42 days in China Itinerary

42 days in China Itinerary

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Route & dates

42 days in China Itinerary

Start: Dusseldorf
Fly:  13​h 45​min
1
Beijing
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Shanghai
— 5 nights
train:  45​min
3
Suzhou
— 5 nights
+4
bus + foot + Fly + taxi + train:  6​h 45​min
4
Hong Kong
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h
5
Sanya
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
6
Zhangjiajie
— 3 nights
7
Xi'an
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h
8
Dunhuang
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
9
Lhasa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  3​h 30​min
10
Shangri-La County
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
11
Lijiang
— 3 nights
Fly + train:  18​h
End: Dusseldorf

4
nights
Beijing

Beijing ©
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Visit Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) and Mutianyu Great Wall for their historical value. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to 798 Art Zone and Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at The Palace Museum, look for gifts at Nanluoguxiang, browse for treasures at Panjiayuan Antique Market, and wander the streets of Back Lakes (Hou Hai).

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Beijing trip planner .

Dusseldorf, Germany to Beijing is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Dusseldorf to Beijing. Traveling from Dusseldorf in July, expect Beijing to be somewhat warmer, temps between 38°C and 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Mutianyu Great Wall ©
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum

5
nights
Shanghai

Shanghai ©
With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Former French Concession and Jade Buddha Temple. Get a sense of the local culture at The Bund (Wai Tan) and Zhujiajiao Ancient Town. The adventure continues: stop by Tian Zi Fang, enjoy breathtaking views from Shanghai Tower, shop like a local with Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road), and admire the striking features of Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu).

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Shanghai online trip itinerary builder .

You can fly from Beijing to Shanghai in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Beijing in July since evenings lows in Shanghai dip to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Suzhou.

Things to do in Shanghai

Shopping Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 4:
Highlights from your plan
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Former French Concession ©
Former French Concession
Tian Zi Fang ©
Tian Zi Fang

5
nights
Suzhou

Suzhou ©
One of the oldest settlements in the Yangtze basin, Suzhou remains a complex, labyrinthine set of old canal districts, World Heritage gardens, and sprawling modern developments.
For shopping fun, head to Pingjiang Road or Six Arts Museum. Explore hidden gems such as Humble Administrator's Garden and Shantang Street. Explore Suzhou's surroundings by going to Wuzhen Water Town (in Tongxiang), Shaxi Ancient Town (in Taicang) and Xitang Ancient Town (in Jiashan County). Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at The Lingering Garden, stop by Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, steep yourself in history at Tongli Town, and stroll around Tiger Hill.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Suzhou online holiday planner .

Traveling by train from Shanghai to Suzhou takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and train; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Shanghai in August; daily highs in Suzhou reach 43°C and lows reach 43°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Suzhou

Parks Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Xitang Ancient Town, Wuzhen Water Town, Shaxi Ancient Town
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Humble Administrator's Garden ©
Humble Administrator's Garden
Xitang Ancient Town ©
Xitang Ancient Town
The Lingering Garden ©
The Lingering Garden

4
nights
Hong Kong

Hong Kong ©
Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tsim Sha Tsui and Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha). Head to City of Dreams and Bamboo Scenesfor some retail therapy. Step out of Hong Kong with an excursion to Ruins of St. Paul's in Macau--about 1h 30 min away. Pack the 12th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Hong Kong Disneyland. Spend the 13th (Tue) exploring the fascinating underwater world at Ocean Park. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze), enjoy breathtaking views from Victoria Peak (The Peak), get engrossed in the history at Hong Kong Museum of History, and admire the natural beauty at Chi Lin Nunnery.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hong Kong trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and train from Suzhou to Hong Kong in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Suzhou in August; daily highs in Hong Kong reach 38°C and lows reach 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Sanya.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Theme Parks Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Macau
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Victoria Peak (The Peak) ©
Victoria Peak (The Peak)
Ruins of St. Paul's ©
Ruins of St. Paul's

3
nights
Sanya

Sanya ©
The climate and coastline bring visitors from far and wide on vacations to Sanya, with its 40 km (25 mi) of shoreline almost entirely devoted to tourism.
Get in touch with nature at Yalong Bay and Sanya Zhujiang Nantian Spa. Your inner history buff will appreciate Nanshan Temple and Xisha Martyrs Cemetery. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Sanya Redaiyulin Square, explore the striking landscape at Sanya Daxiaodongtian Area, trek along Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park, and stroll around Luhuitou Park.

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Sanya road trip app .

Fly from Hong Kong to Sanya in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Hong Kong in August, plan for a bit cooler nights in Sanya, with lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Zhangjiajie.

