31 days in China Itinerary

31 days in China Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in China Itinerary

Start: Reykjavik
Fly:  22​h 30​min
1
Beijing
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Shanghai
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  5​h
3
Hong Kong
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
4
Sanya
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 30​min
5
Yangshuo County
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Zhangjiajie
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h
7
Lijiang
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
8
Shangri-La County
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 30​min
9
Lhasa
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
10
Dunhuang
— 1 night
Fly:  28​h
End: Reykjavik


3
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan) and Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'an Men). Next up on the itinerary: see Mutianyu Great Wall, ponder the world of politics at Temple of Heaven, take an in-depth tour of The Palace Museum, and steep yourself in history at Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang).

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Beijing online trip planner .

Reykjavik, Iceland to Beijing is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Reykjavik to Beijing. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Reykjavik in May: highs in Beijing hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites Parks Trails
Find places to stay May 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Mutianyu Great Wall ©
Mutianyu Great Wall
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) ©
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Palace Museum ©
The Palace Museum

3
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.
Shanghai is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get to know the fascinating history of The Bund (Wai Tan), stop by Tian Zi Fang, take in panoramic vistas at Shanghai World Financial Center, and admire the landmark architecture of Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu).

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Shanghai trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Beijing to Shanghai takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Beijing in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Shanghai, with lows around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Shanghai

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Find places to stay May 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
The Bund (Wai Tan) ©
The Bund (Wai Tan)
Yu Garden (Yuyuan) ©
Yu Garden (Yuyuan)

4
nights
Hong Kong

Hong Kong ©
Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Pack the 9th (Thu) with family-friendly diversions at Hong Kong Disneyland. Spend the 11th (Sat) in some colorful company at Ocean Park. The adventure continues: enjoy breathtaking views from Victoria Peak (The Peak), step off the mainland to explore Lantau Island, make a trip to Hong Kong Skyline, and take in nature's colorful creations at Chi Lin Nunnery.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hong Kong online trip itinerary builder .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Shanghai to Hong Kong in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Shanghai in May: high temperatures in Hong Kong hover around 36°C and lows are around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Sanya.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Theme Parks Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay May 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Hong Kong Disneyland ©
Hong Kong Disneyland
Victoria Peak (The Peak) ©
Victoria Peak (The Peak)
Ocean Park ©
Ocean Park

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Wuzhizhou Coral Island and Tianya Haijiao. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nanshan Temple, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yalong Bay, make a trip to XiaRi MeiShi GuangChang, and explore the striking landscape at Sanya Daxiaodongtian Area.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Sanya day trip app .

Traveling by flight from Hong Kong to Sanya takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. In May, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Yangshuo County.

Things to do in Sanya

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay May 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Yalong Bay ©
Yalong Bay
Nanshan Temple ©
Nanshan Temple
Sanya Daxiaodongtian Area ©
Sanya Daxiaodongtian Area

2
nights
Yangshuo County

Yangshuo County ©
Yangshuo County, the area surrounding a popular tourist resort town, boasts a landscape featuring all the ingredients necessary to attract a flood of tourists.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): explore the striking landscape at Moon Hill, stroll through Yangshuo Park, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Silver Cave. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the views from Xiangui Bridge, then contemplate the waterfront views at Yulong River, and then kick back and relax at Huangbu Beach.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Yangshuo County journey planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Sanya to Yangshuo County in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and taxi. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Sanya in May: high temperatures in Yangshuo County hover around 32°C and lows are around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel to Zhangjiajie.

Things to do in Yangshuo County

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Yulong River ©
Yulong River
Moon Hill ©
Moon Hill
Silver Cave ©
Silver Cave

1
night
Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie ©
The city of Zhangjiajie has become particularly well known for its striking surrounding landscape.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): explore the fascinating underground world of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Sun): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Tianzi Mountain and then delve into the lush surroundings at Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area of Zhangjiajie.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Zhangjiajie trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Yangshuo County to Zhangjiajie takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Lijiang.

Things to do in Zhangjiajie

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan

2
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Shuhe Ancient Town and Yulong Snow Mountain. Venture out of the city with trips to Yulong County (Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain, Lijiang Spruce Plain, & more). There's lots more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Old Town of Lijiang - China, make a trip to Mufu Palace, admire the local landmark of Black Dragon Pond Park, and get outside with Blue Moon Valley.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Lijiang vacation planner .

Getting from Zhangjiajie to Lijiang by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Shangri-La County.

Things to do in Lijiang

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Yulong County
Find places to stay May 19 — 22:
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

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia) and Sumtsaling Monastery. Spend the 24th (Fri) exploring nature at Potatso National Park. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Shudu Lake, look for all kinds of wild species at Bitahai Lake, and steep yourself in history at Dukezong Ancient Town.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Shangri-La County trip maker app .

Getting from Lijiang to Shangri-La County by car takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Lhasa.

Things to do in Shangri-La County

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Bitahai Lake
Find places to stay May 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia) ©
Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia)
Sumtsaling Monastery
Sumtsaling Monastery
Shudu Lake ©
Shudu Lake

3
nights
Lhasa

Lhasa ©
The capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa possesses a wealth of Tibetan Buddhist sites of historical and cultural importance.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Sera Monastery, take in the dramatic natural features at Yangwang Mountain Cliffside Images, shake up your sightseeing with a climbing tour, and explore the historical opulence of Potala Palace.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Lhasa trip itinerary website .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Shangri-La County to Lhasa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. In May, daily temperatures in Lhasa can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Dunhuang.

Things to do in Lhasa

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay May 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Jokhang Temple ©
Jokhang Temple
Sera Monastery ©
Sera Monastery
Barkhor Street ©
Barkhor Street

1
night
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.
On the 29th (Wed), see the interesting displays at DunHuang MoGaoKu YiShuGuan, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mingsha Shan (Echo Sand Mountain) Park, Dunhuang, China, and then take in the natural beauty of Crescent Moon Pool. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll the grounds of Xijin Tomb, then see the interesting displays at DunHuang ShiKu WenWu BaoHu YanJiu ChenLie ZhongXin, then explore the world behind art at Dunhuang Grotto Art Protection,Examination and Exhibition Center, and finally Head underground at Mogao Caves.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Dunhuang itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Lhasa to Dunhuang in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Dunhuang

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay May 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Mogao Caves ©
Mogao Caves
DunHuang MoGaoKu YiShuGuan ©
DunHuang MoGaoKu YiShuGuan

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