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Highlights of China:...

Highlights of China: Beijing to Shanghai

12 days |  15 days with Hong Kong extension
Group size1535 travelers

5.0 star rating

Bronze lion in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing China
great wall of china
chinese tea ceremony
night life on the streets of shanghai china
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ

Currently, COVID-19 vaccination is required to participate in this tour.

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Explore a Far East nation that honors its storied traditions.

The influence of China’s ancient, powerful dynasties is still present today. Long-standing culinary traditions thrive, and architectural wonders stand amidst the hustle and bustle of big city life. Visiting the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Terracotta Army will introduce you to China’s rich history. Marveling at the scenery in Reed Flute Cave and along the Yulong River will open your eyes to a new side of this age-old country.

Your tour package includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 5 dinners with beer
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Forbidden City
  • Great Wall
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Xi’an city walls
  • Terracotta Army
Read more
Start planning today

An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

Talk to a Tour Consultant

Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Beijing today.

Beijing3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Beijing

Welcome to China! Settle in to your hotel this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Beijing
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome lunch

Delve into more than 2,000 years of Beijing’s history with a local guide.

  • Stroll across the expanse of Tiananmen Square
  • Wander through the Imperial Palace, also referred to as “The Forbidden City”
  • Walk through Meridian Gate and see the Palace of Heavenly Purity, where the  Ming dynasty emperors lived
  • Admire the Imperial Garden’s traditional design features
  • Exit through the Gate of Divine Prowess
  • Get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a family-style welcome lunch

Spend a free evening in Beijing or add an excursion.

Hutong Rickshaw Ride Family Visit & Dinner

From $99 per person

Day 4: The Great Wall
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Head outside of Beijing to marvel at one of the world’s most impressive structures: the Great Wall.

  • Stop at a Jade Factory on the way to watch a demonstration of how the gemstone is carved to create impressive sculptures
  • Tour the Great Wall at the Juyong Pass
  • Enjoy free time to explore the many ramparts and towers, admiring panoramic views as you go
  • Sit down for an included family-style lunch before traveling back to Beijing

Please note: The Juyong Pass cannot be reached by cable car or elevator. Walking  is required to reach this less crowded, more scenic section of the Great Wall.

Enjoy a free evening in Beijing or add an excursion.

Kung Fu Show

From $79 per person

Xi'an2 nights
Day 5: Tai Chi lesson, sightseeing tour of the Temple of Heaven & flight to Xi’an
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Discover Beijing’s modern and ancient traditions on today’s tour.

  • Participate in a Tai Chi lesson alongside locals in Temple of Heaven Park
  • Discover the health benefits of this traditional form of exercise, which combines easy, flowing arm and leg movements
  • Enter the Temple of Heaven for a guided tour
  • Walk down the Long Corridor to enter the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
  • Learn about the history of the Ming Dynasty at the Imperial Vault of Heaven

Fly to Xi’an this afternoon and sit down for an included family-style dinner.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Xi’an & Terracotta Army
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take a panoramic tour of Xi’an, one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China  and the starting point of the Silk Road.

  • Pass the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower, which marks what was once the center of the city
  • Walk along the 14th-century city walls to see watchtowers and ramparts that were built by the Ming Dynasty

Head outside of the city this afternoon to visit one of the country’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Terracotta Army.

  • Visit a local workshop to learn how the clay statues were made
  • See some of the 8,000 life-size pottery soldiers that represent the expansive army of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang
  • Watch a noodle-making demonstration and enjoy an included family-style lunch
  • See Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum
  • Visit the Exhibition Hall to see two sets of bronze chariots and horses that were excavated from the archaeological site in 1980

Please note: Depending on flight times on day 5, you may visit the Xi’an City walls  on the afternoon of day 5.

Spend a free evening in Xi’an or add an excursion.

Tang Dynasty Evening

From $115 per person

Guilin1 night
Day 7: Flight to Guilin & Reed Flute Cave
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Guilin this morning. Then, meet up with a local guide to explore the stunning Reed Flute Cave.