Things to do in Sanya

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Yalong Bay ©
Yalong Bay
Nanshan Temple ©
Nanshan Temple

3
nights
Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie ©
The city of Zhangjiajie has become particularly well known for its striking surrounding landscape.
Visiting Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area of Zhangjiajie and Tianzi Mountain will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park and Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. On the 20th (Tue), enjoy a day of scenic exploration at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Golden Whip Brook.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Zhangjiajie road trip tool .

Traveling by flight from Sanya to Zhangjiajie takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can travel to Xi'an.

Things to do in Zhangjiajie

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park ©
Tianzi Mountain ©
Tianzi Mountain

4
nights
Xi'an

Xi'an
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Xi'an Mosque and Tomb of Emperor Jingdi (Hanyangling). Step off the beaten path and head to Mount Huashan and Forest of Stone Steles Museum. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Xi'an Bell Tower, take an in-depth tour of The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, enjoy breathtaking views from Small Goose Pagoda, and ponder the design of Dayan Pagoda Northern Square.

To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Xi'an trip itinerary planning website .

Fly from Zhangjiajie to Xi'an in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Dunhuang.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Han Yang Ling Museum, Mount Huashan
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Xi'an Mosque ©
Xi'an Mosque
Xi'an Bell Tower ©
Xi'an Bell Tower

2
nights
Dunhuang

Dunhuang ©
Once a vital stop-off on the Silk Road trade route, Dunhuang today offers travelers of all persuasions a place to rest in the middle of the desert.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Mon): witness a stunning natural landmark at Crescent Moon Pool, take in the awesome beauty at Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dunhuang Leiyin Temple, and finally explore the ancient world of Xijin Tomb. On the 27th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Shazhou Market, explore the world behind art at Dunhuang Grotto Art Protection,Examination and Exhibition Center, then Head underground at Mogao Caves, and finally see the interesting displays at DunHuang ShiKu WenWu BaoHu YanJiu ChenLie ZhongXin.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Dunhuang trip planner .

Getting from Xi'an to Dunhuang by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to travel to Lhasa.

Things to do in Dunhuang

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Mogao Caves ©
Mogao Caves
Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain ©
Dunhuang Leiyin Temple ©
Dunhuang Leiyin Temple

2
nights
Lhasa

Lhasa ©
The capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa possesses a wealth of Tibetan Buddhist sites of historical and cultural importance.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Barkhor Street and Norbulingka (Precious Stone Garden). Discover out-of-the-way places like Sera Monastery and Photography Tours. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Jokhang Temple, contemplate the long history of Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si), get outside with Outdoor Activities, and look for gifts at Dropenling Lhasa Villages Handicraft Shop.

To see reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Lhasa journey website .

Traveling by flight from Dunhuang to Lhasa takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In August, daytime highs in Lhasa are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Shangri-La County.

Things to do in Lhasa

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Barkhor Street ©
Barkhor Street
Jokhang Temple ©
Jokhang Temple
Norbulingka (Precious Stone Garden) ©

2
nights
Shangri-La County

Shangri-La County ©
Known previously as Zhongdian, Shangri-La County gained its current name in an attempt by city officials to promote tourism.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): walk around Guishan Park and then take in breathtaking views at Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia). On the 1st (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Lanyue Mountain Valley, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sumtsaling Monastery, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Bitahai Lake.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Shangri-La County online visit planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Lhasa to Shangri-La County in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can go by car to Lijiang.

Things to do in Shangri-La County

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Bitahai Lake
Find places to stay Aug 30 — Sep 1:
Highlights from your plan
Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia) ©
Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia)
Sumtsaling Monastery
Sumtsaling Monastery
Bitahai Lake ©
Bitahai Lake

3
nights
Lijiang

Lijiang ©
The cultural capital of the Naxi people, one of the 55 minority ethnic groups in the country, Lijang traces its history back over 800 years, with the city developing from a trading post on the ancient Southern Silk Road.
On the 2nd (Mon), get to know the fascinating history of Old Town of Lijiang - China, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain, and then cruise along Blue Moon Valley. On your second day here, explore the ancient world of Beiyue Temple of Lijiang, steep yourself in history at Shuhe Ancient Town, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Puji Temple, Lijiang, then explore the galleries of Rhizome - Lijiang art center, and finally contemplate the long history of Mufu Palace.

To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Lijiang trip itinerary tool .

Getting from Shangri-La County to Lijiang by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 28°C. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Wed) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Lijiang

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trip

Yulong County
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain ©
Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain
Shuhe Ancient Town ©
Shuhe Ancient Town
Old Town of Lijiang - China
Old Town of Lijiang - China

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