night in a soft sleeper on the bullet train, all transfers, daily breakfasts, attentive bilingual guides in every destination, and the option to book additional tour activities. Ready to create your next travel memory? Book this high speed train adventure today!
Arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) or Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) where you’ll be met by your dedicated tour guide outside the baggage claim area. Start the travel adventure as you enjoy the trip to your hotel, learning about the highlights and history of China’s political capital on route. Once checked in, you’re free to settle in, relax, and spend the rest of the day exploring. Be sure to check with your guide for their insider local dining options.
Meals included: None
Your Beijing adventure starts this morning with a visit to the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square. Seriously large, even by China’s standards, Tiananment Square is auspicious, as China’s political heart, flanked by the Great Hall of the People, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, and the National Museum of China. Your guide will lead you across the road the to the awe-inspiring Forbidden City. A culturally historic landmark in Beijing, the Forbidden City seems to go on and on. The detailed planning, careful construction, and symbolic representation of every part of this former residence of Chinese royalty is to be admired. Be prepared to walk in wonder. From the Forbidden City, your guide will lead you to the Summer Palace, highlighting the uniqueness of its elaborate design, beautiful gardens, and the man-made Kunming Lake. It will be easy to imagine Empress Dowager Cixi spending her summers here, overseeing the intrigue and plots that were characteristic of imperial life. Reflect on China’s opening up to the world when you explore the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube – the stadium and pool constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. After a full day of exploring, you’ll be taken back to your hotel. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or the hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Your tour guide may adjust your itinerary due to closure of the Forbidden City each Monday.
China is home to many iconic historical structures and monuments, however few are as remarkable as the Great Wall. Today is your chance to climb the wall at the Mutianyu section and understand a little of its impressive history. A quick stop at the famous local food market Sanyuanli on the way means you can stock up on fruit and snacks for today’s trip. Every section of the Great Wall attracts interest, however the Mutianyu Great Wall is one which is less frequented. Located about 90 minutes drive from Beijing, you can sit back and enjoy being driven, while having the opportunity to ask your guide questions about points of interest along the way. The wall is accessible by cable car and a short trip up provides wonderful views of the surrounding country. It also makes you reflect on this incredible feat of construction, which involved over 800,000 soldiers and civilians. Make like a guard and walk the wall to take in the Ming dynasty guard towers and sensational views. There will be plenty to talk about on the return trip to Beijing. Your afternoon is spent visiting the Confucius Temple, first built in 1302 to honor Confucius and the philosophers who studied Confucianism over centuries. You’ll also visit the Imperial College Museum too and it’s here you’ll learn of its importance to scholars past and present who studied and took exams there to advance their careers. Finish the day’s itinerary by wandering through Wudaoying Hutong and make like a local as you visit the curious shops, cafes, and witness the lifestyle of a unique Beijing community.
Meals included: Breakfast
Every Chinese emperor constructed buildings of importance and Emperor Yongle was no exception. Responsible for the building the Temple of Heaven (along with the Forbidden City), he established it as a pivotal place of worship during his reign, a tradition continued until 1900 by subsequent Ming and Qing emperors. Your guide will explain the significance of the many elements of the temple, each of which was deliberately designed. Learn how ceremonies and rituals were performed, as the emperor and people of the day prayed for good harvests and blessings for the country. Watch locals as they practice Tai Chi, sing, and dance to water calligraphy. Farewell Beijing on the transfer to Beijing West railway station. Your local guide will assist with check in and boarding the bullet train to Pingyao (on a D Series train which travels at speeds up to 250 km per hour). Sit back and relax for the duration of this 4.5 hour train trip that traverses over 600 kilometers. With an afternoon of travel ahead, you can sit back and enjoy the scenery, which highlights the contrast in contemporary high speed development and the slower pace of unchanging Chinese agricultural traditions. On arrival in Pingyao, your local tour guide will be there to meet you and escort you to your hotel. Happy to share their knowledge of favourite foods and restaurants, you can make the most of your first evening in Pingyao.
