12 Days China Essence Family Tour

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Family-05

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

 No shopping stops
 Culture Interaction with local family
 Cover the essence destination and wonders of China
 Explore deeply at easy pace & DIY experience
 Classes in Beijing Hutong and Xian cave dwelling
 Farming work in Guilin local farm land
 

Best Travel Time: Suitable for the whole year, best from April to November.

Price from $ 1755

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

Meals: No Meal
Hotel: In Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China, you will be greeted by our local guide at the airport with TCT signboard. Then our guide will transfer you to check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day for you to get over the jet lag.

Beijing Opera
Beijing Opera

Day 2Beijing
Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple Heaven, Facial makeup painting in Hutong

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Beijing

Today we start to explore this city treasure by a visit to Tian'anmen Square, the world's largest city center square, the locality of numerous major political and historical events. It is the witness of Chinese development. It is only a walking distance from Tian'anmen Square to Forbidden City, the world's existing largest and most complete ancient wooden structure buildings. You will explore the glorious palace halls and gardens for more than 2 hours in Forbidden City, learning the legendary story of the emperors and how the royal family lived there. You will be stunned by the numerous old art treasures exhibited in halls. A la carte lunch is served at a local restaurant to have a taste of the authentic Chinese food at noon time and have a break at the restaurant.

In the afternoon, we will Temple of Heaven, the existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven and a place where the emperors prayed for a year of abundance. In the visit of Temple of Heaven, you will be astonished by the exquisite ancient Chinese architectures. Then we move to a less commercial Hutong nearby. A short walking (around 30mins) along the authentic Hutong will give you a deep impression of the local residents’ live. We stop to visit a local family to learn Facial Makeup Painting for Beijing Opera.

Tour ends by driving back to hotel. Please feel free to consult with your local guide about the evening activities in Beijing, such as the night shows of Beijing.

Good to know:
1. Besides facial makeup painting for Beijing Opera, activities also can be arranged In Hutong: Learn Chinese calligraphy and painting; Learn to make traditional handiworks like Chinese knot and Paper-cutting; See an acrobatic display by a Chinese yo-yo master, and learn to make dumplings/kites with a local family.

2. Besides exploring Hutong on foot, you may also try it by bicycle or richshaw. Whichever you prefer, please share with us. We will make it cater your real needs.

Hutong
Activities in Hutong

Day 3Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, exterior of Bird Nest and Water Cube

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Beijing

It will be an exciting day today. In the morning, guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby. Today we will visit the must-visit spot in Beijing--- Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the famous sections of China Great Wall. It takes about 2 hours driving from the downtown of Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall. Mutianyu Great Wall was first built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, making it older than the Badaling section. (*Cable car and slideway are available at Mutianyu Great Wall and included in our itinerary*)

A la carte lunch is arranged at a good restaurant at the foot of Mutianyu. When we drive back to Beijing, we will have a photo stop outside the Bird Nest and Water Cube, which were the famous sites constructed for 2008 Beijing Olympic.

The tour finishes by dropping off at your hotel. If you would like to try local specialty tonight, you could ask for some suggestion about Peking Roast Duck Restaurant.

Good to know:
1. With less commercial and crowds, Mutianyu Great Wall is available to take cable car up and down, or get up by cable car and down by a sled to slide down, which is an exciting option when the weather is nice.

2. Need more time on the Wall, no worries, just tell us when you book this tour, we could arrange a picnic lunch for your family on the Wall.

3. In summer, swimming in the Water Cube is a great choice to cool down and have fun with your beloved children.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 4Beijing-Xian
Summer Place, High speed train to Xian

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Xian

In the morning, check out from hotel and start to visit the last spots in Beijing --- Summer Palace, the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. The Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake are regarded as the representative of Summer Palace. In the park, you could choose to take a boating trip on the lake, enjoying the beautiful royal garden view. Walk along the Long Corridor--- the longest corridor in the world, admiring the extremely rich and prestigious paintings on the beams of the corridor.

A la carte lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant on the way to Beijing West Railway Station to take high speed train (2nd class seat, duration: about 5-5.5 hours) from Beijing to Xi'an. TCT guide will wait at the exit of Xi'an train station with our signboard and transfer you to check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the time.

Good to know:
Beijing zoo
with giant pandas is always attractive to friends no matter from oversea or China. If your family would like to visit giant pandas, please tell us. We could arrange it for you too.