  • Walk along the pathways as colorful lights illuminate the stalactites and stalagmites
  • Learn about the cave’s unique geological features and see some of the markings on the walls that date back to the Tang Dynasty

Next, pay a visit to a tea plantation located on the foothills of Yao Mountain. You'll pick tea leaves and learn about the tea-making process. Then, enjoy an included family-style dinner.

Yangshuo2 nights
Day 8: Yangshuo via Fuli & rice paddy visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

As you travel to Yangshuo, stop in the ancient town of Fuli for a guided tour.

  • Walk along the cobblestone streets to explore the town, which sits on the banks  of the Li River
  • Visit a local shop to learn about the town’s artistic roots and how local shopkeepers design traditional fans and scroll paintings

Next, a guided tour takes you through the Chinese countryside and introduces you  to the people who call this area home.

  • Stop at a local farmer’s house to meet the family and find out how they tend to their rice paddy
  • Learn about what the family’s daily life is like

Continue on to Yangshuo and sit down for an included family-style dinner. Then, explore the bustling markets that line West Street with your Tour Director.

Day 9: Yulong River bamboo raft ride
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, board a bamboo raft and leisurely float down the scenic Yulong River. Pass by towering limestone peaks, grassy rice paddies, and grazing water buffaloes  as you go. Then, enjoy an included family-style lunch 

Spend a free evening in Yangshuo or add an excursion.

Yangshuo Market Visit & Cooking Class

From $79 per person

Shanghai2 nights
Day 10: Flight to Shanghai & Maglev train ride
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Shanghai this morning. Then, ride the Shanghai Maglev train—a magnetic levitation train that’s distinguished as one of the fastest trains in the world— on your way to your hotel. 

Sit down for an included family-style dinner. Then, enjoy a free evening in Shanghai or add an excursion.

Acrobatic Show

From $59 per person

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Shanghai
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Farewell dinner

Meet up with a local guide to learn about Shanghai’s culture on today’s tour.

  • Enter the Jade Buddha Temple to see the white jade statues of sitting Buddha  and reclining Buddha
  • Visit a silk factory to learn how the fabric is produced
  • Stroll through the Yuyuan Garden, the “Garden of Happiness”
  • Enjoy free time to shop at the Yuyuan Bazaar before taking part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony
  • Walk along the Bund, Shanghai’s historic waterfront promenade

Celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood this evening.

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to explore Hong Kong.

Extension to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a place of complexity and contrast, where skyscrapers of glass and steel mingle with views of green mountains and tranquil bays. Fly to the city to uncover its ancient culture on a guided tour, and then look to your Tour Director for more expert suggestions.
Hong Kong3 nights
Day 12: Flight to Hong Kong
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, fly to Hong Kong, a former British colony known for its striking skyline and range of global influences, and enjoy a free day in the city.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Hong Kong
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Uncover Hong Kong on a guided tour.

  • Take a bus ride up to Victoria Peak and enjoy panoramic views of the city’s world-famous skyline
  • Visit the Aberdeen Fishing Village before enjoying an included family-style lunch
  • Pass Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay on your way to visit Stanley Market

Later, enjoy a free evening in Hong Kong or add an excursion.

Hong Kong by Night

From $205 per person

Day 14: Free day in Hong Kong
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Hong Kong or add an excursion. 

Tonight, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers.

New Lantau Island Tour

From $205 per person

Flight Home
Day 15: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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5.0 star rating

Overall rating 5 out of 5

Based on 3 authentic traveler reviews
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    5.0 star rating

    Enjoying sites and food around China.
    10/17/19 by 6th-time traveler Michael

    We traveled in October of 2019 from Beijing to Hong Kong we were treated to great sites, experiences and wonderful foods. Our guides were great, Li Jun-aka/ John was wonderful, spoke English very well and made sure all of us were safe, happy and informed every step of the way. David who took over...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 12/7/21

    Dear Michael, Thank you for your review! We are s...

