Explore the wonders of China on this 19 day / 18 night tailor-made tour package which takes you to all the must-see highlights of this wonder-filled nation


19 Days, 18 Nights     FROM CNY 27,922 PER PERS

It’s easy to immediately think of the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors when you consider China, but this wonder-filled country has so much more to offer – enough to fill a lifetime of travel. Although it may be impossible to see all of what China offers in one trip, this package allows you to see the key highlights of this captivating destination.

Our ’Epic China’ tour will take you on an once-in-a-lifetime trip through the most essential elements of one of the most varied and interesting civilizations on the planet, including all the elements you already know of China, and many often unseen ones that will amaze and surprise you. Along the way you’ll learn, absorb and savor the sights, sounds and subtle nuances through unique interactions that only a trip with Backyard Travel can offer.

You will visit the film sets of numerous places you’ll instantly recognize from iconic movies such as Ang Lee’s ’Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and Ai Weiwei’s films ’Hero’ and ’House of Flying Daggers’. You’ll see the wonders of China the majesty of Beijing, the bustle of Shanghai, and the natural beauty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites at staggering scenery of Guilin. We’ll also take you to see the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall up close and at times when fewer people are around.

Your guide will show you behind the scenes of the real China as you experience modern life in the big cities as well as stepping back in time to some of the rural areas.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Take a trip to a lesser-visited section of The Great Wall of China and enjoy a peaceful picnic perched atop the majestic structure
Visit the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, sentries frozen in time, immortalized by stone
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Summer Palace, West Lake, the villages of Xidi and Hongcun, and of course, the Great Wall of China
Learn about ancient Chinese arts including fengshui, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and qigong

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Beijing

    Nihao and welcome to China! We’ll make your first moments as blissful as possible as you adapt to the exotic sights, sounds and smells of China with a chauffeur-driven ride in a private car to the hotel which takes you past the Bird’s Nest stadium, a modern-day icon of China by Ai Weiwei where the 2008 Beijing Olympics began and ended. Having taken a short rest at the hotel, and depending on your time of arrival in Beijing, your first day of exploration will continue with a tour of Beijing’s hutongs (alleyways) close to Houhai Lake. From there, you’ll be guided to the Drum Tower, where in ancient times the passing hours were signaled by the banging of drums.

    You will then have the chance to meet a local bicycle repair man - a real character who has his finger on the pulse of Beijing and can offer you an insight into the importance and prominence, as well as the resurgence in popularity, of cycling in the busy city.

    If time permits, you’ll also have the chance to observe one of the most popular ways to spend time - playing the incredibly complicated and strategic game of mahjong. Luckily, your guide will be on hand to explain the rules, as you watch the players skillfully while away the hours playing rounds after rounds of this ancient past time.

    Before heading back to the hotel, you’ll then have the chance to visit the main shopping area of the city, Wangfujing and the neighboring Donghuamen market, which will allow you to get a measure of modern urban China. Wangfujing is mostly a pedestrian area and attracts a blend of both tourists and locals to fulfill their consumer urges, while Donghuamen market will surely attract your attention, if for no other reason than discovering that some of the loudest dumpling salespeople on the planet work there, and compete on a nightly basis to be THE loudest!After absorbing and processing an eventful first day, you’ll then be chauffeured back to your carefully hand-picked hotel.

  • Day 2: Beijing

    Day two will enable you to get a firm grasp of China’s relationship with religion, which your guide will explain to you as you go on a tour of some of Beijing’s most poignant places of worship. Today you will have the chance to get up-close and personal with China’s wide variety of practiced religion by seeing and learning about some of the key temples in Beijing.

    Firstly, you will pay a visit to the Temple of Heaven Park to see several spectacles that will also enable a better understanding of Chinese society. We recommend an early start today, something that we’re sure will pay-off, but as it’s your trip you’re free to plan as you wish! Every morning, the park welcomes mass sessions of public exercise (including taiji, kung-fu, sword-dancing, meditation, tango, and gymnastics) as well as locals practicing calligraphy on stone with water. In summer it is an intriguing to see - because of the heat, the water evaporates almost as quickly as it is written!After a leisurely bout of people-watching, you will then discover the temple itself. Notable for its architectural simplicity, the temple reflects early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. The temple experience continues with a visit to the lesser-known White Cloud Temple where Taoist monks still wear their hair in a traditional style and visitors come to rub sculptures representing the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. If time allows, you’ll also be able to visit Beijing Mosque, a symbol of the expansion of Muslin merchants to China from Central Asia. Lunch will then be taken in a leading local restaurant.

