15 daysActivity Level
breakfasts, lunches, dinners
Discover the ancient history, magical landscapes, and indescribable wonder of China on this family vacation! This well-balanced itinerary is designed for active, inquisitive families who love to explore faraway lands, learn ancient history in the places where it happened, and taste the local fare.
Stand on the Great Wall of China
Take your kids to one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and walk along its ancient stones, gazing out into the countryside.
Stop at all of the famous sites in and around Beijing from the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City and ancient hutong neighborhoods.
Travel the Countryside
Make stops in Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Yangshuo to see amazing landscapes like the Gumdrop Mountains and incredible archaeological finds like the Terracotta Warriors.
Visit a Panda Breeding Center
Stop by a Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu, home to nearly the entire giant panda population in the world, and learn about the conservation efforts to save this beautiful animal.
Find Adventure in Shanghai
Reach the top of the World Financial Center for incredible views of the city below and explore the tranquil Yu Gardens and the Bund waterfront.
Fly to Beijing, China
The 4,500-plus mile-long Great Wall is the longest human-made structure ever built. Take a cable car to the top for a short and easy hike — an unforgettable experience for any age! On the way down, those of you feeling adventurous can choose the gravity-propelled toboggan!
Peking Duck Dinner
Taste one of the most well-known meals in Beijing, possibly in all of Asia, Peking duck, an imperial-era dish characterized by thin, crisp meat served in a pancake scallion, cucumber and sweet-bean sauce.
Chaoyang Theater Acrobatics Show
Visit one of the most talked-about theaters in China, Chaoyang Theater, presenting spectacular individual and team acrobatic displays involving bicycles, seesaws, barrels, swings and even catapults.
Sprawled across 109 acres, Tiananmen Square is so enormous it can accommodate nearly one million people. The bordering buildings include the huge Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao and the National Museum of China.
The first ancient Ming emperor believed himself to be the “son of heaven.” His residence, built as an earthly duplicate of the Purple Palace of God, was certainly forbidden to mere ordinary mortals — which is how the Forbidden City acquired its name. There are 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings and a grand total 8,704 rooms included in the Forbidden City.
Old Beijing pedicab tour
Explore the city’s ancient neighborhoods, called hutongs, by pedicab. Wander the labyrinthine alleyways and catch a glimpse of the traditional way of life that began more than 700 years ago!
Temple of Heaven
Representing both heaven and earth, the Temple of Heaven’s round roof is covered in celestial-blue tiles to symbolize the Chinese notion of Heaven, while the square base represents the then-believed-to-be flat Earth. Walk up the white-marble stairway to the three-tiered, open-air Altar of Heaven, marveling that the number of stones used to build each tier are multiples of threes or nines, representing harmony and perfect balance, or Heaven.
Xi'an City Wall Bike Ride
Ride bikes through one of the oldest cities in China, Xi’an, known as the city of “westerly peace” located at the eastern end of the renowned Silk Road.
Enjoy a dumpling making demonstration at the famous Defachang Restaurant. If you like, you can try to make them yourself — it’s not as easy as it looks!
This jawdropping army of nearly 2,000 hand-carved stone warriors comes complete with generals, soldiers, chariots and horses — each individual statue unique.
Friends Across Borders (FAB)
Kids will get to meet their Chinese pen pals at the Tang Dynasty Arts Museum. We’ll learn simple Chinese calligraphy and some new Chinese words as the guide helps translate between the kids!
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
After a big wild goose fell out of the sky one day in the mid-600s to feed a group of hungry pilgrims, they decided to erect a pagoda in its honor. That is the origin of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty.
Shu Feng Ya Yun- Face Changing Performance
Witness a classic Chinese face-changing performance, a 300-year-old dramatic art involving performers in elaborate costumes dancing and changing their brightly-colored masks at lightning fast speeds. We’ll also get to meet some of the performers before the show!
Walk Jin Li Street
Join visitors from all over the world along bustling Jin Li Street, an ancient street dating back to 221 B.C. that’s lined with traditional-style buildings and tasty local snacks.
High Speed Train
Today you will take the train from Xi’an to Chengdu.
Bifengxia Panda Base
Today’s adventure brings you face to face with the fascinating giant panda. You drive to the Bifengxia Panda Base, internationally renowned for its superb work with these rare animals. Kids and adults alike will love the chance for close-up interaction!
