AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
China Tour by High Speed Train

China Tour by High Speed Train

China Tour by High Speed Train Overview

An eye-opening experience touring China by high-speed train on one of the most modern rail networks in the world. Begin your journey from Beijing, with stops to admire medieval Pingyao, Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors and Luoyang’s natural wonders.

A tour of China by High Speed Train

An eye opening experience touring China by high-speed train on one of the most modern rail networks in the world. Begin your journey from Beijing, with stops to admire medieval Pingyao, Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors and Luoyang’s natural wonders. Along the way, you will be mesmerised by stunning landscapes, misty mountain ranges and green rice paddies.

Touring Style - a private tour by rail. You will have your own driver and professional English speaking guide for the city tours.

Best time for this tour: April and May / September and October

Packages include hotels, breakfast, high-speed rail tickets, professional touring and transfers.

Day 1: Arrival in Beijing

On arrival in Beijing, you will be met for a private transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Beijing.

Distance and journey time:

Beijing airport – Beijing city (approx. 30km): 40 min

Day 2: Beijing touring, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven

Take a tour by rickshaw to one of Beijing’s famous hutongs close to Houhai Lake. From here you will visit the Drum Tower, where the passing of the hours was signalled by a drum roll during the Ming era. The tower is opposite the Clock Tower and provides a pleasant insight into old Beijing.

Visit the Temple of Heaven’s park to witness a uniquely Chinese morning ritual – public exercise. Beijingers, who believe that morning exercise is essential for their well-being, prepare for the day ahead with a mixture of Taiji, kung-fu, sword-dancing, meditation, tango and gymnastics. Others practice calligraphy, using large specialist brushes to write beautiful Chinese characters on the flagstones of the park.

Discover the Temple itself, which is notable for its architectural simplicity and symbolism reflecting early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Here, emperors would forge the link between the round sky and the square earth through sacrificial rituals based on the founding principles of this ancient civilisation.

In the afternoon visit the Forbidden City. Most Chinese buildings face south, which according to ancient beliefs symbolised the barbarian threat and potential invasion from the north. This explains why the main entrance to the Forbidden City faces south towards Tiananmen Square, the third largest city square in the world.

Day 3: Walk or hike the Great Wall

En route to The Great Wall, you will have the option to visit the National Stadium, one of the most celebrated symbols of modern China. The “Bird’s Nest”, as it is commonly known, is an architectural masterpiece. Visit the Mutianyu section of The Great Wall.

Once back in Beijing, visit the Summer Palace. At one time a simple imperial garden, the site was totally redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century becoming one of the capital’s major sites. The Imperial Court used to relocate to the Summer Palace during the summer months to escape the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. A mix of temples pavilions, lakes, pagodas and gardens make up this harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture. The Long Corridor, the Marble Boat, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill are the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.

Overnight in Beijing

Day 4: Beijing to Taiyuan by high speed train, road transfer to Pingyao

Transfer to the Railway Station for the high-speed train to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province.

Train Station: Beijing – Taiyuan

Train number: G91

Estimated departure time: 08:40

Estimated arrival time: 11:12

We will provide tickets for second class travel: Second class features soft berths, with four berths per cabin. You may also choose to book the entire cabin for more privacy or to travel in a First class cabin at a supplement.

On arrival, meet your driver and local guide who will be waiting at the arrival hall. Transfer by car to Jinci: a remarkable building constructed in honour of Prince Shuyu who founded the Jin state (772-403 B.C). Proceed to visit The Hall of the Holy Mother, a great example of ancestral worship.

Drive to Pingyao. Pingyao is the best preserved medieval city throughout the whole of China. It is a collection of paved alleyways, lined with traditional courtyard style homes lit with red lanterns and surrounded by perfectly conserved reinforced city walls.

