27 Days Grand China Speed Train Tour with Ethnic Minorities Discovery

Taking the high speed train to travel in China is a new popular way to tour in China now. In this High Speed Train Tour, you will have a experience to take speed train to travel around the main attractions of Beijing, Pingyao, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Yunnan and Guilin.


  • Experience the high speed train in China and know something about the modernization of China.
  • Meet the friendly ethnic groups like Miao, Yi, Bai, Naxi and Tibetan.
  • Visit the historical ancient towns, historical relics, various mountains and temples, like Pingyao Old Town, Terracotta Warriors.
  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery on route, and feel the true charm of China.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Beijing Arrival
  • Day 2: Beijing
  • Day 3: Beijing
  • Day 4: Beijing-Pingyao
  • Day 5: Pingyao
  • Day 6: Pingyao-Xi’an
  • Day 7: Xi’an
  • Day 8: Xi’an-Shanghai
  • Day 9: Shanghai
  • Day 10: Shanghai-Hangzhou
  • Day 11: Hangzhou-Zhangjiajie
  • Day 12: Zhangjiajie
  • Day 13: Zhangjiajie
  • Day 14: Zhangjiajie-Changsha
  • Day 15: Changsha-Kaili
  • Day 16: Kaili-Guiyang
  • Day 17: Guiyang-Kunming
  • Day 18: Kunming-Dali
  • Day 19: Dali
  • Day 20: Dali-Shaxi
  • Day 21: Shaxi-Shangri-La
  • Day 22: Shangri-La-Lijiang
  • Day 23: Lijiang
  • Day 24: Lijiang-Kunming
  • Day 25: Kunming-Guilin
  • Day 26: Guilin
  • Day 27: Guilin Departure.

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Beijing
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Lunch

Arrive at Beijing airport, meet your guide and driver there, then transfer to check in your hotel.

Day 2 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutong Tour by rickshaw
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Depart from your hotel in the morning to visit Tian’anmen Square (40 min) – the World’s largest urban square, and the Forbidden City (2.5-3 hours) – the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Then visit the Temple of Heaven (1 hour) in the afternoon. Drive to Drum Tower area for taking a relaxing Hutong Tour by rickshaw (Short route, 40 min) – the way to know the Beijing local lifestyle.

After that, drive back to your hotel.

Day 3 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Mutianyu Great Wall, the exterior view of Bird Nest and Water Cube
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, start to drive to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall (2 hours ). Here you can choose: cable up and down on your own account on spot – the section of the Great Wall which is more popular among foreign visitors. Have the lunch near the Mutianyu Great Wall, and then drive back to the downtown and have a short stop and take the exterior view of Bird Nest and Water Cube (about 1 hour) – the amazing architectures that built for Beijing Olympic Games. After that, drive back to your hotel.

Day 4 Beijing-Pingyao

Sightseeing and Activities: Summer Palace, Pingyao Old Town
Accommodation: Pingyao
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, pay a visit to the Summer Palace (about 2 hour) – the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. After your lunch in Beijing, then transfer to the railway station for the high speed train to Pingyao Old Town. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Pingyao Old Town.

Day 5 Pingyao

Sightseeing and Activities: Ancient Government Office, Mingqing Street, Rishengchang, Tongxinggong Security Guard Company, Ancient City Wall
Accommodation: Pingyao
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Visit Ancient Government Office and street of capitalistic banking companies within its grant ancient city wall. You’ll have your eyes wide open when entering Mingqing Street, Wall Street of China. The 750-meter-long street holds nearly one hundred traditionally furnished shops and local houses built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911) along both sides. One of the well-known exchange shops on this street, Rishengchang, is your next stop. Though you can barely come up with what the shop looked like in its heydays, you can still find some secrets of its prudent managing system from the engraved tong twister near the counter.

The flourishing business of exchange shops at Mingqing Street helped with foundation of armed guard of property security. You’ll go visit Tongxinggong Security Guard Company, which was built in 1885 and is currently transformed into Security Guard Museum of China. Look into the harsh commandment of the staff and their varied weapons and tools, you can draw a picture of magnificent parade of property escort team on your mind. 

End your day tour of the old town with the Ancient City Wall. The wall at dusk brings your thoughts back to centuries ago. You may even mistake yourself for an ancient hero who faced a totally foreign city wall and started to ponder over ways to conquer the city.