Summer Palace
Summer Palace

Day 5Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Make pottery figurine, Ancient City Wall

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Xian

Today we start to explore the ancient city by driving to Terracotta Warriors and explore one of the world's most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation. Shuttle bus will be arranged for your convenience. After that you will have a chance to visit a local family and learn to make mini version of pottery figurine by your hands as gift to bring back home.

A Chinese Lunch will be arranged nearby the scenic area of Terracotta Warriors.

In the afternoon, we drive back to the city to visit the Ancient City Wall, which represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Bicycle or sightseeing car will be arranged on the wall to go around. (We will visit the Bell Tower instead of the city wall if the weather does not permit.)

Good to Know:
1. Bike-riding on the ancient city wall
is only allowed for children above 10 years old or taller than 1.4 meters (4.6 feet). If your child is too young to ride a bike, you may have a relaxing walk instead or take a golf cart.

2. Shaanxi History Museum is a great place to watch vast collections of ancient cultural artifacts. If you family is fond of Chinese traditional culture, you might choose to visit it. Please notice it closes on Monday.

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Day 6Xian-Guilin
Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Learn Chinese Calligraphy in Tang Bo Art Museum, Fly to Guilin

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Shanghai

In the morning, we drive to visit the exterior of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and you will have chance to watch the North plaza fountain show. Then head to Tang Bo Art Museum, where gives you brief history and examples of Chinese art. The calligraphy lesson will be arranged and you will learn to write Chinese characters. You will also have chance to learn to make the traditional shadow play.

After lunch, we drive to Xian airport for the flight to Guilin. Your Guilin tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Shadow Play in Tang Bo Art Museum
Shadow Play

Day 7Guilin
Daxu ancient town, Fir Lake and Banyan Lake, Reed Flute Cave

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: In Guilin

In the morning we firstly drive to visit the Daxu Ancient Town with cobbled streets, Wanshou Bridge (Longevity Bridge), ancient buildings and the century-old docks since Ming Dynasty. Walk into the town, you might lucky to see some locals watering plants in their farmland, mostly are vegetables like water spinach, peanuts, carrots, celery, garlic…etc. Then walk back along the Li River, it feels like the outside commercial world disappears and never came here.

Drive back to the city, lunch will be arranged in Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel where you could enjoy a good view of our city mark-Elephant Trunk Hill.

After the enjoyable lunch, the attractive lakes-Fir Lake and Banyan Lake nearby should not be missed. We shall walk around them leisurely (about 0.5-1hr). After that, have a trip to Reed Flute Cave (1 hour) - the showcase of distinctly-colored stalactites and stalagmites.

Fir Lake
Fir Lake

Day 8Guilin
Li River Cruise, West Street, Farming work in Yangshuo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch-box on cruise
Hotel: In Yangshuo

In the morning you will be driven to the Zhujiang Pier for the Li River Cruise (about 4 hours from Guilin to Yangshuo). Savour the fairy-tale scenery while cruising down the meandering river to Yangshuo. After disembarkation, you can have a walk along the famous West Street and check in hotel nearby.

In the afternoon, we drive out of the downtown to visit a local farm family in Gaotian village. Follow them to farm in the land with your family together. Roll up your sleeves and trousers for ploughing, sowing, planting and harvesting, each one might be your life-time experience due to the season.

Tours ends by driving back to hotel in Yangshuo.

Good to know:
1. Not so much into farming work, no problem. Try bike-riding in countryside area or Take part into a painting class or Taichiquan course with a local master are also worthy your precious time in Yangshuo.

2. The night Show of Impression Liusanjie is highly recommended as an optional activity in Yangshuo if you are interested in. Feel free to ask our local guide in advance.

Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise

Day 9Guilin-Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai, Transfer service between hotel and airport

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: In Shanghai

Today have a leisure morning and we drive to the airport in Guilin directly for the flight to Shanghai.

Good to know:
In the morning of Yangshuo, either countryside tour by bike or bamboo rafting in Yulong river, they both are great experience for your family. Feel free to tell us in advance. We could arrange that to cater your real needs.

Bike-riding in Yangshuo
Bike-riding in Yangshuo

Day 10Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai City History Museum, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Old Street, Nanjing Road

Meals: Breakfast, A la cart Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Shanghai

Today we start our day trip to the foot of The Oriental Pearl TV Tower to visit Shanghai City History Museum (The Former Shanghai Wax Museum), where you will know more about the history and development of Shanghai. Then take the elevator up to the 2nd ball of the TV tower, from which you will have a bird-eye view of Shanghai. Go on driving through Lujiazui, the finance & trade zone in Pudong of Shanghai, where you will find many skyscrapers. We will have a view of the modern skyline of Shanghai.