    After lunch you will have the opportunity to visit Yong He Gong Lama Temple, which proudly boasts an 18-meter-high Buddha statue carved from one block of wood. The last temple visit of the day takes you to the Temple of Confucius - a teacher whose moral codes provide the cornerstone of Chinese culture. A visit here will round off the day of temple tours which, together with your guide’s expert explanations, will give you a valuable knowledge base of China’s religions before being driven back to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

  • Day 3: Beijing

    Once more, at your discretion, we again recommend an early rise as we go to visit the most iconic structure in China, if not the world.

    The Great Wall of China is prominent in the minds of most when thinking of this vast nation. Backyard Travel will take you to the Mutianyu section of the wall in the early morning light which provides a great opportunity for photos especially as the early morning is quiet with fewer crowds. Sections of the Wall date back to the Qin Dynasty over 2,000 years ago, and were originally built as defensive positions to protect the Chinese from invading barbarian hordes.

    Those who fear that climbing the wall may be beyond them can take a cable car and save their legs for the walk down. Adventurous children can also toboggan ride to the bottom! There will also be a chance to sit down, relax and have a picnic on the 6,000km Great Wall, as you observe and soak in the spectacular views of the rugged lands it was built to protect.

    On the way back to Beijing, our guide will take you to the Summer Palace, a harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture. Once a simple imperial garden, the site was redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century and because of its beauty, the garden has become one of the capital’s major attractions, and was often used in the summer months by the Imperial Court as an escape from the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. Its 2.9km is three-quarters water with striking natural landscapes and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    After visiting the Summer Palace, your guide will escort you back to central Beijing.

  • Day 4: Beijing - Datong

    Day four begins with a morning of leisure and gives you a chance to do some Beijing shopping or venture out and explore the city alone. In the afternoon we’ll take you to visit the awe-inspiring Forbidden City, one of the most majestic sites in the world.

    Formerly a home of emperors, the Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace in the days of the Ming Dynasty and was lovingly restored in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. You’ll have the chance to take in the serene surrounding courtyards and stately rooms of this vast and elegant 720,000-square-meter complex which was completed in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Yongle. The Forbidden City served as the Imperial administrative center until the fall of the Empire in 1911 and according to legend is made up of 9,999 rooms.

    Our guide will take you to climb the hill behind the historic city to get spectacular views of the site and the layout of Beijing, helping you gain a greater understanding of the chaotic city.

    After taking the time to fully absorb the majesty of the 500-year-old City, you’ll then make tracks to catch the six-hour overnight train to Datong. Riding the overnight traditional train is an unforgettable experience and is a unique way to appreciate subtle nuances of Chinese culture.

    Safely tucked up in your own soft-sleeper cabin, you’ll discover that train travel in China is a cultural experience, not just a means to an end as you share a beer or baijiu (Chinese rice wine) with locals and consume scandalous amounts of sunflower seeds and freshly made noodles before getting some well-deserved sleep on this comfortable sleeper service.

  • Day 5: Datong

    Upon arrival at Datong train station you will be met by your local guide who will escort you to your hotel.

    Datong is the ancient capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty. After the fall of the Han Empire, which reigned from 206 BC to 220 AD, there was an explosion of smaller rival empires. One of these was set up by the Tuoba people, an ethnic minority of Turkish origin who lived in the north of China who were considered barbarians by the Chinese. They chose Datong, a city located just a few kilometers from the Mongolian border, as their capital.

    After check-in you’ll be taken to visit the Yungang Grottoes, considered to be a symbol of the ‘golden age’ of Buddhist cave art in China. The site contains approximately 51,000 rock-cut statues which were carved by monks and date back to the 5th century. The statues can be found in 252 different grottoes, although most of them are now closed to the public in order to protect and preserve them. ‘Grotto 5’ features a 17-meter-high stone-cut Buddha, which although does not compete with the 71-meter-high Buddha in Sichuan in terms of scale, has amazingly intricate detail.

