China by Rail: Beijing - Shanghai - Hong Kong

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 9

From: Beijing

To: Hong Kong



Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Explore the three largest cities in China in this whistle stop train tour of the country.  Discover ancient Beijing, from the impressive Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square to the Great Wall of China, just outside the city. Take the bullet train to modern Shanghai where museums and garden sit side by side with sleek skyscrapers. Next hop on the sleeper train and wake up in Hong Kong where the colonial British past meets the booming economy of this island city.

Enjoy these three cosmopolitan cities in a week long adventure in the East.


  • Explore the Forbidden City in the ancient city of Beijing
  • Walk along the iconic 'Great Wall of China'
  • Stroll along the bund in the business capital of Shanghai
  • Relax in a traditional Chinese teahouse



Itinerary in brief:

  • 3 nights Beijing
  • 2 nights Shanghai
  • 3 nights Hong Kong

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Arrive in Beijing where you’ll be met by your guide and taken to your hotel to check in for three nights

Day 2: The Great Wall of China

Today you’ll visit the Great Wall of China, one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Stretching over 6,000 km you’ll only visit a small but nonetheless impressive section, either walking or taking the cable car up to the top of the Wall. If there’s time you’ll have a picnic, enjoying the rugged scenery of the ivy covered stone surrounding you.  Back in Beijing you’ll head for the Summer Palace. One a simple imperial garden it was transformed in the 18th Century into one of the capital’s major sites, where the court relocated each summer to escape the heat of the Forbidden City. You’ll walk amongst the lakes and pagodas enjoying the cool gardens which make the palace famous.

Day 3: Beijing ​

After breakfast, you’ll head out on a tour of the Temple of Heaven, notable for its simple architecture and symbolism that reflects ancient Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Next, you’ll explore the Forbidden City, built in 1420 and, legend has it, containing 9,999 different rooms. After exploring the interior and exterior parts of the compound, you’ll be able to climb the artificial coal hill behind the Forbidden City for spectacular view of the entire site and lets you get a grasp of the layout of the whole of Beijing – it’s a magnificent sight. In the evening you can enjoy the city at your leisure – why not head out to enjoy a meal of famous Beijing duck?

Day 4: Beijing to Shanghai

This morning you’ll be transferred to the station to catch the train to Shanghai. In 5 hours you’ll arrive in the sleek city where your local guide will welcome you. You’ll take an evening stroll along the Bund, the city’s famous walkway from the 1930s before exploring the signs and sounds of Nanjing Road.  Next you’ll explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel that will take you over to the Pudong district, full of skyscrapers and new businesses. You’ll end your walk in the Lujiazui where you can see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai Tower, newly opened, 632 metres tall with 121 floors offering panoramic views of the city from the 118th floor.

Day 5: Shanghai

Today you’re guide will show you the city, starting in the Shanghai Museum. The ancient Chinese bronze collection has no equivalent in the world and is the highlight of the museum, as well as Qing dynasty jade and ancient Buddhist sculpture. You’ll explore the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre before walking through old town, where the locals chit chat in the narrow side streets. You’ll take a tea break at the Huxinting Teahouse before meeting a gardener who will tell you about the art of Bonsai plants in the famous Yu Garden.

Day 6: Shanghai to Hong Kong

This morning you’re guide will take you to Fuxing Park to watch the large groups of people practising their ritual of morning exercise. Next explore the French Concession, where colonial buildings are now classy restaurants and boutiques before heading to Tianzfang, a maze of alleyways and lanes full of small galleries and bars. In the evening you’ll be transferred to the train station for a night train in a hard sleeper cabin to Hong Kong, lasting 19 hours.

Day 7: Hong Kong

You’ll wake up in Hong Kong, a frenetic city of bright lights and blue harbours. Check into your hotel in the morning so that you can freshen up before your guide takes you to the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon, the Hong Kong equivalent of the ‘Walk of Fame’ in LA before taking the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island. You’ll take the tram to Victoria Peak and enjoy the stunning views over the harbour. As an extra treat, why not have afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hotel, a classic Hong Kong activity that can’t be missed!

Day 8: Hong Kong

Today is yours to do as you please in Hong Kong. Why not head out to Stanley on the other side of the island and enjoy the open space of the harbour and beach. It’s easy to get to on the bus from Central and is great fun to take a hike into the hills and enjoy the quieter, natural side of Hong Kong. Back in the city, grab some cash and head to Temple Street Market in Kowloon to pick up some authentic and some not so authentic souvenirs.

Day 9: Depart Hong Kong

Relax in the morning before your guide picks you up to be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.



China is a vast country and is subject to the worst extremes in weather from extreme heat to bitter cold. Beijing has four distinct seasons with a long hot summer from June to September and a cold winter with January dipping below -20c. Shanghai has similar seasons with a hot rainy summer and overcast winter, typhoon season in Hong Kong is May to November. The best time to visit China is in either spring or autumn when weather will be warm and pleasant.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion, and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • One second class seat per person on the high speed train Beijing-Shanghai
  • One hard berth per person on the overnight train Shanghai – Hong Kong

Not included: 

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Chinese visa
  • Services other than those mentioned
  • Flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips & gratuities


7 nights accommodation in 3-4* style accommodation.

Hotels in the category include:

  • Ron Yard Hotel, Beijing

  • Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees, Hong Kong

  • Baolong Home Hotel
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