Beautiful China with Holy Tibet
2-Week Private Tour: Beijing–Xi'an–Lhasa-Shanghai
You can read our tips for tailor-making your tour to help you start, and talk to your 1-1 travel advisor to personalize your journey.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Explore a Top-Ranked Section of the Great Wall
Walk leisurely through the watchtowers, enjoying a superb view of the Mutianyu Great wall snaking across the mountains.
Walk into the 300-Year-Old Hutongs and Discover Traditional Beijing Lifestyle
Enjoy a home-visit to a traditional hutong courtyard house and learn Chinese calligraphy. Ascend the Bell Tower and take a bird's-eye view of the hutong area.
Unveil the Secrets of the Terracotta Army and Make Your Own Warrior
let your personal guide unlock some secrets of the world wonder and share his/her insight from a local people's point of view. Learn how to make Terracotta Warriors from a local artisan in a traditional way.
Pay Your Respects at the Pilgrim's Holy Palace, the Potala
Step up to the highest palace in the world. Witness the architectural miracle containing the regal heritage of Tibet. Listen to stories of Dalai Lamas who lived in the palace.
Enjoy a Picnic on the Bank of a Sacred Lake in Tibet.
Pilgrimage to the Lake Yamdrok and enjoy a picnic on the bank with a great view of the lake.
Step into Tibetan Life in the Less-Touristy Corners of Barkhor Street
Feel the piety of local Tibetans as you see them worship with their whole body touching the ground. Explore a local market to experience Tibetan daily life and sit in a peaceful nunnery for a cup of sweet tea that's loved by locals.
Experience Modernity and Tradition in the Most Dynamic City, Shanghai
Appreciate the elegant garden, Yu Gardn and cross the Huangpu River to travel from old Shanghai to Shanghai's Pudong New Area. Ascend Shanghai Tower and get a bird's-eye view of the entire city.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I had an amazing two trips on the Great Wall and the Forbidden City with the guide Ivy during my stay in China. She was very helpful and answered all of our questions with an enthusiastic approach. I have nothing to say but to highly recommend the trips they offer on the Great Wall hiking/camping and also the in-depth Forbidden City tour! Thank you Ivy and China Highlights.more
May 2023, Serhat Altay
Amazing First Time to Beijing with China Highlights
Tom, my private tour guide was there when I landed and accompanied me all the way through to sending me off at the airport after check-in at the end of my trip. Zhao the driver, who also did all the driving during my trip, was calm, confident and knowledgeable in taking us around. Both Tom and Zhao were punctual too. The Great Wall of China Hike I wanted to do started in a very remote, unrestored part of the wall. This would not had been possible without Tom problem solving many issues we had on the way up and I could not have done this on my own a a foreigner. It was well worth the effort and probably the highlight of my trip.The remainder of the tour around Tiananmen Square, Forbidden Kingdom and The Temple of Heaven was paired with a detailed commentary by Tom of which I learnt a lot.more
May 2023, Munsie
Beijing - city of surprises
A fantastic guide was waiting for us - Jack, who told all the stories with passion and commitment. He also fulfilled those wishes that were not in the plan. I highly recommend visiting Beijing with this guide.more
May 2023, Joanna i Piotr Kuzebscy
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot…
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot of fun to spend time with during my first visit to Beijing. It was a wonderful intensive three days.more
May 2023, Pam S.
Great weather and a good trip out with Lily!
