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China by Rail

21 days Fully Inclusive Classic Group Tour

China by Rail

Embark on an extraordinary rail voyage through China's ever-changing landscapes, charming ancient towns, and iconic sights that unfold beyond your window. Stop along the way to meander along the cobbled lanes of the historic towns of Tunxi, Dali and Lijiang, stand in awe before the breathtaking Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and venture to the Yellow Mountain to admire the beauty of its scenery, acclaimed in Chinese art and literature for centuries.

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 20 , Lunches: 19 , Dinners: 20
  • Accommodation
    20 nights in 4 star accommodation
  • Cruise
    Li River Cruise, Huangpu River Cruise
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 2
    A reasonable level of fitness is required, as you'll be spending time on your feet and doing a bit of walking to cover short distances during your daily sightseeing. There will also be some climbing of steps and climbing on and off of coaches and boats.
    Learn More
    Walking, some steps and extended time on your feet.
Classic Group Tour
21 DAYS
From USD $6,493PP
Shanghai – Mt. Huang – Tunxi – Changsha – Guilin – Yangshuo – Kunming – Dali – Lijiang – Chengdu – Xian – Beijing
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Tour Highlights

Our China by Rail tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Day by Day Itinerary

Shanghai (2N) – Mt. Huang (1N) – Tunxi (1N) – Changsha (1N) – Guilin (2N) – Yangshuo (1N) – Kunming (2N) – Dali (2N) - Lijiang (2N) – Chengdu (1N) – Xian (2N) – Beijing (3N)
  • Day 1
    Arrive Shanghai
    Dinner
    Day 1: Arrive Shanghai

    On arrival in Shanghai Pudong or Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, you will be met in the arrival hall by your local guide and/or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer approximately 1 hour to your hotel. Early check-in is not included. Additional nights’ before and after your tour can be arranged. Please contact our Reservations team to book. An informal Welcome Dinner will be held on Day 2. If you miss this due to your arrival time, all information will be provided to you at breakfast the following morning.

    Dinner
  • Day 2
    Explore Shanghai
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 2: Explore Shanghai

    Today’s explorations include the peaceful Yu Garden and the atmospheric alleys of the old town. Admire the magnificent colonial architecture along the Huangpu River with a stroll along the Bund before visiting a silk factory. Also enjoy a trip on the super-fast Maglev train, which reaches top speeds of 431 km/h. Sightseeing today involves a full day of touring around the centre of the city with 3-4 hours on foot. Later, cruise on the mighty Huangpu River for stunning views of the Shanghai skyline. Dine tonight on traditional Shanghainese cuisine.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3
    Yellow Mountain
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 3: Yellow Mountain

    Board a bullet train from Shanghai to the old trading town of Tunxi. Your journey will take approximately 3 hours. Then, take an 8-10 minute cable car to the summit of Mount Huang, more commonly known as Yellow Mountain, the loveliest mountain in China. On your way up, enjoy views of the oddly shaped peaks, rock formations, thousand year-old pine trees and ever-changing mist. Spend 2-3 hours on foot including stairs exploring the scenic area including Begin-to-Believe Peak and Lion Peak. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train. We recommend packing an overnight bag for your one night stay at Mount Huang. Your luggage will be stored in Tunxi.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4
    Tunxi Ancient Town
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 4: Tunxi Ancient Town

    This morning, rise early to watch the sunrise and see the yellow-tinted granite mountains light up. Continue exploring by foot including stairs approximately 3-4 hours visiting more stunning notable attractions such as Dispelling Cloud Pavilion and Flying-over Rock. Board the scenic cable car journey down back towards Tunxi. This afternoon enjoy a leisurely stroll through the ancient town of Tunxi, home to the best preserved old street in China boasting styles from the Southern Song Dynasty, Ming and Qing dynasties.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Orange Island
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 5: Orange Island

    Journey 4 hours by bullet train to Changsha, a vibrant metropolis steeped in history. Explore Orange Island, a picturesque island home to the 32-metre statue of Mao Zedong and lush gardens. Tonight, there will be a walking tour of Changsha’s lively night market. Sightseeing today will be approximately 2-3 hours on foot.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6
    Bullet Train to Guilin
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 6: Bullet Train to Guilin

    This morning you will visit the Yuelu Academy, home to valuable collections, ancient books, and cultural relics that offer a glimpse into China's scholarly traditions and intellectual heritage. Then board a 4 hour bullet train to the city of Guilin. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7
    Discover Guilin
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 7: Discover Guilin