    After marveling at the grottoes, you will return to Datong to visit the completely renovated city center and visit the superb Huayuan Temple, which was constructed by the Khitan people who founded the non-Chinese Liao Dynasty (907-1125). The temple features the unique Nine Dragon Wall (a 45-meter ‘screen wall’) which is the longest in the country. Chinese ‘screen walls’ are found in most traditional buildings and the degree of intricacy of the screen reflected the owner’s social standing.

    Erected outside the building, the practical purpose of the screen was to give privacy to visitors who wished to change their clothes before entering their host’s abode. Some also believed that the screens stopped unwanted supernatural visitors from entering their homes as ghosts could only walk in straight lines.

    You’ll then be driven back to your hotel, to spend the evening as you please.

  • Day 6: Datong - Pingyao

    On day six your day will begin with a trip to Mt. Hengshan and the Suspended Temple, a fine example of Northern Wei architecture, which is suspended from a cliff face 50m above a gorge formed by the Jinjlong River.

    The precarious looking structure holds fast due to an ingenious wooden construction supported by beams built into the rock-face. The temple was built in such an unconventional way, not because of an eccentric whim, but so as to avoid the floodwaters of the river below. All three of China’s main religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism) were worshipped here and the temple was also an ancient resting point for travelers.

    After taking in the spectacular views of the unique temple, you will then continue to Yingxian to see the world’s tallest wooded pagoda, which stands at 67m. The eight-sided Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, constructed in the 11th century, houses a giant 11m statue of the Goddess Sâkyamuni.

    You will then arrive in Pingyao, regarded as the perfect example of and preserved medieval city in China, lined with paved alleyways and traditional courtyard-style homes lit with red lanterns, all surrounded by reinforced city walls. You will have the chance to explore the town walls by bike, avoiding the tourists that gather to clutter the walkways.

    The once-impenetrable wall is 6km long, 10m high and has 72 watchtowers dotted along it, each of which has a piece of artwork by Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general and tactician and the author of ‘The Art of War’, recognized as one of the most defining works on military strategy.

    You will spend the evening in a traditional home built either during the Ming or Qing dynasty, which have been transformed into a quaint boutique hotel. Here you’ll be given the option of sleeping on a traditional kang, a bed made of bricks heated by a small fire set underneath.

  • Day 7: Pingyao

    After breakfast you will be given the chance to explore some of the local merchant’s houses and cave dwellings. Many merchants became rich during Ming and Qing dynasties and built huge palatial homes like the Wang Family Residence - an imposing labyrinth of courtyards, small gardens, temples and narrow stairways, which you will be given plenty of time to explore.

    On the way back to Pingyao you will stop in Zhangbicun, a small village famous for its underground castle. An incredible network of defensive tunnels was constructed here during the Sui Dynasty (681-618) to prepare for attacks from Tang invaders. The tunnels are 30m underground and stretch out 1,500m, so be sure to stick with your guide!The temple is very similar to the Qiao family residence which served as the backdrop to Zhang Yimou’s masterpiece ‘Raise the Red Lantern’, but is much less visited, giving you a more relaxing way to see such a fascinating site.

    You will also be able to discover some of the cave dwellings built into the loess rock that the region is famous for. Loess is a type of sedimentary rock that was formed as a result of an accumulation of silt. These cave dwellings are primarily found in the three provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan, which are often considered as the cradle of Chinese civilisation.

    Even though the conditions in these cave homes are very basic, with no running water and mains electricity supply, they have their advantages. The temperature inside the caves remains at a constant all year round, protecting the inhabitants from the bitter cold winds in winter, and keeping them cool and fresh in the hot summer months.

    Your day will end with a visit to Shuanglin Buddhist Temple (Temple of Double Forest), founded during Northern Wei Dynasty known for well preserved, finely sculptured statues that have retained their original colors.

    On return to Pingyao, your evening will be free to spend as you wish, wandering the narrow streets of this charming ancient city and explore some of the small boutiques and local restaurants dotted around.

  • Day 8: Pingyao - Taiyuan - Xi’an

    If you’d like to see Pingyao at its most peaceful, we recommend taking an early morning stroll today, to experience the early morning atmosphere of this charming city before the streets fill up.

    The tour will then take you to visit Rishengchang, which started as a small dye store in the 17th century and grew to become China’s first bank, which helped Pingyao’s establishment as China’s first financial center. Next you will go to visit the local yamen, which during Imperial times was an administration center, courthouse and even a prison.