Many thanks to my guide Lily for customising the trip to make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible. She arranged to start an hour earlier to beat the crowd and I got to enjoy the Great Wall before the crowd streamed in and while the weather was cool. I requested to switch the next attraction to visit from Temple of Heaven to Ming Tomb and she not only accommodated the prompt request, but made all the necessary arrangements even before the trip coordinator managed to reply! Kudos! Our driver was jovial and friendly, always on top of traffic conditions and took detours to beat slow moving traffic. Hassle free day and I wouldn’t have been able to cover the two attractions so easily and comfortably without them!more
May 2023, Meibao
This was our first time traveling to Beijing
This was our first time traveling to China, so we really wanted to experience some of the major historical sights of Beijing together with a tour guide. Our itinerary was very carefully planned out according to our interests and tailored to our needs. First, we went camping on the Great Wall and hiked from Jiankou to Mutianyu, and the next day we got an in-depth tour of the Forbidden City as well as a tour of the Temple of Heaven and a taiji experience in the gardens. Our tour guide, Ivy, was truly wonderful in preparing and organizing our personalized itinerary. She is very friendly and knowledgeable, and she was always able and willing to answer all of our questions. Ivy provided us with a truly amazing first visit to China and I would warmly recommend China Highlights for everyone who wishes to travel to China and I would especially recommend Ivy as a tour guide for your trips!more
May 2023, Annalina Wheeler
Tom is the BEST tour guide EVER!
Just had the most AMAZING tour with Tom. He was beyond knowledgeable, so generous with his time and made me feel so at ease which was super important as I am travelling by myself. Thank you Tom for the best day-you have totally made my China trip a fabulous experience, one I will never forget!more
May 2023, SHARRYN HINCHLIFFFE
Superb service and wonderful time in Beijing
Superb service from Jack who were with us for 4 wonderful days in Beijing. Jack was clearly knowledgeable about the history and able to deliver insight information to us about places. He was also kind and accommodating to my mother who has bad knees. Both China Highlights and Jack were flexible about the itinerary to ensure that we enjoy the best of Beijing. We'll definitely use China Highlights' services again for our next trip to China.more
May 2023, Chani
First time booking a trip with China Highlights and was fortunate to have Sunny as my private tour guide. We went to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, then arrived and walked around Gubei Water Town, and then visited the Simatai portion of the Great Wall at night. Was a very enjoyable trip as we were able to see a night time drone show in the sky, ride a private boat through the canals of the Gubei Water Town, and eat a delicious lunch at a local restaurant along the way. Sunny is super knowledgeable when it comes to the history of the Great Wall and took the time to explain various interesting facts and stories which made the trip very meaningful. The driver we had was also a very nice man who was always on time and eager to help. Was an unforgettable experience and would highly recommend Sunny and China Highlights :)more
May 2023, Allen C
Tour to the great wall from the airport
My guide Tom was ver kind and knowlegable, he explained everything to me about the great wall and even went out of his way to help me the next day at Bejings downtown! amazing service!!! thank you so much Tom!more
May 2023, Fer Villasefior
Great tour, fantastic guide!
This tour was fantastic! I loved hearing about the history of the Forbidden City and admiring the views at the Great Wall. William was a fantastic tour guide. We were a group of families with several young children, and he was very accommodating and flexible with timing and arrangements. I totally recommend this tour and William as a guide!more
May 2023, Ryan Corless
Four excellent sightseeing days in Beijing
We had wonderful four days in Beijing. The entire trip was tailored exactly to our wishes. From experiencing local food, to exploring the major sites of the city up to hiking the great wall of China. Additionally, we had two amazing guides Ina and Fan taking care of all the tickets and coordination required. Also, they could not only tell us everything about the sights we visited and give us an insight to local customs and traditions, but they did so in perfect German. The chauffeur service from Mr Chang was also excellent, getting us from A to B without any hazzle. The past couple of days were one of the most carefree trips we have had so far.more
May 2023, Katha
Great tour from William
Great tour organized by China highlights, our tour guide was William - his knowledge was impressive, his English was great and he was always on time. We did the four day tour including the wall and forbidden city - would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an English tour guide.more
Apr 2023, Lawrence
Beijing 2 day private tour
The tour itself was great, private driver to and from, my guide Ivy was great English speaking guide. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about her country. Was a great time exploring the Great Wall of china and then my second day did a city tour (forbidden city, hutong tour, summer palace). Felt extremely safe, and was confident having an English guide. Thank you china highlights. (Provide them what you want and they’ll make it happen). Prices are reasonable as I looked at a few places but for private tour, my own schedule, and confidence of getting around safely you can’t go wrong.more
Apr 2023, Mark
Everything was to the vest standard, the history all very well explained by the Tour Guide in Beijing, Ivy. Really enjoyed it, and appreciated the time.more
Apr 2023, Jonathan
Amazing Beijing Experience
I had an amazing time in Beijing and glad Tom was my tour guide. He went above and beyond and I’m truly grateful. Tom did all that he could to ensure my stay in Beijing for two days was pleasant and thanks to him, I say that it was. The driver was also nice and courteous, I called him Jon. The company is blessed to have a good tour guide like Tom on their team so if you are planning to come down to Beijing, make sure you ask for Tom. Thank you Christy and Kimmy for replying all my emails with questions that I had.more
Apr 2023, Pedro V
We had a great experience with China Highlights and Roger was highly efficient and helpful planning our itinerary exactly how we needed.more
Apr 2023, Brenda Sarmanho
Excellent service and tour guide!!
