41 days in China Itinerary

41 days in China Itinerary

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Route & dates

41 days in China Itinerary

Start: Exeter
Fly:  21​h 15​min
1
Chengdu
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
2
Lijiang
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
3
Xi'an
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  5​h
4
Jiuzhaigou County
— 1 night
+3
Taxi + Fly + Foot + Bus:  10​h
5
Harbin
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Beijing
— 6 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
7
Shanghai
— 6 nights
Train:  1​h
8
Suzhou
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h
9
Guangzhou
— 4 nights
Subway + Train:  2​h
10
Hong Kong
— 7 nights
Fly + Train:  23​h
End: Exeter

2
nights
Chengdu

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Huan Huaxi Park, make a trip to Kuanzhai Ancient Street of Qing Dynasty, then take an in-depth tour of Jinsha Site Museum, and finally identify plant and animal life at Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (Xiongmao Jidi). Keep things going the next day: appreciate the extensive heritage of Jinli Pedestrian Street, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Chengdu Renmin Park, then take in the views from Anshun Bridge (Dongmen Bridge), and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Wangjianglou Park.

To see more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Chengdu travel itinerary planner.

Exeter, UK to Chengdu is an approximately 21.5-hour combination of car and flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Exeter to Chengdu due to the time zone difference. In December, daily temperatures in Chengdu can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Lijiang.

Things to do in Chengdu

Parks Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Jinsha Site Museum ©
Jinsha Site Museum
Jinli Pedestrian Street
Jinli Pedestrian Street

2
nights
Lijiang

Lijiang ©
The cultural capital of the Naxi people, one of the 55 minority ethnic groups in the country, Lijang traces its history back over 800 years, with the city developing from a trading post on the ancient Southern Silk Road.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Mufu Palace, make a trip to Old Town of Lijiang - China, and then ponder the design of Black Dragon Pond Park. Keep things going the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Three Parallel Rivers National Park.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Lijiang trip builder.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Chengdu to Lijiang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, subway, and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Xi'an.

Things to do in Lijiang

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Lugu Lake ©
Lugu Lake
Old Town of Lijiang - China
Old Town of Lijiang - China
Three Parallel Rivers National Park ©

4
nights
Xi'an

Xi'an
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
When in Xi'an, make a side trip to see Bell Tower (Zhonglou) in Hu County, approximately 30 minutes away. There's much more to do: examine the collection at The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, steep yourself in history at Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta), make a trip to Dayan Pagoda Northern Square, and take in panoramic vistas at Drum Tower (Gulou).

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Xi'an itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Lijiang to Xi'an in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, daily temperatures in Xi'an can reach 6°C, while at night they dip to -5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Jiuzhaigou County.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Bell Tower (Zhonglou)
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta) ©
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta)
Muslim Quarter ©
Muslim Quarter

1
night
Jiuzhaigou County

Jiuzhaigou County ©
Nine villages make up Jiuzhaigou County, a valley with a wealth of natural sites protected by UNESCO.
On the 31st (Sat), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Jiuzhaigou County vacation trip planner.

Do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Xi'an to Jiuzhaigou County in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway, train, bus, and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to travel to Harbin.

Things to do in Jiuzhaigou County

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve ©
Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve

2
nights
Harbin

Harbin ©
The influence of neighboring Russia remains visible throughout much of Harbin, with the country's northernmost metropolis possessing an intoxicating eclecticism in its architecture, food, and art.
Keep things going the next day: don't miss a visit to Harbin Flood Control Memorial Tower, don't miss a visit to Zhongyang Pedestrian Street, and then get in on the family fun at Harbin Ice and Snow World.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Harbin trip builder.

Traveling by combination of taxi, bus, and flight from Jiuzhaigou County to Harbin takes 10 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around -16°C in January, and nighttime lows around -30°C. On the 3rd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Beijing.

Things to do in Harbin

Theme Parks Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Harbin Ice and Snow World ©
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Zhongyang Pedestrian Street ©
Zhongyang Pedestrian Street
Sun Island (Tai Yang Dao) ©
Sun Island (Tai Yang Dao)

6
nights
Beijing

Beijing ©
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Beijing is known for historic sites, sightseeing, trails, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: hike along Great Wall at Mutianyu, get engrossed in the history at Lama Temple (Yonghegong), examine the collection at Forbidden City-The Palace Museum, and admire the striking features of Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang).

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

Traveling by combination of bus, flight, and subway from Harbin to Beijing takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Harbin in January, expect Beijing to be much hotter, temps between 1°C and -11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Mutianyu Great Wall ©
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum

6
nights
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.
Shanghai is known for sightseeing, historic sites, shopping, museums, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: appreciate the extensive heritage of The Bund (Wai Tan), admire the striking features of Jade Buddha Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Yu Garden (Yuyuan), and shop like a local with Old French Concession.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Shanghai tour planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and subway from Beijing to Shanghai takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and subway; or drive. When traveling from Beijing in January, plan for somewhat warmer days in Shanghai, with highs around 9°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to travel to Suzhou.

Things to do in Shanghai

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Yu Garden (Yuyuan) ©
Yu Garden (Yuyuan)

4
nights
Suzhou

Suzhou ©
One of the oldest settlements in the Yangtze basin, Suzhou remains a complex, labyrinthine set of old canal districts, World Heritage gardens, and sprawling modern developments.
Suzhou is known for parks, historic sites, shopping, museums, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Tongli Town, don't miss a visit to Liu Yuan, get to know the fascinating history of Shantang Street, and see the interesting displays at Suzhou Museum.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Suzhou custom trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and subway from Shanghai to Suzhou takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Guangzhou.

Things to do in Suzhou

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou ©
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Suzhou Garden Museum ©
Suzhou Garden Museum
Tongli Town ©
Tongli Town

4
nights
Guangzhou

Guangzhou ©
A massive metropolis and critical international trading hub, Guangzhou sprawls along the Pearl River, distinctly vibrant and cosmopolitan.
Guangzhou is known for sightseeing, nature, shopping, museums, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: head off the coast to Shamian Island, don't miss a visit to Sun Yat-sen University, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Chimelong Safari Park, and get lost in a book at Guangzhou Library.

To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Guangzhou custom trip planner.

You can do a combination of subway, train, flight, and bus from Suzhou to Guangzhou in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and subway; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Suzhou in January; daily highs in Guangzhou reach 20°C and lows reach 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Guangzhou

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Shamian Island ©
Shamian Island
Canton Tower ©
Canton Tower
Chimelong Safari Park ©
Chimelong Safari Park

7
nights
Hong Kong

Hong Kong ©
Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hong Kong: Macau (Casino at Venetian Macao & Ruins of St. Paul's). Pack the 23rd (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Hong Kong Disneyland. Pack the 25th (Wed) with family-friendly diversions at Ocean Park. Next up on the itinerary: take in panoramic vistas at Victoria Peak (The Peak), step off the mainland to explore Lantau Island, appreciate the history behind Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), and don't miss a visit to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Hong Kong trip generator.

Traveling by car from Guangzhou to Hong Kong takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and subway. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Guangzhou in January since evenings lows in Hong Kong dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Parks Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Macau
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Victoria Peak (The Peak) ©
Victoria Peak (The Peak)
Hong Kong Disneyland ©
Hong Kong Disneyland
Ocean Park ©
Ocean Park

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