We especially enjoyed the opportunities we had to go off the beaten path ... and look forward to sharing even more authentic experiences.
A Massachusetts family

Swing Across China: A Golfing Journey

Golf-lovers will enjoy this fabulous 18-day tour across China, comprising the best golf courses in the country and some of the best sights too. Visit Beijing, Xian, Kunming, Lijiang, Guilin and Shanghai and be amazed at the depth and beauty of China’s culture. Visit the Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, three of the best cultural and historic attractions in the country. See the stunning landscapes of Guilin and experience local life in the villages. This trip includes some of the most culturally significant destinations in one of the world's most historically and culturally diverse countries, all while enjoying the top golf courses in Asia.

Highlights   Pricing
  • See the thousands of small sculptures up close and marvel at the intricate designs of the Terracotta Army   
  • Spend hours exploring the hundreds of tiny alleyways in the Old Town of Lijiang
  • Enjoy a trip on a bamboo raft through the beautiful valleys of Guilin and see why this area is consistently voted one of the most scenic regions in the country
  • Visit all the historical sights of Nanjing, such as the Taiping Uprising museum and learn about the area’s dramatic history
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Ni hao and welcome to Beijing! Home to around 20.6 million people, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries and is renowned for its beautiful palaces, temples, gardens, tombs, walls and gates. Before venturing out and into the city, check into your luxury hotel-- we recommend either the Aman at Summer Palace or the Conrad Beijing. First up, explore the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which mostly remains as it was during the last emperor’s reign. The world’s largest palace complex, the Forbidden City is divided into two parts and the complex houses rare treasures and curiosities in its 9,999 rooms. Next, visit the iconic Tiananmen Square, where large student protests took place in 1989. The military were mobilized and hundreds were killed during a massacre on June 4. In the afternoon, explore the hundreds of hutongs, or narrow alleyways and streets, located in Beijing, followed by a interesting tour of the 2008 Olympic Games venues.

Day 2

Start your day early to get in a round of golf at one of Beijing’s world-class courses. In the afternoon, take advantage of free time to explore some of the city’s many sights. The Temple of Heaven, located in central Beijing, is well worth a visit and was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Often described as a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design, the grounds are a popular attraction. If you’re an art fan, head along to the Capital Museum. Home to around 200,000 cultural relics, this museum is made up of collections of porcelain, bronze, calligraphy, painting, jade, sculpture, and Buddhist statues from imperial China – it’s a must-see.

Day 3

Today, visit one of the highlights of any trip to China – the famed, iconic Great Wall. One of the “new seven wonders of the world,” the Great Wall is a sight every traveler should see in their lifetime. Try to fathom the years of toil required to build the Great Wall of China as you follow its steep, snaking path through the countryside with your expert tour guide. The views of crumbling, original sections of the Wall winding over the steep mountain ridges into the far distance are highly-memorable, especially with the guidance of noted historian and the world’s foremost expert on the Great Wall. Enjoy a special five-course gourmet lunch on the Wall.

Day 4

Today the tour heads by air to Xian, the capital of Shaanxi province and one of the oldest cities in China. Visit the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum, the burial place of Emperor Jing, the fourth Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. It was built in 153 AD and covers an area of 4,942 acres. It’s an impressive site, consisting of burial pits, tombs and a graveyard. Xian is famous for its Terracotta Army and no visit to the city would be complete without seeing it. The thousands of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, were designed to protect the Emperor in his afterlife – you’ll be amazed by the detail and scale of the army. Enjoy a dinner of China’s famous dumplings – ground meat or vegetable wrapped in a thin piece of dough and cooked. It’s the perfect end to an action-packed day.

Day 5

You’ll be up early to head out to another golf course, this time in Xian. Enjoy a round on the course in the morning, and in the afternoon discover the end of the Silk Road. Explore one of Xian’s Muslim neighborhoods by visiting the Great Mosque of Xian, originally built in 742 under the auspices of the Tang Dynasty. Stroll and admire the tranquil environs of the mosque’s four courtyards and view such rare pieces as a Ming dynasty handwritten copy of the Koran.

Day 6

In the morning, take a flight from Xian to Kunming, home to several universities, museums, galleries and other important economic, cultural, and educational institutions. Once you’ve arrived, get your golf gear on and head to the Spring City Golf & Lake Resort for the afternoon. Consistently voted one of the best golf courses in China, the site is made up of two golf courses as well as luxury resort homes, set against a stunning backdrop of Yangzonghai Lake. 