Excellent service and communication from the travel agent Roger Li and amazing tour and experience of Great Wall of China from our tour guide Amber. Highly recommended!more
Apr 2023, Evangelos Athanasopoulos
Maggie was such a tremendous help for…
Maggie was such a tremendous help for our recent Beijing trip. Very prompt and helpful in helping us plan and adjust/amend to our requests.more
Apr 2023, Hi
We travelled first to Beijing for a few days before moving on to Wuhan for the wedding and then for a few days in Guilin along with my son and daughter in law. It was a great trip and all went smothly with the help of the guides we had along the way. William in Beijing and Jenny in Guilin were excellent. Chas in HK was also very helpful in getting us to the right place and the right time to fly home.more
Apr 2023, Alan Harris
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Landing in Beijing, you will be met by your private guide and driver who will transfer you to your hotel.
Your guide will assist you with your luggage and help you to check in at your hotel for a worry-free start to your stay.
Novotel Beijing Peace (4-star)
Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Start your tour with walking through the largest world-famous square, Tian'anmen Square, and then arrive at the Forbidden City.
With countless houses, chambers, and halls, the Forbidden City was not only a royal residence but is a treasure trove for many cultural relics. Your knowledgeable private tour guide will bring the history to life for you.
Enjoy some Beijing cuisine for lunch. Afterward, take a short rickshaw ride in the hutongs and find out how the local people live their daily lives.
Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour
Interested in folk arts? We can arrange for you to spend a couple of hours with a local artist trying out some old handicrafts, such as mask painting for the Peking opera, paper cutting, or Chinese calligraphy.
Feel free to let us know if you would like to add it to your itinerary.
Spend your morning at the Temple of Heaven, which was where emperors prayed for a good harvest. Arrive early to see the locals practicing martial arts and doing other activities that you may never see in your country.
Visit the Great Wall after lunch. The Mutianyu section is an all-time favorite because of its close distance to Beijing, top ranking on TripAdvisor, and easy accessibility.
Usually, we recommend a round-trip cable car so that you can save energy to have a relaxing walk on the wall. We can also arrange a chair lift up and a toboggan back down depending on your preferences.
Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour
For a unique experience, a visit to Simatai, the only Great Wall section that's lit up and open at night, is highly recommended.
If you love hiking, we can arrange a 2-hour, 4-hour, or even multi-day wild Great Wall hiking experience for you.
The Summer Palace, as indicated by its name, provided the royal court with cool surroundings thanks to its lush gardens, beautiful pavilions and theaters, and a big lake for boat trips.
Take a bullet train from Beijing to Xian. Experience the high-speed railway of China. Get on and enjoy the speedy yet steady journey.
Grand Noble Hotel Xi'an (4-star)
Wyndham Grand Xi'an South (5-star)
In the morning, uncover the mysteries of an underground army that dates back to 206 BC at the Terracotta Army Museum.
Did you know that all the terracotta warriors were originally colored? The old paint has faded with time yet the craftsmanship still shines. You will try to make your own terracotta warrior inside a traditional cave dwelling.
After lunch, return to the city area and visit Xi'an City Wall, Walking along the ancient wall provides a good view of the city. You can also rent a bike to cycle around the wall.
Pay a visit to the starting point of the Silk Road: Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Discover more of Xi'an and China's ancient history at Shaanxi History Museum.
