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China – 12 Day Best of China Private Tour - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.

Beijing - Xian - Chengdu - Guilin - Yangshuo - Shanghai: 12 Days

China is a wonderful country to visit. From the Great Wall, to the bustling modern city of Shanghai, to the serene town of Guilin set on the river Li, to the Pandas in Chengdu, this tours covers some of the very best of what China offers. Enjoy 12 Days travelling around the country in the luxury of a private vehicle with your own guide and driver as well as one high speed train ride and 3 flights - a great holiday full of many goodies!

This is a private tour set up to provide you with the best possible experience at your own pace. We can cater for any size group but it will only be YOUR group and we will provide a suitably sized vehicle. We think our private tours are great value and very special - we hope you will too!

* Price includes 3 domestic flights, 1 high speed train ride, 11 nights' accommodation, transfers, guides, 19 meals and more. Price does not include international flights to China.

We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from Australia to Beijing are approximately $700-$1000 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw! 

Travelbay Tip: Add on 3 Days in Hong Kong or 7 Days in the Yunnan Province in Southern China. 

We also offer many other China tours including private and custom tours. Please contact us with any questions for more information. 

Download Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival in Beijing

Upon your arrival at Beijing airport, your local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy.

Overnight in Beijing: Paragon Hotel Beijing - Standard Room (3 Star); Beijing Penta Hotel - Penta Room (4 Star)

Day 2: Explore Beijing – Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City…

After breakfast visit the Temple of Heaven, a unique structure that once served as an imperial sacrificial altar and an outstanding example of Ming Dynasty architecture. Continue on to Tiananmen Square, known in the West for the 1989 Student demonstrations and protests. Its name means Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen) and is home to various monuments and Halls including the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall that enhouses Mao's embalmed body.

Wander the grounds and visit the Forbidden City, a Chinese Imperial Palace for around 500 years and one of the world's largest and best-preserved collections of ancient buildings. 

Overnight in Beijing: Paragon Hotel Beijing - Standard Room (3 Star); Beijing Penta Hotel - Penta Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 3: The Great Wall of China (including round-trip cable car)

Today visit the magnificent Great Wall of China at the Mutianyu section - the longest fully restored section of the Great Wall that is open to tourists. The Wall was built on the mountain ridges brick by brick with manpower 2,000 years ago. Stretching about 4,000 miles across Northern China, it has been called one of the wonders of the world. 

This afternoon your personal guide and driver will take you to the Chang Tomb where 13 of the 16 Ming Dynasty emperors are buried followed by a visit to the Jade Gallery

Overnight in Beijing: Paragon Hotel Beijing - Standard Room (3 Star); Beijing Penta Hotel - Penta Room (4 St

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: The Summer Palace and the fast train to Xian

This morning take a tour of the picturesque Summer Palace, known for its perfect layout, exquisite royal architecture and enchanting landscape.

After your visit here, you will be transferred to the train station to take the High Speed train to Xian. The journey takes around 5.5 hours and upon arrival your personal guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. 

Overnight in Xian: Skytel Xian - Deluxe Room (3 Star); Grand Noble Hotel Xian - Superior Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 5: The amazing Terracotta Warriors 

In the morning visit the Ancient City Walls of Xian. From the wall is an impressive view of the old city contained within the walls and the modern city that lies on the outside of the walls. Then get ready to be wowed with a visit to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site discovered in 1974. Here you'll see over 6,000 life-size Qin Dynasty-era terracotta soldiers, chariots and horses, an army designed to protect Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor, in the afterlife. It is considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world.

Visit the Xian Art Ceramics Factory and in the evening, enjoy walking at the Great Tang All Day Mall

Overnight in Xian: Skytel Xian - Deluxe Room (3 Star); Grand Noble Hotel Xian - Superior Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 6: Enjoy Xian and then fly to Chengdu

After breakfast, tour the Great Mosque, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda - one of China's most famous Buddhist pagodas, and Muslim Street - one of Xian's greatest attractions. The street is well known for its food stalls and where you can see Islam thriving in China. Whilst a tourist attraction, it is as much for locals as it is for tourists.

You will then be taken to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival in Chengdu, you will be met at the airport by your personal guide and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax, or head out into the city for a little adventure on your own.

Overnight in Chengdu: MinShan Lhasa Grand Hotel - Double Deluxe Room (3 Star); Tibet Hotel Chengdu - Deluxe Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

Day 7: Visit the pandas in Chengdu

Today visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and see Giant Pandas in a simulated natural habitat. Aside from the gorgeous pandas, the centre is also home to other rare and endangered species.

