Top Itineraries for Touring Different Parts of China

The following itineraries are perfect starting places for traveling in China. You can tailor them to your own needs or put them together to create a complete China Travel plan for your trip.

When planning a trip to China, visitors should ask themselves what they want out of a trip.

  • Do you just want to go to China and see the big sights?
  • Are you more adventurous and want to get into nature?
  • Were you hoping to mix cuisine into your travel?
  • Do you want to see the countryside and avoid big cities?
  • Are you active and want to include some trekking in your trip?

The answers to these kinds of questions will help you choose an itinerary that is perfect to what you are interested in and what you'd like to see and do.

01 of 05

Seeing the "Big Five" - A Ten-Day China Itinerary

Tian'anmen Gate in China
 Peter Adams / Getty Images

This is a ten-day itinerary that takes visitors to China to the main "big five" sights that are on every first-time traveler's list. You'll see Beijing (the Forbidden City and the Great Wall), then on to Xi'an (the Terracotta Warriors). You'll then move on to the Yangtze River for the Three Gorges Dam cruise and wind up in Shanghai for the historic Bund and then some amazing food and city life.

This is a very basic itinerary and can be used as a starting point for China Travel.

02 of 05

Chengdu Travel Itineraries

Jinli street, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
kiszon pascal / Getty Images

Chengdu is a big draw for first-time visitors to China. Answering the call of the Giant Panda, many China travelers want to visit Chengdu and Sichuan Province.

There is a lot to see and do in the city of Chengdu and its surroundings. 

03 of 05

Explorations in China's Northwest Gansu Province

Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, Gansu, China Colorful landscape of rainbow mountains.
Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images

Gansu Province has so much to offer travelers to China it would be easy to spend an entire trip just exploring the province from north to south.

In the north, visitors can travel the ancient Silk Road routes on the edges of the Gobi Desert, visit UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves and ride camels through the dunes. From there, travel the Silk Road's famous Hexi Corridor to visit the westernmost reaches of the Great Wall and other famous sights.

In the center of Gansu, visitors can tour more Buddhist caves in Bingling and visit the fabulous provincial museum to see excavated Silk Road treasures.

Farther south, one travels through largely Muslim counties until one reaches the Tibetan Autonomous Counties where Labrang Monastery is located. 

04 of 05

Yellow Mountain Itinerary From Shanghai

Clouds over Huangshan Mountain, Anhui, China
delgorguedavid / Getty Images

The Yellow Mountains (or Huangshan in Mandarin) are incredibly famous in China for the mountain and pine tree landscape. Going to the Yellow Mountain area is an easy addition to any itinerary, especially if you're going to be in Shanghai.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Yunnan Province Travel Itineraries

rural scenic in Lijiang countryside, yunnan province, china
 Max Shen / Getty Images

Yunnan Province in the south of China is another place that should be on every traveler's list if they've got the time and inclination to do some exploring.

Incredibly diverse, travelers can experience various cultures: Tibetan culture in the northwest, Dai ethnic culture in Lijiang, Bai culture in Xizhou and many other ethnic minorities that populate the lush mountains and fertile valleys of this tea-producing region.