43 days in China Itinerary

43 days in China Itinerary

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Route & dates

43 days in China Itinerary

Start: Erbil
Fly + Drive:  24​h
1
Jiuzhaigou County
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  8​h 45​min
2
Lhasa
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
3
Lijiang
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
4
Xi'an
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
5
Huangshan
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
6
Xiamen
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
7
Sanya
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
8
Hong Kong
— 8 nights
Fly:  5​h
9
Shanghai
— 6 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
10
Beijing
— 7 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
11
Qingdao
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h
12
Chengdu
— 1 night
Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Erbil

1
night
Jiuzhaigou County

Jiuzhaigou County ©
Nine villages make up Jiuzhaigou County, a valley with a wealth of natural sites protected by UNESCO.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Jiuzhaigou County sightseeing planner.

Erbil, Iraq to Jiuzhaigou County is an approximately 24-hour flight. You'll lose 5 hours traveling from Erbil to Jiuzhaigou County due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel to Lhasa.

Things to do in Jiuzhaigou County

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve ©
Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve

2
nights
Lhasa

Lhasa ©
The capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa possesses a wealth of Tibetan Buddhist sites of historical and cultural importance.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jokhang Temple, then steep yourself in history at Norbulingka (Precious Stone Garden), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si), and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sera Monastery.

For where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Lhasa trip planner.

Getting from Jiuzhaigou County to Lhasa by combination of taxi, flight, and bus takes about 9 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Lijiang.

Things to do in Lhasa

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Potala Palace ©
Potala Palace
Jokhang Temple ©
Jokhang Temple
Sera Monastery ©
Sera Monastery

3
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Old Town of Lijiang - China and Black Dragon Pond Park. Lugu Lake and Mufu Palace will appeal to history buffs. Explore Lijiang's surroundings by going to Yulong County (Lijiang Spruce Plain & Yulong Snow Mountain and Glacier Park). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Shuhe Ancient Town, don't miss a visit to Square Street (Sifangjie), and trek along Hiking with Lijiang Guides - Private Tours.

For traveler tips and more tourist information, use the Lijiang trip builder.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Lhasa to Lijiang takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. On the 27th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Xi'an.

Things to do in Lijiang

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Lijiang Spruce Plain
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Old Town of Lijiang - China
Old Town of Lijiang - China
Lugu Lake ©
Lugu Lake
Shuhe Ancient Town ©
Shuhe Ancient Town

3
nights
Xi'an

Xi'an
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
Do some cultural sightseeing at The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses and Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang). Shop till you drop at Muslim market and Dayan Tower Cultural and Leisure Scenic Resort. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta), make a trip to Muslim Quarter, take in the natural beauty of Huaqing Palace, and take in panoramic vistas at Drum Tower (Gulou).

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Xi'an vacation trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Lijiang to Xi'an takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In July, daytime highs in Xi'an are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to travel to Huangshan.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang) ©
Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang)
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta) ©
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta)

3
nights
Huangshan

Huangshan ©
Named after the "Yellow Mountains" with which the region has long been associated, Huangshan offers access to UNESCO-listed sites both natural and man-made.
Take a break from the city and head to Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) and Huangshan Hot Spring. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hongcun Ancient Village and Xidi Ancient Village. The adventure continues: take in breathtaking views at Xihai Great Canyon, contemplate the long history of Tunxi Ancient Street, and stroll through Huangshan Geopark.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Huangshan trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Xi'an to Huangshan in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Xiamen.

Things to do in Huangshan

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Xidi Ancient Village, Hongcun Ancient Village
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Huangshan ©
Mt. Huangshan
Hongcun Ancient Village ©
Hongcun Ancient Village
Xidi Ancient Village ©
Xidi Ancient Village

2
nights
Xiamen

Xiamen ©
Known for centuries as a gateway to China, the port city of Xiamen has become a destination in itself, first to domestic visitors and now to a growing number of people from across the world.
On the 3rd (Thu), get a taste of the local shopping with Zhongshan Road Walking Street, then admire the natural beauty at Xiamen Shuzhuang Garden, then contemplate the long history of Xiamen University, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Xiamen Botanical Garden. On the 4th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Gulangyu and then hike along Kulangsu Huandao Road.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Xiamen travel itinerary creator.