Day 7

Another golf day, you will spend this morning at the Shilin Stone Forest course. In the afternoon, visit the area itself and see the huge limestone formations. Since 2007, two parts of the site, the Naigu Stone Forest and Suogeyi Village, have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the South China Karst. The park is littered with pagodas, lakes and vantage points from which to take in the scenery. Local legend says the forest is where Ashima, a beautiful girl of the Yi people, was born. After falling in love, she was forbidden to marry her man and instead turned into a stone in the forest.

Day 8

Spend today at the 18-hole Mountain Course at the Spring City Golf & Lake Resort. The course is set on high grounds overlooking the Yang Zonghai Lake, offering golfers spectacular views of the picturesque lake and the verdant hills. You’ll find this challenging course both inspiring and soothing and a great chance to focus on improving your game. Take a flight to Lijiang city, where its Old Town used to be the center of silk embroidery in the southwest of China and the most important place of the Ancient Southern Silk Road.

Day 9

Wake up in Lijiang and pack your equipment for another golfing day, this time on the Ancient City Course. This 18-hole course has a stunning mountain backdrop and is situated nearby a lake. You couldn’t wish for better surroundings to improve your game! In the afternoon, explore the Old Town of Lijiang. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town area is made up of many winding cobblestone streets full of shops. The Old Town is now a destination spot for young Chinese artists, students, and adventurers, and you’ll want to explore it yourself. Don’t forget to check out Bar Street to unwind at the end of the day, it’s full of venues with live music and the perfect place to relax.

Day 10

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a spectacular sight in Lijiang, and today you’ll play golf at the foot of this impressive snowcapped peak, at the Jade Dragon Mountain Course. After you’ve finished, head to the Longtan Naxi village. The Naxi are descendants of Tibetan nomadic tribes and have a matriarchal society dominated by women where marriage is not widely practiced. Their language, style of dress and cuisine are distinct from both the Tibetans and the Han Chinese.

Day 11

Enjoy a relaxing morning at your own pace in Lijiang. Perhaps you’d like to visit Xuehua, a delightful village of about 30 families of the Yi people. You will be greeted by a shaman of the Dongba, an ancient animist religion that predates Buddhism in China. Or grab a lunch of traditional Yunnanese cuisine, which is marked by its light, fresh, and spicy flavors, and liberal use of herbs, mushrooms and flowers as food. This afternoon, it’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful area of China and catch your flight to Guilin.

Day 12

Wake up in magical Guilin, dubbed one of the most beautiful parts of the country. The surrounding landscape is speckled with limestone karsts, surreal finger-like mountains that were formed through centuries of erosion and rise high above the Li River plain. Drive to the Yulong River, a quieter tributary of the Li River, for a short, private cruise on a bamboo raft through the beautiful valleys. The steep green hillsides and dramatic limestone spires that line the rivers here have inspired generations of Chinese landscape painters. Then visit a school in Huangluo village where you can play with the children and speak to their teachers about the Chinese school system. Learn more about rural life in China through the eyes of the Zhuang minority, the largest ethnic minority in China with a population approaching 16 million. Spend the evening at an “Impression Sanjie Liu” cultural show, where you’ll be left amazed.

Day 13

Golf is back on the schedule today, and you’ll be taken to the Merryland Golf Course, a five-star, 18-hole course. There’s no activities scheduled for the evening so head out on your own to enjoy Guilin’s nightlife. Don’t forget to sample some local cuisine, known for its spices – especially chilli!

Day 14

Enjoy a relaxing sleep in on your free and final morning in Guilin, before flying to bustling Shanghai in China’s southeast. Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic metropolises, buzzing with new architecture, world-class dining, shopping, arts and nightlife. Of the city’s many unique traits, perhaps the most striking is its mix of architectural styles: traditional Chinese, European colonial and ultra-modern. Visit the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower, a large television tower and a very distinctive landmark in the area.

Day 15

Today you’re back out on the golf course for another action-packed day. In the evening, attend the ERA show, a multimedia theater experience about the past, present and future of China. You’ll be left spellbound at the talents of some of the performers and aerial artists as they create magic in the air. This is a very popular evening entertainment show in Shanghai and you’ll soon see why, don’t miss it!