Meals included: Breakfast
One day in Pingyao and you’ll understand why China’s evolution as an economic power is no mistake. Pingyao’s fame resides in its history as an economic hub and the astute architectural and regional planning evident in the streets and buildings. Your day starts when your guide picks you up from the hotel and takes you to Rishengchang Draft Bank, belived to have been established in 1823 during the Qing Dynasty. Aptly named Rishengchang – literally meaning “Sunrise Prosperity” – Rishengchang Draft Bank is considered the forerunner to China’s modern bank. Even today it remains true to its original style, providing a window into banking operations from previous eras. With a slower pace you’ll find in Beijing, you can wander leisurely along Ming and Qing Street where you can sample street food snacks, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy the unique traditional architecture of the Ming and Qing dynasties that is so beautifully preserved here. Consistent with the financial theme of the day, you’ll visit the Tongxinggong Escort Agency. It seems armored financial guards are not a recent phenomena. You’ll discover how the armed escort service provided by Tongxinggong Escort Agency operated in ancient Chinese dynasties and supported the Pingyao County Government for over 600 years. With a bit of luck, there may be an opportunity to be a bystander to an old Court Trial re-enactment. The day’s itinerary concludes with a climb up the Ancient City Wall. Incredibly, this wall dates back to 1370 and its not hard to see why. The locals must have wanted to enjoy the fabulous views of the ancient town that you’ll discover once there. Enjoy a relaxed dinner at a local restaurant or at the hotel and enjoy an evening stroll out among the locals.
Meals included: Breakfast
There is something special about this corner of China which has much of its history steeped in the merchant families who made good. Today’s exploration is a prime example. After a one hour drive you’ll be taken to the Wang Family Mansion, a grand Qing-dynasty residential compound which took over half a century to complete. The Wang family story is a quintessential rags to riches one, with its ancestors starting out as farmers. Morphing their way into business, construction, and politics, the family eventually built the impressive Wang Family Mansion. Here you can explore the seemingly endless courtyards and marvel at the elaborate and unique architectural design. Ascend to the very top of the wall where the view provides the true perspective of the mansion’s size. Moving to the more ethereal, you will visit the 1400-year-old Shuanglin Temple. It’s here you can travel the journey of Buddha’s enlightenment while you explore the exquisite collection of more than 2000 colored sculptures and wall paintings. Your time in Pingyao concludes today when the local guide takes you to the Pingyao railway station for the bullet train trip to Xian (on a D Series train which travels at speeds up to 250 km per hour). Here you’ll be met by your guide and driven to your hotel to enjoy free time or rest before the next day’s activities.
Meals included: Breakfast
Few sights in China can match the magnitude and awe of the world-renowned Terracotta Army. Considered by historians worldwide to be the largest underground military base in the world, the Terracotta Army defies belief with the thousands of unique life-sized figures, including soldiers, horses, carts and weapons. On return to Xian, enjoy a change of pace as you explore the ancient City Wall, currently the largest and best-preserved wall of its type in China. Enclosing China’s former capital city and almost 14 kilometres long, do a full circuit on a bike (tandems available!) or simply explore on foot, taking time to peak out through the wall as guards did in the past and gain a birdseye view of the city. Spend the afternoon in contemplation at Xian’s Great Mosque. Beautiful gardens and a stunning complex of buildings built mid seventh century, the Great Mosque is the oldest and largest Islamic mosque in China. After just a short time here, you’ll feel you’ve stepped back in time. Follow your nose to Muslim Quarter, which is bustling with authentic eateries and souvenirs. Time to stock up on travel mementos. Ask your guide for their favouriate foodie recommendations before the final destination of the day, the famous Bell Tower and Drum Tower Square. You will be returned to your hotel to relax and reflect on the day’s activities. Step out for your evening meal or dine in at the hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, it’s time to explore the Xian Museum where you’ll discover over 110,000 relics of Chinese history. Complete the Xian leg of the tour by visiting the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, two iconic Buddhist pagodas in Xian. After absorbing the spectacular view from these pagodas (optional in the Big Wild Goose Pagoda), enjoy a meditative walk through the temples and gardens.As the afternoon commences, you’ll be driven to Xian North Station to board the overnight bullet train trip to Shanghai (on a D Series train which travels at speeds up to 250 km per hour).
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Your tour guide may alter your itinerary as the Xian Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Note: The overnight bullet train trip from Xian to Shanghai is a duration of approximately 11 hours. Customers are booked into an overnight onboard cabin where they can sleep comfortably in a soft berth.
Optional tour: There may be an opportunity to enter the top of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda for a spectacular view out over Xian. Ask your guide if you would like to book this optional tour.
Wake up onboard the train and prepare for an early arrival in Shanghai (estimated for 6.20am). Your guide will collect you from Shanghai train station and escort you to the hotel where your luggage can be stored until check in later in the day. You will then be taken by your guide to an authentic Shanghai style breakfast at a local restaurant before commencing your tour of Shanghai.
