Experience the regional cuisine and culture of China with this comprehensive 14 day itinerary. This tour features multiple cooking classes where you can learn the secrets of the perfect dumplings as well as Sichuan style food. There are also many opportunities to experience famed local dishes such as Peking Duck, Sichuan Hot pot, Beer Fish, and even a traditional Tea Ceremony. Also including highlights such as the Terracotta Warriors, cultural shows, a panda breeding centre, and a cruise down the incomparable Li River, this itinerary will nourish your soul as well as your stomach.
Day 1: Beijing
Upon arrival at Beijing Capital Airport you will be met by our local representative who will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2: Beijing (BLD)
Today begins with a private escorted tour of the Temple of Heaven, one of Beijing’s most impressive sites in terms of architecture and significance. The temple was used by emperors to communicate with heaven. Later visit Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest city centre square and the centre of Beijing. Next is a visit to the Forbidden City. Officially known as the Imperial Palace Museum, this 72 hectare palace complex contains 980 buildings and was the centre of the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty for almost 500 years.
The day ends with a Peking Duck dinner, a dish famed around the world.
Day 3: Beijing (B L D)
This morning depart for a private escorted tour of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. This section is favoured for its large construction scale and excellent preservation. Later take a pedicab tour through the myriad of alleyways and small streets known as Hutongs. Here you will see locals going about their daily business in a way which blends tradition with modern life.
Tonight’s meal will be an Imperial Dinner at Fangshan Restaurant. This famous restaurant was once a tea house staffed by chefs from the Imperial Palace and was opened to the public in 1925.
Day 4: Beijing – Xi’an (B L)
This morning you will be taken to The Summer Palace, a 17 acre ensemble of lakes gardens and palaces whose origins date back to 1153. In the afternoon take a high speed train to Xian where you will be met and transferred to Muslim Street. This district is famed for its street food and here you will take a guided tour featuring many of the best dishes snacks and treats.
Day 5: Xi’an (B L D)
A morning visit to the incomparable Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum is a highlight of today. The collection of an estimated 8000 figures buried with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in approximately 210 BCE remained undiscovered until it was found by local farmers in 1974. In the afternoon visit the Bell Tower, a 36 metre high brick and timber structure which was built in 1384 and remains a symbol of Xi’an to this day.
Later learn how to make Chinese dumplings at a cooking class before experiencing a Tang Dynasty show featuring various traditional instruments and dances.
Day 6: Xi’an – Chengdu (B L)
In the morning visit the Old City Wall. 13912 metres in circumference and 15 metres wide at the top, a bike ride around the top is an ideal way to experience this remarkable piece of engineering.
After lunch you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chengdu.
Day 7: Chengdu (B L D)
This morning begins with a visit to the Panda Breeding Centre, a not-for-profit research and breeding facility. These amazing creatures, symbol of the World Wildlife Fund, are one of the rarest mammals in the world with only an estimated 1500 living in the wild.
Afterwards take a walk through Kuanzhai Alley before visiting Renmin Park where you will experience a local tea house and even have the opportunity to play Mahjong with some locals. The evening meal tonight will be a traditional Sichuan hot pot a dish that is just as much about the social experience as it is about the eating.
Day 8 Chengdu – Guilin (B L)
Today features several culinary experiences including a cooking class at the famed Chuancai Museum. This museum is dedicated to Sichuan cuisine, a slightly spicier version of traditional Chinese cooking. Here you will try some local dishes including Gongbao chicken, Mapo Tofu, and Panda steam dumplings.
Later take a walk through Jinli Street famous for local snacks and sweets before being transferred to the airport for an evening flight to Guilin.
Day 9: Guilin – Xingping (B L)
This morning you will be transferred to your boat for your leisurely 3.5 hour cruise down the unforgettably beautiful Li River. As you pass by local farms and people going about their everyday life, you may see water buffalo wallowing in the placid waters surrounded by the impressively stunning karst cliffs and hills that make the region so memorable.
Upon disembarking in Xingping, take a walk around the beautiful town centre before being transferred to Yangshuo, a charming and internationally renowned town where you will have time at leisure to explore at your own pace. A stroll along West Street during the evening is highly recommended as it comes alive with both Western and Chinese entertainment.
Day 10: Yangshuo (B L)
This morning begins with a biking tour of local scenery around rice paddies and along the river. Then take a one hour bamboo rafting trip down the Yulong River before a lunch of the very famous Beer Fish meal at a local restaurant. The remainder of the day is at leisure to soak up the scenery and local life in this beautiful location.
Day 11: Yangshuo – Guilin – Shanghai (B L D)
Transfer back to Guilin this morning to visit the Tea Institute. Here you will learn how tea plants grow and have an opportunity to pick some tea leaves before learning about the ways to process the plant. The visit culminates with a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.
Following a Cantonese style Zaocha meal for lunch you will be taken to visit the incredible Reed Flute Cave, a fascinating 240 metre long gallery of natural sculptures which has been one of the main attractions of the area for over 1200 year.
You will then be transferred to the airport for a flight to Shanghai where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 12: Shanghai (B L)
Today begins with a visit to the Yu Garden, the only fully restored classical Chinese garden in Shanghai. The area is full of beautiful ponds, gardens, bridges, and pavilions. Next join the bustle of the shopping district of downtown Shanghai before a dim sum lunch in a local restaurant.
A visit to the Shanghai Museum is next before visiting the Former French Concession Xintiandi and the Old Quarters.
Day 13: Shanghai (B L)
This morning you will be driven to Zhujiajiao, a “watertown” sometimes called the Chinese Venice, where you will see stunning ancient architecture before trying several specialty Shanghai dishes for lunch. Later transfer back to The Bund, a world famous symbol of modern China, before strolling along Nanching Road – one of the busiest shopping districts in the world.
Day 14: Shanghai – Departure (B)
Following breakfast you will be transferred to Shanghai Pudong Airport for your onward flight.
- Private tour escorted by an English Speaking guide and private car.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast.
- Other meals specified (B=breakfast L=lunch D=Dinner).
- Domestic flight (economy class): Chengdu / Guilin Guilin / Shanghai.
- Domestic train (2nd class): Beijing / Xi'an Xi'an / Chengdu.
- Entrance fees.
- International airfares
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.