Day 6 Pingyao-Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities: Qiao Family Compound, Shuanglin Temple
Accommodation: Xi’an
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Traditional Chinese art of architecture and sculpture can’t wait to boast itself even it’s situated on the outskirt of Pingyao. Qiao Family Compound and Shuanglin Temple at the outskirt are what Pingyao locals feel proud of. Distinguished architectural fashion of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) gets so fully displayed in the gigantic Qiao Family Compound. Inside Shuanglin Temple there are more than 2,000 painted Buddha sculptures waiting for your exploration. Each will be proved worthy of your 1-hour-long stay. After that, move to Pingyao Old Town Railway Station in the afternoon for the train to Xi’an.

Arrive in Xi’an, your guide and driver will pick you up there to check in your hotel.

Day 7 Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities: Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an City Wall
Accommodation: Xi’an
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, transfer 1.5 hours for the visit to Terracotta Warriors (2.5-3 hours) – one of the world’s most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation. Have lunch near the Terracotta Warriors area, drive back to the downtown. Continue to visit the Xian City Wall (1 hour)  – represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. 

Optional tour: ride bike on the wall by your own.  

After that, drive back to hotel.

Day 8 Xi’an-Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: Shanxi History Museum, Hangyang Mausoleum
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Finish the breakfast, and you will firstly to visit the Shanxi History Museum (2 hours) – one of the largest state museums with modern facilities in China. After lunch, continue to the Hanyang Mausoleum (1 hour) – the multi-burial cemetery of Emperor Jing of Han and his queen.

Your Xi’an tour will be finished by taking the 2 hours flight to Shanghai. Your Shanghai tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to check in the hotel.

Day 9 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyan Garden, Chenghuangmiao, The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Nanjing Road, the bund
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

A full day sightseeing starts with Jade Buddha Temple (1 hour) – famous for the seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, which is said to weigh 1,000 kg. And then, go to Yuyuan Garden (1 hour) – a Chinese classic garden in city downtown. Then visit the nearby Chenghuangmiao (Old Street) (1 hour). After lunch, you will have a visit of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower – the most charming landmark of Shanghai. And then, go for shopping in Nanjing Road (1 hours generally) – the earliest commercial street in Shanghai, and have a leisure walk along the Bund (30 min) – famous for a group of building known as “a Gallery of world architecture”.

After that, drive back to your hotel.

Day 10 Shanghai-Hangzhou

Sightseeing and Activities: West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Longjing Tea Village
Accommodation: Hangzhou
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, you will take the speed train to Hangzhou (1 hours). Upon arrival, take the public boat tour of West Lake. After that, go to Lingyin Temple, continue to pay a visit to Six Harmonies Pagoda, have a tour of Longjing Tea Village to see the famous green Tea plantation here.  

Day 11 Hangzhou-Zhangjiajie

Sightseeing and Activities: Wuzhen Town
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Departure from hotel to visit Wuzhen Town. Wuzhen is one of the six famous ancient water towns in south of the Yangtze River. It’s within the triangle formed by three top tourist cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. It has charmingly restored architecture and canals. Though some people complain about its commercial atmosphere, restored buildings, and the crowds, the charm and the elegance of this ancient water town is undeniable. In the evening, transfer to Hangzhou railway station for the overnight train to Zhangjiajie. 

Day 12 Zhangjiajie

Sightseeing and Activities: Tianmen Moutain
Accommodation: Zhangjiajie
Meals: Lunch

Arrive in Zhangjiajie at noon, your guide will pick you up there to have lunch. 

In the afternoon, you will take the world’s longest cable car to to the summit of Tianmen Mountain. On the top of Tianmen Mountain, you will have a panoramic view of Zhangjiajie. After tour, check in your hotel.

Day 13 Zhangjiajie

Sightseeing and Activities: Tianzi Mountain, Yuanjiajie, Ten-mile Gallery
Accommodation: Zhangjiajie
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Firstly visit the Tianzi Mountain by cable car named after Xiang Dakun who led the local farmers’ revolt and called himself Tianzi – the Son of Heaven. Tianzi Mountain provides stunning views of peaks, which rise one after another. It is known as ‘the Monarch of the Peak Forest’. At the top of the mountain, visitors can see the full extent of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Beautiful scenes of the mountain greet visitors in different seasons. There are four wonders: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in winter.

Visit Yuanjiajie (by Bailong elevator up). Yuanjiajie is a natural platform that faces giant rocks rising from deep valleys and surrounded by higher mountains. Unique in their shapes and covered with pine trees, these rocks resemble a vivid Chinese painting. Main attraction spots include: Back Garden, breath taking Mihun Stage, the First Bridge under the Sun and Avatar Hallelujah Mountain (previously called Southern Sky Column). 