    Your guide will then take you to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi to visit Jinci, a building constructed in honor of Prince Shuyu who founded the Jin state (772-403 BC). The temple is aligned with the values of Confucianism and ‘filial piety’, and is much older than any form of religion in China. Practicing Confucianists maintain links with the dead by offering food, burning paper money and incense and ‘sweep the tombs’ on Qingminjie (Tomb-Sweeping Day).

    The Hall of the Holy Mother is a perfect example of a Confucianism temple and is boasts superb wooden dragon sculptures that surround the temple, often only found in imperial places of worship. Be sure to ask your guide to tell you hear story of ‘why the emperor never joked’.

    After visiting the temple you will be taken to the Taiyuan airport and board a two-hour flight to Xi’an where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

  • Day 9: Xi’an

    Welcome to Shaanxi Province! Shaanxi is considered the birthplace of Chinese civilization and Xi’an has played a definitive role in the nation’s history and has thrice served as the capital of the Middle Empire and was also the starting point of the Silk Road (the trade route along which Chinese silk was exported).

    The city, previously called Chang’an already had a population size of 1 million during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi, the first emperor to unify the ‘warring states’ in 221BC and under the Tang Dynasty (618-907) became the world’s most populous city.

    On your first morning in Shaanxi you will be taken to see the legendary Terracotta Warriors, which lies just an hour from your hotel in Xi’an. The site was discovered in 1974 by locals digging a small hole who uncovered immense underground caverns full of thousands of warrior statues stood in battle formation. The site is considered one of the largest archaeological discoveries in world history.

    The army was built by Emperor Qin Shi, who wanted to protect himself from the spirits of the underworld. Each warrior, archer and cavalier has a unique face which are said to be the faces of the warriors who served under the Emperor at the time of construction.

    You will have the chance to visit all three ‘pits’ of warriors, starting with Pit 2 (which is still in the process of being evacuated), then Pit 3 (which is now mostly uncovered), and then lastly Pit 1 (the most impressive of the three with around 2,000 soldiers).

    On your return to Xi’an you will then be taken on an hour-long bike ride to visit the impressive city walls that were originally constructed during the Ming Dynasty and are some of the last in China. Afterwards you will visit Xi’an’s main mosque and the Muslim quarter surrounding it, populated by men wearing white skull caps and women wearing colorful headscarves. The trade route between China and the Middle East and the merchants that came with it saw the arrival of Islam to China. Modern China’s Muslim population now numbers approximately 15 million people, a sizable portion of which you will find in Xi’an.

    You may spend the evening at your leisure, however we suggest you dine at the local night market and take your pick from a selection of local delicacies including spiced lamb kebabs, flatbreads and mutton noodle soup before spending the night in one of our hand-picked hotel in Xi’an.

  • Day 10: Xi’an - Guilin

    On the way to the airport you will have the opportunity to visit the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi, who reigned during Han Dynasty (188-141 BC) who was known for his humanitarianism and diplomatic relations. The tomb, which was only opened to public in 2006, houses a number of figurines representing eunuchs, servants and pets giving us an idea of daily life during the Han Dynasty.

    At the tomb, it is possible to view the recently unearthed statues through the glass floors of each pit. The trip also includes a visit to an excellent little museum which allows you to see some of the most well preserved pieces. The excellent layout and quality of the site makes this trip unmissable. After the visit you take a two-hour flight to Guilin, in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, famous for its numerous hill tribes and stunning scenery which includes the rock peaks which border the Li River, an endless number of caves, rice terraces at Longsheng, and the waterfalls of Detian.

    In Guilin you will discover Reed Flute Cave which takes its name from number of reeds growing at the cave entrance which are used to make flutes. After taking in a kitsch lightshow, guests are given torches to admire the stunning stalactites and stalagmites that litter the cave.

    Having explored the cave you may then take a stroll around Shan Lake, known for two marvelous pagodas - one dedicated to the sun and the other for the moon. You will then spend the evening in Guilin, at another of our carefully selected hotels.

  • Day 11: Guilin - Yangshuo

    On day 11 you will cross the Li River to Yangshuo, a small town that’s become increasingly popular over the last 15 years due to its spectacular scenery. On your way across the river you’ll cruise past the popular sugar loaf mountains with eccentric names like ‘Nine Horse Fresco Hill’ and ‘Lion Watching the Nine Horses’.

