Explore China’s iconic historical, cultural, and natural attractions in Beijing, Xian, Guilin, and Shanghai
This tour is named after the first emperor of China who unified the country by force yet contributed civic achievements such as building the Great Wall and standardized writing, weights, and measurements throughout his empire.
Qin is pronounced as “Ch’in” outside the country, which is where the name China originated.
13 Days – Download 4 page pdf Qin – Golden Route Tour
At Access China Tours, all of our China tour packages include all land prices, private accommodation, transportation, expert guides and most meals in China.
Included meals follow the day’s description and accommodation (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
Scroll down for tour price and dates. For more information, please see What is Included in ACT’s tours.
Day 1 Depart North America
Fly to Beijing, China from your nearest airport and via the best routing. We can book your international air individually for your convenience.
Day 2 Arrive in Beijing
Arrive at Beijing Capital Airport, one of the world’s largest and most modern. You are met by Access China Tours service staff and transferred by vehicle to your downtown luxury hotel. Meet your fellow travelers and tour manager at the Evening Reception and learn more about the upcoming sightseeing and activities.
Raffles Beijing Hotel (Evening Reception)
Day 3 Beijing
After breakfast, our exploration in Beijing starts from Tiananmen Square – the world’s largest. Visit the ultra-modern “Egg” National Performing Arts Center. Next, visit the Forbidden City, magnificent imperial palaces of Ming and Qing dynasties for almost 500 years. After lunch, explore by pedicab ride some of Beijing’s old Hutongs (alleyways) and the traditional courtyards. Climb up the nearby Drum Tower and Bell Tower for a great aerial view of the traditional neighborhood, and also visit the private home of a local resident to hear their life stories. Return to hotel for relaxation. Enjoy a welcome banquet featuring Peking Duck this evening at an elite restaurant.
Raffles Beijing Hotel (B-L-D)
Day 4 Beijing
Visit the Temple of Heaven early this morning. Observe Beijing residents doing traditional Taichi and other exercises in the well-maintained park. Behold the beautiful Hall of Prayers, an ornate structure built of wood without using a single nail or adhesive. Stop by the lively Silk Market, a bustling place where buyers and vendors bargain hard over clothes, accessories, bags, traditional arts and crafts. After lunch, go to visit the enchanting Summer Palace, a renowned imperial retreat of the Qing dynasty royal family and retinue. The Long Corridor, Marble Boat, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, and Longevity Hill are all structures of grace and beauty. Enjoy a boat ride on the vast Kunming Lake. For tonight’s dinner, we invite you to enjoy in a courtyard restaurant the famous Imperial Cuisine that was favored by the Ming and Qing Emperors.
Raffles Beijing Hotel (B-D)
Day 5 Beijing and Great Wall of China
Put on your hiking shoes for an excursion to the extraordinary Great Wall of China. Out in the hills, we visit the rugged and scenic Mutianyu section which better exemplifies the fine Ming dynasty era construction. Stop by a small mountain village for lunch and meet local rural residents. After you return to the hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to discover more of Beijing’s treasures or just relax.
Raffles Beijing Hotel (B-L)
Day 6 Beijing – Xian
This morning, transfer to the airport. Visit the trendy 798 Art Complex on the way to view some Chinese modern art created by Beijing’s artists. Fly to Xi’an, the ancient capital of the Qin Dynasty and many of the subsequent dynasties. After refreshing in the hotel, go to visit the massive ancient City Wall, the Bell Tower, and a nearby city market. This evening, enjoy a special Xi’an Cuisine Dinner followed by an elaborate Tang Dynasty Stage Show recalling the days when Xi’an was the largest city in the world.