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    5.0 star rating

    Around the World tour October 2019
    10/17/19 by 6th-time traveler Diana

    Please see comments from the Greece Convention that we tied this trip to. Thank you to Alex and Josh so very much.

    5.0 star rating

    A most magnificent trip!
    10/17/19 by 1st-time traveler Helen

    The trip to China was much more than I expected! From start to finish, I mentally processed each new adventure and am still working on my China journal at home. Sometimes the excursion would be over before I realized the impact of what I just did! Oh my goodness, I just walked on the Great Wall of...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Novotel Beijing Peace Hotel
    Novotel Beijing Peace Hotel

    This modern hotel is located in the city center at Wangfujingjing. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and a spa. Nearby, you’ll find the Forbid...

    Read more +
    Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel Xian
    Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel Xian

    This comfortable hotel is located in the Lianhu District of Xi'an. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and room service. Nearby, you'll find Lin...

    Read more +
    Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Puxi
    Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Puxi

    This comfortable hotel is located in the Jiangning Road Residential District. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and restaurant. Nearby, you'll...

    Read more +
    Harbour Grand Kowloon
    Harbour Grand Kowloon

    This elegant hotel is located in the Kowloon City District of Hong Kong overlooking Victoria Harbor. Guests enjoy the rooftop pool, fitness center and...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


    Print FAQ
    Passport, visa & entry requirements
    • In order to enter China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of return.
    • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
    • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter China. You may choose to apply directly to the Chinese consulate or use a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral.
    • No visa is required to enter Hong Kong on the tour extension, unless you are planning to extend your stay over 90 days.
    • If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Chinese consulate (and Hong Kong’s consulate if you are traveling on the tour extension) for specific entry requirements.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code CHI.
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    Tour pacing & mobility
    • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of small boats.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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    Transportation & arrival information 
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Beijing and depart from Shanghai (or from Hong Kong for the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
    • Flights from Beijing to Xi’an, Xi’an to Guilin, and Guilin to Shanghai, as well as a Yulong River raft ride are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong).
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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    Baggage allowance 
    • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
    • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. We recommend that you limit your baggage to under 44lbs to avoid charges on included flights within China.
    • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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    Clothing & packing tips 
    • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
    • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
    • Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities.
    • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.
    • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
    • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
    • Please be sure to take proper care with sun exposure, the sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting.
    • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
    • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, antidiarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
    • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
    • Depending on season and weather patterns, air pollution in some locations may be problematic for travelers with a history of respiratory problems. Based on your health history, please discuss any precautions with your healthcare provider prior to departure.
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
    • Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or all of the countries or regions on this tour. Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in all countries or regions you will visit.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code CHI.
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    • The diversity of Chinese cuisine reflects China’s long history. With each dynasty, new recipes and cooking styles emerged. The food on your tour will introduce you to many of the country’s Eight Cuisines— Shangdong, Sichuan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Anhui. Popular ingredients throughout include noodles, tofu, bok choy, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli, and meats like chicken, duck, and shrimp. Most meals are served with rice, and are often seasoned with ginger, garlic, and white pepper.
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    Electricity & air conditioning 
    • China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension) operates on 220 volts and uses Type A, C, and I plugs with two flat pins, two rounded pins, or three flat pins set at an angle, respectively.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
    • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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    • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
    • Internet access in China is strictly regulated by the Chinese government, and a number of censorship laws restrict which sites can be accessed from within the country. You may be unable to visit websites such as Google, Facebook, or other email servers. To learn more about which websites may be inaccessible in China, visit
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    Time zones 
    • China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension) is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 12am on tour.
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    • The renminbi (the people’s currency) is the official currency in China. The yuan is the basic unit of the renmibi you will use on tour, and the two names are often used interchangeably. (You will use the Hong Kong dollar on the tour extension.)
    • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
    • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
    • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
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    Purchasing excursions on tour 
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
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