    Instead of stopping at the rather commercialized West Road in Yangshou, our insider tip is to go a little further on your bikes into the surrounding countryside which has many rivers, water buffalo and dozens of tiny villages scattered among the looming karst hills that have inspired poets, painters and photographers and are one of the most popular tourist sites in the country.

    As an optional extra you will also have the opportunity to see the ‘Impression of Liu Sanje’, which is a spectacular show in Yangshuo in the world’s largest natural theatre which utilizes the waters of the Li River. Directed by local Xi’an-born Yimou Zhang (who also directed the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening ceremony as well as films ‘Hero’ and ‘House of Flying Daggers’), the theatrical spectacle involves hundreds of actors who imitate scenes from rural life.

    Overnight you will have the choice of staying in Yangshou or in one of the villages outside the town center to be closer to nature - the choice is yours.

  • Day 12: Yangshuo - Guilin - Hangzhou

    In the morning you will be driven two hours to Guilin airport to fly to Hangzhou (a two-hour flight), the capital of Zhejiang province where you will be met on arrival by your local guide and transferred to your hotel.

    Marco Polo described Hangzhou as a "Heaven on Earth", at least in part due to the West Lake, a recent addition to UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Each season here offers something different, yet spectacular in its own way: in winter, the snow rests upon the water and transforms the lake into a piece of art with frozen plants.

    In spring, the peach and plum trees are in full bloom bringing bursts of color back to the park, and in summer countless water-lilies create a perfumed blanket on the lake’s surface. The locals like to say that the moon is bigger and more beautiful in autumn, and this can best be seen from the ‘three pools mirroring the moon’ on Xiaoling Island.

    You’ll be given the chance to take a scenic bike ride around the lake as you explore one of the most picture-perfect symbols of traditional China. The curved bridges lead to small islands in the heart of the lake, and there you can discover, amongst other things, the charmingly romantic Quyuan gardens.

    You will also visit the tea plantations, another specialty of the region of Zhejiang and home to Longjing tea (one of most expensive teas in the world). Tea is China’s favorite drink and gained popularity in the Tang dynasty (618-907) when it was traded around the world. During your trip to the plantation, you may also be fortunate enough to meet a local tea producer who can introduce different tea types: green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, fragrant tea, white tea or even ancient ‘tea bricks’.

    After taking in the splendid scenery by bike, you will be free to spend the evening at your leisure before getting a good night’s sleep in your comfortable hotel.

  • Day 13: Hangzhou - Xidi

    The 13th day of your China holiday will begin with a visit to Huqingyu Tang Museum of Chinese Medicine in the Huqingyu Pharmacy, which was built in the 19th century. Chinese medicine is a fundamental and fascinating part of Chinese culture. Amongst the incredible catalogue of practices and procedures that make up Chinese medicine, you’ll be able to discover two at the museum in particular which remain popular today: acupuncture and pharmacotherapy.

    Very popular in the Western world already, acupuncture is one of the most important practices of Chinese medicine and involves inserting small needles into specific points of the body, which are grouped into twelve ‘meridians’. Stimulating this complex system allows qi (life-force) to circulate and rebalance the yin and yang of a person.

    The museum not only boasts an impressive collection in its famous drawers full of unlikely ingredients, it is also housed in a building of typical pharmacy architecture complete with panelling, lanterns and a small garden that make it well worth the trip.

    You will then enjoy a four-hour drive to Wannan in Anhui Province to see the local architecture that sprung up as a result of the influx of tourists to the region. Anhui developed an effective commercial network in part due to its proximity to the Xinnan River and its fertile land. The river allowed an easy export route to transport tea, bamboo, salt, and wood easily to the east coast and allowed some local merchants to amass sizeable fortunes during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

    Three main characteristics of the local architecture still remain: the exterior walls which have been chalked white, the black tile roofs with superbly sculpted gables, the tianjing (which literally means ‘mirrors to heaven’) - indoor courtyards lit by skylights, and finally the paifang, commemorative arches dedicated to the most successful candidates from the Imperial exams.

    You’ll then spend the night in a village in Yixian district, which can be explored further in the morning.

