12 days in China Itinerary

12 days in China Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in China Itinerary

Start: Beijing
Fly:  5​h
1
Xi'an
— 2 nights
Train:  4​h 30​min
2
Chengdu
— 2 nights
Train:  4​h 15​min
3
Chongqing
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
4
Zhangjiajie
— 2 nights
Bus + Train:  8​h 30​min
5
Guilin
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Yangshuo County
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 30​min
7
Shanghai
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: Beijing

2
nights
Xi'an

Xi'an ©
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
On the 22nd (Sun), admire the sheer force of Cuihua Mountain, make a trip to Daxuexixiang Mosque, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Guangren Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon): explore the world behind art at Tang Bo Art Museum, stroll around Daxingshan Temple, and then cozy up to a beverage at Chateau de Coiffe Nivolle.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Xi'an trip itinerary planning app .

Beijing to Xi'an is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also take a train; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Xi'an can reach 8°C, while at night they dip to -5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Chengdu.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Guangren Temple ©
Guangren Temple
Tang Bo Art Museum ©
Tang Bo Art Museum
Cuihua Mountain ©
Cuihua Mountain

2
nights
Chengdu

The home of giant pandas for more than two million years, Chengdu's vast human history cowers in comparison to the natural heritage of the area.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then examine the collection at Chengdu Museum (Old Hall). Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Qingyang Palace (Green Ram Temple), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Baoguang Temple of Chengdu, then stop by Dancing Yak Handicrafts, and finally sample the fine beverages at Johnny Walker House.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Chengdu trip itinerary planning website .

Fly from Xi'an to Chengdu in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Xi'an in December: high temperatures in Chengdu hover around 14°C and lows are around 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to drive to Chongqing.

Things to do in Chengdu

Outdoors Historic Sites Tours
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Chengdu Museum (Old Hall) ©
Chengdu Museum (Old Hall)
Dancing Yak Handicrafts ©
Dancing Yak Handicrafts

1
night
Chongqing

Chongqing ©
With one of the most populated and largest metropolitan areas in the world, Chongqing was the de facto capital of China during World War II.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): wander the streets of Huangjueping (Doodle Street), then take in the spiritual surroundings of Huayan Temple of Chongqing, and then see a world frozen in time at Shiba Ti.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Chongqing trip maker .

Traveling by car from Chengdu to Chongqing takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of flight and taxi. In December, daily temperatures in Chongqing can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Zhangjiajie.

Things to do in Chongqing

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Shiba Ti ©
Shiba Ti
Huangjueping (Doodle Street) ©
Huangjueping (Doodle Street)

2
nights
Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie ©
The city of Zhangjiajie has become particularly well known for its striking surrounding landscape.
On the 27th (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Suoxiyu Nature Reserve, then take in the dramatic natural features at Xihai Stone Forest, and then admire the landmark architecture of Zhangjiajie Puguang Temple. Keep things going the next day: soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Zhangjiajie trip planner .

Getting from Chongqing to Zhangjiajie by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Guilin.

Things to do in Zhangjiajie

Parks Baths Nature
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Zhangjiajie Puguang Temple ©
Zhangjiajie Puguang Temple

2
nights
Guilin

Guilin
The riverside karst landscape around Guilin has long made it a favorite with Chinese poets, photographers, and travelers.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): delve into the distant past at Guilin Feihudui Ruins and then contemplate the long history of Jingjiang Royal Residence. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Guangxi Maoer Mountain Reserve.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Guilin journey app .

You can fly from Zhangjiajie to Guilin in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In December, daytime highs in Guilin are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Yangshuo County.

Things to do in Guilin

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Guilin Feihudui Ruins
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:

1
night
Yangshuo County

Yangshuo County ©
Yangshuo County, the area surrounding a popular tourist resort town, boasts a landscape featuring all the ingredients necessary to attract a flood of tourists.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): explore the ancient world of Fuli Ancient Town and then look for all kinds of wild species at South China Karst.

To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Yangshuo County online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Guilin to Yangshuo County takes 1.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Yangshuo County are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Yangshuo County

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
South China Karst ©
South China Karst

1
night
Shanghai

Shanghai ©
With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
On the 1st (Wed), wander the streets of Waitanyuan, explore the landscape on two wheels at Biking Trail-China Outside Adventure, and then steep yourself in history at Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Shanghai online trip planner .

Getting from Yangshuo County to Shanghai by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In December, Shanghai is slightly colder than Yangshuo County - with highs of 13°C and lows of 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Shanghai

Outdoors Trails Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence ©

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