Hike Bifengxia Gorge
Hike through the beautiful Bifengxia Gorge surrounding the Bifengxia Panda Base, enjoying its emerald-green water, springs, waterfalls, green ponds, and cliffs.
Reed Flute Cave
Explore the largest and most impressive karst cavern in Guilin, Reed Flute Cave, containing a stunning array of stalactites and stalagmites.
Elephant Trunk Hill
Visit one of the most famous natural landmarks in Guilin, Elephant Trunk Hill, which resembles a huge elephant drinking water from the river with its trunk.
We’ll travel along the western bank of the Li River to Fubo Hill, a single limestone structure that impressively rises out of the water, toward impressive city and river views.
Seven Star Park
Visit the largest park in Guilin, Seven Star Park, named for the seven surrounding peaks that resemble the points of the Big Dipper constellation.
Tea Ceremony Demonstration
We’ll join a special tea ceremony to taste and learn more about tea, the beverage that’s considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life.
Li River Cruise
As you drift down the Li River, keep an eye out for water buffalo patrolling the fields, fishermen floating on bamboo rafts and of course the stunning landscape of karst limestone formations that will amaze you at every bend of the river.
Moon Hill Hike
See the moon-shaped arch of the mysterious Moon Hill Mountain up close, climbing 800 steps to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking surroundings.
Biking and Yulong River Float Trip
You’ll bike to a pier on the Yulong River and ride small bamboo rafts downstream. Floating down the Yulong River — also known as the Lesser Li River — you’ll spy on water buffalos wandering the shores, past terraced paddies and dramatic mountain peaks looming in the distance.
Yangshuo "Impression Liu Sanjie" Show
This incredible show, staged by the famed film director Zhang Yimou, takes place in the great outdoors and includes more than 600 “actors” from local minority groups who combine the natural environment with classic folk songs and the reenactment of the area’s unique fishing culture.
Morning T'ai Chi Class
T’ai chi is a Chinese exercise system that uses slow, smooth body movements to achieve a state of relaxation of both body and mind. Used to improve and maintain health, t’ai chi strengthens the cardiovascular and immune systems while achieving a state of physical and mental relaxation.
Cooking Lesson and Lunch
You’ll learn to make several delicious Chinese dishes and then you’ll enjoy our creations for lunch!
Huangpu River Boat Ride
Pass twenty-story-high buildings as you cruise the river between the Bund — the heart of colonial Shanghai — and the Pudong with its eclectic ambiance.
Enjoy one final dinner together with the rest of your fellow travelers to reminisce on your time in China. Say “ta ta for now” to this beautiful country and your new friends over a memorable meal and drinks.
You’ll take a stroll through the Xintiandi neighborhood — a fantastic restoration project (by an American architect) that saved dozens of old brick tenements and turned the area into Shanghai’s favorite new hot spot!
Jade Buddha Temple
Your trip to the Jade Buddha Temple will be a great way for family travelers to get a sense of the importance of spirituality in China. The temple houses two fine jade Buddha statues imported from Burma, as well as a large marble reclining Buddha sculpture donated from Singapore.
Tour the traditional red walls and tile roofs of the tranquil Yu Gardens, a classical garden dating back to the 16th century that offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of modern Shanghai.
Visit World Financial Center
View Shanghai from the top of the World Financial Center, once the tallest building in the world. You’ll be able to see the city’s clear contrast of old and new.
Dates & Prices
06/20-07/04Adult $6990Teen $6990Child $6090Internal Air $1200
07/31-08/14Adult $6990Teen $6990Child $6090Internal Air $1200
$200 discount for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults
Additional $1,490 for single accommodations
Large Group Discount
Traveling in a party of six or more friends or family members? Call us about our large group discounts.
If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We’ve received great feedback about Travel Insured – you can learn more about the benefits of travel insurance there.
All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, area specialists, most meals, and bottled water & snacks in the vehicle.
Depending on your flight schedule you may return home the following day.
Guaranteed departure. Surcharge applied to groups smaller than 4 guests.
Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.
- Extend Your TripStarts at
3 daysActivity Level
EasyYour family will spend most of your time relaxing and not expending too much energy. These adventures are easy! Every member of your family will be comfortable and able to take part in this adventure no matter their fitness level.