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9 Days China Travel from Beautiful Prairie to Ancient Cities from

Vast Mogolian Prairie Plus Charming China Culture

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It's true the most charming features of China is the fabulous culture which you can fully experience in this tour - glorious imperial culture and history in Beijing, prosperous ancient city of ancient millionaires Pingyao, spectacular immemorial Buddhist sites... this tour gives more than that. You will also feast your eyes with an exciting to one of the most beautiful grasslands in China.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Xilamuren Grassland in Hohhot and explore Mogolian nomad culture;
  • Found out what was the real living of ancient Chinese millionaires like in Pingyao Ancient City;
  • Go to discover the magnificent World Heritage Sites in Datong and Beijing, including Yungang Grottoes, Forbidden City, Great Wall...

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Hohhot / Datong / Taiyuan / Pingyao / Beijing
Travel Length:
9 Days and 8 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-SXTT-09
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Hohhot Tour & Train to Dadong

Spend one full day to explore the beautiful Xilamuren Grassland, 90km from Hohhot, then visit the unique Tibetan Buddhist site Dazhao Temple. In the afternoon, take a train to Datong.

Day 4~6 Shanxi Province Tour(Datong/Taiyuan/Pingyao)

Start to trave from Datong to visit Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple, then transfer to Pingyao via Taiyuan city. Spend two days to visit Pingya highlights, including Pingyao Ancient City and Qiao's Family Compound, etc. Then take a high speed train to Beijing.

Day 7~9 Beijing Tour & Departure

Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, man-made wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Hohhot Arrival

Welcome to Hohhot, the Capital of Inner Mongolia! Clear the customs and retrieve your baggage by yourself upon arrival, be greeted by our tour guide in the airport or train station who is holding a sign on which says your name. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in Hohhot. Your guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore the "Green City" in Mongolian.

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Day 2 Hohhot - Xilamuren Grassland - Hohhot (B, L)

After breakfast, enjoy a car journey from Hohhot to Xilamuren Grassland (90 km away, about 1.5 hours’ driving). Xilamuren means “Golden River” in Mongolian and the grassland is the nearest one to Hohhot and the earliest one in Inner Mongolia.

There are some featured activities on Xilamuren Grassland. (a) You’ll be warmly welcomed by local Mongolians who are colorfully dressed. They’ll present you a silver cup of wine and Hada; (b) Appreciate the beautiful scenery of the grassland; (c) Taste some local favorites such as mutton and other traditional cuisines; (d) Take an optional horseback riding to visit a herdsman’s family and Aobao Hill (at your own expenses); (e) Enjoy some traditional Mongolian activities like archery, horse racing, and Mongolian-style-wrestling performances.

Good to Know: There are three famous grasslands near Hohhot, including Xilamuren Grassland, Gegentala Grassland (140 km) and Huitengxile Grassland (135 km). The itinerary could be tailor-made according to your preference.

After the tour, transfer back to Hohhot city.

  • Xilamuren Grassland Xilamuren Grassland
  • Wrestling on Grassland Wrestling on Grassland

Day 3 Hohhot - Datong (B, L)

Today, enjoy your full day tour to visit the top attractions in Hohhot. Firstly, you’ll pay a visit to Dazhao Temple, the largest and most famous Tibetan Buddhism shrine in Hohhot. It also boasts the impressive buildings, a large collection of religious and cultural relics, among which the silver statue of Buddha, dragon sculpture and frescos are the most cherished treasures. Afterwards, continue a trip to Five-pagoda Temple. Originally built in ancient Indian style, it is one of the only remaining parts of the Ci Deng Temple compound located in the Old City of Hohhot.

After lunch, be escorted to take a train to Datong City (3.5 hours). Upon arrival at Datong Train Station, your local tour guide will meet you and take you to check in your hotel.

