(Beijing, Xi'an, Longsheng, Yangshuo, Shanghai)
This award-winning adventure will not only open your imagination to the wonders of China, but also packs plenty of thrills. It all begins in Beijing where you’ll lunch at the Great Wall of China, and explore the city’s historic highlights. Then you’ll take the bullet train to Xi’an where you’ll meet the 7000-strong Terra Cotta Army before moving onto the terraced rice paddies and small hillside villages of Longshen. Here you’ll witness the truly remarkable Sister Liu Show that boasts a cast of 500 people in a stunning outdoor setting. Finally, you’ll stop in on the charming farmhouse villages of Yangshuo and to the modern city of Shanghai.
This trip has been expertly designed to suit the active explorer. The focus is on participation, with plenty of bonding experiences on offer. From a Tai Chi lesson, to climbing the cliffs surrounding the Dragon River this is a hands-on trip. But that doesn’t mean it skimps on the luxury. You’ll stay at four- and five-star hotels along the way, including incredible mountain lodges.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Enjoy a full day private guided tour with lunch at the Great Wall at Mutianyu located 45 miles northeast of Beijing. This section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles. Construction was started in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Built mainly from granite with 8 meter walls and 5 meter wide at the top, it is notable for its 22 watchtowers. Lunch is included.
Start the day off in peace, harmony, and good health with a Tai Chi instructor leading you through a one hour Tai Chi session at your hotel or, as part of your tour at one of the most popular venues for public space in all of China, the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven.
This full day of private guided tour explores Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven with a stop for a deluxe lunch. Tiananmen Square was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and stretches a vast 440,000 square meters. The Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty reigned here until 1924. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven.
This full day guided city tour, starts with exploring the Hutongs, a traditional neighborhood of winding laneways and courtyard homes. Stop to have lunch with a local family, providing your family with an opportunity to engage with locals, to watch or help prepare Jaozi – the traditional dumplings of northern China. After a delicious lunch, travel to the Summer Palace – an impressive fusion of classical Chinese architecture, garden design and construction.Enjoy a shared boat trip on the palace’s Kunming Lake.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Transfer from Beijing to Xi'an via the high-speed Bullet Train. The train ride is approximately 6 hours.
The first stop of this private guided bicycle tour is the Terra Cotta Army. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. The tour continues on to the imposing ancient city wall. The walls, ramparts, gates, and watchtowers from one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. They were built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city center. The last leg of the tour is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is a major Buddhist site. The simple, elegant brick pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.
Fly from Xi'an to Guilin. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Transfer from Guilin Airport to Ping'an Village, home of the Longji Rice Terraces, with a private vehicle and driver. Along the way you will pass local farmers and villages of rural China, before entering Longsheng and the Longji Rice Terrace area. From here you will drive into the mountains toward the village, steadily climbing while passing by local minority villages, flowing rivers, and spectacular rice fields. Upon arrival in Ping'an, you will have a 20-30 minute walk through the village to the hotel. Porters will be available to carry your bags for a small fee, but it is also advisable to pack a small overnight bag to reduce the necessity of hiring a porter.
Please note: the walk to the village is uphill via steps and inclined pathways. A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required for this excursion. Please speak with your sales consultant if you have any questions or concerns.
Transfer from Longsheng to Yangshuo with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. On the way, you can spend some time exploring the rice terraces, vistas, and rural lifestyles of Longsheng before going to Yangshuo. A deluxe lunch will be provided at a local restaurant en route.
Enjoy a deluxe local dinner followed by the Sister Liu Show. This spectacle was created by the Oscar winning Zhang Yimou and presents the local culture through a cavalcade of lights and cast of 500 using a private bay as the theatre and local mountains as the backdrop. This is sure to be one of the most memorable activities of your trip.
Experience the local karst scenery at your own pace while exploring the villages and rice farms of the Dragon River area by bike. Stop en route to enjoy lunch next to one of the cliff in this world world-famous rock climbing destination. Get your adrenalin flowing and experience a different view of these unique rock formations under the expert supervision and instruction of internationally trained rock climbing guides. Finish the day at a charming rural farmhouse professionally converted into a gourmet cooking school where you will finish your lesson enjoying the fruits of your labour. Snacks, fruit and bottle water is provided on this tour.
