Last updated: 12:21 AM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Five Ways to Experience China in Under 10 Days

Tour Operator | | Kristina Rundquist | April 03, 2015

Five Ways to Experience China in Under 10 Days

PHOTO: The Forbidden City. (Photo by Janeen Christoff)

Americans are notoriously short on vacation time. Among Americans who get paid vacation, most have only two weeks, and a significant percentage of us never even manage to take all of those days off. What’s more, when we do vacation, we tend to stick close to home, believing an exotic getaway to a far-off land isn’t in the cards when you only have a few days to spare. For those who think the Far East is too far for their limited vacation time, China Tour has a host of tours taking 10 days or less that say “think again.”

6 Days Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong & Dujiangyan Tour: This six-day tour kicks off with a trip to the Chengdu Giant Panda Base before heading off to Jiuzhai Valley. There, visitors will be amazed by this nature reserve's splendid scenery. After exploring Nuorilang Fall, Multi-Colored Lake, Long Lake and Pearl Beach, a short drive brings you to the Huanglong Scenic Area. Known as Fairy Land on Earth, its striking gold-colored lime formations, waterfalls and hot springs provide a stunning backdrop. From there, it's off to Chengdu and Dujiangyan City, home to the world's oldest and largest non-dam irrigation project, the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. Tour the Dragon Taming Temple, Erwang Temple, Anlan Suspension Bridge, Wuhou Temple and the Tomb of Wang Jian before heading home.

6 Days China Ancient Capitals Tour: Split your time between the capital city of Beijing and Xi’an, home to the famed terra cotta warriors. A visit to Beijing wouldn't be complete without a visit to Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square. From there, tour the Forbidden City, the Pearl Factory and the Summer Palace. The following day, climb the Great Wall before taking a stop at a jade museum. Close your stay in Beijing with a rickshaw visit to the Hutongs. Xian’s Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is known as the eighth miracle of the world. Close out your trip with a visit to the Ancient City Wall, known as one of the best examples from the Ming Dynasty.

8 Days China Highlights Tour: This is the same as the 6 Days China Ancient Capitals Tour, but this tour adds on a visit to Shanghai. The city tour starts with a visit to the Bund and the bustling shopping district of Nanjing Road and People's Square. Later, it visits the Gem Exhibition Center & Shanghai Museum.

9 Days Silk Road Express Tour: Time spent in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian takes visitors to the top tourist destinations including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace, the Great Wall, the Bund and, of course, the Terra Cotta Warriors. A stop in Dunhuang takes travelers off the beaten path and gives them the taste of the Chinese desert, taking them along the Echoing-Sand Dune to Crescent Lake by camel. Dunhuang is also home to the Mogao Caves, one of the world's most important sites of ancient Buddhist culture.

10 Days Best of China Tour: Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai. China's top tourism destinations--Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai -- are included in this tour with additional visits to Hangzhou and Suzhou. Hangzhou is home to the famous West Lake and Longjing Tea Farm, while Suzhou offers the Lingering Garden and Grand Canal.

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