Day 16

Visit the popular tourist attraction of Shanghai’s French Concession, followed by a trip to the Yuyuan Gardens. These gardens are the most celebrated classical Chinese gardens in Shanghai. The gardens capture the essence of southern Chinese landscape design from the Ming and Qing dynasties and are characterized by an exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and artistic architecture. After this, take an architecture tour with an urban planning expert-cum-Shanghai historian. He will provide a highly specialized tour with fascinating insight into the city’s development over the past 150 years.

Day 17

Enjoy a final day of golf today as the tour comes to an end. We hope your game has improved on the trip. You’ve experienced a diverse number of courses in some exotic locations you’re sure to remember forever.

Day 18

Today’s the last day in Shanghai and the final day of your epic adventure across China. Take a day-trip to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China, via bullet train. Visit the memorial hall for the Nanjing Massacre, the mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city. Historians estimate 300,000 people were killed during this time. Learn about the Taiping Uprising at the local museum. Small and nondescript, this museum commemorates the Taiping rebellion, a little-known event outside China that, nonetheless, was one of the most violent in modern history. Launched by Hong Xiuquan, a failed Confucian scholar who believed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ, the Taiping rebellion ripped apart southern and southwestern China – going so far as to occupy territories and establish an alternate government. Finally, visit the Presidential Palace, the final stop on your amazing 18-day tour through stunning China. Following this, you’ll transfer to the airport for your international departure flight. 


Suggested Accommodations

Aman at Summer Palace, Conrad Beijing

Aman at Summer Palace

Aman at Summer Palace, which opened in fall 2008, is located just outside the east gate of the palace, and meticulously designed to harmonize with the graceful architecture of the former retreat of China's emperors. A series of century-old guesthouses, built for guests awaiting an audience with Empress Dowager Cixi, have been transformed into a hotel with 18 rooms and 25 suites. With their trademark sensitivity to historic properties, Aman has decorated the interiors with period furniture and rich fabrics that evoke the grandeur of the palace itself. There are three restaurants: The Grill; The Chinese Restaurant, which has an elegant Ming Dynasty interior; and Naoki, helmed by chef Naoki Okamura and specializing in his trademark "French Kaiseki", which combines the best of French haute cuisine with Japanese artistry. Other amenities include a bar, a library, and the Aman Club — a spa and fitness-center complex including a large pool, located underground to preserve the harmonious aesthetic of the architecture. The Aman is a 45-minute drive from central Beijing and a 45-minute drive from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK).


Conrad Beijing

Conrad Beijing provides an ideal location from which to explore the exciting city of Beijing. The luxury hotel is situated in CBD & World Trade Center, within easy access to come of the capital city’s main attractions as well as Jintaixizhao and Hujialou subway stations. In typical Conrad style guest's comfort and convenience comes first, with top quality amenities and well-planned rooms. There are a total of 289 inviting rooms with large comfortable beds, living areas, work desks and en-suite bathrooms. The hotel’s grand facilities include an indoor pool, fitness center and a range of four restaurants and two bars serving Chinese and international cuisine. The Conrad Beijing is 30 minutes drive away from Beijing International airport (PEK).

Shangri-La Xian

Shangri-La Xian

The Shangri-La Hotel in Xian is located in the heart of the Gaoxin hi-tech district, just a stone’s throw away from the ancient city walls of the old city. Each of the hotel’s 390 guest rooms and suites features floor-to-ceiling windows and chic modern decor, as well as complimentary Internet access. Dining options include: traditional Thai cuisine at Siam Garden; pan-Chinese cuisine at Tian Xiang Ge; and International cuisine at the Yi Cafe. The hotel also has a state-of-the-art health center, a luxurious spa, and a swimming pool with sauna and steam room. The Shangri-La Xian is approximately 30 minutes by car from the Xianyang Airport (XIY).

Green Lake Hotel

Green Lake Hotel

Overlooking the tranquil waters of Green Lake, one of Kunming’s signature landmarks, this hotel is a true, five-star resort. Each of the 365 comfortable, stylish guest rooms and suites feature plush beds, free internet access, air conditioning, and televisions. There is also an in-house restaurant, shopping center, swimming pool, bar, and fitness center. The Green Lake is situated less than half an hour away from Kunming Airport and the Railway Station, and is within walking distance of downtown Kunming and Green Lake Park.
Banyan Tree Lijiang

Banyan Tree Lijiang

Banyan Tree Lijiang sits just south of the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, with 55 deluxe mountain-view villas. The hotel is constructed in the regional Naxi style of architecture with its distinct rooflines and courtyards. Each villa is decorated in contemporary Naxi style and has a heated pool, jet pool and Internet connection. The Bai Yun Restaurant serves Chinese Cantonese banquet style meals with local musical accompaniment. Asian and Western-style cuisine are offered in a choice of indoor and outdoor settings at the Ming Yue Restaurant. The Spa offers treatments featuring Asian healing and relaxation techniques as well as European rejuvenation therapies. There is a business center with fax and Internet services, a fitness center, yoga room, and tennis court. The Banyan Tree Lijiang is an approximately 40-minute drive from Lijiang Airport (LJG).