    Embark on a tour to Elephant Trunk Hill, the iconic rock formation resembling an elephant drinking from the Li River. Visit the South China Pearl Factory where you will have the opportunity to buy these precious stones. Later, visit the Sun and Moon Pagodas and the ancient South City Gate then set sail on a serene cruise, navigating the network of canals and walkways of the Two Rivers and Four Lakes. Sightseeing today is approximately 2-3 hours on foot.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8
    Li River Cruise
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 8: Li River Cruise

    Take a relaxed 4-hour cruise along the Li River to the charming village of Yangshuo where you will spend 1 night. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged peaks loom over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalos and local fishermen. These are small cruise boats usually holding approximately 100 passengers; with an enclosed dining area on the lower deck and an open viewing area on the upper deck. Usually the boats depart at 9am, from the dock located a 1-hour drive from your hotel. However, when the river level is low they depart from further downstream which would mean a longer drive and an earlier check-out from your hotel. Disembarking from the cruise, your Local Guide will walk with you to your hotel, approximately a 30-minute walk from the river. There are electric carts offered by private vendors which can be organised at your own cost. In Yangshuo, visit the local markets. In the evening, there is an option to join the Sanjie Liu Night show (at your own expense).

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 9
    Bullet Train to Kunming
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 9: Bullet Train to Kunming

    Drive 1 hour to Guilin train station and board a bullet train to Kunming, China’s 'Spring City’. Journey time onboard is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10
    Explore Kunming
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 10: Explore Kunming

    Drive 1 and a half hours to the Stone Forest and spend the morning exploring the unusual limestone rock formations of the Kunming Stone Forest. This involves around 2 and a half hours walking along cobblestone paths to view the maze of rock pinnacles, lake and ponds. After lunch, you will drive back to Kunming for an afternoon at leisure. In the evening, dine on the local delicacy of Across the Bridge noodles. There is an optional Yunnan Impressions show (at your own expense).

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11
    Dali's Ancient Town
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 11: Dali's Ancient Town

    Board a 2 hour bullet train to Dali. In Dali, enjoy some light sightseeing around Dali’s Old Quarter and the symmetrical Three Pagodas. This evening, take a stroll round lively Foreigner’s Street. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12
    Enchanting Dali
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 12: Enchanting Dali

    Head over to Xizhou Village to explore the local wares at the market, as well as the iconic Yan Family house. Later, take a cruise on tranquil Erhai Lake. You will be required to get on and off the boat here. Visit the Golden Flower Tie Dye shop and explore Dali’s quaint old quarter. Sightseeing today is relaxed, involving approximately 3 hours on foot.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13
    Lijiang Old Quarter
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 13: Lijiang Old Quarter

    Transfer to the train station this morning to board a 2 hour bullet train to Lijiang, one of Yunnan’s most beautiful spots and quintessential Chinese towns. Transfer about 40 minutes to Lijiang Old Quarter and explore the maze of canals and cobbled alleys on foot, admiring the traditional architecture. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train. Daytime altitude - 3,200m at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Overnight altitude - 2,300m at Lijiang

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14
    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 14: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    A magnificent mountain massif, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain incorporates several peaks, the tallest of which is 5,500m. Visiting Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is very popular with travellers to this area, so to avoid the large crowds of people queuing at the same time, the local Government’s tourist authority allocates times to each group. The bus will drive to the base of the mountain where you will take a cable car and explore one of the beautiful high meadows and enjoy the amazing vistas. From the cable car, there is a wooden pathway to the meadow; this walking route takes approximately 20 minutes. Descend by chairlift to re-board the bus. You may reach a maximum altitude of 3250M during your time on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Later, take a leisurely visit to Baisha Old Town to view the fascinating murals, painted during the early Ming Dynasty. There are ruthless souvenir sellers near the bus park so be firm to avoid any hassle. Please note that this section of the itinerary is subject to change at late notice. Your local guide will keep you informed of any changes as they are made aware of them. Overnight altitude - 2,300m at Lijiang

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15
    Travel to Chengdu
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 15: Travel to Chengdu

    This morning is at leisure, before you fly 1 and a half hours to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Tonight, an optional Face Changing Show is available (at your own expense).

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16
    Pandas
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 16: Pandas

    Today you will visit China’s most famous resident, the Giant Panda. Visit the Panda Conservation Centre and see these lovable creatures in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to see the feeding of the younger pandas, as this only happens at the start and end of each day. Sightseeing involves approximately 1 and a half hours on foot and there are electric carts offered by private vendors that can be organised at your own cost. Later, journey approximately 4 hours by bullet train to Xian. Tonight, there is an optional night tour of Xian’s bright lights (at your own expense). Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 17
    Terracotta Warriors
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 17: Terracotta Warriors

    Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of the lifesized Terracotta Warriors. The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses is located approximately a 1-hour drive outside of Xian. From the bus park to the museum entrance there is a 15-minute walk. There are electric carts offered by private vendors which can be organised at your own cost. There is no electric cart available for the return from the museum exit to the bus park. Within the museum area the warriors can be seen in three different ‘pits’, which are active archaeological digs. The site is large and will take about 2 and a half hours to explore. After this, visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition Workshop to see smaller models of the warriors being made. Later, stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town. The local guide will give you time to explore the ancient city walls at your own pace. There are options here to hire a bicycle or an electric cart to drive along the length of the wall. These are offered by private vendors and can be organised at your own expense. Please note: If you wish to undertake a bike ride on the Ancient City Wall, we strongly recommend wearing a helmet. This evening, feast on traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and enjoy a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 18
    Journey to Beijing
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 18: Journey to Beijing

    Board your bullet train to Beijing, China’s capital. Your train journey will takes 4-5 hours. On arrival drive 1 hour to your hotel. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. Please note you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the train.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 19
    Imperial Beijing
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 19: Imperial Beijing

    Walk across the lengths of Tiananmen Square and into the magnificent Forbidden City. Soak up the harmonious ambience of the Temple of Heaven. In the afternoon, visit the China Railway Museum. You will spend approximately 6 hours sightseeing today, predominately on foot. This evening, savour a delicious Peking duck dinner. Please note: The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. If this day of touring falls on a Monday, your touring in Beijing will be switched around so that the Forbidden City is visited on an alternative day.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 20
    The Great Wall
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 20: The Great Wall

    Rise early this morning and drive approximately 2 hours northwest of the city to the Juyongguan Pass. Here you can take a walk on the Great Wall of China, appreciating the wall itself and the dramatic scenery. Your visit here involves walking from the bus to the first section. After your group has been given an introduction to the Great Wall’s unique history you will have free time to explore at your own pace. Later, visit the Jade Factory, and in the afternoon, drive approximately 1 and a half hours to wander around the Summer Palace. Tonight, there is an optional Acrobat show (at your own expense).

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 21
    Depart Beijing
    Breakfast
    Day 21: Depart Beijing

    Any time before your flight is at leisure. You will be transferred from your hotel to Beijing Daxing or Beijing Capital Airport, according to the departure time of your international flight. Late check-out is not included. Additional night's before and after your tour can be arranged. Please contact our Reservations team to book.

    Breakfast
China by Rail map

Trip Notes

Accommodation

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

Book With Confidence

When to go

The best times to visit China are in spring, April to May and autumn, September to October, when the days are warm and rainfall and humidity low.