Then back to the Bund, admire the illuminated buildings lining the Huangpu River. From the Bund, you could see the landmark of Shanghai--- the Oriental Pearl TV Tower as well as other high-rise buildings, just on the opposite of Huangpu River. Enjoy a local lunch in a local restaurant nearby the bund.

After lunch, we continue to visit Yuyuan Garden which is a Chinese classic garden in city downtown. Then continue to explore the Shanghai Old Street and Nanjing Road nearby which is the earliest commercial street in Shanghai. Drive back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night Acrobatic Show, especially the ERA show, which is one of the most popular evening entertainments in Shanghai.

Good to know:
Revolving Restaurant Oriental Pearl Tower
is at the top of the Tower, soaring at 267 meters above Shanghai’s bustling streets. Enjoying a buffet lunch in this top revolving restaurant is an experience unlike any other, with its breathtaking views of the city in full vision beneath and all around you. If you like to try it, please tell us in advance. We could arrange it to suit your interest.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Day 11Shanghai
Free day on your own

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: In Shanghai

Enjoy a free day on your own arrangement.

Good to know:
1. Shanghai Disney Resort
is the first Disney Resort in mainland China. The resort will cover 963 acres in Pudong, Shanghai, approximately 3 times of the size of the Hong Kong Disneyland Park. Shanghai Disney Resort includes a theme park (Disneyland Park), two themed hotels (Toy Story Hotel & Shanghai Disneyland Hotel), shopping and dinning complex (Disneytown) and Wishing Star Park. Have a day trip in Disney Resort with your family might be a good leisure choice for your reference.

2. Plan a half day trip to the water town Zhujiajiao or Xitang; or plan a day trip to the famous city Hangzhou (1hrs) or Suzhou (0.5hrs) by high speed train from Shanghai. Please feel free to share with us your interest, we will work out the itinerary catering your real wants.

Day 12Departure Shanghai
Transfer service to airport

Meals: Breakfast

Free day at leisure and be transferred to the airport for return flight. We can arrange the Maglev train ride to Pudong airport if you are interested in, or we will drive you directly to the airport.

Service Ends

Enquire This Tour Tailor-made Tour

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Hotel Class Group Size Dec. ~ Feb. Mar. ~ Nov.
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2271 $2474
6 ~ 9 pax $1755 $1959
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2577 $2940
6 ~ 9 pax $2061 $2425
Price includes:

♦ Domestic flight or high-speed train as specified
♦ Private transfer between the airport or railway station, attractions, and hotels
♦ Private licensed English-speaking guide and driver service
♦ Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast on sharing basis
♦ All attraction entrance fees as specified
♦ Meals mentioned in the itinerary, Chinese local food
China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

Price excludes:

* International Air tickets or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
* Tips to your tour guide and driver on your own discretion
* China Entry Visa Fees
* Personal expenses
* Optional tours, meals, activities and services


Remarks:

※ Prices are valid from Mar 1, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020, except Chinese public holidays, local fairs or events.
※ TCT reserves the right to adjust the price caused by exchange rate
※ No guide on the flight and Yangtze River cruise. 
※ Recommended hotels are subject to change in actual booking
※ Special requirements should be advised to TCT in advance.
※ TCT reserves the right of final explanation for any change due to the reasons beyond our control.

Traveler Reviews Feedbacks & Photos >>

5.0

kelbel51

5.0

Getting too touristy but still really enjoyed. I guess everywhere I go will be tourist infested. I do wish this one could have held on to its authenticity a little more rather than having so many little shopping spots with people trying to sell you their "unique" "handmade" items (which i'm not sure I believe were). But it's also very nice to learn how rice is actually done -- way up here in the mountain. I enjoyed walking all around in the beautiful weather - up and down steps, out to other terraces, through the little enclave in the middle. I enjoyed seeing how very different peoples lives can be. I enjoyed that people still kept their clothing, their methods of doing some things.
Joseph C

5.0

We (my wife and I) visited the Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven park and the Great Wall of China. Kurt was our guide. He did an excellent job. Was very helpful, respectful and knowledgeable. A great guy to be with. Mr Wu was the driver. Very good. We had a lovely spacious car with the driver and the guide (KURT) for the entire tour.Beijing is a very beautiful place. Never experienced any pollution.Very good food and friendly people. Thanks to Raylene who arranged this tour. She is wonderful and gave us the right advise. Thank you Raylene.
Antonello Supino