Following your time here, visit the Wenshu temple, the stunning Buddhist temple and spend some time in a tea house enjoying a cup of traditional Chinese tea. Enjoy the atmosphere of Chengdu and the ancient, lively and fun Jinli Old Street.

Overnight in Chengdu: MinShan Lhasa Grand Hotel - Double Deluxe Room (3 Star); Tibet Hotel Chengdu - Deluxe Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 8: Fly to Guilin and visit amazing cave and more

Spend the morning at leisure in Chengdu before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Upon arrival, your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to visit the Reed Flute Cave. The limestone cave of peculiar shaped stalactites, stalagmites and rock has been decorated with multi-coloured lighting which make it quite a sight. Before being taken to your hotel visit the South China Sea Pearl Museum

Overnight in Guilin: Hotel Universal Guilin - Deluxe Double Room (3 Star); Guilin Bravo Hotel - Standard Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo

After breakfast, you will be driven to Zhujiang Pier (40-minute drive) to start your boat cruise down the picturesque Li River - the highlight of any visit to Guilin. Cruise the river until you reach Yangshuo County taking in the breathtaking views of peaks and pinnacles, crystal-clear water and picturesque pastoral views of rice paddies and water buffaloes. You may feel as though you have stepped into a traditional Chinese painting.

After checking into your hotel, enjoy a tour of the countryside either by bicycle or by car (whichever you prefer). In the evening you can explore Yangshuo at your leisure and its famous West Street. West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo renowned for its architecture, souvenirs, food and night scene. 

Overnight in Yangshuo: Yangshuo New Century Hotel - Deluxe Room (3 Star); Green Lotus Hotel - Standard Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 10: Fly to Shanghai, take a stroll on The Bund and more...

Today you will be driven back to Guilin and taken to the airport for your flight to Shanghai (2 hours 20 duration) where again you will be greeted on arrival and taken to your hotel. In the afternoon take a stroll with your guide on The Bund, a 1.5km walkway stretching along the Huangpu River lined with European colonial architecture. Later visit a silk factory to see how silk is produced and enjoy a bird's eye view of the modern Shanghai from the Shanghai World Financial Centre

Overnight in Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel - Deluxe Room (3 Star); The Bund Hotel - Superior Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 11: Visit the historic Zhujiajiao Watertown

After breakfast your guide and driver will take you to visit historic and gorgeous Zhujiajiao Watertown (50 minute drive from Shanghai). Walk over the Fangsheng Bridge, visit Beida Street, and the Kezhi Garden. A visit here is like stepping back in time. 

Return to Shanghai and visit the Yu Garden, the famous classical garden and Yu Market where you can do some shopping, try local snacks and marvel at what is also known as Shanghai Old Street. 

Overnight in Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel - Deluxe Room (3 Star); The Bund Hotel - Superior Room (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 12: Time for home or onto your next adventure. 

Today you are free at leisure until your personal guide and private transfer will escort you to the airport for your departure flight. It's time to say goodbye.

Meals included: Breakfast

  • 12 day tour of China 
  • 11 nights' accommodation 
  • 19 meals included.
  • 3 domestic flights (economy class) from Xian to Chengdu; Chengdu to Guilin and Guilin to Shanghai
  • High Speed train from Beijing to Xian.
  • Your own private guide, driver and vehicle - (in each location you will have a different guide)
  • All airport transfers – your private tour guide will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
  • All transportation throughout the tour in a private vehicle - air conditioned with a personal driver. 
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
  • Explore the highlights of China's capital, Beijing, including a walk in Tiananmen Square, discover the architecture of the Ming Dynasty at the Temple of Heaven, stroll the gardens of the Summer Palace where emperors once took their holidays and visit the Forbidden City – the largest ancient palatial structure in the world with 9,999 rooms.
  • Climb the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu section – the longest man made structure in the world dating from over 2,200 years ago.
  • Visit the Terracotta Warriors – an army of over 2,000 detailed life sized terracotta models in battle formation. Discovered in 1976 and considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, this is one impressive sight.
  • Explore Xian, it's ancient City Walls, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim St and more. 
  • Discover Chengdu - the capital of the Sichuan Province, famous for its food and tea-house culture and the iconic Giant Pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
  • river cruise in Guilin on the serene and scenic Li River.
  • Visit the Reed Flute Cave in Guilin.
  • Step back in time to the historic Zhujiajiao Watertown near Shanghai
  • Enjoy Shanghai, the Bund, Nanjing Rd and the Yu Gardens and Markets. 