Fly from Huangshan to Xiamen in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. August in Xiamen sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Sanya.

Things to do in Xiamen

Parks Shopping Trails
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Gulangyu ©
Gulangyu
Xiamen University ©
Xiamen University
Kulangsu Huandao Road ©
Kulangsu Huandao Road

2
nights
Sanya

Sanya ©
The climate and coastline bring visitors from far and wide on vacations to Sanya, with its 40 km (25 mi) of shoreline almost entirely devoted to tourism.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Tianya Haijiao, take a stroll through Sanya Redaiyulin Square, and then kick back and relax at Yalong Bay. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Dadonghai Beach.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Sanya tour planner.

Fly from Xiamen to Sanya in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and bus. August in Sanya sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Sanya

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yalong Bay ©
Yalong Bay
Tianya Haijiao ©
Tianya Haijiao
Dadonghai Beach ©
Dadonghai Beach

8
nights
Hong Kong

Hong Kong ©
Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Appreciate the collections at Hong Kong Museum of History and Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. Relax by the water at Tai Long Wan and Shek O. Change things up with these side-trips from Hong Kong: Macau (Hac Sa (Black Sand) Beach & Casino at Venetian Macao). Pack the 7th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Hong Kong Disneyland. Spend the 8th (Tue) in some colorful company at Ocean Park. The adventure continues: stroll through Big Wave Bay Beach, don't miss a visit to Hong Kong Skyline, shop like a local with Stanley, Hong Kong, and browse the different shops at IFC mall.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hong Kong itinerary maker.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Sanya to Hong Kong in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and train. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Sanya in August since evenings lows in Hong Kong dip to 32°C. On the 14th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Macau
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Hong Kong Disneyland ©
Hong Kong Disneyland
Ocean Park ©
Ocean Park
Hong Kong Museum of History ©
Hong Kong Museum of History

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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Former French Concession and Tongli Town will appeal to history buffs. Explore Shanghai's surroundings by going to Zhouzhuang Water Town (in Kunshan) and Xitang Ancient Town (in Jiashan County). Next up on the itinerary: appreciate the extensive heritage of The Bund (Wai Tan), take in panoramic vistas at Shanghai World Financial Center, admire the landmark architecture of Jade Buddha Temple, and take a stroll through Taikang Road.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Shanghai tour planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and train; or drive. In August, daytime highs in Shanghai are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can travel to Beijing.

Things to do in Shanghai

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Xitang Ancient Town, Tongli Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Former French Concession ©
Former French Concession
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan) ©

7
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore The Palace Museum and National Museum Of China. Get some historical perspective at Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) and Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park). There's still lots to do: hike along Great Wall at Mutianyu, delve into the distant past at The Great Wall at Badaling, contemplate the waterfront views at Back Lakes (Hou Hai), and get engrossed in the history at Lama Temple (Yonghegong).

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Beijing trip generator.

Traveling by flight from Shanghai to Beijing takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Shanghai in August since evenings lows in Beijing dip to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can travel to Qingdao.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Aug 20 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Mutianyu Great Wall ©
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum

3
nights
Qingdao

Qingdao ©
The city of Qingdao has become particularly well known for its clean streets, orderly layout, and blending of the old and the new.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): don't miss a visit to May Fourth Square, then make a trip to Badaguan Scenic Resort, then enjoy the sand and surf at Qingdao Second Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at No.1 Bathing Beach. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Qingdao Shilaoren Bathing Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Golden beach (Huang Dao), and then stroll through Qingdao Zhongshan Park.

To find photos and other tourist information, refer to the Qingdao itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Beijing to Qingdao in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In August in Qingdao, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can travel to Chengdu.

Things to do in Qingdao

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Beach (Huang Dao) ©
Golden Beach (Huang Dao)
Qingdao Shilaoren Bathing Beach ©
Qingdao Shilaoren Bathing Beach
Qingdao Second Beach ©
Qingdao Second Beach

1
night
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.
On the 30th (Wed), make a trip to Jinli Pedestrian Street and then look for all kinds of wild species at Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (Xiongmao Jidi).

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Chengdu vacation builder.

Getting from Qingdao to Chengdu by combination of bus and flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. August in Chengdu sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. You'll set off for home on the 31st (Thu).

Things to do in Chengdu

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan

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