5.0

We had a 12 day private tour in China mainland (Beijing, Xian, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Zhangjiajie, Guilin) terminating in HK. All went well, mostly thanks to Lily, our tour organizer who was always available and sorted out any little misunderstanding that happened along the route. Also she was very patient as for months spent time with me to customize the trip in every single particular, so that I could for example pick my preferred 5star hotels and book them directly, chose activities and food. Transportation was very good, modern and clean large vehicles. Also they arranged internal bullet trains and flights. We also went to optional night show in Beijing and to the night cruise in Guilin, both were great. All guides were experienced although a couple of them did not speak perfect English, but enough. I would recommend this tour operator.
Oldjack

5.0

The tour was well managed although expensive. The cruise vessel was fine and pretty much as you might expect. The scenery however is worth some minor hassles and a must do if in Guilin. It takes some 4.5 hours up the river and if you avoid the tourist on the road trip back it will take another 1.5 hours. Allow an hour in Yungshuo which is interesting but a tourist trap.
lakazdi

5.0

I went on a Top China Travel group tour. Everything was so well organised that I never had to worry about anything. I really liked that the group was small and it felt like we were a big group of old-friends all travelling together, not just a passenger on the bus. Every hotel, guide, driver and restaurant was very well picked. I was very happy with how well-informed each guide was, how flexible they were to ensure we all had a great time, and their English was all very good. At every step of the way, guides had us fill in a Top China Travel feedback form which I am certain the company take very seriously since their service was so good. I will be passing on their details to all my friends and family who want to travel in China.
Jeff D

5.0

I just returned for a wonderful China tour. I booked through TCT and Tracy was fantastic. My entire trip was amazing, I went to four cities, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu and Beijing. I had the private tours with private guides which I highly recommend. My guides, Chris, Lily, Fen and Neil were fantastic. Neil in Beijing was absolutely amazing! I am already thinking about a trip back.
andyanne2017

5.0

We recently returned from a 16 day tour of China. Our holiday was organised by Rebecca Wei who was a pleasure to deal with. We arrived in Beijing and departed from Shanghai. There was lots to organise as we had two internal flights and three train journeys as well as three nights on a boat cruising the Yangtze river. All the arrangments fell into place like clockwork, our guides were excellent, spoke very good english and had a good knowledge of the places we visited. We saw some fantastic sights but some of the highlights for us were The Great Wall, The Yungang Grottoes, The Hanging Temple Datong, The terrracotta warriors and the muslim quarter in Xiang and the cruise on the Yangtze. We travelled in September so the temperatures were around 28C [ fine for us as we live in Durban] it is also a good time as the lines to get enterance to some places were very short. There was a lot of walking involved so comfortable walking shoes are a must as well as a sun hat. We stayed in a couple of "traditional" hotels which we loved and then some very upmarket hotels. The exception was the hotel in Xiang which scored 100% on location but had some very unfriendly staff a poor restaurant as well as putting us in an unrenovated room for the first night. We moved to the renovated floors for the other night which was much better. I should add here that this was a mistake by the hotel not TCT] My one regret is that we should have stayed a night in Wuzhen Water Town but that really was not practical as we had to leave our hotel in Shanghai at 4 in the morning to catch the flight home. We have some wondefull memories so thank you Rebecca and TCT for organizing a really interesting holiday Andrew and Anne B, DurbanSouth Africa
Marianne L

5.0

We are currently still traveling but wanted to give a review of our Beijing section of the trip. Firstly, when we explored options on tours on the internet we sent email from the TCT website requesting information. Janet replied and from there on the planning was effortless. She accommodated all that we wanted to see into a well planned trip. She was responsive and prompt in her replies from China and could speak english well. We arrived at our first destination in Beijing. Our guide, Eric Gu, greeted us at the airport with a big smile. For last 3 days he has shown us the attractions. He is very knowledgable, patient, flexible and fun. Speaks excellent english also. He made extra effort to accommodate our requests and waited patiently while we were eating delicious food, buying pearls and handbags and booking us theatre tickets to the Kung Fu show. We cannot have enough thanks for the good service we got. Stay tuned for the rest of our trip. On the Xian and Shanghai now.
vosoledad