After that, visit the Ten-mile Gallery” of Suoxi Valley Scenic Spot. It looks like outdoor sculpture showroom. Along two sides of the river ,there display many great hills and cliffs. The Gallery offers an amazing experience of beauty. It is like an exhibition based in the gorge. Along the road are 200 peaks like old man collecting medicine, parents holding a son, and three Sisters and so on. It has a fleet and clean river on-flowing with the width of 6 meters and length of 5 km.

Day 14 Zhangjiajie-Changsha

Sightseeing and Activities: Baofeng Lake
Accommodation: Changsha
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, start your morning tour by boating on Baofeng Lake. The lake is located high up in the mountains with its water coming from the mountain peaks. Boating on the lake, you can immerse yourself in the pure nature. You will transfer to Changsha (4 hours ) for overnight today.

Day 15 Changsha-Kaili

Sightseeing and Activities: Wengxiang Miao Village
Accommodation: Kaili
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, move to Changsha railway station for the high speed train to Kaili. Upon arrival, meet your guide at exit of railway station, have a lunch before you make the tour of Wengxiang Miao village, which is known for the special textile technique called “folded embroidery”. The particular embroidery is applied on the sleeve. It needs at least one month to finish one sleeve’s decoration.

After the tour, check in your hotel in Kaili.

Day 16 Kaili-Guiyang

Sightseeing and Activities: Shiqiao Village, Langde Village
Accommodation: Guiyang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Your day tour will start from Shiqiao village where you can to see traditional paper making. Shiqiao Village is one of the villages where villagers continue to earn their living by producing and selling hand-made papers and products. Miao people make special paper by tree bark for thousands of year and offer the paper for Miao people in this region. You can see almost every village make different type of paper for decoration house, lantern.

However, with modern technology, changing demand and behavior of consumers, the number of villagers who can survive by keeping this tradition has declined from year to year, to left around lesser than 100 people. So you should cherish this opportunities when you see this on your trip to Guizhou.

Then move to visit Langde village. Located 17 km north of Leishan County, at the foot of a hill and beside a stream, Langde Village is one of the noted Miao villages in the prefecture that opened to the outside world. The village has three village gates. Houses supported by wooden pillars with a suspension roof and twisted corridors are built on the mountain slope. Most wooden buildings were built from 1616-1911. Five streets lead to the village. Two public recreation centers—Flute Center with the ground paved with cobbler, a small cultural museum of the Miao and the former residence of an insurrectionary general of the Qing Dynasty were built in the village.

After the tour, transfer to Guiyang to check in your hotel.

Day 17 Guiyang-Anshun-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Huanguoshu Waterfall
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, you will transfer to Anshun(1.5 hours) to visit Huangguoshu Waterfall, which is the largest waterfall in Asia. Seventy-four meters high and eighty-one meters wide, it is a scenic marvel. Do not miss it if you are in Guizhou Province. Known as the Huangguoshu Waterfall National Park, it is 45 kilometers southwest of Anshun in Guizhou Province.

After the tour, you will take the high speed train to Kunming.  Check in your hotel in Kunming after arrival.

Day 18 Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Stone Forest, Guandu Old Town, Nanping Street
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

In the morning, make the tour of Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

Then transfer back to Kunming city and pay a visit to Guandu Old Town, one of the cradles of the ancient Dian civilization and culture in Yunnan, which is located in the southeast suburb of Kunming, about 10 km from downtown. Being a famous historic and cultural town, dated back to the Nanzhao Kingdom (738-937), as early as the Tang Dynasty, Guandu Old Town had been a big market town and communication center.

Finally, drop off at shopping area – Nanping Street nearby, you will stroll this area before transfer to the hotel for rest.

Day 19 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Erhai Lake, Three Pagodas, Zhoucheng, Xizhou, Dali Old Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Xiao (Little) Putuo Island of Erhai Lake in Dali

Upon arrival at Dali in the morning, the local guide pick you up at the exit, then you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island. In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. 

Then go to visit Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery , which has a history of over 1,800 years. It is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. Later visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenisr with the Bai ethnic style. 

Afterward, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. At last, you will visit the Dali Old Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the time with local people.