  • Day 14: Xidi - Huangshan

    The morning will begin with a bike ride through some of the most beautiful and picturesque villages in China, including Xidi and Hongcun which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

    While visiting this this area you will learn about fengshui (which when translated literally means ‘wind’ and ‘water’), also known as ‘geomancy’. Hongcun, for example, is one of the best original examples of the application of fengshui in China.

    The village layout has been deliberately shaped to reproduce of the silhouette of a buffalo. Its intestines are symbolised by the village’s complex network of canals, and its stomach by the central valley into which they all flow, and two large trees just outside the village represent the horns of the buffalo.

    Hongcun was used as one of the locations during the filming of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ in 2000 by Ang Lee, as was the demure village of Chengshitang which you will visit next. Originally constructed by a salt merchant, the region is a perfect representation of the prosperity and refinement of Chengshitang.

    From there you will travel to Tachuan, a seemingly timeless village located at the entrance of a valley that in autumn is masked in red and yellow tones, which enhances the resplendent chalked white houses and makes for an exquisite photograph. Less crowded that other villages nearby, the best way to pass the time in Tachuan is by losing yourself in the labyrinth of grey-marble alleyways or by taking yourself out into the surrounding countryside so that you can fully appreciate the history and symbolism of this extraordinary region.

    Your next stop will take you to Xidi, which is known for its three-level paifang (archway) at the entrance to the village which pays tribute to a member of the village clan who became a scholar. Xidi is also notable for having the largest number of merchants’ houses, whose sculpted wooden panelling is particularly attractive. These houses have been immortalised by the tireless work of students of fine art and photography enthusiasts.

    The final stop of the day brings you to Nanping, which boasts 500-year-old houses and is one of the best examples of an ancestral hall in the region, the Ye Family Ancestral Hall. A visit here will give you an insight into ancestor-worship, a fundamental practice of Chinese culture that has endured to this day. After returning the bikes, we will continue the journey to the Huangshan (Yellow Mountains), ascending by cable-car and spending the night at the summit. The nights here are fresh and the weather unpredictable, and as such waterproofs, walking shoes and warm clothes are a necessity.

  • Day 15: Huangshan - Shanghai

    Huangshan has been a source of inspiration for many Chinese artists throughout the centuries and takes its name from an ancient tradition whereby each mountain was named after its most famous visitor. In the case of Huangshan, this was the Yellow Emperor (or in Chinese Huangdi), one of the founding fathers of Chinese civilisation who lived in the 3rd century BC. According to legend he was the inventor of fengshui.

    Like many other emperors, Huangdi was a total recluse and spent his life trying to reach immortality by creating potent elixirs made up of local herbal ingredients.

    Weather permitting; you will be taken to the summit of the mountain and watch the sunrise over Beihai (which translates to ‘the North Sea’) where a forest of jagged peaks (with thought-provoking names such as ‘Beginning-to-believe Peak’ or ‘Lion Peak’) is relentlessly covered by a sea of clouds that give the impression of a constantly changing landscape.

    Here Mother Nature is the artist, so sit back and admire her work as a new day is born. Your walk to the top will be similar to that of a monk as you go on a pilgrimage following endless stairs that wind their way up the mountain face. If you’re feeling up to it you can continue on to the western stairs where you will be able to enjoy a descent by cable car.

    Once at the foot of the mountain you have the option to sooth your aching feet at the local hot spring in which the emperors of yesteryear used to bathe in thousands of years ago. The springs offer a variety of treatments using coffee, different types of alcohol and even fish baths where small ‘Dr. Fish’ will nibble away at your feet, picking your feet clean of dead skin.

    You will then be escorted to the airport and take an evening hour-long flight to Shanghai, where you will be met at the airport and whisked away to your hand-picked hotel.

  • Day 16: Shanghai

    Shanghai is an important city in Chinese history, from being the first area to be colonised by Western powers in the 18th century, to then becoming the first seat of the Communist Party. Nowadays, Shanghai is the economic powerhouse of China. While some associate Shanghai with cool bars, skyscrapers and an exhilirating nightlife still hugely influenced by the West, others would see it as the result of a fascinating case of cultural fusion.

    In the morning of day 16 you will head to the French Concession, a symbol of a time when Western powers were accorded many privileges. You will start your trip with a stroll through Fuxing Park where you will have one last chance to watch Chinese locals practicing their ritual of early morning exercise. Especially worth watching are the tango dancers whose music fills every corner of the park. You may even stumble upon a lone dancer, moving to imaginary music - a truly magical moment.