First stop is the Shanghai Museum, a massive museum housing over 140,000 artifacts, presenting the full history and culture of this cosmopolitan city. You’re welcome to wander on your own or walk with your local guide as they share the Shanghai’s history and culture.
From the Shanghai Museum, you’ll move on to The Bund. Without question, there are few places that capture the intersection of commerce and culture quite like this iconic streetscape. Famous for its location in proximity to the trading centre of Shanghai, the Bund is an outstanding example of colonial Shanghai . Classically beautiful buildings that overlook the Huangpu River add to the old world feel. While shopping may not be your priority, it’s hard to miss the busiest shopping precinct in China, Nanjing Road. A wander through this seemingly infinite shopping precinct will open your eyes to shopping China-style. A place where big is better, you’ll find international brands and high street fashion stores pitched alongside quirky silk traders and tiny hole-in-the-wall shops selling every imaginable thing.
For a total change of pace, you’ll welcome a visit to the Yuyuan Garden. Once the residence of a prestigious local merchant, Yuyuan Garden is thoughtfully designed and beautifully maintained. Here it is a quiet and tranquil and the ideal place to wander in contemplation and perhaps capture some beautiful images.
From here you’ll face the bustle of Shanghai again as you stroll around the nearby Chenghuangmiao bazaars and make a worthwhile detour by visiting the Shikumen Museum in New Spot (XinTianDi) for a true taste of old world Shanghai. Be transported back to Shanghai of the 1920’s and gain an insight into the daily life of people involved in trade and commerce during the period of the Former French Concession.
Make the most of your afternoon by wandering the quieter streets of Dongping Road or Sinan Road in the Former French Concession, where you will find the essence of classic Shanghai captured in this historical retail and residential precinct. Wander past the former residences of famous Chinese politicians and artists and appreciate the architecture and gardens, the style of which date from the 1920s. Your day’s explorations concludes when you are returned to the hotel. Feel free to consult with your guide about options for dinner or and evening show.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: As the Shanghai Museum is closed to public on Mondays, a visit to the Shanghai History Museum is arranged as an alternative.
Note: Depending on availability of rooms at the hotel, it may not be possible to check in on arrival. Luggage will be stored at the hotel until you return there later in the day. There will be an opportunity to refresh at the amenties located in the hotel foyer.
Looking for iconic Shanghai mementos to remember your travel adventure? Talk to your local guide. With personal knowledge of where to find silk, porcelain, and other treasures, your guide can save you time and ensure your purchase is authentic.
Start your day at a leisurely pace until check out, at which time you’ll be collected by your guide and driven you to the airport for travel to your next destination. Alternatively, depending on your flight departure time, your tour guide can accompany you to take the Shanghai Maglev (the fastest commercial high-speed electric train in the world) to the airport as a special experience while your luggage is transferred to the airport by the driver.
Meals included: Breakfast
Travel Note: We love helping our customers make the most of their available travel time. Need helping planning your next destination? We can help. With a network that spans across China, we can take care of every detail and arrange your departure train or flight from anywhere while you’re in China. (A surcharge will apply).
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots and activities specified
- Accommodation: hotels based on double/twin occupancy as specified
- Meals: as specified in the itinerary
- Tour guide: excellent private English-speaking guide
- Transportation: bullet train (D series 200-250 km/hr) between Beijing/Pingyao/Xian (First class seat for Luxury tours; second class seat for Superior tours), overnight bullet train (D series 200-250 km/hr) between Xian/Shanghai. Includes one soft sleeper ticket per passenger. If you’d prefer a private cabin, please let us know and we can arrange an upgrade. Please note that a surcharge will be applied.
- Transfers: land transfer with drivers as specified
- Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
- Government taxes and fees.
- International/domestic flights to Beijing/from Shanghai
- The ticket to enter the top of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
- China visa fees
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of a personal nature
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to protect for any unforeseen circumstances.
Important information – PRIVATE TOUR
- This is a private tour for your group of family or friends. There will be no other travellers in the group apart from you. It’s always available for your schedule!
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Prices based on twin occupancy.
- The prices shown are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival).
- The tour guide may adjust the itinerary due to closure of the museums each Monday.
- Optional tours to Suzhou, Hangzhou or nearby Watertown, and other destinations are also available.
- Any city not included in the existing tour package can be blended into as Private tour.
- Entering and exiting China from Hong Kong and Taipei are also available.