Day 20 Dali-Shaxi

Sightseeing and Activities: Shibaoshan Mountain, Stone Bell Temple, Baoxiang Temple, Shaxi Old Town
Accommodation: Shaxi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Shizhong (Stone Bell) Temple in Jianchuan County, Dali

Drive from Dali to Shibaoshan mountainThe most prominent sight at ShibaoShan is the Stone Bell Temple with its 139 well preserved stone carvings. These magnificent stone carvings dated back as far as 1300 years to the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The carvings are testimony for a time when Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet started to spread in the Yunnan area. Another interesting sight is the ‘Suspending Temple’, also called the Baoxiang Temple. The Baoxiang temple was built on a ledge of a nearly vertical cliff and can only be reached by a long flight of stairs. On a clear day, the views from the Baoxiang Temple over the Shaxi valley are simply magnificent.

After lunch, drive to Shaxi and have a tour of Shaxi Old Town.

Day 21 Shaxi-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Departure from Shaxi to Qiaotou.  Continue to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge(Shangri-La section), the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river.

After the tour, continue your driving to Shangri-La.  After arrival, stroll around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. Walk up to the top of Guishan Hill or tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of Shangri-La and Dukezong Ancient Town. 

Day 22 Shangri-La-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Pudacuo National Park, Ganden Sumtseling Monastery
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. It is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. Although the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species. Continue to visit the Ganden Sumtseling MonasteryThen you will transfer to Lijiang and check in you hotel in Lijiang.

Day 23 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Jade Dragon Snow Moutain, Yuhu Village, Former Residence of Joseph Rock, Shuhe Old Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, drive about 30 km to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100 meters). Take the sightseeing bus for a short visit through the Baishuihe River, then take the chairlift up to visit Yak Meadow (3700 meters) of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cable-way will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hours in the original forest in Yak Meadow.

After lunch, you’ll visit Yuhu Village and the Former Residence of Joseph Rock who was an Austria-American botanist and explorer, lived in Yuhu village and other places in that region from 1922 to 1949. He was also a naturalist and Photographer, and the first foreign scholar to introduce Lijiang ethnic culture to the western world. Then go to Shuhe Old Town to enjoy you leisure time.

Day 24 Lijiang-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang Old Town
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Black Dragon Pool in Lijiang

In the morning, stroll around Black Dragon Pool, which is located at the foot of the Xiangshan Mountain (Elephant Hill) north of the city of Lijiang. As the water here is a lucid green color, it gained another name Jade Spring Park (Yuquan Park). There are many distinctive and ravishing sites in the park. Hiding in the lush trees or standing along the liquid pool is the antique and exquisite architectural pieces, which are in the style of Naxi. Then explore Lijiang Old TownLijiang Ancient Town has a history more than 800 years, it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.

In the evening, move to railway station for the overnight train back to Kunming.

Day 25 Kunming-Guilin

Sightseeing and Activities: Green Lake, Yuantong Temple
Accommodation: Guilin
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Arrive in Kunming in the morning. Have a visit of Green Lake and Yuantong Temple, then you will drive to high speed railway station for the train to Guilin. Upon arrival, check in your hotel.

Day 26 Guilin-Yangshuo-Guilin

Sightseeing and Activities: Li River Cruise, West street
Accommodation: Guilin
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, drive to the Zhujiang Pier for the Li River Cruise (about 4 hours, simple set menu lunch is including in the boat ticket). Savor the fairy-tale scenery while cruising down the meandering river to Yangshuo.

After disembarkation and check-in hotel with help of your tour guide, you can have a walk along the famous West Street and enjoy the free leisure time there. Then drive back to Guilin.

Day 27 Guilin-Hong Kong

Sightseeing and Activities: Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, transfer to visit the gorgeous Reed Flute Cave – offering a magic fairyland of stalactites, stalagmites, stone columns scenery. And then, the next stop will be the Elephant Trunk Hill– the landmark of Guilin.

After the tour, transfer to have lunch before driving to the airport for the departure flight to Hong Kong. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Kunming Sofitel Hotel Jinjiang Hotel Longteng Hotel Tu Tu Inn
Lijiang InterContinental Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Liwang Hotel Flowers Hall Inn
Shangri-La Shangri-La Resort E-outfitting Hotel Bodhi Boutique Inn Guzang Xiangbala Wu Fu Diannan Boutique Inn
Dali Hilton Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Taiheju hotel Fengxuegucheng
Shaxi Landscape Hotel Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Xiaolazhe Yododo Inn Another Encounter

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed trains, Beijing/Pingyao/Xi’an, Shanghai/Hangzhou, Changsha/Kaili, Anshun/Kunming/Guilin;
  • Overnight trains, Hangzhou/Zhangjiajie, Kunming/Dali, Lijiang/Kunming;
  • Domestic flight, Xi’an/Shanghai.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.