The 8 best tours in China

Tianmen mountain, Chine

Would you like to visit China on vacation, but don’t know where to start? Then here are some ideas with the 8 best tours to do in China!

As one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China is a country brimming with mysteries and extraordinary places. From Beijing and Shanghai to Mount Huang Shan, the rivers of Longsheng, the Great Wall and the army of terracotta soldiers in Xi’an, there’s no shortage of places of interest!

With over 1.384 billion inhabitants and a surface area of 9,596,961 km², it is not only Asia’s largest country, but also the 4th largest in the world, making it sometimes difficult to plan a visit. Many tourists don’t know where to start their trip, or how to organize themselves to visit as many points of interest as possible in a limited time.

If you want to make the most of your trip to Asia, then Generation Voyage has put together a guide to help you do just that, featuring the best tours to do in China that will allow you to see the most important points of the country and of interest to you!

1. Tour of the Golden Triangle

Temple du Ciel, Pékin

Photo credit: Shutterstock / V_E

If your trip to China only lasts ten days or so, then a tour through China’s Golden Triangle is the ideal way to discover the three largest cities and their many places of interest that are not to be missed!

The Golden Triangle links Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. If you think three cities aren’t enough to see many wonders, think again!


First of all, in Beijing, you can reach part of the Great Wall in just 1h30. What’s more, you can take advantage of your time in the city to visit the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Old Summer Palace, or sample Beijing’s famous Peking Duck!


When you arrive in Xi’an, you’ll have the opportunity to stroll along the ancient city walls and visit the great Wild Geese Pagoda, a monument over 1000 years old. You can also attend dinner shows recreating scenes from the Tang dynasty, and of course, don’t miss thearmy of terracotta soldiers and horses for which the city is famous among tourists visiting China!


Finally, in Shanghai, you can visit the Jade Buddha Temple, where you can admire 3 imposing statues carved from Burmese jade. But also the Yuyuan Garden, probably the oldest in the city, whose typically Chinese style will leave you with a pleasant souvenir of your trip to Asia. Don’t forget to take a stroll through Pudong, Shanghai’s liveliest district, as well as Nanjing Street, renowned for its many boutiques and multicolored neon signs.

2. Travelling through China, back in time

Jinji Lake, Jiangsu

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China is one of the countries with the most vestiges of its past, but also one of the most modern in the world. It’s almost unthinkable to separate the past from the present! That’s why, if you want to see as much of China as possible during your trip to Asia, and learn more about its culture, a tour that takes you back in time is just what you need!

In this type of tour, which you can organize yourself or via an agency, it’s advisable to start your China trip to Shanghai with a visit to the Old Street – or Fangbin Street – and the Yuyuan Garden, the city’s oldest.

Then, although other regions are also worth a visit, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are two places to visit for a trip back in time! Between Western Lake, the Lingyin Temple Caves and the Museum of Traditional Costumes in Zhejiang province, and Tiger Hill and the historic gardens of Suzhou in Jiangsu province, there’s no doubt that you’ll take a leap back in time several centuries. And don’t forget to attend a traditional tea ceremony to extend your experience!

Finally, finish your trip with a visit to Beijing and the modern districts of Shanghai, two areas that perfectly represent today’s China, with its bustling streets, immense skyscrapers and technological advances!

3. Discovering Tibet

Namtso Lake, Tibet

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Michail_Vorobyev

Tibet is a region north of theHimalayas, at an average altitude of 4,900 meters. This region, though torn between the current Chinese government and the former Tibetan government, is a place that will make you feel as if you’ve landed in another dimension.

During your visit, you’ll have the chance to see the Potala Palace, known as the former seat of the Dalai Lamas, the Sakya Monastery and the old town of Lhasa. If you stop off at the Rongbuk monastery, or if you’re lucky enough to spend a night there, you’ll be able to admire a breathtaking view of Mount Everest from outside the monument! The scenery in this region is simply breathtaking.

Please note: Tibet is a highly regulated region, so you’ll need to go through an Asian travel agency to apply to enter the region. You’ll also need to be accompanied by a guide, as no entry into Tibet is possible without a dedicated guide at your side at all times.

4. Cruise on the Yangtze

Yangtze River, Chine

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Daniel Doerfler

If you want to take advantage of your trip to China to take a cruise, think of the Yangtze River! It’s Asia’s longest river, at just over 6,000 km, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. Indeed, because of the brilliant color of its water and the diverse landscapes it offers, cruises on this river are very popular with tourists.

During your cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to sail through the 3 gorges, as well as visit the dam and other points of interest such as the Shibao pagoda and the Dazu site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Discovering China off the beaten track

Lijiang, Chine

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Want to get off the beaten track after visiting the Great Wall of China, Xi’an and Shanghai? Then why not take a tour off the beaten track during your trip to Asia? Many monuments, cities and even entire provinces are worth visiting at least once, even if they don’t appear in the travel guides!

For example, Lijiang – a city in Yunnan province – is a Unesco World Heritage site, rich not only in activities but also in culture and tradition, with its various ethnic minorities. Kunming is home to the Shilin Stone Forest, a veritable labyrinth of stones rising up from the vegetation, while Yuanyang is home to terraced rivers as far as the eye can see, creating an impressive spectacle.

6. Yunnan and Guilin, exceptional landscapes

Guilin, Chine

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If you’re looking for a quiet trip to China to enjoy exceptional landscapes, then a tour between Guilin and Yunnan is ideal for you!

Guilin is a city in Guangxi that was founded over 2000 years ago. It’s a popular tourist destination, but you’ll find plenty of postcard-worthy scenery here, such as the Reed Flute Cave, a cave over 180 million years old, Elephant Trunk Hill, overlooking the Li River, or the rice terraces of Ping’An.

Yunnan is a province in south-west China, located mainly in mountainous terrain. Its landscapes seem unreal, and from the Tiger Leaping Gorge to the old town of Lijiang, not forgetting Yulong Xue Shan and Lake Erhai, you’ll be blown away by the region’s wonders and won’t regret your trip to Asia!

7. Discovering ethnic groups

Ethnie Miao, Chine

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Pius Lee

If you want to discover China’s diverse ethnic minorities and immerse yourself in a world of culture and tradition, then an ethnic discovery tour is what you should consider for your trip to China!

Among others, you can meet the Dong, Miao and Zhuang ethnic groups. These peoples are famous for their many songs, as well as for their festivals, where you’ll have the opportunity to see the locals in traditional dress. Of course, the most interesting thing is to see the different cultures and traditions of these peoples up close, and many tours offer a night or two in a local home, so you can talk to the families.

8. China by train

Train, Chine

Photo credit: Shutterstock / zhao jiankang

Do you want to visit China’s major cities and landmarks during your trip to Asia, but don’t have much time? Then take advantage of the fast trains across China!

The high-speed trains link Beijing and Shanghai, and currently pass through a total of 7 Chinese provinces and cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Anhui, Shandong, Jiangsu and finally Shanghai, covering a distance of over 7,530 km.

With an average speed of over 400 km/h, it’s the fastest way to visit China’s points of interest in just a few days, and make the most of your trip to China.