    During colonial times this area was a center of vice and a no-go area for the police during the ‘roaring 30s’. A far cry from what you can see today as stroll around the surrounding roads and admire the local colonial homes that have been transformed into restaurants, bars and boutiques - a reflection of the changing face of Shanghai inspired by increasing commercialism in modern China.

    You will then continue to Xintiandi, a renovated area considered one of the liveliest parts of the city. Your guide will ensure your walk ends at Tianzifang, a maze of animated alleyways full of restaurants, boutiques and small art galleries similar to those found in Xintiandi but much more authentic.

    Next you will visit the Pudong district, which until as recently as the 1990s was just a marsh were only farmers and water buffalo frequented. Now the area is one of the most important business centers in Asia complete with skyscrapers and some of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings including Shanghai World Financial Center (the tallest building in Shanghai), where you can admire the city from the highest panoramic terrace in the world.

    Next, after taking the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel across the Huangpu River to Puxi, you will discover the Bund itself, Shanghai’s famous pedestrianized walkway past some of Puxi’s historical buildings. You may then explore the famous Nanjing Road and its colorful signs and mixed crowds of tourists and locals reflecting the image of the modern Asian capital.

    After Nanjing Road, you will arrive at People’s Square, the former site of the Shanghai Racetrack before returning to your hotel.

  • Day 17: Shanghai

    Your 17th day in China will begin by returning to People’s Square to visit three museums of very different styles. We will start off with the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, and more precisely the model layout of Shanghai which covers a large part of the 3rd floor.

    This model city will really let you get your head around the layout of Shanghai, and comprehend its truly astronomical size. A stunning panoramic cinema which shows a short video explaining how the city developed into the metropolis it is today will also help you understand Shanghai’s recent development.

    From here you will head to one of the most famous and prestigious museums in the country: The Shanghai Museum. The collection of bronze statues on the first floor is unrivalled, and is complemented by a number of jade pieces of artwork, as well as Qing Dynasty furniture, Buddhist sculptures and other pieces of Chinese artwork.

    For those interested in art, the day will end with a visit to either the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) or the Shanghai Art Museum, which is famous for the beautiful building in which it is housed.

    Alternatively, you can visit the People’s Park - an enjoyable place to relax at the heart of the People’s Square. The park has a small lake, a number of food stands and countless places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere. The area is surrounded by a number of cafés and restaurants. Another way to spend the evening is to stroll back up Nanjing Road to the Bund, where you can take in the Shanghai skyline at night.

    You are then free to experience your penultimate night in China at your leisure.

  • Day 18: Shanghai

    On your last day of sightseeing in China you will travel an hour to Suzhou, a small town which is often compared to the illustrious Italian city of Venice because of its intricate network of canals and stone bridges as a wondrous way to wrap up your journey around this vast nation. The world-famous Suzhou Gardens that you will discover here are considered some of the most beautiful in the entire country.

    Your guide will take you on a morning bike ride around the narrow streets of the old town, a good way to avoid the early tourist crowds that flood the gardens later in the day. Cycling along the cobbled streets, you will be able to take in the white sculpted wooden facades and black tile roofs of the local houses. You’ll also pass by the many canals and perhaps see locals who still use the canals to wash their clothes and clean their homes.

    You will discover the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Master of the Nets Garden, guided by a Chinese gardener who will talk to you about his art, in particular penjing (which translates as ‘the countryside in a flowerpot’) also better known as bonsai. Traditionally, Chinese gardens are a miniature reproduction of nature; the presence of rocks represents mountains, ponds symbolize lakes and running water imitates rivers.

    The finale of your day will be a traditional Chinese massage, or ‘acupression’ that concentrates on acupuncture points to stimulate the body’s natural healing process to help restore your vitality so that you return home even more relaxed and refreshed than before you arrived.

    Your final evening after the massage will be free to spend at your leisure in Shanghai, perhaps grabbing some last-minute souvenirs, or taking one last delicious dinner before you wind down and pack for home.

  • Day 19: Shanghai

    Your final day will be spent at your leisure before you’re chauffeured back to Shanghai airport for your onward flight home.

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




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Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.