Travelbay China - 12 Day Tour Map

How to get there:
This tour starts in Beijing and ends in Shanghai, China.  

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and is happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange flights yourself you can find more information and suggestions here

If you are wanting to know more about how far it is between destinations and how long your flight will take, you can visit and use their trip calculator.

To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

Visa information:
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to China. You need to apply for and receive your visa before you arrive. The Chinese visa is only valid for 3 months from the date it is issued, so you cannot apply for it too soon in advance. It is typically done 4-6 weeks before departure and it normally takes 10 working days to process.

More information can be found about the application process here.

For travel as a tourist you will need an “L” type visa and you can either apply in person at one of the service centres or by post. 

You will need to fill out an application form and post this to the embassy along with your passport, passport photo, itinerary, flight details and return envelope.

Click here to download an application form. On the application form you will need to list your hotels and the name of the tour operator. We will provide you with this information after booking.

You can either pay in person at the service centre or use a Payment Authorization Form if applying by post. To download a Payment Authorisation Form, click here

For 2017, the fee for Australian passport holders for a single entry visa submitted by post was $131.50 per person. For more information about the fees, click here.

Please also note that travel insurance is compulsory for China. If you would like a free quote, please contact us or visit our Travel Insurance page. 

Tipping and Tour Guides:
A few customers have asked us about tipping and so we provide the following information for you as a guide only.

Many tour guides and drivers in China rely on tips as part of their wages. In saying this, tipping always comes down to the service you have received and is a personal matter.

The following amounts can be used as a rule of thumb and are per person as you feel:

  • For a local tour guide in a small group of 2-4 people: USD8-12 per day
  • For a driver in a small group of 2-4 people: USD4-6 per day
  • For hotel bellboys: USD2-3 dollars per day

If your group is larger, the amount each person tips the guide or driver may decrease.

Generally you will have the same guide for the duration of your stay in each city/location and you can then give an accumulated tip at the end of your time in that city. For example, for 3 nights and 2 days in Beijing for a group of 2 people, at the end of your time in Beijing you might tip the guide USD50.

The driver does not always remain the same for each location and so you may prefer to tip them daily or check with your guide as to whether you will have the same driver the next day.

If you love your guide you can of course offer more – it really is up to you.

We do realise that tipping is quite high for China and adds to the cost of your holiday. Generally speaking for a 10 Day Holiday you could budget to spend around USD150 on tipping.

Tour guides will not generally join you when eating – you are welcome to invite them though if you feel to.

Vaccination Information:
Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

Currency information:
The currency used in China is the Renminbi. 

What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines available and you should let your bank know that you will be using your card over there to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

It is hard to give a summary of the climate of China due to the fact that China is a big country! The Beijing-Xi’an area has a climate with hot and wet summers and cold, dry winters. Autumn and spring fall in between.

Dry season: November to May
Wet season: July to August (Beijing) 
Temperature:  In July and August the temperatures in the Beijing - Xi'an area average 28°C and in winter average as low as -4°C mid winter. 

Peak Season: July – August

Population: 1.37 billion and growing. The most populous nation on Earth.

Language: Mandarin 

Predominant religion: China is a multi-religious country with Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity all forming part of the religious milieu of China. 

Some interesting facts:
The worlds first paper money was created in China 1,400 years ago. This didn’t catch on in Europe until the 17th century and another century for the rest of the world.

The Great Wall of China is the longest man made structure on Earth, spanning 8,850 km and is more than 2,200 years old (and it’s not visible from space without aid!). In some parts, the mortar used to bind the bricks was made from sticky rice.

China has more English speakers than the United States – there are a lot of people in China!

There is only one time zone (there used to be five) in China resulting in the sunrise being as late as 10am in some parts.

Travelbay Tip:

Add 3 Days on in Hong Kong or visit the Yunnan Province in Southern China.

Travelbay China - Discover the Gems of Hong Kong Travelbay China - 7 Days of Complete Wow in the Yunnan Province

More Travelbay Tours to China:

Travelbay China – 10 Day Classic, not to be missed Private Tour Travelbay  China – 8 Day Golden Triangle Private Tour 

Travelbay  China – 11 Day Full of Wonder Private Tour Travelbay  China – 13 Day Quintessential Private Tour including 3 Night Yangtze River Cruise

Terms & Conditions

Booking Process:

Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request copies of the passport for each traveller so that we can organise and book the flights included in the price of this tour.

Very Important:

It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment. 