5.0

From the planning of the trip with Janet to the amazing private guided tour given by Jimmy and driving by Mr. I, we felt cared for and pampered. We arrived on my birthday and Jimmy waited for hours for us due to a delayed flight for one of our party, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday. We had asked for a hike along the Great Wall and were able to hike a five hour stretch on a nearly deserted piece of mountain trail culminating in a fantastic view of the snaking wall near Inner Mongolia. Jimmy was encouraging to us as not all of our party were the best hikers. Jimmy gave accurate historical descriptions of what we were about to see, he didn't make up answers to our sometimes random questions, but tried to find out the answers to them if he didn't know. He was personable and seemed to know what we needed before we did. Mr. I is a talented driver, navigating the chaotic Beijing streets with smoothness and skill getting us to our destinations in a timely manner. He also made sure we had water, which was essential for the hot (90*) and above days we were there. Our three star hotel the Holiday Inn Express was a new facility with great amenities. We had been worried that three stars in China might be a bit iffy, but this was very nice. We just happened upon Top China Travel on the Internet, but couldn't be more pleased with our experience.
Piotr F

5.0

I have co-operated with Mrs Janet Chan several times during my visits to China. Need to be said that all of the services are at the very high standard. High level of dedication cannot be forgotten. All to all I find TCT and personally Mrs Janet Chan as a extremely competent and trustable business partner.
rmunzenmayer

5.0

Just returned from two weeks of travel through China set up by Rebecca at Top China Travel. Absolutely perfect experience. In each city our guides and drivers were the best! Started in Beijing, then Xian, Yangtze River Cruise, Wuhan and Shanghai. In each city a university educated tour guide was waiting for us full of local history and information. Additional evening attractions like Beijing Opera and Tang Dynasty Show were perfect. She set up a cooking lesson for us with a private family in Beijing that was the best. Each and every one of our requests were honored and planned specifically for us. A special trip to Wuhan, off the normal tourist path was delightful. We finished the trip with a visit to Shanghai Disney. So thankful to this organization for the trip of a lifetime.
tonirxxx

5.0

I would highly recommend TCT to anyone. We did a 2 week private (Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, Chengdu & Shanghai) tour with them and from the moment we arrived we felt like we were part of the family. Every guide was attentive, informative and an absolute pleasant to travel with. Special thanks to Rebecca for organising our itinerary and also a special mention to Tony, our guide in Beijing.
geeta a

5.0

I booked my trip with Top China Travel,extremely professional and prompt.I was guided by the guides Cathy in Xian and Eric in Beijing,very knowledgable,knew the English language very well,knew history,stories,always ready to help with any of my problems that I feel I was travelling with companions.I was very happy and I know you
David U

5.0

Janet Chan of TCT organized a fantastic trip that started at the Dongxi border crossing with Vietnam into Nanning, the Chenyang Bridge with the Dong minority people. Then we went on to the Longji Rice Terraces with the Ping An Zhuang minority. Overall these first few days were fantastic from both a tour and educational perspective. Following these stops, we went to Yangshuo, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. All the travel went flawlessly and the accommodations were great! 

The best part of our time in Guangxi province was the excellent guide- Wendy! If you ever have a chance to request a guide- please ask for Wendy! Guides make a big difference in how you learn and appreciate the travel. I have a LOT of experience with different guides- I lead study abroad trips every year. Wendy is informative, energetic, great with the students, flexible, and a joy to work with. We were able to request Wendy as our guide, whom we had two years before on our previous study abroad trip. 

Overall, our experience with TCT, Janet Chan, and Wendy Zhang was exemplary.
Sharon H

5.0

This area is very nice, they still rice farm these teraces in season.
This is about the 2.5 hour drive up into the mountains 1 way.
There a small Village there that you can have lunch and hike up into the village.
We had a nice soup and hot tea for lunch here in the Village area. Everyone working here lives here, your dollars will help them enjoy their life here in this special area. Locals had a village home open for viewing. If you are interested in the history, local culture and people this wooden architecture is nice. There's a path, small road to wander into the actual village on that's not a hard walk. There are also about 500 stairs on the other side, I did both the stairs are not good for anyone with challenges. No handrails. The homes in the village span up the hillside about 500 meters.If you have time I think this is a nice day in the area. Go during daylight, that man road us very winding. Suggest a local driver and or guide. I love Top China Travel, Rebecca is fantastic she will arrange everything you need in Hong Kong, China for you with no hassles and at great value. Here's an idea, best photos are on my other camera. Getting close to the history and residents is a huge part of real traveling.Show less
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