Meet up with a family in town. They will teach you how to make dumplings on your own, which are just as good, if not better than, those from Manchu Wok or Panda Express.
Then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alleys to taste the local Muslim cuisine.
Your guide and driver will see you off at Xi'an. Catch the flight to Lhasa, which takes about 4½ hours. You will arrive in the holy region of Tibet in the afternoon.
Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet) and you may experience altitude sickness. The rest of the day is for you to take a rest at your hotel.
Thangka Hotel (4-star)
InterContinental Lhasa Paradise (5-star)
Start your Lhasa tour with Norbulingka, the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of the Potala Palace. It is also called Tibet's Summer Palace and it means "Jeweled Park" in the Tibetan language. With lovely plants in the garden, you may breathe more comfortably due to the extra oxygen.
Then, you will visit the famous Drepung Monastery. Surrounded by the dark faces of mountains, its grand white buildings stand out, shining in the sunlight.
The last Lhasa tour attraction for the day is Sera Monastery, comprising a great sutra chanting hall, a college, and 32 sections. You might see the monks' debate in the afternoon
Visit Jokhang Temple in the morning and you will see lots of devoted pilgrims prostrating themselves.
Explore Barkhor Street including its local market, admire traditional Tibetan architecture, and take afternoon tea in peaceful Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery, all the while getting to know the history of Lhasa and its people's daily life.
Pilgrimage to the Potala Palace, which is a symbol of peace and a great masterpiece of Tibetan architecture.
Ascend to this majestic palace and see exquisite murals, decorated statues, and antiques. The red and white palace buildings combined with the pure blue sky form the most iconic picture of Tibet.
After breakfast, you will be driven for about 2 hours to reach Yamdrok Lake, one of the top four Buddhist holy lakes in Tibet.
If the weather permits, we will prepare a picnic by the lakeside and you will have sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit while you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the lake, which is decorated by many islands and natural resources.
You will take a long flight of 5 hours from the west of Tibet to the east of Shanghai. The flight will stop over in Chengdu or Xi'an.
If you are interested in giant pandas, it may be a good idea to extend your stay for 1 or 2 days in Chengdu.
Sunrise On The Bund (4-star)
InterContinental Lhasa Paradise (5-star)
During the day, your guide will show you different aspects of the prosperous city. To enjoy the cultural beauty of China in Yu Garden. To learn about the history of Shanghai, the Bund has witnessed the changes from the concession period in the Qing Dynasty to modern times.
To feel the city beat, stand at the top of Shanghai Tower and look around you — you may not believe this is China.
Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience
After traveling in China for around 10 days, you might want to do something different at the end of your tour. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In the magic city of Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true!
Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen. Just tell us what you're interested in.
If you don't know what you want, just let your guide make the arrangements. You will not be disappointed!
Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.
1. Extend the Tour
- Suzhou and/or Hangzhou: add 1–4 days — water towns, gardens, the Grand Canal, and West Lake
- Chengdu: add 2–3 days — a panda keeper program, have your photo taken next to a panda, and the Leshan Giant Buddha
- Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, and a day-tour of Macau
- Free days: Yangshuo and Shanghai are popular destinations to add one or more free days to explore on one's own.
- More destinations: Zhangjiajie, Huangshan, and Tibet... Inform us of your interests and we will offer you some recommendations.
Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region. Whatever your accommodation preferences are, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect one for you.
Most hotels in China allow at most three people in one room. If there are more than three people in your group, we will check if there is family room available or do our best to arrange interconnecting rooms or adjoin rooms.
China is a huge country, so to make your travel experience more efficient, we usually arrange flights to connect your destinations.
China's high-speed rail network is a fast-paced way to travel. We recommend taking high-speed trains for journeys of less than 6 hours to interested customers — please tell us if you are one of them.
Lunches at popular local restaurants are included for you so you can taste authentic Chinese food. Your guide will assist you with ordering the dishes.
Vegetarian, halal, kosher, Indian, or gluten-free — all your dietary requirements can be taken care of by our experienced private guides. Let us know if you have any of these dietary requirements during your booking.
5. Tibet Travel Permit
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us.