Transfer from Yangsuo to the Guilin airport with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 1.5 hours.
Fly from Guilin to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 2.5 hours.
This evening you will be picked up by a private car to enjoy a deluxe dinner and then watch the spectacular performers of an acrobatic show. The impressive acrobatic feats are hardly credible and are a result of early professional training, starting as young as age six or seven. Most performers have a minimum of twenty years experience.
Today’s full day private guided tour takes you to the Shanghai Museum, the Jade Buddha Temple and the Yu Gardens and includes a deluxe lunch. The Shanghai Museum is a authentic treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses about 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphies are distinctive features of the Museum's collection. The next sight is the Jade Buddha Temple, which is one of the most popular sights in Shanghai containing rare white jade Buddhas brought from Burma in the nineteenth century. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The garden has six areas, each designed in a different style, of which the Grand Rockery located in the center is the most popular.
Enjoy a transfer from central Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide to the Maglev station. From here you will take the train to get to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
The Fairmont Beijing Hotel brings unprecedented luxury and hospitality offering guests a distinctive stay right in the heart of China’s modern capital business center. Located in the central business district, their distinctive collection of comfortable and contended guest rooms, top-end spa treatments, gym facilities, and award-winning restaurants allow their globe-trotting guests to enjoy opulence from all aspects, while on their journey in China’s capital. Continuing The Fairmont Hotel’s global brand of unique hospitality excellence, The Fairmont Hotel Beijing has been recognized in various awards and accolades over the past few years, including Beijing’s Best Business Hotel by TTG Asia 2012, Trip Advisor’s Number One Hotel in 2012, Traveler’s Choice Award in 2013 for Luxury, and Traveler's Choice Award in 2014 for Romance and Luxury.
The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to create a stunning hotel welcoming travelers to the heart of the city. Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower Drum Tower Great Mosque and Forest of Steles. The airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive. All luxury hotel rooms, suites, and apartments indulge with modern conveniences. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccoan Chinese Brazilian and Japanese cuisines in the 5 elegant restaurants in addition to 2 inviting bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.
The Li-An lodge is a unique facility in a traditional Longsheng wooden building, perched on a mountain side. The Lodge is located in Long Sheng County and is about 50 miles northwest of Guilin; roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Due to the lodge’s exclusive location, a half-hour uphill hike is required before one can actually reach it. Porters are available to relieve some burden and sedans can provide one with a ride. Each of the 16 rooms is artistically unique and built in traditional Chinese architectural style, offering all the western amenities. Dine Chinese specialties or western dishes and have a drink at the bar. Lounge around the hotel, enjoy a photography showing and embark on a guided walking tour, highlighting beautiful scenic spots.
Located at the foot of the Green Lotus Peak in Yangshuo, and on the bank of the Li River, Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel is a top luxury hotel integrating the natural beauty of mountains and rivers and the local minority peoples' architectural feature, which is also designed and established according to the standards of the national five-star hotel. The Green Lotus Hotel is adjacent to the ancient Li River Fu'an Wharf, so you can walk on the bank of the Li River without leaving the hotel. In addition, it is only about a one-hundred-step distance from the renowned Yangshuo West Street. The hotel has 333 rooms with most offering views of the river. The hotel also has Chinese and western restaurants with various types of cuisine, bars, and coffee bars. There is an outdoor swimming pool and fully furnished spa centre.
Fairmont Peace Hotel is situated at the famous Bund promenade and unrivaled shopping on Nanjing Road, making it the perfect place to explore Shanghai’s spectacular scenery and vibrant lifestyle. The hotel offers distinctive guestrooms, including luxurious suites, which blends art-deco-inspired furnishings with modern amenities. While keeping the traditions intact, such as the opulence of the signature Chinese restaurant Dragon Phoenix and the esteemed Jazz Bar, Shanghai's premier destination for Jazz, the legendary hotel’s new and contemporary spirit is felt in the elegant Cathay Room and Terrace with spectacular views of Pudong, the chic Cin Cin Bar, the refined Jasmine Lounge as well as the Parisian style Victor’s Café.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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