  • Dazhao Temple Dazhao Temple

Day 4 Datong - Taiyuan (B, L)

Today, your first stop is the Yungang GrottoesListed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, Yungang Grottoes was built in Northern Wei Dynast (368 – 534). Its Buddhist culture and art involve in architecture, history, music and other aspects of Chinese culture, representing the highest achievement in Buddhist art in 5th to 6th century as the essence of oriental sculpture art. Yungang Grottoes is one of the top three grottoes in China, along with Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang and Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang. There are 45 major grottoes in total and 209 secondary caves, with about 1100 niches and 51000 statues. The biggest statue is 17 meters high and the smallest one is only 2 centimeters high.

Later, drive to visit the Hanging Temple built on the cliffs of Mt. Hengshan, one of the five most scared mountains in China. It is the only existing temple which combines Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism together in China. The temple was constructed in the late Northern Wei Dynasty (491AD), protruding from the cliff of Cuiping Peak and is 50 meter above the ground. The Times magazine selected the Hanging Temple as one of the Top 10 Unique and Precipitous Architectures in 2010.

After the tour, transferred to Taiyuan for accommodation.

  • Yungang Grottoes - The treasure of traditional Chinese art Yungang Grottoes - The treasure of traditional Chinese art
  • Hanging Temple at Mt. Hengshan Hanging Temple at Mt. Hengshan

Day 5 Taiyuan - Pingyao (B)

In the morning, go to visit the Jinci Temple, which combines the historic cultural relics and fabulous natural landscapes together, and locates only several kilometers from Taiyuan. After the visiting, drive about 10 hour to reach Pingyao Ancient City.

Pingyao Ancient City, with over 2700 years of history, still keeps its intact charm: ancient city walls, elegant courtyards, scattered temples, all marked the splendid period during Ming and Qing dynasties. Named one of the well-preserved ancient cities in China, it was also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 1997. You will be impressed by the ancient and peaceful atmosphere in this old town. Don't miss the Rishengchang Former Bank, which shows you the original bank system in the past. Also remember to wander through the Ming and Qing Street.

  • Pingyao Ancient Town The Old Street in Pingyao Ancient Town
  • Pingyao Ancient City Wall Pingyao Ancient City Wall

Day 6 Pingyao - High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)

Today, you will firstly head to Wang’s Family Compound, the complex for another rich family in Shanxi Province, near Pingyao. You will see the traditional layout and wooden construction and explore how the rich family lived in the ancient times. Then go to visit the Zhangbi Ancient Castle, a series of tunnels dug to hide out in times of war in over 1380 years ago, to explore how the architecture mixed with engineering in ancient time.

After the tour, your local guide transfers you to the train station to take a high speed train to Beijing. Upon arrival at Xian, be transferred to your hotel.

  • Zhangbi Ancient Castle Zhangbi Ancient Castle
  • Wang's Family Compound Wang's Family Compound

Day 7 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square which is now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern square was the site where the Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s 5 most important palaces – Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass through various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings.

After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors. Feast your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colored paintings in Long Corridor.

Optional activity: you can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in theatre after dinner.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square

Day 8 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Great Wall. The less-crowded Mutianyu, a well-preserved segment of Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty, lives up to all of your nice expectation. Take cable car or walk about 40 minutes to set your feet on Great Wall. Climb up the rising towers to enjoy scenic views as the wall wriggling along mountain ridges, and take brag-worthy photos of the wall.

Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, mausoleum of the 13th emperor of Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide’s introduction to observe the geomantic arrangement as well as to visit the underground palace to get closer observation. Then, drive back to Beijing City, and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view the magnificent Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: reward yourself a tasty Peking duck dinner after a full day of sightseeing.

  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Visitors on the Great Wall Visitors on the Great Wall

Day 9 Beijing Departure (B, L)

After breakfast, drive to the imperial site – Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc.

Then, get back to central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience Beijing Hutongs – small alleys made of neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to feel the old Beijing life style, meet various antique shops and small boutiques, feel the historical changes of Beijing.

Till now, your Beijing tour is about to end. Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to the next destination or back to home.

  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace
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