City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • -8
    2
    -3
  • 3
  • Chengdu
  • 3
    9
    6
  • 8
  • Dali
  • 1
    14
    8
  • 14
  • Guilin
  • 5
    12
    8
  • 63
  • Kunming
  • 2
    15
    9
  • 16
  • Lijiang
  • 7
    21
    6
  • 2
  • Shanghai
  • 2
    8
    5
  • 74
  • Xian
  • -4
    5
    0
  • 7
  • Yangshuo
  • 6
    13
    10
  • 53
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • -6
    5
    0
  • 5
  • Chengdu
  • 5
    11
    8
  • 12
  • Dali
  • 2
    16
    9
  • 23
  • Guilin
  • 7
    13
    10
  • 97
  • Kunming
  • 4
    17
    10
  • 16
  • Lijiang
  • 8
    24
    8
  • 6
  • Shanghai
  • 4
    10
    7
  • 59
  • Xian
  • -1
    8
    4
  • 10
  • Yangshuo
  • 7
    13
    10
  • 81
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 0
    12
    6
  • 8
  • Chengdu
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 20
  • Dali
  • 5
    19
    12
  • 28
  • Guilin
  • 10
    16
    13
  • 137
  • Kunming
  • 6
    21
    14
  • 20
  • Lijiang
  • 13
    29
    10
  • 17
  • Shanghai
  • 7
    14
    10
  • 94
  • Xian
  • 4
    14
    9
  • 29
  • Yangshuo
  • 11
    17
    14
  • 114
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 8
    20
    14
  • 21
  • Chengdu
  • 13
    22
    17
  • 44
  • Dali
  • 8
    21
    14
  • 24
  • Guilin
  • 16
    23
    19
  • 247
  • Kunming
  • 10
    24
    17
  • 24
  • Lijiang
  • 18
    33
    13
  • 21
  • Shanghai
  • 12
    20
    16
  • 74
  • Xian
  • 10
    21
    15
  • 43
  • Yangshuo
  • 16
    23
    20
  • 224
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 14
    26
    20
  • 34
  • Chengdu
  • 17
    26
    22
  • 78
  • Dali
  • 12
    24
    18
  • 66
  • Guilin
  • 20
    27
    24
  • 352
  • Kunming
  • 14
    24
    19
  • 97
  • Lijiang
  • 21
    34
    17
  • 56
  • Shanghai
  • 17
    25
    21
  • 84
  • Xian
  • 14
    26
    20
  • 60
  • Yangshuo
  • 20
    28
    24
  • 312
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 19
    30
    24
  • 78
  • Chengdu
  • 20
    28
    24
  • 107
  • Dali
  • 15
    24
    20
  • 178
  • Guilin
  • 23
    30
    27
  • 347
  • Kunming
  • 17
    24
    20
  • 181
  • Lijiang
  • 23
    33
    18
  • 167
  • Shanghai
  • 22
    28
    25
  • 182
  • Xian
  • 19
    31
    25
  • 54
  • Yangshuo
  • 23
    30
    26
  • 293
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 22
    31
    26
  • 185
  • Chengdu
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 224
  • Dali
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 186
  • Guilin
  • 25
    33
    29
  • 231
  • Kunming
  • 17
    24
    20
  • 202
  • Lijiang
  • 24
    32
    18
  • 242
  • Shanghai
  • 26
    32
    29
  • 146
  • Xian
  • 22
    32
    27
  • 99
  • Yangshuo
  • 24
    32
    28
  • 200
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 21
    30
    25
  • 160
  • Chengdu
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 201
  • Dali
  • 15
    23
    19
  • 219
  • Guilin
  • 24
    33
    29
  • 173
  • Kunming
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 204
  • Lijiang
  • 23
    32
    17
  • 207
  • Shanghai
  • 26
    32
    29
  • 214
  • Xian
  • 21
    31
    26
  • 71
  • Yangshuo
  • 24
    32
    28
  • 186
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 15
    26
    20
  • 46
  • Chengdu
  • 19
    25
    22
  • 119
  • Dali
  • 13
    22
    18
  • 158
  • Guilin
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 82
  • Kunming
  • 15
    23
    19
  • 119
  • Lijiang
  • 22
    31
    16
  • 161
  • Shanghai
  • 22
    28
    25
  • 87
  • Xian
  • 16
    25
    21
  • 92
  • Yangshuo
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 83
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 8
    19
    14
  • 22
  • Chengdu
  • 15
    21
    18
  • 35
  • Dali
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 104
  • Guilin
  • 17
    26
    21
  • 66
  • Kunming
  • 12
    20
    16
  • 79
  • Lijiang
  • 19
    30
    13
  • 70
  • Shanghai
  • 17
    23
    20
  • 56
  • Xian
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 60
  • Yangshuo
  • 17
    26
    22
  • 85
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • 0
    10
    5
  • 7
  • Chengdu
  • 10
    16
    13
  • 16
  • Dali
  • 5
    17
    11
  • 33
  • Guilin
  • 12
    20
    16
  • 64
  • Kunming
  • 7
    18
    12
  • 42
  • Lijiang
  • 12
    27
    9
  • 16
  • Shanghai
  • 11
    17
    14
  • 52
  • Xian
  • 3
    12
    8
  • 24
  • Yangshuo
  • 12
    21
    16
  • 69
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Beijing
  • -6
    4
    -1
  • 3
  • Chengdu
  • 4
    11
    8
  • 5
  • Dali
  • 2
    15
    8
  • 15
  • Guilin
  • 7
    15
    11
  • 43
  • Kunming
  • 3
    15
    9
  • 11
  • Lijiang
  • 8
    22
    6
  • 4
  • Shanghai
  • 5
    11
    8
  • 44
  • Xian
  • -2
    6
    2
  • 6
  • Yangshuo
  • 7
    16
    12
  • 44

Pricing & Availability

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1 Room, 2 Guests
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    Arrival Date
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    Additional Price Information

    • Land only: This tour price is based on land itinerary only. No international flights are included.
    • Visa: A visa may be required and is not included in the tour price. Please check entry requirements with your nearest Consulate.
    • Tipping kitty: Customary tipping amount of approximately RMB1010pp is paid locally in China.
    • Transfers: Airport transfers are included when arriving on the first day and departing on that last day of the tour, or when booking the group tour additional nights’ accommodation through Wendy Wu Tours.
    • Early check-in and late check-out are not included but can be arranged at an additional price.
    • Price listed is based on new bookings only

    Group Tour includes

    • Meals as stated (refer to itinerary)
    • Domestic transportation
    • Touring with English-speaking guides & entrance fees
    • All accommodation

    Important Information For Your Tour

    Before Booking
    Travel Protection, Booking Conditions
    and more
    Before you go
    Passports & Visas, Travel Guides & Packing Lists, Holiday FAQ’s and more

    Extensions and Stopovers

    Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.

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