Booking Information:

  • Quoted prices are per person.
  • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
  • Please book at least 45 days prior to your desired date of travel. 
  • Bookings are subject to availability.
  • If your preferred travel dates coincide with the following dates, please contact us for availability and a price as a high season surcharge will apply:
    • 1 October 2017 - 7 October 2017
    • 15 February 2018 - 21 February 2018
  • Child pricing:
    • For children under age 12 please contact us for a quote as it will depend on the size of your group. 
    • For children 12 and over: adult pricing
    • Maximum room capacity of 3.
    • If you are travelling in a group of 2 or more people and you would like to have separate rooms, the following single room supplements will apply:
      • $490 per person for the 3 Star option
      • $665 per person for the 4 Star option
    • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you.
    • If you have any other special requests including having a quote for a custom tour please let us know as we can make arrangements.


    • 11 nights' accommodation. 
    • 19 meals as per itinerary.
    • Personal driver and private car. 
    • Free WIFI available in the hotels. 
    • English speaking guide (in each location you will have a different guide). 
    • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
    • All airport transfers.
    • All transport as per itinerary.
    • 3 domestic flights from Xian to Chengdu; Chengdu to Guilin and Guilin to Shanghai. Economy class. Checked baggage allowance is 22kg. The airlines used are Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. 
    • High Speed train from Beijing to Xian. 
    • Taxes and service fees.


    • International airfares to and from China.
    • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
    • Drinks for all meals.
    • Chinese Visa fee. 
    • Tips and gratuities.
    • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Travel insurance.
    • Optional activities and attractions as stated in the itinerary.
    • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

    General Terms & Conditions:

    • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
    • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
    • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
    • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
    • Some accommodation providers may require that you present a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred during your stay, for example mini-bar. You are responsible for the payment of any such additional expenses.
    • Please check baggage allowance prior to travel. The allowance may vary according to the destination, airline, cruise or coach operator. You are responsible for any excess baggage fees.
    • Travelbay recommends travel insurance. We would be pleased to provide you with a quote and support you in your insurance needs. Please click here or contact us on 1800 020 020.
    • It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid visa, if required. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.
    • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
    • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
    • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
    • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
    • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
    • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
    • It is your responsibility to review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the relevant government agencies prior to booking travel or departing to international destinations. For Australian travellers, information on conditions in various countries and the level of risk associated with travel to particular international destinations can be found on the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website currently located at For travellers from other countries we recommend you check the travel recommendations of your country.
    • By offering reservations for travel-related products or services in relation to particular international destinations, Travelbay does not represent or warrant that travel to such points is advisable or without risk, and Travelbay is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
    • Travelbay sells tours on behalf of other Suppliers/Tour Operators. We rely on the relevant third party suppliers. Travelbay and the airlines, hotels and other Suppliers providing Services made available on or through this Website are independent parties and are not related parties. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Travelbay is not liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, breaches or negligence of any such Suppliers or for any personal injuries, death, property damage, or other damages or expenses resulting therefrom.
    • Whilst we take great care to provide clear and accurate information, there may be occasions where there are inaccuracies or errors. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims liability for, any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information, descriptions and activities displayed on this website and in our promotional material.
    • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
    • Hotel ratings displayed on this Website and in our promotional material are intended only as general guidelines, and Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of the ratings. Hotel room images are representative only and the actual room occupied may vary in inclusions and décor.
    • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
    • Subject to relevant laws, if Travelbay merges, sells or otherwise changes control of our business or this Website, we reserve the right, without giving notice or seeking consent, to transfer or assign your Personal Information, content and rights that we have collected from you and any agreements we have made with you.
    • Travelbay reserves all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyright in material and/or services provided by us.

    If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

    More dates available on request

    5 September 2017

    9 September 2017

    12 September 2017

    16 September 2017

    19 September 2017

    14 October 2017

    17 October 2017

    21 October 2017

    24 October 2017

    28 October 2017

    31 October 2017

    4 November 2017

    7 November 2017

    11 November 2017

    14 November 2017

    18 November 2017

    21 November 2017

    25 November 2017

    28 November 2017

    2 December 2017

    5 December 2017

    9 December 2017

    12 December 2017

    16 December 2017

    19 December 2017

    23 December 2017

    26 December 2017

    30 December 2017

    2 January 2018

    6 January 2018

    9 January 2018

    13 January 2018

    16 January 2018

    20 January 2018

    23 January 2018

    27 January 2018

    30 January 2018

    3 February 2018

    6 February 2018