Sofitel on Renmin Square (B-D)
Day 7 Xi’an
Take an excursion to see the extraordinary 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors of China’s first Emperor, Qin Shihuang, discovered in 1974 by farmers while digging a well. This archaeological excavation site is a stunning exhibit of more than 7,000 ancient life-size terracotta statues of soldiers, officers, horses, chariots, and other artifacts. Upon returning to the city in the afternoon, visit the elegant Big Goose Pagoda which has survived over a millennia of war and earthquakes. Tour the exquisite Xi’an History Museum for its wonderful collection of relic items spanning almost 3000 years. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Sofitel on Renmin Square (B-L)
Day 8 Xi’an – Guilin
Transfer to the airport for a noon flight to Guilin. On the way, visit the Yangling Archaeological Site & Museum that displays priceless antiquities found in the imperial tomb of the Han Dynasty. Upon arrival in Guilin, one of China’s most scenic cities, transfer to your hotel and refresh. Later, follow your guide on a city tour that includes an evening cruise through urban lakes featuring lights and bridges.
Shangri-La Hotel Guilin (B-L-D)
Day 9 Guilin – Longsheng
Guilin is home to some of China’s most beautiful landscapes. Its jagged and lush limestone peaks and tranquil rivers create endless panoramas. After breakfast, travel by vehicle to mountainous Longsheng for a full-day excursion to see beautiful Rice Terraces and to visit villages of ethnic Dong and Yao peoples, two of China’s fifty-five ethnic minorities. Some moderate climbing is involved, so you will need comfortable walking shoes. Those who cannot hike can still enjoy the scenery utilizing sedan-chair service. Return to Guilin by late afternoon and evening is free.
Shangri-La Hotel Guilin (B-L)
Day 10 Guilin – Yangshuo – Shanghai
Today, board a cruise boat for a stunning four-hour Li River Cruise. The cruise will give you an opportunity to savor the unique and scenic views of the area’s extraordinary landscape of sheer limestone peaks and tranquil waters that have inspired thousands of famous Chinese scroll paintings.
Get off the boat in Yangshuo, a lovely and tourist-friendly small town with streets lined with boutique hotels, countless souvenir shops selling traditional ornaments, jewelry and paintings, and restaurants
serving international foods. Explore the lively street market and also visit a farmer’s village home nestled in the panoramic landscape. Return by vehicle to Guilin and take a late afternoon flight to Shanghai. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival.
The Peninsula Shanghai (B-L)
Day 11 Shanghai
After breakfast in your hotel, head out to visit the exquisite Yuyuan Garden constructed in 1559 and the European Art-Deco architecture of the Bund. Gaze across the Huangpu River at the towering structures of the ultra-modern Pudong district. In the afternoon, visit the marvelous Shanghai Museum, whose well-organized galleries contain world-class collections of ancient art and artifacts dating back millennia. The Bronze Gallery is probably the world’s finest, a must-see section. Then, wander in the former French Concession, represented by the leafy Fuxing Park and colonial era architecture. Stop at Xintiandi, a redeveloped old neighborhood now occupied by trendy pubs, coffee shops, chic restaurants, and fashion stores. After dinner, go to a Shanghai theater to enjoy a stunning Acrobatic Performance.
The Peninsula Shanghai (B-L-D)
Day 12 Shanghai
In the morning of your last day in China, you will first visit the Jinmao Building in Pudong District, the 7th tallest building on earth. Stop by Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the “old ghetto” to reflect upon the scarcely reported history of Jews living in China. Later, visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center for a peek at the planner’s perspective on the city’s future development. The afternoon is free to explore dynamic Shanghai on your own. Tonight, fellow travelers all get together to enjoy a special farewell Shanghai Cuisine Dinner in an elite local restaurant.
The Peninsula Shanghai (B-D)
Day 13 Return Home
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel. Later, transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight. Arrive in North America on the same day. (B)
13 Days (Tour Code – HGR)
There are six departures during 2014 from April through November.
Please view what is included in our tours, along with testimonials from previous ACT travel clients. Feel free to browse through our other luxury and adventure tours. If you don’t see exactly what you like, we are happy to arrange a private or custom tour for you.