Overnight in Pingyao

Day 5: Pingyao touring

After breakfast, you will head off to explore the merchants’ houses and cave dwellings. Many local merchants amassed immense fortunes during the Ming and Qing dynasties and built themselves huge palatial homes. A perfect example of one of these homes is the Wang Family Residence, which is about 50km from Pingyao and is made up of an imposing labyrinth of courtyards, small gardens, temples and narrow stairways.

On the way back to Pingyao stop in Zhangbicun, a small village famous for its underground castle.

End your day with a visit to the Shuanglin Buddhist Temple (literally Temple of the Double Forest) which is just outside Pingyao- the temple is well known for its finely sculptured statues which have been very well preserved and still retain their original colours.

Distance and journey time:

Pingyao – Wang family Residence (approx. 50km): 50 min

Wang family Residence – Zhangbicun: (20km): 30 minutes

Zhangbicun – Pingyao (40km): 50 min

Day 6: Pingyao to Xian by high speed train

Take a morning stroll to really soak up the atmosphere of Pingyao at its best. Visit the local yamen, which during Imperial times was home to the administrative centre, courthouse and sometimes even a prison.

Transfer back to Taiyuan for a high-speed train to Xi’an.

Train Station: Taiyuan – Xi’an

Train number: D2533

Estimated departure time: 12:12

Estimated arrival time: 15:53

On arrival, your guide and driver will be waiting at the Xi’an Station. Transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Xi’an

Day 7: Xian touring

Head to the Terracotta Warriors.

The statues are separated into 3 pits. You will start off with a visit to pit number 2 (which is still being excavated today and where there are only a few warriors fully on show) followed by pit number 3 (which has been mostly uncovered) and then finishing with pit 1 which is the most impressive of the 3, housing around 2000 soldiers.

Heading back to Xi’an, discover the impressive city walls that were constructed during the Ming Dynasty. Mostly destroyed and then restored, they are some of the only town walls still left in China. Take a bike ride to explore the town walls and look down on the hustle and bustle of the city streets below.

Visit Xi’an’s main Mosque, which is built in a Chinese style, and the very lively Muslim quarter which surrounds it.

Distance and journey time:

Xi’an city – Terracotta army (approx): 50 min

Day 8: Xian to Luoyang

Drive to Mount Huashan, one of the 5 sacred Taoist mountains. Take the cable car to the Northern Peak (altitude 1615m). From here, take a medium level trek to the Eastern Peak. Don't forget to stop and admire the breathtaking views along the way. You may decide to retrace your steps or to complete the trek through the South and West Peak back to the North, to take the cable car down to the base. The trails are narrow with steep stairs and will require 3 to 5 hours for the entire loop.

Your driver will be waiting for you at the base of the mountain. Transfer to Huashan train station for a high-speed train to Luoyang.

Train Station: Huashan – Luoyang

Train number: G2012

Estimated departure time: 17:23

Estimated arrival time: 18:31

On arrival, your guide and driver will be waiting at the station entrance. Transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Luoyang.

Distance and journey times:

Xi’an city – Huashan Mountain (approx. 120km): less than 2 hours

Huashan Mountain – Huashan train station (7km): 15 min

Day 9: Luoyang to Beijing by high speed rail

Leave with your guide for a tour of the Longmen caves, a perfect example of Chinese Buddhist rock art. The caves are spread over a kilometre on both sides of the Yi River. You will visit the Cave of 10,000 Buddhas on the west bank and the Ancestor Worshipping Cave on the east bank.

Proceed to the world-famous Shaolin Temple, a true home of Chinese martial arts before a transfer to Luoyang train station for a high-speed train to Beijing.

Train Station: Luoyang – Beijing

Train number: G664

Estimated departure time: 16:19

Estimated arrival time: 20:25

On arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Beijing.

Distance and journey times:

Luoyang city –Longmen caves (approx. 13km): 15 min

Day 10: Beijing departure

Transfer to the airport or extend your holiday on the stunning beaches of Sanya.

Find out more about the China Tour by High Speed Train