Shangri-La Guilin, Yangshuo Resort

Shangri-La Guilin

Set amidst the finger-like, limestone karsts overlooking the placid waters of the Li River, the Shangri-La Guilin offers unparalleled comfort in one of China’s most scenic cities. Each room features complimentary Internet access, tasteful furnishings and décor, and a view of either the surreal scenery of the Li River or the hotel’s verdant, expansive grounds. Dining options include the signature Shang Palace, featuring various regional specialties from Cantonese, Hunan, and Guilin cuisines; the elegant Li Café, which features a modern take on Asian cuisine; and finally, U Bar, which offers authentic western food and a view of the surrounding countryside. Drinks can also be had at the tasteful Lobby Lounge, or at the leisurely, relaxing poolside bar. Amenities include a comprehensive spa, as well as a health club with exercise facilities, swimming pools, and massage services. Nearby lies the famous Diecai Mountain, an iconic landmark that has long occupied many a Chinese painting, while steps away, guests can find bustling street markets packed with products of silk, crystal, and jade. The Shangri-La Guilin is about thirty five minutes away from Guilin’s Liangjiang International Airport (KWL).


Yangshuo Resort

Opened in 2009, the Yangshuo Resort sits on a scenic perch on the banks of the Yulong River. Each of the 236 rooms offer balconies with mountain and river views and feature complimentary Internet service. Guests can choose from three on-site restaurants whose menus range from traditional Chinese cuisine to continental style cafés. The Dragonfly Bar is also available for cocktails, wine or tea. Other amenities include bicycles to ride around the property, an oversized swimming pool, fitness center, spa, Chinese traditional massage sauna center, and a children’s playground. The Yangshuo Resort is approximately 90 minutes from the Guilin airport.

The Peninsula Shanghai, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

The Peninsula Shanghai

Located on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River, the Peninsula Shanghai has fabulous views of the Bund, Pearl Oriental Tower and other historic and modern architecture along the Pudong side. Befitting its location in the Pearl of the Orient, the Peninsula’s style is modern while retaining a chic stylistic nod to the city’s Art Deco past. There are 235 guestrooms and suites, which all feature plasma TVs, Nespresso coffee machines, iPod docking stations and wifi access, lending a residential feel to the hotel. Four themed suites – the Astor, Majestic, Palace and Peninsula – set new standards in luxury living. For fine dining within the hotel, Yilong Court for Cantonese cuisine or Sir Elly’s for Western fare in a beautiful setting with views of the Bund are excellent options. The Compass Bar, Lobby and Salon de Ning are lovely places for a night cap. There is a Peninsula spa by ESPA, which offers the brand’s award-winning treatments in a neo-classical setting , indoor pool and fitness center with a DVD library such that gym goers can watch their favorite programs while using the cardio machines. The Peninsula is 40-60 minutes’ drive from the airport, depending on traffic.


Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund is a true Shanghai landmark, located on the city’s most famous street and offering amazing views of both old and new Shanghai. Its 260 state-of-the-art rooms and suites come with all the latest facilities, including luxury bedding, free internet, cable TV, CD/DVD player and coffee machine. Savor delicious, fresh cuisine from one of six diverse Shanghai restaurants and bars: sip on vintage champagne in the historic Long Bar and relax in plush leather chairs with single malt whiskies and fine Cuban cigars; nibble on modern New York inspired fare at Pelham’s; or indulge in a variety of gourmet Chinese dishes at Wei Jing Ge. The hotel’s fully equipped fitness center offers a fantastic selection of the finest cardiovascular and exercise equipment. Bathe in the hotel’s heated indoor pool or treat yourself to a range of restorative, soothing spa treatments. Relax in the hotel’s sophisticated Library Lounge and unwind in tranquil serenity, or take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi, available all day, and catch up with work.

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & COO Jay Tindall is a former China resident and a true China expert. He loves visiting remote rural areas and meeting China's ethnic minorities.
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