43 days in China Itinerary

Created using Klarna Trips China attractions planner
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1
Hong Kong
— 8 nights
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2
Sanya
— 5 nights
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3
Lijiang
— 4 nights
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4
Xi'an
— 4 nights
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5
Zhangjiajie
— 3 nights
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6
Beijing
— 7 nights
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7
Harbin
— 3 nights
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8
Shanghai
— 8 nights
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Hong Kong — 8 nights

Pearl of the Orient

Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dragon's Back and Chi Lin Nunnery. Kids will enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park. And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Po Lin Monastery, pause for some photo ops at Lantau island, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze), and don't miss a visit to Hong Kong Skyline.

To see ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Hong Kong trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to Hong Kong is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Hong Kong is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect nights in Hong Kong to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are little chillier, around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Sanya.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 18:

Sanya — 5 nights

Gateway to the South

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 visit kid-friendly attractions like Yalong Bay and Nanshan Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Wuzhizhou Coral Island and Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Garden. There's lots more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Sanya Zhujiang Nantian Spa, stroll around Luhuitou Park, hike along Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park, and make a splash at Aquaventure Water Park.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Sanya travel site.

You can fly from Hong Kong to Sanya in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or take a train. Traveling from Hong Kong in December, expect nights in Sanya to be about the same, around 21°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) to allow time to fly to Lijiang.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 23:

Lijiang — 4 nights

Suzhou on the Plateau

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 Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia). Go for a jaunt from Lijiang to Yulong County to see Yulong Snow Mountain Ski Area about 52 minutes away. There's much more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Blue Moon Valley, appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Town of Lijiang - China, steep yourself in history at Mufu Palace, and cool off at Baisha Ancient Town.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Lijiang trip itinerary site.

Fly from Sanya to Lijiang in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) to allow time to fly to Xi'an.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:

Xi'an — 4 nights

Birthplace of Chinese Civilization

Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Travel China Guide and Shaanxi History Museum. Kids will appreciate attractions like Xi'an Bell Tower and Xi'an Mosque. Go for a jaunt from Xi'an to Huayin to see Mount Huashan about 2 hours away. Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Xi'an vacation site.

Getting from Lijiang to Xi'an by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Xi'an can reach 8°C, while at night they dip to -5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) early enough to fly to Zhangjiajie.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:

Zhangjiajie — 3 nights

The city of Zhangjiajie has become particularly well known for its striking surrounding landscape.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park and Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area of Zhangjiajie. Spend the 2nd (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Zhangjiajie vacation planner.

You can fly from Xi'an to Zhangjiajie in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Beijing.
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Wildlife · Nature · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:

Beijing — 7 nights

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.
Family-friendly places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Back Lakes (Hou Hai) will thrill your kids. Explore hidden gems such as Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan) and National Museum Of China. There's lots more to do: see Mutianyu Great Wall, fly down the slopes at Baijing Bayi Ski Field, take some stellar pictures from Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), and see the interesting displays at The Palace Museum.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Beijing online day trip planner.

Getting from Zhangjiajie to Beijing by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or drive. In January in Beijing, expect temperatures between 3°C during the day and -10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can fly to Harbin.
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Find places to stay Jan 3 — 10:

Harbin — 3 nights

Ice City

The influence of neighboring Russia remains visible throughout much of Harbin, with the country's northernmost metropolis possessing an intoxicating eclecticism in its architecture, food, and art.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Harbin Ice and Snow World and Saint Sophia Cathedral. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sun Island (Tai Yang Dao) and Zhongyang Pedestrian Street. It doesn't end there: delve into the lush surroundings at Harbin Forest Park and see the interesting displays at Unit 731 Museum.

To plan Harbin vacation without wasting time, ask Klarna Trips to design an itinerary.

Getting from Beijing to Harbin by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Traveling from Beijing in January, things will get much colder in Harbin: highs are around -13°C and lows about -27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Shanghai.
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Nature · Parks · Museums · Theme Parks
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:

Shanghai — 8 nights

Pearl of the Orient

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Riverside Promenade (Bingjiang Da Dao) and Walking tours. Bring the kids along to The Bund (Wai Tan) and Tian Zi Fang. Step out of Shanghai with an excursion to Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou--about 1h 45 min away. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Huangpu River, examine the collection at Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, take in the local highlights with Shanghai Tower, and admire the natural beauty at Yu Garden (Yuyuan).

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Shanghai sightseeing tool.

Fly from Harbin to Shanghai in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Harbin in January, with highs in Shanghai at 11°C and lows at 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can fly back home.
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Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 21:

China travel guide

4.4
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.
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