- Stays at entering and exiting cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei) can be extended.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
After purchase, you will receive a receipt and a Purchase Confirmation email with a Passenger Information Form. The Passenger Information Form must be completed within 72 hours of the purchase.
Any special requests, preferences and optional extras MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form. Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges as outlined in the Schedule of Fees below.
On purchasing this tour product, you are bound by the General Terms and Conditions, in addition to the specific terms and conditions outlined in this Important Information.
Please note: online credit card payment and PayPal payments incur surcharges.
Tour Start Dates
Private and custom tours can be scheduled to commence on any day. Multi-day small group tours start on set dates as indicated in the booking calendar for the specific tour.
Cities for Commencement of Tours
Beijing is the city in which multi-day small group tours start. Multi-day tours with set itineraries booked as a private tour, commence in Beijing, unless otherwise arranged with ChinaTours.com. Tours booked as custom tours can start in any destination listed on the ChinaTours.com website.
High Speed Trains
First class seat for five star (Luxury) tour packages and second class seat for four star (Superior) tour packages.
High Speed Train Seat Upgrades
Seat upgrades are available on high speed trains on request at an additional charge and subject to availability. A limited number of first class seats are available on high speed trains. ChinaTours.com cannot guarantee high speed train seat upgrades due to third party or supplier’s shortage.
Transfers from airport to hotel provided as air-conditioned vehicle with driver.
Accommodation options for early arrival prior to commencement of tour are available. Bookings can be made online prior to checkout or arrangements can be made with a ChinaTours.com travel consultant.
Accommodation options for stay behind after completion of tour are available. Bookings can be made online prior to checkout or arrangements can be made with a ChinaTours.com travel consultant.
All ChinaTours.com tour guides are bilingual speakers with intimate knowledge of an area/city, its culture, history, people, and food, which they will share on tour. ChinaTours.com does not operate commission-based shopping tours which means our tour guides do not receive commissions for commission-based shopping stops. Small group and private tour groups of 1-2 (<3) people will be provided with a guide/driver rather than a driver and a guide.
Optional tour activities are available on request. Please contact ChinaTours.com directly to customize your optional tour activities and destinations.
ChinaTours.com selects international four star and five star hotels located in the inner city centre. In small, regional destinations, ChinaTours.com selects the best available hotel.
Bedding included in accommodation is double or twin bedding (subject to availability). Special arrangements available on request; additional charges may apply due to third party or hotel request.
Adjoining/Interconnecting rooms are available subject to passenger’s request. Additional charges may apply due to third party or hotel request.
Pricing for child and infant can be quoted separately.
Infant price is valid for children 0 to 2 years. Child price is valid for children aged 2 to 11 years. Adult pricing apply for passengers aged 12 years and over. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult aged 18 years or over. No unaccompanied minors allowed.
All breakfast included. Lunch and dinner are excluded allowing passengers to make their own selection for lunch and dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on the Yangtze River Cruise only. Lunch provided on the Li River Cruise. Local guides can be consulted to provide recommendations and assist with eating arrangements on request.
Customers are required to provide valid passport details either at the time of purchase or within 72 hours of purchase. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of the booking. In this instance customers will be responsible for any costs and fees incurred.
Passport validity should be at least six months for entering China.
A tourist visa for China is a strict requirement if travelling on a foreign passport.
Please make arrangements for your visa as soon as you receive your documentation to account for any delays due to consulate operating hours.
Gratuities (tips) for services of the tour guide and driver throughout the tour are not included in the tour package price.
ChinaTours.com tour packages do not include travel insurance. We strongly recommend purchase of comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure to provide for any unforeseen circumstances.
Schedule of Fees
For changes to travel arrangements:
- First change – No charge.
- For all subsequent changes – USD50.
- Any charges applied by a third party (for example, airline, cruise company, accommodation provider, other travel provider) cannot be waived.
For China tour Packages, ChinaTours.com charges cancellation fees at a percentage of the total tour package price, which are stated as follows:
- More than 60 days prior to tour start date: 15 percent cancellation fee
- 45 – 59 days prior to tour start date: 20 percent cancellation fee
- 30 – 44 days prior to tour start date: 30 percent cancellation fee
- 15 – 29 days prior to tour start date: 50 percent cancellation fee
- Within 14 days prior to tour start date: 100 percent cancellation fee
Any charges applied by a third party (for example, airline, cruise company, accommodation provider, other travel provider, credit card fee, bank fee) cannot be waived.